The response of the three men (Dan 3:16-3:18)

“Shadrach,

Meshach,

Abednego,

Answered the king.

‘O King Nebuchadnezzar!

We have no need

To present

A defense

To you

In this matter.

If our God,

Whom we serve,

Is able

To deliver us

From the furnace

Of blazing fire,

As well as out of your hand,

O king!

Let him deliver us!

But if not!

Let it be known to you!

O king!

That we will not serve

Your gods.

We will not worship

The golden statue

That you have set up.’”

The 3 companions of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar clearly and directly. They were not going to present a defense of their actions. If their God was able or not able to get them out of the fiery furnace away from the king, so be it. There was no ambiguity for them. They were not going to serve his gods or worship his golden statue, case closed.

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The words of Yahweh in the Temple (Ezek 43:7-43:7)

“He said to me.

‘Son of man!

This is the place

Of my throne.

This is the place

Of the soles

Of my feet.

I will reside

Among the people

Of Israel

Forever!

The house of Israel

Shall no more

Defile

My holy name.

Neither they,

Nor their kings,

By their prostitution,

By the corpses

Of their kings,

At their death,

Defile

My holy name.’”

Yahweh spoke directly to Ezekiel using his normal appellation, son of man. However, rather than an amorphous glorified God, he refers to himself in anthropomorphic terms. Yahweh was going to sit on a throne, like a king. The soles of his feet would walk in this place. He was going to live among his people, not just for a short time but forever. However, there was a caveat. They were not to defile his holy name. Neither the people or their kings should tarnish his sacred name with their prostitution and dead bodies of kings in his Temple.

The living spirit and the dry bones (Ezek 37:5-37:6)

“Thus says Yahweh God

To these bones.

‘I will cause the spirit

To enter you.

You shall live.

I will lay sinews

On you.

I will cause flesh

To come

Upon you.

I will cover you

With skin.

I will put the spirit

In you.

You shall live.

You shall know

That I am Yahweh.’”

The oracle of Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was directly to these bones. Yahweh was going to put the spirit or ruah in them. The three ideas of spirit, breath, or wind were encapsulated in this Hebrew word ruah. This ruah was going to enter these dry bones, so that they would live. Yahweh was also going to put muscles, sinews, flesh, and skin on these dry bones. However, it was the ruah, the Spirit of Yahweh, the breath of Yahweh, or the wind of Yahweh that gave them life. Then, of course, they would know that Yahweh was their God.

The future sign of Ezekiel (Ezek 24:25-24:27)

“You!

Son of man!

On the day

When I take

From them

Their stronghold,

Their joy,

Their glory,

The delight of their eyes,

Their heart’s affection,

Someone will come

To you.

I will take their sons.

I will take their daughters.

On that day,

One who has escaped

Will come

To you

To report

To you

The news.

On that day,

Your mouth

Shall be opened

To the one

Who has escaped.

You shall speak.

You will no longer

Be silent.

So you shall be a sign

To them.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh spoke directly to Ezekiel, the son of man. On a future day, Yahweh was going to bring down Jerusalem. The Israelites would lose their stronghold, their joy, their glory, the delight of their eyes, and their heart’s affection. They would also lose their sons and daughters. Someone, who had escaped from Jerusalem, would come to Ezekiel on that day with the report of the news about the fall of Jerusalem. On that day, Ezekiel would open his mouth to speak. He would not be silent anymore. Thus the actions of Ezekiel would a sign, so that everyone would know that Yahweh was in charge.

The abominations at the north altar gate (Ezek 8:5-8:6)

“Then God said to me.

‘Son of man!

Lift up your eyes now

In the direction

Of the north.’

So I lifted up

My eyes

Toward the north.

There north

Of the altar gate,

In the entrance,

Was this image

Of jealousy.

He said to me.

‘Son of man!

Do you see

What they are doing?

The house of Israel

Is committing here

Great abominations.

They drive me far

From my sanctuary.

Yet you will see

Still greater abominations.’”

God spoke directly to Ezekiel, the son of man. God wanted Ezekiel to look to the north, which he did. There at the entrance to the north gate altar was this image of jealousy. Then God asked Ezekiel to see what they were doing. They were committing great abominations that were driving God further from his sanctuary. They were profaning the Temple of Yahweh. However, God warned Ezekiel that he was going to see far worse and greater abominations.

Ezekiel is the son of man (Ezek 2:1-2:3)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘Son of man!

Stand up

On your feet!

I will speak with you!’

When he spoke

To me,

The Spirit entered

Into me.

He set me

On my feet.

I heard him

Speaking to me.

He said to me.

‘Son of man!

I am sending you

To the people

Of Israel,

To a nation

Of rebels.

They have rebelled

Against me.

Their ancestors

Have transgressed

Against me.

They

Have transgressed

Against me

To this very day.”

Yahweh spoke to Ezekiel with the title, the son of man, a mere mortal. He told him to stand up on his feet, because he wanted to speak with him. When Yahweh spoke to Ezekiel, the Spirit entered into Ezekiel. Yahweh set him on his feet. Then Ezekiel heard Yahweh speaking to him, as if he was not directly speaking to him. Yahweh told Ezekiel that he was sending him to the people of Israel, a nation of rebels that had rebelled against Yahweh. Both their ancestors and they themselves have transgressed against Yahweh even to this very day.