The princes will exercise justice (Ezek 45:9-45:9)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Enough!

O princes of Israel!

Put away violence!

Put away oppression!

Do what is just!

Do what is right!

Cease your evictions

Of my people.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh was going to tell the princes that he had enough of their violence and oppression. Now they were to do what was right and just. They should no longer evict the people of Yahweh, their God.

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The reading of the book (Bar 1:3-1:4)

“Baruch read

The words

Of this book

To King Jeconiah,

The son of King Jehoiakim,

King of Judah.

He read it

To all the people

Who came

To hear the book.

He read it

To the nobles,

To the princes,

To the elders,

To all the people,

Small and great,

All who lived

In Babylon

By the river Sud.”

Baruch was accustomed to reading aloud as he had done in Jeremiah, chapter 36. Here he is reading his book to King Jeconiah (598 BCE) in exile in 582 BCE, and not King Zedekiah (598-587 BCE). King Jeconiah was also known as King Coniah or King Jehoiachin, who ruled for less than a year after the death of his father King Jehoiakim (609-598 BCE). As in Jeremiah, Baruch read this book publically to anyone who wanted to hear it. He also read it to all the important people in Babylon that included the nobles, the princes, and the elders, those great and small. There was no mention of the Babylonian king here. As for the Sud River, no one seems to know where that was.

The powerful judgment of Yahweh (Isa 3:13-3:15)

“Yahweh rises to argue his case.

He stands to judge the people.

Yahweh enters into judgment

With the elders,

With the princes of his people.

‘You have devoured the vineyard.

The spoil of the poor

Is in your houses.

What do you mean

By crushing my people?

Why are you grinding

The face of the poor?’

Says Yahweh,

God of hosts.”

Isaiah says that Yahweh has presented his case. He has judged his people, especially the elders and the princes, who have devoured the vineyards. They have taken the spoils or goods of their own poor people into their own homes. They are crushing the people and grinding the faces of the poor. This clearly is an oracle of Yahweh, via Isaiah.

Yahweh helps the poor (Ps 113:7-113:9)

“Yahweh raises the poor from the dust.

He lifts the needy from the ash heap.

He makes them sit with princes.

He makes them sit with the princes of his people.

He gives the barren woman a home.

He makes her the joyous mother of children.

Praise Yahweh!”

This short psalm ends with Yahweh, from his heights, raising up the poor from the dust. He lifted the needy from the ash heaps. He made them sit with the princes of his people. He provided the barren women with homes and children so that they could be happy. Thus we all should join in and praise Yahweh as this short psalm concludes with the phrase “praise Yahweh,” another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.”

Make and perform vows to Yahweh (Ps 76:10-76:12)

“Human wrath serves only to praise you.

You bind the last bit of your wrath around you.

Make vows to Yahweh!

Your God!

Perform them!

Let all who are around him

Bring gifts

To the one who is awesome.

He cuts off the spirit of princes.

He inspires fear in the kings of the earth.”

This psalm ends emphasizing the importance of individual vows to Yahweh. They were to bring gifts and sacrifices to Yahweh. Yahweh was awesome, baby, awesome. He had the princes and the kings of the earth fearful of him.