The destruction of Edom (Jer 49:10-49:11)

“But as for me,

I have stripped

Esau bare.

I have uncovered

His hiding places.

He is not able

To conceal himself.

His offspring are destroyed.

His kinsfolk are no more.

His neighbors are no more.

He is no more.

Leave your orphans!

I will keep them alive.

Let your widows trust

In me.”

Yahweh clearly says that he has destroyed Edom, the home of Esau, Jacob’s brother. He has stripped them bare, since they no longer have any hiding places. The men, their offspring, their families, and their neighbors have all been wiped out. They are no longer living anymore. However, Yahweh has a word of consolation for the Edomites.   He was going to take care of their orphans and widows. Somehow, the orphans and widows were the privileged protected ones, whether in Israel or not.

The devastation of northern Israel (Isa 9:13-9:17)

“The people did not turn to him

Who had struck them.

They did not seek Yahweh of hosts.

Thus Yahweh cut off from Israel

Head and tail.

In one day,

He cut off the palm branch.

He cut off the reed.

The elders and dignitaries are the head.

The prophets who teach lies are the tail.

Those who lead this people

Led them astray.

Those who were led by them

Were left in confusion.

Therefore Yahweh did not have pity

On their young people.

He did not have compassion

On their orphans and widows.

Everyone was godless.

Everyone was an evildoer.

Every mouth spoke folly.

Thus his anger has not turned away.

His hand is still stretched out.”

Isaiah puts part of the blame for the destruction of northern Israel on their leaders. However, he starts and finishes with the guilt of all the people, because they did not turn to the Lord, Yahweh. Both the head and the tail of northern Israel were to blame. Thus Yahweh cut off the tall palm trees and the short reeds in one day. The heads of northern Israel were the elders and the dignitaries who failed to do anything. The tails were the lying northern prophets since there were both good and bad prophets. These leaders led their people astray. They left the people confused. Thus Yahweh, the Lord, did not take pity on their young, their orphans, or their widows, as he had done elsewhere. After all, everyone was involved in foolish godless evildoing. Once again, we have the refrain that Yahweh’s anger was continuing, as he still stretched out his hand against these northern Israelites.