Daniel’s accusers were put in the lion’s den (Dan 6:24-6:24)

“The king

Gave a command.

Those men,

Who had accused Daniel,

Were brought to him.

He threw them

Into the den of lions.

He not only threw them,

But their children,

With their wives.

Before they reached

The bottom

Of the den,

The lions

Overpowered them.

The lions broke

All their bones

Into pieces.”

In a reversal of fortunes, which is common among the biblical writings, like in Esther, chapter 6, the conspirators and their families were put into the lion’s den. Before they hit the bottom of the den, the lions had overpowered them, their children, and their wives. All their bones were broken into pieces. The moral of the story is not to be a conspirator.

The destruction of the statue (Dan 2:34-2:35)

“As you looked on,

A stone was cut out,

Not by human hands.

It struck the statue

On its feet

Of iron and clay.

It broke them

Into pieces.

Then the iron,

The clay,

The bronze,

The silver,

The gold,

Were all broken

Into pieces.

They became

Like the chaff

Of the summer threshing floors.

The wind

Carried them away.

Thus,

Not a trace of them

Could be found.

But the stone

That struck the statue

Became a great mountain.

It filled

The whole earth.”

Daniel explained that the statue of the king’s dream was destroyed. Somehow, a stone was cut out of a mountain. Then, this cut rock struck the iron and clay feet of this statue, but with no one with hands directing this rock. Thus, the feet of this statue were broken into pieces. Then the rest of the statue with its iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold also broke into pieces. These small pieces of the statue became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors, blowing in the wind. No one would ever be able to find them. However, the cut rock that struck the feet of the statue became like a big mountain covering the whole earth.

They did not protect the sanctuary (Ezek 44:6-44:8)

“Say to the rebellious house!

Say to the house of Israel!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘O house of Israel!

Let there be an end

To all your abominations!

You admitted

Foreigners,

The uncircumcised in heart,

The uncircumcised in flesh,

To be in my sanctuary.

You profaned

My temple

When you offer to me

My food,

The fat,

With the blood.

You have broken

My covenant,

With all your abominations.

You have not kept charge

Of my sacred offerings!

But you have appointed

Foreigners

To act for you

In keeping my charge

In my sanctuary.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel about the past failures of the rebellious house of Israel. They had failed to protect his sanctuary. Yahweh wanted an end to all their abominations. They had been letting uncircumcised foreigners into his sanctuary. They had profaned Yahweh’s Temple, since they offered fat food with blood. They had broken his covenant with all their abominations. They even appointed foreigners to be in charge of the sacred offerings in his sanctuary.

Many people in the pit (Ezek 32:27-32:28)

“They do not lie

With the fallen warriors

Of long ago,

Who went down

To Sheol

With their weapons

Of war.

Their swords

Were laid

Under their heads.

Their shields

Are upon their bones.

The terror

Of the warriors

Was in the land

Of the living.

So,

You shall be broken.

You shall lie

Among the uncircumcised.

You shall lie

With those

Who were killed

By the sword.”

Although the fallen warriors of long ago also went down to Sheol, they, however, brought their weapons of war with them. Their swords were laid under their heads. Their shields were placed on their bones. Despite this honor in the shadowy underworld afterlife of Sheol, these good warriors had also brought terror in the land of the living. As for the Egyptians and their allies, they would be broken. They would lie in the bad section with the uncircumcised and those who were killed by the sword.

The fire in Egypt (Ezek 30:7-30:8)

“Egypt shall be desolated

Among other

Desolated countries.

Their cities

Shall be

Among cities

Laid waste.

Then they shall know

That I am Yahweh,

When I have set fire

To Egypt.

All who help it

Are broken.”

As in the preceding chapter, Egypt will be desolate among other desolate countries. Its cities would be laid waste. Yahweh was going to set Egypt on fire. All the Egyptian helpers or mercenaries would also be broken.

The king of Judah broke Yahweh’s oath (Ezek 17:19-17:21)

“Therefore thus says

Yahweh God!

‘As I live,

I will surely return

Upon his head

My oath

That he despised.

He broke

My covenant.

I will spread

My net

Over him.

He shall be caught

In my snare.

I will bring him

To Babylon.

