Go to the hard headed house of Israel (Ezek 3:4-3:9)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘Son of man!

Go to the house of Israel!

Speak my very words to them!

You are not sent

To a people

Of obscure speech

With a difficult language,

But to the house of Israel.

You are not sent to people

Of obscure speech

With a difficult language,

Whose words

You cannot understand.

If I sent you to them,

They would listen to you.

But the house of Israel

Will not listen to you.

They are not willing

To listen to me.

Because all the house of Israel

Have a hard forehead.

They have a stubborn heart.

I have made your face hard

Against their faces.

I have made your forehead hard

Against their foreheads.

Like the hardest stone,

Harder than flint,

I have made your forehead.

Do not fear them!

Do not be dismayed

At their looks.

They are a rebellious house.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel, the son of man, to go to the house of Israel. He was to speak Yahweh’s words to them. Yahweh was not sending him to people who had an obscure and difficult language, like the Babylonians, who would not understand what he was saying. However, they might listen to what he had to say. Instead he was being sent to the Israelites, whose language they both shared. These Israelites would not even listen to Yahweh, because they had a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. Yahweh was going to make Ezekiel’s face hard against their faces. He was going to make Ezekiel’s forehead hard against their foreheads. His face and forehead would be like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Therefore, Ezekiel should not fear them. He should not be dismayed at their looks, because they were a rebellious house.

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Oracle about Babylon (Isa 21:1-21:1)

“The oracle

Concerning the wilderness of the sea.

As whirlwinds

In the Negeb sweep on,

It comes from the desert,

From a terrible land.”

This is an oracle about the wilderness of the sea. Although obscure, many believe this to be Babylon since the Euphrates River could be the wild sea indicated here. The whirlwinds of the Negeb are from the desert area south of Israel, formerly part of the Simeon territory that was considered a terrible land. These would be winds of change for the captured Israelites. In fact, it was the Persians who did defeat Babylon, not the Israelites. The Assyrians controlled Babylon at the time of Isaiah in the 8th century BCE.