NTS 5507 WEALTH AND POVERTY IN THE BIBLE

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NTS 5507 WEALTH AND POVERTY IN THE BIBLE Class IV: Wealth and Poverty in

NTS 5507 WEALTH AND POVERTY IN THE BIBLE Class IV: Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I © Dr. Esa Autero

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I 1. 1 Introduction to the message of the

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I 1. 1 Introduction to the message of the prophets q Most vocal critics of social injustice q Esp. wealthy and powerful Land grabbing, oppression, covetousness, false business practices, religion as clout for injustice q q Prophets do not quote the Law q q q Allude to and draw from the spirit of the Law Message of harsh judgment but also comfort Most important prophets of social injustice q Isaiah, Amos, Micah, Jeremiah

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I 2. 1 The Former prophets q q q

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I 2. 1 The Former prophets q q q Joshua and Judges Basic structure of Joshua – Josh 1 -11 (battles) & 13 -21 (land distribution) Economic structure of Israel and Canaanite city states q q Israel – loose federacy based tribal /clan structure q Land allotted to tribes per size (Num 26: 52 -56; Josh 15 -19) by YHWH q No central authority or royal court to uphold – only local elders q No class structure (cf. Ex 12: 38 [“mixed multitude”]) or distinctions Canaanite city-states – hierarchical royal court q All land owned by the king/royal court q Central authority w/ taxation to uphold army and royal court q Hierarchical social system

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Some passages from Joshua-Judges w/ socio-economic flavor

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Some passages from Joshua-Judges w/ socio-economic flavor q Rahab shelters the spies and opposes the king (Josh 2) q q q Despised prostitute sides w/ God’s people against power & wealth Equitable distribution of the land (Josh 15 -19) Judges-2 Kings shows the outworking of Deut 27 -28 in practice* q q Cycle of disobedience&deliverance King Eglon of Moab – Israel oppressed (tax), delivered by Ehud (Judg 3: 12 -30) q Midianite oppression (raids & impoverishment) – deliverance by Gideon** 2 The power of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the sons of Israel made for themselves the dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. 3 For it was when Israel had sown, that the Midianites would come up with the Amalekites and the sons of the east and go against them. 4 So they would camp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel as well as no sheep, ox, or donkey. (Judg 6: 2 -4; 6 -8)

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Jephthah – social outcast as a deliverer

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Jephthah – social outcast as a deliverer (Judg 11 -12: 7) q q Jephthah, a son of the prostitute is called to be the deliverer 1 Sam-2 Kings – select passages w/ socioeconomic flavor q Hannah’s song – socioeconomic vocabulary w/ a spiritual leaning “The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7 “The LORD makes poor (Hb. ; מוריש morish*) and rich (Hb. ; מעשיר [hiph. ] mashir); He brings low, He also exalts. 8 “He raises the poor (Hb. ; דל dal) from the dust, He lifts the needy (Hb. ; אביון ebyon) from the ash heap To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor; (1 Sam 2: 6 -8) Hannah’s struggle to obtain a child & release from Penninah’s mockery

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Establishment of the monarchy (1 sam 8:

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Establishment of the monarchy (1 sam 8: 1 -18) And it came about when Samuel was old that he appointed his sons judges over Israel. 2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judging in Beersheba. 3 His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice. 11 He said, “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. 12 He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants. 15 He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and yourselves will become his servants. 18 Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day. ” (1 Sam 8: 1 -3, 11 -18)

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q What were the consequences of “being like

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q What were the consequences of “being like other nations”? q q q Return to Exodus-type socioeconomic system Confiscation of parts of land introduction of “royal expenses” David as “poor” man (1 Sam 18: 23) 23 So Saul’s servants spoke these words to David. But David said, “Is it trivial in your sight to become the king’s son-in-law, since I am a poor (Hb. ) איש־רש man and lightly esteemed? ” (1 Sam 18: 23) q Saul offers Michal to David as wife so that “she may become a snare” 25 Saul then said, “Thus you shall say to David, ‘The king does not desire any dowry except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to take vengeance on the king’s enemies. ’” Now Saul planned to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. (18: 25) q “Poor” could be metaphorical OR indicate status difference David truly poor compared to Saul in money & power (esp. per dowry) q David later uses his position to kill Uriah and get Bathsheba (2 Sam 11 -12) q Nathan’s rebuke (2 Sam 12: 1 -4): powerful (Hb. ashir) oppresses the poor [Hb. rash]

