The future sign of Ezekiel (Ezek 24:25-24:27)

“You!

Son of man!

On the day

When I take

From them

Their stronghold,

Their joy,

Their glory,

The delight of their eyes,

Their heart’s affection,

Someone will come

To you.

I will take their sons.

I will take their daughters.

On that day,

One who has escaped

Will come

To you

To report

To you

The news.

On that day,

Your mouth

Shall be opened

To the one

Who has escaped.

You shall speak.

You will no longer

Be silent.

So you shall be a sign

To them.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh spoke directly to Ezekiel, the son of man. On a future day, Yahweh was going to bring down Jerusalem. The Israelites would lose their stronghold, their joy, their glory, the delight of their eyes, and their heart’s affection. They would also lose their sons and daughters. Someone, who had escaped from Jerusalem, would come to Ezekiel on that day with the report of the news about the fall of Jerusalem. On that day, Ezekiel would open his mouth to speak. He would not be silent anymore. Thus the actions of Ezekiel would a sign, so that everyone would know that Yahweh was in charge.

Serving strangers in a foreign land (Jer 5:18-5:19)

“But even in those days

Says Yahweh.

‘I will not make a full end of you.

When your people say,

‘Why has Yahweh our God

Done all these things to us?’

You shall say to them.

‘As you have forsaken me,

As you served foreign gods

In your land,

So you shall serve strangers

In a land that is not yours.’”

Yahweh explained to Jeremiah what he was to say to those people who complained about the actions of Yahweh. First, Yahweh was not going to completely eliminate them. However, they were being punished for serving gods in the land that their God, Yahweh, gave them. They had turned away from Yahweh. Thus they now would have to serve strangers in a land that is not their own.

The lamentation over this sudden disaster (Jer 4:19-4:22)

“My anguish!

My anguish!

I writhe in pain!

O!

The walls of my heart!

My heart is beating wildly!

I cannot keep silent!

I hear the sound of the trumpet.

I hear the alarm of war.

Disaster overtakes disaster.

The whole land is laid waste.

Suddenly my tents are destroyed.

My curtains are destroyed in a moment.

How long must

I see the standard?

How long must

I hear the sound of the trumpet?

‘My people are foolish.

They do not know me.

They are stupid children.

They have no understanding.

They are skilled in doing evil.

But they do not know

How to do good.’”

Jeremiah laments the actions that are taking place. He is pained and in anguish. His heart is beating wildly as he hears the sound of the war trumpet. There was disaster after disaster in the land, as their tents and curtains were also destroyed quickly. He wondered how long this was going to last. He realized that his people were foolish, acting like stupid children, not listening to him. They had no understanding of what was happening. The only thing that they knew was evil, since they did not know how to do good things.

The ill-mannered fool (Sir 21:22-21:24)

“The foot of a fool

Rushes into a house.

But an experienced person

Waits respectfully outside.

A boor peers into the house

From the door.

But a cultivated person

Remains outside.

It is ill-mannered

For a person to listen at a door.

The discreet person

Would be grieved by this disgrace.”

Sirach explains the actions of an ill-mannered fool. This fool rudely rushes into a house, while a more experienced wise person would wait respectfully outside the house at the door. A boorish fool would peer in through the windows, but the cultivated wise man would remain outside. This ill-mannered fool would listen at the door, but the discreet wise person would be ashamed and disgraced by this kind of behavior.