Force them to drink the cup of wrath (Jer 25:27-25:27)

“Then you shall say to them.

Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

The God of Israel!

‘Drink!

Get drunk!

Vomit!

Fall!

Rise no more!

Because I am sending

The sword

Among you.’”

Yahweh told Jeremiah what he was to say to each of these kings and rulers. The God of Israel wanted them to drink and get drunk. He wanted them to vomit and drink some more. They were going to fall down and then not be able to get up. Yahweh was going to send the sword against them to bring about their deaths.

The drinking priests and prophets (Isa 28:7-28:8)

“They also reel with wine.

They stagger with strong drink.

The priests reel with strong drink.

The prophets reel with strong drink.

They are confused with wine.

They stagger with strong drink.

They err in vision.

They stumble in giving judgment.

All tables are covered

With vomit.

No place is clean.”

Isaiah does not paint a pretty picture of these northern priests and prophets. They reel and stagger around because of strong drink. They are confused and wobble around because of their drinking habits. They have false visions and stumble when giving judgment. In colorful descriptive language, Isaiah says that their tables were so covered with vomit from drinking that there was no clean place on them.

 

The weakness of the Egyptian wise sages (Isa 19:11-19:15)

“The princes of Zoan

Are utterly foolish.

The wise counselors of Pharaoh

Give stupid counsel.

How can you say to Pharaoh?

‘I am one of the sages.

I am a descendant of the ancient kings.’

Where now are your sages?

Let them tell you!

Let them make known!

What has Yahweh of hosts

Planned against Egypt?

The princes of Zoan

Have become fools.

The princes of Memphis

Are deluded.

Those who are the cornerstones

Of its tribes

Have led Egypt astray.

Yahweh has poured into them

A spirit of confusion.

They have made Egypt

Stagger in all its doings.

They are as a drunken man

Staggers around in vomit.

Neither head nor tail,

Palm branch or reed,

Will be able to do

Something for Egypt.”

Now Isaiah attacks the wise sages of Egypt since he calls them stupid. Isaiah mentions the capital cities of Egypt, Zoan in the north and Memphis in the south. The princes and the wise men in these places were giving stupid advice. These wise sages had no idea what Yahweh was planning for them since they were like deluded fools. They were supposed to be the cornerstones of their tribes, but they were really in confusion. In colorful language, Isaiah says that they were like drunkards staggering around in their own vomit. Nobody could do anything for Egypt, head, tail, palm branch, or reed. The rulers were the head and palm trees, while the tail and the reed represented the ordinary people. They were all getting foolish stupid advice from their so-called wise sages.

Disciplined eating and sleeping (Sir 31:19-31:22)

“How ample a little is

For a well-disciplined person.

He does not breathe heavily

When in bed.

Healthy sleep depends

On moderate eating.

He rises early.

He feels fit.

The distress of sleeplessness

Is with the glutton.

The distress of nausea

Is with the glutton.

The distress of colic

Is with the glutton.

If you are overstuffed with food,

Get up to vomit.

You will have relief.

Listen to me!

My child!

Do not disregard me!

In the end,

You will appreciate my words.

In everything you do,

Be moderate!

No sickness will overtake you.”

If you are a well disciplined person, you do not need a lot of food. You should not breathe heavily or snore in bed. In fact, good sleep depends on moderate eating habits. If you get up early, you will feel fit. Being a glutton can cause sleeplessness, nausea, and indigestion. However, if you eat too much, just leave the table and go vomit. Thus we have a hint of bulimia. Sirach wants you to listen to his words. Do not disregard them, because you will appreciate them later in life. You should be moderate in all that you do, in order to avoid any kind of sickness.

The comparisons of a fool (Prov 26:4-26:12)

“Do not answer fools according to their folly.

Otherwise you will be a fool yourself.

Answer fools according to their folly.

Otherwise they will be wise in their own eyes.

To send a message by a fool is

Like cutting off one’s foot,

Like drinking down violence.

A proverb in the mouth of a fool is

Like legs of a disabled person that hang limp.

To give honor to a fool is

Like binding a stone in a sling.

A proverb in the mouth of a fool is

Like a thorn bush brandished

By the hand of a drunkard.

Whoever hires a passing fool is

Like an archer who wounds everybody

Whoever hires a drunkard is

Like an archer who wounds everybody.

A fool that reverts to his folly is

Like a dog that returns to its vomit.

Do you see persons wise in their own eyes?

There is more hope for fools than for them.”

This passage begins with two contradictory phrases about treating fools. The first sentence says not to answer them, but the second says to answer them. In the first instance you become a fool, while in the second case the fools will appear to become wise in their own eyes. If you send a message with a fool, you are like cutting your own foot. You are drinking violence. A proverb in the mouth of a fool is like the limp leg of a disabled person or a thorn bush in the hand of a drunkard. If you honor a fool, you are like tying a stone in a sling. If you hire a passing fool or a drunkard, you are like an archer wounding everyone in sight. Notice that the fool and the drunkard are almost equivalent. The fool reverts to his folly like a dog to its vomit. Anyone who thinks that they are wise in their own eyes is worse than a fool.

Patience and honey (Prov 25:14-25:16)

“Like clouds and wind

Without rain

Is one who boasts of a gift never given.

With patience

A ruler may be persuaded.

A soft tongue can break bones.

If you have found honey,

Eat only enough for you.

Otherwise having too much,

You will vomit it.”

Do not be a phony giver. Do not boast about a gift that you never gave. Then you will be like dry clouds and wind without rain. You can persuade a king with patience. A soft tongue can break bones. If you have some honey, eat just enough to be filled. Otherwise, you will eat too much and vomit it anyway. Honey seems to the favorite delicacy that people over indulge in.

Be careful who you eat with (Prov 23:6-23:8)

“Do not eat the bread of the stingy.

Do not desire their delicacies.

They are like

A hair in the throat.

They say to you.

‘Eat and drink!’

But they do not mean it.

You will vomit up

The little that you have eaten.

You will waste your pleasant words.”

Be careful who you eat with. Don’t eat the bread of the stingy. Once again there is the admonition to stay away from delicacies. They might get stuck in your throat like a hair. If they tell you to eat and drink, do not do it. They really do not mean it. You will vomit up what little you have eaten. Besides that, you will have wasted your pleasant words.