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Solomon’s wealth and wisdom q Wealth per

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Solomon’s wealth and wisdom q Wealth per divine blessing – as a “by-product” of wisdom (1 Kgs 3: 9 -15) 11 God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. 13 I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. (1 Kgs 3: 11 -13) q Solomon divided Israel into 12 tax-collection districts (4: 7 -19) q Not according to tribal lines & Judah’s representative omitted – why?

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q q q Conscription of forced labor from

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q q q Conscription of forced labor from Israel & surrounding nations (5: 13; 9: 20) Accumulation of wealth & horses (4: 20 -28; 5: 26; 10: 14 -29) Wealth & women lead to Solomon’s ruin 15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman. 16 Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way. ’ 17 He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself. (Deut 17: 15 -17)

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I 3 Then they sent and called him, and

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I 3 Then they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4 “Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you. ” (1 Kgs 12: 3) q Solomon’s heavy tax burden increased by Rehoboam 18 Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. (1 Kgs 12: 18) q q q Adoram stoned to death for being in charge of forced labor Jeroboam – two golden calves (1 Kgs 12: 25 -33) Ahab covets and kills to get Naboth’s vineyard (1 Kgs 21: 1 -16) q Elijah & Elisha save a widow from famine/creditor (1 Kgs 17: 8 -16; 2 Kgs 4: 1 -7) What is the author of Kings trying to say?

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I 2. 2 The Latter Prophets 2. 2. 1

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I 2. 2 The Latter Prophets 2. 2. 1 Pre-Exilic prophets (Isaiah 1 -39, Amos, Micah, Hosea*) q Socioeconomic conditions and the pre-Exilic prophets q Prophets as “social consciousness” of Israel’s society q q q Reiterated Mosaic legislation – allusions rather than explicit quotes Criticism of monarchy and the king & corrupt judicial system Criticism of leaders, priests, prophets Criticism of wealthy landowners, merchants & creditors Criticism of common people Exile due to covenant violation of God’s people q Poverty not blamed on chance, laziness or wickedness of the poor q Oppression and wrongdoing by the rich and leaders of the people

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Two sample Scriptures as a prelude to

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Two sample Scriptures as a prelude to prophets 12 “When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. 13 You shall say before the LORD your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; (Deut 26: 12 -13) 22 You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. 23 If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; 24 and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless. (Ex 22: 22 -24) Prophets cried out against covenant violations especially exploitation of poor and vulnerable groups

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Isaiah 1 -39 – 8 th century

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Isaiah 1 -39 – 8 th century & Syro-Ephraimite crisis q q q Esp. the reigns of Ahaz (736 -716 BC), Hezekiah (716 -687 BC) Judgment of the godless nation; future hope; “who to trust? ” Hear the word of the LORD, You rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the instruction of our God, You people of Gomorrah. 11 “What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me? ” Says the LORD. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle; And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats. 12 “When you come to appear before Me, Who requires of you this trampling of My courts? 13 “Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and Sabbath, the calling of assemblies—I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly. 14 “I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, They have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 “So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. 16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, 17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow. (Isa 1: 1017) אלמנה ריבו יתום שפטו חמוץ אשרו משפט דרשו היטב למדו (v. 17)

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q q Israel is likened to Sodom and

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q q Israel is likened to Sodom and Gomorrah (cf. Gen 19: 1 -29) Spiritual acts of worship detestable q No pleasure in sacrifices – shameful trampling on Temple court q q Incense is abomination; Sabbath and feasts abomination and “hated” q q q Sacrifices – worship, communion, fellowship Sabbaths/feasts – communal celebration of YHWH’s saving acts & provision Prayers are futile The reason for God’s reaction q q q Bloodshed (bloodguilt), evil, injustice, ruthlessness Disregard for the orphan and the widow (poor & vulnerable) Do good, practice social justice, defend the vulnerable q Sabbaths, feasts, festivals were to incorporate the poor and vulnerable Worship without justice is abomination

