Both men and women are guilty of adultery (Hos 4:14-4:14)

“I will not punish

Your daughters,

When they play the prostitute.

I will not punish

Your daughter-in-law,

When they commit adultery.

The men themselves

Go aside with prostitutes.

They sacrifice

With temple prostitutes.

Thus,

A people

Without understanding

Comes to ruin.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, was not going to punish their daughters or daughters-in-law for their prostitution and adultery. The main reason was that the men themselves were committing adultery with prostitutes. They were going to the temple prostitutes of these gods. These Israelites had become a people without any understanding.

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The restoration of the sisters (Ezek 16:53-16:55)

“I will restore

Their fortunes.

I will restore

Both the fortunes of Sodom

With her daughters.

I will restore

The fortunes of Samaria

With her daughters.

I will restore

Your own fortunes,

Along with theirs.

Thus you may bear

Your disgrace.

You will be ashamed

Of all

That you have done.

You will become

A consolation to them.

As for your sisters,

Sodom,

With her daughters,

Shall return

To their former state.

Samaria,

With her daughters,

Shall return

To their former state.

You,

With your daughters,

Shall return

To your former state.”

Yahweh said that he was going to restore the fortunes of all 3 sisters, Jerusalem, Sodom, and Samaria. All their daughters would have their fortunes also restored. However, Jerusalem would have to bear her disgrace. She should be ashamed of all that she did. Nevertheless, she would be a consolation to her sisters, Sodom and Samaria. All three of them would be returned to their former state.

The letter suggests that they assimilate into Babylon (Jer 29:4-29:7)

“The letter said.

‘Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

The God of Israel!

To all the exiles

Whom I have sent

Into exile

From Jerusalem

To Babylon.

Build houses!

Live in them!

Plant gardens!

Eat what they produce!

Take wives!

Have sons!

Have daughters!

Take wives for your sons!

Give your daughters

In marriage!

Thus they may bear sons.

Thus they may bear daughters.

Multiply there!

Do not decrease!

But seek the welfare

Of the city

Where I have sent you

Into exile.

Pray to Yahweh

On its behalf.

In its welfare

You will find your welfare.’”

Interesting enough, this letter is very favorable to the Babylonians. After all, it was going to the king of Babylon. Once again it is the classical Jeremiah oracle with Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel, as the source of this letter. They were to build houses, live in them, plant gardens, and eat from their produce. They were to have wives and children. They were to take wives for their sons and give their daughters in marriage, so that they could become grandparents. They should multiply there, not decrease. In fact, they were to get involved in the city there by praying to Yahweh for its welfare. After all, if the city did well, so would they. This seems like a clear attempt to assimilate into the Babylonian culture and society.

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.

Future blessings (Ps 144:12-144:14)

“May our sons

In their youth

Be like plants full grown!

May our daughters

Be like corner pillars,

Cut for the building of a palace!

May our barns be filled

With produce of every kind!

May our sheep increase by thousands,

By ten thousands in our fields!

May our cattle be heavy with young!

May there be no breach in the walls!

May there be no exile!

May there be no cry of distress in our streets!”

David, or this psalmist, asks and prays for future blessings. He wanted their sons to be like full grown plants. He wanted their daughters to be corner stones or pillars of a palace. He wanted their barns full of every kind of produce. He wanted their sheep to increase. He wanted his cattle to be heavy with young calves. He wanted no breach in the wall, no exile, and no distress in the streets. These future blessings would lead to an idyllic time with no problems.