Daniel gets stronger (Dan 10:18-10:19)


One in a human form

Touched me.

He strengthened me.

He said.

‘Do not fear!

Greatly beloved!

You are safe!

Be strong!

Be courageous!’

When he spoke

To me,

I was strengthened.

I said.

‘Let my lord speak!

You have strengthened me.’”

Then this appearance of a man or the angel Gabriel touched Daniel again. This time, it made Daniel stronger. This angel told Daniel not to fear because he was greatly loved and safe. Instead, Daniel was to be strong and courageous. When this figure spoke, Daniel felt strengthened. Finally, he told him, his lord, to speak because he had made him stronger.

The enemies of Jerusalem (Bar 4:30-4:35)

“Take courage!

O Jerusalem!

The one who named you

Will comfort you.

Wretched will be

Those who mistreated you!

They rejoiced at your fall.

Wretched will be

The cities

That your children

Served as slaves!

Wretched will be

The city

That received your offspring!

She rejoiced

At your fall.

She was glad

For your ruin.

Now she will be grieved

At her own desolation.

I will take away her pride

In her great population.

Her insolence

Will be turned to grief.

Fire will come upon her

from the Everlasting One

For many days.

For a long time,

She will be inhabited

By demons.”

Now there is a turn, as this author speaks directly to Jerusalem instead of Jerusalem herself complaining. Jerusalem was encouraged to be courageous. She would be comforted. However, those who mistreated her and rejoiced at her fall will be miserable. The cities where the children of Jerusalem served as slaves would be miserable also. The city of Babylon, that received the children of Jerusalem, rejoiced and was glad at the downfall and ruin of Jerusalem. Now they will be grieved at their own desolation. The pride of those people and their insolence will be turned to grief. The Everlasting One, not Yahweh, will bring fire upon it for many days. For a long time it will be inhabited by demons.

The effects of indispensable wisdom (Wis 8:10-8:15)

“Because of her

I shall have glory among the multitudes.

I shall have honor in the presence of the elders,

Even though I am young.

I shall be found keen in judgment.

In the sight of rulers

I shall be admired.

When I am silent,

They will wait for me.

When I speak,

They will give heed.

When I speak at greater length,

They will put their hands on their mouths.

Because of her

I shall have immortality.

I shall leave an everlasting remembrance

To those who come after me.

I shall govern peoples.

Nations will be subject to me.

Dread monarchs will be afraid of me

When they hear of me.

Among the people

I shall show myself capable.

I shall be courageous in war.”

The influence of wisdom on his life was remarkable. Because of wisdom living with him, he had glory among the multitudes and honor among the elders (παρὰ πρεσβυτέροις), even though he was young. His keen judgment was clear among the great rulers (δυναστῶν). When he was silent, they waited for him to speak. When he spoke, they listened and put their hands on their mouths. He now had immortality (ἀθανασίαν) with an everlasting remembrance (μνήμην αἰώνιον) for future generations. He would then govern people. Many nations would be subject to him. Even tyrants (τύραννοι) would be afraid of him. He would be capable and courageous in war.

Praise of Yahweh (Ps 31:23-31:24)

“Love Yahweh!

All of you!

His saints!

Yahweh preserves the faithful!

However he abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.

Be strong!

Let your heart take courage!

All you who wait for Yahweh!”

This psalm ended with David wanting all of the people to love Yahweh. They were the holy saints of Israel. Yahweh had preserved his faithful. On the other hand, Yahweh had repaid all those who acted haughtily. He wanted the faithful to be strong and courageous, as they waited for Yahweh to act.

The pep talk of Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 3:58-3:60)

“Judas said.

‘Arm yourselves!

Be courageous!

Be ready early in the morning to fight with these gentiles.

They have assembled against us to destroy us and our sanctuary.

It is better for us to die in battle

Than to see the misfortunes of our nation and of the sanctuary.

But as his will in heaven may be,

So he will do.’”

The pep talk of Judas Maccabeus told the troops to arm themselves and be courageous. They had to be ready in the morning to fight the gentiles who were out to destroy them and their sanctuary. They had already sacked the Temple in Jerusalem. Judas reminded them that it was better to die in battle than to see the misfortunes of their country and Temple. However, he would abide by the will of the God in heaven.

The preparations for crossing the Jordan River (Josh 1:10-1:18)

“Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people. ‘Pass through the camp. Command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions. In three days you are to cross over this Jordan, to go in to take possession of the land that Yahweh your God gives you to possess.’”

It is time to get ready, to move out to take the Promised Land on the other side of the Jordan River. You have 3 days to get ready.

“To the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh Joshua said. ‘Remember the word that Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded you. ‘Yahweh your God is providing you a place of rest. He will give you this land.’ Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land that Moses gave you beyond the Jordan. But all the warriors among you shall cross over armed before your kindred. You shall help them, until Yahweh gives rest to your kindred as well as to you. That is when they too will take possession of the land that Yahweh your God is giving them. Then you shall return to your own land. You shall take possession of it, the land that Moses the servant of Yahweh gave you beyond the Jordan to the east.’”

This is an obvious reference to Numbers, chapter 32. The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh already have their land on the east side of the Jordan. However, they agreed to fight with their other tribe mates on the other side of the Jordan River. They are going to leave their families behind and then return to their east side land when the victory on the other side of the Jordan is complete.

“They answered Joshua. ‘All that you have commanded us we will do. Wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may Yahweh your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your orders and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.’”

They will follow Joshua just as they followed Moses, no questions asked. If anyone disobeys or rebels against Joshua, they will be put to death. They add the Yahweh command of being strong and courageous in all that they do.


Fidelity to the law, the condition for Divine aid (Josh 1:6-1:9)

“Be strong and courageous. You shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that Moses, my servant, commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. You shall meditate on it day and night. Thus you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous. Then you shall be successful. I hereby command you. Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened or dismayed. For Yahweh your God is with you wherever you go.”    

As long as you follow the Mosaic laws, neither going to the right or the left, you do not need to be fearful since you will be successful. Joshua must meditate on the book of the law day and night. Yahweh tells Joshua to be strong and courageous, not frightened or upset because Yahweh will be with him wherever he goes.