The good river (Ezek 47:10-47:12)

“People will stand fishing

Beside the sea,

From En-gedi

To En-eglaim.

It will be a place

For the spreading

Of nets.

Its fish will be

Of a great many kinds,

Like the fish

Of the Great Sea.

But its swamps,

With its marshes,

Will not become fresh.

They are to be left

For salt.

On the banks,

On both sides

Of the river,

There will grow

All kinds of trees

For food.

Their leaves

Will not wither.

Their fruit

Will not fail.

But they will bear

Fresh fruit

Every month,

Because the water

For them

Flows from the sanctuary.

Their fruit will be

For food.

Their leaves will be

For healing.”

This mysterious water from the Temple would mean that people could fish out on the northwestern side of the Dead Sea from En-gedi to En-eglaim. All one had to do was spread fishing nets, then all kinds of wonderful fish would be caught, just like in the great Mediterranean Sea. However, the swamps and marshes would not become fresh, but they would remain salty. On both sides of this river, all kinds of trees would grow with monthly fresh fruit and perennial leaves for healing. This river coming from the sanctuary of the Temple had all these wonderful powers because of the power of Yahweh, much like other Canaanite and Mesopotamian mythical rivers.

 

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The idol sacrifices in high places (Ezek 20:28-20:29)

“I had brought them

Into the land

That I swore

To give them.

Then wherever they saw

Any high hill

Or any leafy tree,

There they offered

Their sacrifices.

They presented

The provocation

Of their offering.

There they sent up

Their pleasing odors.

There they poured out

Their drink offerings.

I said to them.

What is the high place

To which you go?

It is called Bamah

To this day.”

Now Yahweh reminded them, via Ezekiel, that when he brought them into the land that he swore to give to their ancestors, they ran to every high hill or leafy tree. There they set up altars of sacrifice. They provoked Yahweh with their sacrifices. They presented their offerings with sweet smelling incense and drink offerings. This may have been some sort of Canaanite or Egyptian fertility rite, since they had not given up their old ways. There is a play on words as Yahweh wanted to know what this high place was called. Bamah meant a high place of worship that had been used by the Canaanites, but still existed at the time of Ezekiel.

The Israelites in Egypt (Isa 19:18-19:18)

“On that day,

There will be five cities

In the land of Egypt

That speak the language of Canaan.

They swear allegiance

To Yahweh of hosts.

One of these will be called

The City of the Sun.”

This section seems to imply that Israelites had settled in 5 Egyptian cities. We know that they were in Alexandria after the 4th century BCE. Perhaps there were some settlements in the 6th century BCE during the time of the Exile. On other hand, some of these may have been Israelites who never left Egypt when Moses led the Exodus. 5 of these cities in Egypt were speaking Canaanite or a Semitic language, not the Egyptian language. They all swore allegiance to Yahweh. One of these cities was the City of Sun, probably a reference to Heliopolis, which is near present day Cairo.

Thanksgiving for past victories (Ps 108:7-108:9)

“God has promised in his sanctuary.

‘With exultation

I will divide up Shechem.

I will portion out the Vale of Succoth.

Gilead is mine.

Manasseh is mine.

Ephraim is my helmet.

Judah is my scepter.

Moab is my washbasin.

On Edom

I hurl my shoe.

Over Philistia

I shout in triumph.’”

This section is a repeat almost word for word of the same victories mentioned in Psalm 60. God directly promised or spoke in his sanctuary to David. This is one of the few times that this phraseology is used, assuming that the sanctuary of the Temple was completed. This probably was a prophet speaking in the name of God, but there is no specific indication here. He rattled off a series of Israelite victories. Shechem was a former Canaanite city that was now divided up and part of the territory of Manasseh. Succoth was conquered during the time of the Judges. Gilead was on the eastern side of the Jordan River where the tribes of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh lived. Only 3 Israelite tribes are mentioned here, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Judah. Judah would become the favorite when the split between the north and the south took place as the north became known as Israel. Moab was a mere washbasin on the east side of the Dead Sea. Edom was in the north. The phrase “hurl a shoe” seemed obsolete until some Iraqi journalist hurled his shoe at President George W. Bush to show his contempt. Philistines were on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Thus this is a list of the various victorious Israelite battles.

The past victories (Ps 60:6-60:8)

“God promised in his sanctuary.

‘With exultation

I will divide up Shechem.

I will portion out the Vale of Succoth.

Gilead is mine!

Manasseh is mine!

Ephraim is my helmet!

Judah is my scepter!

Moab is my washbasin!

On Edom I hurl my shoe!

Over Philistia I shout in triumph.’”

The prayer was answered. God directly promised or spoke. This is one of the few times that this phraseology is used. It also assumes the sanctuary of the Temple is completed. This probably was a prophet speaking in the name of God, but there is no specific indication here. He listed off the Israelite victories. Shechem was a former Canaanite city that was now divided up and part of the territory of Manasseh. Succoth was conquered during the time of the Judges. Gilead was on the eastern side of the Jordan River where the tribes of Gad and half tribe of Manasseh lived. Only 3 Israelite tribes are mentions, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Judah. Judah would become the favorite with the split between the north and the south, when the north became known as Israel. Moab was a mere washbasin, the east side of the Dead Sea. Edom was in the north. The phrase “hurl a shoe” seemed obsolete until some Iraqis journalist hurled his shoe at President George W. Bush to show his contempt. Philistines were on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Thus this is a victorious Israel, so why are they complaining?

Jonathan attacks the Jambri wedding party (1 Macc 9:37-9:42)

“After these things were reported to Jonathan and his brother Simon, they said.

‘The family of Jambri was celebrating a great wedding.

They were conducting the bride,

A daughter of one of the great nobles of Canaan,

From Nadabath with a large escort.’

They remembered how their brother John had been killed. They went up and hid under the cover of the mountains. They looked out and saw a tumultuous procession with a great amount of baggage. The bridegroom came out with his friends and his brothers to meet them with tambourines, musicians, and many weapons. Then they rushed upon them from the ambush. They began killing them. Many were wounded and fell. The rest fled to the mountains. The Jews took all their goods. Thus the wedding was turned into mourning. The voice of their musicians was turned into a funeral dirge. After they had fully avenged the blood of their brother, they returned to the marshes of the Jordan River.”

            Jonathan and his brother Simon were upset about the attack and death of their brother John at the hands of the Jambri family. They saw that the Jambri family was celebrating a big wedding. One of daughters of a Canaanite was marrying a man from Jambri. They were having a great procession with tambourines and musicians. Jonathan, Simon, and his group attacked the wedding party. They wounded and killed some, while others fled. Their joyous wedding music turned into a mourning funeral dirge. After they avenged the blood of their brother, they returned to the marshes along the Jordan River.