Oracle of Yahweh (Ob 1:1-1:1)

“Thus says Yahweh

Concerning Edom.

We have heard a report

From Yahweh.

A messenger has been sent

Among my nations.

‘Rise up!

Let us rise against it

For battle.’”

The Israelites had a long history with Edom because they believed that Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, had founded this country.  The Book of Genesis listed the kings of Edom in chapter 36.  The country of Edom was south of the Dead Sea, south of Moab and south of Judah.  It eventually stopped being a country with most of the people drifting into southern Judah.  Many of the prophets had spoken against the Edomites, including Jeremiah, chapter 49, Isaiah, chapter 34, Ezekiel, chapter 25, Amos, chapter 1, and Joel, chapter 3.  This was a report from Yahweh, since he had sent his messengers to the various countries.  They were to rise up and get ready for the battle.

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Take a prostituting wife (Hos 1:2-1:2)

“When Yahweh

First spoke

Through Hosea,

Yahweh said to Hosea.

‘Go!

Take for yourself

A wife of prostitution!

Have children

Of prostitution!

The land commits

Great prostitution

By forsaking Yahweh.’”

The command of Yahweh to Hosea is a little strange at first sight. Yahweh God wants Hosea to take a wife, which is not odd. However, she should be a prostitute or whore. He should have children with this prostitute. Thus, the life of Hosea the prophet became symbolic in itself. The reason for the emphasis on prostitution was that the land of Israel had prostituted itself by giving up on Yahweh. The great theme of the infidelity of the Israelites was lived out by Hosea in a real symbolic way. The later prophets of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel would mention this infidelity of Israel also.

The Babylonian god Bel (Dan 14:3-14:4)

“Now the Babylonians

Had an idol

Called Bel.

Every day,

They provided for it

Twelve bushels

Of choice flour,

Forty sheep,

Six measures

Of wine.

The king revered it.

He went every day

To worship it.

But Daniel worshiped

His own God.”

This god Bel was Bel Marduk, the great god of the Babylonians, mentioned by Jeremiah and Isaiah. Every day, the people provided this idol 12 bushels of choice flour, 40 sheep, and 6 measures or about 50 gallons of wine. The king Cyrus revered Bel, as he worshipped this god on a daily basis. Bel may have been popular in Persia also. However, Daniel worshipped his own God, but there is no indication where he did this.

The two elder judges (Dan 13:5-13:6)

“That year,

Two elders

From the people

Were appointed

As judges.

Concerning them,

The Lord had said.

‘Wickedness came forth

From Babylon,

From elders,

Who were judges.

They were supposed

To govern the people.’

These men

Were frequently

At Joakim’s house.

All who had a case

To be tried

Came to them.”

That year, the Jewish or Israelite people chose or appointed these two elders to be their judges. However, there was a saying of the Lord, probably referring to something from Jeremiah, chapter 25, that seemed to indicate that these two men were wicked judges because they were not governing the people correctly. These two elders were often at Joakim’s house, because they held their trials there. They would judge the Israelite exiles with their various disputes.

Seventy weeks (Dan 9:24-9:24)

“‘Seventy weeks

Are decreed

For your people,

For your holy city,

To finish the transgression,

To put an end

To sin,

To atone

For iniquity,

To bring in

Everlasting righteousness,

To seal both vision,

As well as prophet,

To anoint

A most holy place.’”

Thus, we have the prophetic statement of Gabriel. The terminology here is weeks and not years. Jeremiah had used 70 years. 7 was generally a complete or perfect number. Therefore, the popular terminology developed about lucky 7. During these 70 weeks or 70 years, they would make up for all the transgressions of the people and the holy city. Does 70 weeks imply 70 years times a week of 7, or 490 years? This time would atone for their sins and their iniquities. This would then bring about an everlasting righteousness, sealing both the vision and the prophet. Thus, they could anoint this holy place at the end of this period.

Against the Philistines (Ezek 25:15-25:15)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘With unending hostilities,

The Philistines

Acted in vengeance

With malice of heart.

They took revenge

In destruction.’”

The Philistines were often mentioned in the biblical literature, especially as the enemies of King David. They were perhaps originally from the island of Crete. They were the five main Philistine coastal cities mentioned from the time of Joshua, chapter 13, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, Gath, and Ashdod, all on the Mediterranean coast line of present day Israel. Thus the mention of unending hostilities with the Philistines did not seem out of place. Jeremiah, chapter 47, had also spoken against them. These Philistines acted with vengeance and malice, as they brought revenge on the Israelites with their destruction.

Against Edom (Ezek 25:12-25:12)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Edom acted revengefully

Against the house of Judah.

They have grievously offended

In taking vengeance

Upon them.’”

Edom was south of the Dead Sea, south of Moab and south of Judah. Its biblical origin was the place where Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, went to live in Genesis, chapter 36. This section is similar to Jeremiah, chapter 49, and Isaiah, chapter 34, on Edom. Apparently, when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked Jerusalem, the Edomites from south of Judah helped the Babylonians in their plundering of Jerusalem and Judah.