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Exploitation of poor & vulnerable (3: 14

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Exploitation of poor & vulnerable (3: 14 -15; 5: 1 -16) The LORD arises to contend, And stands to judge the people. 14 The LORD enters into judgment with the elders and princes of His people, “It is you who have devoured [Hb. ]*בערתם the vineyard; The plunder of the poor [Hb. ]העני is in your houses. 15 “What do you mean by crushing My people And grinding the face of the poor [Hb. ופני ”? ]עניים Declares the Lord GOD of hosts. (3: 14 -15) q Judgment comes on all people but esp. leaders q “devour/strip bare” vineyards of the poor – plundering of the poor q Nothing is left – even gleanings (cf. Lev 19: 9 -10; Deut 24: 20 -21) q “Crushing” & “grinding the face of the poor” – shaming, violence, death exploitation, robbery, hostility toward the poor

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel And the men of Judah His delightful plant. Thus He looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; For righteousness, but behold, a cry of distress. Woe to those who add house to house and join field to field, Until there is no more room, So that you have to live alone in the midst of the land! 9 In my ears the LORD of hosts has sworn, “Surely, many houses shall become desolate, Even great and fine ones, without occupants. 10 “For ten acres of vineyard will yield only one bath of wine, And a homer of seed will yield but an ephah of grain. ” 11 Woe to those who rise early in the morning that they may pursue strong drink, Who stay up late in the evening that wine may inflame them! 12 Their banquets are accompanied by lyre and harp, by tambourine and flute, and by wine; But they do not pay attention to the deeds of the LORD, Nor do they consider the work of His hands. 13 Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge; And their honorable men are famished, And their multitude is parched with thirst. (5: 7 -13) q Song of the vineyard followed by rebuke of the rich leaders+ judgment q Isaiah may have sung the song as an “indictment song”

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Bloodshed instead of justice, cry instead of

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Bloodshed instead of justice, cry instead of righteousness q “Add house to house…till no more” – land grabbing by “business” q q Sumptuous parties and drinking as a way of life q q Disregard for God as the landowner (Lev 25; esp. 25: 23 -4) Land speculation and greed for more land (=wealth) Cry comes to the “ears of the LORD of Hosts (=heavenly armies)” Woes to those who ignore LORD’s commands Judgment – desolation of land houses q A bath (= c. 6 gallons) for 10 acres/yokes*; 1 homer of seed 1 ephah* (1/10) Meager production q q Usual vine production: 1000 gallons per acre** Seed to grain: 10 homers for 1 homer of grain Certainty of Exile (Hb. pf. tense)

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Injustice and bribes (1: 21 -24; 5:

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Injustice and bribes (1: 21 -24; 5: 20 -23; 10: 1 -3; 32: 5 -7) Your rulers are rebels And companions of thieves; Everyone loves a bribe [cf. Ex 23: 8, ] שחד And chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, Nor does the widow’s plea come before them. (1: 23) q Corruption – justice ignored due to greed & vulnerable ignored Woe to those who enact evil statutes And to those who constantly record unjust decisions, 2 So as to deprive the needy (Hb. ; דלים dallim) of justice (Hb. mishpat) And rob the poor of My people (Hb. עמי )עניי of their rights, So that widows may be their spoil And that they may plunder the orphans. (10: 1 -2) q Injustice and corruption of law makers and law enforcers Direct connection to deliberate “robbing, plundering” of the poor q Poor don’t get a hearing or justice – instead, objects of exploitation Coming judgment: “what will you do in the Day of punishment? ” (10: 3 a) q

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I No longer will the fool be called noble,

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I No longer will the fool be called noble, Or the rogue (Hb. *)כילי be spoken of as generous. 6 For a fool speaks nonsense, And his heart inclines toward wickedness: To practice ungodliness and to speak error against the LORD, To keep the hungry person (Hb. )רעב unsatisfied And to withhold drink from the thirsty. 7 As for a rogue, his weapons are evil; He devises wicked schemes To destroy the afflicted with slander, Even though the needy (Hb. משפט )אביון one speaks what is right (32: 57) q Prophecy of future glory – implicitly compared with the present q Rogue* (self-promoter) not considered generous (like currently) q q Deliberately destroys others through lies, actions & injustice Fool speaks evil, practices evil, corrupt mind Evil practice concretely: deprives poor (hungry/thirsty), disregards commands to be generous; greed for wealth

