Divine justice is correct (Job 11:13-11:20)

“If you direct your heart rightly,

You will stretch out your hands toward him.

If iniquity is in your hand,

Put it far away!

Do not let wickedness reside in your tents!

Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish.

You will be secure.

You will not fear.

You will forget your misery.

You will remember it as waters that have passed away.

Your life will be brighter than the noonday.

Its darkness will be like the morning.

You will have confidence,

Because there is hope.

You will be protected.

You will take your rest in safety.

You will lie down.

No one will make you afraid.

Many will entreat your favor.

But the eyes of the wicked will fail.

All way of escape will be lost to them,

Their hope is to breathe their last.”

Now Zophar turned on Job directly. He told him to pray with his hands stretched out. He wanted him to put away the iniquity in his heart. He was to get rid of the wickedness in his tents. Then his face would be without blemishes. Job would be secure and not fearful. All his misery would be like a stream that passed by. His life would be brighter than the noon day sun. He would have confidence and hope again. He would be protected and safe. He would not be afraid to lie down. People would come to him for favors. The wickedness would fade so that the only escape for the evil people was to wish for a quick death. This was a personal attack on Job.

God never rejects the blameless person (Job 8:20-8:22)

“See!

God will not reject a blameless person.

He will not take the hand of evildoers.

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter.

He will fill your lips with shouting.

Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,

The tent of the wicked will be no more.”

Bildad reminded Job that God never rejects a blameless person. He never takes the hand of the evil doer. The blameless one will be filled with laughter and shouting. Anyone who hates will be clothed in shame. The tents of the wicked will disappear.

Eliphaz explains who the happy man is (Job 5:17-5:27)

“How happy is the one whom God reproves.

Therefore, do not despise the discipline of the Almighty Shaddai!

He wounds,

But he binds up.

He strikes,

But his hands heal.

He will deliver you from six troubles.

In seven no harm shall touch you.

In famine he will redeem you from death,

In war he will redeem you from the power of the sword.

You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue.

You shall not fear destruction when it comes.

At destruction and famine you shall laugh.

You shall not fear the wild animals of the earth.

You shall be in league with the stones of the field.

The wild animals shall be at peace with you.

You shall know that your tent is safe,

You shall inspect your fold and miss nothing.

You shall know that your descendants will be many.

Your offspring will be like the grass of the earth.

You shall come to your grave in ripe old age,

As a shock of grain comes up to the threshing floor in its season.

See!

We have searched this out.

It is true.

Hear!

Know it for yourself.”

Eliphaz explained that Job should be happy that he is being disciplined by God, the almighty Shaddai, the name of the God of Abraham in Genesis, chapter 17. God wounds and strikes, but he also heals. He also delivers people from troubles 6 or 7 times. Once again we have the lucky unlucky number of 7. He will protect people during a famine or war so that they will laugh at them. He will protect the disciplined ones from wild animals. He will make sure that their tents and flocks are in good shape. Their offspring will be like the grass on the earth. They will live to a ripe old age. Eliphaz has searched this out. He knows that it is true and he wants Job to know this himself.

Judas Maccabeus and the nomads (2 Macc 12:10-12:12)

“When they had gone more than a mile from there, on their march against Timothy, at least five thousand Arabs with five hundred cavalry attacked them. After a hard fight Judas Maccabeus and his companions, with God’s help, were victorious. The defeated nomads begged Judas Maccabeus to grant them pledges of friendship, promising to give livestock. They promised to help his people in all other ways. Judas Maccabeus, realizing that they might indeed be useful in many ways, agreed to make peace with them. After receiving his pledges, they went back to their tents.”

This episode is not linked with the preceding episodes on the coast because this takes place on the east side of the Jordan River. This is more about the battles with Timothy, even though it says that they were only a mile away. In fact, it is fairly similar to 1 Maccabees, chapter 5.   5,000 Arabs and 500 cavalry attacked Judas Maccabeus and his troops. With God’s help he was victorious. However, the defeated nomads wanted to make friends with Judas Maccabeus. They promised to give him livestock and be helpful in other ways. Judas Maccabeus realized that they might be useful. Thus he made peace with them. This is one of the few stories where the defeated people begged for peace and Judas Maccabeus agreed to it. Otherwise, he normally just wiped them out.

Bacchides is defeated and leaves (1 Macc 9:65-9:69)

“However, Jonathan left his brother Simon in the town, while he went out into the country. He went with only a few men. He struck down Odomera and his kindred and the people of Phasiron in their tents. Then he began to attack. He went into battle with his forces. Simon and his men sallied out from the town. They set fire to the machines of war. They fought with Bacchides. He was crushed by them. They pressed him very hard. His plan and his expedition had been in vain. So he was greatly enraged at the renegades who had counseled him to come into the country. He killed many of them. Then he decided to depart to his own land.”

