No more pity for Jerusalem (Jer 15:6-15:9)

“Says Yahweh.

‘You have rejected me!

You are going backward.

I have stretched out my hand

Against you.

I destroyed you.

I am weary of relenting.

I have winnowed them

With a winnowing fork

In the gates of the land.

I have bereaved them.

I have destroyed my people.

They did not turn from their ways.

I have made their widows

More numerous than the sand of the seas.

I have brought

Against the mothers of young men

A destroyer at noonday.

I have made anguish fall on her suddenly.

I have made terror fall on her suddenly.

She who bore seven has languished.

She has swooned away.

Her sun went down

While it was yet day.

She has been shamed.

She has been disgraced.

The rest of them

I will give to the sword

Before their enemies.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, says that they have rejected and turned against him. Thus Yahweh stretched out his hand and destroyed them. He was tired of forgiving them. He tried to winnow them out to find the good ones. He made them sad by destroying them. They would not turn away from their evil ways. Thus they may have more widows than all the sand in the seas. That is quite a big hyperbolic number. The destroyer came at noon against young mothers. Even strong women who had 7 children were fainting. The sun was setting before the day was done since they were ashamed and disgraced. Anyone left over would suffer the hardship of the deadly sword.

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Yahweh the Redeemer (Isa 41:14-41:16)

“‘Do not fear!

You worm Jacob!

You insects of Israel!

I will help you!’

Says Yahweh.

Your Redeemer!

The Holy One of Israel!

‘Now I will make of you

A threshing sledge,

Sharp,

New,

Having teeth.

You shall thresh the mountains.

You shall crush them.

You shall make the hills

Like chaff.

You shall winnow them.

The wind shall carry them away.

The tempest shall scatter them.

You shall rejoice in Yahweh!

You shall glory in the Holy One of Israel!’”

Once again, Yahweh assumes the first person singular in Second Isaiah. He seems a little derogatory at first calling the Israelites the worm Jacob and the insect Israel. However, it is clear that he is here to help. He was going to be the Redeemer and the Holy One of Israel, no questions asked. He was going to make the Israelites strong, new, and sharp. They would be a teeth threshing sledge to beat up the crop. Instead of crops, they would go out and crush the mountains and the hills until they become like useless chaff. In other words they were to winnow or separate the grain from the chaff. Then they were to let the wind and the storms carry this chaff away and scatter it. They were to rejoice and glory in Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel.