“As it was commanded
To leave the stump,
As well as the roots
Of the tree,
Shall be reestablished
From the time
That you learn
That Heaven is sovereign.
May my counsel
Be acceptable to you!
For your sins
For your iniquities
By showing mercy
To the oppressed!
May be prolonged!”
Daniel continued with the interpretation of the dream. Just as the stump and the roots of the tree remained, so too the king would be restored or reestablished in his kingdom, as soon as he recognized the heavenly control of all kingdoms. Daniel gave him some more advice. The king was to atone for sins by doing right and good things. He was to atone for his iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed. If he did this, his prosperity would be prolonged.
“To the house
Of the king of Judah
‘Hear the word of Yahweh!
O house of David!
Thus says Yahweh.
‘Execute justice in the morning!
Deliver from the hand
Of the oppressor
Anyone who has been robbed!
Otherwise my wrath
Will go forth
It will burn
With no one to quench it,
Because of your evil doings.’”
Having talked about the fire destruction of Jerusalem, Yahweh turned to the house of Judah, the house of David. They were to execute justice every morning. They were to help the oppressed, especially those who had been robbed. If they did not, they too would have a fire without end descend upon them because of their evil ways.
“The Spirit of Yahweh God is upon me.
Because Yahweh has anointed me.
He has sent me
To bring good news to the oppressed.
He has sent me
To bind up the brokenhearted.
He has sent me
To proclaim liberty to the captives.
He has sent me
To release the prisoners.”
The question immediately rises is this about prophets in general, the prophet Isaiah, or the servant of Yahweh? Definitely the Spirit of Yahweh was upon this person. Not only that, but this disciple or prophet of Yahweh has been anointed, either like a priestly or a royal anointing. However, the primary mission is not cultic, but rather social in nature, what we might call social justice. Having been called by the Spirit and anointed by Yahweh, he was sent out. This would imply a time when there was no Temple, basically the exilic time. The generic mission was simple. Bring good news to the oppressed. The good news concept was later adapted by the early followers of Jesus who talked about the good news of the gospel. This basic mission included binding up the broken hearted and freeing prisoners that were clearly exilic problems and terms.
“Yahweh executes justice for the oppressed.
Yahweh gives food to the hungry.
Yahweh sets the prisoners free.
Yahweh opens the eyes of the blind.
Yahweh lifts up those who are bowed down.
Yahweh loves the righteous.
Yahweh watches over the strangers.
Yahweh upholds the orphan and the widow.
Yahweh brings to ruin the way of the wicked.”
Yahweh makes sure that there is justice for the oppressed. He gives food to the hungry. He sets prisoners free. He opens the eyes of the blind. He lifts up those who are bowed down. He loves the righteous. He watches over strangers. He helps orphans. He holds up widows. However, he brings to ruin those who are pursuing wicked ways.
“But you indeed are awesome!
Who can stand before you?
When once your anger is roused?
From the heavens
You uttered judgment.
The earth feared.
The earth was still.
God rose up to establish judgment.
He wanted to save all the oppressed of the earth.”
God was awesome! No one could stand before him once his anger was aroused. From heaven he uttered his judgment. Thus the earth feared and was still. God established his judgment. He wanted to save all the oppressed of the earth. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.
You will hear the desire of the meek!
You will strengthen their heart!
You will incline your ear!
You will do justice for the orphans and the oppressed!
Thus those from the earth may strike terror no more.”
The psalmist wants Yahweh to hear the meek and strengthen their hearts. Listen to the cries for justice of the orphans and the oppressed. Get rid of the evil doers so that they cannot strike terror any more. The psalmist of David wanted justice for the oppressed. Get rid of the terrorists. That is a cry that we often hear today.
Lift up your hand!
Do not forget the oppressed!
Why do the wicked renounce God?
They say in their heart.
‘You will not call us to account.’”
The psalmist wants Yahweh to rise up. He wanted Yahweh not to forget the oppressed. The wicked renounce God in their hearts because they think that Yahweh will not hold them accountable.