The plundering nations shall be plundered (Zech 2:8-2:9)

“Thus said Yahweh of hosts,

After his glory sent me,

Regarding the nations

That plundered you.

‘Truly,

One who touches you

Touches the apple of my eye.

See now!

I am going to raise my hand

Against them.

They shall become plunder

For their own slaves.

Then you will know

That Yahweh of hosts

Has sent me.’”

Yahweh explained to Zechariah about the nations that had plundered Israel and Judah.  Anyone that touched them, touched the apple of his eye.  They were his favored ones, special to Yahweh.  Now, he was going to raise his hand against these plundering nations.  He was going to have their own slaves plunder them.  That way, they would know that Yahweh of hosts had acted and sent Zechariah.

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The great convocation (Joel 3:11-3:12)

“Come quickly!

All you nations!

All around!

Gather yourselves there!

Bring down your warriors!

O Yahweh!

Let the nations

Rouse themselves!

Let them come up

To the valley of Jehoshaphat!

There,

I will sit to judge

All the neighboring nations!”

Joel seems to call the nations and countries to gather at the Valley of Jehoshaphat. He even wanted Yahweh to send his heavenly warriors, the angels. Yahweh was going to sit in judgment against all the neighbors of Israel.

The king’s new decree (Dan 4:1-4:1)

“King Nebuchadnezzar

To all people,

To all nations,

To all languages,

That live

Throughout the earth!

May you have

Abundant prosperity!”

Once again, King Nebuchadnezzar issued a decree to all the people and all the nations of the world, as if he ruled the whole world. He also included various language groups on earth. He wished everyone abundant prosperity. He wanted everyone to be happy. This is actually part of chapter 3 as in the Bible of Jerusalem. However, I will follow the verse numbers of the Oxford Bible.

 

The sword of the king of Babylon (Ezek 32:11-32:12)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘The sword

Of the king

Of Babylon

Shall come

Against you.

I will cause

Your hordes

To fall

By the swords

Of the mighty ones,

All of them,

The most terrible

Among the nations.

They shall bring

To ruin

The pride of Egypt.

All its hordes

Shall perish.’”

Yahweh God, via Ezekiel, pointed out that the sword of the king of Babylon was going to come against Egypt and its people. Many would fall by the swords of these mighty Babylonian warriors, the most terrible and terrifying among the nations. They would bring ruin to the pride of Egypt. A multitude of its people shall perish.

The king of Babylon will attack Egypt (Ezek 30:10-30:12)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will put an end

To the hordes

Of Egypt,

By the hand

Of King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon.

He,

With his people

With him,

The most terrible

Of the nations,

Shall be brought in

To destroy the land.

They shall draw

Their swords

Against Egypt.

They shall fill

The land with the slain.

I will dry up

the channels

Of the Nile.

I will sell

The land into the hand

Of evildoers.

I will bring desolation

Upon the land

With everything in it,

By the hand

Of foreigners.’

I,

Yahweh,

Have spoken.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that he was going to put an end to Egypt, through the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the most terrible of all the nations. This king was coming to destroy the land with drawn swords against the Egyptians so that he would fill the land with dead bodies. Yahweh was going to dry up the river channels of the Nile also. Then Yahweh was somehow going to sell the land to some evildoers, whoever they were. Yahweh, with the hand of foreigners, was going to bring desolation to the land of Egypt with everything in it. Yahweh had clearly spoken.

The reaction of Yahweh to the rebellious children (Ezek 20:21-20:24)

“Then I thought

I would pour out

My wrath upon them.

I would spend

My anger

Against them

In the wilderness.

But I withheld

My hand.

I acted for the sake

Of my name.

Thus it should not be

Profaned

In the sight

Of the nations,

In whose sight

I had brought them out.

Moreover,

I swore to them

In the wilderness

That I would scatter them

Among the nations.

I would disperse them

Through the countries.

Because they had not

Executed

My ordinances.

They had rejected

My statutes.

They had profaned

My Sabbath.

Their eyes

Were set

On their ancestor’s idols.”

Yahweh’s reaction was pretty much the same as in the former rebellions. Yahweh immediately thought about destroying them in his anger. However, as earlier, he changed his mind for the sake of his name that he did not want profaned in the sight of all the other countries that had seen him bring them out of Egypt. Thus he swore to them in the wilderness that he would scatter them among the nations, instead of refusing to take them out of Egypt or refusing to take them to the Promise Land. This was a prediction of the exile that was due to their failure to keep his statutes, ordinances, and the Sabbath. They also still yearned for their ancestor’s idols.

The outside occupation of the land (Ezek 7:22-7:24)

“I will avert

My face

From them.

Thus they may profane

My treasured place.

The violent ones

Shall enter it.

They shall profane it.

Make a chain!

The land is

Full of bloody crimes.

The city is

Full of violence.

I will bring

The worst

Of the nations

To take possession

Of their houses.

I will put an end

To the arrogance

Of the strong.  

Their holy places

Shall be profaned.”

Outsiders will occupy Jerusalem. Yahweh was going to turn his face away from the inhabitants of the holy city. Thus these outsiders would profane the treasured places of Jerusalem. Violent wicked people would enter the holy city and desecrate it. The people of Jerusalem would be captured. They would be forced to make a chain, and to be put in chains. The land would be full of bloody crimes. The city would be full of violence. Yahweh was going to bring the worst of the nations to take possession of their houses. Yahweh was going to put an end to the arrogant and strong ones of the city, while their holy places would be profaned.