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q The vulnerable are also guilty (9: 17)

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q The vulnerable are also guilty (9: 17) Therefore the Lord does not take pleasure in their young men, Nor does He have pity on their orphans or their widows; For every one of them is godless and an evildoer, And every mouth is speaking foolishness. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away And His hand is still stretched out. (9: 17) q q Everyone is guilty and godless How godless is the society when God will no longer have pity on those whom He specifically promised to protect? Reference to Assyrian invasion and resulting judgment

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q God as protector and comfort (14: 29

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q God as protector and comfort (14: 29 -30, 32; 25: 4; 26: 1 -6; 29: 18 -21) q q Comfort for the poor and needy as Philistia falls (14: 29 -32) Victory for the oppressed (25: 4; 26: 1 -6) “Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock. 5 “For He has brought low those who dwell on high, the unassailable city; He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He casts it to the dust. 6 “The foot will trample it, The feet of the afflicted (Hb. )עני , the steps of the helpless (Hb. )דלים. ” (26: 4 -6) q Reversal of fortunes; God’s victory over evil and injustice, comfort for the oppressed, poor, needy

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q The just rule of the Messiah (11:

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q The just rule of the Messiah (11: 1 -4) Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. 3 And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear; 4 But with righteousness He will judge the poor (Hb. )דלים , And decide with fairness for the afflicted (Hb. )לענוי־ארץ of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. 5 Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, And faithfulness the belt about His waist (11: 1 -4) q Justice deprived of the poor/needy will be realized

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q q Amos – peace & prosperity during

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q q Amos – peace & prosperity during Jeroboam II (788 -748 BC) Judah: Uzziah (783 -742 BC) & Israel: Jeroboam II (786 -746 BC) q q q Amos, native of southern kingdom (Tekoa) – prophesied in the North q q Time of peace and prosperity q No threat from Egypt or Assyria Breakdown of old tribal/family systems of landownership wealthy class 7 miles south of Jerusalem (cf. 2 Chr 20: 20) Amos – a herdsman and grower of sycamore trees (7: 14) q q Wealthy government employee or Mr. “nobody”? * God called a peasant farmer from Judah to preach to the wealthy in Israel

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Sins of Judah/Israel: oppression of the poor

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Sins of Judah/Israel: oppression of the poor (2: 6 -8; 4: 1 -3; 5: 11; 8: 4, 6) Thus says the LORD: For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they sell the righteous for silver, and the needy (Hb. )ואביון for a pair of sandals— 7 they who trample the head of the poor (Hb. )דלים into the dust of the earth, and push the afflicted (Hb. )ענוים out of the way; father and son go in to the same girl, so that my holy name is profaned; 8 they lay themselves down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge; and in the house of their God they drink wine bought with fines they imposed. (Amos 2: 6 -8) q Selling people into debt slavery – ridiculous price of a sandal* q q q Perhaps using legal means through corrupt courts (cf. Ex 23: 3, 6; Am 5: 12) Exploitation & disregard of the poor – to gain wealth Exploitation of women/girls & violation of family (Deut 22: 28 -29; Ex 21: 7 -11) Stealing of pledge garments for religious purposes (Ex 22: 25 -26; Dt 24: 12 -15) Drunkenness in God’s house & corrupt fines

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on the mountain of Samaria, Who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, Who say to your husbands, “Bring now, that we may drink!” 2 The Lord GOD has sworn by His holiness, “Behold, the days are coming upon you When they will take you away with meat hooks, And the last of you with fish hooks. 3 “You will go out through breaches in the walls, Each one straight before her, And you will be cast to Harmon, ” declares the LORD. (4: 1 -3) q “cows of Bashan” – what/who is this? q q q Cows of Bashan* known for their fatness & good quality rich women q Could be an insult OR reflect an oriental idea of beauty & fullness ** Regard for self-gain & oppression and crushing of the poor Punishment – to Harmon (Mt. Minni in Assyria; Jer 51: 27)*** - i. e. Exile q Forced exile through broken walls in chains in a prisoner procession ****

