Gabriel explains the vision (Dan 8:19-8:22)

“Gabriel said.

‘Listen!

I will tell you

What will take place later

In the period

Of wrath!

It refers

To the appointed time

Of the end.

As for the ram

That you saw

With the two horns,

These are the kings

Of Media and Persia.

The male goat is

The king of Greece.

The great horn

Between its eyes

Is the first king.

As for the horn

That was broken,

In place of which

Four others arose,

Four kingdoms

Shall arise

From his nation,

But not with his power.’”

Gabriel told Daniel to listen to what he was going to tell him. This all would take place at a later appointed end time, when the wrath of God would be displayed. Then he went into details about the vision. The ram with the two horns represented Media and Persia. The male goat was the king of Greece. His broken horn represented the 4 people who took over after the death of Alexander the Great, Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus, and Ptolemy, the successors of Alexander. However, these 4 kingdoms would not be as strong as the first kingdom of Greece under Alexander.

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The prince provides the offerings (Ezek 46:4-46:5)

“The burnt offering

That the prince

Offers to Yahweh,

On the Sabbath day

Shall be

Six lambs

Without blemish,

With a ram

Without blemish.

The grain offering

With the ram

Shall be an ephah.

The grain offering

With the lambs

Shall be as much

As he wishes to give.

There will be

A hin of oil

For each ephah.”

The Sabbath burnt offerings of the prince were clearly laid out by Yahweh, via Ezekiel. Each Sabbath, six unblemished lambs and one ram were to be offered with an ephah of a grain offering for the ram. However, the prince could decide about how much grain for the lambs. Nevertheless, for each ephah of grain (about 2/3rds of bushel), there had to be a hin or a gallon of oil.

The seven days of sin offerings (Ezek 43:25-43:27)

“‘For seven days,

You shall provide daily

A goat

For a sin offering.

Also,

A bull

With a ram

From the flock,

Without blemish,

Shall be provided.

Seven days

Shall they make atonement

For the altar.

They will cleanse it.

They will so consecrate it.

When these days

Are over,

Then from the eighth day

Onward,

The priests shall offer

Upon the altar

Your burnt offerings

With your peace offerings.

Then I will accept you.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh gave Ezekiel this first week of instructions about the altar. During this week, each day they had to provide an unblemished goat, bull, and ram from their flock. During these 7 days, they were to make atonement for the altar, by cleansing and consecrating it. After these 7 days were over, the priests would then be able to offer their burnt offerings and peace offerings on this altar at any time.  Yahweh said that he would then accept these offerings.

The intervention of the angry Elihu (Job 32:1-32:5)

“So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God. He was angry also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than him. When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouths of these three men, he became angry.”

Now this author goes back to prose. This discourse of Elihu is often seen as an insertion in this book because it has a different style with many Aramaic words. On the other hand, it may be an answer to Job, before God answered him later. Who was this Elihu? One of Samuel’s ancestors in 1 Samuel, chapter 1, had the same name. This Elihu was a Buzite, someone from Buz, which was the name of the son of Nahor in Genesis, chapter 22. Thus Buz was the nephew of Abraham. His family probably migrated to Edom. As he is from the family of Ram he maybe an Aramean. He was angry at Job because he had spent too much time self-justifying himself rather than God. He was angry at the 3 friends since they had no solution to the problem of Job. As he was younger than the others, he waited his turn to speak until they were all done. Whether he observed all this, or just happened by is not clear from the text. He seems to imply that suffering can teach us things about God.

The meeting with Raguel (Tob 7:1-7:8)

“When they entered Ecbatana, Tobias said to Raphael.

‘Brother Azariah! Take me straight to our brother Raguel.’

So he took him to the house of Raguel. There, they found him sitting beside the courtyard door. They greeted him first.   He replied.

‘Joyous greetings, brothers! Welcome and good health!’

Then he brought them into the house. Raguel said to his wife Edna.

‘How much the young man resembles my kinsman Tobit!’

Then Edna questioned them.

‘Where are you from, brothers?’

They answered.

‘We belong to the descendents of Naphtali, who are exiles in Nineveh.’ She said to them.

‘Do you know our kinsman Tobit?’

They replied.

‘Yes, we know him!’

Then she asked them.

‘Is he in good health?’

They replied.

‘He is alive and in good health.’

Tobias added.

‘He is my father.’

At that Raguel jumped up and kissed him and wept. He also spoke to them as follows.

‘Blessings on you, my child, son of a good and noble father!

O most miserable of calamities

That such an upright and beneficent man has become blind!’

He then embraced his kinsman Tobias and wept. His wife Edna also wept for him. Their daughter Sarah likewise wept. Then Raguel slaughtered ram from the flock. He received them warmly.”

