Yahweh gave them one last chance to convert to him. He wanted this shameless country to gather together to seek him. If they did not, they would be driven away like useless chaff. If they did not, the anger of Yahweh would come upon them on the day of his wrath. The humble or the poor of the land should seek Yahweh. All they had to do was to follow his commandments. They had to seek righteousness and humility. Then perhaps, on the day of Yahweh’s wrath, they would be hidden or stored away from his anger. There still was a chance for these righteous humble poor people.
Yahweh, via Jeremiah, said that he was going to stir up a very destructive wind against Babylon and the people of Leb-qamai, which is a cryptogram for Kasdim in Chaldea. Yahweh was going to send winnowers, people who separate chaff from the good grain, who would throw grain into the air and let the wind take away the useless chaff. These winnowers were going to empty out the land of Babylon. All of this would happen on a future day of trouble when people would come from all sides against her. In the Septuagint Greek translation, this long chapter is numbered 28, not chapter 51 as here.
Yahweh was concerned that they did not realize what was going to happen to them. Was it their iniquity that led them to this point? Yes, they would be ashamed, because their skirts would be lifted up, as they will be sexually violated. The problem is that they cannot change their ways. Just like the Ethiopians with their dark skin cannot change their skin color, so neither can a leopard change its spots. They had become so accustomed to evil that they could not do any good things anymore. Thus Yahweh will scatter them like useless chaff with a strong desert wind.
Once again, Yahweh assumes the first person singular in Second Isaiah. He seems a little derogatory at first calling the Israelites the worm Jacob and the insect Israel. However, it is clear that he is here to help. He was going to be the Redeemer and the Holy One of Israel, no questions asked. He was going to make the Israelites strong, new, and sharp. They would be a teeth threshing sledge to beat up the crop. Instead of crops, they would go out and crush the mountains and the hills until they become like useless chaff. In other words they were to winnow or separate the grain from the chaff. Then they were to let the wind and the storms carry this chaff away and scatter it. They were to rejoice and glory in Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment.
There are not sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
Yahweh watches over the way of the righteous.
However, the way of the wicked will perish.”
The opposite of the happy righteous person is the wicked person. They have chosen the other way, the bad way, not the path of Yahweh and the law. They are like the useless chaff that falls away from the grain. The wind will drive them away. The wicked cannot stand in judgment before Yahweh. Does this mean the last judgment or is this a near term earthly judgment? There will be no sinners in the congregation of the righteous. Yahweh watches over and protects the righteous, but the wicked will perish. There is a self-righteousness about the blessed ones so that they do not allow sinners among them. Yahweh’s protection keeps them from perishing like the wicked ones. The choice of the 2 ways is clear with this parallelism between the righteous and the wicked. The blessed, the righteous, the strong trees, the lovers of the law are with Yahweh. The sinful wicked, on the other hand will be blown away in the threshing floor. They will not be able to stand so that they will perish. The moral choice is yours, righteous or wicked.