The mountains of Israel (Ezek 36:1-36:1)

“You!

Son of man!

Prophesy

To the mountains

Of Israel!

Say!

‘O mountains of Israel!

Hear

The word of Yahweh.’”

Next Yahweh, via Ezekiel, turned to the mountains of Israel. As opposed to the mountains of Edom, Mount Seir, Yahweh wanted these mountains to listen to the word of Yahweh as presented by Ezekiel.

The desolate desert of Edom (Ezek 35:14-35:15)

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘As the whole earth

Rejoices,

I will make you desolate.

You rejoiced

Over the inheritance

Of the house of Israel,

Because it was desolate.

Thus,

I will deal

With you.

You shall be desolate!

Mount Seir!

All of Edom!

All of it!’

Then they shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh God, via Ezekiel, said that the whole earth rejoiced because he was going to make Mount Seir a desolate desert. Just as the Edomites had rejoiced over the desolation of the house of Israel, now everyone would rejoice over the desolation of Mount Seir, the whole country of Edom, with everything in it. Finally, they would know that Yahweh was truly God.

Yahweh was going to deal with Edom (Ezek 35:11-35:13)

“Says Yahweh God!

‘Therefore,

As I live,

I will deal

With you

According to the anger,

According to the envy

That you showed

Because of your hatred

Against them.

I will make myself

Known among you,

When I judge you.

You shall know

That I,

Yahweh,

Have heard

All the abusive speech

That you uttered

Against the mountains

Of Israel.

Saying.

‘They are laid desolate.

They are given us

To devour.’

You magnified yourselves

Against me

With your mouth.

You multiplied

Your words

Against me.

I heard it.”

Yahweh God, via Ezekiel, said that he was going to deal with Edom, Mount Seir. The Edomites, with their anger and envy. had showed their hatred against Israel. Now Yahweh was going to judge the Edomites. They would soon learn who Yahweh was. He had heard all their abusive speech against the mountains of Israel. They had said that Israel was desolate and ready to be devoured. They magnified themselves against Yahweh with their mouths. They multiplied their words against Yahweh, but he had heard them.

 

Edom takes over Judah and Israel (Ezek 35:10-35:10)

“You said.

‘These two nations,

These two countries,

Shall be mine.

We will take possession

Of them.’

They had forgotten

That Yahweh was there.”

Mount Seir or Edom said that the two captured countries of Israel in the north and Judah in the south would now be part of Edom. They were going to take possession of these two countries after the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BCE. What they had forgotten was that Yahweh was in charge.

Numerical proverb (Sir 50:25-50:26)

“Two nations

My soul detests.

The third

Is not even a nation.

They are

Those who live on Mount Seir,

The Philistines,

And the foolish people

That live in Shechem.”

Sirach uses the numerical concept of Proverbs. He detests 2 countries. They appear to be the Edomites of Mount Seir and the Philistines or pagan Hellenists. The third group are the foolish Samaritans who live in Shechem.

Yahweh sets an ambush (2 Chr 20:22-20:23)

“As they began to sing and praise, Yahweh set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. The Ammonites and Moab rose and attacked the inhabitants of Mount Seir, destroying them utterly. When they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.”

As the people sing praises to God, Yahweh set an ambush against the Ammonites, the Moabites, and the people of Mount Seir. What Yahweh often did was to confuse the enemies of Israel and Judah. For some unnamed reason, these groups began to fight with each other. Mount Seir is where Esau the brother of Jacob went so that this may be a reprisal against their descendents. King David had defeated the Ammonites a century or two earlier.

The prayer of King Jehoshaphat against the invaders (2 Chr 20:10-20:12)

“See now the people of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir,

Whom you would not let Israel invade

When they came from the land of Egypt,

Whom they avoided and did not destroy.

They reward us

By coming to drive us out of your possession

That you have given us to inherit.

O our God,

Will you not execute judgment upon them?

For we are powerless against this great multitude

That is coming against us.

We do not know what to do,

But our eyes are on you.’”

Now King Jehoshaphat related the glory of Yahweh to his specific problem. He admitted his own weakness. He said that Israel did not invade Ammon and Moab when they came from Egypt because Yahweh did not want them to invade these countries. The Ammonites were considered to be the descendents of Lot along with the Moabites. They were east of the Dead Sea. Yahweh told Moses and his followers not to engage in battle with them. Now, however, they are coming after the people of Judah. The prayer of King Jehoshaphat talks about how powerless he is. However, in fact he had over a million warriors at this disposal. However, he clearly is turning to Yahweh for help.