Oracle of Yahweh (Ob 1:1-1:1)

“Thus says Yahweh

Concerning Edom.

We have heard a report

From Yahweh.

A messenger has been sent

Among my nations.

‘Rise up!

Let us rise against it

For battle.’”

The Israelites had a long history with Edom because they believed that Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, had founded this country.  The Book of Genesis listed the kings of Edom in chapter 36.  The country of Edom was south of the Dead Sea, south of Moab and south of Judah.  It eventually stopped being a country with most of the people drifting into southern Judah.  Many of the prophets had spoken against the Edomites, including Jeremiah, chapter 49, Isaiah, chapter 34, Ezekiel, chapter 25, Amos, chapter 1, and Joel, chapter 3.  This was a report from Yahweh, since he had sent his messengers to the various countries.  They were to rise up and get ready for the battle.

The coming battles in Israel (Ezek 7:14-7:15)

“They have blown

The horn.

They have made

Everything ready.

But no one goes

To battle.

My wrath is

Upon all their multitude.

The sword is

Outside.

Pestilence is within.

Famine is within.

Those in the field

Die by the sword.

Those in the city

Have famine

With pestilence

Devour them.”

This picks up on a theme of the last chapter about how people die, repeating the three ways to die. The Israelites blew the horn to get ready for the battle, but no one showed up. Thus Yahweh’s wrath was on everybody. Those outside the city in the fields would die by the sword. However, those in the city would die from a pestilence or a famine that would devour them.

God is with us (Isa 8:8-8:10)

“O Immanuel!

Band together!

You peoples!

Be dismayed!

Listen!

All you far countries!

Gird yourselves!

Be dismayed!

Gird yourselves!

Be dismayed!

Take counsel together!

But it shall be brought to naught!

Speak a word!

But it will not stand!

God is with us.”

This section begins and ends with Immanuel, God is with us. All the people should join together. All the far countries should be fearful and dismayed. They should gird themselves for the battle. They can take counsel together, but it will come to nothing. Any words that they issue will not hold up. God was with us, not them.

The right time (Eccl 8:6-8:9)

“Every matter has its time,

Every matter has its way,

Even though the troubles of mortals

Lie heavy upon them.

Indeed they do not know

What is to be.

Who can tell him

How it will be?

No one has power over the wind,

To restrain the wind.

No one has power over the day of death.

There is no discharge from the battle.

Wickedness does not deliver

Those who practice it.

All this I observed.

I applied my mind to all

That is done

Under the sun.

One person exercises authority over another

To the other’s hurt.”

You have to know the right time and the correct way to do things. Those with wisdom will be able to do these things. No knows how to stop the wind or the day of their death. You cannot be excused from the battle. Wickedness has its own reward. Qoheleth knows all about these things because he observed them. He saw how one person exercised authority over another that caused harm. That is our way of life under the sun.

Yahweh’s response is positive (Ps 21:1-21:2)

To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of David

In your strength the king rejoices!

Yahweh!

In your help

How greatly he exults!

You have given him

His heart’s desire!

You have not withheld the request of his lips.

Selah”

This Psalm 21 is a psalm of thanksgiving after a victory of David. Once again there is mention of the choir leader as a psalm of David. Yahweh has given strength to the king during the battle. He has helped the king to succeed. Yahweh has given David his heart’s desire. Just as in the preceding psalm, they wanted Yahweh to give David his heart’s desire. Now they are thankful that he has received his heart’s desire. He has not held back from the request of David’s lips. Once again, it is time for the Selah or musical pause for meditation.

Yahweh is David’s rock (Ps 18:31-18:42)

“Who is God except Yahweh?

Who is a rock, besides our God?

This is the God who girded me with strength.

He made my way safe.

He made my feet

Like the feet of a deer.

He set me secure on the heights.

He trains my hands for war.

Thus my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You have given me

The shield of your salvation.

Your right hand has supported me.

Your help has made me great.

You gave me a wide place for my steps under me.

My feet did not slip.

I pursued my enemies.

I overtook them.

I did not turn back

Until they were consumed.

I struck them down.

Thus they were not able to rise.

They fell under my feet.

You girded me with strength for the battle.

You made my assailants sink under me.

You made my enemies turn their backs to me.

Those who hated me

I destroyed.

They cried for help.

However, there was no one to save them.

They cried to Yahweh,

However he did not answer them.

I beat them fine.

They were like dust before the wind.

I cast them out

Like the mire of the streets.”

Once again, like 2 Samuel, chapter 22, Yahweh was the strength and rock for David. His feet were like the hoofs of a deer in their ability to run fast. Yahweh made his arms so strong that he could even use a bronze bow. Yahweh made his feet steady so that he would never slip. When the battle raged, he was faster and stronger than his enemy. He crushed his enemies. They were utterly destroyed as they were struck down and fled. No one was there to save them, even when they cried out to Yahweh. David beat them like the dust of the earth. As usual, there was no indication of any empathy for enemies. He just wiped them out completely.

The attack on Dathema (1 Macc 5:29-5:34)

“They went all the way to the stronghold of Dathema. At dawn, they looked out and saw a large company that could not be counted, carrying ladders and engines of war to capture the stronghold. They were attacking the Jews within it. Judas saw that the battle had begun. The cry of the town went up to heaven with trumpets and loud shouts. Judas said to the men of his forces.

‘Fight today for your kindred’

Then he came up behind them in three companies. They sounded their trumpets. They cried aloud in prayer. When the army of Timothy realized that it was Maccabeus, they fled before him. He had dealt them a heavy blow. As many as eight thousand of them fell that day.”

Next Judas Maccabeus and his men went back to the stronghold of Dathema, where many of the Jews were at as was indicated earlier in this chapter. It must not have been that far from Bozrah since it only took one night to get there. However, when they arrived, the place was under attack by that wicked Timothy and his army. Judas Maccabeus called his troops to fight for their relatives. When Timothy and his group realized that Judas Maccabeus was attacking them, they fled with a loss of about 8,000 men.