The response of Susanna (Dan 13:22-13:23)

“Susanna groaned.

She said.

‘I am completely trapped.

If I do this,

It will mean death for me.

If I do not do this,

I cannot escape

Your hands.

I choose not to do it.

I will fall

Into your hands,

Rather than to sin

In the sight of the Lord.’”

Susanna groaned, as she felt trapped. If she committed adultery with these two elder judges, she would be killed. If she did not, she would fall into their hands. They would control her life and judge her. The choice was hers. She decided not to have sex with these two old judges. Instead, she was not going to sin in the sight of God. She would rather be judged by humans than God. Of course, this is the great moral tale. Stand up for your beliefs.

The sea dragon in the wilderness (Ezek 29:5-29:7)

“I will fling you

Into the wilderness.

You!

With all the fish

Of your channels!

You shall fall

In the open field!

You will not be gathered.

You will not be buried.

I have given you

As food

To the animals

Of the earth,

To the birds

Of the air.

Then all the inhabitants

Of Egypt

Shall know

That I am Yahweh.

Because they were

A staff of the reed

To the house of Israel.

When they grasped you

With the hand,

You broke down.

You tore

All their shoulders.

When they leaned

On you,

You broke down.

You made

All their legs

Unsteady.”

Yahweh was going to fling this sea dragon of Pharaoh, with all his fish in the Nile River channels, into the wilderness. They would then fall into an open field, where they would not be gathered or buried. The animals of the earth and the birds of the air would then eat them as food as they lay in the open fields. Then all the inhabitants of Egypt would know that Yahweh was God. They were like a reed to the house of Israel. When they grasped this dragon and his fish with their hands, they broke down. They tore all their shoulders when they leaned on these fish. Their legs became unsteady.

The judgment of adultery (Ezek 23:43-23:45)

“Then I said.

‘Ah!

She is worn out

With adulteries.

But they carry on

Their sexual acts

With her.

They have gone into her,

As one goes

Into a whore.

Thus they went into Oholah.

They went into Oholibah.

These were wanton lewd women.

But righteous judges

Shall declare them

Guilty of adultery.

They are guilty

Of bloodshed.

Because they are adulteresses,

Blood is upon their hands.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that Jerusalem was worn out from all her adulteries. Nevertheless, she continued to carry on with her sexual activities. The adulterous men went into her just like their sexual acts with a whore. That is how they had sex with the two sisters, Oholah and Oholibah, these wanton lewd women. The result was that righteous judges would declare them guilty of adultery. However, they were also guilty of bloodshed. As they were adulteresses, blood was on their hands.

The adultery of the two sisters with their idols (Ezek 23:37-23:39)

“They have committed

Adultery.

Blood is

On their hands.

With their idols,

They have committed

Adultery.

They have even offered up

To them

For food

The children

Whom they had borne

To me.

Moreover

This they have done

To me.

They have defiled

My sanctuary

On the same day.

They have profaned

My Sabbath.

When they had slaughtered

Their children

For their idols,

On the same day,

They came

Into my sanctuary

To profane it.

This is what they did

In my house.”

Yahweh explains to Ezekiel about the adulterous behavior of these two sisters, particularly Jerusalem. They had turned to idol images instead of Yahweh. Thus they have committed adultery. Blood was on their hands because of their idol worship. They had even offered up Israelite children for food for these idols. Not only did they sacrifice their own children, but on the same day they defiled the sanctuary of the Temple and profaned the Sabbath. They had slaughtered their own children for their idols. What kind of adulterous behavior was this?

Moaning (Ezek 21:6-21:7)

“Moan therefore!

Son of man!

Moan!

With a breaking heart!

Moan

With a bitter grief

Before their eyes!

When they say to you,

‘Why do you moan?’

You shall say.

‘Because of the news

That has come.

Every heart

Will melt.

All hands

Will be feeble.

Every spirit

Will faint.

All knees

Will turn to water.

See!

It comes!

