“What right has my beloved
In my house?
She has done vile deeds.
Avert your doom?
Can sacrificial flesh
Avert your doom?
Can you then exult?
Yahweh once called you,
‘A green olive tree,
Fair with goodly fruit.’
But with the roar of a great tempest,
He will set fire to it.
Its branches will be consumed.
Yahweh of hosts
He has pronounced evil
Because the evil
That the house of Israel has done,
That the house of Judah has done,
Has provoked me to anger.
Because you have been making offerings
What are the rights of Yahweh’s beloved in his house, the Temple? This is especially so, since they have done such vile deeds. Can their vows and their meat sacrifices avert their coming doom? Israel was once a good fruitful fair green olive tree. However, with the blast of a storm, Yahweh would consume them with fire and destroy them. Yahweh planted them, but now he has pronounced evil against them. They, both the house of Judah and the house of Israel, have done evil provoking Yahweh to anger with their offerings to Baal.
For those who cannot speak.
For the rights of all the destitute.
Defend the rights of the poor!
Defend the rights of the needy!”
This motherly advice ends on a strong call to speak out for those who cannot speak, the voiceless. Speak out for the destitute. The king was to judge righteously. He was to defend the rights of the poor and the needy.
“It is not for kings.
It is not for kings to drink wine.
Rulers should not desire strong drink.
Otherwise if they drink,
They will forget what has been decreed.
They will pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
Give strong drink to him who is perishing!
Give wine to those in bitter distress!
Let them drink!
Let them forget their poverty!
Let them remember their misery no more!”
Now we have a warning against strong drink or alcohol, which was a common prohibition among the ancient and current Arabic countries. The king should not drink wine or strong drinks because he would forget what he had decreed. He might end up perverting the rights of all the afflicted. Even in this prohibition against strong drink, there was a sense of social justice in that the king might forget about his subjects and their afflictions. However, in a strange turn of events, it was okay to give strong drink to those who were dying. My father, who was dying of throat cancer, decided to drink alcohol rather than take drugs. Anyone in great distress could have a strong drink. They were allowed to drink because it would help them forget their poverty and misery. Strong drink was allowed for the dying, the poor, and the miserable, but not for a king.
“In your majesty
Ride on victoriously!
Defend the cause of truth!
Defend the right!
Let your right hand
Teach you dread deeds!
Your arrows are sharp
In the heart of the king’s enemies.
The peoples fall under you.”
This majestic king must ride on to victory. He must defend the cause of truth and the rights of all. His right hand does dreaded deeds. His sharp arrows are in the hearts of his enemies. Many people fall under him. He is a good looking dude who fights for justice and wins.