Yahweh will not have pity (Zech 11:6-11:6)

“Says Yahweh.

‘I will no longer have pity

On the inhabitants

Of the earth.

I will cause

Every one of them

To fall,

Each into the hand

Of a neighbor,

Each into the hand

Of his king.

They shall devastate

The earth.

I will deliver no one

From their hand.’”

Yahweh was clear here.  There would be no pity on any of the inhabitants of the earth.  All of them would fall into the hands of his or her neighbor or king.  If you were the good neighbor, you won, since the others fell into your hand.  The earth would be devastated.  No one would be saved.  Either they died in civil wars or the kings killed them.

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The example of Jacob (Hos 12:2-12:6)

“Yahweh has an indictment

Against Judah.

He will punish Jacob

According to his ways.

He will repay him

According to his deeds.

In the womb,

He tried to supplant

His brother.

In his manhood,

He strove with God.

He strove

With the angel.

He prevailed.

He wept.

He sought his favor.

He met him

At Bethel.

There God spoke

with him.

Yahweh!

The God of hosts!

Yahweh is his name!

But as for you,

Return to your God!

Hold fast

To love!

Hold fast

To justice!

Wait continually

For your God.”

Here Hosea referred to the stories about Jacob in Genesis, chapters 25, 28, 32, and 35. Somehow, this is an indictment against Judah and not Israel. Jacob should have been punished and repaid for his bad deeds. He had tried to supplant his brother. He actually tricked his father, but there is no mention of that. He wrestled with God or an angel, and won. Yet he wept and sought out God at Bethel. There, God spoke to him to tell him that his name was Yahweh. He wanted Jacob, Judah, Israel, and Ephraim to hold fast to love and justice. They were to continually wait for God.

The attack of the south (Dan 11:11-11:13)

“Then the king of the south,

Moved with rage,

Shall go out.

He shall do battle

Against

The king of the north.

He mustered

A great multitude,

That was defeated

By his enemy.

When the multitude

Has been carried off,

His heart shall be exalted.

He shall overthrow

Tens of thousands.

But he shall not prevail.

The king of the north

Shall again raise a multitude,

Larger than the former.

After some years,

He shall advance

With a great army,

With abundant supplies.”

The king of the south was King Ptolemy IV (221-204 BCE). He had a number of battles with the northern King Antiochus III (222-187 BCE). King Ptolemy IV won at Raphia (217 BCE), when he took over the Palestine Judean area. However, he lost other battles. The northern King Antiochus III enlarged his empire on all sides. later. He gathered together a great army with a lot of supplies, as he also made a pact with Philip V of Macedonia (221-179 BCE).

The weeping Jerusalem (Lam 1:16-1:16)

Ayin

“I weep

For these things.

My eyes

Flow with tears.

A comforter is

Far from me.

There is no one

To revive

My courage.

My children are

Desolate.

The enemy has

Prevailed.”

Once again, we have Jerusalem speaking in the first person singular, weeping and crying with eyes filled with tears. There is no one to comfort or revive her courage. They all seem so far away. Her children are desolate because the enemy has won. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Ayin. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

Judas Maccabeus prepares to attack (2 Macc 15:6-15:11)

“Thus Nicanor in his utter boastfulness and arrogance had determined to erect a public monument of victory over Judas and his forces. But Judas Maccabeus did not cease to trust with all confidence that he would get help from the Lord. He exhorted his troops not to fear the attack of the gentiles. Rather, they should keep in mind the former times when help had come to them from heaven. They were now to look for the victory which the All powerful would give them. Encouraging them from the law and the prophets, he reminded them also of the struggles they had won. He made them the more eager. When he had aroused their courage, he issued his orders. At the same time he pointed out the perfidy of the gentiles and their violation of oaths. He armed each of them not so much with confidence in shields and spears as with the inspiration of brave words. He cheered them all by relating a dream, a sort of vision, which was worthy of belief.”

Nicanor was so confident that he wanted to create a public monument of his victory over Judas Maccabeus that not yet happened. On the other hand, Judas Maccabeus was confident that his help would come from the Lord. He told his troops not to feat the attack of the gentiles. They should remember the former times when help came from heaven. Victory would come from the all powerful God. He encouraged them by reading from the Law and the prophets and all their struggles. The troops became more eager to fight as their courage was aroused. Judas also pointed out the lying and the violations of the gentiles. They had confidence in their shields and spears, but his troops would have confidence in the inspired words of God. He cheered them all by talking about a visionary dream.