The shaving of Ezekiel’s hair (Ezek 5:1-5:1)

“You!

O son of man!

Take a sharp sword!

Use it

As a barber’s razor!

Run it over your head!

Run it over your beard!

Then take the balances

For weighing!

Divide the hair!”

Yahweh gave Ezekiel, the son of man, a series of commands to do another symbolic action. Ezekiel was to take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor on his head and beard. It must have been common for men to have a full beard with a full head of hair. Then Ezekiel was to weigh all his hair and divide it up.

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Egypt brings gifts to Yahweh at Jerusalem (Isa 18:7-18:7)

“At that time,

Gifts will be brought

To Yahweh of hosts

From a tall people,

From a smooth people,

From a people

Feared near and far,

From a mighty nation,

From a conquering nation.

The river divides its land.

They will bring it

To Mount Zion,

The place of the name

Of Yahweh of hosts.”

Next Isaiah talks about gifts being brought to Yahweh. Strangely enough, they are from a tall, smooth, and feared people.   They were from the nation that was mighty and conquering, where the rivers divide it. This is exactly the same description of Egypt as at the beginning of this chapter. This mighty nation was going to bring its gifts to Mount Zion, the place for the name of Yahweh. Perhaps this was done because the people of Judah were in alliance with Egypt against the Assyrians at this time, as indicated in 2 Kings, chapter 18-19.

Things not to ashamed of (Sir 42:1-42:8)

“You should not be ashamed of the following things.

Do not sin to save face!

Do not be ashamed of the law of the Most High!

Do not be ashamed of his covenant!

Do not be ashamed of rendering judgment to acquit the ungodly!

Do not be ashamed of keeping accounts with a partner!

Do not be ashamed of keeping accounts with traveling companions!

Do not be ashamed of dividing the inheritance of friends!

Do not be ashamed of accuracy with scales!

Do not be ashamed of accuracy with weights!

Do not be ashamed of acquiring much!

Do not be ashamed of acquiring little!

Do not be ashamed of profit from dealing with merchants!

Do not be ashamed of frequent disciplining of children!

Do not be ashamed of drawing blood

From the back of a wicked servant!

Where there is an untrustworthy wife,

A seal is a good thing.

Where there are many hands,

Lock things up!

When you make a deposit,

Be sure it is counted!

Be sure it is weighed!

When you give put it all in a written record!

When you receive put it all in a written record!

Do not be ashamed to instruct the stupid!

Do not be ashamed to instruct the foolish!

Do not be ashamed to instruct the aged

Who are guilty of sexual immorality!

Then you will show your sound training.

You will be approved by all.”

Here Sirach points out the things that you should not be ashamed to do. However, in this listing, he shows his prejudice against strangers, slaves, women, and children. He has kind but cautious words for commerce and profit. You should not sin to save face. Obviously, you should not be ashamed of the law of the Most High God and his covenant. You should render judgment against the ungodly. You can keep accounts with your partners and traveling companions. You can divide the inheritance of your friends. You should not be ashamed of your balanced scales or making money with merchants. You should not be afraid to discipline your children, your wicked slaves, and your untrustworthy wife. Be careful when many people are around. When you make a deposit, make sure that everything is counted and weighed. Keep a written record of your dealings. Do not be ashamed to correct the stupid, foolish, or the immoral old guys. Thus you will show your good training. You will get approval from everyone.

Pride (Prov 16:18-16:21)

“Pride goes before destruction.

A haughty spirit happens before a fall.

It is better to be of a lowly spirit

Among the poor

Than to divide the spoil

With the proud.

Those who are attentive to a matter will prosper.

Happy are those who trust in Yahweh.

The wise of heart are called perceptive.

Pleasant speech increases persuasiveness.”

Being proud was not a good idea since it led to destruction. A haughty or proud spirit usually came before someone stumbled or fell. It is much better to be a lowly spirit among the poor than to divide up the spoils of victory with the proud people. If you are attentive to small matters you will prosper. If you trust in Yahweh, you will be happy. The wise ones are called perceptive. Pleasant speech will make it easier to be persuasive.