Abraham (Lk 3:34-3:34)

This is where the genealogy of Matthew ends with Abraham.  Luke continued further back.  He said that Judah was the son of Jacob (τοῦ Ἰακὼβ), who had 12 sons with 4 different women, that become the 12 tribes of Israel.  Jacob was the son of Isaac (τοῦ Ἰσαὰκ), the son of Abraham (τοῦ Ἀβραὰμ), who was the son of Terah (τοῦ Θάρα), the son of Nahor (τοῦ Ναχὼρ).  Throughout the Torah, there was a continual reference to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  These 3 generations were key to Hebrew and Jewish history.  Their stories can be found in the book of Genesis, chapters 12-35.  Remember that Abraham had a son with his wife’s maid, Hagar, who was called Ishmael.  However, both were sent away.  Jacob had a twin brother named Esau, whom he tricked out of his father’s inheritance.  Terah and Nahor can be found in 1 Chronicles, chapter 1:26, and Genesis, chapter 11:24-32.  Nahor was the name of Abram’s grandfather and his brother.  Abram, appeared to be the oldest, took a wife named Sarai, who was barren.  Later it will be revealed that Sarai is his half-sister, since Terah had a concubine.  They all lived at Ur in the Chaldeans, probably in northwest Mesopotamia.  Terah took his son Abram and his wife, Sarai, and his grandson Lot, and left Ur and went to Canaan.  However, they settled in a place that had the same name as his dead son, Haran.  This may have been part of a huge migration in the early second millennium, about 2000 years before the common Christian era.

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The accusations against his Jewish appointees (Dan 3:12-3:12)

“‘There are certain Jews

Whom you have appointed

Over the affairs

Of the province

Of Babylon,

Shadrach,

Meshach,

Abednego.

These pay no heed

To you.

O king!

They do not serve

Your gods.

They do not worship

The golden statue

That you have set up.’”

These Chaldeans were more specific. They accused the 3 companions of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were in charge of the provinces of Babylon, of not listening to the king. They were not serving the gods of Babylon. They even did not worship the golden statue that the King had set up. Thus, these Babylonian officials, although Jewish, were not following the king’s orders.

The accusations against the Jews (Dan 3:8-3:11)

“Therefore,

At this time,

Certain Chaldeans

Came forward.

They denounced

The Jews.

They said

To King Nebuchadnezzar.

‘O king!

Live forever!

You!

O king!

Have made a decree

That everyone

Who hears

The sound of the horn,

The pipe,

The lyre,

The trigon,

The harp,

The drum,

The entire musical ensemble,

Shall fall down!

They shall worship

The golden statue.

Whoever does not

Fall down,

Who does not

Worship,

Shall be thrown

Into a furnace

Of a blazing fire.’”

Certain Chaldeans went to King Nebuchadnezzar to denounce the Jews. They reminded him that he had sent out a decree that everyone who heard the sound of the horn, the pipe, the lyre, the trigon, the harp, the drum, or any musical instrument should fall down and worship this golden statue. Anyone who failed to do so, would be thrown into a fiery furnace.

The impossible task (Dan 2:10-2:11)

The Chaldeans answered

The king.

‘There is not a man

On earth

Who can reveal

What the king demanded.

In fact,

No king,

However great

Or powerful,

Has ever asked

Such a thing

Of any magician,

Or enchanter

Or Chaldean.

The thing

That the king is asking

is difficult.

No one can reveal it

To the king,

Except the gods,

Whose dwelling

Is not with mortals.’”

The Chaldeans responded that this was an impossible task. No one could reveal what the king dreamt. In fact, no king anywhere, no matter how great and powerful, ever asked for such a request from his royal court. Only the many gods in their extra-terrestrial setting might know the answer. Certainly, no mortals would be able to respond to this impossible request.

The king insists that they should know the dream (Dan 2:8-2:9)

“The king answered.

‘I know with certainty

That you are trying

To gain time.

You see

That I have firmly

Decreed it.

If you do not

Tell me the dream

There is but one verdict

For you.

You have agreed

To speak lying words

To me.

You have agreed

To speak misleading words

To me,

Until things take a turn.

Therefore,

Tell me the dream!

Then I shall know

That you can give me

Its interpretation.’”

The king would not budge. He responded to the Chaldeans that they were only trying to gain time. They had to tell him the dream first. Otherwise, they might come up with some lying and misleading words. He wanted them to tell him his dream or else they would die. Then, after they explained the dream, he might be willing to accept their interpretation.

They wanted to know the dream first (Dan 2:7-2:7)

“They answered

A second time.

‘Let the king

First tell

His servants

The dream.

Then we can give

its interpretation.’”

The Chaldeans were insistent. They told the king again that they were perfectly willing to interpret the dream, but they had to know the dream in order to interpret it.