Yahweh will be the good shepherd (Ezek 34:16-34:16)

“I will seek the lost.

I will bring back

The strayed.

I will bind up

The injured.

I will strengthen

The weak.

But I will destroy

The fat.

I will destroy

The strong.

I will feed them

With justice.”

Yahweh was going to seek and bring back the lost sheep along with those who had strayed. He was going to bind up the wounds of these injured sheep. Thus, Yahweh was going to be the good shepherd. However, he was also going to destroy the fat and the strong sheep. He was going to feed them with his justice. There would be no intermediary kings in this new theocracy, since Yahweh himself would hand out justice.

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The taunt against Babylon (Jer 50:11-50:13)

“‘Though you rejoice,

Though you exult,

O plunderers of my heritage,

Though you frisk about

Like a heifer

On the grass,

Though you neigh

Like stallions,

Your mother

Shall be utterly shamed.

She who bore you

Shall be disgraced.

O!

She shall be

The last of the nations,

A wilderness,

A dry land,

A desert.

Because of the wrath

Of Yahweh,

She shall not be inhabited.

But she shall be

An utter desolation.

Everyone who passes

By Babylon

Shall be appalled.

They will hiss

Because of all her wounds.”

Then Yahweh via Jeremiah taunted Babylon, by indicating how they thought that they were superior with their plundering and rejoicing. They were like young heifers and stallions doing whatever they wanted to do. Now their mothers will be shamed and disgraced. They will become the last of the countries, as their land will become a wilderness, a dry land, like a desert. The wrath of Yahweh will not be held back. Babylon will be deserted and become an utter desolation. Everyone who passes by her will be appalled. They will hiss at all the wounds that they would see.

The healing reversal (Jer 30:16-30:17)

“Therefore all who devour you

Shall be devoured.

All your foes,

Every one of them,

Shall go into captivity.

Those who plundered you

Shall be plundered.

All who preyed on you,

I will make a prey.

I will restore health to you.

I will heal your wounds.

Says Yahweh!

Because they have called you

An outcast.

‘It is Zion.

No one cares for her!’”

Yahweh seems to reverse himself, saying that he will heal and cure the incurable wounds that Israel had. Instead, those who were devouring Israel will be devoured. All of their enemies will go into captivity. Those who plundered them will be plundered themselves. Yahweh was going to prey on anyone who preyed on them. He was going to heal all the wounds that Israel had. He was upset that others had called them, Zion, an outcast that no one cared about.

The good times to come (Isa 30:23-30:26)

“Yahweh will give rain for the seed

With which you sow the ground.

Grain will be the produce of the ground.

It will be rich

It will be plentiful.

On that day,

Your cattle will graze in broad pastures.

The oxen will till the ground.

The donkey will eat silage

That has been winnowed

With shovels and forks.

On every lofty mountain,

On every high hill,

There will be brooks running with water.

On this day of the great slaughter,

The towers will fall.

The light of the moon will be

Like the light of the sun.

The light of the sun

Will be sevenfold,

Like the light of seven days.

On the day

When Yahweh binds up

The hurt of his people,

He will heal the wounds

Inflicted by his own blows.”

In this future time, things will be good. Yahweh will send rain to make the seed grains grow rich and plentiful. The cattle will graze in large pastures. There will be plenty of winnowed silage for the working oxen and donkeys so that they can till the ground. All the mountains and the hills will have flowing brooks. The towers will fall on the day of slaughter. However, the light from the moon will be like that of the sun, while the light from the sun will be like the light of a week of sunlight. Yahweh will heal the wounds that people have suffered even from his own blows.

Hurtful sins (Sir 21:1-21:3)

Have you sinned?

My child!

Do so no more!

Ask forgiveness

For your past sins!

Flee from sin

As from a snake!

If you approach sin,

It will bite you.

Its teeth are lion’s teeth.

They can destroy human lives.

All lawlessness is

Like a two-edged sword.

There is no healing

For the wounds it inflicts.”

Sirach uses his parental tone in reminding others about the sting of sin. If you have sinned, stop! Ask forgiveness! You should run away from sin like you would run away from a snake. Do not go near to sin or it will bite you like a snake. Sin has lion’s teeth that can destroy people. Breaking the law is like a sharp two edged sword because there is no healing the wounds that it inflicts. Stay away from sin or you will get hurt.