The upset king (Dan 3:24-3:25)

“Then King Nebuchadnezzar

Was astonished.

He rose up quickly.

He said to his counselors.

‘Was it not three men

That we threw bound

Into the fire?’

They answered

The king.

‘True!

O king!’

He replied.

‘But I see four men

Unbound,

Walking

In the middle

Of the fire.

They are not hurt.

The fourth one has

The appearance

Of a god.’”

After the long Septuagint prayer of Azariah, we are back at the Hebrew or Aramaic text of the Book of Daniel. Now King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and upset. He thought that he had put 3 men, tied up, into the furnace. Instead, he saw 4 men, not tied up, walking around in the middle of the furnace. He even remarked that one of them looked like a god, which was the angel.

King Nebuchadnezzar worships Daniel (Dan 2:46-2:46)

“Then King Nebuchadnezzar

Fell on his face.

He worshipped Daniel.

He commanded

That a grain offering

With incense

Be offered to him.”

After this dream interpretation by Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, as he worshipped Daniel. He even commanded that a grain offering with incense be offered to him, since Daniel had become like a god.

The pretend god of Tyre will die (Ezek 28:9-28:10)

“‘Will you still say

‘I am a god.’

In the presence

Of those who kill you?

You are but a mortal!

You are no god

In the hands of those

Who wound you!

You shall die

The death

Of the uncircumcised,

By the hand

Of foreigners!

I have spoken.’

Says Yahweh God!”

Yahweh wanted to know if the prince of Tyre would still say that he was a god in the presence of those trying to kill him. The prince of Tyre was a mere human mortal and not a god. Those trying to wound him did not see him as a god. He was going to die the death of the uncircumcised ones at the hand of foreigners. Yahweh God had clearly spoken via Ezekiel. Some Christians have interpreted this as the fall of Lucifer or the fallen angel, the devil.

The death of the prince of Tyre (Ezek 28:6-28:8)

“Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘You compare

Your mind

With the mind

Of a god.

Therefore,

I will bring strangers

Against you.

I will bring

The most terrible

Of the nations.

They shall draw

Their swords

Against the beauty

Of your wisdom.

They will defile

Your splendor.

They shall thrust you

Down to the pit.

You shall die

A violent death

In the heart

Of the seas.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was upset because the prince of Tyre had compared his mind to that of a god. Thus Yahweh was going to bring strangers, the most terrible of all the nations, against him. They would draw their swords against his beautiful wisdom. They would defile his splendor. They would throw him into the pit with a violent death, right in the middle of the high seas. He would sink and drown.

The prince of Tyre pretends to be god (Ezek 28:1-28:2)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Say!

To the prince of Tyre!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Your heart

Is proud!

You have said.

‘I am a god!  

I sit

In the seat

Of the gods

In the heart

Of the seas.’

Yet you are

But a mortal!

You are no god!

Even though

You compare

Your mind

With the mind

Of a god.”

A usual, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. He was to tell the prince of Tyre what Yahweh had said. This Tyre prince had a proud heart. He thought that he was a god. He claimed to sit among the gods in the heart of the sea. However, he was just a mere mortal human. He was no god, even though he compared his own mind to that of a god. Was this King Ittobaal II (760-740 BCE), but that would precede the time frame of Ezekiel by over a 100 years.

The faces of the four living creatures (Ezek 1:10-1:11)

“As for the appearance

Of their faces,

Each had

The face

Of a human being

In front.

Each had

The face

Of a lion

On the right side.

Each had

The face

Of an ox

On the left side.

Each had

The face

Of an eagle

At the back.

Such were their faces.

Their wings

Were spread out above.

Each creature

Had two wings.

Each wing

Touched the wing

Of another.

The two wings

Covered their bodies.”

Each creature had the face of a human being in front. Then there was a face of a lion on the right side with a face of an ox on the left side. In the back was the face of an eagle. Interesting enough this is similar to the idea of cherubim in Assyrian and Babylonian times. They had a statue of a god who had the head of a human, the body of a lion, the paws of an ox, with wings. This same symbolism was later taken up as the symbols of the four Christian evangelists, as well as the 4 creatures of the apocalypse in the Book of Revelation. There is also the interpretation that these animal heads symbolize mobility, intelligence, and strength. Their wings were spread out above each of these creatures, so that they touched each other. Thus these wings covered the bodies of these creatures.

The making and the worship of the wooden idol (Isa 44:15-44:17)

“The carpenter also makes a god.

He worships it.

He makes this carved image.

He bows down before it.

He burns half of it in the fire.

Over this half,

He roasts meat.

He eats it.

He is satisfied.

He also warms himself.

He says.

‘O!

I am warm!

I can feel the fire!’

He makes the rest of it

Into a god,

His idol.

He bows down to it.

He worships it.

He prays to it.

He says.

‘Save me!

You are my god!’”

Second Isaiah has this carpenter carve a god out of his wood and then worship it. He takes this carved image and bows down to it. With the left over wood he starts a fire, so that he was able to cook a piece of meat that he ate with great satisfaction. This fire also kept him warm. However, the rest of this wood was used to make his idol god. After he had completed his carving, he bowed down to it, worshipped it, and prayed to it. He said that his carved idol was his god, so that he wanted this own carved idol to save him. In other words, he made a god to save him.