The fall of the tall cedar tree (Ezek 31:10-31:12)

“Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘The cedar tree

Towered high.

It set its top

Among the clouds.

Its heart

Was proud

Of its height.

I will give it

Into the hand

Of the prince

Of the nations.

He has dealt

With it,

As its wickedness deserves.

I have cast it out.

Foreigners,

From the most terrible

Of the nations,

Have cut it down.

They have left it.

Its branches

Have fallen

On the mountains.

In all the valleys.

Its boughs

Lie broken

In all the watercourses

Of the land.

All the people

Of the earth

Went away

From its shade.

They left it.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that this great cedar tree towered high, with its tree top in the clouds. This tree was proud in its heart of its height. Yahweh gave it to the prince of the nations, probably the king of Babylon, who dealt with it because of its wickedness. Yahweh was going to cast it out. Foreigners from the worst nations came and cut it down. They left it lying on the mountains and in the valleys. The fallen broken branches were on the ground and in small streams of water. Everybody went away from its shade, as they left this fallen tree alone.

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The attack of the angry lovers (Ezek 23:25-23:26)

“I will direct

My indignation

Against you.

Thus they may deal

With you

In fury.

They shall cut off

Your nose.

They shall cut off

Your ears.

Your survivors

Shall fall

By the sword.

They shall seize

Your sons.

They shall seize

Your daughters.

Your survivors

Shall be devoured

By fire.

They shall also strip you

Of your clothes.

They will take away

Your fine jewels.”

Yahweh was going to let his indignation against Jerusalem be dealt out by the angry former lovers of Jerusalem. They would deal with her in all their anger. They would cut off her nose and ears. Anyone that survived would be killed by the sword. They were going to seize her sons and daughters. Anyone who survived all this would be devoured by fire. Finally, they would strip Jerusalem of all her clothes and fine jewels. These angry former lovers would carry out Yahweh’s will.

The destroyer (Isa 33:1-33:1)

“Woe to you!

Destroyer!

You yourself have not been destroyed!

You treacherous one!

With whom no one has dealt treacherously!

When you have ceased to destroy,

You will be destroyed.

When you have stopped dealing treacherously,

You will be dealt with treacherously.”

This section seems to be a later addition of prayers led by a prophet in the various religious services. The prophetic term destroyer here refers to Babylon. Although it has not yet been destroyed, it will be. No has dealt treacherously with them, but they have dealt treacherously with others. The destroying days of Babylon are numbered. They will be dealt with treacherously.

The value of the law (Ps 119:65-119:72)

Tet

“Yahweh!

You have dealt well with your servant,

According to your word.

Teach me good judgment.

Teach me knowledge.

I believe in your commandments.

Before I was humbled,

I went astray.

But now I keep your word.

You are good.

You do good.

Teach me your statutes!

The arrogant smear me with lies.

But with my whole heart

I keep your precepts.

Their hearts are fat.

Their hearts are gross.

But I delight in your law.

It is good for me that I was humbled.

Thus I might learn your statutes.

The law of your mouth is better to me

Than thousands of gold and silver pieces.”

This psalmist says that Yahweh has dealt with him according to his word. He wanted to learn good judgment and knowledge. He believed in Yahweh’s commandments. Before he was humbled, he had gone astray. Now, however, he keeps the word of Yahweh. After all Yahweh, God is good and does good. Remember removing the “o” in good can become God. He wanted, as usual throughout this psalm, to learn more about the statutes of God. Once again, the arrogant were smearing his name. The arrogant ones had a fat and gross heart. However, he kept the precepts of Yahweh with his whole heart as he delighted in the law. He had been humbled so that he might learn about the statutes of Yahweh. These laws in his mouth were worth more than thousands of gold and silver pieces. The spiritual value of the law was so much greater than any gold or silver. So ends this section on the ninth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Tet.

Bad judges (Ps 58:1-58:2)

To the choirmaster leader, according to Do Not Destroy, a Miktam of David

“Do you indeed

Decree what is right?

You gods!

Do you indeed

Judge people fairly?

No!

In your hearts

You devise wrongs.

Your hands

Deal out violence

On earth.”

Like Psalm 57, Psalm 58 has the melody “Do Not Destroy” to this choral song Miktam of David. However, there is no indication of a particular event in the life of David. David seems to be lamenting against the bad judges on earth. Somehow these judges were acting like mini-gods. They were not decreeing what was right. They were not judging people fairly. In their hearts, they knew that they were wrong. Their hands dealt out violence here on earth.