Yahweh is a refuge for his people (Joel 3:16-3:16)

“Yahweh roars

From Zion.

Yahweh utters his voice

From Jerusalem.

The heavens

With the earth

Shake.

But Yahweh is a refuge

For his people.

Yahweh is a stronghold

For the people of Israel.”

Yahweh will roar and speak from Zion and Jerusalem. Both heaven and earth would shake. However, Yahweh would be a refuge and stronghold for his people, the people of Israel.

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Yahweh himself calls for a return (Joel 2:12-2:12)

“Yahweh says.

‘Yet even now!

Return to me!

With all your heart!

Return with fasting!

Return with weeping!

Return with mourning!

Rend your hearts!

Not your garments!’”

Joel has Yahweh speak directly in the first-person singular. Yahweh himself wanted them to return to him, with all their hearts, after this devastating plague of locusts has hit them. They were to return to Yahweh by fasting, weeping, and mourning. They were to break open their hearts, and not tear their garments.

The great feast (Ezek 39:17-39:17)

“As for you!

Son of man!

Thus says Yahweh God!

Speak to the birds

Of every sort!

Speak to all

The wild animals!

‘Assemble!

Come!

Gather from all around

To the sacrificial feast

That I am preparing

For you.

This will be

A great sacrificial feast

On the mountains

Of Israel.

You shall eat

Flesh.

You shall drink

Blood.’”

Once again, Yahweh called Ezekiel, the son of man, to speak to the various birds and the wild animals. They were all to gather at a sacrificial feast that Yahweh was preparing on the mountains of Israel, where they would eat flesh and drink blood. Yahweh seemed to imply that the birds and the animals would sacrifice themselves for Yahweh.

 

The judgment of the righteous and the wicked (Ezek 33:18-33:20)

“When the righteous ones

Turn

From their righteousness,

When they commit

Iniquity,

They shall die for it.

When the wicked ones

Turn

From their wickedness,

When they do

What is lawful,

What is right,

They shall live by it.

Yet you say.

‘The way of Yahweh

Is not just.’

O house of Israel!

I will judge

All of you

According to your ways.”

Yahweh said that he was going to make his judgment based on what they do. If the righteous one turned away from his righteousness by committing iniquity, he was going to die for it. On the other hand, if a wicked person turned from his wickedness by doing what was lawful and right, he would live. However, they complained by saying that Yahweh was not just. Yahweh reiterated that he was going to judge all of them according to their own ways and deeds. Actions speak louder than words.

The need for a sentinel (Ezek 33:1-33:2)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Speak!

To your people!

Say to them!

‘If I bring

The sword

Upon a land,

The people of the land

Shall take

One of their number

As their sentinel.’”

As usual, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. Yahweh wanted him to speak to his people. He wanted to tell them that they needed to have a sentinel or watch person taken from their ranks. This would be especially important if Yahweh was going to bring his sword against them.

Lie with the uncircumcised in Sheol (Ezek 32:19-32:21)

“‘Whom do you surpass

In beauty?

Go down!

Be laid to rest

With the uncircumcised!’

They shall fall

Among those

Who are killed

By the sword.

Egypt has been

Handed over

To the sword.

Carry away

Both it

With its hordes!

The mighty chiefs

Shall speak of them,

With their helpers,

Out of the midst of Sheol.

‘They have come down!

They lie still!

The uncircumcised,

Killed by the sword.’”

This section opens with a sarcastic question about who is more beautiful. The response is that they are to go down and lie with the uncircumcised people and those killed by the sword. Egypt with the multitude of their inhabitants has been handed over to death. The mighty chiefs with their helpers will speak to them in the middle of Sheol, the shadowy underworld of the afterlife. They will say that the Egyptians have come down to lie quietly with the uncircumcised and those killed by the sword, which is the worst place in Sheol.

Lamentation over the Pharaoh of Egypt (Ezek 32:1-32:2)

“In the twelfth year,

In the twelfth month,

On the first day

Of the month,

The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Raise a lamentation

Over Pharaoh,

King of Egypt!

Say to him!

‘You consider yourself

A lion

Among the nations.

But you are

Like a dragon

In the seas.

You trash about

In your streams.

You trouble the water

With your feet.

You foul

Your streams.’”

Once again there is another oracle of Yahweh to Ezekiel, the son of man, with a specific date, the 1st day of the 12th month of the 12th year of King Zedekiah, 585 BCE. Yahweh wanted Ezekiel to present a lamentation over the Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. In fact, Ezekiel was to speak to him with these exact words that Yahweh was giving him. How he was going to do this is not clear. Although the king of Egypt considered himself a lion among nations, he was rather a sea monster dragon in the water, trashing around with his feet in small streams, polluting the water. In other words, the Pharaoh was not as important as he thought that he was.