This is a text that both the gospels of John, chapter 12, and Matthew, chapter 21, used to show how Jesus was the expected Israelite king. He was to be the prince of peace. Yahweh wanted Zion or Jerusalem to shout and rejoice, because a new king was coming who would be triumphant, victorious, and humble at the same time. Thus, he would ride on a donkey colt. The mention of cutting off Ephraim was an indication of the old northern kingdom of Israel, while the mention of Jerusalem is a reference to the kingdom of Judah. They would be reunited in a new kingdom. This new king would command that peace be among all the nations of the whole world. How was he to do this? This new kingdom would be from sea to shining sea, the famous River, the Euphrates River, to the ends of the earth west of Israel.
The king was laying in his bed when he saw a great big strong tree in the center of the earth. It was so tall that it reached to heaven and could be seen from the ends of the earth with beautiful leaves and lots of fruit. This tree provided food for everyone. Animals found shade under it, while birds built nests in its branches. This was quite a wonderful tree.
This is exactly the same, word for word from chapter 10 about the power of Yahweh. Jeremiah proclaimed that Yahweh was all powerful. He made the earth by his power. Thus he established the world by his wisdom. He stretched out the heavens by his understanding, so that when he uttered his voice, the waters in the heaven could create a mist from the ends of the earth. He made lightning in the rain. He also brought wind from his various wind storehouses. Thus you can see this author’s cosmology about the powerful God, Yahweh, who has control of the world and its climate.
Jeremiah proclaims that Yahweh is all powerful. He made the earth by his power and thus established the world by his wisdom. He stretched out the heavens by his understanding, so that when he utters his voice, the waters in the heaven can create a mist from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning in the rain. He also brings wind from his various wind storehouses. Thus you can see this author’s cosmology about the powerful God, Yahweh, who has control of the world and its climate.
Second Isaiah explains why this servant was formed from the womb. He was to bring back Jacob and gather Israel. This servant would be honored in the sight of Yahweh and become his strength. It was not enough that that he would raise up the tribes of Jacob or restore the survivors of Israel. He would now become the light to all the nations. Thus Yahweh would save everyone, even those at the ends of the earth.
Second Isaiah makes an obvious comparison to the Exodus in this hymn about leaving Babylon. They were to get out of Babylon and away from the Chaldeans. The Israelites were to shout with joy so that it could be heard at the ends of the earth. Yahweh has saved Jacob. They would not be thirsty on their way through the wilderness, just as those leaving with Moses were not thirsty. Yahweh was going to break open a rock, as in Exodus, chapter 17, to give them water, so that the water would gush out of the broken rock. However, there would be no peace for the wicked.
Second Isaiah has Yahweh ask that everybody from the ends of the earth should turn to him to be saved. Yahweh proclaimed that he is God and that there is no other besides him. He speaks in righteousness and truth. Thus every knee should bow to him. Every tongue should swear to him. This is somewhat the same language that the Paul in his epistles to the Romans and the Philippians will use about Jesus Christ.
Once again, Psalm 19 is a simple choral psalm of David, without any explicit setting. The Assyrians and Babylonians were interested in the heavenly bodies and often considered some of them gods. There was a natural preoccupation with the heavens and creation. The heavens proclaim the glory and handiwork of God. Day talks to day and night talks to night, but no words are exchanged. You never hear a voice or a sound. However, the voice and words of day and night go throughout the world to the ends of the earth. The heavens and the sky speak to us even if they do not have a voice or words.
“After Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came from the land of Kittim, had defeated King Darius of the Persians and the Medes, he succeeded him as king. He had previously become king of Greece. King Alexander fought many battles. He conquered strongholds. He put to death the kings of the earth. He advanced to the ends of the earth. He plundered many nations. When the earth became quiet before him, he was exalted. His heart was lifted up. He gathered a very strong army. He ruled over countries, nations, and princes. They became tributary to him.”
Once again, we have a book that is not in the Hebrew canon and therefore not in the King James Bible. However, it was part of the Septuagint, and the Vulgate of Jerome. Thus it is part of the Catholic tradition that places these books about the Maccabees as the last books of the so-called historical books of the Bible, as in the Jerusalem Bible that I am following. This is a semi-historical book of the late 2nd century BCE.
It starts out with the real historical figure of Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE), the son of Philip of Macedonia (382-336 BCE). Alexander was the king of Greece who defeated the Persian King Darius III (380-330 BCE). Alexander had gone to the ends of the earth, which meant India in the east. He killed many kings with his strong army. All the nations were beholden to him as he attempted to Hellenize the whole empire with a dominant Greek culture. This Greek culture produced the holy books of the Greek Jewish Old Testament Septuagint and the Greek Christian New Testament. At some point there were more Greek speaking Jews in Alexandria than there were Jews in Jerusalem.