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I They hate him who reproves in the gate,

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I They hate him who reproves in the gate, And they abhor him who speaks with integrity. 11 Therefore because you impose heavy rent on the poor (Hb. )דל And exact a tribute (Hb. ; ומשאת־בר mas’at*) of grain from them, Though you have built houses of well-hewn stone, Yet you will not live in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine. 12 For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great, You who distress the righteous and accept bribes And turn aside the poor in the gate. (5: 10 -12) q Distaste of persons who speak truth and act justly q Rich landowners rebuked: exorbitant rent on poor tenant farmers & act as kings who demand tribute-like tax q Injustice and extortion/exploitation of the poor for the purpose of q Luxury homes & choicest wine Judgment will come in haste

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I 4 Hear this, you who trample the needy

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I 4 Hear this, you who trample the needy (Hb. )אביון , to do away with the humble (Hb. )עניי־ארץ of the land, 5 saying, “When will the new moon be over, So that we may sell grain, And the Sabbath, that we may open the wheat market, To make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, And to cheat with dishonest scales, 6 So as to buy the helpless (Hb. )דלים for money And the needy (Hb. )ואביון for a pair of sandals, And that we may sell the refuse of the wheat? ” The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob, “Indeed, I will never forget any of their deeds. “Because of this will not the land quake And everyone who dwells in it mourn? Indeed, all of it will rise up like the Nile, And it will be tossed about And subside like the Nile of Egypt. (8: 4 -7) q “trample”= to ruin, annihilate; “do away”=manipulation/getting rid of q Sabbath and new moon observed in principle but w/ a grudge q q Complaint due to frequency of “holidays” & interruption to business Unjust business practice (Lev 19: 35 -36): Rigging containers, measures/weights “selling sweepings” = contaminated food items mixed w/ good grain q Maximizing business profit “buy off the poor” – poor suffer most in raised price for basic food items Cosmic consequences q

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Accumulation & boasting about wealth (3: 14

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Accumulation & boasting about wealth (3: 14 -15; 6: 4 -7) Those who recline on beds of ivory And sprawl on their couches, And eat lambs from the flock And calves from the midst of the stall, 5 Who improvise to the sound of the harp, And like David have composed songs for themselves, 6 Who drink wine from sacrificial bowls While they anoint themselves with the finest of oils, Yet they have not grieved over the ruin of Joseph. 7 Therefore, they will now go into exile at the head of the exiles, And the sprawlers’ banqueting will pass away. (6: 4 -7) q q Luxury bed and furniture Gourmet food w/ specially bred animals & wine by bowl [not cup] q Common people ate meat app. 3 x/yr. on festivals – poor hardly ever Finest beauty products; also luxury mansions destroyed (3: 14) No concern for the ruin of God’s people q

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Injustice ignored/excused by appealing to religion (5:

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Injustice ignored/excused by appealing to religion (5: 18 -24) Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD, For what purpose will the day of the LORD be to you? It will be darkness and not light; 19 As when a man flees from a lion And a bear meets him, Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall And a snake bites him. 20 Will not the day of the LORD be darkness instead of light, Even gloom with no brightness in it? 21 “I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. 22 “Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. 23 “Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. 24 “But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (5: 18 -24) q Day of the LORD – disaster, not prosperity! q Parable of escapes: lion – bear – death from snake hiding in the wall of home*

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q All of Israelite worship is addressed q

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q All of Israelite worship is addressed q Festivals, assemblies, burnt/grain/peace offerings, songs, prayers q “I hate…despise…your festivals…your assemblies…” All worship is meaningless without justice & righteousness q Justice is to roll down like a river without an end q Righteousness like ever-present and life-giving water q Connection b/w justice and life-giving water

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q God’s feelings and thoughts about oppression and

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q God’s feelings and thoughts about oppression and injustice q Fury, lamentation, disgust (5: 10, 18, 21 -23; 6: 4, 7 -8) q “Woe to those who lie on ivory beds” (6: 4) q “I hate, I despise your festivals…no delight in assemblies” (5: 21) q “I abhor the pride of Jacob, and hate his strongholds” (6: 8) Just response of the Holy God to sin and injustice

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q God’s actions against His people (3: 14;