When they reached Ecbatana, Tobias wanted to go visit Raguel right away. So Raphael, called Azariah, took him to that house, where Raguel was sitting outside at the courtyard door. They greeted each other. Raguel noticed that Tobias resembled Tobit. His wife Edna questioned who they were and where they were from. They said that they were from Naphtali, but they were exiles in Nineveh. Edna wanted to know if they knew Tobit. Then Tobias said that he was alive and in good health and was his father. With that Raguel became all excited. He jumped up and kissed them and began to weep. He thought it was terrible that such a good man as Tobit was blind. How he knew that Tobit was blind is not clear, since the text does explicitly say that they told him about this blindness. Then Raguel, his wife Edna, and daughter Sarah all wept. Raguel slaughtered a ram and received them warmly. All seems to be going well.

The descendents of Jerahmeel (1 Chr 2:25-2:31)

“The sons of Jerahmeel, the first-born of Hezron, were Ram, his first-born, Bunah, Oren, Ozem, and Ahijah. Jerahmeel also had another wife, whose name was Atarah, the mother of Onam. The sons of Ram, the first-born of Jerahmeel were Maaz, Jamin, and Eker. The sons of Onam were Shammai and Jada. The sons of Shammai were Nadab and Abishur. The name of Abishur’s wife was Abihail. She bore him Ahban and Molid.  The sons of Nadab were Seled and Appaim. Seled died childless. The son of Appaim was Ishi. The son of Ishi was Sheshan. The son of Sheshan was Ahlai. The sons of Jada, Shammai’s brother were Jether and Jonathan. Jether died childless. The sons of Jonathan were Peleth and Zaza. These were the descendants of Jerahmeel.”

Now this genealogy goes over 11 generations starting with Jacob. It is very precise over time starting with (5) Jerahmeel, who was the son of (4) Hezron, who was the son of (3) Perez, who was the son of (2) Judah, who was the son of (1) Jacob. In fact, we see in 1 Samuel, chapter 27, that there was a group of people called the Jerahmeelites. Jerahmeel had 6 sons, Ram, Bunah, Oren, Ozem, Ahijah, and their step brother Onam. Although Ram had 3 sons, Maaz, Jamin, and Eker, this genealogy followed the sons of (6) Onam, whose mother was Atarah. His sons were (7) Shammai and Jada. Shammai’s sons were (8) Nadab and Abishur. The sons of Abishur were Ahban and Molid, while the sons of Nadab were Seled and (9) Appaim. His son was (10) Ishi, while his son was (11) Sheshan. The other son of Onam, Jada had 2 sons Jether and Jonathan. The 2 sons of Jonathan were Peleth and Zaza. Who are some of these people? Rather than follow Ram, whose uncle with the same name led to David, this genealogy follows Onam, the son of the second wife of Jerahmeel, although he does not seem important enough to be mentioned elsewhere. This Ram is less well known that his uncle, since David was not considered among the Jerahmeelites. His 3 sons are not that well know since this is the only mention of Maaz and Eker, while Jamin was also the name of one of Simeon’s sons. The names of Bunah and Oren only appear here. Ozem is the same name as one of David’s brothers, while the name of Ahijah appears to be the name of 6 other biblical characters.

 

Ancestors of King David (1Chr 2:10-2:17)

“Ram became the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, prince of the sons of Judah. Nahshon became the father of Salma. Salma became the father of Boaz. Boaz became the father of Obed. Obed became the father of Jesse. Jesse became the father of Eliab his first-born, Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, Ozem the sixth, and David the seventh. Their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. The sons of Zeruiah were Abishai, Joab, and Asahel, three. Abigail bore Amasa. The father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite.”

This is how we get from Judah to David with the same genealogy that was at the end of Ruth, chapter 4, which will be picked up by the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 1. Perhaps these documents are contemporary since the genealogy at the end of Ruth seems to be an addition to the story. All this is heading, to King David, who was from the tribe of Judah. (1) Judah had a son (2) Perez who in turn had a son (3) Hezron. His son (4) Ram had a son named (5) Amminadab, whose daughter Elisheba married Aaron, the brother of Moses in Exodus, chapter 6. However, Amminadab’s son (6) Nahshon was a famous warrior prince of Judah, especially in Numbers, chapter 7. His son (7) Salma, or as he is called in Ruth, Salmon, was the father of (8) Boaz who married Ruth. He then had a son called (9) Obed. Obed’s son was (10) Jesse. Jesse had 7 sons and 2 daughters, Eliab, Abinadab, Shimea, Nethanel, Raddai, Ozem, Zeruiah, and Abigail, with the 7th son being (11) David. This biblical author also lists 4 children of the 2 daughters Abishai, Joab, Asahel, and Amasa, since they played an important role in the reign of King David.