This is another metaphorical tale, but creepier and deeply disturbing. Definitely not bedtime reading for the kids. There are a couple of curious verses near the beginning. The insult in v 3 “You are nothing but a Canaanite! Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite” reminds me of this line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The story continues with the description in v 4 of the practice of rubbing a newborn baby with salt. Huh? I read several websites in search of a possible reason for this, and found as many answers as websites – in other words, I don’t think the historical reason is clear. This book offered the most possibilities and made as much sense as any.
As for the rest of the chapter – just wow! The metaphor of Jerusalem as a baby, first adopted by Yahweh and later married to him and spurned by him, gives me shivers. Yahweh`s rant about her betrayal carries on for 63 verses. The level of his (or the author’s) hatred towards women freaked me out, as did the frequent use references to whores, harlots, prostitutes, adulterers (unhealthy attitude toward sex, much?) (see v 33-34). His judgement section begins with v 35, as his anger escalates to a cold fury. Bookmark this chapter to quote next time an apologist tells you that god is merciful and loving. Only one other interesting verse in here – did you know that the sins of Sodom were pride, gluttony, and laziness? Me neither.
A change of topic entirely. It begins with another metaphor, this time about eagles and a tree that`s transplanted (v 1-10). Then follows an explanation of the metaphor – Israel was overtaken by Babylon and the Israeli king was forced to pledge allegiance to Babylon. But he attempted to renege on his pledge by asking Egypt for help. Yahweh is angry about this broken promise, and vows to punish Israel… well, you can figure out the rest (v 11-21). And the point of all this is… power-hungry, egotistical Yahweh proves, once again, just who’s in charge.