The earth reacts to Yahweh (Ps 18:7-18:8)

“Then the earth reeled.

The earth rocked.

The foundations also of the mountains trembled.

The foundations quaked.

Because Yahweh was angry.

Smoke went up from his nostrils.

Devouring fire came from his mouth.

Glowing coals flamed forth from him.”

Just like in 2 Samuel, chapter 22, Yahweh’s reaction was formidable. God was angry. The earth rocked and rolled. The foundations of the mountains and not the heavens as in 2 Samuel, trembled and quaked. Smoke and fire came from his mouth and nose. Yahweh’s face, nose, and mouth become important for expressing the feelings of the divine spiritual God. Just as in 2 Samuel, flames rose up all around with glowing coals.

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The Jewish defeat at the battle of Beth-zechariah (1 Macc 6:40-6:47)

“Now a part of the king’s army was spread out on the high hills. Some troops were on the plain. They advanced steadily and in good order. All heard the noise made by their multitude. All heard the marching of the multitude and the clanking of their arms. Everyone trembled for the army was very large and strong. But Judas and his army advanced to the battle. Six hundred of the king’s army fell. Eleazar, called Avaran, saw that one of the beasts was equipped with royal armor. It was taller than all the others. He supposed that the king was on it. So he gave his life to save his people and win for himself an everlasting name. He courageously ran into the midst of the phalanx to reach it. He killed men right and left. They parted before him on both sides. He got under the elephant. He stabbed it from beneath and killed it. However, it fell to the ground upon him and he died. When the Jews saw the royal might and the fierce attack of the forces, they turned away in flight.”

The king’s army was in the hills and on the plains. They marched in a steady good order. They made a great noise by marching with their clanking arms. Everyone was afraid of this large and strong army. However, Judas and his men attacked the king’s men and killed 600 of them. Then Eleazar, the brothr of Judas, decided to attack the elephant who he thought was carrying the king because of the royal armor. He set out to kill people as they got out of his way. He went under the elephant and then stabbed it. However, the elephant fell on him as it died and crushed him to death. Now when the Jews saw this and the fierce attack of the king’s men, they fled.

Haman was happy (Esth 5:9-5:13)

“Haman went out that day from the king happy and in good spirits. But when he saw Mordecai the Jew in the courtyard, and observed that he neither rose nor trembled before him, he was infuriated with Mordecai. Nevertheless Haman restrained himself. He went home. Then he sent and called for his friends and his wife Zeresh. Haman recounted to them the splendor of his riches and the number of his sons. He told them about all the promotions with which the king had honored him. He explained how he had advanced above the officials and ministers of the king. Haman added.

‘Even Queen Esther let no one but me

Come with the king to the banquet that she prepared.

Tomorrow also I am invited by her,

Together with the king.

Yet all this does me no good,

As long as I see the Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.’”

Haman was very happy as he left the king and Queen Esther. However, when he saw Mordecai in the courtyard, he was angry. Mordecai would not recognize his authority, but Haman remained calm and went home. Once at home, he called his friends and wife and told them how wonderful things were going. Haman was a rich man with many sons. He had been promoted and honored by the king. He was the second in command in the kingdom. In fact, he had been the only one invited to a dinner with the king and his wife that day and once again he was invited tomorrow. There was only one thing that really bothered him, the Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.

The Israelite victory (Jdt 16:11-16:12)

“Then my oppressed people shouted.

My weak people cried out.

The enemy trembled.

They lifted up their voices.

The enemy was turned back.

Sons of slave girls pierced them through.

They were wounded like the children of fugitives.

They perished before the army of my Lord.”

The victory chant came last. The weak people got courage. Now the enemy trembled at the Israelite shout. The sons of slave girls defeated the trained soldiers. This may be an illusion to the fact that some of the people of the land may have been involved in this attack. The enemy was like fugitive wounded children dying before the great army of the Lord.