It will be fulfilled,’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh told Ezekiel that he should moan or sigh with a broken heart and bitter grief before the other people. When they would then ask him why he was moaning, he should tell about the news that he had received. If they had heard the same news, they too would be moaning and sighing. Every heart would melt. All their hands would be feeble. Every spirit would be faint. Everyone’s knees would turn to water. Yahweh clearly said that this was going to happen.

Yahweh against the prophetess’s activities (Ezek 13:20-13:21)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh God.

‘I am against

Your bands

With which you hunt lives.

I will tear them

From your arms.

I will let the lives

Go free

Like the lives

That you hunt down

Like birds.

I will tear off

Your veils.

I will save my people

From your hands.

They shall no longer

Be prey

In your hands.

You shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh was opposed to the activities of the prophetesses. He was against their so-called magical arm bands. He was going to tear them off their arms. He was going to let free, those whom they were hunting. How they were hunting them was not clear. Perhaps, it was some kind of voodoo. These people would be set free like birds. He was also going to tear off their veils or kerchiefs. Yahweh was going to save his people from them, so that they would not be prey in their hands anymore. They would learn to know that he was God, Yahweh.

The executors from the north (Ezek 9:1-9:2)

“Then Yahweh cried

In my hearing

With a loud voice,

Saying.

‘Draw near!

You executioners

Of the city!

Each with his destroying weapon

In his hand.’

Six men came

From the direction

Of the upper gate,

Which faces north.

Each with his weapon

For slaughter

In his hand.”

Yahweh cried out to Ezekiel to stand closer to him so that he could see the 6 executioners of the city of Jerusalem coming to the city with deadly weapons in their hands. These executioners came from the northern upper gate as they were ready to use their weapons to kill people.

The idol worship service of the seventy Jerusalem elders (Ezek 8:10-8:11)

“So I went in.

I looked.

There portrayed

On the wall,

All around,

Were all kinds

Of creeping things,

Loathsome animals,

With all the idols

Of the house of Israel.

Before them

Stood seventy

Of the elders

Of the house

Of Israel,

With Jaazaniah,

The son of Shaphan,

Standing among them.

Each had his censer

In his hand.

The fragrant cloud

Of incense

Was ascending.”

Ezekiel went into the worship service room on the other side of the wall. He saw various inscriptions or pictures all around the walls that included creeping things, despicable animals, and all kinds of idols from the house of Israel. This must have indicated some kind of Egyptian or Babylonian idol gods, perhaps the god Osiris. However, this might be a mishmash of various idol gods. Even more shocking was to see the 70 Jerusalem elders of Israel, including Jaazaniah, the son of Shaphan, standing there with lit censers in their hands as the fragrant smell of incense ascended in the air. This was a shocking sight to see.

The survivors (Ezek 7:16-7:18)

“If any survivors escape,

They will be found

On the mountains,

Like doves

Of the valleys.

All of them

Will be moaning

Over their iniquity.

All hands

Shall grow feeble.

All knees

Shall turn to water.

They shall put on

Sackcloth.

Horror

Shall cover them.

Shame shall be

On all faces.

Baldness shall be

On all their heads.”

Instead of being taken captive, these survivors escaped and headed to the hills. They could be found in the mountains, like droves of valley doves. They would all be moaning over their iniquity. However, their hands would grow feeble, while their knees would turn to jelly or water. They would put on sackcloth, as if in mourning. Horror would cover them. Shame would be all over their faces. They would have shaved bald heads. These survivors would not be a happy lot, even if they were alive.

The disrespect for people (Lam 5:11-5:12)

“Women are raped

In Zion.

Virgins are raped

In the towns

Of Judah.

Princes are

Hung up

By their hands.

No respect

Is shown

To the elders.”

People are disrespected. In the city of Jerusalem, Zion, they rape women. They also rape virgins in the Judean towns. They hang up princes of Jerusalem by their hands. Finally, no one respects the elderly. There does not seem to be a moral equivalency among these actions, since rape seems worse than disrespect for the elderly.