While Yahweh decides to punish Israel for its idolatrous ways, he promises to have mercy.
God articulates his wrath: “Like a bear robbed of her young I attack them and rip open the casing of their hearts; I will devour them there like a lion, the beasts of the field shall mangle them!” (v. 8 )
III. Important Verses
1-2: When Ephraim spoke piety, He was exalted in Israel; But he incurred guilt through Baal, And so he died. And now they go on sinning; They have made them molten images, Idols, by their skill, from their silver, Wholly the work of craftsmen. Yet for these they appoint men to sacrifice; They are wont to kiss calves!
4: Only I the LORD have been your God Ever since the land of Egypt; You have never known a [true] God but Me, You have never had a helper other than Me.
6-9: When they grazed, they were sated; When they were sated, they grew haughty; And so they forgot Me. So I am become like a lion to them, Like a leopard I lurk on the way; Like a bear robbed of her young I attack them And rip open the casing of their hearts; I will devour them there like a lion, The beasts of the field shall mangle them. You are undone, O Israel! You had no help but Me.
14: From Sheol itself I will save them, Redeem them from very Death. Where, O Death, are your plagues? Your pestilence where, O Sheol? Revenge shall be far from My thoughts.
1-2. Israel’s idol worship
3. Israel’s punishment
4-9. God is Israel’s God, even if he punishes them
10-11. Israel’s kings are futile
12. Israel’s guilt
13. Birthstool metaphor
14. God will have mercy
15. Dry winds for Israel
No comment today. Stay tuned.
VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Photo taken from http://ragamuffinsalt.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/scary-bear.jpg