Past crimes (Hos 6:7-6:9)

“But like Adam,

They transgressed the covenant.

There they dealt faithlessly

With me.

Gilead is a city

Of evildoers,

Tracked with blood.

As robbers lie in wait

For someone,

So,

The priests

Are banded together.

They murder

On the way to Shechem.

They commit

A monstrous crime.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, compared the sin of Adam with the other later Israelites. They had broken the covenant. Perhaps the “there” mentioned here was the 40 years in the wilderness, when sometimes they were unfaithful to Yahweh. The city of Gilead, on the other side of the Jordan River, was a city of bloody evil people. Just as robbers wait for someone to come by to rob, so the priests have joined together to murder people on their way to the northern shrine at Shechem. They have committed all kinds of monstrous crimes. Perhaps, this northern Israelite Samaritan sanctuary was considered the great monstrosity. Notice the continual anti-clericalism of the prophets.

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The king finds the rations gone (Dan 14:16-14:18)

“Early in the morning,

The king arose.

He came

With Daniel.

The king said.

‘Are the seals unbroken?

Daniel!’

He answered.

‘They are unbroken.’

O king!’

As soon as the doors

were opened,

The king looked

At the table.

He shouted

In a loud voice.

‘You are great!

O Bel!

In you

There is no deceit

At all!’”

The next morning, both the king and Daniel got up early and went to the temple. The king wanted to know if the seals had been broken. Daniel responded that the seals were still intact. Then they opened the doors to the temple. The king then went to the table where the food had been set up. Then, he shouted out that there was no deceit in the god Bel, because all the food was gone.

The great power of the goat decimated (Dan 8:8-8:8)

“Then the male goat

Grew exceedingly great.

But at the height

Of his power,

The great horn

Was broken.

In its place,

There came up

Four prominent horns

Toward the four winds

Of heaven.”

This male goat became exceeding great, Alexander the Great. However, at the height of his power, at the age of 32, he died. Thus, the great horn was broken. Instead of one leader, there were 4 horns or leaders, equivalent to the 4 winds of heaven. These were Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus, and Ptolemy, the successors of Alexander.

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.