The call to conversion (Zeph 2:1-2:3)

“Gather together!

Gather!

O shameless nation!

Before you are driven away

Like the drifting chaff,

Before there comes

Upon you

The fierce anger of Yahweh,

Before there comes

Upon you

The day

Of Yahweh’s wrath.

Seek Yahweh!

All you humble

Of the land!

You do his commands.

You seek righteousness.

You seek humility.

Perhaps,

You may be hidden

On the day

Of Yahweh’s wrath.”

Yahweh gave them one last chance to convert to him.  He wanted this shameless country to gather together to seek him.  If they did not, they would be driven away like useless chaff.  If they did not, the anger of Yahweh would come upon them on the day of his wrath.  The humble or the poor of the land should seek Yahweh.  All they had to do was to follow his commandments.  They had to seek righteousness and humility.  Then perhaps, on the day of Yahweh’s wrath, they would be hidden or stored away from his anger.  There still was a chance for these righteous humble poor people.

Advertisements

The anger of Yahweh (Nah 1:2-1:3)

Aleph

“Yahweh is

A jealous God.

Yahweh is

An avenging God.

Yahweh is

Avenging.

Yahweh is

Wrathful.

Yahweh takes vengeance

On his adversaries.

He rages

Against his enemies.

Yahweh is

Slow to anger.

But Yahweh is

Great in power.

Yahweh will

By no means

Clear the guilty.”

This book opens with an incomplete acrostic psalm, as it only gets to the letter Kaph.  However, this opening letter Aleph is very clear.  Yahweh was a jealous, avenging, and wrathful God.  He took out his vengeance and raged against his adversaries and enemies.  However, Yahweh was slow to anger, but he was very powerful.  Thus, he would not clear the guilty ones very easily.

The warnings against these abominations (Ezek 8:17-8:18)

“Then Yahweh said to me.

‘Have you seen this?

O son of man!

Is it not bad enough

That the house of Judah

Commits the abominations

Done here?

Must they fill the land

With violence?

Must they provoke

My anger further?

See!

They put the branch

To their nose.

Therefore I will act

In wrath!

My eye will not spare!

I will not have pity!

Although they cry

In my hearing

With a loud voice,

I will not listen to them.’”

Then Yahweh warned Ezekiel again. Had he seen enough? The house of Judah committed all these abominations. On top of that, they filled the land with violence. They had provoked the anger of Yahweh. They even put branches in their noses as some kind of worship activity. Yahweh was going to act against them in his anger. He was not going to spare them or show any pity. Even if they cried very loudly, Yahweh was not going to listen to them. Their actions spoke louder than their words.

 

The anger of Yahweh (Lam 2:1-2:1)

Aleph

“How Yahweh,

In his anger,

Has humiliated

Daughter Zion!

He has thrown down

From heaven

To earth

The splendor of Israel.

He has not remembered

His footstool

In the day

Of his anger.”

The anger of Yahweh is the theme of this second lamentation. Yahweh has humiliated his favorite daughter Zion. The splendor of Israel has been cast aside from heaven to earth. Yahweh even forgot his footstool, the Temple, because he was so angry. This first verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Aleph. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The anger of Yahweh (Jer 30:23-30:24)

“Look!

The storm of Yahweh!

Wrath has gone forth!

It is a whirling tempest!

It will burst

Upon the head of the wicked.

The fierce anger of Yahweh

Will not turn back

Until he has executed

And accomplished

The intentions of his mind.

In the latter days,

You will understand this.”

Into every story must come a little sadness. The anger or wrath of Yahweh was always in the background of any story. Thus the storm of Yahweh or a whirling tempest would fall upon the wicked. No one could turn back the anger of Yahweh until he has executed and accomplished what he set out to do. Only later will people understand this.

The anger of Yahweh (Isa 30:27-30:28)

“See!

The name of Yahweh

Comes from far away.

It burns with his anger,

In thick rising smoke.

His lips are

Full of indignation.

His tongue is

Like a devouring fire.

His breath is

Like an overflowing stream

That reaches up to the neck.

He sifts the nations

With the sieve of destruction.

He places on the jaws of the people

A bridle that leads them astray.”

Is this an allusion to the Assyrians as they attack Jerusalem? The name of Yahweh comes from a distance. Could this be an indication of the far off Assyrians? Or was this Yahweh himself angry? He burns with anger so that smoke is rising up. His lips and tongue were full of indignation and fire. His breath was like an overflowing stream that reached to your neck. He used a sieve to sift out the destruction of the various nations. He placed a bridle on the jaws of the people to lead them in the wrong direction. This is either a description of an anthropomorphic mad Yahweh or how Yahweh made the Assyrians mad.

The anger of Yahweh (Isa 5:25-5:25)

“Therefore the anger of Yahweh

Was kindled against his people.

He stretched out his hand

Against them.

He struck them.

The mountains quaked.

Their corpses were

Like refuse in the streets.

His anger has not turned away

From all this.

His hand is stretched out still.”

Yahweh was angry at what was going on in Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem. These incidents ignited his anger. He stretched out his hand against them. He struck his own people. The mountains quaked. Their dead bodies were all over the streets like strewn garbage. His anger has even now not turned away, since his outstretched hands are still over them.