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.

Personal responsibility (Jer 31:29-31:30)

“In those days,

They shall no longer say.

‘The parents have eaten

Sour grapes.

The children’s teeth

Are set on edge.’

But all shall die

For their own sins.

The teeth of everyone

Who eats sour grapes,

Shall be set on edge.”

Yahweh talks about personal responsibility rather than suffering for the sins of your father or parents. Instead of the parents eating sour grapes with the affect on the teeth of their children, now it will affect the parents’ teeth. Yahweh says that everyone will die for their own sins, not the sins of their ancestors. Sometimes, sinning persons were putting the blame on their ancestors, rather than themselves, for what was happening to them. Thus whoever eats sour grapes would find his own teeth affected, not their children.

The vicious request of Jeremiah (Jer 18:21-18:23)

“Therefore give their children

Over to famine!

Hurl them out

To the power of the sword!

Let their wives become childless!

Let their wives become widowed!

May their men meet death

By pestilence!

May their youths be slain

By the sword in battle!

May a cry be heard

From their houses,

When you bring the marauder

Suddenly upon them.

They have dug a pit

To catch me.

They laid snares

For my feet.

Yet you!

Yahweh!

Know all their plotting

To kill me.

Do not forgive their iniquity!

Do not blot out their sin

From your sight!

Let them be tripped up before you!

Deal with them

While you are angry!”

Jeremiah does not hold back his contempt for his adversaries. He is vicious in this lament to Yahweh. First, he wanted their children to die whether by famine or by the sword. He wanted their wives to be childless and widows. He hoped that they might die from a pestilence. He wanted their young men killed in battle. He wanted a marauder to suddenly attack them. They had plotted to catch him and kill him in a pit, as they laid snares for his feet. He told Yahweh not to forgive their iniquity, not to blot out their sins. They should be tripped up. He wanted Yahweh to deal with them while he was angry, so that they would receive a worse sentence. There was no sense of Jeremiah’s mercy or compassion here. He wanted his enemies completely destroyed.

Yahweh rails against the false prophets (Jer 14:14-14:16)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘The prophets are prophesying lies

In my name.

I did not send them.

I did not command them.

I did not speak to them.

They are prophesying to you

A lying vision,

A worthless divination,

The deceit of their own minds.

Therefore thus says Yahweh

Concerning the prophets

Who prophesy in my name,

Although I did not send them.’

They say.

‘Sword shall not come on this land.

Famine shall not come on this land.’

By sword and famine

Those prophets shall be consumed

By sword

Or with famine.

The people to whom they prophesy

Shall be cast out into the streets of Jerusalem.

They will be the victims of famine.

They will be the victims of the sword.

There shall be no one to bury them,

Themselves,

Their wives,

Their sons,

Their daughters.

I will pour out their wickedness

Upon them.”

Yahweh spoke again to Jeremiah about the false prophets who told them not to worry about the sword or famine. Yahweh said that they were lying false prophets pretending to prophesize in his name. Yahweh did not send them or command them to speak. They were, in fact, prophesying a lying vision or a worthless prediction. They were deceived in their own minds. He never told them that there would be no sword or famine. Instead, these prophets would be consumed by the sword or famine. Those listening to them will also be consumed, that includes themselves, their wives, and their children. Yahweh was going to pour out all their wickedness upon them.

The drunkards (Jer 13:13-13:14)

“Then you shall say to them.

‘Thus says Yahweh.

I am about to fill

All the inhabitants of this land

With drunkenness.

This includes

The kings who sit on David’s throne,

The priests,

The prophets,

All the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

I will dash them

One against another.

There will be

Parents and children together.

Says Yahweh.

I will not pity them.

I will not have compassion

When I destroy them.’”

Yahweh explained to Jeremiah that all the wine jars were filled so that everybody in Judah and Jerusalem would get drunk. This would include the kings, priests, prophets, as well as all the individuals in Judah and Jerusalem. Then Yahweh would have them bash each other around, including parents with their children. Yahweh was not going to have any pity on them. He was not going to be compassionate, when he destroyed them. This was a strange way to get rid of them. They would get drunk, so that they would then kill each other.

