Yahweh was going to arouse the sold Judean slaves in faraway places to return home. Then Yahweh was going to turn this around. The new slaves would be the sons and daughters of these coastal people. They would be given to the Judeans, who in turn would sell them to the faraway southern Arabian Sabeans. This matter was settled because Yahweh had spoken.
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.
King Nebuchadnezzar now praised the Most High God that the 3 Judeans had worshipped. This most high God had worked signs and wonders for them and him. He was eager to let everyone know about them. He insisted that God’s signs were great and his wonders were mighty. The Most High God ruled an everlasting kingdom that has and will last for generations. This king almost sounds like one of the prophets in his praise of the Israelite God. This looks like a complete conversion for King Nebuchadnezzar.
Much like Joseph in Egypt in Genesis, chapters 40-41, Daniel received a reward in the government of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar made him the ruler over the whole province of Babylon, as well as the chief prefect in charge of all the wise men in Babylon. In other words, Daniel was running Babylon. He then had his 3 companions, named to the various Babylonian provinces. This was a complete takeover of the Babylonian government by these 4 Judeans. However, they may have lost some of their beliefs, since they now had the 3 Babylonian names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that were given to them, not their Judean names. Notice that Daniel stayed at the king’s court.
Ezekiel concluded this vision by saying that he was lifted up by the Holy Spirit of God back into Babylon, among the Chaldeans and the other exiled Israelites and Judeans. The vision left him. Then he told the Israelite exiles there all about the things that Yahweh had shown him.
This author points out that the Judeans in Jerusalem had no regard for God’s statutes. They did not walk in the ways of God’s commandments, since they did not tread the paths of disciple and righteousness. Zion’s neighbors should come and remember the capture of the sons and daughters of Jerusalem. The Everlasting One, not Yahweh, brought this upon them, since he brought a distant ruthless nation with a strange language to attack Jerusalem. These attackers had no respect or pity for the old people and the children. Thus they took the sons and daughters of the lonely widows into captivity.
The Lord via the prophets had told the Judeans to bend their shoulders and serve the king of Babylon. If they did that, they would remain in the land that the Lord had given to their ancestors. However, if they did not obey the voice of God, and not serve the king of Babylon, then God would cease to have any sounds of mirth or gladness from the brides or the bridegrooms from the towns of Judah as well as the region around Jerusalem. The whole land would become a desolation without inhabitants. They had a clear choice, obey the Lord and the king of Babylon, or suffer the consequences. They were already in exile, because they had not obeyed the king of Babylon. As usual, Jeremiah and Baruch were pro-Babylonian.
Following the bad example of their ancestors, the Israelites and Judeans did not listen to the voice of the Lord, their God, even when he sent his prophets to tell them about their wicked hearts. They all followed their own wicked ways, instead of following the Lord. They served other gods. They did evil right in front of the Lord, their God.
The people with Baruch wanted to take up a collection and send money to the people in Jerusalem. With this money, the Jerusalem Judeans were to buy burnt offerings, sin offerings, incense, and grain offerings. All these were to be presented at the altar of the Lord God. However, there are some problems since the Temple and its altars were all destroyed. Was there a temporary temple in Jerusalem during the exile? How many people were left in Jerusalem?
Yahweh has become the enemy of Israel. He has destroyed it, with all its palaces, with all its fortresses. Among Judah and Judeans, he has multiplied mourning and lamentations. It is as if Yahweh was fighting against Israel. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter He. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.