The coming invasion (Jer 6:1-6:3)

“Flee for safety!

O children of Benjamin!

From the midst of Jerusalem!

Blow the trumpet in Tekoa!

Raise a signal on Beth-haccherem!

Evil looms out of the north!

Great destruction looms out of the north!

I have likened

My daughter Zion

To the loveliest pasture.

Shepherds with their flocks

Shall come against her.

They shall pitch their tents

Around her.

They shall pasture.

All in their places.”

Jeremiah warns the people of Benjamin, who were just north of Judah and Jerusalem. He wanted them to sound the trumpet at Tekoa, which was about 12 miles south of Jerusalem. Meanwhile at Beth-haccherem, about 2 miles south of Jerusalem, they were to raise a signal. There would be an attack on Jerusalem. The problem was that evil and great destruction was coming from the north. Zion and her lovely pastures would be threatened by shepherds who would surround them with pitched tents. This was an allusion to the armies and kings that were going to surround the towns and fields of Judah.

God helped to defeat enemies (Ps 68:11-68:14)

“Yahweh gives the command.

Great is the company

Of those who bore the tidings.

‘The kings of the armies,

They flee!

They flee!’

The women at home

Divide the spoils.

Although they stayed among the sheepfolds,

They found

The wings of a dove covered with silver,

Its pinions with green gold.

When the almighty Shaddai scattered kings there,

Snow fell on Zalmon.”

When Yahweh gave the command, the armies of the enemy kings were defeated. They fled. The women at home or in the sheepfolds divided the spoils of the fleeing armies. This sounds like a settled people rather than a group in the wilderness. Among these spoils they found a silver dove with green gold feathers. When the almighty Shaddai, as opposed to Yahweh, scattered these kings, snow fell on Mount Zalmon, which was near Shechem. This mountain was mentioned in Judges, chapter 9. Snow would have been rare as this incident was not mentioned elsewhere in the biblical literature.