The future reign of Yahweh at Zion (Mic 4:1-4:2)

“In days to come

The mountain of Yahweh’s house

Shall be established

As the highest of the mountains.

It shall be raised above the hills.

People shall stream to it.

Many nations shall come.

They shall say.

‘Come!

Let us go up

To the mountain of Yahweh!

Let us go

To the house of the God of Jacob!

He may teach us his ways.

We may walk in his paths.’

Out of Zion

Shall go forth instruction.

The word of Yahweh

Comes from Jerusalem.”

This is exactly the same as an oracle of Isaiah, chapter 2, word for word.  The Lord’s house would be on the highest mountain above the hills at Zion in Jerusalem.  All the nations of the world would come to the God of the house of Jacob, so that they could learn the ways and paths of Yahweh, the Lord God.

The judgment on the neighbors (Jer 12:14-12:17)

“Thus says Yahweh

Concerning all my evil neighbors

Who touch the heritage

That I have given

My people Israel to inherit.

‘I am about to pluck them up

From their land.

I will pluck up

The house of Judah

from among them.

After I have plucked them up,

I will again have compassion on them.

I will bring them again

To their heritage,

To their land.

Then if they will diligently learn

The ways of my people,

To swear by my name,

‘As Yahweh lives!’

As they taught my people

To swear by Baal,

Then they shall be built up

In the midst of my people.

But if any nation will not listen,

Then I will completely uproot it.

I will destroy it.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh gave a warning to the evil neighbors of Judah. They were not to touch the inherited land of the Israelite people, despite his anger at them. He was going to pluck up the people of Judah from their land. However, he was going to later have compassion on them, since he was going to bring all of them back to their land and their heritage. This would happen after they had learned the ways of Yahweh, just as they learned the evil ways of Baal. They had to swear by the living God, Yahweh. They would be built up among his people. However, if any nation did not listen, then Yahweh would then uproot and destroy them also. This clearly was an oracle of Yahweh, via Jeremiah, that showed his compassion for Judah, despite everything.

Listen to God (Jer 10:1-10:2)

“Hear the word

That Yahweh speaks to you!

O house of Israel!

Thus says Yahweh.

‘Do not learn

The ways of the nations!

Do not be dismayed

At the signs of the heavens!

The nations

Are dismayed at them.’”

Jeremiah and the house of Israel were told to listen to the word of Yahweh, God. They were not to learn the ways of other nations that followed the heavenly signs, a reference to the worship of stars, the moon, the sun, and comets. Many nations are dismayed by them, and thus worship them.

The command to their ancestors (Jer 7:21-7:23)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

The God of Israel!

‘Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices!

Eat the flesh!

In the day that I brought your ancestors

Out of the land of Egypt,

I did not speak to them

Concerning burnt offerings

With sacrifices.

But this command

I gave them.

‘Obey my voice!

I will be your God!

You shall be my people!

Walk only in the ways

That I command you!

Thus it may be well with you.’”

Yahweh, the God of Israel, via Jeremiah, reminded the Israelites of the original command that he gave to their ancestors. Although now they were making burnt offerings and sacrifices, he had not said anything to their ancestors about these sacrifices. However, the Torah has many sayings about burnt offerings. He had commanded their ancestors to obey his voice. He would be their God and they would be his people. However, they had to walk in the ways that he commanded them to do so. If they did this, everything would be all right with them.

Idol worshipers (Isa 2:6-2:8)

“You have forsaken

The ways of your people!

O house of Jacob!

You are full of diviners

From the east.

You are full of soothsayers

Like the Philistines.

They clasp hands with foreigners.

Their land is filled with silver.

Their land is filled with gold.

There is no end

To their treasures.

Their land is filled with horses.

There is no end to their chariots.

Their land is filled with idols.

They bow down

To the work of their hands.

They bow down

To what their own fingers have made.”

Isaiah speaks out strongly against idol worship that must have been common among the house of Jacob in eight century BCE. The Israelites have forsaken the ways of their people since they had a lot of eastern diviners, like priestly prophets who foretold the future in the name of some god, roughly the equivalent of a Yahweh prophet among the non-Israelites. There were also the fortune tellers or soothsayers from Philistine, from along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. There must have been some kind of magic handshake with foreigners that was also forbidden. Why were they doing this? Their land was full of silver, gold, many treasures, horses, and chariots. What else did they want? Despite all this, they still bowed down in worship to the idol gods that they had made with their own hands and fingers. Why were they worshiping these false idol statutes that they themselves had made?

Perpetual peace from Jerusalem (Isa 2:2-2:4)

“In days to come

The mountain of Yahweh’s house

Shall be established

As the highest of the mountains.

It shall be raised above the hills.

All the nations shall stream to it.

Many people shall come.

They shall say.

‘Come!

Let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh!

Let us go to the house of the God of Jacob!

Thus he may teach us his ways.

Thus we may walk in his paths.’

Out of Zion

Shall go forth instruction.

The word of Yahweh

Comes from Jerusalem.

He shall judge

Between the nations.

He shall arbitrate for many people.

They shall beat their swords into plowshares.

They shall turn their spears into pruning hooks.

A nation shall not lift up its sword

Against another nation.

Neither shall they learn war anymore.”

Isaiah has a vision of a time of perpetual peace that is often cited by pacifists. However, it comes from Yahweh. The Lord’s house will be on the highest mountain above the hills at Zion in Jerusalem. All the nations of the world would come to the God of the house of Jacob, so that they could learn the ways and paths of Yahweh, the Lord God. Yahweh would arbitrate and judge all nations. Then there is the famous saying that they would beat their swords into plows. They would turn their spears into pruning hooks. No one would lift a sword against anyone else. People would forget how to wage war since no one would learn it. This is the utopian theocratic peace that has Jerusalem rule the world through Yahweh. It has never happened and probably will not.

Righteous humans (Prov 20:7-20:10)

“The righteous walk in integrity.

Happy are the children who follow them!

A king who sits on the throne of judgment

Winnows all evil with his eyes.

Who can say?

‘I have made my heart clean.

I am pure from my sin’

Diverse weights

Are an abomination to Yahweh.

Likewise diverse measures

Are an abomination to Yahweh.”

The righteous people walk with integrity. Any children who follow the ways of the righteous with their integrity will be happy children. The king on his throne will be righteous if he removes or winnows all evil from his eyes. However, it is doubtful if anyone has a pure and clean heart. Yahweh does not like diverse weights and measures. There should be one standard, otherwise it is an abomination.