Get rid of the tree (Dan 4:14-4:14)

“The holy watcher

Cried aloud.

He said.

‘Cut down

The tree!

Chop off

Its branches!

Strip off

Its foliage!

Scatter its fruit!

Let the animals flee

From under it!

Let the birds flee

From its branches!’”

This holy watcher or angel from heaven told the king in a loud commanding voice to chop the tree down, cut off its branches, and strip it of all its leaves. The fruit of the tree was to be scattered all over the place. The animals should no longer lay under its shade. The birds should leave its branches. Thus, the beautiful tree would be cut down and be no more.

The response of Yahweh (Isa 6:11-6:13)

“Then I said.

‘How long?

O Lord!’

Yahweh said.

‘Until cities lie waste

Without inhabitants.

Until houses are

Without people.

Until the land is

Utterly desolate.

Until Yahweh sends

Everyone far away.

Until vast is

The emptiness

In the midst of the land.

Even if a tenth part remains in it,

It will be burned again.

It will be like a terebinth.

It will be like an oak

Whose stump remains standing

When it is felled.’

The holy seed is its stump.”

Isaiah wanted to know how long his prophetic work would have to be. Yahweh responded with an indication that the holy land would be destroyed. He would continue until the cities had nobody living in them, until there were houses abandoned, left empty. The land would be desolate. Everybody would be sent away, so that the land itself would be left bare. Probably a tenth of those would remain. Just like when an oak tree or a terebinth bush is burned, the stump still remained until someone came along to dig it up and chop it into pieces. Likewise, the holy seed of Israel is like a stump.