The siege of Nineveh (Nah 3:12-3:14)

“You also will be drunken.

You will go into hiding.

You will seek

A refuge

From the enemy.

All your fortresses are

Like fig trees

With first-ripe figs.

If shaken,

They fall

Into the mouth

Of the eater.

Look at your troops!

They are women

In your midst.

The gates

Of your land

Are wide open

To your foes.

Fire has devoured

The bars of your gates.

Draw water

For the siege!

Strengthen your forts!

Trample the clay!

Tread the mortar!

Take hold

Of the brick mold!”

So too, the people of Nineveh would be drunk and go into hiding, as they would seek to get away from their enemies.  All their strong fortresses would be like ripe fig trees.  If they would be touched or shaken, these strongholds would fall like ripe fruit right into the mouths of their enemies.  Women had become their troops.  The gates of the city were wide open to their enemies because fire had consumed the bars on their gates.  They had to get water during the siege.  They would have to strengthen their fortresses with clay, mortar, and bricks.

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Daniel responds to the king (Dan 6:21-6:22)

“Then Daniel said

To the king.

‘O king!

Live forever!

My God

Sent his angel.

He shut

The lions’ mouths.

Thus,

They would not hurt me,

Because I was found blameless

Before him.

Also,

I was found blameless

Before you,

O king!

I have done no wrong.’”

Daniel responded to the king with the familiar salutation that the king was to live forever. He explained to the king that God’s angel had come to him and shut the mouths of these lions. Thus, they were unable to hurt him. He was found blameless before God, just as he was blameless before the king. He wanted the king to know that he had not done anything wrong.

Yahweh will rescue the sheep (Ezek 34:9-34:10)

“Therefore,

You shepherds!

Hear

The word of Yahweh!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I am

Against the shepherds!

I will demand

My sheep

At their hand.

I will put a stop

To their feeding

Of the sheep.

No longer

Shall the shepherds

Feed themselves.

I will rescue

My sheep

From their mouths.

Thus,

These sheep

May not

Be food

For them.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was mad at the shepherds of Israel. They were to listen to the word of Yahweh. Yahweh, their God, wanted his sheep back. These shepherds or leaders of Israel were to stop eating his sheep. Yahweh was going to rescue his sheep from the mouths of these shepherds. Yahweh’s sheep would no longer be their food.

The Exodus from Egypt (Wis 10:17-10:21)

“She gave to holy people

The reward of their labors.

She guided them

Along a marvelous way.

She became a shelter to them by day.

She became a starry flame

Through the night.

She brought them over the Red Sea.

She led them through deep waters.

But she drowned their enemies.

She cast them up

From the depth of the sea.

Therefore the righteous plundered the ungodly.

They sang hymns!

O Lord!

To your holy name!

They praised with one accord

Your defending hand.

Wisdom opened the mouths

Of those who were mute.

Wisdom made the tongues

Of infants speak clearly.”

This explanation of the exodus from Egypt is based on the stories from Exodus, chapters 13-15. Once again, it is wisdom that is leading the way. Day and night, wisdom provided shelter and starlight. She had brought them over the Red Sea, so that their enemies had drowned, but they were safe. Then they plundered the Egyptian soldiers. After that they sang hymns (ὕμνησαν) to the holy name of the Lord (Κύριε, τὸ ὄνομα τὸ ἅγιόν σου). Wisdom (ἡ σοφία) opened the mouths of the mute. She made infants speak clearly.

The wicked (Prov 15:26-15:30)

“Evil plans are an abomination to Yahweh.

But gracious words are pure.

Those who are greedy for unjust gain

Make trouble for their household.

But those who hates bribes

Will live.

The mind of the righteous

Ponders how to answer.

But the mouth of the wicked

Pours out evil.

Yahweh is far from the wicked.

But he hears the prayer of the righteous.

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart.

Good news refreshes the body.”

Wicked evil plans are an abomination to Yahweh. Gracious words, on the other hand, are pure. The greedy seek after an unjust gain or profit as they make trouble for their family. If you hate bribes, you will have a long life. The righteous ponder how to answer questions, while the mouths of the wicked pour out evil things. Yahweh stays far away from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous. The light in your eyes rejoices your heart, just as good news refreshes your body.

David’s enemies will be destroyed (Ps 63:9-63:11)

“But those who seek to destroy my life

Shall go down into the depths of the earth.

They shall be given over

To the power of the sword.

They shall be prey for jackals.

But the king shall rejoice in God.

All who swear by him shall exult.

The mouths of liars will be stopped.”

This psalm ends with the destruction of David’s enemies. Those out to destroy his life, like King Saul, shall go down to the depths of earth, the pit, or Sheol, the underground world of the dead. They would die by the sword. They would become the prey for the wild dog jackals. However, the king, meaning him rather than Saul, would rejoice in God. Those who swore by him would be exalted, while the mouths of the liars would be stopped.