The princes of Judah (Hos 5:10-5:10)

“The princes of Judah

Have become

Like those

Who remove the landmark.

To them,

I will pour out

My wrath

Like water.”

The princes of Judah were not safe from Yahweh. They were like the people who move landmarks. They tried to take advantage of the situation, by tying to extend their territory. Thus, Yahweh was going to pour out his wrath on them like gushing water.

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The place for the prince (Ezek 48:21-48:22)

“What remains on both sides

Of the holy portion

With the property

Of the city

Shall belong

To the prince.

This extends from

The twenty-five thousand cubits

Of the holy portion

To the east border,

This extends westward from

The twenty-five thousand cubits

To the west border.

It shall be

Parallel to the tribal portions.

It shall belong

To the prince.

The holy portion

With the sanctuary

Of the temple was

In the middle of it.

The property of the Levites,

With the property of the city,

Shall be in the middle

Of what belongs to the prince.

The portion of the prince

Shall lie between

The territory of Judah and

The territory of Benjamin.”

Now suddenly, Yahweh, via Ezekiel has a place for the prince, or the new leader, on the outskirts of the property already explained in great detail. This princely territory would extend on the east border to the end of the 25,000 cubits border and on the west side to its 25,000 cubits border of the holy portion.  Somehow it would be parallel to the tribal portions. The prince would own this land, even though the sanctuary of the Temple, the Levite property, and the city open fields were in the middle of this territory. This holy portion was to lie between the territory of Judah and Benjamin, on the north side of Judah.

Punishment for Egypt (Jer 46:25-46:26)

“Yahweh of hosts,

The God of Israel,

Said.

‘See!

I am bringing punishment

Upon Amon of Thebes,

Egypt,

Her gods,

As well as her kings.

I am bringing punishment

Upon Pharaoh,

As well as those

Who trust in him.

I will hand them over

To those who seek their life.

I will hand them over

To King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon

And his officers.

Afterward Egypt

Shall be inhabited

As in the days of old.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel said that he was going to bring punishment to Thebes, a large ancient city on the lower Nile River. Yahweh was going to punish Amon, a major god in Egypt with one of the world’s largest temples. Besides that, the punishment would extend to all of Egypt with its gods and kings. Even those who trusted in the Pharaoh would be punished. Yahweh was going to hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and his officers, who were after their lives. Finally, Egypt would be restored like in the old days.

The rebuilding of Jerusalem (Jer 31:38-31:40)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The days are coming,

When the city

Shall be rebuilt

For Yahweh,

From the tower

Of Hananel

To the Corner Gate.

The measuring line

Shall go out farther,

Straight to the hill Gareb.

It shall then turn

To Goah.

The whole valley

Of the dead bodies

With the ashes,

As well as all the fields

As far as the Wadi Kidron,

To the corner

Of the Horse Gate

Toward the east,

Shall be sacred to Yahweh.

It shall never again

Be uprooted,

Be overthrown.”

Yahweh simply says that the city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt at some future time. It will be rebuilt from the northeastern Tower of Hananel to the northwestern side at the Corner Gate.   The southeast will be Gareb hill with Goah on the southwest. Both these places are only mentioned here and may have been where the lepers lived outside the walls of Jerusalem. The southeast corner would be the Horse Gate. Jerusalem will extend out to the valley of the unclean dead in Hinnom and eastward to the Wadi Kidron. Never again will it be uprooted or overthrown, that is until the Romans in 70 CE.

Yahweh accepts the proselyte foreigners (Isa 56:6-56:8)

“Foreigners join themselves to Yahweh.

They minister to him.

They love the name of Yahweh.

They want to be his servants.

They keep the Sabbath.

They do not profane it.

They hold fast to my covenant.

‘I will bring these to my holy mountain.

I will make them joyful

In my house of prayer.

Their burnt offerings,

With their sacrifices

Will be accepted on my altar.

My house shall be called

A house of prayer

For all people.’

Thus says Yahweh God!

He gathers the outcasts of Israel.

‘I will gather others to them,

Besides those already gathered.’”

Third Isaiah keeps the universal theme alive. He has Yahweh extend a hand to the proselytes, those people who were not originally Israelites but joined their religious community. In pre-exilic times, they would have been excluded from the community. These foreigners are the ones who have joined themselves to Yahweh, the Lord. They have ministered to him and want to be his servants. They love the name of Yahweh and hold fast to his covenant. Yahweh will bring them to his holy mountain where they will be joyful in his house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on his altars. No longer is the Temple a place for clean Israelites, but all the people are invited to Yahweh’s house of prayer. Yahweh, the Lord God, has gathered all the outcasts of Israel, but he has also gathered other believers who were not Israelites.