Joseph is told to return to Israel (Mt 2:20-2:21)

“The angel said.

‘Get up!

Take the child

With his mother!

Go to the land of Israel!

Those who were seeking

The child’s life

Are dead.’

Then Joseph got up.

He took the child

With his mother.

They went

To the land of Israel.”

 

λέγων Ἐγερθεὶς παράλαβε τὸ παιδίον καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ πορεύου εἰς γῆν Ἰσραήλ· τεθνήκασιν γὰρ οἱ ζητοῦντες τὴν ψυχὴν τοῦ παιδίου.

ὁ δὲ ἐγερθεὶς παρέλαβεν τὸ παιδίον καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς γῆν Ἰσραήλ

 

This angel of the Lord explained to Joseph that King Herod was dead. He told (λέγων) Joseph to get up (Ἐγερθεὶς) from his sleep. He was to take the child and his mother (παράλαβε τὸ παιδίον καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ), just as he had done in Bethlehem. This time, he was to go into the land of Israel (πορεύου εἰς γῆν Ἰσραήλ) because the people seeking the child’s life were dead (τεθνήκασιν γὰρ οἱ ζητοῦντες τὴν ψυχὴν τοῦ παιδίου). Thus, Joseph, as usual, followed the commands of the angel of the Lord. He got up (ὁ δὲ ἐγερθεὶς) and took the child with his mother (παρέλαβεν τὸ παιδίον καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ) and went into the land of Israel (εἰσῆλθεν εἰς γῆν Ἰσραήλ). Notice there is no mention of the name of Mary and Jesus, just the general description of them as child and mother.

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The defeat of the Assyrians (Mic 5:5-5:6)

“If the Assyrians come

Into our land,

If they tread

Upon our soil,

We will raise

Against them

Seven shepherds

With eight installed

As rulers.

They shall rule

The land of Assyria

With the sword.

They shall rule

The land of Nimrod

With the drawn sword.

They shall deliver us

From the Assyrians,

If they come into our land,

If they tread within our border.”

If and when the Assyrians came into their land of Israel, the Israelites, would raise up against them.  If these Assyrians treaded on their Israelite soil, they would have 7 shepherds, the full amount necessary, or 8 rulers, more than the perfect 7, to take care of the situation.  They would, in fact, rule Assyria with a drawn sword.  They would take over the land of Nimrod, another name for Assyria.  They would be delivered from the Assyrians, if they tried to come into their land and walk across their border.  This sounded like a strong warning, but were the Assyrians listening?

The famine for God’s word (Am 8:11-8:12)

“Says Yahweh God!

‘The time is surely coming

When I will send a famine

On the land.

This will be

Not a famine of bread,

Not a thirst for water,

But of hearing

The words of Yahweh.

They shall wander

From sea to sea,

From north to east.

They shall run

Back and forth

To seek

The word of Yahweh,

But they shall not find it.’”

Yahweh God said that the time was coming when he was going to send a famine on the land of Israel.  However, this was going to be a different kind of famine, not a lack of bread and water, but a lack of the words of Yahweh.  They could wander from sea to sea, from the north to the east, running back and forth.  However, they would not be able to find the word of Yahweh, although they are hungering for it.

The opening of the graves (Ezek 37:12-37:14)

“Therefore,

Prophesy!

Say to them!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I am going to

Open your graves.

I will bring you up

From your graves.

O my people!

I will bring you back

Into the land of Israel.

You shall know

That I am Yahweh,

When I open your graves.

I will bring you up

From your graves.

O my people!

I will put

My Spirit

Within you.

You shall live.

I will place you

On your own soil.

Then you shall know

That I,

Yahweh,

Have spoken.

I have done it.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel tried to bring hope to the captured Israelites. He told Ezekiel to tell them that Yahweh, their God, was going to open up their graves and bring them back from the grave. Is this an indication of a personal resurrection? He was going to bring them back to life to live in the land of Israel, on their own soil. Yahweh then repeated himself. Then his people would know that he put his Spirit in them. They would finally realize that Yahweh had spoken and done this.

Israel will become a land of desolation (Ezek 33:27-33:29)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Say this to them!

As I live!

Surely those who are

In the waste places

Shall fall

By the sword.

Those who are

In the open fields,

I will give

To the wild animals

To be devoured.

Those who are

In the strongholds,

In the caves,

Shall die

By pestilence.

I will make the land

A desolation.

I will make it

A waste.

Its proud might

Shall come to an end.

The mountains of Israel

Shall be so desolate

That no one

Will pass through.

Then they shall know

That I am Yahweh,

When I have made

The land

A desolation,

A waste,

Because of all

The abominations

That they have committed.’”

Yahweh God told Ezekiel to tell the Israelites that the land of Israel was going to become a wasteland. People would die by the sword. Wild animals would devour people in the open fields. People in the strongholds and caves would die from pestilence. The land would become desolate. The proud ones would come to an end. The mountains of Israel would be so desolate that no one would pass through them. Finally, they would know that Yahweh had made the land a desolation and a waste, because of all the abominations that they had committed.

The gathering around holiness (Ezek 20:41-20:42)

“‘As a pleasing odor,

I will accept you.

When I bring you out

From the people,

I will gather you

Out of the countries

Where you have been

Scattered.

I will manifest

My holiness

Among you

In the sight

Of the nations.

You shall know

That I am Yahweh,

When I bring you

Into the land of Israel,

The country

That I swore

To give

To your ancestors.”

Yahweh was going to accept the Israelites as a pleasing odor, when he was going to gather his people from the various scattered nations and countries. Yahweh was going to manifest his holiness among them in the sight of the other nations. They would all know that it was Yahweh that brought them into the land of Israel. This is the same country that he had sworn to give to their ancestors.