The insurrection in the south (Dan 11:14-11:14)

“In those times,

Many shall rise

Against the king of the south.

The lawless

Among your own people

Shall lift themselves up

In order to fulfil the vision.

But they shall fail.”

There was an Egyptian insurrection against the child king Ptolemy V (204-181 BCE), since he was only 5 years old when he took over as king. The various regents controlled his activities. Somehow, some of the Judeans of Palestine got involved with this, as they took sides on the battle between the kings of the north and the south, Egypt and Syria. However, they failed.

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The true judgment was delivered (Dan 3:8-3:9)

“Thus,

All that you brought

Upon us,

All that you have done

To us,

You have done

By a true judgment.

You have handed us over

To our enemies,

Lawless,

Hateful rebels.

You have handed us over

To an unjust king,

The most wicked

In all the world.”

Azariah continued his prayer. Due to their sinfulness, God executed a proper and true judgment. He has handed over the Judeans to their enemies, the lawless and hateful rebels of Babylon. They were turned over to an unjust king, the most wicked king in the whole world. Remember, up until this incident of the golden statue, Azariah and his 2 friends were serving this king in his royal court. I could see how this furnace punishment might change their minds.

The judgment due to our sins (Dan 3:5-3:7)

“You have executed

True judgments

In all

That you have brought

Upon us,

Upon Jerusalem,

The holy city

Of our ancestors.

By a true judgment,

You have brought

All this upon us

Because of our sins.

We have sinned.

We have broken

Your law,

In turning away

From you.

In all matters,

We have sinned grievously.

We have not obeyed

Your commandments.

We have not kept them.

We have not done

What you have commanded us

For our own good.”

Azariah continued with his prayer to God. God has executed his true judgments upon the Judeans and their ancestral holy city of Jerusalem, because of their sins. They were sinners. They broke his laws. They turned away from God. They have sinned grievously, by not obeying his commandments. They did not do what God had commanded them to do for their own good.

 

The restoration (Lam 5:21-5:22)

“Restore us

To yourself!

O Yahweh!

Thus we may be

Restored!

Renew our days

As of old!

Unless you have

Utterly rejected us?

Are you angry

With us

Beyond measure?”

While this author pleads for restoration, there is an element of doubt at the end. They wanted to be restored to Yahweh like in the good old days. But then the element of doubt crept in. They were asking for mercy, but has Yahweh utterly rejected them? Is God so angry that it cannot be measured? Have the Judeans gone too far against Yahweh? Thus this lamentation does not have a happy ending, but a more existential angst that maybe there will be no restoration at all.

The battles in southern and eastern Babylon (Jer 50:21-50:22)

“‘Go to the land

Of Merathaim!

Go up against her!

Attack the inhabitants

Of Pekod!

Utterly destroy

The last of them!’

Says Yahweh.

‘Do all

That I have commanded you!

The noise of battle

Is in the land

With great destruction!’”

They were to go to the southern Babylonian town of Merathaim, meaning “double rebellion.” They were to attack the people at Pekod, an eastern Babylonian tribe that means “punishment.” They were to utterly destroy all these people down to the very last of them. Yahweh was commanding this so that they should battle until there was great destruction in the land. It is not clear how the Judeans and Israelites got weapons since they were in captivity. However, this may be a description of the Persian invasion of Babylon.

The punishment in Egypt (Jer 44:13-44:14)

“I will punish

Those who live

In the land of Egypt,

As I have punished Jerusalem,

With the sword,

With famine,

With pestilence.

Thus none

Of the remnant of Judah

Who have come

To settle

In the land of Egypt

Shall escape,

Or survive,

Or return

To the land of Judah.

Although they long

To go back

To live there,

They shall not go back,

Except some fugitives.”

In a twist of irony, Yahweh was going to punish the Judeans who had left Judah to settle in Egypt. Just as he had punished the Egyptians centuries earlier so that the Israelites could leave Egypt, he now will punish the Judeans who came to live in Egypt. Thus this great symbiotic relationship of the Israelites and the Egyptians continues, even until the present day. Yahweh was determined to punish this remnant from Judah, as he had punished Jerusalem, with his often repeated 3 weapons, the sword, famine, and pestilence. None of these Judean remnants would escape or survive to return to their beloved Judah. The only exception would be those who

In a twist of irony, Yahweh was going to punish the Judeans who had left Judah to settle in Egypt. Just as he had punished the Egyptians centuries earlier so that the Israelites could leave Egypt, he now will punish the Judeans who came to live in Egypt. Thus this great symbiotic relationship of the Israelites and the Egyptians continues, even until the present day. Yahweh was determined to punish this remnant from Judah, as he had punished Jerusalem, with his often repeated 3 weapons, the sword, famine, and pestilence. None of these Judean remnants would escape or survive to return to their beloved Judah. The only exception would be those who turned out to be fugitives.

turned out to be fugitives.