Get ready for the battle (Nah 2:1-2:1)

“The one who shatters

Has come up

Against you.

Guard the ramparts!

Watch the road!

Gird your loins!

Collect all your strength.”

Nahum warned that they should get ready for the battle in very descriptive language.  A shattering foe was to come up against them.  They were to guard the ramparts leading up to their town.  They were to watch the road.  They were to gird their loins, that meant that they would tuck in their robes around their waist for better leg movement.  Today’s equivalent would be roll up your selves.  They were to collect all their strength for the battle to come.

The princes of the sea (Ezek 26:16-26:16)

“Then all the princes

Of the sea

Will step down

From their thrones.

They will remove

Their robes.

They will strip off

Their embroidered garments.

They will clothe themselves

With trembling.

They will sit

On the ground.

They will tremble

Every moment.

They will be

Appalled at you.”

These princes of the sea were the trading partners of Tyre. Ezekiel said that these princes would be willing to step down from their thrones, remove their robes, and strip off their embroidered garments. Instead, they would tremble and sit on the ground. They would be stunned and appalled at everything that had happened to Tyre.

Lamentation over Babylon (Isa 47:1-47:4)

“Come down!

Sit in the dust!

O virgin daughter Babylon!

Sit on the ground

Without a throne!

O daughter Chaldea!

You shall no more

Be called tender!

You shall no more

Be called delicate!

Take the millstones!

Grind the meal!

Remove your veil!

Strip off your robe!

Uncover your legs!

Pass through the rivers!

Your nakedness shall be uncovered.

Your shame shall be seen.

I will take vengeance.

I will spare no one.

Our Redeemer

Is the Holy One of Israel.

Yahweh of hosts

Is his name!”                                     

This is a unique kind of Hebrew lamentation. Yahweh God has stripped the unconquered virgin Babylon of its royal throne. The Chaldeans, who were from the southern part of Babylon, would no longer be considered tender and delicate. Now they were to do the work of slaves, grinding the meal with millstones. On top of that, they were to strip down, taking their veils off and removing their robes, so that their legs would be uncovered. They would be shamefully naked as washing in a river. Yahweh with his army was going to take vengeance on them, so that no one would be spared. Yahweh is the redeemer and the Holy One of Israel.

Cyrus the Anointed Messiah Christ (Isa 45:1-45:1)

“Thus says Yahweh

To his anointed,

To Cyrus.

I have grasped his right hand,

To subdue nations before him,

To strip kings of their robes,

To open doors before him.

The gates shall not be closed.”

Second Isaiah calls Cyrus the anointed one, in Hebrew the Messiah, or in Greek the Christ. This is the only reference of an anointed person or a messiah who was not an Israelite. Cyrus, the King of Persia from 559-530 BCE, more than two centuries after the lifetime of Isaiah, was really a favorite of both Yahweh and the author of Second Isaiah. Cyrus the Great created the largest empire in the world with present day Iran the last vestige of that empire as he took over many countries. Second Isaiah continually insisted that Yahweh was behind Cyrus as he is clearly the anointed one of Yahweh. Yahweh has grasped his right hand, so that he could subdue various nations. Yahweh would help Cyrus strip kings of their robes. He would open doors for him, since no gates would be closed to Cyrus.