The Moabites seek refuge in Judah (Isa 16:1-16:2)

“Send lambs

To the ruler of the land,

From Sela,

By way of the desert,

To the mount

Of the daughter of Zion.

Like fluttering birds,

Like scattered nestlings,

So are the daughters of Moab

At the fords of the Arnon.”

The Moabites were going to send lambs to the ruler of Judah at Mount Zion. They were going to send these lambs from Sela, the capital of Edom, another country south of Moab that was supposedly descended from Lot’s daughters. These lambs would go via the desert. Meanwhile, the daughters or women of Moab were at the banks of the Arnon River that was on the borders between Moab and the Reuben territory. There they were like fluttering birds or young nestling birds waiting for help or a place to land. The Moabites were appealing to Judah and Jerusalem.

Declaration of Isaiah to his disciples (Isa 8:16-8:20)

“Bind up the testimony!

Seal the teaching

Among my disciples!

I will wait for Yahweh,

Who is hiding his face

From the house of Jacob.

I will hope in him.

See!

I am a sign.

The children

Whom Yahweh has given me

Are portents in Israel

From Yahweh of hosts.

He dwells on Mount Zion.

Now if people say to you.

‘Consult the wizard ghosts!

Consult with the familiar spirits

Who chirp and mutter!’

Should not a people consult their gods?

Should they not consult the dead

On behalf of the living

For teaching,

For instruction?

Surely those who speak like this

Will have no dawn.”

Isaiah wanted his disciples to have and keep his testimony. He wanted his teachings to be put aside and bound up his works. This is probably why we have so many oracles of Isaiah. He was waiting on Yahweh, the Lord, who was hiding his face from the house of Jacob. However, Isaiah had hope because he and his children were signs or omens of good things to come. He knew that Yahweh lived on Mount Zion. He then warned his disciples not to be fooled when people told them to consult with various idol gods, ghosts, mediums, wizards, or spirits to find out what to do. Why would you want to consult with the dead to find out instructions on how to live? As he points out, people like this probably will not see the dawn, since they are destined for death.

False tongue (Sir 28:22-28:26)

“A false tongue

Has no power

Over the godly.

They will not be burned

In its flame.

Whoever forsakes the Lord

Will fall into its power.

It will burn among them.

It will not be put out.

It will be sent out against them

Like a lion.

Like a leopard,

It will mangle them.

As you fence in your property

With thorns,

So make a door.

Make a bolt

For your mouth.

As you lock up your silver,

So make balances

For your words.

As you lock up your gold,

So make scales

For your words.

Take care!

Do not err

With your tongue.

Otherwise you will fall victim

To one lying in wait.”

Sirach says that this false tongue does not have any power over the godly. They will not be burned by its flames. However, those who forsake the Lord will fall under the power of these false tongues. The fire will burn in them so that they will not be able to put out this fire. They will feel like they are being attacked by a lion or mauled by a leopard. You need to put a door and a bolt on your mouth just as you fence in your property with thorn bushes to keep you from false speech. You should weigh what you say and balance your words, just as you protect your silver and gold. Do not make mistakes with your tongue by falling victim to those who are waiting to catch you.

Instructions about the poor (Sir 4:1-4:5)

“My child!

Do not cheat the poor of their living!

Do not keep needy eyes waiting!

Do not grieve the hungry!

Do not anger one in need!

Do not add to the troubles of the desperate!

Do not delay giving to the needy!

Do not reject a suppliant in distress!

Do not turn your face away from the poor!

Do not avert your eye from the needy!

Do not give anyone a reason to curse you!”

Here are a series of instructions about how you were to treat poor people. You should not cheat them of the living wages. You should not keep them waiting or grieving. You should not make them angry or desperate. You should not delay their requests. You should not turn your face or eye away from the poor. You should not give them any reason to curse at you.

Your servant (Ps 119:121-119:128)

Ain

“I have done what is just.

I have done what is right.

Do not leave me to my oppressors.

Guarantee your servant’s well being.

Do not let the godless oppress me.

My eyes fail from watching

For your salvation.

My eyes fail from watching

For the fulfillment of your righteous promise.

Deal with your servant

According to your steadfast love.

Teach me your statutes.

I am your servant.

Give me understanding.

Thus I may know your decrees.

It is time for Yahweh to act.

Your law has been broken.

Truly I love your commandments

More than gold,

More than fine gold.

Truly I direct my steps by all your precepts.

I hate every false way.”

The psalmist believes that he is the servant of God. He has always done what is just and right. As usual, he did not want to be left to his oppressors. He wanted to be protected against the godless men. His eyes were beginning to fail because he has been waiting for salvation and righteous promises. Of course, he wanted to feel the steadfast love of Yahweh. He wanted to learn and understand about the decrees of Yahweh. He wanted Yahweh to act now because his laws were broken. The psalmist loved the commandments of Yahweh more than even fine gold. He wanted all his steps to follow the precepts of Yahweh. He hated false ways. So ends this section on the sixteenth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Ain.

