Against Moab (Ezek 25:8-25:8)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Moab said.

‘The house of Judah is

Like all the other nations.’”

Instead of a very long diatribe against Moab, as in Jeremiah, chapter 48, and Isaiah, chapters 15 and 16, Ezekiel has only a few short comments. Moab was the country directly east of the Dead Sea on the other side of the Jordan River. The Moabites, like the Ammonites, had been involved in many quarrels and battles with the Israelites, since they had a strange biblical relationship. The Moabite kingdom lasted from around the 13th century BCE to around the 4th century BCE, where today it is also the country of Jordan, like Ammon. The Moabites were the descendants of Lot’s incest with his oldest daughter as in Genesis, chapter 19. In the Book of Ruth, chapter 4, the Moabites were friendly, as Ruth, a Moabite, had a son named Obed, who turned out to be the grandfather of King David via his son Jesse.   For a while, Moab was part of the Kingdom of Israel, until they revolted. Here the complaint against Moab was that they said that Judah was like the other countries and not unique.

The defeat of Moab (Jer 48:1-48:2)

“Concerning Moab.

Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

The God of Israel!

‘Woe for Nebo!

It is laid waste!

Kiriathaim is put

To shame!

It is taken!

The fortress is put

To shame!

It is broken down.

The renown of Moab

Is no more.

In Heshbon,

They planned evil

Against her.

‘Come!

Let us cut her off

From being a nation!’

You also!

O Madmen!

Shall be brought

To silence.

The sword shall

Pursue you.”

Strangely enough, this is a very long chapter on Moab, the country directly east of the Dead Sea on the other side of the Jordan River. Isaiah also had 2 chapters on Moab, chapters 15 and 16. The Moabites and Israelites had been involved in many quarrels and battles, since they had a strange biblical relationship. The Moabite kingdom lasted from around the 13th century BCE to around the 4th century BCE, where today it is the country of Jordan. The Moabites were the descendants of Lot’s incest with his oldest daughter in Genesis, chapter 19. Thus the Moabites had an on again, off again, relationship with the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. In the Book of Ruth, chapter 4, the Moabites were friendly, as Ruth, a Moabite, had a son named Obed, who turned out to be the grandfather of King David via his son Jesse.   For a while, Moab was part of the Kingdom of Israel, until they revolted. Mount Nebo, the place where Moses died, had been laid waste. The powerful fortress and famous Kiriathaim was put to shame. It is not clear whether this is the same city as Kir, mentioned in Isaiah, chapter 15. Heshbon was a city in Ammon, north of Moab, where the madmen were looking to plan evil against the Moabites. In the Septuagint Greek translation, this is chapter 31, not chapter 48 as here.

The oracle about Moab (Isa 15:1-15:1)

“An oracle concerning Moab.”

The kingdom of Moab was east of the Dead Sea, in what is today the country of Jordan. The Moabites and Israelites had been involved in many quarrels and battles since they had a strange biblical relationship. The Moabites were the descendents of Lot’s incest with his daughter in Genesis, chapter 19. Thus the Moabites had an on again, off again, relationships with the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. In the Book of Ruth, chapter 4, the Moabites are friendly, as Ruth, a Moabite, had a son named Obed, who turned out to be the grandfather of King David via his son Jesse.   For a while, Moab was part of the Kingdom of Israel, until they revolted.

The glorious day (Isa 11:10-11:10)

“On that day,

The root of Jesse,

Shall stand

As a signal

To the peoples.

The nations shall inquire of him.

His dwelling shall be glorious.”

This new ideal king who is from the Davidic root of Jesse will stand as a signal to all people. Every country will inquire of him. He will be somewhat like King Solomon with his glorious palaces. Let the good times roll!

The Spirit of Yahweh (Isa 11:1-11:3)

“A shoot shall come out

From the stump of Jesse.

A branch shall grow out

Of his roots.

