Another personal lament of Jeremiah (Jer 17:14-17:18)

“Heal me!

Yahweh!

Then I shall be healed.

Save me!

Then I shall be saved.

You are my praise!

See how they say to me.

‘Where is the word of Yahweh?

Let it come!’

I have not run away

From being a shepherd

In your service.

I have not desired

The fatal day.

You know

What came from my lips.

It was before your face.

Do not become a terror to me!

You are my refuge

In the day of disaster.

Let my persecutors be shamed!

But do not let me be shamed!

Let them be dismayed!

But do not let me be dismayed!

Bring on them

The day of disaster!

Destroy them

With a double destruction!”

Jeremiah lamented about the fatal day of destruction. He wanted to be healed and saved by Yahweh because he praised him. He was taunted by others for his connection to Yahweh. However, he had not run away from being a shepherd or leader in the service of Yahweh. He had not desired this fatal day of destruction. Yahweh knew what he had said in front of him. He did not want Yahweh to scare him on this future fatal day. Instead, he wanted his persecutors to be ashamed and dismayed, but not him. He wanted to bring on this fatal day to them with a double dose of destruction.

 

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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.

The taunt response of Rabshakeh to the Israelites (Isa 36:12-36:12)

“But Rabshakeh said to them.

‘My master has sent me

To speak these words

To your master                                                                          

As well as you.

I am not to speak these words

To the people sitting on the wall.

They are doomed with you

To eat their own dung,

To drink their own urine?’”

Once again in the same words as 2 Kings, chapter 18, Rabshakeh replied that he had not come to speak not to the rabble sitting on the wall, but to the king. He taunted them by saying that they would all end up eating their dung and drinking their urine anyway. That’s does not sound like a good negotiation line.

Steadfast love (Ps 119:41-119:48)

Vav

“Let your steadfast love come to me!

Yahweh!

Let your salvation come to me according to your promise!

Then I shall have an answer for those who taunt me.

I trust in your word.

Do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth.

My hope is in your ordinances.

I will keep your law continually,

Forever and ever.

I shall walk at liberty.

I have sought your precepts.

I will also speak of your decrees before kings.

I shall not be put to shame.

I find my delight in your commandments.

I love them!

I revere your commandments.

I love them!

I will meditate on your statutes.”

The psalmist wants the steadfast love of Yahweh to be with him. He wanted to be saved as Yahweh had promised. He trusted in the word of Yahweh. He did not want to be taunted. He had hope in the ordinances and laws of Yahweh. He wanted to continually walk in the liberty that God’s ordinances brought him. He wanted to tell kings about his God’s decrees. He delighted and loved the commandments of God. He wanted to meditate on all God’s statutes. So ends this section on the sixth consonant of the Hebrew alphabet, Vav.

Help us, Yahweh (Ps 89:49-89:51)

“Yahweh!

Where is your steadfast love of old?

By your faithfulness,

You swore to David.

Remember!

Yahweh!

How your servant is taunted!

I bear in my bosom

The insults of the peoples.

Your enemies taunt us!

Yahweh!

They taunt the footsteps of your anointed!”

The psalmist has a cry to Yahweh to remind him of his famous steadfast love from ancient times. He had sworn to help David. Did Yahweh forget? His servant has been taunted and insulted. They have taunted the footsteps of the anointed one David. This is a final plea to this psalm, probably at the time of the captivity.