The holy city is in disgrace (Dan 9:15-9:16)

“Now!

O Lord!

Our God!

You brought

Your people

Out of the land

Of Egypt

With a mighty hand.

You have made

Your name

Renowned

Even to this day.

We have sinned.

We have done wickedly.

O Lord!

In view of your righteous acts,

Let your anger,

Let your wrath,

We pray,

Turn away

From your city Jerusalem,

Your holy mountain.

Because of our sins,

Because of the iniquities

Of our ancestors,

Jerusalem

With your people

Have become a disgrace

Among all our neighbors.”

Daniel continued with this prayer to God, reminding him how he had brought them out of Egypt with a mighty hand. His name was renowned. However, they had sinned and done wicked things. Thus, God, the Lord, had a righteous anger and wrath. Daniel wanted God to turn away from the holy mountain, the city of Jerusalem, because it had become a disgrace to all its neighbors. Their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors have brought disgrace to Jerusalem and its people.

The son is not responsible for his father’s sins (Ezek 18:19-18:20)

“Yet you say.

‘Why should not

The son suffer

For the iniquity

Of the father?’

When the son

Has done

What is lawful,

What is right.

He has been careful

To observe

All my statutes.

He shall surely live.

The person who sins

Shall die.

A child shall not suffer

For the iniquity

Of a parent.

The parent shall not suffer

For the iniquity

Of the child.

The righteousness

Of the righteous

Shall be his own.

The wickedness

Of the wicked

Shall be his own.”

The question was about consequences of actions. Does the son suffer for the iniquities of his father? If the son has done what is lawful and right, should he be punished? If he has been careful to observe all the statutes of Yahweh, he would surely live. The person who sinned would die. A child will not suffer for the iniquity of a parent. Neither should a parent suffer for the iniquity of their children. Both the righteous and the wicked shall suffer the consequences of their own actions, not that of someone else.

Do not remember the sins of our ancestors (Bar 3:5-3:8)

“Do not remember

The iniquities

Of our ancestors!

But in this crisis,

Remember

Your power!

Remember

Your name!

You are the Lord

Our God!

It is you!

O Lord!

Whom we will praise!

You have put

The fear of you

In our hearts

So that we would

Call upon your name.

We will praise you

In our exile!

We have put away

From our hearts

All the iniquity

Of our ancestors

Who sinned before you.

See!

We are today

In our exile

Where you have scattered us.

We are reproached.

We are cursed.

We are punished

For all the iniquities

Of our ancestors

Who forsook

The Lord

Our God.”

Baruch wanted God not to remember the iniquities of their ancestors. Instead he wanted God to remember his own power and his name. They, the Israelite exiles, were going to praise God whom they feared in their hearts, during this exilic time. They were going to call on his name. They wanted the stain of their ancestor’s sins removed. They were scattered in this exile, reproached, cursed, and punished. It was their ancestors who had given up on the Lord, their God, not them.

Prayer to creative Yahweh (Isa 64:8-64:9)

“Yet

O Yahweh!

You are our Father!

We are the clay,

You are our potter.

We are all the work of your hands.

Do not be exceedingly angry!

O Yahweh!

Do not remember iniquity forever!

Now consider!

We are all your people.”

The prophet was clear. Humans were like clay in the hands of the great potter, Yahweh. All humans were the work of his hands. He wanted his Father Yahweh not to be too angry. He wanted Yahweh not to remember forever the iniquities that had been done. He wanted Yahweh to remember only that they were his people, created by him, the great artist.