The protection of the holy name of Yahweh (Ezek 36:22-36:23)


Say to

The house of Israel.

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘It is not for your sake,

O house of Israel!

That I am about to act,

But for the sake

Of my holy name.

You have profaned it

Among the nations

To which you came.

I will sanctify

My great name.

You have profaned it

Among the nations.’

Says Yahweh God!

‘The nations will know

That I am Yahweh,

When through you,

I display my holiness

Before their eyes.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, explained to the house of Israel that he was acting to protect his own name. It was not for their own sake, but for his good reputation that he was about to bring them back from wherever they were scattered. Yahweh was going to sanctify his great name that had been profaned among the various nations. These various countries would know that he was Yahweh God, when he displayed his great holiness through the Israelites.

The statutes and Sabbath (Ezek 20:11-20:12)

“I gave them

My statutes.

I showed them

My ordinances.

By their observance,

Everyone shall live.


I gave them

My Sabbath,

As a sign

Between me

And them.

Thus they might know

That I,


Sanctify them.”

Yahweh, in the first person singular, gave them his statutes and ordinances. He wanted them to observe them. If they did, everyone would live. He also gave them the Sabbath as a sign between him and them. Thus they would know that he, Yahweh, was going to sanctify them.

Prepare for war (Jer 6:4-6:5)

“Prepare war against her!

Sanctify yourselves!

Get up!

Let us attack at noon!

Woe to us!

The day declines!

The shadows of evening lengthen!

Get up!

Let us attack by night!

Let us destroy her palaces!”

Jeremiah wanted people to prepare for war. They were to sanctify themselves because war was a sacred action. At first, the enemy wanted to get up and attack at noon. However, the day was declining as the evening shadows came along. Finally, they wanted to attack at night and destroy their palaces.

Against pagan practices (Isa 66:17-66:17)

“‘Those who sanctify themselves,

Those who purify themselves

In order to go into the gardens,

Follow the one in the center.

They eat the flesh of pigs.

They eat vermin.

They eat rodents.

They shall come to an end together.’

Says Yahweh.”

This probably should have followed the earlier remarks about pig’s blood. Yahweh once again points out that he is against these people who follow pagan practices. They sanctify and purify themselves to go into their gardens with the idols in the center. They end up eating pork, vermin, and rodents. They will all come to an end together.

The future of the house of Jacob (Isa 29:22-29:24)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh,

Who redeemed Abraham,

Concerning the house of Jacob.

‘No longer shall Jacob be ashamed.

No longer shall his face grow pale.

When he sees his children,

The work of my hands,

In his midst,

They will sanctify my name.

They will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob.

They will stand in awe of the God of Israel.

Those who err in spirit

Will come to understanding.

Those who grumble

Will accept instruction.’”

Yahweh, via Isaiah, presents an oracle about the future of the house of Jacob. Yahweh has redeemed Abraham and his family. In the future, the house of Jacob will not be ashamed or have a pale face. Just the opposite, their children will sanctify the name of the Holy One of Jacob, Yahweh. They will stand in awe of the God of Israel, Yahweh. Those who make a mistake will understand what happened to them. Those who grumbled will then accept instruction on how to improve. The future looks bright for the house of Jacob.

The introduction to Job (Job 1:1-1:5)

“That man was blameless and upright. Job feared God. He had turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred donkeys, and very many servants. This man was the greatest of all the people of the east. His sons used to go and hold feasts in one another’s houses in turn. They would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When the feast days had run their course, Job would send and sanctify them. He would rise early in the morning. He would offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. Job said.

‘It may be that my children have sinned.

It may be that they cursed God in their hearts.’

This is what Job always did.”

Who is Job? This is not about getting a job. Job was blameless, an upright man. He was a pious man with a strong faith. He feared God and shunned evil. He was not an Israelite since there was no attempt to put him into a genealogy that would connect him with Abraham. He had 10 children, 7 sons and 3 daughters. He had a huge prosperous estate since he had 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 oxen, 500 donkeys, and many servants. He was a rich guy, the greatest man in the east, or east of the Jordan River, or at least in Edom. All the 10 children would gather for a feast every day at a different person’s house. This included the symbolic numbers of 3 sisters with 7 brothers. When the festival days were over, Job would always offer a burnt offering for each one of them, just in case any of them may have sinned and cursed God in their hearts. In other words, he had a sense of sin and a sense of a spiritual relationship to God. So Job was a righteous rich man with 10 children who offered his own burnt offerings for the possible sins of his children.   Thus we have a snapshot picture of a happy prosperous God fearing Job.

The stirring speech of King Hezekiah to the Levites (2 Chr 29:5-29:11)

“King Hezekiah said to the Levites.

‘Listen to me, Levites!

Sanctify yourselves!

Sanctify the house of Yahweh!

The God of your ancestors!

Carry out the filth from the holy place!

Our ancestors have been unfaithful.

They have done what was evil in the sight of Yahweh our God.

They have forsaken him.

They turned away their faces from the dwelling of Yahweh.

They have turned their backs.

They also shut the doors of the vestibule.

They put out the lamps.

They have not offered incense or made burnt offerings,

In the holy place to the God of Israel.

Therefore the wrath of the Yahweh came upon Judah and Jerusalem.

He made them an object of horror, of astonishment, and of hissing.

As you see with your own eyes.

Our fathers have fallen by the sword.

Our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this.

Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with Yahweh,

The God of Israel,

So that his fierce anger may turn away from us.

My sons,

Do not now be negligent!

Yahweh has chosen you to stand in his presence,

To minister to him,

To be his ministers

And make offerings to him.’”

This is a stirring reminder of what had happened in Judah. He wanted the Levites to sanctify themselves and the Temple. They were to clean up the house of God. Their ancestors had turned away from Yahweh. They let the Temple fall into disrepair. They shut the doors and put out the lights. They made no burnt offerings. They had become an object of horror and astonishment as many fell by the sword. Their families were taken captive. Now is the time not to be negligent. They were to stand in the presence of Yahweh. They were to minister to him and make him offerings.

The response of Yahweh (Josh 7:10-7:15)

“Yahweh said to Joshua. ‘Stand up! Why have you fallen upon your face? Israel has sinned. They have transgressed my covenant that I imposed on them. They have taken some of the devoted things. They have stolen them. They have acted deceitfully. They have put them among their own belongings. Therefore the Israelites are unable to stand before their enemies. They turn their backs to their enemies, because they have become a thing devoted to destruction themselves. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you.”

You disobey, you lose. Yahweh says that Israel has sinned. They stole some of the devoted things of the enemies. They put those things with their own belongings. They are doomed to destruction themselves. The devoted things must be destroyed. So far, there is no mention of what these things are.

“Proceed to sanctify the people. ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow!’ Thus says Yahweh, God of Israel. ‘There are devoted things among you, O Israel. You will be unable to stand before your enemies, until you take away the devoted things from among you.’ In the morning therefore you shall come forward tribe by tribe. The tribe that Yahweh takes shall come by clans. The clans that Yahweh takes shall come by households. The household that Yahweh takes shall come one by one. The one who is taken as having the devoted things shall be burned with fire, together with all that he has, for having transgressed the covenant of Yahweh, and for having done an outrageous shameful thing in Israel.’”

You have to get rid of the evil in your midst. All the tribes will come forward. Yahweh will know the guilty ones. After the tribes come, he will pick one tribe, then one clan, then one household, and finally one individual. Whoever took the devoted items from Jericho will die by fire for the outrageous shameful thing that they have done.