Let humans bless God (Dan 3:60-3:63)

“Bless the Lord!

All people on earth!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!

Bless the Lord!

O Israel!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!

Bless the Lord!

You priests of the Lord!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!

Bless the Lord,

You servants of the Lord!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!”

Every human on earth should bless, praise, and exalt the Lord. Three groups get special attention. Of course, there is Israel itself, its priests, and the servants of the Lord. Perhaps these servants are a special group of priests or those who follow the Lord in a special way. All of them should bless, praise, and exalt the Lord, just like everyone else on earth.

The call for mercy (Dan 3:10-3:13)

“Now your servants!

We cannot

Open our mouths!

We cannot

Worship you!

We have become

A shame!

We have become

A reproach!

For your name’s sake,

Do not give us up forever!

Do not annul your covenant!

Do not withdraw

Your mercy

From us!

For the sake of Abraham,

Your beloved,

For the sake of Isaac,

Your servant,

For the sake of Israel,

Your holy one,

Do not withdraw

Your mercy!

You promised

To multiply their descendants

Like the stars of heaven,

Like the sand on the shore

Of the sea.”

Azariah made a plea to God to have mercy on him and his friends. They were not able to open their mouths to worship God. They had become a shame and a reproach for the sake of God’s name. He wanted God not to give up on them or annul the covenant that he had made with Israel. He did not want God to withdraw his mercy from them. He reminded God about Abraham, the beloved one, Isaac, his servant, and Israel, the holy one. God had promised to multiply their descendants, like the stars in heaven or like the sand on the sea shore.

 

The name of the city (Ezek 48:35-48:35)

“The circumference of the city

Shall be eighteen thousand cubits.

The name of the city

From that time on,

Shall be

Yahweh is there.”

Ezekiel ended his work by naming this new city, ‘Yahweh is there.’ This city was 18,000 cubits around. So, Ezekiel ended the way he began, with a vision that had a lot of details in it.

The three gates on the south side (Ezek 48:33-48:33)

“On the south side,

It shall be  

Four thousand five hundred cubits

By measure.

The three gates are

The gate of Simeon,

The gate of Issachar,

The gate of Zebulun.”

On the south side, three lesser known tribes had gates. Simeon had very few people, while Issachar and Zebulun were small northern territories.

The three gates on the east side (Ezek 48:32-48:32)

“On the east side,

It shall be  

Four thousand five hundred cubits.

The three gates are

The gate of Joseph,

The gate of Benjamin,

The gate of Dan.”

There were 3 gates on the east side, 4,500 cubits from the center. It is interesting to note that Manasseh and Ephraim are no longer mentioned but merely their father, Joseph, as if it was only one tribe. The sons clearly had land given to them. The gate of Joseph would have been the most popular, since Benjamin and Dan were smaller tribes.

The north side gates of the city (Ezek 48:30-48:31)

“These shall be

The exits of the city.

On the north side,

It shall be

Four thousand five hundred cubits

By measure.

These gates

Shall be named

After the tribes

Of Israel.

The three gates are

The gate of Reuben,

The gate of Judah,

The gate of Levi.”

There were to be 3 north side gates to the city, at the 4,500 cubits point. All the gates would be named after the various tribes of Israel. Two of these northside gates were important tribes, Judah and Levi, while the tribe of Reuben had less importance.