The glory of God in the east (Ezek 43:2-43:2)

“There,

The glory

Of the God of Israel

Was coming

From the east.

The sound was

Like the sound

Of mighty waters.

The earth shone

With his glory.”

Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel came from the east, while Ezekiel was standing at the east gate. This glorious God sounded like mighty waters. The whole earth shone with his glory. This was a very strong visual and auditory appearance of God, Yahweh, much like in the earlier chapters. Here, Ezekiel was standing at the eastern gate of the Temple with the bronze man. Quite often, the glory of God can seem like the rising sun, but that is not specifically mentioned here.

 

The sounds from above (Ezek 1:24-1:25)

“When they moved,

I heard the sound

Of their wings.

It was

Like the sound

Of mighty waters.

It was

Like the thunder

Of the Almighty.

It was

Like a sound of tumult.

It was

Like the sound of an army.

When they stopped,

They let down

Their wings.

There came

A voice

From above the dome

Over their heads.

When they stopped,

They let down

Their wings.”

What sounds did Ezekiel hear? He heard the sounds of the wings of these creatures as they moved. This sound was like the sound of mighty waters, like the thunder of the Almighty God, El Shaddai, not that of Yahweh. This sound was like the sound of a great commotion or an army on the move. However, when they stopped moving their wings, a voice came from above the dome over their heads. Then the same phrase was repeated again. When they stopped, they let down their wings.

The great sea thunder to come (Isa 17:12-17:14)

“O the thunder of many people!

They thunder

Like the thundering of the sea!

O the roar of nations!

They roar

Like the roaring of mighty waters!

The nations roar

Like the roaring of many waters.

But he will rebuke them.

They will flee far away.

They will be chased

Like chaff on the mountains

Before the wind.

They will be chased

Like whirling dust

Before the storm.

At evening time,

Behold terror!

Before morning,

They are no more.

This is the fate

Of those who despoil us.

This is the lot

Of those who plunder us.”

Here Isaiah warns of a coming thundering water deluge. Many people will come like thunder. They will roar like roaring mighty waters of the sea. However, Yahweh will rebuke them. They will flee like chaff in front of a mountain wind or like whirling dust before a storm. At night, they will say that terror is coming. But by morning, they will be gone. They will be no more since those who wanted to plunder and destroy them will disappear. This could be an allusion to the Assyrians attempt to capture Jerusalem around 701 BCE as told in 2 Kings, chapters 18-19.

Asking for the power of Yahweh (Ps 144:5-144:8)

“Bow your heavens!

Yahweh!

Come down!

Touch the mountains

So that they smoke!

Make the lightning flash!

Scatter them!

Send out your arrows!

Rout them!

Stretch out your hand from on high!

Set me free!

Rescue me

From the mighty waters!

Rescue me

From the hand of aliens!

They speak lies.

Their right hands are false.”

David wanted Yahweh to bow down the heavens. He wanted Yahweh to come down to make the mountains smoke with a lightning flash. He wanted Yahweh to come down and rescue him from the mighty waters and the hands of aliens or strangers. These aliens, of course, speak lies with their false right hands.

Yahweh delivers (Ps 32:6-32:7)

“Therefore let all

Who are faithful

Offer prayer to you.

At a time of distress,

The rush of mighty waters

Shall not reach them.

You are a hiding place for me.

You preserve me from trouble.

You surround me

With glad cries of deliverance.

Selah

The faithful ones pray to Yahweh. At the time of distress, the rush of mighty waters does not reach the faithful praying ones. Yahweh hid and preserved David from trouble. He was surrounded with glad cries of deliverance. Once again, there is a pause for a musical interlude with the Selah.

Yahweh cares about David (Ps 18:16-18:19)

“He reached down from on high.

He took me.

He drew me out of mighty waters.

He delivered me from my strong enemy.

He delivered me from those who hated me.

They were too mighty for me.

They confronted me.

In the day of my calamity,

However Yahweh was my support.

He brought me out into a broad place.

He rescued me,

Because he delighted in me.”

The psalmist David seems to imply that Yahweh had a special place for him. This is almost word for word from the canticle in 2 Samuel, chapter 22. Yahweh reached down from the heavens. He took David out of the mighty waters. More than anything, he rescued David from his strong enemy and those who hated him. David realized that he was not strong enough by himself. He needed the help of Yahweh in the day of his calamity when his enemies confronted him. Yahweh was his support who had brought him forward. Yahweh delighted in David. His enemies attacked him, but Yahweh was always with him because he loved him.