The devoured lost sheep (Jer 50:6-50:7)

“My people

Have been

Like lost sheep.

Their shepherds

Have led them astray.

They turned them away

On the mountains.

From mountain

To hill,

They have gone.

They have forgotten

Their fold.

All who found them

Have devoured them.

Their enemies have said.

‘We are not guilty!

Because they have sinned

Against Yahweh,

Their true pastor,

Their lord,

The hope of their ancestors.’”

The people of Israel and Judah were like lost sheep. Their shepherds or leaders had led them astray. They let these sheep loose in the mountains where they wandered around from hill to mountain, forgetting about the rest of the flock. Anyone who found them killed them and ate them. The response of these enemy snatchers was that they were not guilty, because these sheep and their shepherds had sinned against Yahweh, the true pastor and hope of their ancestors. Thus they justified their actions against them.

The prayer of Jeremiah to the all powerful God (Jer 32:17-32:19)

“O Lord God!

It is you!

You made the heavens!

You made the earth!

By your great power!

By your outstretched arm!

Nothing is too hard for you!

You show steadfast love

To the thousandth generation.

But you repay

The guilt of parents

Into the laps of their children

After them.

O great mighty God!

Your name is Yahweh of hosts!

You are great in counsel!

You are mighty in deeds!

Your eyes are open

To all the ways of mortals!

You reward all

According to their ways,

According to the fruit

Of their doings!”

Jeremiah’s prays to an all powerful God, who has made heaven and earth by his potent outstretched hand. There is nothing too hard for God to do. God’s love lasts over 1,000 generations. However, he repays the guilt of the parents by putting it into the laps of their children, who come after them. Yahweh of hosts is the name of this God, who is great and mighty in deeds. He gives counsel, as his eyes are open to the various ways of mortals. He rewards humans according to their ways and the fruit of their actions.

The devious heart (Jer 17:9-17:10)

“The heart is devious

Above all things.

The heart is perverse.

Who can understand it?

I!

Yahweh!

I test the mind!

I search the heart!

In order to give to all

According to their ways,

According to the fruit of their doings.”

Yahweh seems to tell Jeremiah that the heart is devious and perverse. Only he can understand the heart, since Yahweh tests it and searches out the hearts of all people. He can tell by the way that they do things. He can see what the fruit of their actions is. Thus he understands what kind of heart they have.

The annoying righteous one (Wis 2:12-2:16)

“‘Let us lie in wait

For the righteous man.

Because he is inconvenient to us.

He opposes our actions.

He reproaches us

For sins against the law.

He accuses us of sins

Against our training.

He professes to have knowledge of God.

He calls himself a child of the Lord.

He became to us a reproof of our thoughts.

The very sight of him is a burden to us.

Because his manner of life is

Unlike that of others.

His ways are strange.

We are considered by him

As something base.

He avoids our ways as unclean.

He calls the last end of the righteous happy.

He boasts that God is his father.’”

They are going to attack the righteous one (δίκαιον), because he opposes their actions. He has been reproaching them for their sins against the law (ἁμαρτήματα νόμου) and their training (παιδείας). He claims to have knowledge about God (γνῶσιν ἔχειν Θεοῦ). He says that he is a child of the Lord (παῖδα Κυρίου). He has rebuked their thoughts. His very presence is a burden to them. He is not like the others since his ways are strange. He thinks that they are base and unclean. He claims that God is his father (πατέρα Θεόν).