The explanation (Dan 10:20-10:21)

“Then he said.

‘Do you know

Why I have come to you?

Now I must return

To fight

Against the prince of Persia.

When I am

Through with him,

The prince of Greece

Will come.

But I will tell you

What is inscribed

In the book of truth.

There is no one

Who contends

Against these,

Except Michael,

Your prince.’”

Then this angel told Daniel why he was there. He had come to fight against the prince of Persia. However, he had to go to fight against the prince of Greece, after he had finished with the prince of Persia. Nevertheless, this angel was going to tell Daniel what was written in the book of truth. No one could contend with these great empires in Persia and Greece except for him and the prince Michael, the archangel Michael. Thus, this chapter ends with no real solution to the situation.

The attack of Gog (Ezek 38:15-38:16)

“‘Come from your place!

Come out

Of the uttermost parts

Of the north!

You!

Many people

With you!

All of them

Will be riding on horses,

With a great multitude,

With a mighty army.

You will come up

Against my people

Israel,

Like a cloud

Covering the earth.

In the latter days,

I will bring you

Against my land.

Thus,

The nations

May know me,

When through you,

O Gog!

I vindicate

My holiness

Before their eyes.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, exhorted Gog to attack Israel. Gog was to come out of his home in the far north, along with many people. His whole army would be riding on horses. They would come up against Yahweh’s people Israel. Gog would be like a cloud covering the earth with a great army. This was going to happen later. Yahweh wanted Gog to fight against Israel, so that all the various nations and countries would know about Yahweh. He was going to vindicate his holiness in front of everyone.

Gog and his allies will advance on the unsuspecting land (Ezek 38:8-38:9)

“After many days,

You shall be mustered.

In the latter years,

You shall go

Against a land

Restored

From the war.

This is a land

Where people

Were gathered

From many nations

On the mountains

Of Israel.

This land

Had long laid waste.

Its people were

Brought out

From the nations.

They now live securely,

All of them.

You shall advance,

Coming on,

Like a storm.

You shall be

Like a cloud

Covering the land.

It will be you,

With all your troops.

Many people shall be

With you.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was trying to tell Gog that after many days, he should gather or muster up his troops to prepare for a battle to come years later. They were going to fight against a land that had been restored from a war situation. These people had been gathered from many countries to go to this former wasteland of Israel. Now, however, they were living securely and peacefully. Yet Gog and his troops should advance on them like a storm or a cloud covering the land. Gog should bring all his large army of troops with him.

The nations prepare for war against Babylon (Jer 51:27-51:28)

“Raise a standard

In the land!

Blow the trumpet

Among the nations!

Prepare the nations

For war

Against her!

Summon

Against her

The kingdoms,

Of Ararat,

Of Minni,

Of Ashkenaz!

Appoint a marshal

Against her!

Bring up horses

Like bristling locusts!

Prepare the nations

For war

Against her!

The kings

Of the Medes,

With their governors,

Their deputies,

With every land

Under their dominion

Shall come!”

Yahweh via Jeremiah wants to call various nations to fight against Babylon. The standard and the trumpet of war should sound to prepare nations to attack her. In particular 3 countries are named. Ararat was considered the place where Noah’s ark landed in Genesis, chapter 8. The assumption is that this mountain was in southern Turkey, what today is in Kurdish land, near the Russian and Iranian borders. Minni may be a reference to the Mannaeans who lived in what is now northwestern Iran or Armenia. Ashkenaz was a son of Noah and a land around Asia Minor near Armenia. Jewish people from the Rhineland area were called Ashkenazi, and this term was later adapted for all eastern European Jews. These countries would have joined with the Persians to attack Babylon. They would have so many horses that they would seem like swarms of locusts. Joining them would be the kings of Medes with all their officials and deputies, plus all the people from the land that they dominated. These were the ancient Persian people in what is now northwestern Iran. There was no specific mention of the Persians here.

They refuse to accept the words of Jeremiah (Jer 43:1-43:3)

“Thus Jeremiah finished speaking

To all the people

All these words

Of Yahweh their God,

With which Yahweh their God

Had sent him to them.

Then Azariah,

The son of Hoshaiah,

Johanan,

The son of Kareah,

With all the other insolent men,

Said to Jeremiah.

‘You are telling a lie.

Yahweh our God

Did not send you

To say.

‘Do not go to Egypt

To settle there!’

But Baruch,

The son of Neriah,

Is inciting you

Against us.

He wants to hand us over

To the Chaldeans.

Thus they may kill us.

Or they may take us

Into exile in Babylon.’”

