The coming peace (Zech 8:11-8:13)

“Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘But now I will not deal

With the remnant

Of this people

As in the former days.

Now there shall be

A sowing of peace.

The vine

Shall yield its fruit.

The ground

Shall give its produce.

The skies

Shall give their dew.

I will cause

The remnant of this people

To possess all these things.

Just as you have been a curse

Among the nations,

O house of Judah!

O house of Israel!

Thus,

I will save you.

You shall be a blessing.

Do not be afraid!

But let your hands be strong!’”

Yahweh of hosts was going to deal with his people, but not like in the former days.  Now Yahweh was going to sow peace.  Their vines would yield much fruit.  Their ground would produce rich harvests.  Their skies would send down gentle rain and dew.  The remnant of the people would possess all these things.  Just as many countries had cursed them in the past, now Judah and Israel would be a blessing to many countries.  They should not be afraid, but continue with their strong hands.

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Gog and his allies will advance on the unsuspecting land (Ezek 38:8-38:9)

“After many days,

You shall be mustered.

In the latter years,

You shall go

Against a land

Restored

From the war.

This is a land

Where people

Were gathered

From many nations

On the mountains

Of Israel.

This land

Had long laid waste.

Its people were

Brought out

From the nations.

They now live securely,

All of them.

You shall advance,

Coming on,

Like a storm.

You shall be

Like a cloud

Covering the land.

It will be you,

With all your troops.

Many people shall be

With you.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was trying to tell Gog that after many days, he should gather or muster up his troops to prepare for a battle to come years later. They were going to fight against a land that had been restored from a war situation. These people had been gathered from many countries to go to this former wasteland of Israel. Now, however, they were living securely and peacefully. Yet Gog and his troops should advance on them like a storm or a cloud covering the land. Gog should bring all his large army of troops with him.

The power of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Jer 27:6-27:7)

“Now I have given

All these lands

Into the hand of

King Nebuchadnezzar,

Of Babylon,

My servant.

I have given him

Even the wild animals

Of the field

To serve him.

All the nations

Shall serve him.

They shall serve his son.

They shall serve his grandson,

Until the time

Of his own land comes.

Then many nations

With great kings

Shall make him their slave.”

The all powerful God of Israel says that he has given all these lands into the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (605-562 BCE). In fact, Yahweh calls him his servant, as if he was similar to a prophet of Yahweh. He even gave him the wild animals to serve him. All the countries would serve him, his son, and his grandson, until the time comes when many countries will make the Babylonians slaves in the third generation.

Yahweh calls the victor from the east (Isa 41:2 -41:4)

“Who has roused a victor from the east?

Who summoned him to service?

He delivers up nations to him.

He tramples kings under foot.

He makes them

Like dust with his sword.

He makes them

Like driven stubble with his bow.

He pursues them.

He passes on safely,

Scarcely toughing the path

With his feet.

Who has performed this?

Who has done this?

He is calling the generations

From the beginning.

I!

Yahweh!

I am the first!

I will be with the last.”

Second Isaiah wants to know who has summoned the victor conquer from the east for service. This victor from the east was Cyrus, the King of Persia from 559-530 BCE, more than two centuries after the time of Isaiah. Cyrus the Great created the largest empire in the world with present day Iran the last vestige of that realm. Cyrus took over many countries, trampling kings. He made them like dust or stubble with his sword as well as his bow and arrows. He pursued many people, but he was always safe with his fast feet that barely touched the ground. Second Isaiah points out that Yahweh was behind Cyrus. Who allowed him to do all these things? Why it was Yahweh, who interjected himself in the first person singular, saying that he was eternally the first and the last.