The people of Anathoth (Jer 11:21-11:23)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh

Concerning the people of Anathoth.

‘They seek your life.

They say.

‘You shall not prophesy

In the name of Yahweh!

Otherwise you will die by our hand.’

Therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘I am going to punish them!

The young men shall die

By the sword!

Their sons shall die

By famine!

Their daughters shall die

By famine!

Not even a remnant shall be left of them.

I will bring disaster

Upon the people of Anathoth,

In the year of their punishment.’”

Yahweh responded to Jeremiah about his problems with the people of Anathoth, a Levitical city in the territory of Benjamin, about 3 miles north of Jerusalem, where Jeremiah was originally from. Thus the idea that a prophet is not accepted in his own home town. Apparently Jeremiah must have had some run in with the people there, since they told Jeremiah to stop prophesying in the name of Yahweh or else he would die. Yahweh responded that he was going to punish them. The young men would die by the sword, while their children, sons and daughters, would die of a famine. No one would be left at Anathoth because Yahweh was going to bring a disaster upon them in the unspecified year of their punishment.

Teach mourning to your children and neighbors (Jer 9:20-9:21)

“Hear!

O women!

The word of Yahweh!

Let your ears receive

The word of his mouth!

Teach to your daughters

A dirge!

Teach each to her neighbor

A lament!

Death has come up into our windows.

It has entered our palaces.

It has cut off the children

From the streets.

It has cut off the young men

From the squares.”

Jeremiah wanted the women to listen to the word of Yahweh. They should have receptive ears for his words. They should teach their daughters how to mourn at funerals. They should help their neighbors to learn how to mourn. Death was coming upon them through their windows. They should be ready because their palaces would see death, as if there was a god of death or angel of death approaching. Their children and young men would not be allowed to go into the streets to play or enter the squares to talk.

How could God pardon them? (Jer 5:7-5:9)

“How can I pardon you?

Your children have forsaken me.

They have sworn by those

Who are not gods.

When I fed them to the full,

They committed adultery.

They trooped to the houses of prostitutes.

They were well-fed lusty stallions.

Each was neighing for his neighbor’s wife.

Shall I not punish them for these things?

Shall I not bring retribution

On a nation such as this?’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh wanted to know from Jeremiah how he could pardon the people of Jerusalem. Their children had given up on Yahweh. They were swearing to things that were not gods at all. Even after he had fed them to the full, they went and committed adultery. They ran off to the houses of prostitution with their full bellies, like lusty stallions. They were always seeking their neighbor’s wife, like a horse neighing after them. Should they not be punished for such things? This nation deserves retribution.

The accusations (Jer 2:9-2:12)

“‘Therefore once more

I accuse you.’

Says Yahweh.

‘I accuse

Your children’s children.

Cross to the coasts of Cyprus!

See!

Send to Kedar!

Examine with care!

See if there has ever been

Such a thing!

Has a nation changed its gods?

Even though

They are no gods.

But my people have changed their glory.

They prefer something that does not profit.

Be appalled!

O heavens!

At this!

Be shocked!

Be utterly desolate!’

Says Yahweh.”

Jeremiah has Yahweh accuse his people and their children of changing from Yahweh God to go after false gods. Yahweh wanted them to go to the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea or the desert tribe of Kedar on the eastern side of the Jordan. Did those people change their deities? Why did his own people change from the glory of Yahweh to these false useless gods. The heavens are appalled, shocked, and desolate at this turn of events. Yahweh was upset.

Oracle about the alliance with Yahweh (Isa 59:21-59:21)

“‘As for me,

This is my covenant with them.’

Says Yahweh.

‘My spirit is upon you.

My words

That I have put in your mouth,

Shall not depart out of your mouth.

They shall not depart

Out of the mouth of your children.

They shall not depart

Out of the mouths of your children’s children,

From now on and forever.’

Says Yahweh.”

Third Isaiah brings this chapter to a close with another oracle from Yahweh. He was going to renew his alliance with his holy people. The covenant continues down to their children and their children’s children now and forever, since his Spirit is upon them. He has put his words into their mouths and it will not leave them because of this everlasting covenant.