Let the earthly waters bless God (Dan 3:55-3:57)

“Bless the Lord!

You springs!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

Seas!

Rivers!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

You whales!

All that swim

In the waters!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!” 

The 3 men continued their hymn of praise. This time, they wanted the earthly waters, and all that live in them, to bless the Lord by praising and exalting him. The division of the waters was into springs, seas, and rivers, since there was never any thought of an ocean. However, the one fish that they do mention is a whale.

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No more pity for Jerusalem (Jer 15:6-15:9)

“Says Yahweh.

‘You have rejected me!

You are going backward.

I have stretched out my hand

Against you.

I destroyed you.

I am weary of relenting.

I have winnowed them

With a winnowing fork

In the gates of the land.

I have bereaved them.

I have destroyed my people.

They did not turn from their ways.

I have made their widows

More numerous than the sand of the seas.

I have brought

Against the mothers of young men

A destroyer at noonday.

I have made anguish fall on her suddenly.

I have made terror fall on her suddenly.

She who bore seven has languished.

She has swooned away.

Her sun went down

While it was yet day.

She has been shamed.

She has been disgraced.

The rest of them

I will give to the sword

Before their enemies.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, says that they have rejected and turned against him. Thus Yahweh stretched out his hand and destroyed them. He was tired of forgiving them. He tried to winnow them out to find the good ones. He made them sad by destroying them. They would not turn away from their evil ways. Thus they may have more widows than all the sand in the seas. That is quite a big hyperbolic number. The destroyer came at noon against young mothers. Even strong women who had 7 children were fainting. The sun was setting before the day was done since they were ashamed and disgraced. Anyone left over would suffer the hardship of the deadly sword.

A new victory song (Isa 42:10-42:13)

“Sing to Yahweh a new song!

Sing of his praise

From the ends of the earth!

Let the sea roar!

Let all that fills it roar!

Let the coastlands roar!

Let their inhabitants roar!

Let the desert lift up its voice!

Let its towns lift up their voice!

Let the villages that Kedar inhabits

Lift up their voice!

Let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy!

Let them shout

From the top of the mountains!      

Let them give glory to Yahweh!

Let them declare his praise in the coastlands!

Yahweh goes forth

Like a soldier.

Like a warrior,

He stirs up his fury.

He cries out!

He shouts aloud!

He shows himself mighty

Against his foes.”

This section of Second Isaiah is like a hymn, a song, a psalm, a new victory chant to a victorious Yahweh, instead of an admonition directly from him as in the preceding section. They were to sing a new song to Yahweh praising him from the ends of the earth. The seas and everything in it should roar. The coastline with its inhabitants should roar praise for Yahweh. The desert and its towns should roar with praise for Yahweh. Even the Kedar Arab tribe and its villages should lift up their voices. Sela, the capital of Edom, and its inhabitants should also sing for joy. They should all shout from the mountain tops to give glory to the Lord, so that even the coastlands can hear it. The soldier Yahweh was a great furious warrior who cried out and shouted aloud as he showed his might against his enemies. This clearly was a military victory chant because of mighty Yahweh.

Yahweh rules (Ps 96:10-96:13)

“Say among the nations.

‘Yahweh is king!’

The world is firmly established.

It shall never be moved.

He will judge the peoples with equity.’

Let the heavens be glad.

Let the earth rejoice.

Let the sea roar,

With all that fills it.

Let the field exult,

With everything in it.

Then shall all the trees of the forest

Sing for joy

Before Yahweh.

He is coming

To judge the earth.

He will judge the world

With righteousness.

He will judge the peoples

With his truth.”

This psalm ends by proclaiming the universal judging kingship of Yahweh. Yahweh, the universal king of the established world, will judge the people fairly. Heaven and earth will rejoice. The seas and the fields with everything in them, including the trees in the forest, will sing for joy. Yahweh is coming to judge the world with righteousness and truth.

Yahweh provides nourishment in the desert (Ps 78:23-78:29)

“Yet he commanded the skies above.

He opened the doors of heaven.

He rained down on them manna to eat.

He gave them the grain of heaven.

Mortals ate of the bread of the angels.

He sent them food in abundance.

He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens.

By his power he led out the south wind.

He rained flesh upon them like dust.

Winged birds like the sand of the seas.

He let them fall within their camp.

They were all around their dwellings.

They ate.

They were well filled.

He gave them what they craved.”

Yahweh was kind to the Israelites. He opened the skies of heaven and let manna rain down on them. Here this manna is called the bread of angels. This is an embellishment of the story in Exodus, chapter 16. There the manna was more quizzical “what is this stuff?” Here, this is the grain or bread of angels as if angels had to eat food like humans. Here, instead of quails it is winged birds that fall from the sky. These winged birds were as plentiful as dust on the earth or sand in the seas. They ate the manna and birds until they were filled. They got what they were asking for.

God will save us (Ps 69:34-69:36)

“Let heaven and earth praise him!

Let the seas praise him!

Let everything that moves in them praise him!

God will save Zion!

God will rebuild the cities of Judah!

His servants shall live there!

His servants shall possess it!

The children of his servants

Shall inherit it!

Those who love his name

Shall live in it.”

This long psalm ends with a great praise for God who will save the Israelites. Heaven and earth shall praise God. The seas and everything that lives in the seas shall praise God. God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah, another post-exilic theme. The servants of God will possess and remain in Zion. Those who love the name of God shall live in the land.

God the creator (Ps 65:5-65:8)

“By awesome deeds

You answer us with deliverance.

O God of our salvation!

You are the hope

Of all the ends of the earth!

You are the hope

Of the farthest seas!

By your strength

You established the mountains.

You are girded with might.

You silence the roaring of the seas.

You silence the roaring of their waves.

You silence the tumult of the peoples.

Those who live

At earth’s farthest bounds

Are awed by your signs.

You make the gateways

Of the morning and the evening

Shout for joy.”

God has done awesome deeds by bringing salvation. However, he has also brought hope to the ends of the earth and the farthest seas. Notice the concept of the Mount Zion centered flat earth. Everything goes from there to the “ends” of the earth. God has made the mountains. He controls the seas and the waves. Even those at the farthest bounds of the earth are awed by God. God has control of the morning and the evening since he controls the sun moving around the joyful flat earth.