The self-exaltation of the king (Dan 11:36-11:37)

“The king

Shall act

As he pleases.

He shall exalt himself.

He shall consider himself

Greater than any god.

He shall speak

Horrendous things

Against the God of gods.

He shall prosper

Until the period of wrath

Is completed.

What is determined

Shall be done.

He shall pay no heed

To the gods

Of his ancestors,

Or to the one beloved

By women.

He shall not pay respect

To any other god.

He shall consider himself

Greater than all.”

Gabriel continued to tell Daniel about King Antiochus IV, who acted as he pleased. He exalted himself. He believed that he was greater than any god. He even spoke horrendous things against the God of gods, the Israelite God. He would continue to prosper, until the time of wrath was completed. This arrogant king did not even pay homage to the gods of his ancestors, or to the gods that women loved. He did not pay respect to any other gods. He seemed to have been intrigued by the Greek gods and wanted to be a god himself. He considered himself greater than any of the other gods.

The little horn takes over the sanctuary (Dan 8:11-8:12)

“The little horn

Acted arrogantly,

Even against

The Prince

Of the host.

It took

Regular burnt offering

Away from him.

It overthrew

The place

Of his sanctuary.

Because of wickedness,

The host

Was given over

to it,

Together

With the regular burnt offering.

It cast truth

To the ground,

It kept prospering

In what it did.”

Thus, this King Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the little horn, conquered Palestine and violated the sanctuary of God, the Prince of the hosts around 167 BCE. He acted arrogantly against God, by taking away the regular burnt offerings from the sanctuary. This little horn was successful in taking over the host or people of the Temple as well as doing away with the regular offerings to God. He cast truth to the ground, while he continued to prosper and do whatever he wanted to do.

Yahweh poses questions about the withering vine (Ezek 17:9-17:10)

“Say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Will the vine prosper?

Will he not pull up

Its roots?

Will this cause

Its fruit to rot?

Will it wither?

Will its fresh sprouting leaves

Fade?

No strong arm

Or mighty army

Will be needed

To pull it

From its roots.

When it is transplanted,

Will it thrive?

When the east wind

Strikes it,

Will it not utterly wither?

Will it wither

On the bed

Where it grew?’”

Yahweh then posed a series of questions about this vine that was transplanted by the second eagle. Would this vine prosper in the new place, after it was pulled up by its roots? Would its fruit be rotten? Would it wither away? Sometimes letting a vine wither is easier than having a strong army come in and try to tear it up. Would the east wind be too strong for this vine? Basically Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was casting doubts about transplanting this vine.

The captivity of Jerusalem (Lam 1:5-1:5)

He

“Her foes have become

The masters.

Her enemies prosper.

Because Yahweh has

Made her suffer

For the multitude

Of her transgressions.

Her children

Have gone away,

Captives,

Before the foe.”

The foes of Zion have now become the masters of Jerusalem. Her enemies prosper. Zion was suffering because of her many transgressions. Her children have been taken away as captives by their former enemies. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter He. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem

A new population (Jer 31:27-31:27)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The days are surely coming.

When I will sow

Both the house of Israel

As well as the house of Judah

With the seed of humans,

With the seed of animals.’”

Yahweh says that the days are coming when both humans and animals will prosper in Israel and Judah. Both of them will be repopulated with humans and animals through the seeds of Yahweh.

The shamed Israelites (Jer 2:33-2:37)

“How well you direct your course

To seek lovers!

So that even to wicked women

You have taught your ways.

Also on your skirts is found

The lifeblood of the innocent poor.

You did not catch them breaking in.

Yet in spite of all these things,

You say.

‘I am innocent.

Surely his anger has turned from me.’

Now I am bringing you to judgment

For saying.

‘I have not sinned.’

How lightly you gad about

Changing your ways!

You shall be put to shame by Egypt

As you were put to shame by Assyria!

From there also

You will come away

With your hands

Upon your head.

Yahweh has rejected those

In whom you trust.

You will not prosper through them.”

The Israelites were seeking new lovers. They were teaching them their ways. They seem not to care about the innocent poor people, since they had their blood on their skirts. Yet they continued to proclaim their innocence. They thought that Yahweh was no longer angry with them. However, Yahweh was going to bring judgment upon them for saying that they had not sinned. They keep gadding about on their frivolous ways.   They were going to be put to shame by Egypt and Assyria so that they would walk out with their hands on their heads as prisoners. Yahweh has rejected them and their leaders so that they would not prosper.

The disfigured suffering servant (Isa 52:13-52:15)

“See!

My servant shall prosper.

He shall be exalted.

He shall be lifted up.

He shall be very high.

There were many

Who were astonished at him.

His appearance was so marred,

Beyond human semblance.

His form was beyond

That of mortals.

Thus he shall startle many nations.

Kings shall shut their mouths

Because of him.

What had not been told them,

They shall see.

What they have not heard,

They shall contemplate.”

Now Second Isaiah has the 4th chant of the suffering servant. Here there is a painful description of this servant of Yahweh, who is going to prosper, be exalted, and be lifted up very high. Many people were astonished at his marred figure that was beyond human semblance. He hardly looked human, so that he startled many nations. Kings shut their mouths. They suddenly saw things that they did not know about. They contemplated things that they had not heard. Was this an individual or the country of Israel? Obviously the text is not clear, except to say that he or Israel was badly disfigured, but that he or they would prosper anyway.