Walk with Yahweh (Mic 4:5-4:5)

“All the peoples walk,

Each in the name of its god.

But we will walk

In the name of Yahweh,

Our God,

Forever and ever.”

Now Micah has a liturgical chant.  Everyone walks under the name of their god.  However, they were going to walk under the name of Yahweh, their God forever.

The fight against Baal (Hos 2:16-2:17)

“Yahweh says.

‘On that day,

You will call me.

‘My husband.’

No longer

Will you call me.

‘My Baal.’

I will remove

The names of the Baals

From her mouth.

They shall be mentioned

By name

No more.’”

Yahweh said the Israelites would no longer call out the name Baal. Actually, this term meant master or lord, a term that was used later in addressing Yahweh, the God of Israel, especially with the Greek κγριος. Yahweh was going to be the husband of Israel. Baal would be removed from the mouths of these Israelites. No longer would his name be mentioned.

The coastland towns are upset (Ezek 27:33-27:36)

“When your wares

Came from the seas,

You satisfied

Many people.

You enriched

The kings of the earth

With your abundant wealth,

With your merchandise.

Now you are wrecked

By the seas,

In the depths

Of the waters.

Your merchandise,

With all your crew,

Have sunk with you.

All the inhabitants

Of the coastlands

Are appalled at you.

Their kings

Are horribly afraid.

Their faces

Are convulsed.

The merchants

Among the people

Hiss at you.

You have come

To a dreadful end.

You shall be no more

Forever.”

Many people benefited from the various goods that Tyre brought from the different towns on the Mediterranean Sea. Their wealth and merchandise enriched many kings. Now they have been wrecked by the deep sea. Both the merchandise and the crew are gone. Now all the inhabitants of the coastland towns were appalled at Tyre. In fact, their kings were horribly afraid as their faces convulsed. The merchants from these towns now hissed at the name of Tyre because they had come to a dreadful end. Tyre would not exist anymore.

A reminder for Israel (Bar 4:5-4:8)

“Take courage!

My people!

You perpetuate

Israel’s name!

It was not

For destruction

That you were sold

To the nations.

But you were handed over

To your enemies

Because you angered

God.

You provoked the one

Who made you!

You sacrificed to demons,

Not to God!

You forgot

The everlasting God,

Who brought you up!

You grieved Jerusalem,

Who reared you.”

This reminder for Israel was for the people to have courage, since they were going to perpetuate the name of Israel. These Israelites had been sold to various nations, not to destroy them, but to punish them. They had been handed over to their enemies, because they had angered God. They had provoked their creator by sacrificing to demons, and not God. They had forgotten their everlasting God who brought them up. There was no mention of the name of Yahweh here. They had grieved Jerusalem, the city that had reared them. Once again there is a personification of Jerusalem that can feel pain.

The repentance in the exile (Bar 2:32-2:35)

“‘The Israelites

Will praise me

In the land

Of their exile.

They will remember

My name.

They will turn

From their stubbornness.

They will turn

From their wicked deeds.

They will remember

The ways of their ancestors,

Who sinned

Before the Lord.

I will bring them again

Into the land

That I swore

To give to their ancestors,

To Abraham,

To Isaac,

To Jacob.

They will rule

Over it.

I will increase them.

They will not be diminished.

I will make

An everlasting covenant

With them

To be their God.

They shall be my people.

I will never again

Remove

My people Israel

From the land

That I have given them.’”

Baruch recounts what Yahweh via Moses said to the people about their repentance during the exile. The Israelites would praise him in their exile country as they would remember the name of Yahweh. They would turn from their stubbornness and wicked deeds. They would remember how their ancestors had sinned. Yahweh was going to again bring them into the land that he promised to their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There they would rule in this land as they increased, not diminished, with an everlasting covenant. He would be their God. They would be his people.  He would never again remove them from the land that he had given them. We will see how that works out.

The destruction of Moab is near (Jer 48:16-48:17)

“The calamity

Of Moab

Is near at hand.

His doom

Approaches swiftly.

Mourn over him!

All you!

His neighbors!

All you!

Who know his name!

Say!

‘How the mighty scepter

Is broken,

The glorious staff!’”

The destruction of Moab was fast approaching.   Soon it would be there. Jeremiah wanted all its neighbors and those who knew the name of Moab to mourn over Moab. They were to say that the mighty scepter of Moab, his glorious staff, had been broken.

The reversal of freedom (Jer 34:15-34:16)

“You yourselves recently repented.

You did what was right

In my sight

By proclaiming liberty,

To one another.

You made a covenant

Before me

In the house

That is called by my name.

But then you turned around.

You profaned my name.

Each of you took back

Your male slaves,

Your female slaves,

Whom you had set free

According to their desire.

You brought them again

Into subjection

To be your slaves.”

Yahweh seems upset that the people of Jerusalem have gone back on their agreement to free their Hebrew slaves. Originally, they had repented. They did what was right in the eyes of God. They had proclaimed by a covenant in the Temple of Yahweh that the Hebrew slaves in Jerusalem would be set free. However, then they changed their minds. They profaned the name of Yahweh and the Temple by breaking their commitment to free their slaves. They took back both their male and female slaves into subjection again. This is odd since the slaves had no place to go. There was never any mention of non-Hebrew slaves.