Bad times ahead (Jer 48:12-48:12)

“‘Therefore,

The time is

Surely coming.’

Says Yahweh,

‘I shall send

To him

Decanters

To decant him.

They will empty

His vessels.

They will break

His jars in pieces.’”

Yahweh warns, via Jeremiah, that he was going to send decanters to Moab soon. Decanters are those who move wine from one delicate container to another. However, these decanters were going to empty out his jars and break them into pieces to make them useless.

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Flee Moab (Jer 48:6-48:9)

“Flee!

Save yourselves!

Be like a wild ass

In the desert!

Because you trusted

In your strongholds,

With your treasures,

You also shall be taken.

Chemosh shall

Go out into exile,

With his priests,

With his attendants.

The destroyer shall come

Upon every town.

No town shall escape.

The valley shall perish.

The plain shall be destroyed.

As Yahweh has spoken.

Set aside salt for Moab.

She will surely fall.

Her towns shall become

A desolation,

With no inhabitants in them.”

Jeremiah warns the Moabites to flee and save themselves. They should take off like a wild donkey in the desert. They had trusted in their treasures and fortresses, but to no avail. The local god of Moab, Chemosh, was going to be exiled along with his priests and attendants. Every town would be destroyed, since none would escape. Both the valleys and the plains would be destroyed. All the towns of Moab would fall and become a desolation with nobody living in them. Prepare some salt for Moab to help with her wounds.

The true boasting in glory (Jer 9:23-9:24)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘Do not let the wise

Boast in their wisdom!

Do not let the mighty

Boast in their might!

Do not let not the wealthy

Boast in their wealth!

But let those who boast,

Boast in this!

They understand me.

They know me.

I am Yahweh.

I act with steadfast love.

I act with justice.

I act with righteousness in the earth.

In these things,

I delight.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh warns, via Jeremiah, that the wise should not boast in their wisdom. The mighty should not boast in their might. The wealthy should not boast in their wealth. If they want to boast it should be in understanding and knowing Yahweh. He should be their boast, because he acts with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness. Yahweh delights in those things.

The menace from the north (Jer 8:16-8:17)

“The snorting of their horses

Is heard from Dan.

At the sound of

The neighing of their stallions

The whole land quakes.

They come.

They devour the land.

They devour all that fills it.

They devour the city.

They devour all those who dwell in it.

See!

I am letting snakes loose among you.

These are adders

That cannot be charmed.

They shall bite you.’

Says Yahweh.”

Here Yahweh, via Jeremiah, warns them that the destroyer is coming from the north, much like in chapter 4 of this work. The horses and the stallions are snorting and neighing in the territory of Dan, the most northern part of Israel, near Syria. The land was beginning to quake as they are getting closer. They would come and devour the land with everything in it. They would devour their cities and everyone living there. Yahweh was going to let the snakes and the adders loose in Judah so that they would bite them.

The coming invasion (Jer 6:1-6:3)

“Flee for safety!

O children of Benjamin!

From the midst of Jerusalem!

Blow the trumpet in Tekoa!

Raise a signal on Beth-haccherem!

Evil looms out of the north!

Great destruction looms out of the north!

I have likened

My daughter Zion

To the loveliest pasture.

Shepherds with their flocks

Shall come against her.

They shall pitch their tents

Around her.

They shall pasture.

All in their places.”

Jeremiah warns the people of Benjamin, who were just north of Judah and Jerusalem. He wanted them to sound the trumpet at Tekoa, which was about 12 miles south of Jerusalem. Meanwhile at Beth-haccherem, about 2 miles south of Jerusalem, they were to raise a signal. There would be an attack on Jerusalem. The problem was that evil and great destruction was coming from the north. Zion and her lovely pastures would be threatened by shepherds who would surround them with pitched tents. This was an allusion to the armies and kings that were going to surround the towns and fields of Judah.

Sound the alarm in Judah and Jerusalem (Jer 4:5-4:6)

“Declare in Judah!

Proclaim in Jerusalem!

Say!

‘Blow the trumpet

Through the land!

Shout aloud!

Say!

‘Gather together!

Let us go Into the fortified cities!’

Raise a standard toward Zion!

Flee for safety!

Do not delay!’”

Jeremiah warns the people of Judah and Jerusalem that they ought to gather together in their fortified cities. They should sound a trumpet throughout the land, as well as shout and cry out. They should raise the standard in Zion. They should flee to safety without delay. They should get their defenses ready for an attack.

Against idolaters (Isa 57:11-57:13)

“Whom did you dread?

Whom did you fear?

Thus you lied.

You did not remember me.

You did not give me a thought.

Have I not kept silent?

Have I not closed by eyes?

Thus you do not fear me.

I will concede your righteousness.

I will concede your works.

But they will not help you.

When you cry out,

Let your collection of idols

Deliver you!

The wind will carry them off.

A breath will take them away.

Whoever takes refuge in me

Shall possess the land.

They shall inherit

My holy mountain.”

Third Isaiah warns in the first person singular what Yahweh has done with these idolaters. They no longer dreaded or feared Yahweh. They had lied to him. They did not remember or give him any thought. Yahweh had been silent and closed his eyes, so that they no longer feared him. Even though they might have been righteous and done some good things, these actions would no longer help them. If they had a problem, let them call their collection of idols to help them. The wind will carry away their useless idols. On the other hand, anyone who takes refuge in Yahweh will possess the land. They will inherit his holy mountain.