The reaction to the death of the first born (Wis 18:10-18:13)

“The discordant cry of their enemies

Echoed back.

Their piteous lament for their children

Was spread abroad.

The slave was punished

With the same penalty as the master.

The commoner suffered

The same loss as the king.

They suffered all together,

By the one form of death.

They had corpses too many to count.

The living were not sufficient

Even to bury them.

In one instant,

Their most valued children

Had been destroyed.

Even though they had disbelieved everything

Because of their magic arts,

Yet when their first-borns were destroyed,

They acknowledged your people

To be God’s child.”

After this deadly event, the Egyptians were upset. Here there seems to be sense of the horrific action here that took place that was not present in the original Exodus story. The cries of these parents echoed throughout the land. Their lament went throughout the world. Every first born child in Egypt had been killed. It did not matter whether they were slave or master, king or common person. They all suffered the same with their dead children. There were too many corpses to count and not enough people to bury the dead. These precious children had been killed. On the positive side, these disbelievers (ἀπιστοῦντες), who just had their children killed, acknowledged that the Israelites were God’s children or sons (Θεοῦ υἱὸν λαὸν εἶναι).

Yahweh judges (Ps 110:5-110:7)

“Yahweh is at your right hand.

He will shatter kings

On the day of his wrath.

He will execute judgment

Among the nations.

He will fill them with corpses.

He will shatter heads

Over the wide earth.

He will drink

From the stream by the path.

Therefore he will lift up his head.”

This short psalm ends with Yahweh giving this king, probably David, the power to judge. Thus the Christian interpretation of the Messiah as king, priest, and judge would be based on this psalm. Here there is a role reversal from the first verse as Yahweh is at the king’s right hand. Now this is a king who shatters other kings on the day of wrath. He too will execute judgment on the other nations as well. He will fill their countries with corpses. He will shatter their heads on the earth. He will drink from the streams along the pathway so that he will lift up his head. Yes, this is a difficult psalm to understand, so that the Davidic Christian messianic interpretation is certainly possible.

King Ptolemy VI sees the destruction at Azotus (1 Macc 11:4-11:7)

“When King Ptolemy approached Azotus, they showed him the burnt out temple of Dagon, Azotus, and its suburbs destroyed. The corpses were lying about. The charred bodies of those whom Jonathan had burned in the war had been piled in heaps along his route. They also told the king what Jonathan had done, to throw blame on him. However, the king kept silent. Jonathan met the king at Joppa with pomp. They greeted one another and spent the night there. Jonathan went with the king as far as the river called Eleutherus. Then he returned to Jerusalem.”

It was hard to tell what King Ptolemy of Egypt thought about the destruction at Azotus. There were dead bodies piled up all over the place. The temple of Dagon had been destroyed. They told the king that Jonathan had done all this. Jonathan then met the king at Joppa. They greeted each other and stayed 1 night together. The next day, Jonathan left the king at the River Eleutherus, which is north of Tripolis, to return to Jerusalem.