The words of Yahweh in the Temple (Ezek 43:7-43:7)

“He said to me.

‘Son of man!

This is the place

Of my throne.

This is the place

Of the soles

Of my feet.

I will reside

Among the people

Of Israel

Forever!

The house of Israel

Shall no more

Defile

My holy name.

Neither they,

Nor their kings,

By their prostitution,

By the corpses

Of their kings,

At their death,

Defile

My holy name.’”

Yahweh spoke directly to Ezekiel using his normal appellation, son of man. However, rather than an amorphous glorified God, he refers to himself in anthropomorphic terms. Yahweh was going to sit on a throne, like a king. The soles of his feet would walk in this place. He was going to live among his people, not just for a short time but forever. However, there was a caveat. They were not to defile his holy name. Neither the people or their kings should tarnish his sacred name with their prostitution and dead bodies of kings in his Temple.

The punishment for the Judeans in Egypt (Jer 44:26-44:28)

“Therefore,

Hear the word of Yahweh!

All you Judeans

Who live in the land of Egypt!

‘See!

I swear

By my great name!’

Says Yahweh.

‘My name shall no longer

Be pronounced

On the lips

Of any of the people of Judah

In all the land of Egypt.’

Saying.

‘As Yahweh God lives,

I am going to watch

Over them

For harm,

Not for good.

All the people of Judah

Who are in the land of Egypt

Shall perish

By the sword

By famine,

Until no one is left.

Those who escape the sword

Shall return

From the land of Egypt

To the land of Judah,

Few in number.

All the remnant of Judah,

Who came to the land of Egypt

To settle,

Shall know

Whose words will stand,

Mine or theirs!’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, lets the Judeans in Egypt know about their punishment. They will no longer call Yahweh, their God. Yahweh was going to bring them harm, not good things. They were all going to die by the sword or famine, until no one was left there. Then there was a caveat, if some did escape from the wrath of Yahweh, they would be very few in number. They were going to know whose words had more power. Yahweh made it very personal with the taunt about which word was going to stand, theirs or his.

Slaves and servants (Sir 7:20-7:21)

“Do not abuse slaves

Who work faithfully.

Do not abuse hired laborers

Who devote themselves to their task.

Let your soul love intelligent slaves.

Do not withhold from them their freedom.”

Sirach continued with his recommendations about slaves. First, you should not abuse slaves. However, this is only for those who work faithfully. It might be okay to abuse the ones who are not working. Secondly, you should not abuse the hired laborers either. But once again there is a caveat that this applies only to those who do their tasks. Otherwise, it was okay to abuse the stragglers. You should love intelligent slaves like yourself. In fact, you should free them. This seems to indicate that the smart slaves should be set free, but the dumb ones should remain in bondage.

Quiet wise words (Eccl 9:17-9:18)

“The quiet words of the wise

Are more to be heeded

Than the shouting of a ruler

Among fools.

Wisdom is better

Than weapons of war.

But one bungler

Destroys much good.”

Qoheleth believes that you should listen to the quiet words of the wise rather than the shouting of a ruler among fools. This is somewhat revolutionary saying that the wise are better than the rulers. This strong statement indicates that wisdom is better than war weapons. However, there is a caveat. One bungler can destroy much good.