A reminder for Israel (Bar 4:5-4:8)

“Take courage!

My people!

You perpetuate

Israel’s name!

It was not

For destruction

That you were sold

To the nations.

But you were handed over

To your enemies

Because you angered

God.

You provoked the one

Who made you!

You sacrificed to demons,

Not to God!

You forgot

The everlasting God,

Who brought you up!

You grieved Jerusalem,

Who reared you.”

This reminder for Israel was for the people to have courage, since they were going to perpetuate the name of Israel. These Israelites had been sold to various nations, not to destroy them, but to punish them. They had been handed over to their enemies, because they had angered God. They had provoked their creator by sacrificing to demons, and not God. They had forgotten their everlasting God who brought them up. There was no mention of the name of Yahweh here. They had grieved Jerusalem, the city that had reared them. Once again there is a personification of Jerusalem that can feel pain.

The end of the fortified city (Isa 27:10-27:11)

“The fortified city is solitary.

Its habitation is deserted.

It is forsaken,

Like the wilderness.

There the calves graze.

There they lie down.

They strip its branches.

When its boughs are dry,

They are broken.

Women come.

They make a fire of them.

This is a people

Without understanding.

Therefore he who made them

Will not have compassion on them.

He that formed them

Will show them no favor.”

According to Isaiah, the fortified city is deserted. Nobody lives there, since it is like a wilderness, where cows graze and lie down. This city is like a tree that has had its branches stripped. The remaining dry branches are broken so that women can come along to make firewood out of them. They are a people, but we not sure who they are, who have no understanding. What is for sure is that Yahweh, their creator, has no compassion for them. He will not show them any favors.