The deadly illness (Ps 41:8-41:9)

“They think

That a deadly thing has fastened on me.

I will not rise again

From where I lie.

Even my bosom friend,

In whom I trusted,

Who ate of my bread,

Has lifted his heel against me.”

Both David’s enemies and friends have turned against him during this deadly illness. The enemies thought that he would never get out of bed again. Even some friend, whom he trusted and broke bread with, had lifted his heel against him. David was feeling very lonely. Everyone was waiting for his death.

Asking for forgiveness (Ps 39:6-39:10)

“Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.

Surely for nothing they are in turmoil.

They heap up.

They do not know who will gather!

Now Lord!

What do I wait for?

My hope is in you!

Deliver me from all my transgressions!

Do not make me the scorn of the fool!

I am silent.

I do not open my mouth.

It is you who have done it.

Remove your stroke from me.

I am worn down

By the blows of your hand.”

Everyone is like a shadow since they are in turmoil. They are confused. However, the psalmist is not confused because he is waiting on Yahweh. His hope is in Yahweh. He wants God to forgive his transgressions since he did not want to be the scorn of the fools. This psalmist felt that God had hit him pretty hard with his hands but he had remained silent.

Waiting for Yahweh (Ps 38:15-38:16)

“But it is for you!

Yahweh!

That I wait!

It is you!

Yahweh!

My God!

You will answer!

I pray!

‘Only do not let them rejoice over me!

Those who boast against me

When my foot slips!’”

David is waiting for Yahweh. Only he could answer him. Yahweh was his God. He just prayed that they would not rejoice over him in case his foot slipped. They were just waiting for him to fail. David had hope and trust in waiting for Yahweh.

Elihu maintains that Job speaks out of ignorance (Job 35:9-35:16)

“Because of the multitude of oppressions

People cry out.

They call for help

Because of the arm of the mighty.

But none says.

‘Where is God my Maker?

Where is one who gives strength in the night?

Where is one who teaches us more than the animals of the earth?

Where is one who makes us wiser than the birds of the air?’

There they cry out,

But he does not answer,

Because of the pride of evildoers.

Surely God does not hear an empty cry.

Nor does the Almighty Shaddai regard it.

How much less when you say

That you do not see him.

The case is before him.

You are waiting for him!

Now because his anger does not punish,

He does not greatly heed transgression.

Job opens his mouth in empty talk.

He multiplies words without knowledge.”

Elihu said that people are always crying out because of oppression. However, God does not hear the empty cry of the evil doer. The almighty God does not hear because of the pride of the evil doer. Job claimed that he was waiting for a reply to the transgressions against him. However, the problem was that of Job since he used empty talk without any knowledge.

The seventh son speaks out (2 Macc 7:30-7:38)

“While she was still speaking, the young man said.

‘What are you waiting for?

I will not obey the king’s command.

I obey the command of the law

That was given to our ancestors through Moses.

You have contrived all sorts of evil against the Hebrews.

You will certainly not escape the hands of God.

We are suffering because of our own sins.

If our living Lord is angry for a little while,

To rebuke and discipline us,

He will again be reconciled with his own servants.

You are an unholy wretch.

You are the most defiled of all men.

Do not be elated in vain.

Do not be puffed up by uncertain hopes,

When you raise your hand against the children of heaven.

You have not yet escaped

The judgment of the almighty, all-seeing God.

Our brothers,

After enduring a brief suffering.

They have drunk of ever-flowing life,

Under God’s covenant.

But you,

By the judgment of God,

You will receive just punishment for your arrogance.

I, like my brothers,

Give up body and life for the laws of our ancestors.

We, appeal to God,

To show mercy soon to our nation.

By afflictions and plagues,

We will make you confess that he alone is God.

Through me and my brothers

To bring to an end the wrath of the Almighty

That has justly fallen on our whole nation.’”

The last young son finally spoke out. He asked the king what he was waiting for. He was not going to obey the king. He only obeyed the Mosaic laws. In fact, he threatened the king, saying that he would not escape the wrath of God. They were suffering for their sins, being disciplined for a little while. However, King Antiochus IV was an unholy wretch, the most defiled of all humans. The judgment of the almighty God was coming to him. He could not escape from the all seeing God. His brothers would have an ever-flowing life. He would receive an eternal judgment. They were giving up their bodies for the laws of their ancestors, hoping for mercy. Perhaps this would help others to see that God alone was in charge. This was a very strong theological development of about the meaning and person of God.