The future sign of Ezekiel (Ezek 24:25-24:27)

“You!

Son of man!

On the day

When I take

From them

Their stronghold,

Their joy,

Their glory,

The delight of their eyes,

Their heart’s affection,

Someone will come

To you.

I will take their sons.

I will take their daughters.

On that day,

One who has escaped

Will come

To you

To report

To you

The news.

On that day,

Your mouth

Shall be opened

To the one

Who has escaped.

You shall speak.

You will no longer

Be silent.

So you shall be a sign

To them.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh spoke directly to Ezekiel, the son of man. On a future day, Yahweh was going to bring down Jerusalem. The Israelites would lose their stronghold, their joy, their glory, the delight of their eyes, and their heart’s affection. They would also lose their sons and daughters. Someone, who had escaped from Jerusalem, would come to Ezekiel on that day with the report of the news about the fall of Jerusalem. On that day, Ezekiel would open his mouth to speak. He would not be silent anymore. Thus the actions of Ezekiel would a sign, so that everyone would know that Yahweh was in charge.

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The defeat of the various Philistine cities (Jer 47:5-47:7)

“Baldness has come

Upon Gaza.

Ashkelon is silenced.

O remnant of their power!

How long

Will you gash yourselves?

O!

Sword of Yahweh!

How long

Until you are quiet?

Put yourself

Into your scabbard!

Rest!

Be still!

How can it be quiet?

Yahweh has given it

A charge

Against Ashkelon,

Against the seashore.

There he has appointed it.”

This short chapter on the Philistines ends with the mention of a couple of the five main Philistine cities, mentioned from the time of Joshua, chapter 13. Ashkelon and Gaza were still standing, but as defeated cities, as Jeremiah mentioned here. Gaza was bald and Ashkelon was silent, since they were only a remnant of their former power. How long would they be in mourning? Would Yahweh put his sword away? These seaside cities were in ruin. Gath and Ashdod were not mentioned here, because they were completely destroyed by the Egyptians in the 7th century BCE.

God knows about their unfaithfulness (Isa 65:6-65:7)

“See!

It is written before me!

‘I will not keep silent.

But I will repay.

I will indeed repay into their laps

For their iniquities

With their ancestor’s iniquities together.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Because they offered incense

On the mountains,

They reviled me on the hills.

I will measure into their laps

Full payment for their actions.’”

Their actions have not gone unnoticed. Yahweh saw what was happening since it was written before him. He was not going to be silent. He wanted them to pay back for what they did. They would not only have to pay for their own sins and iniquities, but also repay for the sins of their ancestors. They have offered incense on the mountains and reviled Yahweh in the hills. He was going to measure out for them the full payment for their actions.

Prayer to end the desolation (Isa 64:10-64:12)

“Your holy cities

Have become a wilderness.

Zion has become a wilderness.

Jerusalem has become desolation.

Our holy beautiful house,

Where our ancestors praised you,

Has been burned by fire.

All our pleasant places

Have become ruins.

After all this,

Will you restrain yourself?

O Yahweh!

Will you keep silent?

Will you punish us so severely?”

This prophet wanted an end to the desolation in Jerusalem. The holy city had become a wilderness. Zion or Jerusalem was desolate. The beautiful house that his ancestors had worshipped in had been burned by fire, so that it lay in ruins with many other pleasant places. He wanted Yahweh to act and not be silent. Why had he punished them so severely?

 

The sentinels on the wall (Isa 62:6-62:7)

“O Jerusalem!

Upon your walls

I have set sentinels.

All day,

All night,

They shall never be silent.

You who remind Yahweh!

Take no rest!

Give him no rest

Until he establishes Jerusalem!

Until he makes it renowned

Throughout the earth!”

Yahweh was going to put sentinels or watchmen on the walls, day and night, that would never be silent. They were there to remind Yahweh that he was not to rest until Jerusalem had been established and known throughout the world.

Vindication of Zion (Isa 62:1-62:2)

“For Zion’s sake,

I will not keep silent.

For Jerusalem’s sake,

I will not rest

Until her vindication shines out

Like the dawn.

Her salvation will be

Like a burning torch.

The nations shall see your vindication.

All the kings shall see your glory.”

Yahweh reassures his people in the first person singular that he will vindicate and save Zion. He was not going to be silent and rest until Jerusalem’s vindication was shinning like the dawn or its salvation like a burning torch. All the countries would see this vindication. All the kings would see this glory.

Against idolaters (Isa 57:11-57:13)

“Whom did you dread?

Whom did you fear?

Thus you lied.

You did not remember me.

You did not give me a thought.

Have I not kept silent?

Have I not closed by eyes?

Thus you do not fear me.

I will concede your righteousness.

I will concede your works.

But they will not help you.

When you cry out,

Let your collection of idols

Deliver you!

The wind will carry them off.

A breath will take them away.

Whoever takes refuge in me

Shall possess the land.

They shall inherit

My holy mountain.”

Third Isaiah warns in the first person singular what Yahweh has done with these idolaters. They no longer dreaded or feared Yahweh. They had lied to him. They did not remember or give him any thought. Yahweh had been silent and closed his eyes, so that they no longer feared him. Even though they might have been righteous and done some good things, these actions would no longer help them. If they had a problem, let them call their collection of idols to help them. The wind will carry away their useless idols. On the other hand, anyone who takes refuge in Yahweh will possess the land. They will inherit his holy mountain.