The bitter wrathful day of Yahweh (Zeph 1:14-1:16)

“The great day of Yahweh

Is near,

Near,

Coming fast.

The sound of

The day of Yahweh

Is bitter.

The warrior

Cries aloud there.

That day will be

A day of wrath,

A day of distress,

A day of anguish,

A day of ruin,

A day of devastation,

A day of darkness,

A day of gloom,

A day of clouds

A day of darkness,

A day of trumpet blast,

A day of battle cry,

Against the fortified cities,

Against the lofty battlements.”

The day of Yahweh was to be a day of wrath and doom, as can be found also in Amos, chapter 5 and Isaiah, chapter 2.  This great day for Yahweh was coming right away, very soon.  This bitter sound was in the air, as the warriors cried out loudly with their battle cry against the fortified cities and their secure fortresses.  This was a day of wrath, distress, anguish, ruin, devastation, darkness, gloom, clouds, and a trumpet blast, certainly not a happy day.  Thus, the natural connection to death formed the inspiration for the medieval funeral hymn, Dies Irae, Latin for the day of wrath.

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The soldiers and the chariots (Nah 2:3-2:5)

“The shields

Of his warriors

Are red.

His soldiers

Are clothed

In scarlet.

The metal

On the chariots

Flashes

On the day

When he musters them.

The chargers prance.

The chariots race madly

Through the streets.

They rush back and forth

Through the squares.

Their appearance is

Like torches.

They dart

Like lightning.

He calls his officers.

They stumble

As they come forward.

They hasten

To the wall.

The mantelet is set up.”

Nahum gave a vivid colorful description of the actions in Nineveh.  The shields of the warriors in Nineveh would be red with blood.  The clothes of their soldiers were scarlet from the blood.  The metal from the chariots flashed from the sunlight, as the men followed behind.  The chargers were prancing around, while the chariots raced madly through the streets, going back and forth from the squares.  They were like torches darting in and out, almost like lightning.  When they called their officers, they came out stumbling along.  They ran to the wall where the protective screens or mantelet was set up.  In other words, the soldiers and their officers with their chariots were in a state of chaos.

Edom and the day of Yahweh (Ob 1:8-1:9)

“Says Yahweh.

‘On that day,

I will destroy

The wise ones

Out of Edom.

I will destroy

The understanding ones

out of Mount Esau.

Your warriors

Shall be shattered!

O Teman!

Thus,

Every man

From Mount Esau

Will be cut off.’”

Yahweh, via the prophet Obadiah, said that he was going to destroy the wise and understanding people in Edom, because Edom was well known for its wise men and their wisdom.  He was going to destroy the warriors from Mount Esau, the name of the twin brother of Jacob.  The northern area of Teman would be shattered, so that the people from Mount Esau would be cut off from the rest of Edom.

Oholibah lusts after the Assyrian men also (Ezek 23:12-23:13)

“Oholibah lusted after
The Assyrians,
The governors,
The commanders,
The warriors,
Clothed in full armor,
Mounted horsemen.
All of them were
Desirable young men.
I saw
That she was defiled.
They both took
The same way.”
Now Oholibah, Jerusalem, also lusted after the Assyrians just like her older sister, Samaria, had done. She lusted after these desirable young Assyrians. They were the governors, the commanders, and the warriors. They were clothed in full armor, mounted on their horses. Yahweh could see that the two sisters were both alike in their lust for the Assyrian men.

The crushing defeat of Zion (Lam 1:15-1:15)

Samek

“Yahweh has rejected

All my warriors

In the midst of me.

He proclaimed a time

Against me

To crush

My young men.

Yahweh has trodden

As in a wine press

The virgin daughter,

Judah.”

This lament continued with Jerusalem speaking in the first person. Yahweh has rejected all the warriors from Jerusalem and Judah. Yahweh, not the king of Babylon, has crushed the young men of Judah and Jerusalem. He has trodden and stomped over his virgin daughter, Judah, like a wine press. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Samek. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The sword of the Israelite redeemer (Jer 50:34-50:37)

“Their Redeemer is strong.

Yahweh of hosts

Is his name.

He will surely plead

Their cause.

He may give rest

To the earth.

But he will give unrest

To the inhabitants

Of Babylon.

Says Yahweh.

‘A sword against

The Chaldeans!

The inhabitants of Babylon!

Her officials!

Her sages!

The diviners!

Thus they may

Become fools!

A sword against

Her warriors!

Thus they may be destroyed!

A sword against

Her horses!

Her chariots!

All the foreign troops

In her midst!

Thus they may

Become women!

A sword against

All her treasures!

Thus they may be plundered!’”

Yahweh was the strong redeemer of Israel and Judah. He was going to bring the sword or death to the Babylonians. He was going to give the Israelites and Judeans a rest since he pleaded their case. However, the Babylonians were not going to be as lucky, since he was going to bring them unrest. The destroying sword would come up against the Chaldeans and all the people who lived in Babylon. All their officials and wise men would suffer death by the sword also. The foolish diviners and the warriors would be destroyed. Their horses, their chariots, and the foreign troops there would be wiped out by the sword. These strong fighters would become like women. The Babylonian treasures would be plundered. Watch out for the sword of this redeemer!

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.