The locust plague (Joel 1:4-1:4)

“What the cutting locust left,

The swarming locust

Has eaten.

What the swarming locust left,

The hopping locust

Has eaten.

What the hopping locust left,

The destroying locust

Has eaten.”

The big event that Joel was talking about was a locust plague. Apparently, there were a series of locust attacks, a fairly common event in the ancient world. The mild-mannered grasshoppers would suddenly join in groups during times of drought and then attack the growing grain fields in droves. There must have been three separate attacks. Joel called them cutting locusts, swarming locusts, and hopping locusts. One came right after the other to destroy the field crops.

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Israel must bear its guilt (Hos 10:2-10:2)

“Their heart is false.

Now they must bear

Their guilt.

Yahweh will break down

Their altars.

Yahweh will destroy

Their pillars.”

As a consequence of their false heart and actions, Yahweh was going to break down and destroy their false god altars and pillars. They must bear their guilt.

The destruction of Gomer’s life (Hos 2:10-2:12)

“Now I will uncover

Her shame

In the sight

Of her lovers.

No one shall rescue her

Out of my hand.

I will put an end

To all her mirth,

Her festivals,

Her new moons,

Her sabbaths,

All her appointed festivals.

I will lay waste

Her vines

With her fig trees.

She said.

‘These are my pay.

My lovers

Have given me

These vines,

These fig trees.’

I will make them

A forest.

The wild animals

Shall devour them.”

Hosea was going to shame Gomer. He was going to uncover her nakedness in the sight of her lovers. Nudity was considered shameful, not glorified. No one would be able to save her from his hands. He was going to put an end to all her merry ways. Strangely enough, this included the various Israelite religious holidays, such as the festivals, the new moon observance, the Sabbath observance, as well as the other religious appointed festival days. Hosea was also going to destroy the vines and the trees that her lovers had given her as payment for her various sexual activities. Hosea was going to make them like a overgrown forest, so that the wild animals would devour and destroy them. Gomer was then a symbol of what was going to happen to Israel.

The king destroys his Bel priests and their families (Dan 14:21-14:22)

“Then the king

Was enraged.

He arrested

The priests,

Their wives,

With their children.

They showed him

The secret doors

Through which they

Used to enter

The temple.

They would consume

What was on the table.

Therefore,

The king

Put them

To death.

He gave Bel

Over to Daniel.

Daniel destroyed it.

He destroyed also

Its temple.”

The king was very upset. He arrested the priests, their wives, and their children. These priests showed the king the secret door that they used to get into the temple to eat the food on the table. Thus, the king put them to death. He even let Daniel destroy the idol god Bel and its temple. Once again, good overcame evil. Thus, Daniel showed his great power, by eliminating the great idol god Bel along with its temple.

The death of King Antiochus IV (Dan 11:44-11:45)

“But reports from the east,

Reports from the north,

Shall alarm him.

He shall go out

With great fury

To bring ruin,

To bring complete destruction

To many.

He shall pitch

His palatial tents

Between the sea and

The beautiful holy mountain.

Yet he shall come

To his end,

With no one

To help him.”

It is not clear where King Antiochus IV died. However, in 2 Maccabees, chapter 9, there was a vivid description of the illness that led to his death. Here it takes place between the coast and the holy mountain of Jerusalem. Apparently, this king had problems in the east and north. Thus, he set out to ruin and destroy them. Then he pitched his palatial tent before he died. 1 Maccabees, chapter 6, and 2 Maccabees, chapter 9, have this dreadful king have a deathbed conversion to the God of Israel. Here, that is not mentioned.

The anointed one was cut off (Dan 9:26-9:27)

“After the sixty-two weeks,

An anointed one

Shall be cut off.

He shall have nothing.

The troops

Of the prince,

Who is to come,

Shall destroy

The city.

He shall destroy

The sanctuary.

Its end shall come

With a flood.

To the end,

There shall be war.

Desolations are decreed.

He shall make

A strong covenant

With many

For one week.

For half

Of the week,

He shall make

Sacrifices cease.

He shall make

Offerings cease.

In their places,

There shall be an abomination

That desolates,

Until the decreed end

Is poured out

On the desolator.”

Well, that was a simple explanation by Gabriel! After 62 weeks, the anointed one would be cut off. In fact, there is some agreement that this anointed one was the high priest Onias III, who was deposed in 175 BCE. The prince coming to destroy him was probably King Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who came to destroy the city of Jerusalem and the sanctuary. It is unclear what the flood was about. Obviously, there was a war and the Maccabees uprising. The covenant for one week might mean 7 years, and ½ a week might mean 3 ½ years, the time when the sacrifices and offerings ceased in the Temple. Instead, they had the terrible abominations and desolations of the false idols. Finally, this all came to an end.