10 March 2016

"The Day of the Lord's Wrath"

1 Adar II 5776
Rosh Chodesh
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Prophet Tzefaniah spoke in the name of God in the synagogues during the reign of King Yoshiyahu (640–609 B.C.E). His words have yet to be fulfilled.

...I will totally destroy everything from off the face of the earth, says the Lord. I will totally destroy man and beast; I will totally destroy the fowl of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from the face of the earth, says the Lord.*

And I will stretch out My hand over Judah and over all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal, the name of the idolatrous priests with the ancillary priests, and those who prostrate themselves on the roofs to the host of the heavens, and those who prostrate themselves who swear by the Lord and swear by their king, and those who turn away from following the Lord, and those who did not seek the Lord nor inquire after Him.

Be silent before the Lord God, for the day of the Lord is near. For the Lord has prepared a slaughter;.... And it shall come to pass on that day, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and I will visit upon the men who are settled on their lees, who say in their heart, "The Lord shall do neither good nor harm."

The great day of the Lord is near; it is near and hastens greatly, the sound of the day of the Lord, wherein the mighty man cries bitterly. That day is a day of wrath; a day of trouble and distress; a day of ruin and desolation; a day of darkness and gloom; a day of clouds and thick darkness; a day of shofar and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers.

And I will bring distress upon men, and they shall walk like the blind, for they have sinned against the Lord. And their blood shall be shed like dust, and their flesh like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord's wrath. And with the fire of His passion the entire land shall be consumed; for an end, yea, a sudden end, He shall make of all the inhabitants of the land.


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Gather yourselves together! Yea, gather together, O nation that has no desire, before the decree is born, as chaff that passes..the sun; before the fierce anger of the Lord comes upon you; before the day of the Lord's anger comes upon you. Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth who executed His judgment; Seek righteousness, seek humility! Perhaps you will be concealed on the day of the Lord's wrath.

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...Therefore, wait for Me, says the Lord, for the day that I will rise up to meet [with you]. For it is My judgment to assemble nations, to gather kingdoms, to pour out My fury upon them; yea, all the kindling of My wrath, for with the fire of My jealousy all the earth shall be consumed.

For then I will convert the peoples to a pure language that all of them call in the name of the Lord, to worship Him of one accord.

On that day you shall not be ashamed of all your deeds [with] which you rebelled against Me, for then I will remove from your midst those who rejoice in your pride, and you shall no longer continue to be haughty on My holy mount. And I will leave over in your midst a humble and poor people, and they shall take shelter in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel shall neither commit injustice nor speak lies; neither shall deceitful speech be found in their mouth, for they shall graze and lie down, with no one to cause them to shudder.

Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Rejoice and jubilate wholeheartedly, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has removed your afflictions; He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst-you shall no longer fear evil. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, "Have no fear! O Zion, let your hands not be slack. The Lord your God is in your midst-a Mighty One Who will save. He will rejoice over you with joy. He will be silent in His love. He will jubilate over you with song."
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* I don't know if it is relevant, but these "I wills" reminded me of the "I wills" alluded to in the Pesach seder - (What is the significance of the four cups of wine?  G‑d uses four expressions of redemption in describing our Exodus from Egypt and our birth as a nation:  1. "I will take you out…"; 2. "I will save you…"; 3. "I will redeem you…"; 4. "I will take you as a nation…")