Oracle about the mighty nation (Isa 18:1-18:2)

“O land of whirring wings!

Beyond the rivers of Ethiopia!

They send ambassadors

By the Nile River

In vessels of papyrus

On the waters.

Go!

You swift messengers!

Go to a tall nation!

Go to a smooth nation!

Go to a people

Feared near and far!

Go to a mighty nation!

Go to a conquering nation!

Go to a nation

Whose land the rivers divide!”

Quite often Egypt and Ethiopia were united together. The older name of Ethiopia was Kush, one of the older sons of Ham, the son of Noah. Thus there was some relationship with them. Here it seems that they have swift ambassadors that use papyrus paper like vessels to deliver messages. The reference to a tall, smooth, mighty, and conquering nation could be Egypt, since there is a division between Ethiopia and Egypt.

The fate of the children of the ungodly (Wis 4:3-4:6)

“But the prolific brood of the ungodly

Will be of no use.

None of their illegitimate seedlings

Will strike a deep root.

They will not take a firm hold.

Even if they put forth boughs for a while,

Standing insecurely,

They will be shaken

By the wind.

They will be uprooted

By the violence of the winds.

Their branches will be broken off

Before they come to maturity.

Their fruit will be useless.

It will not be ripe enough to eat.

It is good for nothing.

Children born of unlawful unions

Are witnesses of evil

Against their parents,

When God examines them.”

This author makes a comparison between the children of the ungodly (ἀσεβῶν) from unlawful unions and a tree. Even if they have a lot of children, they will be of no use. These children will not have deep roots so that they will not last. The strong winds will uproot them. The branches of these trees, if they survive, will break off before they reach maturity. They will have useless fruit that will not be ripe enough to eat. The children of these unlawful unions (ἀνόμων ὕπνων τέκνα) are witnesses to the evil (μάρτυρές εἰσι πονηρίας) of their parents. God will examine them. Just as in the preceding chapter, this is a very strong rebuke of the so-called bastard children of these ungodly unlawful unions.

Enjoy life (Wis 2:6-2:9)

“Come!

Therefore!

Let us enjoy the good things that exist!

Make use of creation to the full

As in youth.

Let us take our fill of costly wine!

Let us take our fill of perfumes!

Let no flower of spring pass us by.

Let us crown ourselves

With rosebuds before they wither.

Let none of us fail to share in our revelry.

Everywhere let us leave signs of enjoyment.

Because this is our portion,

This is our lot.”

Once again, following the advice of Qoheleth in Ecclesiastes, we should enjoy life and not worry because all is vanity. These impious people want to enjoy all the existing good things, the use of all creation as they had done in their youth. They wanted to enjoy costly wine, perfumes, and the flowers of spring. They should be crowned with rosebuds as well as share in their revelry. They should enjoy themselves because this was their portion and lot in life.

Hatred (Prov 10:12-10:18)

“Hatred stirs up strife.

But love covers all offenses.

On the lips of him who has understanding

Wisdom is found.

But a rod is for the back

Of one who lacks sense.

The wise lay up knowledge.

But the babbling of a fool brings ruin near.

The wealth of the rich is their fortress.

But the poverty of the poor is their ruin.

The wage of the righteous leads to life.

But the gain of the wicked is to sin.

Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,

But one who rejects a rebuke goes astray.

Lying lips conceal hatred.

But whoever utters slander is a fool.”

Hatred stirs up things. However, love covers all faults. Wise lips have understanding. However, for the senseless they need a rod slap on the back. The wise ones have knowledge, but the babbling fools have nothing but ruin. The rich use wealth as a fortress. The poverty of the poor brings them to ruin. The righteous will have life, while the wicked will simply sin. When you follow instructions, you are on the path to life. However, if you reject a rebuke, you are probably going astray. Lying lips conceal hatred, but fools are slanderers.