Yahweh of hosts,
The Mighty One of Israel
I will pour out my wrath
On my enemies!
I will avenge myself
On my foes!
I will turn my hand
I will smelt away your dross
As with lye!
I will remove your entire alloy!’”
Now we have another oracle of Yahweh, the sovereign, Mighty One of Israel, via Isaiah. Yahweh, in the first person singular, was going to pour out his wrath on his enemies and bring revenge on his foes. He also was going to turn his hand against his own people by melting them down with lye so that they would be noting but worthless scum dross. He was going to take away all their alloys. This is an interesting description of God taking the Israelites apart.
“Then there was shouting and tumult. They blessed the Sovereign Lord in the language of their ancestors. Then the man, who was in body and soul the defender of his people, the man who maintained his youthful goodwill toward his compatriots, ordered them to cut off Nicanor’s head and his arm. They were to carry them to Jerusalem. When he arrived there, he called his compatriots together. He stationed the priests before the altar. He sent for those who were in the citadel. He showed them the vile Nicanor’s head and that profane man’s arm. This was the arm that had been boastfully stretched out against the holy house of the all powerful one. He cut out the tongue of the ungodly Nicanor. He said that he would give it piecemeal to the birds. He would hang up these rewards of his folly opposite the sanctuary. They all, looking to heaven, blessed the Lord who had manifested himself, saying.
‘Blessed is he who has kept his own place undefiled.’
Judas Maccabeus hung Nicanor’s head from the citadel, a clear and conspicuous sign to every one of the help of the Lord.”
Once again, this is similar to 1 Maccabees, chapter 7. In both 1 and 2 Maccabees, they cut off the head and the arm of Nicanor. Here they also cut out his tongue in the presence of the men from the citadel. As in 1 Maccabees, they hung the head of Nicanor, but here it is more specific from the hated citadel. Here there is more praise for Judas Maccabeus as the defender with good will towards his people. Here they pray in the language of their ancestors that may have been Hebrew, instead of the common language of Aramaic. As usual they were happy that the Temple had remained undefiled.