Daniel questions the elder’s condemnation (Dan 13:47-13:49)

“All the people

Turned to Daniel.

They asked.

‘What is this

That you are saying?’

Taking his stand

Among them,

He said.

‘Are you such fools?

O Israelites!

Have you condemned

A daughter of Israel

Without examination?

Have you condemned

A daughter of Israel

Without learning the facts?

Return to court!

These men

Have given false evidence

Against her.’”

They all turned to Daniel after he had spoken out. They wanted to know what he said. Then Daniel stood up in the middle of them. He then asked them if they were fools. Why had these Israelites condemned one of their own daughters? He said that there had been no examination or attempt to learn the facts of the case. He wanted them all to return to court, because he believed that these two elders had put forth false evidence against Susanna. There was no indication on how he knew this.

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The wealth of Joakim (Dan 13:4-13:4)

“Joakim was very rich.

He had a fine garden,

Adjoining his house.

The Jews used to come

To him,

Because he was

The most honored

Of them all.”

Obviously, despite being a captive in Babylon, some Jews prospered.  This story does not say how or why Joakim grew wealthy.  Nevertheless, he was very rich.  He also had a wonderful garden that was right next to his house.  Many of the Jews, since they are no longer called Israelites or Judeans, would come to his spacious house.  They also honored him, probably because he had so much wealth.  Thus, this Joakim was a big shot among the well to do exiled Israelites in Babylon.

The tribe of Asher (Ezek 48:2-48:2)

“Adjoining the territory of Dan,

From the east side

To the west side,

Asher,

Was one portion.”

Although it is not mentioned, the Mediterranean Sea might have been Asher’s western border. Here it seems to be on both sides of Dan. Asher in Joshua, chapter 19, was west of Naphtali and Zebulun, but here it is mentioned before them. The Israelites never had control of the seacoast towns anyway.

The idea of an attack (Ezek 38:14-38:14)

“Therefore,

Son of man!

Prophesy!

Say to Gog!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘On that day,

When my people Israel

Are living securely,

You will rouse yourself.’”

Yahweh once again wanted Ezekiel to prophesize to Gog, but I am not sure how Ezekiel and Gog would connect. When the Israelites had returned to live securely on their land, Gog should rouse himself to plan an attack on them. It seemed like Yahweh wanted Gog to attack Israel.

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.

The profaning of the holy name of Yahweh (Ezek 36:20-36:21)

“When the Israelites came

To the nations,

Wherever they came,

They profaned

My holy name.

It was said of them.

‘These are the people

Of Yahweh.

Yet they had to go

Out of his land.’

But I had concern

For my holy name.

The house of Israel

Had profaned it

Among the nations

To which they came.”

Yahweh complained that the Israelites had profaned his holy name in the various countries that they went into. The people there in those countries would say that Yahweh’s people had to leave the land of Yahweh. Thus, they continued to profane the name of Yahweh in their exile, in whatever country they were living.

The new shepherd King David (Ezek 34:23-34:24)

“‘I will set up

Over them

One shepherd,

My servant David.

He shall feed them.

He shall feed them.

He shall be

Their shepherd.

I,

Yahweh,

Will be their God.

My servant David

Shall be the prince

Among them.’

I,

Yahweh,

Have spoken.”

Yahweh’s solution to this problem of the good and bad Israelite sheep was a new shepherd, who is also the old King David (1010-970 BCE). This may be an allusion to a new monarchy in Israel. The new shepherd king would also feed them like Yahweh’s servant David had done for his people. There would be a new prince among the Israelites, like David, the shepherd king. Yahweh, their God, via Ezekiel, had spoken.