In the beginning of the 10th chapter, Adonai urges the people to again ask for what they need, as embodied in the rains. He contrasts asking Him with asking the idols and other false gods whom they had been worshipping for generations. Those gods, obviously, had no power, yet had received credit for what the Lord had done for His people throughout their history.
In verse 3, HaShem states His antagonism for those who had been charged with transmission of Truth to the literal children of Israel. ”My anger burns against the shepherds and I will punish the leaders.” Idolatry has been so destructive to the nation of Israel because they have been unable to get what they need to survive. One cannot survive without regular Divine intervention; Adonai is continuously sustaining man, even when man refuses to acknowledge that fact. Yeshua states in Matthew 5:45 that Adonai causes the sun to rise on the evil as well as the good, the rain on the just and unjust. Even those most hostile to God benefit from His benevolence. The leaders of the nation did not stress this, but, actually, set a tone and path completely opposite to that direction. The love of the Lord, His passion for them, was lost in the mix. ”Adonai-Tzva’ot cares for His flock, the house of Judah. He will make them His valiant steed in battle.”(Tree of Life Version) Where they have been the recipients of God’s discipline, now they will be its agents.” 4From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, and from him every leader together. 5They will be like mighty men treading down muddy streets in war. They will fight, because Adonai is with them and will put horsemen to shame. 6I will strengthen the house of Judah and save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back, for I have compassion on them. They will be as though I had never spurned them, for I am Adonai their God, and I will answer them.”
They will be like “gibborim”. The gibborim were the heroes of Scripture, the mighty men, men like David, Samson, Gideon, Jonathan, Joshua. The victims now, by the transformational power and heart of God, become the champions, the overcomers, the conquerors. It will be as if they had never been disciplined, the past sins expurgated. The iron barrier to their prayers has been ripped down. ”I will answer them!”
Notice that the house of Joseph is included now, too. In spite of the myth of “lost tribe”, all Israel is covered by the renewal of covenant and love. Insert the atoning work of Yeshua here. It is He who ultimately reconciles Israel to the Lord.
Rabbi Jeffrey A. Adler
Rabbi Jeffrey Adler is on the Board of HaShomer and also Rabbi of Sha’arey Yeshua in Indianapolis, IN.