The punishment for Samaria (Hos 13:15-13:16)

“Although he may flourish

Among the rushes of reed plants,

The east wind shall come,

A blast from Yahweh.

It will rise

From the wilderness.

His fountain

Shall dry up.

His spring

Shall be parched.

It shall strip

His treasury

Of every precious thing.

Samaria shall bear

Her guilt.

Because she has rebelled

Against her God.

They shall fall

By the sword.

Their little ones

Shall be dashed

In pieces.

Their pregnant women

Shall be ripped open.”

This is very strong criticism of Samaria, the capital city of the northern Israelite kingdom. It might flourish now, but the deadly east wind of Yahweh will come from the wilderness. Its fountains and springs will dry up and be parched. It will lose all the precious things of its treasury. Samaria will have to carry the guilt, because it rebelled against God. It will fall by the sword or die. Its little children will be broken into little pieces. Its pregnant women will have their pregnancies terminated by ripping open their wombs. This will be a bad time for Samaria.

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Let the earthly waters bless God (Dan 3:55-3:57)

“Bless the Lord!

You springs!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

Seas!

Rivers!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

You whales!

All that swim

In the waters!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!” 

The 3 men continued their hymn of praise. This time, they wanted the earthly waters, and all that live in them, to bless the Lord by praising and exalting him. The division of the waters was into springs, seas, and rivers, since there was never any thought of an ocean. However, the one fish that they do mention is a whale.

Yahweh helped the land to produce (Ps 107:33-107:38)

“He turns rivers into a desert.

He turns springs of water into thirsty ground.

He turns fruitful land into a salty waste.

He did this because of the wickedness of its inhabitants.

He turns the desert into pools of water.

He turns parched land into springs of water.

There he lets the hungry live.

They establish a town to live in.

They sow fields.

They plant vineyards.

They get a fruitful yield.

By his blessing

They multiply greatly.

He does not let their cattle decrease.”

Yahweh could make rivers into deserts and dry up the land. In fact, he turned fruitful land into a salty waste because of the wickedness of its people. On the other hand, he could turn bad land into good land. He could turn a desert into water and parched land into springs of water. See how important water was. He could let the hungry live and establish their own towns. There they could sow fields and plant vineyards so that they would have a fruitful yield. When Yahweh blesses them they multiply greatly, even their cattle.

Yahweh controls the waters (Ps 104:10-104:13)

“You make springs gush forth in the valleys.

They flow between the hills.

They give drink to every wild animal.

The wild asses quench their thirst.

By the streams,

The birds of the air have their habitation.

They sing among the branches.

From your lofty abode

You water the mountains.

The earth is satisfied

With the fruit of your work.”

The waters came under the control of Yahweh. The springs of the valleys flow between the mountain hills to produce rivers that give drink to the wild animals. The only animals mentioned are the wild asses. The birds of the air sing from their branches and refresh themselves in the streams of water. Yahweh even waters the mountains with rain. Thus the earth is satisfied with enough water. The fruit of the earth is really the fruit of the work of Yahweh.

The happy ones in Zion (Ps 84:5-84:8)

“Happy are those

Whose strength is in you!

Happy are those

In whose heart are the highways to Zion.

As they go through the valley of Baca,

They make it a place of springs.

The early rain also covers it with pools.

They go from strength to strength.

The God of gods will be seen in Zion.

Yahweh!

God of hosts!

Hear my prayer!

Give ear!

O God of Jacob!”

Selah

The happy people are those who put their strength in Yahweh. The happy people are on their way to Zion. Even when they are in the valleys, there will be springs of water and gentle early morning rains. They go from strength to the strength of Yahweh, who is the God of gods, as if there were other false gods. Then there are the pleas for the God of Jacob, Yahweh, to give an ear and listen to his prayers. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.