Ephraim continues in falsehood (Hos 12:1-12:1)

“Ephraim herds the wind.

Ephraim pursues the east wind

All day long.

They multiply falsehoods.

They multiply violence.

They make a treaty

With Assyria.

Their oil is carried

To Egypt.”

Ephraim followed and gathered the wind to itself. They were all day long pursuing the east wind, the destructive wind. They were full of lies and violence. They made a treaty with Assyria that led to their ruin. They gave gifts of oil to Egypt to keep them from attacking.

The speech of Rabshakeh (Isa 36:4-36:7)

“Rabshakeh said to them.

‘Say to King Hezekiah.

Thus says the great king of Assyria.

On what do you base this confidence of yours?

Do you think that mere words are strategy?

Do you think that power is for war?

On whom do you now rely?

You have rebelled against me.


You are relying on Egypt,

That broken reed of a staff,

That will pierce the hand

Of any man who leans on it.

Such is the Pharaoh King of Egypt

To all who rely on him.

But you say to me.

‘We rely on Yahweh our God.’

Is it not he whose high places

That King Hezekiah has removed?

Is it not he whose altars

King Hezekiah has removed?”

In words that are word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 18, Isaiah presents this speech from Rabshakeh meant for King Hezekiah of Judah (716-687 BCE). His diatribe, in the name of King Sennacherib of Assyria (706-681 BCE), implies that King Hezekiah had rebelled against the King of Assyria, since he now had a treaty with the Egyptian Pharaoh. Rabshakeh maintained that Judah had to be with either Assyria or Egypt. Rabshakeh told them not to be tricked by Egypt since they were a broken reed that would pierce their hands. He mocked the Israelites for saying that they relied on Yahweh, since King Hezekiah had torn down all the idol shrines during his religious reforms. However, there was no mention of the altar at Jerusalem here.

Lysias defends the peace treaty in Ptolemais (2 Macc 13:24-13:26)

“The king received Judas Maccabeus. He left Hegemonides as the governor from Ptolemais to Gerar. Then the king went to Ptolemais. The people of Ptolemais were indignant over the treaty. In fact, they were so angry that they wanted to annul its terms. Lysias took the public platform, made the best possible defense. He convinced them, appeased them, gained their good will, and then set out for Antioch. This is how the king’s attack and withdrawal turned out.”

Once again, this is similar to 1 Maccabees, chapter 6. There Lysias convinced the king and the commanders that the peace treaty with the Jews was a good idea. Here he must convince the people of Ptolemais, who did not like the Jews. The Syrian Hegemonides remained the governor of the seacoast area. However, the people of Ptolemais were upset about the treaty with the Jews. Only the eloquent speaking of Lysias convinced and appeased them. Thus with good will, they set out for Antioch. This then is the peace treaty that took place when King Antiochus V and Lysias attacked and then withdrew.

A copy of the letter of the Romans to the Jews (1 Macc 8:22-8:30)

“This is a copy of the letter that the Romans wrote in reply on bronze tablets. They sent these bronze tablets to Jerusalem to remain with them there as a memorial of peace and alliance.

‘May all go well with the Romans!

May all go well with the nation of the Jews

At sea and on land forever.

May sword and enemy be far from them.

If war comes first to Rome

Or to any of their allies in all their dominion,

The nation of the Jews shall act

As their allies wholeheartedly,

As the occasion may indicate to them.

To the enemy who makes war

They shall not give or supply grain, arms, money, or ships,

Just as Rome has decided.

They shall keep their obligations without receiving any return.

In the same way,

If war comes first to the nation of the Jews,

The Romans shall willingly act as their allies,

As the occasion may indicate to them.

To their enemies,

There shall not be given grain, arms, money, or ships,

Just as Rome has decided.

They shall keep these obligations.

They shall do so without deceit.

Thus on these terms

The Romans make a treaty with the Jewish people.

If after these terms are in effect

Both parties shall determine to add or delete anything,

They shall do so at their discretion.

Any addition or deletion that they may make shall be valid.’”

The treaty was written on bronze tablets because it was important since bronze was used for all important documents. This continues the trend of the post-exilic Jews dependence on written documents from kings and other groups. It almost treats Rome and the Nation of the Jews on equal terms as sovereign states, which they were not. After the friendly greetings, the treaty calls for each party to protect the other as they see fit. They cannot offer any grain, arms, money, or ships to the enemy of the other. Why would the Romans enter such a treaty? They wanted to start rebellions in the various eastern areas without being involved and this was a way to have a rebellious group in the Seleucid Empire.