The sun worship idolatry in the Temple (Ezek 8:16-8:16)

“Yahweh brought me

Into the inner court

Of the house

Of Yahweh.

There at the entrance

Of the temple

Of Yahweh,

Between the porch

And the altar,

Were about twenty-five men.

Their backs were

To the temple

Of Yahweh.

Their faces were

Toward the east.

They prostrated themselves

To the sun

Toward the east.”

Yahweh brought Ezekiel into the inner court of the Temple. At the entrance to the Temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, there were about twenty-five men with their backs to the Temple. Their faces were toward the east. Then they prostrated themselves and worshipped the sun in the east that morning.  Sun worship was very common in Egypt. A modern form of sun worship is called laying out in the sun.

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Lamentations over broken Moab (Jer 48:38-48:39)

“‘On all the housetops

Of Moab,

In the squares,

There is nothing

But lamentation.

I have broken Moab

Like a vessel

That no one wants.’

Says Yahweh.

How it is broken!

How they wail!

How Moab

Has turned his back

In shame!

So Moab has become

A derision,

A horror,

To all his neighbors.”

There is nothing but lamentations in Moab, whether on the housetops or in the town squares. Yahweh has broken Moab like a broken jar. The Moabites have turned their backs in shame. They have become a derision and horror to all their neighbors.

The fault of the Israelites (Jer 32:30-32:33)

“‘The people of Israel!

The people of Judah!

They have done nothing

But evil

In my sight

From their youth.

The people of Israel

Have done nothing

But provoke me to anger

By the work of their hands.’

Says Yahweh.

‘This city has aroused

My anger,

My wrath,

From the day it was built

Until this day.

Thus I will remove it

From my sight.

Because of all the evil

Of the people of Israel,

Of the people of Judah.

They provoked me to anger.

This includes

Their kings,

Their officials,

Their priests,

Their prophets,

The citizens of Judah,

The inhabitants of Jerusalem.

They have turned

Their back to me.

They have not turned

Their face to me.

Even though

I have taught them persistently,

They would not listen.

They would not accept correction.’”

Yahweh includes both Israel and Judah in this diatribe against all the Israelites, since they have done nothing but evil since their youth. By the work of their hands, they have provoked Yahweh to anger. The city of Jerusalem also aroused his anger, since the day that it was built. Yahweh was going to remove it because of all the evil that they had done. No one would be exempt, since their kings, officials, priests, prophets, citizens, and inhabitants of both Judah and Jerusalem had turned their backs on Yahweh, not their faces to Yahweh.  He had tried to teach them persistently, but they would not listen and accept correction.

The shame of Israel (Jer 2:26-2:28)

“As a thief is shamed when caught,

So the house of Israel shall be shamed.

Their kings shall be shamed.

Their princes shall be shamed.

Their priests shall be shamed.

Their prophets shall be shamed.

Who says to a tree?

‘You are my father.’

Who says to a stone?

‘You gave me birth.’

They have turned their backs to me.

They have not turned their faces to me.

But in the time of their trouble,

They say.

‘Arise!

Save us!’

But where are your gods

That you made for yourself?

Let them come!

See if they can save you

In your time of trouble.

You have as many gods

As you have towns!

O Judah!”

Jeremiah says that the house of Israel should be shamed like a thief who gets caught. This shame includes their kings, officials, priests, and prophets. Think of this, these people were saying to a tree, you are my father. They were saying to a stone that they were born from a stone. They turned their backs on Yahweh, since they would not show their face to him. However, whenever there was a problem, they would come running to Yahweh, asking him to come and save them. Where were their gods that they had made? Let them come and save them. However, they had as many gods as there were towns. Each town in Judah had their own little god image for protection.

The time of the cup of wrath is over (Isa 51:21-51:23)

“Therefore hear this!

You who are wounded!

You who are drunk!

But not with wine!

Thus says your Lord!

Yahweh!

Your God pleads

The cause of his people.

‘See!

I have taken from your hand

The cup of staggering.

I have taken from your hand

The bowl of my wrath.

You shall drink no more.

I will put it into the hand

Of your tormentors.

They have said to you.

‘Bow down!

Thus we may walk on you.’

You have made your back

Like the ground,

Like the street

For them to walk on.”

Second Isaiah has Yahweh end his wrath towards the Israelites. They had been wounded and drunk, but not from wine. Now Yahweh, the Lord, was going to take their staggering ways away. There would be no more drinking from the cup of wrath. Yahweh was going to take away this bowl so that he could give this bowl of wrath to their tormentors, who now would have to drink from this angry cup. These tormentors had made them bow down so that they could walk over their backs. They were like street coverings so that these oppressors could walk all over them without getting their feet dirty.

The wise ones (Prov 14:1-14:3)

“The wise woman builds her house.

But the foolish woman tears it down

With her own hands.

Those who walk uprightly

Fear Yahweh.

But one who is devious in conduct

Despises Yahweh.

The talk of fools

Is a rod for their backs.

But the lips of the wise

Preserve them.”

The wise woman builds her own house. The foolish woman, on the other hand, tears it down herself. If you walk upright, you fear Yahweh. If you are devious all over the place, then you despise Yahweh. The talk of fools brings the whipping rod to their backs, while the lips of the wise keep them save.

God protects his people (Ps 66:8-66:12)

“Bless our God!

O peoples!

Let the sound of his praise be heard!

He has kept us among the living.

He has not let our feet slip.

O God!

You have tested us!

You have tried us as silver is tried.

You brought us into the net.

You laid burdens on our backs.

You let people ride over our heads.

We went through fire.

We went through water.

You have brought us out to a spacious place.”

God has been good to the Israelites. They should bless God. The sounds of praise should be heard because he kept them among the living. He did not let their feet slip. They were tested like silver is tested in minting it. They fell into nets. They had burdens on their backs. People ran over them. They went through fire and water. However, in the end, they settled into a spacious place, the Promised Land.