Yahweh explains the allegory (Ezek 17:11-17:14)

“Then the word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Say now

To the rebellious house!

Do you not know

What these things mean?

Tell them!

The king of Babylon

Came to Jerusalem.

He took its king.

He took its officials.

He brought them

Back with him

To Babylon.

He took

One of the royal offspring.

He made a covenant

With him.

He put him

Under oath.

He had taken away

The chief men

Of the land.

Thus the kingdom

Might be humble.

The kingdom might not

Lift itself up.

By keeping

His covenant,

It might stand.’’’

Ezekiel had another oracle from Yahweh that explained the first eagle allegory or riddle. Obviously the rebellious house of Judah did not understand it. Thus Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was going to explain it to them. The first eagle was the king of Babylon who came to Jerusalem. He took its king and officials back with him to Babylon. Then he took one of the Judean royal offspring and made an agreement with him. This new king swore an oath of allegiance to the King of Babylon. The first king that was uprooted was King Jehoiakim (609-598 BCE), while the new king was King Zedekiah (598-587). Thus the kingdom of Judah would be humbled and not be able to lift itself up. It would be allowed to exist, if it kept the agreement with the King of Babylon.

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The blessing of Yahweh (Isa 65:16-65:16)

“Then whoever invokes a blessing

In the land,

They shall bless

By the God of faithfulness.

Whoever takes an oath

In the land,

They shall swear

By the God of faithfulness.

Because the former troubles

Are forgotten.

They are hidden from my sight.”

On the other hand, Yahweh will bless those who were faithful.   They will have the power to bless because of their faithfulness to God. If the faithful take an oath, God will help them because their former troubles were forgotten. They were lost out of sight. Blessings come to the faithful.

Abraham (Sir 44:19-44:21)

“Abraham was the great father

Of a multitude of nations.

No one has been found

Like him in glory.

He kept the law

Of the Most High.

He entered into

A covenant with him.

He certified the covenant

In his flesh.

When he was tested,

He was found faithful.

Therefore the Lord assured him

With an oath.

The nations would be blessed

Through his offspring.

He would make them

As numerous as

The dust of the earth.

He would exalt his posterity

Like the stars.

He would give them

An inheritance

From sea to sea,

From the Euphrates River

To the ends of the earth.”

It is obvious why Abraham should show up as one of the famous holy men as indicated in the stories of Genesis, chapters 12-25. Abraham was considered to be the father of many nations, not just Israel. His glory was beyond anyone else. He kept the law of the Most High God, although it was not written anywhere. There is no mention of Yahweh. However Abraham entered into a covenant with the Most High God that was sealed with his flesh, the circumcision of the foreskin of his penis. Then there was his test about obeying God, when he was asked to kill his son. Abraham proved faithful to God. Thus the Lord, or Yahweh, assured him with an oath that he would have many blessed descendants as numerous as the dust on the earth. He also promised them an inheritance of the land from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea to the ends of the earth. Wow! This was a big chunk of land.

I do not forget the law (Ps 119:105-119:112)

Nun

“Your word is a lamp to my feet.

Your word is a light to my path.

I have sworn an oath.

I have confirmed it.

I will observe your righteous ordinances.

I am severely afflicted.

Give me life!

Yahweh!

According to your word!

Accept my offerings of praise!

Yahweh!

Teach me your ordinances!

I hold my life in my hand continually.

But I do not forget your law.

The wicked have laid a snare for me.

But I do not stray from your precepts.

Your decrees are my heritage forever.

They are the joy of my heart.

I incline my heart to perform your statutes,

Forever,

To the end.”

The word of Yahweh is a lamp and a light so that the psalmist might walk in the right path. He had sworn an oath to observe the righteous ordinances. Despite his sufferings, he would continue to offer praise. He wanted to be taught about the ordinances since he never forgot the law. Even when the wicked set a snare for him, he never forgot the law. He never strayed from the precepts of Yahweh. They were his heritage forever, the joy of his heart. He would follow the statutes of Yahweh forever, even to the bitter end. Thus this section on the fourteenth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Nun, came to an end.

The mixed marriages problem (Neh 13:23-13:27)

“In those days also I saw Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod. They could not speak the language of Judah, but spoke the language of various peoples. I contended with them. I cursed them. I beat some of them. I pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in the name of God, saying.

‘You shall not give your daughters to their sons,

Or take their daughters for your sons or for yourselves.

Did not King Solomon of Israel sin?

On account of such women

Among the many nations there was no king like him.

He was beloved by his God.

God made him king over all Israel.

Nevertheless, foreign women made even him to sin.

Shall we then listen to you?

Shall you do all this great evil?

Shall you act treacherously against our God?

Shall you marry foreign women?’”

Nehemiah saw that they were marrying women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab, which was strictly forbidden. The children were speaking forms of Aramaic and not Hebrew. Nehemiah was very proactive. He cursed them, beat them, and pulled out their hair. This was no simple admonition. This was physical punishment. He made them take an oath to God not to give their daughters to these foreign sons or take their daughters as sons. He cited the example of King Solomon, about how powerful he was, yet he sinned by taking foreign women. Do you want to do the same? They would act against God treacherously by marrying foreign women. It seems they were more afraid of foreign women than foreign men.