Prepare for a holy war (Joel 3:9-3:10)

“Proclaim this

Among the nations!

Prepare war!

Stir up the warriors!                                       

Let all the soldiers

Draw near!

Let them come up!

Beat your plowshares

Into swords!

Beat your pruning hooks

Into spears!

Let the weakling say.

‘I am a warrior.’”

Yahweh, via Joel, proclaimed that there would be a holy war between the various nations and Israel. They should prepare for war with their warriors, so that the soldiers should get ready. They should turn their plows into swords and their pruning hooks into spears. Even the weak ones should say that they were warriors.

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Yahweh will scatter the exiles (Ezek 12:14-12:16)

“I will scatter

To every wind

All who are around him,

His helpers,

All his troops.

I will unsheathe

The sword

Behind them.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh.

When I disperse them

Among the nations

I will scatter them

Through the countries.

But I will let

A few of them escape

From the sword,

From famine,

From pestilence.

Thus they may tell

Of all their abominations

Among the nations

Where they go.

Then they may know

That I am Yahweh.”

In this exile, not everyone will go to the same place. Yahweh indicated that he was going to scatter the helpers and the soldiers of the king to the wind. He certainly was going to make sure that some died by the sword. They should know that he was Yahweh. He was going to disperse them among the various nations and scatter them among different countries. He was going to let a few of them escape from the 3 ways of dying, the sword, famine, or pestilence. Those who survived would talk about all their abominations among the diverse nations, wherever they went. Thus everyone would know that Yahweh was the God of Israel.

The discussion about Jeremiah (Jer 38:4-38:5)

“Then the officials said

To the king.

‘This man ought

To be put to death.

Because he is discouraging

The soldiers

Who are left in this city.

He is discouraging

All the people,

By speaking such words

To them.

This man is not seeking

The welfare of this people,

But their harm.’

King Zedekiah said.

‘Here he is.

He is in your hands.

The king is powerless

Against you.’”

These four royal officials went to the king and said that Jeremiah ought to be put to death. They said that Jeremiah was discouraging the soldiers who were left in the city, since so many had died already. He was, in fact, discouraging everyone by talking the way he does about the fall of Jerusalem. He was not seeking to help the people, but to harm them. Then King Zedekiah said okay. He left all this in their hands. He would not object to anything that they did. However, he did not say that Jeremiah should die.

The loss of many people at Jerusalem (Isa 3:1-3:3)

“Now

The Sovereign,

Yahweh of hosts,

Takes away from Jerusalem

Support.

He takes away from Judah

Staff.

He takes away

All support of bread.

He takes away

All support of water.

He takes away

The warrior,

The soldier,

The judge,

The prophet,

The diviner,

The elder,

The captain of fifty,

The dignitaries,

The counselor,

The skilful magician,

And the expert charmer.”

Isaiah talks about the day when Jerusalem will lose many of its people. Yahweh will take away from Jerusalem and Judah all its support and staff, as well as its bread and water. He will take away all the important people of Jerusalem. Thus Yahweh will remove the warriors, the soldiers, the judges, the prophets, the elders, the captains of the fifty, the counselors, and the dignitaries. Interesting enough, there must have been some of those dreaded people like the diviners, the skilful magicians, and the expert charmers, since he was going to remove them also.

John defeats Cendebeus (1 Macc 16:4-16:10)

“John chose out of the country twenty thousand warriors and cavalry. They marched against Cendebeus. They camped for the night in Modein. Early in the morning they started out and marched into the plain. There a large force of infantry and cavalry was coming to meet them. A stream lay between them. Then he and his army lined up against them. He saw that the soldiers were afraid to cross the stream, so he crossed over first. When his troops saw him, they crossed over after him. Then he divided the army. He placed the cavalry in the center of the infantry. The cavalry of the enemy were very numerous. They sounded the trumpets. Cendebeus and his army were put to flight. Many of them were falling wounded. The rest fled into the stronghold. At that time Judas the brother of John was wounded. However, John pursued them until Cendebeus reached Kedron that he had built. They also fled into the towers that were in the fields of Azotus. John burned it with fire. About two thousand of them fell. He then returned to Judea safely.”

John, the son of Simon, had 20,000 warriors and cavalry. This is the first mention of cavalry on the Israelite side. They stopped at Modein one night on their march to meet Cendebeus. The next day on the plain they saw a large army coming at them. There was a stream between the 2 armies. John led his troops across the stream because they seemed afraid. He put the cavalry in the middle of his foot soldiers. They sounded the trumpets. Suddenly the army of Cendebeus fled. Judas, the brother of John, was wounded. John took after the fleeing army chasing them to the fields of Azotus where he burned the fields. About 2,000 of the enemy fell. Then John returned to Judea.