Great fear (Lk 21:26-21:26)

“People will faint

From fear

And expectations

About what was coming

Upon the world.

The powers

Of the heavens

Will be shaken.”

 

ἀποψυχόντων ἀνθρώπων ἀπὸ φόβου καὶ προσδοκίας τῶν ἐπερχομένων τῇ οἰκουμένῃ· αἱ γὰρ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται.

 

Luke had a section of this warning from Jesus that was unique, yet the last phrase was similar to the other synoptics.  Jesus said that people would faint (ἀποψυχόντων ἀνθρώπων) from fear (ἀπὸ φόβου) and expectations (καὶ προσδοκίας) over what was coming upon the world (τῶν ἐπερχομένων τῇ οἰκουμένῃ).  Luke was the only one to use this Greek term ἀποψυχόντων, meaning to leave off breathing, fainting, breathing out of life, dying, or dismayed.  The powers of the heavens would be shaken (γὰρ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται).  Thus, this last phrase is like Mark, chapter 13:25, and Matthew, chapter 24:29, who were word for word the same.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that the powers of the heavens would be shaken or stirred up (καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις αἱ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς σαλευθήσονται), while Matthew said precisely the same thing.  The powers of the heavens would be shaken or stirred up (καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται).  They were going to experience big time problems, in this time of complete darkness, during this celestial disturbance.  Do you worry about the sky above you?

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No food for humans or animals (Joel 1:17-1:18)

“The seed shrivels

Under the clods.

The storehouses

Are desolate.

The granaries

Are ruined,

Because the grain has failed.

How the animals groan!

The herds of cattle

Wander about.

They are perplexed

Because there is no pasture

For them.

Even the flocks of sheep

Are dismayed.”

The devastation of the grasshopper locust plague has left seeds shriveled up. The storehouses and granaries are ruined and desolate. The grain harvests have all failed. The farm animals groan. The cattle herds wander around looking for a grass pasture. They and the flocks of sheep are perplexed and dismayed. Both humans and animals lack food.

Daniel got sick (Dan 8:27-8:27)

“So!

I!

Daniel!

Was overcome!

I lay sick

For some days.

Then I arose.

I went about

The king’s business.

But I was dismayed

By the vision.

I did not understand it.”

Daniel was sick for a couple of days. Then he got up to help the king of Babylon with his business at Susa. However, he was still shaken and dismayed. He still did not fully understand that vision, even after the explanation of Gabriel.

Israel should remember its evil past (Ezek 36:31-36:32)

“‘Then you shall remember

Your evil ways.

You shall remember

Your dealings

That were not good.

You shall loathe yourselves

For your iniquities.

You shall loathe yourselves

For your abominable deeds.’

Says Yahweh God!

‘It is not for your sake

That I will act.

Let that be known

To you.

Be ashamed!

Be dismayed

For your ways!

O house of Israel!’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, has an implied warning in reminding the Israelites, the house of Israel, to remember their past evil bad dealings. They should loathe themselves because of their past iniquities and abominable deeds. Yahweh was kind to them, but not for their own sake. They should be ashamed and dismayed about their former evil ways.

 

A lamentation for Tyre (Ezek 26:17-26:18)

“The princes of the sea

Will raise

A lamentation

Over you.

They will say

To you.

‘How you have vanished

From the seas!

O city renowned!

Once mighty one

On the sea!

You!

Your inhabitants!

You imposed

Your terror

On all the mainland!

Now coastlands

Tremble On the day

Of your fall!

The coastlands

By the sea

Are dismayed

At your passing.’”

The princes of the sea or the trading partners of Tyre would lament over what had happened to Tyre, since it had vanished from the seas. This once renowned city had been a mighty force on the Mediterranean Sea. They and their inhabitants had imposed terror on all the mainland towns. Now these coastland towns were trembling because they had lost this mercantile seaside town. They saw what had happened to Tyre. Thus they were dismayed by the passing and demise of Tyre.

Go to the hard headed house of Israel (Ezek 3:4-3:9)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘Son of man!

Go to the house of Israel!

Speak my very words to them!

You are not sent

To a people

Of obscure speech

With a difficult language,

But to the house of Israel.

You are not sent to people

Of obscure speech

With a difficult language,

Whose words

You cannot understand.

If I sent you to them,

They would listen to you.

But the house of Israel

Will not listen to you.

They are not willing

To listen to me.

Because all the house of Israel

Have a hard forehead.

They have a stubborn heart.

I have made your face hard

Against their faces.

I have made your forehead hard

Against their foreheads.

Like the hardest stone,

Harder than flint,

I have made your forehead.

Do not fear them!

Do not be dismayed

At their looks.

They are a rebellious house.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel, the son of man, to go to the house of Israel. He was to speak Yahweh’s words to them. Yahweh was not sending him to people who had an obscure and difficult language, like the Babylonians, who would not understand what he was saying. However, they might listen to what he had to say. Instead he was being sent to the Israelites, whose language they both shared. These Israelites would not even listen to Yahweh, because they had a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. Yahweh was going to make Ezekiel’s face hard against their faces. He was going to make Ezekiel’s forehead hard against their foreheads. His face and forehead would be like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Therefore, Ezekiel should not fear them. He should not be dismayed at their looks, because they were a rebellious house.

Do not be afraid of the rebellious people (Ezek 2:4-2:7)

“‘These descendants are

Impudent,

As well as stubborn.

I am sending you

To them.

You shall say

To them.

‘Thus says Yahweh God.’

They are a rebellious house.

Whether they hear

Or refuse to hear,

They will know

That there has been

A prophet among them.

You!

Son of man!

Do not be afraid

Of them!

Do not be afraid

Of their words!

Even though briers

Or thorns surround you,

Do not be afraid!

Even though

You live among scorpions,

Do not be afraid

Of their words!

Do not be dismayed

At their looks!

They are a rebellious house!

You shall speak

My words to them,

Whether they hear

Or refuse to hear.

They are a rebellious house!’”

These Israelite descendants were impudent and stubborn. Yahweh was sending Ezekiel to them to speak in his name. They were a rebellious house. Whether they heard or refused to hear, they would know that there had been a prophet among them. Ezekiel, the son of man, a mere mortal, was not to be afraid of them or their words. Even though briers or thorns surrounded him, he should not be afraid. Even though he lived among scorpions, he was not to be afraid of their words. He was not to be dismayed at their looks either. Yahweh repeated again that they were a rebellious house, whether they heard him or not was up to them.