The power of Yahweh (Hab 3:5-3:6)

“Pestilence went before him.

The plague followed close behind.

Yahweh stopped.

He shook the earth.

He looked.

He made the nations tremble.

The eternal mountains

Were shattered.

The everlasting hills

Sank low,

Along his ancient pathways.”

Habakkuk remarked that Yahweh was powerful.  Pestilence went before him, while the plague followed him.  Yahweh stopped and shook the earth.  As he looked, the various countries trembled.  The eternal mountains and the everlasting hills were shattered, as they sank low to provide a path for him.

Yahweh’s counter attack against Gog (Ezek 38:21-38:23)

“Says Yahweh God!

‘I will summon

The sword

Against Gog.

In all my mountains,

The swords of all

Will be

Against their comrades.

I will enter my judgment

On him

With pestilence,

With bloodshed.

I will pour down

Torrential rains,

Hailstones,

Fire,

Sulfur,

Upon him,

With his troops,

With the many people

That are with him.

Thus,

I will show

My greatness,

My holiness.

I will make myself known

In the eyes

Of many nations.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel said that he was going to summon swords against Gog in the mountains, as fellow soldiers would be against each other with their swords. Yahweh was going to render his judgment, so that there would be pestilence and bloodshed. He was going to hit them with all kinds of natural disasters. Yahweh was going to pour down on Gog, his troops, and anyone with him, torrential rains, hailstones, fire, and sulfur or the famous brimstones. Thus, he would show his greatness and holiness. When all the various nations and countries would see this, then they would know that Yahweh was their God.

Israel will become a land of desolation (Ezek 33:27-33:29)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Say this to them!

As I live!

Surely those who are

In the waste places

Shall fall

By the sword.

Those who are

In the open fields,

I will give

To the wild animals

To be devoured.

Those who are

In the strongholds,

In the caves,

Shall die

By pestilence.

I will make the land

A desolation.

I will make it

A waste.

Its proud might

Shall come to an end.

The mountains of Israel

Shall be so desolate

That no one

Will pass through.

Then they shall know

That I am Yahweh,

When I have made

The land

A desolation,

A waste,

Because of all

The abominations

That they have committed.’”

Yahweh God told Ezekiel to tell the Israelites that the land of Israel was going to become a wasteland. People would die by the sword. Wild animals would devour people in the open fields. People in the strongholds and caves would die from pestilence. The land would become desolate. The proud ones would come to an end. The mountains of Israel would be so desolate that no one would pass through them. Finally, they would know that Yahweh had made the land a desolation and a waste, because of all the abominations that they had committed.

Against Sidon (Ezek 28:20-28:23)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me!

‘Son of man!

Set your face

Toward Sidon!

Prophesy against it!

Say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

I am against you!

O Sidon!

I will gain glory

In your midst.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh,

When I execute

My judgments

In it.

I will manifest

My holiness

In it.

I will send

Pestilence

Into it.

I will send

Bloodshed

Into its streets.

The dead shall fall

In its midst,

By the sword

That is against it

On every side.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh.’”

Yahweh once again came to Ezekiel, the son of man. Ezekiel was to turn towards Sidon, often mentioned together with Tyre, but less important than Tyre. Sidon itself, now part of Lebanon, was a seacoast town about 25 miles north of Tyre, supposedly named after the son of Canaan, the grandson of Noah. Ezekiel was to prophesy against Sidon. Yahweh was going to be glorified in Sidon. They would learn that Yahweh was able to execute judgments and manifest his holiness there. Yahweh was going to send pestilence and bloodshed to its streets. The dead would fall by the sword all around them. Finally, they would know that Yahweh was God.

The four scourges (Ezek 14:21-14:21)

“Thus says Yahweh God.

‘How much more

When I send

Upon Jerusalem

My four deadly acts

Of judgment,

Sword,

Famine,

Wild animals,

Pestilence,

To cut off

Humans

With animals

From it!’”

Yahweh said that he was going to send his 4 scourges or deadly acts of judgment upon Jerusalem. Added to the traditional 3 ways of Yahweh’s violent actions of sword, famine, and pestilence was the idea of wild animals. Once again, humans and animals would be cut off from the city of Jerusalem. However, it would be worse than most places.

Pestilence (Ezek 14:19-14:20)

“‘Or if I send

A pestilence

Into that land,

I would pour out

My wrath

Upon it

With blood,

To cut off

Humans

With animals

From it.

Even if

Noah,

Daniel,

Job,

Were in that land,

As I live,

They would save

Neither son

Nor daughter.

They would save

Only their own lives

By their righteousness.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Once again, we have the same concept of limited human power. If Yahweh sent a pestilence to the land, the humans and animals would die. Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in that land, they would not be able to save their sons or daughters. They would only be able to save their own lives by their own righteousness. Individual righteousness brought individual salvation. The idea of group salvation seems to be diminishing.

Yahweh will scatter the exiles (Ezek 12:14-12:16)

“I will scatter

To every wind

All who are around him,

His helpers,

All his troops.

I will unsheathe

The sword

Behind them.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh.

When I disperse them

Among the nations

I will scatter them

Through the countries.

But I will let

A few of them escape

From the sword,

From famine,

From pestilence.

Thus they may tell

Of all their abominations

Among the nations

Where they go.

Then they may know

That I am Yahweh.”

In this exile, not everyone will go to the same place. Yahweh indicated that he was going to scatter the helpers and the soldiers of the king to the wind. He certainly was going to make sure that some died by the sword. They should know that he was Yahweh. He was going to disperse them among the various nations and scatter them among different countries. He was going to let a few of them escape from the 3 ways of dying, the sword, famine, or pestilence. Those who survived would talk about all their abominations among the diverse nations, wherever they went. Thus everyone would know that Yahweh was the God of Israel.