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q God’s actions against His people (3: 14; 4: 1 -3; 5: 11 -13; 6: 14; 7: 17) q God’s punishment (2: 13 -14; 4: 2 -3; 6: 9 -10) “Now then, I will crush you as a cart crushes when loaded with grain. 14 The swift will not escape, the strong will not muster their strength, and the warrior will not save his life. 15 The archer will not stand his ground, the fleet-footed soldier will not get away, and the horseman will not save his life. 16 Even the bravest warriors will flee naked on that day, ” declares the LORD. (2: 13 -16) q q Relentless pursuit --- “crush, not get away…FLEE NAKED” Removal of luxuries (3: 15; 5: 11) “On the day I punish Israel for her sins, I will destroy the altars of Bethel; the horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground. 15 I will tear down the winter house along with the summer house; the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed and the mansions will be demolished, ” declares the LORD. (3: 15) q Houses of WORSHIP & LUXURY destroyed – MANSIONS of ivory (winter/summer) destroyed

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Judgment, Exile, destruction, death (4: 2 -3;

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Judgment, Exile, destruction, death (4: 2 -3; 6: 7, 14) The Sovereign LORD has sworn by his holiness: “The time will surely come when you will be taken away with hooks, the last of you with fishhooks 3 You will each go straight out through breaches in the wall, and you will be cast out toward Harmon, ” declares the LORD. (4: 2 -3) For the LORD God Almighty declares, “I will stir up a nation against you, Israel, that will oppress you all the way from Lebo Hamath to the valley of the Arabah. ” (6: 14) q Oppression & ultimate punishment – loss of land, the sign of covenant. q Famine of the Word of God (8: 11 -12) “The days are coming, ” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. (8: 11)

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Cure for the problem q Practice justice/righteousness

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Cure for the problem q Practice justice/righteousness (5: 24) “Seek me and live; do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba. For Gilgal will surely go into exile, and Bethel will be reduced to nothing. (5: 4 -5) Seek me [continually] and live (5: 4, 6, 14 -15) q “Seek good, not evil” “Hate evil, love good, establish justice in the courts” q q CONSCIOUSS DECISIONS to turn to YHWH seeking YHWH, doing/loving good, establishing justice all different dimensions of righteousness

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Micah – harsh rhetoric against Jerusalem &

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Micah – harsh rhetoric against Jerusalem & Samaria q Reigns of Jotham (742 -735 BC); Ahaz (735 -715); Hezekiah (715 -687) q q q Micah of Moresh – 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem Most likely from the laboring class (unlike Isaiah) Rebuilding and rearmament of Judah (2 Chr 32) q q q Harsh rhetoric of Micah q q Refugee from north flooded Jerusalem c. 722 -721 w/ Assyrian conquest Economic prosperity but impoverishment of the poor (esp. by “loans”)* “Cannibalism” – stripping flesh and boiling the bones (3: 1 -3) Few direct references to poor – no traditional “poverty” words q q A criticism of the rich for their ruthlessness and injustice “Heart” of the OT ethics (6: 6 -8)

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Land grabbing & injustice (2: 1 -3,

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Land grabbing & injustice (2: 1 -3, 8 -9; 3: 1 -3, 8 -12; 6: 7 -8, 11 -15; 7: 2 -3) Woe to those who scheme iniquity, Who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, For it is in the power of their hands. 2 They covet (Hb. ; וחמדו cf. Ex 20: 17*) fields and then seize them, And houses, and take them away. They rob a man and his house, A man and his inheritance. 3 Therefore thus says the LORD…“Behold, I am planning against this family a calamity…To the apostate He apportions our fields. (2: 1 -4) q “Woe” – funerary lamentation to powerful leaders q Scheming and coveting for God’s land (Deut 27: 17; Lev 25) q q Land as “means of production” accumulated to few leaders** Robbing poor people’s livelihood and houses Coveting, planning, plotting, seizing (premeditated) q Probably done “legally” by giving loans w/ exorbitant interest +foreclosure q YHWH plans calamity, humiliates, and gives the land to others God has the real power q

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I “Recently (yesterday) My people have arisen as an

