The drought (Hag 1:10-1:11)

“Therefore,

The heavens above you

Have withheld

The dew.

The earth has withheld

Its produce.

I have called

For a drought

On the land,

On the hills,

On the grain,

On the new wine,

On the oil,

On what the soil produces,

On human beings,

On animals,

On all their labors.’”

Haggai said that Yahweh was punishing them with a drought.  The heavens were withholding their dew from the high skies, while the earth was withholding its products from below the ground.  Yahweh had called for a drought on practically everything, including the land, the hills, the grain, the new wine, the oil, and whatever the soil produced, even on human beings and animals, including their work.

Advertisements

Get some wood (Hag 1:7-1:8)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘Consider how you have fared.

Go up to the hills!

Bring wood!

Build the house!

Thus,

I may take pleasure

In it.

I will be honored.’

Says Yahweh.”

Once again there was an oracle of Yahweh, via Haggai.  This time there were suggestions on what to do.  They were to go up into the hills or mountains around Jerusalem.  There, they would get some wood to build the house that Yahweh wanted.  Then, Yahweh would take pleasure in it by being honored and glorified.

Yahweh controls the earth (Hab 3:9-3:10)

“You split the earth

With rivers.

The mountains saw you.

They writhed,

As a torrent of water

Swept by.

The deep

Gave forth its voice.

It raised high its hands.”

Yahweh split the earth with various rivers, since he controlled everything on earth.  When the mountains saw Yahweh, they writhed as they twisted and squirmed, since they were swept away by torrential waters.  The deep sea had its own voice.  Thus, it raised its hands to Yahweh in compliance, because Yahweh controlled the deep sea as well as the land, the hills, and the rivers.

Yahweh’s controversy (Mic 6:1-6:2)

“Hear what Yahweh says!

‘Rise!

Plead your case

Before the mountains!

Let the hills hear

Your voice.

Hear

The controversy of Yahweh!

You mountains!

You enduring foundations

Of the earth!

Yahweh has a controversy

With his people.

He will contend with Israel.”

Yahweh wanted them to rise up and plead their case.  He wanted them to do this before the mountains.  All the great communications between Yahweh and his people took place on the mountains or the hills, the closest that humans could get to heaven.  Yahweh then spoke directly to the mountains, called them ‘you’.  Yahweh had a controversy with his people, the Israelites.  This controversy was that they had forgotten how to walk with Yahweh.  They had forgotten the sayings and actions of their ancestors.  He was going to contend with them.

The future reign of Yahweh at Zion (Mic 4:1-4:2)

“In days to come

The mountain of Yahweh’s house

Shall be established

As the highest of the mountains.

It shall be raised above the hills.

People shall stream to it.

Many nations shall come.

They shall say.

‘Come!

Let us go up

To the mountain of Yahweh!

Let us go

To the house of the God of Jacob!

He may teach us his ways.

We may walk in his paths.’

Out of Zion

Shall go forth instruction.

The word of Yahweh

Comes from Jerusalem.”

This is exactly the same as an oracle of Isaiah, chapter 2, word for word.  The Lord’s house would be on the highest mountain above the hills at Zion in Jerusalem.  All the nations of the world would come to the God of the house of Jacob, so that they could learn the ways and paths of Yahweh, the Lord God.

Against the Temple worship (Am 5:21-5:24)

“I hate your festivals!

I despise your festivals!

I take no delight

In your solemn assemblies!

Even though you offer me

Your burnt offerings,

Your grain offerings,

I will not accept them.

I will not look upon

The peace offerings

Of your fatted animals.

Take away from me

The noise of your songs.

I will not listen

To the melody

Of your harps.

But let justice

Roll down

Like water.

Let righteousness be

Like an ever-flowing stream.”

Amos has Yahweh reject the Temple cultic worship side of Israelite life in very strong terms. Yahweh hated and despised the religious festivals that were part of Temple worship. Neither did Yahweh take any delight in their solemn assemblies. Yahweh was not going to accept their burnt offerings and grain offerings. He was not going to even look at their peace offerings of fat animals. He wanted them to take away the noise of their chants and songs, since he was not going to listen to their melodic harps. Instead, he wanted justice to roll down from the hills like gushing water. He wanted righteousness to be like a continual flowing stream. Justice not worship was his cry, a theme that Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr, (1929-1968) often mentioned, as he wanted justice to roll down from the hills like running water.

The rich fertile land (Joel 3:18-3-18)

“In that day,

The mountains shall drip

Sweet wine.

The hills shall flow

With milk.

All the stream beds

Of Judah

Shall flow with water.

A fountain shall come forth

From the house of Yahweh.

It will water

The valley of Shittim.”

In the day of Yahweh, the mountains would drip a sweet wine, while the hills would flow with milk. There would be multiple streams of water in Judah to make the land fertile. In fact, a fountain would flow from the house of Yahweh to the Shittim valley that was in Moab.