The fear in southern Egypt (Jer 46:15-46:16)

“Why has Apis fled?

Why did your bull

Not stand?

Because Yahweh

Thrust him down.

Your multitude stumbled.

They fell.

They said to one another.

‘Come!

Let us go back

To our own people,

To the land of our birth,

Because of the destroying sword.’”

Apis, the sacred bull god of Memphis and southern Egypt, has fled because Yahweh threw him down. Why was he not able to stand up against Yahweh? All the people stumbled around as they fell. They said to one another that they should go back to their own people, where they were born. They wanted to avoid the destroying sword of the king of Babylon.

The future glory of Israel despite its past (Isa 49:7-49:7)

“Thus says Yahweh!

The Redeemer of Israel!

His Holy One!

He says to one deeply despised,

One abhorred by the nations,

The slave of rulers.

‘Kings shall see.

Kings shall stand up.

Princes shall prostrate themselves.

They will do this

Because of Yahweh.

He is faithful.

The Holy One of Israel

Has chosen you.’”

Second Isaiah continues to use a variety of names for Yahweh, the Lord, like the Redeemer and the Holy One of Israel. Yahweh was trying to reassure Israel that despite being deeply despised by other countries, abhorred by many nations, and the slaves of rulers, there would be a turnabout. Kings would see them and stand up for them. Princes would bow down before them. They are going to do this because Yahweh, the faithful holy one, has chosen them.

No hope for the sorcerers of Babylon (Isa 47:12-47:13)

“Stand fast in your enchantments!

Stand fast in your many sorceries!

You have labored from your youth

With these actions.

Perhaps you may be able to succeed.

Perhaps you may inspire terror.

You are wearied

With your many consultations.

Let those who study the heavens

Stand up!

Let them save you!

Let those who gaze at the stars

Predict what shall befall you!

Let those who gaze at each new moon

Predict what shall befall you!”

Yahweh taunted Babylon by saying that they should rely on their sorcerers, their enchanters, their astrologists, and magicians. They had followed them since they were young. Maybe they will succeed. Maybe they will scare people. However, they are weary from all their consultations. Let those who study the heavens stand up and save you. Can those who gaze at the stars and the new moon predict what is going to happen to you? This is a direct challenge to the people of Babylon.

Against idol makers (Isa 44:9-44:11)

“All who make idols

Are nothing.

The things they delight in

Do not profit.

Their witnesses neither see

Nor know.

Thus they will be put to shame.

Who fashions a god?

Who casts an image?

Can they do any good?

Look!

All its devotees shall be put to shame.

The artisans are merely human.

Let them all assemble!

Let them stand up!

They shall be terrified.

They shall all be put to shame.”

Second Isaiah has a strong condemnation of those who make false idols. They are nothing. They delight in things that bring them no good. They and their devotees will be put to shame, which is repeated again twice. Who fashions these gods and casts their images? Can they do any good? They are just mere humans. Let them stand up together and be shamed. In fact, the biggest punishment for these idol makers was their own shame.

The trial (Ps 109:6-109:7)

“They say.

‘Appoint a wicked man against him.

Let an accuser stand on his right.

When he is tried,

Let him be found guilty.

Let his prayer be counted as sin!’”

They wanted to put David on trial. They wanted a wicked man to stand up against him. When he would be tried, he was expected to be found guilty. Even his prayer would be counted as a sin for him. This would seem to indicate that his foes were fellow Israelites who were wicked.

People honored Job in the old days (Job 29:7-29:10)

“When I went out to the gate of the city,

When I took my seat in the square,

The young men saw me and withdrew.

The aged rose up and stood.

The nobles refrained from talking.

They laid their hands on their mouths.

The voices of princes were hushed.

Their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.”

Once again, Job remembered the good old days, when he would go out to the city gate and take his seat in the square. He speaks in the first person singular. He might have been on the city judicial council since that is where they would meet. The young men would step back. The old men would stand up for him. The nobles and the princes were hushed in their tones, as they hardly said a word, as if their tongues were stuck in their mouths. They put their hands over their mouths. There was a lot of respect in his community shown to Job in those days.

Raphael tells Tobias about the solution to his problem (Tob 6:16-6:18)

“However, Raphael said to him.

‘Do you not remember your father’s orders?

When he commanded you to take a wife from your father’s house? Now listen to me, brother!

Say no more about this demon!

Take her!

I know that this very night she will be given to you in marriage. When you enter the bridal chamber,

Take some of the fish’s liver and heart.

Put them on the embers of the incense.

An odor will be given off.

The demon will smell it and flee.

He will never be seen near her any more.

Now when you are about to go to bed with her,

Both of you must stand up and pray,

Imploring the God of heaven

That mercy and safety may be granted to you.

Do not be afraid!

She was set apart for you before the world was made.

You will save her.

She will go with you.

I presume that you will have children by her.

They will be brothers to you.

Now say no more!’

When Tobias heard the words of Raphael, he learned that she was his kinswoman, related through his father’s lineage. He loved her very much. His heart was drawn to her.”

The angel Raphael reminded Tobias that his father had told him to take a wife from his own house. Raphael told him not to worry about the demon. He told Tobias to take the fish liver and fish heart and then burn it on incense. The smell from the smoke would make the demon flee and stay away forever. He implored both of them to stand up and pray before they went to bed. Ask the God of heaven to be merciful to them and keep them safe so that they would have children. Now Tobias was relieved to find out that Sarah was a kinswoman of his father. He would be able to chase away the demon with the fish heart and liver. He began to love her as her was drawn to her, even though he had never met her yet. This is almost like an arranged marriage.