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I “Recently (yesterday) My people have arisen as an enemy—You strip the robe off the garment From unsuspecting passers-by, From those returned from war. 9 “The women of My people you evict, Each one from her pleasant house. From her children you take My splendor forever. (2: 8 -9) q False prophets try to silence Micah (2: 7) q Textual ambiguities in this passage* q q q Robbing the refugees from north OR generally all ordinary people God’s people likened to “enemy” (Assyria) – from which north had to flee; now they have come Judah and are robbed off their clothing (cf. Ex 22: 26 -27) Land-grabbing from widows & destruction of children’s future Reversal motif: land-grabbers will have no land (2: 4 -5)

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I And I said, “Hear now, heads of Jacob

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I And I said, “Hear now, heads of Jacob And rulers of the house of Israel. Is it not for you to know justice? 2 “You who hate good and love evil, Who tear off their skin from them And their flesh from their bones, 3 Who eat the flesh of my people, Strip off their skin from them, Break their bones And chop them up as for the pot And as meat in a kettle. ” 4 Then they will cry out to the LORD, But He will not answer them. Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time Because they have practiced evil deeds. (3: 1 -4) q Leaders and judges – “hate good…love evil” q q q Instead of justice, cannibalistic terror of the people esp. poor and vulnerable (See also 7: 1 -3 – powerful pervert justice, take bribes, grab what they want) Leaders will “cry out” and receive no answer but doom

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I 5 Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I 5 Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who lead my people astray; When they have something to bite with their teeth, They cry, “Peace, ” But against him who puts nothing in their mouths They declare holy war. On the other hand I am filled with power— With the Spirit of the LORD— And with justice and courage To make known to Jacob his rebellious act, Even to Israel his sin. 9 Now hear this, heads of the house of Jacob And rulers of the house of Israel, Who abhor justice And twist everything that is straight, 10 Who build Zion with bloodshed And Jerusalem with violent injustice. 11 Her leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe, Her priests instruct for a price And her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the LORD saying, “Is not the LORD in our midst? Calamity will not come upon us. ” 12 Therefore, on account of you Zion will be plowed as a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins, And the mountain of the temple will become high places of a forest. (3: 5, 8 -12) q q q Denunciation of the “peace prophets”, priests & judges (3: 5) q Prophecy & priestly services to rich for money; injustice and bribes (3: 5, 11) Jerusalem build with bloodshed and oppression Religious self-deception: Holy Zion build w/ blood money (3: 10 -11) Judgment is inevitable – “Jerusalem like a heap of ruins” (cf. Jer 26: 1 -19)

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I The voice of the LORD will call to

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I The voice of the LORD will call to the city—And it is sound wisdom to fear Your name: “Hear, O tribe. Who has appointed its time? 10 “Is there yet a man in the wicked house, Along with treasures of wickedness And a short measure that is cursed? 11 “Can I justify wicked scales And a bag of deceptive weights? 12 “For the rich men of the city are full of violence, Her residents speak lies, And their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. 13 “So also I will make you sick, striking you down, Desolating you because of your sins. 14 “You will eat, but you will not be satisfied, And your vileness will be in your midst. You will try to remove for safekeeping, But you will not preserve anything, And what you do preserve I will give to the sword. 15 “You will sow but you will not reap. You will tread the olive but will not anoint yourself with oil; And the grapes, but you will not drink wine. (6: 9 -15) Sinful business practices: “short measure” “wicked scales” “bag of deceptive weights” – also violence, wicked wealth, lies & deceit Coming judgment and deprivation of basic necessities q

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Covenant lawsuit and true worship (6: 1

Wealth and Poverty in Prophets I q Covenant lawsuit and true worship (6: 1 -8) With what shall I come to the LORD And bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, With yearling calves? 7 Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams, In ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? (6: 6 -8) q God is “weary” of Israel & reminder of God’s salvific acts (6: 3 -5)* q q How to approach YHWH? What pleases Him? Sacrifices represent total dedication and most desirable & lavish offerings** q q q Ascending order in number/quality of sacrifices; ends w/ child sacrifice*** Worse than appearing “empty handed” (cf. Ex 23: 15) – “dirty-handed” & injustice Importance of justice, love, compassion, care for the needy q Constant communion w/ YHWH; love and care of people, esp. the vulnerable