The purge (Ezek 20:36-20:38)

“‘As I entered

Into judgment

With your ancestors

In the wilderness

Of the land of Egypt,

So I will enter

Into judgment

With you.’

Says Yahweh God.

‘I will make you pass

Under the staff.

I will bring you

Within the bond

Of the covenant.

I will purge out

The rebels

Among you.

I will purge out

Those who transgress

Against me.

I will bring them out

Of the land

Where they reside,

As aliens.

But they shall not

Enter

The land of Israel.

Then you will know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that he had judged their ancestors in the Egyptian wilderness. Now, he was going to judge them. They would have to pass under the staff of the shepherd who counted sheep. He was going to bring them under the covenant again. He was going to purge out the rebels among them, anyone who had transgressed against him. He was going to go to all the countries where they had lived as aliens. Although he was going to take them out of these countries, they were not guaranteed a place in Israel. They had to know that he was Yahweh.

The difficulties of King Solomon (Sir 47:19-47:22)

“You brought in women

To lie at your side.

Through your body,

You were brought

Into subjection.

You stained your honor.

You defiled your family line.

You brought wrath

Upon your children.

They were grieved

At your folly.

Because the sovereignty

Was divided.

A rebel kingdom

Arose out of Ephraim.

But the Lord

Will never give up his mercy.

He will not cause

Any of his works to perish.

He will never blot out

The descendants of his chosen one.

He will not destroy

The family line

Of him who loved him.

So he gave a remnant to Jacob.

To David

He gave a root of his stock.”

Unlike the other famous holy men, Sirach points out some problems with King Solomon. He had a woman problem. As usual, Sirach blames them rather than Solomon. However, he did point out that Solomon brought in women to lie with him that reduced his strength and power. Solomon thus stained the family line with this dishonor. Thus his children suffered with the split in the Israelite kingdom. At the death of King Solomon, the rebels in Ephraim took over the northern part of the kingdom, so that only Judah was left. However, the Lord was merciful and never gave up, so that the family line was not destroyed. They just had less power. The remnant remained of Jacob and David and his family. The roots were still there, even if the tree was smaller.