The gathering of the cleansed Israel (Ezek 36:24-36:25)

“I will take you

From the nations.

I will gather you

From all the countries.

I will bring you

Into your own land.

I will sprinkle

Clean water

Upon you.

You shall be clean

From all

Your unclean situations.

I will cleanse you

From all

Your idols.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was going to gather all the Israelites from the various nations and countries where they had gone. He was going to bring them into their own land, cleansing them with a sprinkling of clean water. They would be cleaned up from their unclean situation that was due to all their idol worshiping.

The protection of the holy name of Yahweh (Ezek 36:22-36:23)

“Therefore,

Say to

The house of Israel.

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘It is not for your sake,

O house of Israel!

That I am about to act,

But for the sake

Of my holy name.

You have profaned it

Among the nations

To which you came.

I will sanctify

My great name.

You have profaned it

Among the nations.’

Says Yahweh God!

‘The nations will know

That I am Yahweh,

When through you,

I display my holiness

Before their eyes.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, explained to the house of Israel that he was acting to protect his own name. It was not for their own sake, but for his good reputation that he was about to bring them back from wherever they were scattered. Yahweh was going to sanctify his great name that had been profaned among the various nations. These various countries would know that he was Yahweh God, when he displayed his great holiness through the Israelites.

The reasons for the scattered Israelites (Ezek 36:16-36:19)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

When the house

Of Israel

Lived

On their own soil,

They defiled it

With their ways,

With their doings.

Their conduct was,

In my sight,

Like the uncleanness

Of a woman

In her menstrual period.

Thus,

I poured out my wrath

Upon them

For the blood

That they had shed

Upon the land.

I poured out my wrath

Upon them

For the idols

With which

They had defiled it.

I scattered them

Among the nations.

They were dispersed

Through the countries.

I judged them

In accordance

With their conduct.

I judged them

In accordance

With their deeds.’”

Once again, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man, but without a specific date. Yahweh said that when the house of Israel lived on their own soil, they defiled it with how they acted. They were unclean, like the uncleanness of the menstrual female, who was considered to be unclean at the time of her period. They had shed blood throughout the land. They had worshipped idols, thus defiling the land. Yahweh then poured out his wrath and scattered them among the various nations. Thus, they were dispersed throughout the different countries. Yahweh judged them according to their conduct and their deeds.

The king of Babylon will scatter the Egyptians (Ezek 30:23-30:26)

“I will scatter the Egyptians

Among the nations.

I will disperse them

Throughout the lands.

I will strengthen

The arms

Of the king of Babylon.

I will put my sword

In his hand.

But I will break

The arms of Pharaoh.

He will groan

Before him

With the groans

Of one mortally wounded.

I will strengthen

The arms

Of the king of Babylon.

But the arms of Pharaoh

Shall fall.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh

When I put

My sword

Into the hand

Of the king of Babylon.

He shall stretch it out

Against the land of Egypt.

I will scatter

The Egyptians

Among the nations.

I will disperse them

Throughout the countries.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh was going to scatter and disperse the Egyptians among the various nations. He was going to strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon with his own sword. At the same time, he was going to break the arms of the Pharaoh who would groan, as if he were mortally wounded. Then Yahweh repeated himself. He was going to strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but break the arms of Pharaoh, who would fall. Then everyone would know that Yahweh was God. The king of Babylon would stretch out his hand with the sword of Yahweh against Egypt. The king of Babylon would scatter and disperse these Egyptians among the various nations.

 

The destruction of the Ammonites (Ezek 25:6-25:7)

“Thus says Yahweh God.

‘You have clapped

Your hands.

You have stamped

Your feet.

You have rejoiced

With all the malice

Within you

Against the land of Israel.

Therefore,

I have stretched out

My hand

Against you.

I will hand you over

As plunder

To the nations.

I will cut you off

From the people.

I will make you

Perish

Out of the countries.

I will destroy you.

Then you will know

That I am Yahweh.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that the Ammonites had maliciously clapped their hands and stamped their feet in rejoicing over the bad situation of Israel. Thus Yahweh was going to stretch out his hand against these Ammonites. He was going to make them plunder for the various nations, since they would be cut you off from all the other countries. They were going to perish because Yahweh was going to destroy them. Thus they would finally realize that Yahweh was God. Unlike Jeremiah, there was no mention of a future restoration for Ammon.

The false pursuits (Bar 3:15-3:19)

“Who has found

Her place?

Who has entered

Her storehouses?

Where are the rulers

Of the nations?

Where are those

Who lorded it over

The animals on earth?

Where are those

Who have made sport

Of the birds of the air?

Where are those

Who hoarded up

Silver with gold

In which people trust ?

Where are those

With no end

To their getting?

Where are those

Who schemed

To get silver?

Where are those

Who are anxious?

There is no trace

Of their works.

They have vanished.

They have gone down

To Hades.

Others have arisen

In their place.”

Baruch talks about the vanity and uselessness of various life pursuits as in wisdom literature. What happens to people who store up treasures in a storehouse? Where are all the rulers of the various nations? Where are all the people who felt superior to animals. Where are the sportsmen who tried to shoot the birds in the air with their arrows? What happened to all those who hoarded up and put their trust in silver and gold? Where are all the people who never had enough? Where are those who schemed to get silver? Where are all the people who were so anxious? Baruch’s response is simple and clear. There is no trace of any of these people and their works. They have vanished and gone to hell, Hades, the Greek word for Sheol, the shadowy underworld that we often call hell. However, there are always others to take their place to do the same thing over and over again.

The exile of the king and princes (Lam 2:9-2:9)

Tet

“Her gates have sunk

Into the ground.

Yahweh has ruined them.

He has broken her bars.

Her king

Is among the nations.

Her princes

Are among the nations.

Guidance of the law

Is no more.

Her prophets obtain

No vision

From Yahweh.”

The gates of Jerusalem have sunk into the ground. Yahweh has ruined the bars on the gates that are now broken. The king and the princes have been scattered among the various nations, so that there is no longer any guidance about the law. The prophets no longer have any visions or oracles from Yahweh. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Tet. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.