The eternal covenant of peace (Ezek 37:26-37:28)

“I will make

A covenant

Of peace

With the Israelites.

It shall be

An everlasting covenant

With them.

I will bless them.

I will multiply them.

I will set my sanctuary

Among them

Forever.

My dwelling place

Shall be with them.

I will be their God.

They shall be my people.

Then the nations

Shall know

That I,

Yahweh,

Sanctify Israel,

When my sanctuary is

Among them

Forever.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was going to make an eternal covenant of peace with the Israelites. He was going to bless and multiply them. He was going to set his sanctuary among them, living with them forever. He was going to be their God. Thus, they would be his people. All the various countries would know that Yahweh had personally sanctified the land of Israel forever. There was a major emphasis on forever, which is a very long time.

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The abominations at the north altar gate (Ezek 8:5-8:6)

“Then God said to me.

‘Son of man!

Lift up your eyes now

In the direction

Of the north.’

So I lifted up

My eyes

Toward the north.

There north

Of the altar gate,

In the entrance,

Was this image

Of jealousy.

He said to me.

‘Son of man!

Do you see

What they are doing?

The house of Israel

Is committing here

Great abominations.

They drive me far

From my sanctuary.

Yet you will see

Still greater abominations.’”

God spoke directly to Ezekiel, the son of man. God wanted Ezekiel to look to the north, which he did. There at the entrance to the north gate altar was this image of jealousy. Then God asked Ezekiel to see what they were doing. They were committing great abominations that were driving God further from his sanctuary. They were profaning the Temple of Yahweh. However, God warned Ezekiel that he was going to see far worse and greater abominations.

The three separate disasters for the people of Jerusalem (Ezek 5:11-5:12)

“Says Yahweh God!

‘Surely as I live,

Because you have defiled

My sanctuary

With all your detestable things,

With all your abominations,

Therefore I will cut you down.

My eye will not spare.

I will have no pity.

One third of you

Shall die

Of pestilence,

Or be consumed

By famine among you.

One third of you

Shall fall

By the sword

Around you.

One third of you,

I will scatter

To every wind.

I will unsheathe

The sword

After them.”

The God Yahweh was mad at the people of Jerusalem. They had defiled his sanctuary. They had brought in all those detestable abominations into the Temple. Thus Yahweh was not going to spare them, but cut them down. He was not going to show any pity. Using language similar to Jeremiah, there were three main options for dying. However, Ezekiel was more precise. One third of them would die from pestilence or famine. Another third would fall by the sword. The final third would be scattered to the winds in every direction. Yahweh was going to let his sword loose on them.

Final psalm (Ps 150:1-150:2)

“Praise Yahweh!

Praise God

In his sanctuary!

Praise him

In his mighty firmament!

Praise him

For his mighty deeds!

Praise him

According to his exceeding greatness!”

Psalm 150 begins with the phrase “praise Yahweh,” another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” Yahweh is to be praised both in his sanctuary and in the mighty heavens. He is to be praised for his deeds and his greatness.

Thanksgiving for past victories (Ps 108:7-108:9)

“God has promised in his sanctuary.

‘With exultation

I will divide up Shechem.

I will portion out the Vale of Succoth.

Gilead is mine.

Manasseh is mine.

Ephraim is my helmet.

Judah is my scepter.

Moab is my washbasin.

On Edom

I hurl my shoe.

Over Philistia

I shout in triumph.’”

This section is a repeat almost word for word of the same victories mentioned in Psalm 60. God directly promised or spoke in his sanctuary to David. This is one of the few times that this phraseology is used, assuming that the sanctuary of the Temple was completed. This probably was a prophet speaking in the name of God, but there is no specific indication here. He rattled off a series of Israelite victories. Shechem was a former Canaanite city that was now divided up and part of the territory of Manasseh. Succoth was conquered during the time of the Judges. Gilead was on the eastern side of the Jordan River where the tribes of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh lived. Only 3 Israelite tribes are mentioned here, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Judah. Judah would become the favorite when the split between the north and the south took place as the north became known as Israel. Moab was a mere washbasin on the east side of the Dead Sea. Edom was in the north. The phrase “hurl a shoe” seemed obsolete until some Iraqi journalist hurled his shoe at President George W. Bush to show his contempt. Philistines were on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Thus this is a list of the various victorious Israelite battles.

Judah over Joseph (Ps 78:67-78:72)

“He rejected the tent of Joseph.

He did not choose the tribe of Ephraim.

But he chose the tribe of Judah.

He loves Mount Zion.

He built his sanctuary

Like the high heavens,

Like the earth,

Which he has founded forever.

He chose his servant David.

He took him from the sheepfolds.

He brought him from tending the nursing ewes.

He made him the shepherd of his people Jacob.

He made him his inheritance of Israel.

With upright heart,

He tended them.

He guided them with skilful hand.”

This psalm ends with God choosing the sons of Judah over the sons of Joseph. He did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, but the tribe of Judah. He loved Mount Zion. Thus he built his sanctuary there just like the high heavens and the earth that he had founded. He chose his servant David when he was nursing the young sheep. He made him the shepherd of his people, Jacob not Israel. His inheritance was Israel. He tended and guided them with an upright heart and a skilful hand.

Blessed be the powerful God (Ps 68:33-68:35)

“O rider in the heavens!

The ancient heavens!

Listen!

He sends out his voice.

He has a mighty voice.

Ascribe power to God.

His majesty is over Israel.

His power is in the skies.

Awesome is God in his sanctuary.

The God of Israel gives power.

He gives strength to his people.

Blessed be God!”

This long psalm ends with a rousing song to God as a rider in the ancient heavens. He sends out his voice so that we should listen to it. He has the power over Israel and all the skies. His sanctuary is awesome. The God of Israel gives power and strength to this people so that God is to be blessed.