The vision of the glory of God (Ezek 8:2-8:4)

“I looked.

There was a figure

That looked

Like a human being.

Below what appeared

To be his loins

It was fire.

Above his loins

It was like

The appearance of brightness,

Like gleaming amber.

He stretched out

The form of a hand.

He took me

By a lock

Of my head.

The Spirit lifted me up

Between earth and heaven.

He brought me,

In visions of God,

To Jerusalem,

To the entrance

Of the gateway

Of the inner court

That faces north.

I went to the seat

Of the image of jealousy

That provokes jealousy.

The glory

Of the God

Of Israel

Was there,

Like the vision

That I had seen

In the valley.”

Ezekiel continued in the first person singular as he explained his vision. The description of the human figure and the fire is like that of chapter 1 of this book. There was a fire below his loins, with bright amber above his loins. Once again this Holy Spirit stretched out his hand. He lifted Ezekiel up by the hair on his head and brought him to Jerusalem in a vision. Ezekiel was at the entrance to the gateway of the inner court that faced north. He was put on the seat of jealousy. There the glory of the God of Israel appeared just as he had appeared in chapter 1 in the valley by the River Chebar.

Jeremiah sets out for the Benjamin territory (Jer 37:11-37:12)

“Now when the Chaldean army

Had withdrawn

From Jerusalem

At the approach

Of Pharaoh’s army,

Jeremiah set out

From Jerusalem

To go to

The land of Benjamin

To receive

His share of the property

Among the people there.”

After the conversation with the two envoys of King Zedekiah, Jeremiah set out to go to the Benjamin territory, right next to Jerusalem. As the Chaldean army siege had been lifted with the approach of the Egyptian army, people were free to come and go from Jerusalem. Perhaps Jeremiah was going to see and get his land that he had purchased in chapter 32. It may have been just to see what was going on. Certainly he was going to see the people there.

The redeeming savior (Isa 63:8-63:10)

“Yahweh said.

‘Surely they are my people.

Children will not deal falsely.’

He became their Savior

In all their distress.

It was no messenger.

It was no angel.

But it was his presence that saved them.

In his love,

In his pity,

He redeemed them.

He lifted them up.

He carried them

All the days of old.

But they rebelled.

They grieved his Holy Spirit.

Therefore he became their enemy.

He himself fought against them.”

Yahweh responded that surely his people and children would not respond falsely. He was their savior in times of distress. He did not merely send a messenger or an angel. It was his very presence that saved them. He showed them love and pity as he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them away as in the good old days. However, they rebelled against him as they saddened the Holy Spirit. They became his enemy so that Yahweh had to fight against them.

Yahweh had protected them in the past (Isa 10:25-10:27)

“In a very little while,

My indignation

Will come to an end.

My anger will be directed

To their destruction.

Yahweh of hosts

Will wield a whip against them,

As when he smote Midian

At the rock of Oreb.

His staff will be over the sea.

He will lift it

As he did in Egypt.

In that day,

His burden will be removed

From your shoulder.

His yoke will be destroyed

From your neck.’”

Yahweh speaks directly via Isaiah about his love for Israel. His indignation at them will be short lived. In his anger, he will destroy the Assyrians with a whip. He will do this, just as he had helped the Israelites under Gideon against Oreb and the Midian people at the rock of Oreb in Judges, chapters 6-7. Then there is also an allusion to Yahweh’s staff at the parting of the Red Sea when the Israelites escaped from Egypt in Exodus, chapter 14. At that point, the burden on their shoulders and the yoke on their necks will be lifted.

Yahweh helps the poor (Ps 113:7-113:9)

“Yahweh raises the poor from the dust.

He lifts the needy from the ash heap.

He makes them sit with princes.

He makes them sit with the princes of his people.

He gives the barren woman a home.

He makes her the joyous mother of children.

Praise Yahweh!”

This short psalm ends with Yahweh, from his heights, raising up the poor from the dust. He lifted the needy from the ash heaps. He made them sit with the princes of his people. He provided the barren women with homes and children so that they could be happy. Thus we all should join in and praise Yahweh as this short psalm concludes with the phrase “praise Yahweh,” another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.”

The deadly illness (Ps 41:8-41:9)

“They think

That a deadly thing has fastened on me.

I will not rise again

From where I lie.

Even my bosom friend,

In whom I trusted,

Who ate of my bread,

Has lifted his heel against me.”

Both David’s enemies and friends have turned against him during this deadly illness. The enemies thought that he would never get out of bed again. Even some friend, whom he trusted and broke bread with, had lifted his heel against him. David was feeling very lonely. Everyone was waiting for his death.

Sing to Yahweh in the Temple (Ps 27:6-27:6)

“Now my head is lifted up above.

My enemies are all around me.

I will offer in his tent

Sacrifices with shouts of joy.

I will sing.

I will make melody to Yahweh.”

David’s head was lifted above all his enemies who were all around him. He was going to offer sacrifices in the tent or Temple of Yahweh. He was going to sing and make melody to Yahweh. However, the problem was that only the Levites and priests could make the sacrifices in the Temple. David was not a Levite.