The dimensions of eastern inner court (Ezek 40:33-40:34)

“Its recesses,

Its pilasters,

Its vestibule

Were of the same dimensions

As the others.

There were windows

All around within it,

As well as in its vestibule.

Its depth was

Fifty cubits.

Its width was

Twenty-five cubits.

Its vestibule

Faced the outer court.

Palm trees were

On its pilasters.

Its stairway

Had eight steps.”

This description of the eastern inner court is an absolute word for word description of the south inner court. The only exception was the mention of other 25 cubits by 5 cubits vestibules in the eastern inner court description. There was no mention of them here. This vestibule was 50 cubits or 80 feet long and 25 cubits wide or 40 feet wide that faced the outer court, with palm trees on its pilasters. This stairway had 8 steps also.

The southern inner court dimensions (Ezek 40:29-40:31)

“Its recesses,

Its pilasters,

Its vestibule

Were of the same size

As the others.

There were windows

All around within it,

As well as in its vestibule.

Its length was

Fifty cubits.

Its breadth was

Twenty-five cubits.

There were vestibules

All around.

They were

Twenty-five cubits deep,

Five cubits wide.

Its vestibule

Faced the outer court.

Palm trees were

On its pilasters.

Its stairway

Had eight steps.”

The inner court is somewhat similar to the outer court, since they were the same size as the others, with windows all around it. The vestibule was 50 cubits or 80 feet long and 25 cubits wide or 40 feet wide. There also was a vestibule that was 25 cubits or 40 feet deep and only 5 cubits or 8 feet wide. These vestibules faced the outer court with palm trees on its pilasters. This stairway had 8 steps, and not 7 like the others that came from the gates. Apparently, this Temple was built on different level terraces.

The wall around the temple (Ezek 40:5-40:5)

“Now there was a wall

All around the outside

Of the temple area.

The length

Of the measuring reed

In the man’s hand

Was six long cubits.

Each cubit

Was a cubit

Plus a handbreadth

In length.

He measured

The thickness

Of the wall,

One reed.

He measured

The height

Of the wall.

One reed.”

Almost like Moses in Exodus, Ezekiel’s vision of the future described what the new Temple should look like. Surprisingly, it was much like the old Temple. There was no indication that the Second Temple was built like this vision of Ezekiel indicated. First, this bronze man was going to measure the wall around the Temple. He took his measuring reed that was 6 long cubits. The long cubit was 4 inches longer or the width of a hand longer than the regular cubit that was about a foot and a half long. When this bronze man measured the thickness and the height of the wall, they were symmetrical, exactly the same, one reed or 6 long cubits, somewhere between about 10 feet high and 10 feet wide, a massive construction.

 

The happy people in Jerusalem (Isa 65:21-65:23)

“They shall build houses.

They shall inhabit them.

They shall plant vineyards.

They shall eat their fruit.

They shall not build

With another inhabit it.

They shall not plant

With another eat it.

Like the days of a tree

Shall the days of my people be.

My chosen ones shall long enjoy

The work of their hands.

They shall not labor in vain.

They shall not bear children for calamity.

They shall be offspring

Blessed by Yahweh.

Their descendants shall be blessed

With them.”

Everyone will be happy in this new Jerusalem. When they build a house, they will live there, since no one else will live there. If they plant vineyards, they will enjoy their fruit, since no one else will enjoy their crop. Their lives will be long like the days of a large tree. They will benefit from their own work. They will not labor in vain. Their children will not have misfortunes because they and their children will be blessed by Yahweh.

Second devastation of Moab (Isa 16:13-16:14)

“This is the word

That Yahweh spoke

Concerning Moab

In the past.

But now

Yahweh says.

‘In three years,

Like the years of a hired worker,

The glory of Moab

Will be brought

Into contempt.

In spite of all its great multitude,

Those who survive

Will be very few.

They will be feeble.’”

Now we have a clear oracle of Yahweh presented by Isaiah. Should this have been at the beginning of this section on Moab? Or is this another devastating blow to Moab in 3 years? It appears to be the later, another attack. The glory of Moab will again be brought into contempt. Even though there are a lot of Moabites, very few will survive. Those that do survived will be feeble. Thus ends this long but gentle 2 chapter diatribe against Moab that was also part of the territory of Reuben.

