Gabriel will explain (Dan 8:16-8:17)

“I heard a human voice

By the Ulai,

Calling.

‘Gabriel!

Help this man

Understand

The vision!’

So,

He came near

Where I stood.

When he came,

I became frightened.

I fell prostrate.

But he said to me.

‘Understand!

O son of man!

That the vision is

For the time

Of the end!’”

Then Daniel, in the first-person singular, heard a human voice or an angel speaking in a human voice. He was at the Ulai River, in Susa. This voice called for Gabriel to help him understand his vision. Then the archangel Gabriel came close to Daniel, but he was frightened and fell to the ground prostrate. Then Gabriel called him son of man. He told him that he should understand that this vision was for the end times.

The vision in Susa (Dan 8:1-8:2)

“In the third year

Of the reign

Of King Belshazzar,

A vision appeared

To me,

Daniel.

This was after

What appeared to me

At first.

In the vision,

I was looking.

I saw myself

In Susa,

In the capital,

In the province

Of Elam.

I was by

The river Ulai.”

Daniel once again assumes the first-person singular. His second vision took place two years after the first dream, around 542 BCE, the 3rd year of King Belshazzar. In this vision, he was in Susa, the winter capital of Babylon, also mentioned in the Book of Esther. Susa was the ancient capital of the province of Elam. The Ulai River or the Eulaeus River, or as it is known today as the Karkheh River flowed through Susa. Today Susa is known as Shush, in Iran.

The fearful dream of the king (Dan 4:4-4:5)

“I,

King Nebuchadnezzar,

Was living at ease

In my house.

I was prospering

In my palace.

I saw a dream

That frightened me.

My fantasies in bed

Terrified me.

The visions of my head

Alarmed me.”

This author of the Book of Daniel has the king of Babylon speaking in the first-person singular. He was living at ease in his house, prospering in his palace. Everything was all good. Then he had a dream that frightened him. These fantasies and visions terrified and alarmed him.

This vision stuns Ezekiel (Ezek 43:3-43:3)

“The vision

That I saw was

Like the vision

That I had seen

When he came

To destroy the city.

It was

Like the vision

That I had seen

By the river Chebar.

I fell upon my face.”

Ezekiel explicitly referred to his earlier visions of the glory of God. In chapter 8, he saw the abominations in the Temple. Later, he saw the fall of Jerusalem in chapter 24. He mentioned his vision of God’s glory at the River Chebar in Babylon that he described at the beginning of this book, in chapters 1-3. Once again, in the first person singular, Ezekiel noted that he fell on his face in reverence to the glory of God that stunned him, just as it had before.

 

The failed conspiracy (Jer 11:9-11:11)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘Conspiracy exists

Among the people of Judah,

Among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

They have turned back

To the iniquities of their ancestors.

They have refused to hear my words.

They have gone after other gods

To serve them.

The house of Israel,

The house of Judah,

Both have broken the covenant

That I made with their ancestors.’

Thus says Yahweh.

‘Therefore,

Assuredly I am going to bring

Disaster upon them.

They cannot escape.

Though they cry out to me,

I will not listen to them.’”

Once again, Yahweh speaks in the first person singular directly to Jeremiah. He said that there was a conspiracy among the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah. This terminology persists throughout Jeremiah with an emphasis on the city of Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah. They are acting like their iniquitous ancestors, because they refuse to listen to the words of Yahweh. Instead they are going after other idol gods to serve them. But this applies both to the northern house of Israel and the southern house of Judah. They have both broken the covenant that was made with their ancestors. Therefore Yahweh was going to bring disaster upon them that they would not be able to escape. Even if they cried out to him, he was not going to listen to them.  The result is set in stone.

Yahweh God (Isa 51:15-51:16)

“I am Yahweh!

Your God!

I stir up the sea

So that its waves roar!

Yahweh of hosts is my name.

I have put my words

Into your mouth.

I have hidden you

In the shadow of my hand.

I have stretched out the heavens.

I have laid the foundations of the earth.

I say to Zion.

‘You are my people.’”

Once again, Second Isaiah makes clear that Yahweh is speaking in the first person singular. He is their God. He makes the waves of the sea roar. Yahweh of hosts is his name. He puts words in their mouths. He has hidden them in the shadow of his hands. In his usual manner of speaking, he has stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth. Clearly he says to Zion that they are his people in a covenant way.

Absolute monotheism (Isa 44:6-44:8)

“Thus says Yahweh!

The King of Israel!

His Redeemer!

Yahweh of hosts!

‘I am the first!

I am the last!

Besides me,

There is no god.

Who is like me?

Let them proclaim it!

Let him declare it before me!

Let them set it forth before me!

Who has announced from of old

The things to come?

Let them tell us what is yet to be!

Do not fear!

Do not be afraid!

Have I not told you from of old?

Have I not declared it?

You are my witnesses!

Is there any god besides me?

There is no other Rock.

I know not one.’”

Just like in the last chapter, this is a strong statement of absolute monotheism, but an even more forceful self defense of Yahweh. He proclaims his uniqueness as God in the first person singular, using the same arguments and adding more. First, he has a series of titles, Yahweh, King of Israel, Redeemer, and Yahweh of hosts. He proclaimed that he was the first and the last. Thus there was no other god. No one was and is like him. Has anyone been able to foretell the future? Let them come forward! Israel should not fear or be afraid. They would be the witnesses that there is no other god except Yahweh. He was the rock, but there was no other rock like him anywhere.