The evil in Gilgal (Hos 9:15-9:15)

“Every evil

Of theirs

Began at Gilgal.

There I began

To hate them.

Because of the wickedness

Of their deeds,

I will drive them

Out of my house.

I will love them

No more.

All their officials

Are rebels.”

Gilgal was the original west bank camping grounds, east of Jericho, in Joshua, chapters 4-5. There Saul was also anointed king in 1 Samuel, chapter 11, despite the fact that Samuel was opposed to him. Gilgal was, nevertheless, the home of the prophets Elijah and Elisha in 2 Kings, chapter 2. Yahweh, via Hosea, said that all the evil things began here at Gilgal, as they entered the promised land. Yahweh began to hate the Israelites there, because of their wicked deeds. Yahweh was going to drive them out of his house, because he was not going to love them anymore. All their officials were rebels against Yahweh.

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The assassinations of the Israelite kings (Hos 7:5-7:7)

“On the day of our king,

The officials

Became sick

With the heat of wine.

He stretched out his hand

With mockers.

They are kindled

Like an oven.

Their hearts

Burn with intrigue.

All night,

Their anger smolders.

In the morning,

It blazes

Like a flaming fire.

All of them are hot

As an oven.

They devour their rulers.

All their kings have fallen.

None of them calls upon me.”

Yahweh was upset about the northern Israelite kingdom. Even at the enthronement of the king, some conspirators, drunk with wine, were plotting an overthrow of the new king. This intrigue burned in their hearts. Finally, this smoldering anger would blaze into a flaming fire. They devoured their own rulers. Many kings had fallen. Thus, one of the wicked deeds of the northern kingdom of Israel was their various assassination plots that changed kings. At least 7 kings were murdered in this northern territory. King Pekah (737-732 BCE) had murdered King Pekahiah (7378-737 BCE), the son of King Menahem (743-738 BC). However, the worst crime of all was that no one called on Yahweh for help.

Remember your evil ways (Ezek 20:43-20:44)

“‘There you shall remember

Your ways.

There you shall remember

All the deeds

By which

You have polluted yourselves.

You shall loathe yourselves

For all the evils

That you have committed.

You shall know

That I am Yahweh,

When I deal

With you

For my name’s sake.

I will deal with you

Not according

To your evil ways,

Not according

To your corrupt doings.

O house of Israel!’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh told the house of Israel that they should remember their evil ways and wicked deeds. They had polluted themselves. Now they should loathe themselves for all the evils that they had committed. They should know that it was Yahweh that they were dealing with. Because of the name of Yahweh, Yahweh was going to deal with them, but not according to their evil ways or their corrupt activities.

The repentance in the exile (Bar 2:32-2:35)

“‘The Israelites

Will praise me

In the land

Of their exile.

They will remember

My name.

They will turn

From their stubbornness.

They will turn

From their wicked deeds.

They will remember

The ways of their ancestors,

Who sinned

Before the Lord.

I will bring them again

Into the land

That I swore

To give to their ancestors,

To Abraham,

To Isaac,

To Jacob.

They will rule

Over it.

I will increase them.

They will not be diminished.

I will make

An everlasting covenant

With them

To be their God.

They shall be my people.

I will never again

Remove

My people Israel

From the land

That I have given them.’”

Baruch recounts what Yahweh via Moses said to the people about their repentance during the exile. The Israelites would praise him in their exile country as they would remember the name of Yahweh. They would turn from their stubbornness and wicked deeds. They would remember how their ancestors had sinned. Yahweh was going to again bring them into the land that he promised to their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There they would rule in this land as they increased, not diminished, with an everlasting covenant. He would be their God. They would be his people.  He would never again remove them from the land that he had given them. We will see how that works out.

Destruction for the wicked (Ps 141:5-141:7)

“Let the righteous strike me!

Let the faithful correct me!

Never let the oil of the wicked anoint my head!

My prayer is continually against their wicked deeds.

When they are given over to those who shall condemn them,

Then they shall learn that my words were pleasant.

Like a rock that one breaks apart,

Like a rock that shatters on the land,

So shall their bones be strewn

At the mouth of Sheol.”

David said that the righteous and faithful ones should strike and correct him. However, he would never let the wicked ones anoint his head with oil or praise him in any way. In fact, he prayed continually to avoid wicked deeds. The results for the wicked were condemnation and unpleasant words. David wanted their bones to be like rocks breaking apart and being shattered all over the land so that they would end up at the mouth of the deadly underworld of Sheol.

Keep me from wicked deeds (Ps 141:3-141:4)

“Set a guard over my mouth!

Yahweh!

Keep watch over the door of my lips!

Do not turn my heart to any evil!

Do not let me busy myself

With wicked deeds

In company

With those who work iniquity!

Do not let me eat of their delicacies!”

David wanted Yahweh to guard his mouth and his lips so that he would not speak evil. He wanted Yahweh to keep his heart from evil. David did not want to busy himself with wicked deeds among those who were iniquitous. He did not want to eat of the delicacies of iniquity.