The king was angry (Mt 22:7-22:7)

“The king was angry.

He sent his troops.

He destroyed

Those murderers.

He burned

Their city.”

 

ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ὠργίσθη, καὶ πέμψας τὰ στρατεύματα αὐτοῦ ἀπώλεσεν τοὺς φονεῖς ἐκείνους καὶ τὴν πόλιν αὐτῶν ἐνέπρησεν.

 

Well, yeah, the king was enraged and angry.  First, he invited them to his son’s wedding feast.  Then they would not come after two specific invitations.  Finally, they mistreated and killed his own slaves.  In the equivalent Luke parable, nobody died.  But Matthew has a different story.  Jesus said that he wanted revenge for the death of this king’s slaves.  This king was very angry, provoked, and irritated (ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ὠργίσθη).  He sent his army of troops (καὶ πέμψας τὰ στρατεύματα αὐτοῦ) to destroy those murderers (ἀπώλεσεν τοὺς φονεῖς ἐκείνους).  Then he burned down their city (καὶ τὴν πόλιν αὐτῶν ἐνέπρησεν).  This destruction of the city may have been a veiled reference to the fall of Jerusalem.  Don’t mess with the king and his slaves!

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The fall of Gog (Ezek 39:3-39:5)

“‘I will strike

Your bow

From your left hand.

I will make

Your arrows

Drop out

Of your right hand.

You shall fall

Upon the mountains

Of Israel.

You!

All your troops!

The people

That are with you!

I will give you

To the birds

Of prey

Of every sort.

I will give you

To the wild animals

To be devoured.

You shall fall

In the open field.

I have spoken.’

Says Yahweh God!”

Suddenly, after enticing Gog to attack the Israelite mountains, Yahweh struck back at him. Yahweh was going to knock the bow out of his left hand and, at the same time, he was going to have him drop the arrows from his right hand. Gog and his army were then going to fall in the mountains of Israel. Not just Gog, but all his troops and all the people with them would be given over to the birds of prey and the wild animals to be devoured in the open fields. There should be no doubt, because Yahweh God has spoken.

Yahweh’s counter attack against Gog (Ezek 38:21-38:23)

“Says Yahweh God!

‘I will summon

The sword

Against Gog.

In all my mountains,

The swords of all

Will be

Against their comrades.

I will enter my judgment

On him

With pestilence,

With bloodshed.

I will pour down

Torrential rains,

Hailstones,

Fire,

Sulfur,

Upon him,

With his troops,

With the many people

That are with him.

Thus,

I will show

My greatness,

My holiness.

I will make myself known

In the eyes

Of many nations.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel said that he was going to summon swords against Gog in the mountains, as fellow soldiers would be against each other with their swords. Yahweh was going to render his judgment, so that there would be pestilence and bloodshed. He was going to hit them with all kinds of natural disasters. Yahweh was going to pour down on Gog, his troops, and anyone with him, torrential rains, hailstones, fire, and sulfur or the famous brimstones. Thus, he would show his greatness and holiness. When all the various nations and countries would see this, then they would know that Yahweh was their God.

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 breach in the city wall (Jer 52:7-52:7)

“Then a breach

Was made

In the city wall.

All the soldiers fled.

They went out

From the city

By night,

By the way of the gate

Between the two walls,

By the king’s garden,

While the Chaldeans

Were all around the city.

They went in the direction

Of the Arabah.”

There are a couple of problems with this section as regards the story earlier in chapter 39 of Jeremiah and the story in 2 Kings, chapter 25. The earlier Jeremiah story has an exact date here, while it is not explicitly mentioned here. In the Kings story, it said that the king also escaped with his troops, but he is not explicitly mentioned here, but may be presumed to be with his troops. However, all the stories have them escaping between the walls in the king’s gardens, as they were headed for the Arabah in the Jordan River valley.

King Hezekiah (Sir 48:17-48:22)

“King Hezekiah fortified his city.

He brought water into its midst.

He tunneled the sheer rock

With iron tools.

He built cisterns for the water.

In his days,

Sennacherib invaded the country.

He sent his commander from Lachish.

He departed.

He shook his fist against Zion.

He made great boasts in his arrogance.

Then their hearts were shaken.

Their hands trembled.

They were in anguish,

Like women in labor.

But they called upon the Lord

Who is merciful.

They spread out their hands

Toward him.

The Holy One quickly heard them

From heaven.

He delivered them

Through Isaiah.

The Lord struck down

The camp of the Assyrians.

His angel wiped them out.

King Hezekiah did

What was pleasing to the Lord.

He kept firmly to the ways

Of his ancestor King David.”

Of all the kings from King Solomon to the captivity, Sirach singled out King Hezekiah (716-687 BCE) of Judah, based on the stories in 2 Kings, chapters 18-20, and 2 Chronicles, chapters 29-32. He was the king who followed Yahweh’s commandments, during the time of the prophet Isaiah. Just before his reign, the northern kingdom of Israel at Samaria fell to the Assyrians. During his reign the population grew from 5,000 at the time of King Solomon to about 25,000 people because of the many migrant Israelites from the north. Thus King Hezekiah fortified Jerusalem by building walls around it with tunnels to get water that has been verified by archeological discoveries. Ten years later, King Sennacherib decided to invade Judah. He sent his general Rabshakeh from Lachish to negotiate a deal, but King Hezekiah went to the prophet Isaiah for advice. Despite the fears of the folks in Jerusalem, Isaiah said not to yield. King Hezekiah prayed to Yahweh. King Sennacherib of Assyria decided not to invade the city, but 185,000 of his troops were wiped out by an angel of the Lord. Thus King Hezekiah was pleasing to the Lord like King David.