Luke then had this so-called Benedictus prayer, based on the Latin translation of Εὐλογητὸς. At the same time, this prayer is a prophesy also. First, Zechariah was thankful for all the people of Israel, not just himself. He used the familiar blessing that David said to Abigail in 1 Samuel, chapter 25:32, and to Solomon in 1 Kings, chapter 1:48. Solomon used this same blessing in 1 Kings, chapter 8:35. He said that the Lord was blessed (Εὐλογητὸς Κύριος). He was the God of Israel (ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ) who had visited, intervened, or looked favorably (ὅτι ἐπεσκέψατο) on his people (τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ,), since he has saved or brought them redemption (καὶ ἐποίησεν λύτρωσιν). Zechariah had a sense of what the scope of John’s birth would be on all Israel, not just his family. He implied that salvation or redemption had already taken place with the birth of his son John, not waiting for Jesus.
This seems to be unique to Matthew, with his emphasis on the great crowds of people and mass healings. In chapter 8:17, He had talked about these healing actions as a fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, but here this prophet is not mentioned. As usual, great crowds came out to see Jesus (καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοὶ). They brought with them (ἔχοντες μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν) the lame (χωλούς), the maimed (κυλλούς), the blind (τυφλούς), the mute (κωφούς), and many other sick people (, καὶ ἑτέρους πολλούς). They were all placed at the feet of Jesus (καὶ ἔριψαν αὐτοὺς παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ). Then he healed them (καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτούς), so that the crowd was amazed or marveled at what they saw (ὥστε τὸν ὄχλον θαυμάσαι βλέποντας). The mute people were able to speak (κωφοὺς λαλοῦντας). The maimed people were made sound or whole (κυλλοὺς ὑγιεῖς). The lame people were able to walk (καὶ χωλοὺς περιπατοῦντας). The blind people were able to see (καὶ τυφλοὺς βλέποντας). They all praised or honored the God of Israel (καὶ ἐδόξασαν τὸν Θεὸν Ἰσραήλ), and not Jesus.
The Christian tradition believes in a monotheistic personal God who has had a unique presence in Jesus Christ. We truly care to live with the mysterious life of God who has an impact on our lives. The God of Israel was Yahweh, whom the Christians consider God the Father. There is also the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Yahweh, that is present in our lives. Jesus is the Son of God, the Father.
Yahweh, via Hosea, was clear. He left no doubt that he was the God of Israel, since he had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They did not know any other God except him, since he alone was their savior. He fed them and brought them out of the drought stricken wilderness.
It is not clear where King Antiochus IV died. However, in 2 Maccabees, chapter 9, there was a vivid description of the illness that led to his death. Here it takes place between the coast and the holy mountain of Jerusalem. Apparently, this king had problems in the east and north. Thus, he set out to ruin and destroy them. Then he pitched his palatial tent before he died. 1 Maccabees, chapter 6, and 2 Maccabees, chapter 9, have this dreadful king have a deathbed conversion to the God of Israel. Here, that is not mentioned.
After all this humiliation and his unreasonable activity, King Nebuchadnezzar lifted up his eyes to heaven. He blessed and praised the Most High God. He honored the eternal God who ruled the whole world, whose dominion and power would last forever, because his kingdom would endure for all generations. All humans were as nothing in his eyes. He does whatever he wants to do with the heavenly beings as well as the human beings. There was no one on earth who could question what he was doing. The king has basically converted to the God of Israel in this first-person singular account.
Now in a complete reversal, King Nebuchadnezzar issued a decree to all the people, all the countries, and all the language groups. Anyone who blasphemed the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would be torn limb from limb. They would also lose their houses. Anyone speaking badly about the God of Israel would be punished. This king was able to accept a new better God in his polytheistic vision of the world, as his golden statute became less important.
Next, the king made a profession of faith in the God of Daniel, not the God of Israel. He said that Daniel’s God (not Yahweh) was the God of gods, the Lord of the kings. These were all great Greek concepts. More important to him was the fact that Daniel’s God had helped to reveal the mystery of his dream.
The word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. He was told to eat his bread with quivering. He was to drink his water while trembling. He was to be fearful. He was to tell the people of the land what Yahweh, their God, had said about the people of Jerusalem in Israel. All of the people there would eat their bread with fearfulness. They would drink their water in confusion. Their land would be stripped of everything because of the violence of the people who lived in the cities there. The land would be all laid waste. Then they would know that Yahweh was the God of Israel.
In this exile, not everyone will go to the same place. Yahweh indicated that he was going to scatter the helpers and the soldiers of the king to the wind. He certainly was going to make sure that some died by the sword. They should know that he was Yahweh. He was going to disperse them among the various nations and scatter them among different countries. He was going to let a few of them escape from the 3 ways of dying, the sword, famine, or pestilence. Those who survived would talk about all their abominations among the diverse nations, wherever they went. Thus everyone would know that Yahweh was the God of Israel.