The law of the new Temple (Ezek 43:11-43:12)

“When they are ashamed

Of all that they had done,

Make known to them

The plan of the temple.

Let them know

Its arrangement,

Its exits,

Its entrances,

Its whole form!

Make known

To them

All its ordinances,

Its entire plan,

All its laws!

Write it down

In their sight!

Thus,

They may observe,

They may follow,

The entire plan

With all its ordinances.

This is the law

Of the temple.

The whole territory

On the top

Of the mountain,

All around,

Shall be most holy!

This is the law

Of the temple.”

Yahweh was very explicit to Ezekiel. He was to lay down the basics for the new Temple, just like Moses with his Mosaic laws. This was to be the law of the new Temple for the post-exilic Israelites. Once the Israelites had accepted their shame for all that they had done, Ezekiel was to let them know about this divine plan for the new temple. He was to tell them about its arrangements, exits, entrances, with its whole form. They were to know its ordinances, as well as the entire plan, including its laws. Ezekiel was to write it down in the sight of these Israelites, since there should not be any ambiguity. They were to observe and follow the entire plan with all its ordinances. This was to be the law for the new Temple. The whole territory on the top of the mountain with the territory all around it would be most holy. They were not to forget that this was the law of the temple.

 

The curse on the earth (Isa 24:4-24:6)

“The earth dries up.

It withers.

The world languishes.

It withers.

The heavens languish

Together with the earth.

The earth lies polluted

Under its inhabitants.

They have transgressed laws.

They have violated the statutes.

They have broken the everlasting covenant.

Therefore a curse devours the earth.

Its inhabitants suffer

For their guilt.

Therefore the inhabitants of the earth dwindled.

Few people are left.”

This oracle of Isaiah says that the earth and the heavens were drying up and withering away. The earth was polluted by its inhabitants. Does that sound familiar? They had transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, and broken the eternal covenant. The Mosaic laws and statutes only pertained to the Israelites. However, the eternal covenant came after the flood for all people. Thus everyone was guilty. Yahweh was going to curse all the earth and its inhabitants because of their guilty ways. A lot of people would be wiped out, but a few would be left, like the “Left Behind” series of books, movies, and video games by Tim LaHaye (1926-2016).

The mother of the seven sons exhorts her sons (2 Macc 7:20-7:23)

“The mother was especially admirable. She was worthy of an honorable memory. Although she saw her seven sons perish within a single day, she bore it with good courage because of her hope in the Lord. She encouraged each of them in the language of their ancestors. Filled with a noble spirit, she reinforced her woman’s reasoning with a man’s courage. She said to them.

‘I do not know how you came into being in my womb.

It was not I who gave you life and breath.

It was not I who set in order the elements within each of you.

Therefore the Creator of the world,

The Creator shaped the beginning of humankind,

The Creator devised the origin of all things.

The Creator will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again,

Since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws.’”

The mother was a brave woman. There is no mention of the father of these 7 sons, just the mother who was admirable and honorable. She saw her 7 sons die in 1 day. She had hope in the Lord and the courage of a man. She was not sure how they got into her womb or where they got their life from. She believed that it was the creator of the world who shaped the beginning of all humans and devised the origin of all things. This creator would be merciful and bring life back to them because he would not forget what they did for the sake of the Mosaic laws. Clearly, this is a strong theological formulation of the creator of all things, God, as in Genesis, chapter 1.