The pestilence (Am 4:10-4:10)

“‘I sent among you

A pestilence,

After the manner

Of Egypt.

I killed

Your young men

With the sword.

I carried away

Your horses.

I made the stench

Of your camp go up

Into your nostrils.

Yet you did not

Return to me,’

Says Yahweh.”

Amos has another oracle of Yahweh that picked up on the same theme of devastation, but still with no return to Yahweh. He sent a pestilence, like the Egyptian plagues in Exodus, chapters 7-11. Yahweh killed their young men with the sword. He took away their horses. He made them smell the stink of their own camp. Despite all this, the northern kingdom Israelites refused to return to Yahweh.

They did not obey (Bar 2:24-2:26)

“But we did not obey

Your voice.

We did not serve

The king of Babylon.

You have carried out

Your threats

That you spoke

By your servants,

The prophets.

The bones of our kings,

The bones of our ancestors

Would be brought out

Of their resting place.

Indeed

They have been

Thrown out

To the heat of day

And the frost of night.

They perished

In great misery,

By famine,

By sword,

By pestilence.

You have made

The house

That is called

By your name

As it is today,

Because of the wickedness

Of the house of Israel,

Of the house of Judah.”

However, they did not obey the voice of the Lord to serve the Babylonian king. Then God carried out the threats that he spoken through his prophetic servants. Thus the bones of their kings and their ancestors were brought out from their graves. They were exposed to the elements of the weather, the heat of day and the frost at night. Meanwhile, they all perished in great misery by either of the 3 famous ways of dying in Jeremiah, the famine, the sword, or the pestilence.  The Temple or the house of God was torn down because of the wickedness in the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

After the pestilence (Jer 21:7-21:7)

“Says Yahweh.

‘Afterward,

I will give King Zedekiah

Of Judah,

With his servants,

As well as the people in this city,

Those who survived

The pestilence,

The sword,

The famine,

Into the hands

Of King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon.

They will be given

Into the hands

Of their enemies,

Into the hands

Of those who seek their lives.

He shall strike them down

With the edge of the sword.

He shall not pity them.

He shall not spare them.

He shall not have compassion.’”

Jeremiah has Yahweh speak to them with this oracle. If the king and his servants, as well as the people of Jerusalem survived the pestilence, the famine, and the sword, then they would be given into the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar and their enemies. They would be stricken down with the edge of a sword. There would be no pity, no sparing them, and no compassion.