“As for you!
Do not pray for this people!
Do not raise a cry for them!
Do not raise a prayer for them!
Do not intercede with me!
I do not hear you!”
Yahweh gives Jeremiah a strange command. He does not want Jeremiah to exercise his prophetic function of praying for his people. He does not want him to raise a cry or prayer in their favor. He does not want him to intercede with him because he will not hear him. Yahweh is really mad at Judah.
“Better the poor walking in integrity
Than one perverse in speech
Who is a fool!
Desire without knowledge is not good.
Whoever moves too hurriedly misses the way.
One’s own folly leads to ruin.
Yet the heart rages against Yahweh.
Wealth brings many new friends.
But the poor are left friendless.
A false witness will not go unpunished.
A liar will not escape.
Many seek the favor of the generous.
Everyone is a friend to a giver of gifts.
If the poor are hated by their relatives,
How much more are they shunned by their friends.
When they call after them,
They are not there.”
This is a mixed bag for the poor. It is better to be poor if you are honest and have integrity. However later on, you are without friends and relatives if you are poor. The poor never catch a break. Of course, it is better to be poor than be a perverse fool in your speech. Desire is not good enough. You need knowledge. Don’t go too fast or you will get lost. Foolishness will lead to ruin. The foolish heart rages against Yahweh. Wealth, as noted, brings friends, while the poor are stuck without friends. Liars will not escape from punishment. They will die. The reason the rich have so many friends is that many seek their favor, hoping to get a gift or two from the wealthy. The poor have a problem with relatives and friends who do not stand up for them when they call. It is not good to be poor, even if you are honest.