The lamentation for Assyria (Nah 3:18-3:19)

“Your shepherds

Are asleep!

O king of Assyria!

Your nobles slumber!

Your people are scattered

On the mountains!

There is no one

To gather them!

There is no assuaging

Your hurt!

Your wound is mortal!

All who hear

The news of you,

Clap their hands

Over you.

Who has ever escaped

Your endless cruelty?”

It almost seems like Yahweh, via Nahum, was sorry about the situation in Assyria.  Nahum has a lament for their situation.  Nahum said that all their leaders or shepherds were asleep, while their nobles also slumbered.  The people had been scattered to the mountains, with no one to gather them back.  They had suffered a mortal wound.  Unfortunately, everyone who heard the news about them were clapping their hands in joy.  Assyria would never escape from its cruel position.  Ding dong, Assyria was dead.

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The message of the powerful God to Jeremiah (Jer 27:4-27:5)

“Give them this charge

For their masters.

Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

The God of Israel!

This is what you shall say

To your masters.

‘It is I,

Who by my great power,

With my outstretched arm,

Have made the earth,

With the people,

With the animals

That are on the earth.

I give it to

Whomever I please.”

Yahweh explained his power to Jeremiah, who was then to tell these various envoys when they returned to their leaders. Yahweh, the God of Israel, has great power with his outstretched arm. He has made the earth with all the people and animals that are on this earth. Thus he can do whatever he wants to do, since he is all powerful.

The shamed Israelites (Jer 2:33-2:37)

“How well you direct your course

To seek lovers!

So that even to wicked women

You have taught your ways.

Also on your skirts is found

The lifeblood of the innocent poor.

You did not catch them breaking in.

Yet in spite of all these things,

You say.

‘I am innocent.

Surely his anger has turned from me.’

Now I am bringing you to judgment

For saying.

‘I have not sinned.’

How lightly you gad about

Changing your ways!

You shall be put to shame by Egypt

As you were put to shame by Assyria!

From there also

You will come away

With your hands

Upon your head.

Yahweh has rejected those

In whom you trust.

You will not prosper through them.”

The Israelites were seeking new lovers. They were teaching them their ways. They seem not to care about the innocent poor people, since they had their blood on their skirts. Yet they continued to proclaim their innocence. They thought that Yahweh was no longer angry with them. However, Yahweh was going to bring judgment upon them for saying that they had not sinned. They keep gadding about on their frivolous ways.   They were going to be put to shame by Egypt and Assyria so that they would walk out with their hands on their heads as prisoners. Yahweh has rejected them and their leaders so that they would not prosper.

The words of the king of Assyria (Isa 10:13-10:14)

“The king says.

‘By the strength of my hand

I have done it.

By my wisdom,

I have understanding.

I have removed

The boundaries of peoples.

I have plundered

Their treasures.

Like a bull,

I have brought down

Those who sat on thrones.

My hand has found,

Like a nest,

The wealth of the peoples.

As one gather eggs

That have been forsaken,

So I have gathered all the earth.

There was none

That moved a wing,

Or opened its mouth,

Or chirped.’”

Isaiah says that King Tiglath-Pileser III (745-727 BCE) then proclaimed that he had removed the boundaries between the various countries. They were all subservient to him. He had plundered their treasures like a bull and removed their leaders from their thrones. He did this with the strength of his arm and his understanding of wisdom. He found a wealthy nest wherever he went. Thus he picked up the lost eggs, as he gathered people from all over the earth. Nobody objected. No one moved a wing or opened their mouths. There was no chirping about what he was doing.