Temporary fickle love (Hos 6:4-6:5)

“What shall I do with you?

O Ephraim!

What shall I do with you?

O Judah!

Your love is

Like a morning cloud.

Your love is

Like the dew

That goes away early.

Therefore,

I have hewn them

By the prophets.

I have killed them

By the words

Of my mouth.

My judgment

Goes forth

As the light.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, wanted to know what he was going to do with Ephraim and Judah. Their love was like a morning cloud that dissipated or the morning dew that vanished with the sun. Yahweh had cut down the prophets and killed them with his words. His judgment was light in the day. They would suffer for their fickle love of Yahweh.

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A lamentation for Tyre (Ezek 26:17-26:18)

“The princes of the sea

Will raise

A lamentation

Over you.

They will say

To you.

‘How you have vanished

From the seas!

O city renowned!

Once mighty one

On the sea!

You!

Your inhabitants!

You imposed

Your terror

On all the mainland!

Now coastlands

Tremble On the day

Of your fall!

The coastlands

By the sea

Are dismayed

At your passing.’”

The princes of the sea or the trading partners of Tyre would lament over what had happened to Tyre, since it had vanished from the seas. This once renowned city had been a mighty force on the Mediterranean Sea. They and their inhabitants had imposed terror on all the mainland towns. Now these coastland towns were trembling because they had lost this mercantile seaside town. They saw what had happened to Tyre. Thus they were dismayed by the passing and demise of Tyre.

The false pursuits (Bar 3:15-3:19)

“Who has found

Her place?

Who has entered

Her storehouses?

Where are the rulers

Of the nations?

Where are those

Who lorded it over

The animals on earth?

Where are those

Who have made sport

Of the birds of the air?

Where are those

Who hoarded up

Silver with gold

In which people trust ?

Where are those

With no end

To their getting?

Where are those

Who schemed

To get silver?

Where are those

Who are anxious?

There is no trace

Of their works.

They have vanished.

They have gone down

To Hades.

Others have arisen

In their place.”

Baruch talks about the vanity and uselessness of various life pursuits as in wisdom literature. What happens to people who store up treasures in a storehouse? Where are all the rulers of the various nations? Where are all the people who felt superior to animals. Where are the sportsmen who tried to shoot the birds in the air with their arrows? What happened to all those who hoarded up and put their trust in silver and gold? Where are all the people who never had enough? Where are those who schemed to get silver? Where are all the people who were so anxious? Baruch’s response is simple and clear. There is no trace of any of these people and their works. They have vanished and gone to hell, Hades, the Greek word for Sheol, the shadowy underworld that we often call hell. However, there are always others to take their place to do the same thing over and over again.

The questions for Edom (Jer 49:7-49:9)

“Concerning Edom!

Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

‘Is there no longer wisdom

In Teman?

Has counsel perished

From the prudent?

Has their wisdom vanished?

Flee!

Turn back!

Get down low!

O inhabitants of Dedan!

I will bring

The calamity of Esau

Upon him,

Like the time

When I punished him.

If grape-gatherers

Came to you,

Would they not

Leave gleanings?

If thieves came

By night,

Would they not pillage

Only what they wanted?”

Edom was south of the Dead Sea, south of Moab and south of Judah. Its biblical origin was the place where Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, went to live in Genesis, chapter 36. Yahweh has a series of questions for Edom. What happened to their wisdom, especially at Teman, perhaps a tribal group in Edom, since Teman was the name of the grandson of Esau. One of Job’s friends Eliphaz was a Temanite. Obadiah, an almost unknown minor prophet, seemed to take some of this diatribe against Edom into most of his work. Something has happened to the counsel and prudence of Edom. Has all their wisdom vanished? Dedan was a tribe involved in commerce. Both grape gatherers and thieves would leave something behind. They would not take everything. Thus the grape pickers would leave some grapes for the later gleaners to come along and get some of these overlooked grapes. The same is true about nightly thieves who would only take what they needed.

Yahweh destroys the wicked (Ps 9:5-9:6)

“You have rebuked the nations.

You have destroyed the wicked.

You have blotted out their name forever and ever.

The enemies have vanished in everlasting ruins.

You hast rooted out their cities.

The very memory of them has perished.”

Yahweh has destroyed the wicked enemies of David. He has rebuked the pagan nations and blotted out their name forever. They have vanished into everlasting ruins. Their cities have been rooted out as their memory has perished. It was not good to be an enemy of David.

The high priest Onias prays for the life of Heliodorus (2 Macc 3:31-3:34)

“Some of Heliodorus’ friends quickly begged Onias to call upon the Most High in order to grant life to one who was lying almost at his last breath. The high priest, fearing that the king might get the notion that some foul play had been perpetrated by the Jews with regard to Heliodorus, offered sacrifice for the man’s recovery. While the high priest was making an atonement sacrifice, the same young men appeared again to Heliodorus dressed in the same clothing. They stood and said.

‘Be very grateful to Onias the high priest,

Since for his sake

The Lord has granted you your life.

See that you,

Who have been scourged by heaven,

Report to all people

The majestic power of God.’

Having said this they vanished.”

Some of the friends of Heliodorus begged Onias to call upon God to grant him life as he was nearly on his last breath. The high priest Onias thought that this was a good idea. He did not want the king to think that the Jews had killed Heliodorus with foul play when he merely came to investigate some money problems. He then offered sacrifices for Heliodorus. Then the same 3 men who had appeared when they kicked and wiped Heliodorus to near death appeared again. This time they spoke, unlike last time when they simply acted. They told Heliodorus to be thankful that the high priest Onias had prayed for him. The Lord was going to save his life. In return, Heliodorus was to tell all people about the majestic power of God. When they were finished, they disappeared. Thus the 3 mysterious men reappear to save the life of Heliodorus.