The fate of the Jerusalem inhabitants (Jer 6:11-6:12)

“‘Pour it out

On the children in the street!

Pour it out also

On the gatherings of young men!

Both husband with wife shall be taken.

The old folk shall be taken.

The very aged shall be taken.

Their houses shall be turned over to others.

Their fields shall be turned over to others.

Their wives also shall be turned over to others.

I will stretch out my hand

Against the inhabitants of the land.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, says that this information should be spread to the children in the streets and the young men. However, both husbands and wives will be taken away, as well as the old and very old people. Their houses, wives, and fields will be turned over to others. Yahweh was going to stretch out his hand against the inhabitants of this land.

Conduct at home (Sir 4:29-4:31)

“Do not be reckless in your speech!

Do not be sluggish in your deeds!

Do not be remiss in your deeds!

Do not be like a lion in your home!

Do not be suspicious of your servants!

Do not let your hand be stretched out to receive!

Do not let your hand be closed,

When it is time to give.”

Here we have a series of reprimands for how to conduct yourself in your own home. You should not be reckless in your speech. You should not be sluggish or remiss in your actions. In your home, you should not be like a wild lion or suspicious of your servants. Obviously, you are rich enough to have servants. Do not stretch out to receive things. Also do not close your hand when it is time to give.

The steadfast love of Yahweh (Ps 138:7-138:8)

“Even though I walk

In the midst of trouble,

You preserve me

Against the wrath of my enemies.

You stretch out your hand.

Your right hand delivers me.

Yahweh will fulfill his purpose for me.

Yahweh!

Your steadfast love endures forever!

Do not forsake the work of your hands.”

This short psalm ends with a beautiful expression of faith. David believed that even though he walked in the middle of trouble, Yahweh would protect him from his enemies. Yahweh would stretch out his right hand to deliver and save him. Yahweh would fulfill his promises with David because his steadfast love endures forever. David believed that Yahweh would not forsake the work of his hands.

The power of God (Ps 68:28-68:31)

“Summon your might!

O God!

Show your strength!

O God!

You have done this for us before.

Because of your temple at Jerusalem,

Kings bear gifts to you.

Rebuke the wild animals

That live among the reeds!

Rebuke the herd of bulls

With the calves of the peoples!

Trample under foot

Those who lust after tribute!

Scatter the peoples

Who delight in war!

Let bronze be

Brought from Egypt!

Let Ethiopia hasten

To stretch out its hands to God.”

As this great procession was headed to the wonderful Temple in Jerusalem, this was a wish that God show his powerful strength. God was to rebuke the wild animals along the reeds of the Nile River, an allusion to Egypt. He was to rebuke the bulls with their calves. He was to trample those people who wanted to collect tribute. He was to scatter the war mongers. The psalmist wanted bronze taken from Egypt. He also wanted Ethiopia to stretch out its hands to God.

The dialogue of Yahweh and Satan (Job 1:6-1:12)

“One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before Yahweh. Satan also came among them. Yahweh said to Satan.

‘Where have you come from?’

Satan answered Yahweh.

‘From going to and fro on the earth,

I am walking up and down on it.’

Yahweh said to Satan.

‘Have you considered my servant Job?

There is no one like him on the earth.

He is a blameless and upright man.

He fears God.

He turns away from evil.’

Then Satan answered Yahweh.

‘Does Job fear God for nothing?

Have you not put a fence around him?

Have you not put a fence around his house and all that he has?

The fence is on every side.

You have blessed the work of his hands.

His possessions have increased in the land.

But stretch out your hand now.

Touch all that he has.

He will curse you to your face.’

Yahweh said to Satan.

‘Very well,

All that he has is in your power.

Only do not stretch out your hand against him!’

Satan then went out from the presence of Yahweh.”

Now we have a divine perspective with the 2 main protagonists of the story in a heavenly, other world since Job was not aware of this conversation. Yahweh was the Jewish Israelite God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Satan was the adversary or the powerful evil one, who later became the personification of evil or the devil, just like the serpent in Genesis, chapter 3. The assumption is that everyone knew who they were. Notice that Yahweh and Satan were on good speaking terms with each other. The heavenly beings, or sons of God, are some sort of council with God that is often referred to as the angels of God or some sort of lesser gods, subordinate to the main God. Satan seems to be one of these heavenly subordinate beings or angels. However, he seems more involved with earth. Yahweh started the conversation by asking Satan where he was from. He responded that he had been walking around earth. Yahweh then said that he must have seen his wonderful blameless and upright servant Job, who did no evil. Satan responded that Yahweh had put a fence or hedge all around him. He had blessed his work so that everything increased for him. Satan wanted Yahweh to stretch out his hand and see if he would curse Yahweh. Yahweh said that he would not do that, but he would allow Satan to do whatever he wanted to Job, except personally harm him. So the story begins.