The lure of the colorful Chaldeans (Ezek 23:14-23:15)

“But Oholibah
Carried her prostitution ways
Further.
She saw male figures
Carved on the wall.
These were
The images of the Chaldeans
Portrayed in vermilion.
They had belts
Around their waists.
They had flowing turbans
On their heads.
All of them looked
Like officers.
This was
A picture
Of the Babylonians
Whose native land
Was Chaldea.”
Oholibah carried her prostitution ways even further. She saw male figures of the Chaldeans carved on the wall. They were portrayed as dressed in vermilion with belts around their waists and flowing turbans on their heads. They all looked like officers. This was the idealized picture of the Babylonians from Chaldea.

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Laziness (Prov 6:6-6:11)

“Go to the ant!

You lazybones!

Consider its ways!

Be wise!

Without having

Any chief,

Any officer,

Any ruler,

It prepares its food in summer.

It gathers its sustenance in harvest.

How long will you be there?

O lazybones!

When will you rise from your sleep?

A little sleep,

A little slumber,

A little folding of the hands to rest,

Poverty will come upon you

Like a robber.

Want will come upon you

Like an armed warrior.”

This admonition is very clear. Do not be lazy, a lazybones person. He took the example of an ant. It has no chiefs, officers, or rulers, yet it provides for itself. The ants prepared the food in summer and gathered in the fall. So then he turned to the lazy one. He asked how long he was going to be resting. He either was sleeping, dosing, or folding his hands resting. If he did not get a move on, he would soon be poor. Poverty would come upon him like a robber or armed warrior. This is an idea that will be repeated.

The division of the empire of Alexander the Great (1 Macc 1:5-1:9)

“After this, King Alexander fell sick. He perceived that he was dying. He summoned his most honored officers, who had been brought up with him from youth. He divided his kingdom among them while he was still alive. After King Alexander had reigned twelve years, he died. Then his officers began to rule, each in his own place. They all put on crowns after his death. Their sons after them did the same for many years. They caused many evils on the earth.”

King Alexander the Great only ruled for 12 years and died at the age of 33. However, before he died, he had divided up his kingdom among his trusted officers. Obviously, it was probably not that neatly done. After his death, 3 major kingdoms evolved the Antigonids of Macedonia in Greece, the Ptolemies in Egypt, and Seleucids in Syria. You have to remember that the Jewish people had a very pleasant relationship with the Persian kings since the time of Cyrus in the 6th century BCE. Thus they would have thought of these new kingdoms as evil.   This would have been very traumatic in the late 4th century BCE.

Holofernes organizes his army (Jdt 2:14-2:18)

“Holofernes left the presence of his lord. He summoned all the commanders, generals, and officers of the Assyrian army. He mustered the picked troops by divisions as his lord had ordered him to do, one hundred twenty thousand of them, together with twelve thousand archers on horseback. He organized them as a great army is marshaled for a campaign. He took along a vast number of camels, donkeys, and mules for transport. He had innumerable sheep, oxen, and goats for food. He had ample rations for everyone. He had a huge amount of gold and silver from the royal palace.”

Holofernes did as King Nebuchadnezzar had commanded. He got all his Assyrian officers together. He picked the 120,000 special troops and arranged for the 12,000 archers on horseback, his cavalry. He truly had a great vast army. He also had a lot of provisions. He had camels, donkeys, and mules for transportation purposes. He had livestock of sheep, oxen, and goats for food. He had plenty of rations, gold, and silver. He was good to go.