Some remarkable similes of war creeping on Jerusalem. A survey of the sins that brought all this trouble.
Distress and the sound of war hath my ear heard,
The sound of a trumpet announcing slaughter and calamity,
The sound of much people as of an exceeding high wind,
As a tempest with mighty fire sweeping through the Negeb.
And I said in my heart, Surely God judgeth us;
A sound I hear moving towards Jerusalem, the holy city
My loins were broken at what I heard, my knees tottered;
My heart was afraid, my bones were dismayed like flax.
I said: They establish their ways in righteousness.
I thought upon the judgments of God since the creation of heaven and earth;
I held God righteous in His judgements which have been from of old.
God bare their sins in the full light of day;
All the earth came to know the righteous judgements of God.
In secret places underground their iniquities were committed to provoke Him to anger;
They wrought confusion, son with mother and father with daughter;
They committed adultery, every man with his neighhour's wife.
They concluded covenants with one another with an oath touching these things;
They plundered the sanctuary of God, as though there was no avenger.
They trode the altar of the Lord, coming straight from all manner of uncleanness;
And with menstrual blood they defiled the sacrifices, as though these were common flesh.
They left no sin undone, wherein they surpassed not the heathen.
Therefore God mingled for them a spirit of wandering;
And gave them to drink a cup of undiluted wine, that they might become drunken.
He brought him that is from the end of the earth, that smiteth mightily;
He decreed war against Jerusalem, and against her land.
The princes of the land went to meet him with joy: they said unto him:
Blessed be thy way! Come ye, enter ye in with peace.
They made the rough ways even, before his entering in;
They opened the gates to Jerusalem, they crowned its walls.
As a father entereth the house of his sons, so he entered Jerusalem in peace;
He established his feet there in great safety.
He captured her fortresses and the wall of Jerusalem;
For God Himself led him in safety, while they wandered.
He destroyed their princes and every one wise in counsel;
He poured out the blood of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, like the water of uncleanness. p. 112
He led away their sons and daughters, whom they had begotten in defilement.
They did according to their uncleanness, even as their fathers had done:
They defiled Jerusalem and the things that had been hallowed to the name of God.
But God hath shown Himself righteous in His judgements upon the nations of the earth;
And the pious servants of God are like innocent lambs in their midst.
Worthy to be praised is the Lord that judgeth the whole earth in His righteousness.
Behold, now, O God, Thou hast shown us Thy judgement in Thy righteousness;
Our eyes have seen Thy judgements, O God.
We have justified Thy name that is honoured for ever;
For Thou are the God of righteousness, judging Israel with chastening.
Turn, O God, Thy mercy upon us, and have pity upon us;
Gather together the dispersed of Israel, with mercy and goodness;
For Thy faithfulness is with us,
And though we have stiffened our neck, yet Thou art our chastener;
Overlook us not, O our God, lest the nations swallow us up, as though there were none to deliver.
But Thou art our God from the beginning,
And upon Thee is our hope set, O Lord;
And we will not depart from Thee,
For good are Thy judgements upon us.
Ours and our children's be Thy good pleasure for ever;
O Lord, our Saviour, we shall never more be moved.
The Lord is worthy to be praised for His judgements with the mouth of His pious ones;
And blessed be Israel of the Lord for ever.