Exposed iniquities of the king of Tyre (Ezek 28:17-28:19)

“Your heart was proud

Because of your beauty.

You corrupted

Your wisdom

For the sake

Of your splendor.

I cast you

To the ground.

I exposed you

Before kings,

To feast their eyes

On you.

By the multitude

Of your iniquities,

In the unrighteousness

Of your trade,

You profaned

Your sanctuaries.

Thus I brought out fire

From within you.

It consumed you.

I turned you

To ashes

On the earth,

In the sight

Of all who saw you.

All who know you

Among the people

Are appalled at you.

You have come

To a dreadful end.

You shall be no more

Forever.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, had a strong condemnation of Tyre and its king. The king of Tyre had become proud because of his beauty. His great trade wisdom had become corrupt. Yahweh cast them down, despite their splendor. He exposed them before other kings and people. Everyone was able to see the multitude of their iniquities and their unrighteous trade practices. Tyre had profaned their own sanctuaries. Yahweh then brought fire to consume them. He turned them into ashes on the ground in the sight of everyone, so that everyone was appalled at the dreadful end of Tyre, who would not exist anymore. However, Tyre did continue to exist.

The mountain will be destroyed (Jer 51:25-51:26)

“‘I am against you!

O destroying mountain!’

Says Yahweh.

‘You destroy

The whole earth!

I will stretch out

My hand

Against you!

I will roll you down

From the crags!

I will make you

A burned out mountain!

No stone shall be taken

From you

for a corner.

No stone

Shall be taken

From you

For a foundation.

But you shall be

A perpetual waste.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh via Jeremiah assumes the first person singular in this oracle against the mountain of Babylon that may be the great temple tower of Babylon. This destroying mountain will itself be destroyed. Yahweh was going to stretch out his hand against this temple mountain, so that it will become a burned out temple. No one will be able to take a corner from it to make a cornerstone for another temple. No one will be able to set up a foundation on this rubble, because it will be a perpetual waste. This was a strong condemnation of the huge Babylonian temple.

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.

Begging (Sir 40:28-40:30)

“My child!

Do not lead

The life of a beggar!

It is better to die

Than to beg.

When one looks

To the table of another,

One’s way of life

Cannot be considered a life.

One loses self-respect

With another person’s food.

One who is intelligent,

One who is well instructed

Guards against that.

In the mouth of the shameless

Begging is sweet.

But it kindles

a fire inside him.”

Sirach has a very strong condemnation of begging. He clearly says with very strong words that it is better to die than to beg. He did not want anyone to take up the life of a beggar. Yet he was very strong on almsgiving. If you have to continually eat at someone’s table, he does not consider that to be a worthwhile existence. You lose your self-respect, if you have to eat another person’s food. The intelligent and instructed ones guard against begging. Only the shameless think that begging is a sweet thing to do. However, their begging will lead to a kindling fire in their stomachs. Stay away from beggars. Usually the biblical writers talk about compassion for those in need, but not here.