The desolation of Egypt (Ezek 32:15-32:15)

“I will make

The land of Egypt

Desolate.

I will strip

The land

Of all

That fills it.

I will strike down

All

Who live in it.

Then they shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh has this parting shot about the desolation of Egypt. He was going to strip the land of everything in it. He was going to strike down all those living there. Then they would come to recognize that Yahweh was God.

Jeremiah responds that Yahweh is against them (Jer 21:3-21:6)

“Then Jeremiah said to them.

‘Thus you shall say

To King Zedekiah.

‘Thus says Yahweh!

The God of Israel!

I am going to turn back

The weapons of war

That are in your hands,

The ones with which you are fighting

Against the king of Babylon,

Against the Chaldeans,

Who are besieging you

Outside the walls.

I will bring them together

Into the midst of this city.

I myself will fight

Against you

With outstretched hand,

With a mighty arm,

In anger,

In fury,

In great wrath.

I will strike down

The inhabitants of this city,

Both human beings

As well as animals.

They shall die of a great pestilence.”

Yahweh’s response to these visitors to Jeremiah is that he is not going to help them. Instead, he was going to take the side of the Babylonians. Jeremiah told them to tell King Zedekiah that Yahweh was going to take their weapons of war from them. The Babylonians and Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem would actually enter the Jerusalem center of the city. Yahweh himself was going to fight against the Israelites with his mighty outstretched hand because he was angry, furious, and filled with a great wrath against them. He was going to strike down all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, both humans and animals, with a deadly pestilence. Their death was near.

Yahweh and the Promised Land (Ps 136:16-135:22)

“Yahweh led his people through the wilderness.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He struck down great kings.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He killed famous kings.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He killed Sihon,

King of the Amorites.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He killed Og,

King of Bashan.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He gave their land as a heritage.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He gave it as a heritage to Israel his servant,

His steadfast love endures forever.”

Once again, the congregational refrain, “His steadfast love endures forever” is repeated after every verse. This is once again a repetition of the previous psalm, Psalm 135, about the trip to the Promised Land. In order to take the Promised Land, they had to defeat a number of nations and countries. Yahweh helped them to strike down these fellow humans because his steadfast love endures forever. They and Yahweh killed many kings. The two most prominent as found in Numbers, chapter 21, was King Sihon of the Amorites and King Og of Bashan, on the borders of Canaan. They also killed the kings and people in Canaan as found in Joshua, chapters 5-12. Thus Yahweh gave Israel the land of Canaan as a heritage because of his enduring steadfast love.