The Spirit of Yahweh shall rest upon him,

The spirit of wisdom,

The spirit of understanding,

The spirit of counsel.

The spirit of might,

The spirit of knowledge,

The spirit of piety,

The fear of Yahweh.

His delight shall be

In the fear of Yahweh.”

In this oracle of Yahweh, via Isaiah, the Spirit of Yahweh, the Lord, will rest upon a future king. This king will have his roots in Jesse, the father of David. Thus the Spirit of Yahweh will rest upon someone in the royal line of David. Thus there was great concern to have Jesus be in the line of David, via Joseph. What is the Spirit of Yahweh? For many Christians, it is what they call the “Holy Spirit.” Thus the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of the Lord are one and the same. Since the early CE centuries, Christians have associated this Spirit of Yahweh with anointing, the laying on of hands, or as the western Christians, since the Middle Ages, like to call it confirmation. Thus this sevenfold gift prayer of the Holy Spirit has been part of the Roman Catholic confirmation ritual. The 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit are then wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. In fact, this almost sounds like the later sapiential literature with its emphasis on wisdom and the fear of God. Thus the Christians, with their anointing or confirmation, see the special gift of the Holy Spirit, as described here in Isaiah, present in their ritual worship service of chrismation or confirmation.

The response of Israel (2 Chr 10:16-10:19)

“When all Israel saw that the king would not listen to them, the people answered the king.

‘What share do we have in King David?

We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.

Each of you to your tents, O Israel!

Look now to your own house, King David.’

So all Israel departed to their tents. King Rehoboam ruled over the Israelites who were living in the cities of Judah. When King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was his taskmaster over the forced labor, the Israelites stoned him to death. King Rehoboam hurriedly mounted his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. Thus Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.”

Once again, this is based almost word for word on 1 Kings, chapter 12. When the people of Israel heard King Rehoboam, they responded that he was not listening to them. They would have nothing to do with King David, the son of Jesse. Israel would go to its tents and not with the house of David. However, King Rehoboam was still in charge of the Israelites who lived in Judah. However, when he sent his taskmaster in charge of forced labor, Hadoram here and not Adoram as in 1 Kings, to Israel, they stoned him to death. Then King Rehoboam took off for Jerusalem. This split was so complete that it lasted until the writing of this biblical work as well as the book of 1 Kings. This split was never resolved.

Ancestors of King David (1Chr 2:10-2:17)

“Ram became the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, prince of the sons of Judah. Nahshon became the father of Salma. Salma became the father of Boaz. Boaz became the father of Obed. Obed became the father of Jesse. Jesse became the father of Eliab his first-born, Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, Ozem the sixth, and David the seventh. Their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. The sons of Zeruiah were Abishai, Joab, and Asahel, three. Abigail bore Amasa. The father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite.”

This is how we get from Judah to David with the same genealogy that was at the end of Ruth, chapter 4, which will be picked up by the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 1. Perhaps these documents are contemporary since the genealogy at the end of Ruth seems to be an addition to the story. All this is heading, to King David, who was from the tribe of Judah. (1) Judah had a son (2) Perez who in turn had a son (3) Hezron. His son (4) Ram had a son named (5) Amminadab, whose daughter Elisheba married Aaron, the brother of Moses in Exodus, chapter 6. However, Amminadab’s son (6) Nahshon was a famous warrior prince of Judah, especially in Numbers, chapter 7. His son (7) Salma, or as he is called in Ruth, Salmon, was the father of (8) Boaz who married Ruth. He then had a son called (9) Obed. Obed’s son was (10) Jesse. Jesse had 7 sons and 2 daughters, Eliab, Abinadab, Shimea, Nethanel, Raddai, Ozem, Zeruiah, and Abigail, with the 7th son being (11) David. This biblical author also lists 4 children of the 2 daughters Abishai, Joab, Asahel, and Amasa, since they played an important role in the reign of King David.