I will enter

Into judgment

With him there

For the treason

That he has committed

Against me.

The entire pick

Of his troops

Shall fall

By the sword.

The survivors

Shall be scattered

To every wind.

You shall know

That I,

Yahweh,

Have spoken.’”

It is interesting to note that the covenant and oath that King Zedekiah had sworn to the King of Babylon was interpreted by Yahweh as an oath and alliance with Yahweh, himself. Yahweh was going to return the oath on the king’s head because he had despised this oath. He had broken Yahweh’s covenant when he broke his agreement with the king of Babylon. Yahweh was going to spread his net over him, so that he was going to be caught in his snare. Yahweh was going to bring the king to Babylon to enter judgment on him there for the treason that he had committed against Yahweh. All the king’s best troops would fall by the sword in battle. The survivors would be scattered to every wind. They would know that it was Yahweh who had delivered this judgment.

The useless Pharaoh cannot help (Ezek 17:17-17:18)

“Pharaoh,

With his mighty army,

With his great company,

Will not help him

In war.

When ramps are cast up

With siege walls built

To cut off many lives,

It is difficult.

Because he despised

The oath.

He broke the covenant.

Because he gave

His hand.

Yet he did

All these things.

He shall not escape.”

If the King of Judah, King Zedekiah, was expecting big things from the Egyptian Pharaoh, he was going to be disappointed. Even Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company would not be able to help him in a war, where there were so many ramps and siege walls. The king of Judah had despised his oath and broken his covenant with the King of Babylon. He had given his hand. Yet he did all these things. Thus he was not going to escape.

The second eagle was Egypt (Ezek 17:15-17:16)

“But the new king

Rebelled against him.

He sent ambassadors

To Egypt.

He hoped

That they might

Give him

Horses

With a large army.

Will he succeed?

Can one escape

Who does such things?

Can he break the covenant?

Can he yet escape?

As I live,

Says Yahweh God!

‘Surely in the place

Where the king resides,

Who made him king,

Whose oath he despised,

Whose covenant

With him

He broke,

He shall die

In Babylon.’”

The explanation of the riddle of the eagles continued with the assertion that the second eagle was Egypt. This new king, King Zedekiah, rebelled against the king of Babylon. King Zedekiah sent ambassadors to Egypt in order to get horses and a large army. Would he succeed? What happens to people who do things like this? Would he be able to break the covenant and escape? Yahweh had a different idea. The king of Judah had broken his agreement with the king of Babylon, the same one who put him on the throne. The result was that the king of Judah would die in Babylon.

The eternal covenant (Ezek 16:59-16:60)

“Yes!

Thus says Yahweh God.

‘I will deal

With you

As you have done.

You have despised

The oath.

You have broken

The covenant.

Yet I will remember

My covenant

With you

In the days

Of your youth.

I will establish

With you

An everlasting covenant.”

Yahweh was going to establish an everlasting covenant with Jerusalem, even though she had forgotten and despised this oath. She had broken her covenant with Yahweh. However, he would remember the days of Jerusalem’s youth. He would remember the day that he established his everlasting covenant with her, despite the lack of commitment on her part.

Against the altars in the high places (Ezek 6:4-6:7)

“Your altars

Shall become desolate.

Your incense stands

Shall be broken.

I will throw down

Your slain

In front of your idols.

I will lay

The corpses

Of the people of Israel

In front of your idols.

I will scatter your bones

Around your altars.

Wherever you live,

Your towns

Shall be waste.

Your high places

Shall be ruined.

Thus your altars

Shall be waste.

Your altars

Shall be ruined.

Your idols

Shall be broken.

Your idols

Shall be destroyed.

Your incense stands

Shall be cut down.

Your works

Shall be wiped out.

The slain shall fall

In your midst.

Then you shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh continued to tell Ezekiel that these Israelite altars would become desolate. The incense stands would be broken. Yahweh would throw down the dead corpses in front of the idols there. He was going to scatter their bones around these altars. No matter where they might live, Yahweh was going to lay waste to these high places, so that they all would be ruined. The idols would be broken and destroyed. Their incense stands would be cut down. All their works would be wiped out, as many died among them. They would all know that Yahweh was the one who did all this.