During the 10 days that Jeremiah waited for Yahweh, there must have been a change of heart in the camp. Some people think that this section should have been in the preceding chapter. This chapter equivalent in the Greek Septuagint is chapter 50, not chapter 43 as here. So once that Jeremiah had finished speaking the words that Yahweh, their God, gave him, both the leaders of this insolent remnant group, Azariah and Johanan, called into question Jeremiah’s veracity. They said that Jeremiah was lying. Yahweh did not say to him that they should not settle in Egypt. It must have been his secretary Baruch who incited Jeremiah against the main group. They said that Baruch wanted them to be captured or killed by the Chaldeans, if they stayed in this Judean territory. They might he sent into captivity in Babylon, if they were caught there. Basically, it was a fight between the interests of Egypt versus the interests of Babylon.

Johanan goes to Gibeon (Jer 41:11-41:12)

“But Johanan,

The son of Kareah,

With all the leaders

Of the forces with him,

Heard of all the crimes

That Ishmael,

The son of Nethaniah,

Had done.

They then took

All their men.

They went to fight

Against Ishmael,

The son of Nethaniah.

They came upon him

At the great pool

That is in Gibeon.”

Johanan, the son of Kareah, who had wanted to kill Ishmael before this, heard about what had happened at Mizpah. It is not clear how he found out about all the killings there. Johanan got all the open field leaders and their troops, and then he set out to fight against Ishmael. They actually found him about a couple miles outside of Mizpah, at the ancient Canaanite and Levitical city of Gibeon in the Benjamin territory, by the great pool.

The return of the Chaldeans (Jer 37:8-37:10)

“‘The Chaldeans

Shall return.

They shall fight

Against this city.

They shall take it.

They shall burn it

With fire.’

Thus says Yahweh.

‘Do not deceive yourselves!

Saying.

‘The Chaldeans will surely

Go away from us.’

They will not go away.

Even if you defeated

The whole army of Chaldeans

Who are fighting

Against you,

The remaining wounded men,

In their tents,

Would rise up.

They would burn this city

With fire.’”

Jeremiah reminded his two visitors that the Babylonian Chaldeans would return to fight against Jerusalem. In fact, they were going to capture the city and burn it. They should not be deceived, thinking that the Chaldeans have left for good. Even if they defeated the whole Chaldean army, the remaining wounded men would still be able to burn the city down.

The punishment for the king of Judah (Jer 34:21-34:22)

“‘As for King Zedekiah

Of Judah,

With his officials,

I will hand them over

To their enemies,

To those who seek their lives,

To the army

Of the king of Babylon

That has withdrawn

From you.’

Says Yahweh.

‘I am going

To command them.

I will bring them

Back to this city.

They will fight against it.

They will take it.

They will burn it

With fire.

I will make the towns

Of Judah

A desolation

Without inhabitants.’”

Yahweh says that King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials would also be punished. They were to be handed over to the army of King Nebuchadnezzar, without any indication as to whether they would be killed or taken in captivity. The king of Babylon with his army had left Jerusalem to take on another town in Judah, but Yahweh was going to call them back to fight against the towns of Judah and Jerusalem itself. Eventually, the king of Babylon would take the city of Jerusalem. Then he would burn it, along with the other towns of Judah, until there was complete desolation without anyone living there.

The freeing of the Hebrew Judean slaves (Jer 34:9-34:10)

“All should set free

Their Hebrew slaves,

Both male and female.

Thus no one should hold

Another Judean

In slavery.

All the officials,

With all the people

Obeyed this.

They had entered

Into the covenant

That all would

Set their slaves free,

Both male and female.

Thus they would not be

Enslaved again.

They obeyed.

They set them free.”

The proclamation of liberty said that everyone should set free both their male and female Hebrew slaves in Jerusalem. Thus there should not be any Judeans who were in slavery. All the officials and the people agreed to this and obeyed it. Thus all the Hebrew or Judean slaves were set free. This was probably done to help with the defense efforts of the city against the Babylonians. Why would you fight against invaders if you were already a slave?

The Chaldeans are coming (Jer 33:4-33:5)

“Thus says Yahweh!

The God of Israel!

Concerning the houses

Of this city.

This concerns

The houses

Of the kings of Judah.

They were torn down

To make a defense

Against the siege mounds,

Before the sword.

The Chaldeans

Are coming in

To fight.

They are coming

To fill them

With the dead bodies

Of those whom

I shall strike down,

In my anger,

In my wrath.

I have hidden my face

From this city

Because of all their wickedness.”

Yahweh explains, via Jeremiah, why they had to tear down the buildings in the city, including the houses of the kings of Judah. The military needed to protect themselves from the siege ramps that the Chaldeans had put up against the city walls. These Chaldeans or Babylonians were coming to fight. They would find the dead bodies that Yahweh had struck down inside the city walls. Yahweh had killed these Israelites because of his anger and wrath. He had hidden his face from this city because of their wickedness.