Jonathan split up his forces. He left his brother Simon in the town and he went into the countryside with a few men. He attacked and defeated Odomera and Phasiron. Odomera was either an independent wandering chief or an officer of the army of the Syrian General Bacchides. Phasiron was another independent Arab chief. Simon and his group set fire to the war machines of General Bacchides that were set to attack the Jews people. He was defeated but he did not die. There is no indication of how many people he lost, but he was discouraged because his plan and invasion had not worked. Thus General Bacchides decided to kill some of the men who had encouraged him to invade Judea. Then he left in disgust to go back to his own land.

The Assyrians flee (Jdt 15:1-15:7)

“When the men in the tents heard it, they were amazed at what had happened. Overcome with fear and trembling, they did not wait for one another. With one impulse, all rushed out. They fled by every path across the plain and through the hill country. Those who had camped in the hills around Bethulia also took flight. Then the Israelites, everyone that was a soldier, rushed out upon them. Uzziah sent men to Betomesthaim, Choba, and Kola, and to all the frontiers of Israel, to tell them what had taken place. He urged all the Israelites to rush out upon their enemies to destroy them. When the Israelites heard it, with one accord they fell upon the enemy. They cut them down as far as Choba. Those in Jerusalem and all the hill country also came. They were told what had happened in the camp of the enemy. The men of Gilead and in Galilee outflanked them with great slaughter, even beyond Damascus and its borders. The rest of the people of Bethulia fell upon the Assyrian camp and plundered it, acquiring great riches. The Israelites, when they returned from the slaughter, took possession of what remained. Even the villages and towns in the hill country and in the plain got a great amount of booty, since there was a vast quantity of it.”

When all the foot soldiers in the camp heard what had happened, they were overcome with fear and trembling. Many of them rushed to the various paths to get out of the area. With all this going on, the Israelite soldiers rushed the camp. Meanwhile Uzziah, the lead elder in Bethulia, sent word out by messengers about what had happened there. He sent people to Betomesthaim, Choba, and Kola, but unfortunately no one has been able to pinpoint where these places are, but they probably were close to Dothan. He wanted the men at the frontiers to destroy their enemy as he was escaping. He sent word to Jerusalem and the hill country. Apparently, he was more successful in the northern areas of Galilee and Gilead, as they chased the enemy as far as Damascus. The men of Bethulia attacked the Assyrian camp killing the confused soldiers and taking their stuff as booty, since there were many supplies there for this famished town.

 

Uzziah tells her to go in peace (Jdt 8:35-8:36)

“Uzziah and the rulers said to her.

‘Go in peace!

May the Lord God go before you!

May he take revenge upon our enemies!’

So they returned from the tent and went to their posts.”

Uzziah simply told her to go in peace. He hoped that the Lord would be with her. He also added that he wanted God to take revenge against his enemies. With that simple farewell, they all returned to their tents and watch posts.

General Holofernes sets the plan in action (Jdt 7:16-7:18)

“These words pleased General Holofernes and all his servants. He gave orders to do as they had said. So the army of the Ammonites moved forward, together with five thousand Assyrians. They encamped in the valley. They seized the water supply and the springs of the Israelites. The Edomites and the Ammonites went up and encamped in the hill country opposite Dothan. They sent some of their men toward the south and the east, toward Egrebeh, which is near Chusi beside the Wadi Mochmur. The rest of the Assyrian army encamped in the plain. They covered the whole face of the land. Their tents and supply trains spread out in great number. They formed a vast multitude.”

General Holofernes thought that seizing the water supply was a good idea. He gave orders to his army. The Ammonites with 5,000 Assyrian troops seized the water supply and the water springs. The Edomites and Ammonites encamped in the in the hill country opposite Dothan. Some went south and east to Egrebeh, Chusi, and Mochmur. All of these places are near Shechem, which would put this place further north in Manasseh territory. Meanwhile, the Assyrian army camped in the valley plain area so that they nearly covered the whole face of the earth. They had lots of tents and supplies spread out like a great large blanket.

 

Thanksgiving festival of Yahweh (Lev 23:39-23:44)

“Now, the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall keep the festival of Yahweh lasting seven days.  There is a complete rest on the first day and a complete rest on the eighth day.  On the first day you shall take the fruit of the majestic trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook.  You shall rejoice before Yahweh your God for seven days.  You shall keep it as a festival to Yahweh seven days in the year.  You shall keep it in the seventh month as a statute forever throughout your generations.  You shall live in tents or booths for seven days.  All that are citizens in Israel shall live in tents or booths, so that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel live in tents or booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.  Thus Moses declared to the people of Israel the appointed festivals of Yahweh.”

This is really the 7 day festival of tents or booths with more details.  This is a 7 day joyful remembrance of the tent living in the desert.  There is complete rest on the 1st and the 8th days. You take the fruit of the trees, the branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and the willows of the brook, probably to build your tent.  You rejoice before Yahweh for 7 days.  You live in these tents or booths for 7 days.  Every citizen in Israel had to live in these tents or booths, so that future generations might know what it was like when the people of Israel lived in these tents or booths when they left Egypt.  Thus Moses declared to the people of Israel the various festivals of Yahweh.