The sinfulness of Israel (Hos 4:7-4:9)

“The more they increased,

The more they sinned

Against me.

They changed

Their glory

Into shame.

They feed

On the sin

Of my people.

They are greedy

For their iniquity.

It shall be

Like people,

Like priests.

I will punish them

For their ways.

I will repay them

For their deeds.”

Once again, Yahweh, via Hosea, reminded the people of the northern kingdom of Israel that the more that they grew larger, the more that they sinned against him, Yahweh. They had changed their glory into shame. Their food was sin itself. They were greedy for iniquity. Both the priests and the people shared the blame, so that Yahweh was going to punish them both together. He was going to repay them for their sinful deeds.

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The future sign of Ezekiel (Ezek 24:25-24:27)

“You!

Son of man!

On the day

When I take

From them

Their stronghold,

Their joy,

Their glory,

The delight of their eyes,

Their heart’s affection,

Someone will come

To you.

I will take their sons.

I will take their daughters.

On that day,

One who has escaped

Will come

To you

To report

To you

The news.

On that day,

Your mouth

Shall be opened

To the one

Who has escaped.

You shall speak.

You will no longer

Be silent.

So you shall be a sign

To them.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh spoke directly to Ezekiel, the son of man. On a future day, Yahweh was going to bring down Jerusalem. The Israelites would lose their stronghold, their joy, their glory, the delight of their eyes, and their heart’s affection. They would also lose their sons and daughters. Someone, who had escaped from Jerusalem, would come to Ezekiel on that day with the report of the news about the fall of Jerusalem. On that day, Ezekiel would open his mouth to speak. He would not be silent anymore. Thus the actions of Ezekiel would a sign, so that everyone would know that Yahweh was in charge.

Oracle about Kedar (Isa 21:16-21:17)

“Thus Yahweh said to me.

‘Within a year,

According to the years of a hired worker,

All the glory of Kedar

Will come to an end.

The remaining bows of Kedar’s warriors

Will be few.’

Yahweh,

The God of Israel,

Has spoken.”

Kedar was another wandering northern Arab tribe. This time Yahweh spoke the oracle to Isaiah. Apparently, the Kedar tribe was more aggressive, since within a hired worker’s year, their glory would come to an end. Their warriors and their bows would be few. This clearly was a spoken oracle by Yahweh, the God of Israel.

The bad kings (Sir 49:4-49:5)

“Except for King David,

Except for King Hezekiah,

Except for King Josiah

All of them were

Great sinners.

They abandoned

The law of the Most High.

The kings of Judah

Came to an end.

They gave their power

To others.

They gave their glory

To a foreign nation.”

Sirach points out that all the kings, whether in Judah or Israel, were great sinners, except for King David, King Hezekiah, and King Josiah. But even these kings also committed some sins. The worst, of course, were the later kings, just before the exile. Somehow these bad kings were responsible for the downfall of the Israelite and Judah kingdoms because these great sinners abandoned the law of the Most High God. They lost their power and gave away their glory to foreign nations.