Daniel repeats the dream wish of the holy watcher (Dan 4:23-4:23)

“The king saw

A holy watcher

Coming down

From heaven.

He said.

‘Cut down the tree!

Destroy it!

But leave its stump!

Leave its roots

In the ground!

Let it be bound

With a band

Of iron,

As well as bronze,

In the grass

Of the field!

Let him be bathed

With the dew of heaven!

Let his lot be

With the animals

Of the field,

Until seven times

It passes over him!’”

Daniel then repeated the dream wish of the holy watcher or the angel from heaven. The tree had to be cut down and destroyed. However, this holy watcher or angel told the king to leave its stump and its roots in the ground. They were to bind this stump with an iron and bronze band in the grassy field, so that heavenly dew would fall on it. This tree has suddenly become a ‘he,’ a masculine personality that will have to suffer like the animals of the grassy field. This was to last at least 7 years or pass over him 7 times.

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The new moon offerings (Ezek 46:6-46:8)

“On the day

Of the new moon,

The prince shall offer

A young bull

Without blemish.

He shall offer

Six lambs

With a ram,

Which shall be

Without blemish.

As a grain offering,

He shall provide

An ephah

With the bull.

He shall provide

An ephah

With the ram.

With the lambs,

He may provide

As much as he wishes,

Together with a hin of oil

For each ephah.

When the prince enters,

He shall go in

By the vestibule

Of the gate.

He shall go out

By the same way.”

Besides the Sabbath, the other regular festival was the monthly new moon sacrifice. The lunar calendar was based on the 28-day cycle of the moon. Once again, the prince was responsible for furnishing the animals and the grain offerings, as on the Sabbath. He was to take an unblemished bull with 6 lambs and an unblemished ram for the burnt offerings. He was to offer them up with a grain offering. He too had to provide an ephah of grain (2/3rds of a bushel) with the bull and the ram. However, this prince could decide how much grain went with the lambs, but there had to be a gallon or hin of oil for each ephah of grain. The prince would enter and leave at the same gate.

The role of the prince in these offerings (Ezek 45:16-45:17)

“All the people

Of the land

Shall join

With the prince in Israel,

In making this offering.

But this shall be

The obligation

Of the prince

Regarding

The burnt offerings,

The grain offerings,

The drink offerings,

At the festivals,

The new moons,

The Sabbath,

All the appointed festivals

Of the house of Israel.

He shall provide

The sin offerings,

The grain offerings,

The burnt offerings,

The peace offerings,

To make atonement

For the house of Israel.”

The prince in Israel would be responsible for providing the animals and grains for the sacrifices and sin offerings at the various festivals. All the people of the land would join with the prince for these offerings. However, it was the obligation of the prince to make sure that there were animals, grains, and oils available for these burnt offerings, grain offerings, and the drink offerings at all these religious festivals, including the new moons and the Sabbath. The prince was to provide for these various offerings, including the peace offerings, in order to make atonement for the house of Israel.

The land in mourning (Jer 12:4-12:4)

“How long will

The land mourn?

How long will

The grass of every field wither?

Due to the wickedness of those

Who live in it,

The animals

Are swept away.

The birds

Are swept away.

Because people said.

‘He is blind to our ways.’”

Jeremiah wanted to know how long the land would mourn. How long would the grass wither in the fields? Due to the wickedness of these people, the animals and the birds of this land were to be swept away. These people thought that Yahweh was blind to their evil ways.

Yahweh controls time (Ps 104:19-104:23)

“You have made the moon to mark the seasons.

The sun knows it’s time for setting.

You make darkness.

It is night.

Then all the animals of the forest come creeping out.

The young lions roar for their prey.

They seek their food from God.

When the sun rises,

They withdraw.

They lie down in their dens.

People go out to their work.

They labor until the evening.”

Everything has a purpose. God made the moon to mark the seasons and the sun to mark the days. Thus there is night and darkness. The sun rises and sets which is perfectly correct with a flat earth concept of the world. The earth does not move around the sun. God makes the darkness. During this darkness, the animals of the forest can creep around, while the young lions can seek their prey that is food that comes from God. It almost sounds like the lions recognize God. When the sun rises on the next day, the lions return to their dens. Then the people go out to work until the evening time.

Learn from the world around you (Job 12:7-12:10)

“Ask the animals?

They will teach you.

Ask the birds of the air?

They will tell you.

Ask the plants of the earth?

They will teach you.

The fish of the sea will declare to you.

Who among all these does not know

That the hand of Yahweh has done this?

In his hand is the life of every living thing.

In his hand is the breath of all mankind.”

Job wanted his friends to ask the animals, the birds, the plants, and the fish, so that they can learn something. All these non-humans know about the hand of Yahweh and what he has done to every living thing. There is an ecological approach as the animals, birds, plants, and fish are given cognition. They, almost better than humans, know the power of God. The hand of life is in every living thing. God’s hand is the breath of all mankind and every living thing. This reminds me of the old song, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” This is the only mention of Yahweh in this book except for the wisdom poem in chapter 28.