Praise for King Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 5:18-5:19)

“‘O king!

The Most High God

Gave your father,

King Nebuchadnezzar,

Kingship,

Greatness,

Glory,

Majesty.

Because of the greatness

That he gave him,

All people,

All nations,

All languages,

Trembled,

As well as feared,

Before him.

He killed those

He wanted to kill.

He kept alive those

He wanted to keep alive.

He honored those

He wanted to honor.

He degraded those

He wanted to degrade.’”

Daniel had high praise for King Nebuchadnezzar, the father or grandfather of King Belshazzar. He mentioned how the Most High God had made his kingdom great, glorious, and majestic. Due to his greatness, the Most High God had the all people, nations, and language groups tremble and fear this king. In fact, King Nebuchadnezzar killed and kept alive whomever he wanted. He honored and degraded whomever he wanted to. In other words, King Nebuchadnezzar was a great powerful king.

The explanation of the allegory of the cedar tree (Ezek 31:18-31:18)

“Which among the trees

Of Eden

Was like you

In glory,

Or in greatness?

Now you shall be

Brought down

With the trees

Of Eden

To the world below.

You shall lie

Among the uncircumcised.

You shall lie

With those who were killed

By the sword.

‘This is Pharaoh

With his entire hoard.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh God revealed the meaning of the big cedar tree. There is very little suspense, since it is Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and the multitude of his people with him. The other trees were those kings and people associated with Egypt that relied on him for their existence. Once again, there was a comparison of this great cedar tree with the trees from the Garden of Eden. Which was more glorious or great? The great cedar tree would be brought down with the trees from the Garden of Eden to the world below. Thus, they would lie down with the uncircumcised and those killed by the sword.

Remembering Moses (Isa 63:11-63:14)

“Then he remembered the days of old.

He remembered Moses his servant.

Where is the one

Who brought them up out of the sea?

Where are the shepherds of his flock?

Where is the one

Who put within them His Holy Spirit?

Who caused his glorious arm

To march at the right hand of Moses?

Who divided the waters before them?

Who made for himself an everlasting name?

Who led them through the depths?

Who was like a horse in the desert

So that they did not stumble?

Like cattle that go down into the valley,

The Spirit of Yahweh gave them rest.

Thus you led your people

To make for yourself a glorious name.”

Despite all their unfaithful actions, Yahweh kept his people safe as in the days of his servant Moses. In a series of questions, he reminds them of the good things in the past. He brought them out of the sea depths as he divided the waters with his mighty arms. Yahweh gave them the Holy Spirit to lead his flock like a shepherd. He was like a horse leading in the desert so that they would not stumble. He protected them like cattle in the valleys that finally got rest. He made his name glorious.

The deaf and blind people (Isa 42:18-42:21)

“Hear!

You deaf!

Look up!

See!

You blind!

Who is blind but my servant?

Who is deaf?

Like my messenger whom I send?

Who is blind?

Like my dedicated one?

Who is blind?

Like the servant of Yahweh?

He sees many things.

But he does not observe them.

His ears are open.

But he does not hear.

Yahweh was pleased,

For the sake of his righteousness.

He wants to magnify his law.

He wants to make it glorious.”

This time in Second Isaiah, the servant of Yahweh is clearly the Israelite community that is blind and deaf to him. The deaf servant should listen and the blind servant should look up and see. These servants of Yahweh were blind and deaf messengers. They seem to see things, but they do not observe them. They seem to have their ears open, but they do not hear. Yahweh wanted to magnify his law and make it glorious, but it was difficult with these deaf and blind Israelite servants.

The coming destruction of Babylon (Isa 13:17-13:22)

“See!

I am stirring up the Medes

Against them.

They have no regard for silver.

They do not delight in gold.

Their bows

Will slaughter the young men.

They will have no mercy

On the fruit of the womb.

Their eyes will not pity children.

Babylon,

The glory of kingdoms,

The splendor of the Chaldeans,

The pride of the Chaldeans,

Will be like Sodom and Gomorrah

When God overthrew them.

It will never be inhabited.

No one will live in for all generations.

Arabs wills not pitch their tents there.

Shepherds will not make their flocks

Lie down there.

But wild animals will

Lie down there.

Its houses

Will be full of howling creatures.

Ostriches will live there.

Goat demons will dance there.

Hyenas will cry in its towers.

Jackals will be in the pleasant palaces.

Its time is close at hand.

Its days will not be prolonged.”

Very clearly, this is all about the destruction of the city of Babylon. Yahweh will get the people of Medes, an area northwest of Persia, who don’t care about gold and silver, to come and slaughter the young men and the children of Babylon. The glorious Babylon, the pride of the Chaldeans, who were the southern Babylonians, would become like the people in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis, chapters 18-19. There seems to be a fascination with these 2 biblical towns. After this defeat, the city of Babylon would never be inhabited again. Neither wandering Arabs nor shepherds would go there. Only wild animals and howling creatures, like goats, ostriches, hyenas, and jackals would live there in those great buildings. The time of their destruction was at hand. You would not have to wait a long time.

Thanksgiving praise (Isa 12:4-12:6)

“You will say on that day.

‘Give thanks to Yahweh!

Call on his name!

Make known his deeds

Among the nations!

Proclaim that his name is exalted!

Sing praises to Yahweh!

Because he has done gloriously!

Let this be known

In all the earth!

Shout aloud!

Sing for joy!

O royal Zion!

Great in your midst is

The Holy One of Israel.’”

You should proclaim a thanksgiving hymn of praise on that day of reunion. Give thanks to Yahweh! Call on his name! Make his deeds known among the nations! Proclaim his name! Sing praises to Yahweh because he is glorious! Let the whole world know! Shout it out! Sing for joy! Isaiah maintains that the holy one of Israel would be among them at Mount Zion.

The survivors at Jerusalem (Isa 4:2-4:3)

“In that day,

The branch of Yahweh

Shall be beautiful.

The branch of Yahweh

Shall be glorious.

The fruit of the land

Shall be the pride

Of the survivors of Israel.

The fruit of the land

Shall be the glory

Of the survivors of Israel.

Whoever is left in Zion,

Whoever remains in Jerusalem,

Will be called holy.

They will be recorded

For life in Jerusalem.”

Despite all, Isaiah says that some branches of Yahweh will continue as beautiful and as glorious as ever. The fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel. There are good things to come for the remnant or those remaining in Israel. These faithful few who remain in Zion and Jerusalem will be called the holy ones, the righteous remnant of Israel.