Restoration of the people of Israel (Am 9:13-9:15)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The time is surely coming

When the one who plows

Shall overtake

The one who reaps.

When the one who treads grapes

Shall overtake

The one who sows the seed.

The mountains shall drip

Sweet wine.

All the hills

Shall flow with it.

I will restore

The fortunes

Of my people Israel.

They shall rebuild

The ruined cities.

They shall

Inhabit them.

They shall

Plant vineyards.

They shall

Drink their wine.

They shall

Make gardens.

They shall

Eat their fruit.

I will plant them

Upon their land.

They shall never again

Be plucked up

Out of the land

That I have given them.’

Says Yahweh

Your God.”

This later oracle of Yahweh assumed that the Israelites had been taken from their land in captivity.  However, in this restoration, those plowing would be greater than those reaping.  Those who treaded the grapes would be more than those sowing the seeds.  There would be abundance and hope all around.  The mountains and hills would drip and flow with abundant sweet wine.  The Israelites would have their fortunes restored, so that they would rebuild their cities and inhabit them.  They would plant vineyards and drink wine.  They would plant gardens with lots of fruit.  These Israelites would be planted on their own land, never to be plucked away again.

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A new population (Jer 31:27-31:27)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The days are surely coming.

When I will sow

Both the house of Israel

As well as the house of Judah

With the seed of humans,

With the seed of animals.’”

Yahweh says that the days are coming when both humans and animals will prosper in Israel and Judah. Both of them will be repopulated with humans and animals through the seeds of Yahweh.

The efficacy of the word of Yahweh (Isa 55:10-55:11)

“As the rain

Comes down from heaven,

As the snow

Comes down from heaven,

They do not return there

Until they have watered the earth.

They make it come forth.

They make it sprout.

They give seed to the sower.

They give bread to the eater.

Thus shall my word

Go out from my mouth.

It shall not return to me empty.

But it shall accomplish

That which I purpose.

It will succeed

In the thing

For which I sent it.”

Second Isaiah emphasizes the importance of the word of Yahweh. Water and snow do not return empty handed to heaven. Apparently, these biblical writers were aware of osmosis. The water and the snow helped bring about germination of the sprouts from the ground. They made the seeds of the sower grow. They assisted in making bread for humans to eat. So too, the word of Yahweh will not come back empty either. His words must accomplish their purpose. His word will be successful in making things grow.

Forgetfulness and no harvest (Isa 17:10-17:11)

“You have forgotten

The God of your salvation.

You have not remembered

The rock of your refuge.

Though you plant pleasant plants,

The harvest will flee away.

Even though you set out slips

Of an alien god,

The harvest will flee away.

Although you make them grow

On the day that you plant them,

The harvest will flee away.

Even though you make them blossom

In the morning that you sow them,

The harvest will flee away.

In a day of grief,

In a day of incurable pain,

The harvest will flee away.”

Yahweh, via Isaiah, reminds the northern Israelites that they have forgotten about their saving God, the rock of their lives. Thus when they plant pleasant plants, they will not come to harvest them because they put in the seeds of foreign gods. They make them grow on the day that they planted them, but they will see them harvested. These flowers seem to blossom in the morning. However, in the day of grief and incurable pain there will be no harvest. In other words, their forgetfulness of God has led to this planting that will not have any good result.