Against human fortresses (Hos 8:14-8:14)

“Israel has forgotten

His Maker.

They built palaces.

Judah has multiplied

Fortified cities.

But I will send

A fire

Upon his cities.

It shall devour

His strongholds.”

The final swipe in this chapter is against southern Judah also. Northern Israel had forgotten its creator maker. They had built palaces that they thought would survive. Meanwhile, southern Judah also built a number of fortified cities. Yahweh, via Hosea, reminded them that he could devour their cities and strongholds. They should have relied on Yahweh and not their own construction.

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Against Edom (Lam 4:21-4:21)

Shin

“Rejoice!

Be glad!

O daughter Edom!

You live

In the land of Uz!

But to you also

The cup shall pass!

You shall

Become drunk!

You shall

Strip yourself bare!”

This poem ends with a swipe at Judah’s southern neighbor Edom. With an ironic twist, this author told Edom to rejoice and be glad because they lived in Uz, the place where Job lived. However, there was a warning that the cup of anger would pass to them. They would become drunk and naked. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Shin in this acrostic poem.

The unjust king and his house (Jer 22:13-22:14)

“Woe to him

Who builds his house

With unrighteousness!

Woe to him

Who builds his upper rooms

With injustice!

Woe to him

Who makes his neighbors

Work for nothing!

Woe to him

Who does not give them

Their wages!

Woe to him

Who says

‘I will build myself

A spacious house

With large upper rooms.’

He cuts out windows for it.

He panels it with cedar.

He paints it with vermilion.”

This seems to be a swipe at King Jehoiakim or King Eliakim (609-598 BCE) who was put in charge by the Egyptian king. Apparently, he decided to expand the palace using Egyptian styles, like large upper rooms, lots of windows, paneled cedar, and vermilion paint. Jeremiah seems to censure him for building this great palace with injustice and unrighteousness, since he did not correctly pay the people who did the work.