Against the Assyrians (Zeph 2:13-2:14)

“Yahweh will stretch out

His hand

Against the north.

He will destroy

Assyria.

He will make

Nineveh

A desolation,

A dry waste,

Like the desert.

Herds shall lie down in it.

Every wild animal

Shall lie down in it.

The desert owl,

The screech owl

Shall lodge

On its capitals

The owl shall hoot

At the window.

The raven shall croak

On the threshold.

Its cedar works

Will be laid bare.”

Yahweh was going to stretch out his hand to destroy the enemy of Israel to the north, the Assyrians.  He had just punished the people on the west, the Philistines, the people on the east, the Moabites and the Ammonites, and the people to the south, the Ethiopians.  Yahweh was going to make northern Nineveh a desolate wasteland desert.   Every kind of wild animal and various herds would live there.  A variety of owls would nest in their ornate towers.  Owls would hoot at their windows, while ravens would croak at their doorsteps.  All their cedar wood work would be open to the weather.

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The sea storm (Jon 1:4-1:4)

“But Yahweh

Hurled a great wind

Upon the sea.

Such a mighty storm

Came upon the sea,

That the ship

Threatened

To break up.”

After the ship had set out to sea, Yahweh hurled a great wind on the Mediterranean Sea, since Yahweh controlled the weather.  The ship seemed to feel like it was threatening to break up into pieces.

The heat (Sir 43:21-43:22)

“The Lord consumes

The mountains.

He burns up

The wilderness.

He withers

The tender grass

Like fire.

A mist quickly

Heals all things.

The falling dew

Gives refreshment

From the heat.”

On the opposite end, the Lord sends heat that burns up the mountains, the wilderness, and the tender grass, almost like a fire. However, the Lord sends a mist or falling dew that gives refreshment from this heat. This middle eastern area was well accustomed to extreme heat. Clearly this is a theocratic sense of the weather and the environment, as God controlled everything.