The cornerstone of justice at Zion (Isa 28:16-28:16)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh God.

‘See!

I am laying in Zion

A foundation stone,

A tested stone,

A precious cornerstone,

A sure foundation.

‘One who trusts

Will not panic.’

I will make

Justice the line

With righteousness the plummet.’”

Yahweh, via Isaiah, says that he is going to lay a new tested foundation as the precious cornerstone in Zion. People who trust in Yahweh will not panic. The line and the plummet lead bob for this construction of the new Jerusalem will be justice and righteousness.

The Olympics at Tyre (2 Macc 4:18-4:20)

When the quadrennial games were being held at Tyre, the king was present. The vile Jason sent envoys, chosen as being citizens of Antioch from Jerusalem. They were to carry three hundred silver drachmas for the sacrifice to Hercules. Those who carried the money, however, thought best not to use it for sacrifice, because that was inappropriate. They spent if for another purpose. So this money that was intended by the sender for the sacrifice to Hercules, but by the decision of its carriers it was applied to the construction of triremes.”

Now we have the Olympics in the biblical tradition. The quadrennial Olympics were held in Tyre. The Greek Olympics began in 776 BCE. However, they were eliminated by the Christian Emperor Theodosius in 393 CE as a pagan cult. Although the Olympics were only held in Olympia in Greece, there were other gatherings of athletes in what might be called Pan-Hellenic Games that were held throughout the ancient world in various cities at different times what were also called Olympics. Tyre was an important sea port town north of Palestine. Hercules was the name of god of Tyre. Instead of offering the sacrifice to Hercules, these so-called Antiochian envoys to these games made triremes, war vessels with rowers on each side.

Back to building the wall (Neh 4:15-4:20)

“When our enemies heard that their plot was known to us, and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work. From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and body armor. The leaders posted themselves behind the whole house of Judah, those building the wall. The burden bearers carried their loads in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and with the other held a weapon. Each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me. I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people. ‘The work is great and widely spread out. We are separated far from one another on the wall. Rally to us wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet! Our God will fight for us.’”

Once their enemies found out that they knew about the plot everything settled down. They started back to work on the wall because God had frustrated their enemies. The leaders backed this new plan. Each one would have a weapon as they worked. They had spears, shields, bows, and body armor. All the builders had a sword strapped to their side. Nehemiah also had a trumpet man with him as he walked around. If the trumpet sounded, they would all rally around the place where there was a problem. They now had become worker soldiers. Their God was going to fight for them.