The open shame of the people (Dan 9:7-9:8)

“O Lord!

Righteousness

Is on your side.

But at this day,

Open shame

Falls on us,

The people

Of Judah,

The inhabitants

Of Jerusalem,

All Israel.

This includes

Those who are near,

As well as those

Who are far away,

In all the lands

To which

You have driven them,

Because of the treachery

That they have committed

Against you.

O Lord!

Open shame

Falls on us,

Our kings,

Our officials,

Our ancestors,

Because we have sinned

Against you.”

Daniel spoke for everybody about their open shame. Righteousness was on the side of the Lord. However, open shame fell on the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and all Israel, since it did not matter whether they were near or far away. Some were in the lands that the Lord had driven them because of their treachery. Thus, this open shame falls on their kings, their officials, and ancestors, because they had all sinned against God.

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The confession of sins (Dan 9:4-9:6)

“I prayed

To the Lord!

My God!

I made a confession.

I said.

‘O Lord!

Great God!

Awesome God!

You keep the covenant!

You have a steadfast love

With those

Who love you,

With those

Who keep your commandments!

We have sinned!

We have done wrong!

We have acted wickedly!

We have rebelled!

We have turned away

From your commandments,

From your ordinances!

We have not listened

To your servants,

The prophets,

Who spoke

In your name,

To our kings,

To our princes,

To our ancestors,

To all the people

Of the land.’”

Daniel personally prayed to God with this first-person singular confession of sins. However, he quickly reverted to the first-person plural “we” from the singular “I.” God was great and awesome. He had kept his covenant with a steadfast love to those who loved him and kept his commandments. However, they had sinned and done wrong. They had acted wickedly. They had rebelled and turned away from his commandments and ordinances. They had not listened to their prophets, kings, princes, ancestors, or even the people of the land.

The defilement of the people (Ezek 20:30-20:31)

“Therefore say

To the house of Israel!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Will you defile yourselves

After the manner

Of your ancestors?

Will you go astray

After their detestable things?

When you offer

Your gifts,

You defile yourselves.

When you make

Your children

Pass through the fire,

You defile yourselves

With all your idols

To this day.

Shall I be consulted

By you?

O house of Israel!

As I live,

I will not be consulted

By you.’ Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh wanted Ezekiel to say to the house of Israel that they should not defile themselves like their ancestors. They should not go astray after their detestable idols. When they offered gifts to these idols, they defiled themselves. When they made their children pass through fire, they also defiled themselves with all their idols. They had been doing this even until the time of Ezekiel. Yahweh wanted to know if he should be consulted by those from the wicked house of Israel. Yahweh was clear. He did not want to be consulted by those who had defiled themselves.

The failure to serve the king of Babylon (Bar 2:21-2:23)

“Thus says the Lord.

‘Bend your shoulders!

Serve

The king of Babylon!

You will then

Remain in the land

That I gave

To your ancestors.

But if you will not obey

The voice of the Lord,

If you will not serve

The king of Babylon,

I will cease

The voice of mirth,

The voice of gladness,

The voice of the bridegroom,

The voice of the bride,

From the towns of Judah,

As well as from the region

Around Jerusalem.

The whole land

Will be a desolation

Without inhabitants.’”

The Lord via the prophets had told the Judeans to bend their shoulders and serve the king of Babylon. If they did that, they would remain in the land that the Lord had given to their ancestors. However, if they did not obey the voice of God, and not serve the king of Babylon, then God would cease to have any sounds of mirth or gladness from the brides or the bridegrooms from the towns of Judah as well as the region around Jerusalem. The whole land would become a desolation without inhabitants. They had a clear choice, obey the Lord and the king of Babylon, or suffer the consequences. They were already in exile, because they had not obeyed the king of Babylon. As usual, Jeremiah and Baruch were pro-Babylonian.

Confession of guilt (Bar 2:6-2:10)

“The Lord

Our God,

Is in the right.

However,

There is open shame

On us

With our ancestors.

This very day,

All those calamities,

With which

The Lord threatened us,

Have come upon us.

Yet we have not entreated

The favor of the Lord,

By turning away,

Each of us,

From the thoughts

Of our wicked hearts.

The Lord

Has kept

The calamities ready.

The Lord has brought them

Upon us.

The Lord is just

In all his works

That he has commanded us

To do.

Yet we have not obeyed

His voice,

To walk

In the statutes

Of the Lord

That he set before us.”

Their Lord was right. Thus they and their ancestors were shamed. The Lord’s threatened disasters have come upon them. However, instead of asking for favors and forgiveness, they turned their thoughts and wicked hearts away from God. The Lord kept these calamities ready to use at any time since he was just. They were the people who would not obey the voice of the Lord in following his statutes. They were guilty of sinning against their Lord and God.

The sins of the ancestors (Lam 5:7-5:8)

“Our ancestors sinned.

They are no more.

We bear

Their iniquities.

Slaves rule

Over us.

There is no one

To deliver us

From their hand.”

Once again in the first person plural, they complain. There is no question that their ancestors had sinned, but they are dead. Thus the present living must bear their iniquities. The Chaldean slaves rule over them. There is no one anywhere who can help them to escape.

Baruch reads the scroll to the royal officials (Jer 36:14-36:16)

“Then all the officials

Sent Jehudi,

The son of Nethaniah,

The son of Shelemiah,

The son of Cushi,

To say to Baruch.

‘Bring the scroll

That you read

In the hearing

Of the people.

Come!’

So Baruch,

The son of Neriah,

Took the scroll

In his hand.

He came to them.

They said to him.

‘Sit down!

Read it to us!’

So Baruch read it to them.

When they heard

All the words,

They turned to one another

In alarm.

They said to Baruch.

‘We certainly must report

All these words

To the king.’”

These royal officials sent a man named Jehudi to get Baruch. Jehudi has three generations of ancestors listed, instead of the usual one or two. Jehudi may mean Jew. Perhaps his great grandfather was an Ethiopian or Cushite, so that his family may have converted to Judaism, giving him this name. Anyway, this man was sent to get Baruch to come before the royal officials with his scroll so that they could hear the exact words of this scroll for themselves. When Baruch came with his scroll, they asked him to sit down like a distinguished teacher. He then read the words of the scroll that he had written under the dictation of Jeremiah. These officials seemed alarmed. They told Baruch that they were going to report the words from the scroll to the king directly. There was nothing secret about this, since Baruch had publically proclaimed these words a little earlier.