The king was becoming Jewish (Dan 14:28-14:28)

“When the Babylonians

Heard about the dragon,

They were very indignant.

They conspired

Against the king.

They said.

‘The king

Has become a Jew.

He has destroyed Bel.

He has killed the dragon.

He has slaughtered the priests.’”

The Babylonians were upset at the king, after they heard what Daniel had done to the dragon. They were indignant. Thus, they conspired against the king. They were saying the king was becoming Jewish. He had destroyed their idol god Bel and the mysterious dragon god that they had worshipped. Besides that, the king had killed all the priests of the Bel temple. They were concerned about the Jewish influence of Daniel on their king.

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Darius the Mede takes over (Dan 5:31-5:31)

“Darius,

The Mede,

Received

The kingdom.

He was about

Sixty-two years old.”

There is a lot of conjecture about this Darius, the Mede. The Medes joined with the Babylonians to overthrow the Assyrians. They came under Persian power around 550 BCE. Cyrus of Persia was the real power that conquered Babylon in 539 BCE. This Darius appears to be based on Darius I (522-486 BCE), the third Persian Emperor, not a contemporary of Cyrus or Daniel. Nevertheless, this was the end of the great Babylonian empire. Thus, ends the story of the great dinner party that finished in a disaster for the king, because he had dared to drink wine from the sacred vessels of the Jerusalem Temple.

Prostitution with the Egyptians (Ezek 16:26-16:26)

“You also played

The whore

With the Egyptians,

Your lustful neighbors.

You multiplied

Your prostitution

To provoke me

To anger.”

Yahweh said that Jerusalem played the whore with her lustful neighbors, the Egyptians. He felt that she multiplied her prostitute ways in order to provoke Yahweh to anger.  This was an indication about the intention of the king of Judah to form a foreign alliance with Egypt against the Babylonians.

Weeping for the god Tammuz (Ezek 8:14-8:15)

“Then he brought me

To the entrance

Of the north gate

Of the house

Of Yahweh.

Women were sitting there,

Weeping

For Tammuz.

Then he said to me.

‘Have you seen this?

O son of man!

You will see

Still greater abominations

Than these.’”

Next Yahweh brought Ezekiel to the north gate of the Temple. Women were sitting there weeping for the god Tammuz, a food or vegetation god common among Assyrians and Babylonians. He was the only god explicitly mentioned in this tour of the abominations in Israel. The weeping for the lost of Tammuz was generally around the summer solstice, when the vegetation began to dry out. Thus Tammuz would descent into hell at this time. These women were weeping and mourning for his loss. Interesting enough, the Church of the Nativity of Jesus in Bethlehem was built on an old shrine to Adonis-Tammuz. Once again, in the same terms, Yahweh warned Ezekiel that he had not seen anything yet. There were still greater abominations to come.

Go to the hard headed house of Israel (Ezek 3:4-3:9)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘Son of man!

Go to the house of Israel!

Speak my very words to them!

You are not sent

To a people

Of obscure speech

With a difficult language,

But to the house of Israel.

You are not sent to people

Of obscure speech

With a difficult language,

Whose words

You cannot understand.

If I sent you to them,

They would listen to you.

But the house of Israel

Will not listen to you.

They are not willing

To listen to me.

Because all the house of Israel

Have a hard forehead.

They have a stubborn heart.

I have made your face hard

Against their faces.

I have made your forehead hard

Against their foreheads.

Like the hardest stone,

Harder than flint,

I have made your forehead.

Do not fear them!

Do not be dismayed

At their looks.

They are a rebellious house.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel, the son of man, to go to the house of Israel. He was to speak Yahweh’s words to them. Yahweh was not sending him to people who had an obscure and difficult language, like the Babylonians, who would not understand what he was saying. However, they might listen to what he had to say. Instead he was being sent to the Israelites, whose language they both shared. These Israelites would not even listen to Yahweh, because they had a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. Yahweh was going to make Ezekiel’s face hard against their faces. He was going to make Ezekiel’s forehead hard against their foreheads. His face and forehead would be like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Therefore, Ezekiel should not fear them. He should not be dismayed at their looks, because they were a rebellious house.

The collection for Jerusalem (Bar 1:5-1:7)

“Then they wept.

They fasted.

They prayed

Before the Lord.

They collected

As much money

As each could give.

They sent it

To Jerusalem

To the high priest

Jehoiakim,

The son of Hilkiah,

The son of Shallum,

To the priests,

To all the people

Who were present

With him

In Jerusalem.”

Apparently, this gathering was with all the Judean exiles, and not any Babylonians. There, after the reading, they wept, fasted, and prayed to the Lord. After that, they took up a collection for the people who were left behind in Jerusalem. They were going to send it to the now high priest and the priests left in Jerusalem, Jehoiakim, the son of Hilkiah, the son of Shallum. There was no indication of how this money would get there. It was a free will offering, with each one giving what they could.

The fire of Yahweh (Lam 4:11-4:11)

Kaph

“Yahweh gave

Full vent

To his wrath.

He poured out

His hot anger.

He kindled

A fire

In Zion,

That consumed

Its foundations.”

Yahweh was angry at Jerusalem. Thus he vented his anger when he started a fire in Zion that consumed it down to its foundations. Yahweh, not the Babylonians, set the city on fire. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Kaph in this acrostic poem.