Lamentation for Tyre (Ezek 27:1-27:3)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Now you!

Son of man!

Raise a lamentation

Over Tyre!

Say to Tyre!

You sit

At the entrance

To the sea.

You are the merchant

Of the people

On many coastlands.’”

As usual the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel. Now Yahweh wanted Ezekiel to lament or complain about Tyre in this new chapter. Ezekiel seemed to have an obsession with this city of Tyre. Yahweh told Ezekiel to tell Tyre that it lived at the entrance to the sea, as a merchant to many people on the coastlands, as if they did not already know this.

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The destruction of Tyre (Ezek 26:3-26:5)

“Therefore

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘See!

I am against you!

O Tyre!

I will hurl

Many nations

Against you,

Just as the sea

Hurls it waves.

They shall destroy

The walls

Of Tyre.

They shall break down

Its towers.

I will scrape

Its soil from it.

I will make it

A bare rock.

It shall become,

In the midst

Of the sea,

A place

For spreading nets.

I have spoken.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was against Tyre. He wanted to send many nations against this city. He wanted this town destroyed, just like roaring seas hurling waves against their walls. He wanted their walls and towers destroyed. Thus, he could scrape this city from its soil, making it a bare rock. Instead of a city, it would become a place in the middle of the sea where people would spread fishing nets. Yahweh God had clearly spoken.

The difficult day of your birth (Ezek 16:4-16:5)

“As for your birth,

On the day

You were born

Your navel cord

Was not cut.

You were not washed

With water

To cleanse you.

You were not rubbed

With salt.

You were not wrapped

In clothes.

No eye pitied you.

No one did

Any of these things

For you

Out of compassion

For you.

But you were

Thrown out

In the open field.

You were abhorred

On the day

You were born.”

Apparently when Jerusalem was born, she did not have the usual amenities of child birth. The following things seemed to have happened at child birth at that time. Obviously, the navel cord, which would normally have been cut, was not done so. There was no washing of the child, nor the rubbing with salt as a protective element, nor being wrapped in clothing. No one pitied Jerusalem or had compassion for this city. She was simply thrown out into the open field to fend for herself.  She was abhorred from the day of her birth. She had a difficult first day.

The attack of the Chaldeans (Jer 32:24-32:25)

“See!

The siege ramps

Have been cast up

Against the city

To take it.

The city is faced

With sword,

With famine,

With pestilence.

The city has been

Given into the hands

Of the Chaldeans

Who are fighting against it.

What you spoke

Has happened.

As you yourself can see.

Yet you!

O Lord God!

You have said to me.

‘Buy the field

For money!

Get witnesses!’

Even though the city has been

Given into the hands

Of the Chaldeans.’”

The prayer of Jeremiah continued as he came to the present day situation of the attack by the Chaldeans, a Semitic people from the southeastern section of Babylon on the Euphrates River. The siege ramps were already in place against Jerusalem. The Chaldeans had come to take this city by sword, famine, or pestilence. What Yahweh had predicted, has happened. The Chaldeans have already taken over this city, as anyone can see with their own eyes. Yahweh had told Jeremiah to buy a field with money and witnesses, even though the city was in the hands of the Chaldeans. This purchase was a sign of hope for the future.

Jeremiah defends himself (Jer 26:12-26:15)

“Then Jeremiah spoke

To all the officials,

To all the people.

Saying.

‘Yahweh sent me

To prophesy

Against this house,

Against this city,

All the words you have heard.

Now therefore

Amend your ways!

Amend your doings!

Obey the voice of Yahweh!

Your God!

Then maybe

Yahweh will change his mind

About the desolation

That he has pronounced against you.

But as for me,

Here I am in your hands.

Do with me

As it seems good

And right to you!

Only know for certain

That if you put me to death,

You will be bringing

Innocent blood

Upon yourselves,

Upon this city,

Upon its inhabitants.

In truth,

Yahweh sent me to you

To speak all these words

In your ears.’”

Jeremiah defended himself, as he spoke to the royal officials and all the people. Yahweh had sent him to prophesy against this Temple and this city.   They should amend their ways and actions. They should obey the voice of God, Yahweh. Perhaps Yahweh would change his mind about the coming disaster that he had proclaimed. Jeremiah was willing to put his own fate in their hands. However, he reminded them that if they hurt him, they would have innocent blood on their hands, upon the city, and its inhabitants. Yahweh had sent him to speak all these words to them. They were not his words, but the words of Yahweh, their God.

Yahweh informs Jeremiah what to say (Jer 26:4-26:6)

“You shall say to them,

‘Thus says Yahweh.

If you will not listen to me,

To walk in my law

That I have set before you,

Then there will be a curse.

If you do not heed the words

Of my servants,

The prophets,

Whom I send to you urgently,

Even though you

Have not heeded them,

Then I will make this house

Like Shiloh.

I will make this city

A curse

For all the nations of the earth.’”

Yahweh tells Jeremiah exactly what to say to the people of Judah. If they do not listen to Yahweh and walk in the law that he gave them, he will curse them. If they do not heed the words of his servants, his prophets that he sent to them, then he would make their Temple like that of Shiloh in Samaria. Both the ancient Canaanites and the Israelites had used Shiloh as a cultic worship center, until the Temple was built in Jerusalem during the time of King David (1010-970 BCE) and King Solomon (970-931 BCE). Since they had not listened to the prophets of Yahweh, he was going to curse this city of Jerusalem in a way that all the countries of the world would know about it.

The broken jug (Jer 19:10-19:11)

“Then you shall break the jug

In the sight

Of those who went with you.

You shall say to them.

‘Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

So will I break this people

As well as this city.

Just as one breaks a potter’s vessel,

So that it can never be mended.”

Now we are back to the earthen jug and the people with him. Yahweh told Jeremiah that he was to break the jar in the sight of others. Then he was to say that Yahweh was going to break his people as well as this city in the same way. They were going to be broken, so that they could never be put back together, just like this potter’s earthen jug.