God gets angry then calms down
Good people lose1
Good people die
And no one cares.
Evil comes along
And carries them away.
And they’ll rest in peace when it comes.
Son of a what?3
As for you,
You son of a witch,
You daughter of a whore,
And you’re sticking out your tongue? Really?
Aren’t you the kids born to lying sinners?
5 I’m talking about those who jump each other’s bones
Under every green tree they find?
You wretched people kill children in the valleys
And in the cracks and clefts of the rocky hills.
6 You handpick smooth stones
That rolled down into ravines.
Then you worship them
With offerings of grain and wine.
You think that worship will stop me
From lowering the boom on you?
Adding sex to a worship service7
You have sex on the hilltops.
Then you finish with a sacrifice.
You hide your idols from others.
Those rocks are the proof you deserted me.
You love those sex rituals, don’t you?
And you have an eye for the naked.
9 You worshiped Molech
With olive oil and perfume.
You sent your ambassadors to faraway lands.
And you even consulted the dead.
10 You grew tired of it all.
But you never quite quit.
Your arousal would always come back.
It kept you where you remain.
No fear of God11
Who frightens you so much
That you turned against me
And don’t give me a second thought?
Have I been silent so long
That you have no reason to fear what I’ll do?
Your idols won’t help when I do.
13 You’ll cry for help, but your idols can’t hear.
See if they’ll raise a dead spirit or take a deep breath.
But I’ll tell you this, whoever comes to me for help
Gets to live with me on my holy hills.
14 The LORD says:
“Build a road for my people.
Build it, then get out of their way.”
15 That’s from the High and Holy God
Who lives in a high and holy place.
Yet he loves the humble people,
Revives them when they repent,
And energizes their spirits.
God takes a gentler approach16
I’m not going to get in your face forever,
Accusing you, punishing you.
Why would I?
I’m the one who put that breath in your lungs.
So, I punished you and walked away in disgust.
But you kept on sinning, nonetheless.
18 I see how they live.
But I’ll heal them.
I’ll take them by the hand and lead them.
When they cry about what they’ve done,
I’ll offer my comfort.
19 I’ll speak to them with encouraging words:
“Peace to you.
Whether you’re nearby or far away,
peace to you.”
20 But it won’t be like that for the wicked.
They’re like a wild sea, churning up muck and mire.
21 There’s no peace on the wild sea,
No peace among the wicked.
The setting of this chapter is uncertain because the Hebrew text is hard to interpret (ditto difficult verses 6, 8, 11, 19) Many scholars seem to place the Jews back in their homeland, after the 50-year exile in what is now Iraq. Babylonian invaders leveled Jerusalem in 586 BC and deported many of the surviving Jews.
This could refer to resting in peace after death or surviving long enough to enjoy the peace that eventually comes to Jerusalem again.
The outdoor sex and the killing of children may refer to worship rituals that the Jews picked up from neighbors such as the Phoenicians in what is now Lebanon.
Israelites sacrificed children to Molech or other Canaanite gods. Two kings among them: Ahaz and later his grandson Manasseh (2 Kings 16:3; 2 Kings 21:6).
More literally, “you make your bed.” It’s likely a euphemistic way of talking about fertility rituals that try to invoke Canaanite gods to provide fertility in family, fields, and flocks. Throughout the early centuries, Jews were constantly tempted to think of the LORD as the god of war with local Canaanite gods in charge of other aspects of life, such as farming and baby-making.
Scholars debate who or what Molech was and whether children were literally sacrificed or perhaps figuratively presented to Molech and dedicated to him. Many scholars say Molech was a god, because of the way Bible writers describe people prostituting themselves to Molech (Leviticus 20:5). Most scholars seem to agree that some people of Israel “built places to worship Baal so they could burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to Molech” (Jeremiah 32:35 New Century Version).
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.