The wicked (Eccl 8:10-8:14)

“Then I saw the wicked buried.

They used to go in to the holy place.

They used to go out of the holy place.

They were praised in the city

Where they had done such things.

This also is vanity.

Because sentence against an evil deed

Is not executed speedily.

The human heart is fully set to do evil.

Though sinners do evil a hundred times,

They still prolong their lives.

Yet I know

That it will be well with those who fear God,

Because they stand in fear before him.

But it will not be well with the wicked.

Neither will they prolong their days like a shadow,

Because they do not stand in fear before God.

There is a vanity which takes place on earth.

There are righteous people

Who are treated according to the conduct of the wicked.

There are wicked men

Who are treated according to the conduct of the righteous.

I said that this also is vanity.”

The wicked people die. However, they too went in and out of the holy place, the Temple. Everyone praised them for this, but it still was useless, vanity. The problem is that the sentence against an evil person is not carried out quickly. Humans see this, so that they continue to do evil deeds a hundred times more. This is the problem of the criminal justice system that takes too long to punish people. Thus the wicked continue to live a long life. However, Qoheleth knows that those who fear God will be okay. Those who do not fear God will only have a shadowy life, not the full life of those who fear God. However, there are vain or useless things here on earth. Sometimes the righteous are treated as if they are wicked. Vice versa, some wicked are treated as if they were righteous. This whole life is vanity or futile.

Thanksgiving to Yahweh (Ps 136:1-136:3)

“O give thanks to Yahweh!

He is good.

His steadfast love endures forever.

O give thanks to the God of gods!

His steadfast love endures forever.

O give thanks to the Lord of lords!

His steadfast love endures forever.”

Psalm 136 is another fairly long psalm without a title, with an emphasis on giving thanks to Yahweh for all that he has done for his people. The haunting refrain, “His steadfast love endures forever” is repeated after every verse as a congregational response throughout this psalm. They were to give thanks to Yahweh because of his steadfast enduring love. He was the God of gods and the Lord of the lords.

Let me live (Ps 119:169-119:176)

Tav

“Let my cry come before you!

Yahweh!

Give me understanding

According to your word!

Let my supplication come before you!

Deliver me

According to your word!

My lips will pour forth praise.

Because you teach me your statutes.

My tongue will sing of your promise.

All your commandments are right.

Let your hand be ready to help me!

I have chosen your precepts.

I long for your salvation.

Yahweh!

Your law is my delight!

Let me live!

Thus I may praise you.

Let your ordinances help me!

I have gone astray

Like a lost sheep.

Seek out your servant!

I do not forget your commandments.”

This long psalm concludes with the last or twenty-second consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Tav. This psalmist wanted to live and be saved. He, on his part, would not forget the commandments of Yahweh. He wanted his cry to come before Yahweh. He wanted to understand the word and law of Yahweh. He, on his part, would give praise to Yahweh with his lips and tongue. He will sing of his praises because Yahweh has taught him his statutes and commandments. All he wanted was help in salvation. He delighted in the law. Thus his ordinances would help him. However, the psalmist admitted that even though he had gone astray like a lost sheep, he still had not forgotten Yahweh’s commandments. Thus we have a fitting end to this long psalm about the importance and beauty of the law.

Introductory hymn to Yahweh (Ps 105:1-105:5)

“O give thanks to Yahweh!

Call on his name!

Make known his deeds among the peoples!

Sing to him!

Sing praises to him!

Tell of all his wonderful works!

Glory in his holy name!

Let the hearts of those who seek Yahweh rejoice!

Seek Yahweh!

Seek his strength!

Seek his presence continually!

Remember the wonderful works he has done!

Remember his miracles!

Remember the judgments he has uttered!”

Psalm 105 is usually combined with Psalm 106 to be recited at some major feast, since it recalls all the great events in the life of the Israelites. However this long psalm has no introductory title. The first section is a hymn to Yahweh. Some of the texts have an Alleluia to start this hymn. We give thanks to Yahweh. We call on his name. We tell everybody about him. We sing praises to him. We glory in his holy name. Those who seek Yahweh can rejoice. We seek his strength and his presence continually. We remember his wonderful works, his miracles, and his judgments.