Yahweh’s final judgment against idolatry (Isa 2:18-2:22)

“The idols shall utterly pass away.

Enter the caves of the rocks!

Enter the holes of the ground!

Flee from the terror of Yahweh!

Flee from the glory of his majesty!

He rises to terrify the earth.

On that day,

People will throw away

Their idols of silver

To the moles.

They will throw away

Their idols of gold

To the bats.

These were the idols

Made for themselves

To worship.

Enter the caves of the rocks!

Enter the holes of the ground!

Flee from the terror of Yahweh!

Flee from the glory of his majesty!

He rises to terrify the earth.

Turn away from mortals!

They only have breath

In their nostrils.

Of what account are they?”

Isaiah points out that the idols would without doubt pass away. Then he repeats what he said earlier about hiding behind rocks and in the ground. In fact, this same refrain is repeated 2 verses later. People will be throwing away their silver and gold idols that they themselves had made to the moles and the bats.  As they hide in the caves and underground, Yahweh will come to terrify the earth and proclaim his glory. People will run away from mortals, since they only have breath in their noses. They will be useless in this day of the Lord.

Simon takes Gazara (1 Macc 13:43-13:48)

“In those days Simon encamped against Gazara. He surrounded it with troops. He made a siege engine. He brought it up to the city so that he battered and captured one tower. The men in the siege engine leaped out into the city as a great tumult arose in the city. The men in the city, with their wives and children, went up on the wall with their clothes torn. They cried out with a loud voice, asking Simon to make peace with them. They said.

‘Do not treat us according to our wicked acts

But according to your mercy.’

So Simon reached an agreement with them. He stopped fighting against them. However, he expelled them from the city. He cleansed the houses in which the idols were located. He then entered it with hymns and praise. He removed all the wickedness from it. He settled in it men who observed the law. He also strengthened its fortifications. He then built in it a house for himself.”

Apparently this Gazara was Gaza. Simon surrounded it with his troops.   The siege war engine was like a tower on wheels with catapults and battering rams that could break fortifications. As the people in Gaza saw this, they tore their clothes and asked for mercy. Simon decided not to kill them, but to expel them from the Gaza strip. He then put law abiding Jewish people there and built a house for himself. Does that sound familiar? Before he entered the city of Gaza, he cleansed the houses that had idols so that all the wicked things were gone when he entered the town singing hymns.