The gathering of the lame people (Mic 4:6-4:7)

“Yahweh says.

‘In that day,

I will assemble the lame.

I will gather

Those who have been driven away.

I will gather

Those whom I have afflicted.

The lame,

I will make the remnant.

Those who were cast off,

I will make a strong nation.

Yahweh will reign over them

In Mount Zion,

Now and forever.”

In some future day, Yahweh, via Micah, was going to assemble the lame and the afflicted.  This also included those who had been driven away.  He was going to make the lame a remnant of the good people.  He was going to make them all a strong nation, where Yahweh would rule over them from Mount Zion, both now and forever.

The future return to Israel (Ezek 11:16-11:17)

“Therefore say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Even though I removed them

Far away

Among the nations,

Even though I scattered them

Among the countries,

Yet I have been a sanctuary

To them

For a little while

In the countries

Where they have gone.’

Therefore say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will gather you

From the various people.

I will assemble you

Out of the various countries

Where you have been scattered.

I will give you

The land of Israel.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel what to say. Yahweh had scattered his people among various countries and nations. However, he remained a sanctuary for them for a little while, no matter where they went. However, he was going to gather them and assemble them from these various countries that they had been scattered into. Once again, he was going to give them the land of Israel.

The call of Cyrus to fight against the Babylonians (Isa 48:14-48:16)

“Assemble!

All of you!

Hear!

Who among them has declared these things?

Yahweh loves him.

He shall perform his purpose on Babylon.

His arm shall be against the Chaldeans.

I!

Even I have spoken!

I called him!

I have brought him!

He will prosper in his way.

Draw near to me!

Hear this!

From the beginning,

I have not spoken in secret.

From the time it came to be,

I have been there.            

‘Yahweh God has sent me.

He has sent his Spirit.’”

Second Isaiah reveals the new things to happen. Once again, everyone had to assemble and listen to what Yahweh had to say. Thus Yahweh declared that he loved Cyrus who was about to attack Babylon and use his arm against these Chaldeans. Yahweh clearly says that he has called him, but Cyrus will prosper in his own way. Yahweh wanted the Israelites to know that he had not spoken in secret, since he has always existed. Apparently Cyrus, without explicitly mentioning him by name, responded saying that Yahweh had sent his Spirit to him.

Yahweh is a universal God (Isa 45:20-45:21)

“Assemble yourselves!

Come together!

You survivors of the nations!

They have no knowledge.

They carry about their wooden idols.

They keep on praying to a god

That cannot save.

Declare!

Present your case!

Let them take counsel together!

Who told this long ago?

Who declared it of old?

Was it not I?

Yahweh?

There is no other god besides me.

I am a righteous God!

I am a Savior!

There is no one besides me.”

Next Second Isaiah has Yahweh proclaim to all the nations that he is the only God. Yahweh wanted all the survivors of the various nations to assemble and come together. They were stupid, since they carry around their wooden idols. They pray to these wooden idols that cannot save them. Let them make their case and counsel together. Who was able to tell about things long ago before they actually happened? Only Yahweh was able to do that. There is no other god besides Yahweh, who is a righteous God who saves. Yahweh defends himself against all these other gods.

Mordecai writes the letter about the Jews to the empire (Esth 8:9-8:12)

“The king’s secretaries were summoned at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day. An edict was written according to all that Mordecai commanded. It was sent to the Jews, to the satraps, the governors, and the officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces. This went to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, and also to the Jews in their script and their language. He wrote letters in the name of King Artaxerxes. He sealed them with the king’s ring. He sent them by mounted couriers riding on swift horses that were used in the king’s service, bred from the royal herd. By these letters, the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to assemble and defend their lives. They were able to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, with their children and women, and to plunder their goods, on a single day throughout all the provinces of King Artaxerxes, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.”

All the king’s secretaries came to help Mordecai. This took place at Sivan, which is in the May-June time frame. The Persians had something like the later American Pony Express, with horses for their couriers. Notice that it was written in various languages and scripts for the 127 provinces of the Persian Empire. This letter had the king’s seal from his ring. This section is like that in chapter 3, when Haman was writing his letter to exterminate the Jews. This letter said that all the Jews could respond when they are attacked on the 13th day of the 12th month of Adar. They were allowed to destroy, kill, and plunder anyone attacking them. The Greek text also says that they should be allowed to follow their own laws.

The book of genealogy (Neh 7:5-7:5)

“Then my God put it into my mind to assemble the nobles and the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogy. I found the book of the genealogy of those who were the first to come back.”

Nehemiah has God tell him to enroll everyone in a book of genealogy. He found the book of genealogy about those who had returned after the exile. The important people were captured by King Nebuchadnezzar around 582 BCE. This return is around 537 BCE so that some of these people may have still been living. Although the prophet Jeremiah had predicted 70 years, that might include the years of the first attack. If not the original captured people, certainly these were their sons or grandsons.