The questioning of the second elder (Dan 13:56-13:57)

“Then,

Putting the first elder

To one side,

He ordered them

To bring in the other elder.

Daniel said to him.

‘You!

Offspring of Canaan!

Not offspring of Judah!

Beauty has beguiled you!

Lust has perverted

Your heart!

This is how

You both

Have been treating

The daughters of Israel.

They were intimate

With you

Through fear.

But a daughter of Judah

Would not tolerate

Your wickedness.’”

When he was finished with the first elder, he asked that the second elder be brought in to him. Daniel once again berated this second old judge. This time, he claimed that this elder was not from Judah, but from the pagan Canaanite area. Daniel maintained that this judge, along with his other elder judge had a perverted lust in their hearts, since beauty beguiled them. They had been both mistreating the daughters of Israel, forcing them to be sexually intimate with them out of fear. However, this daughter of Judah, Susanna, would not tolerate their wickedness.

The righteous ones (Ezek 33:12-33:13)

“You!

Son of man!

Say to your people!

‘The righteousness

Of the righteous

Shall not save them

When they transgress.

As for the wickedness

Of the wicked,

It shall not make them

Stumble

When they turn

From their wickedness.

The righteous

Shall not be able

To live

By their righteousness

When they sin.

Although I say

To the righteous

That they shall surely live.

Yet if they trust

In their righteousness,

Then commit iniquity,

None of their righteous deeds

Shall be remembered.

But in the iniquity

That they have committed,

They shall die.”

Yahweh told Ezekiel, the son of man, to warn the righteous ones of his people. They cannot save themselves when they transgress the laws of Yahweh. However, if the wicked ones turn from their wickedness, they would not stumble. The righteous ones should not be so self-righteous. If they sin, they will not be able to live by their own righteousness. These righteous ones shall surely live, if they do not commit iniquity. Then they can trust in their righteousness. On the other hand, if they commit iniquity, none of their righteous deeds would be remembered. In fact, the committed iniquity would bring them death, so that they would die.

Yahweh speaks about idols (Ezek 14:4-14:5)

“Therefore speak to them!

Say to them!

‘Thus says Yahweh God!

Any of the house of Israel

Who take their idols

Into their hearts

Place their iniquity

As a stumbling block

Before them.

Yet they come

To the prophet.

I,

Yahweh,

Will answer those

Who come

With the multitude

Of their idols.

Thus I may take hold

Of the hearts

Of the house of Israel,

All of whom are estranged

From me

Through their idols.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel to speak to these elders with their idols. He told him to say that Yahweh was not pleased that anyone from the house of Israel would seriously take their idols to their hearts. Taking these idols seriously showed their wickedness as a stumbling block. Despite that, they came to the prophet to speak to him. Yahweh, himself was going to answer these people who had multiple idols. He knew why the hearts of the people of the house of Israelite were estranged from him. These idols were the main reason why they had turned against him.

The Chaldeans are coming (Jer 33:4-33:5)

“Thus says Yahweh!

The God of Israel!

Concerning the houses

Of this city.

This concerns

The houses

Of the kings of Judah.

They were torn down

To make a defense

Against the siege mounds,

Before the sword.

The Chaldeans

Are coming in

To fight.

They are coming

To fill them

With the dead bodies

Of those whom

I shall strike down,

In my anger,

In my wrath.

I have hidden my face

From this city

Because of all their wickedness.”

Yahweh explains, via Jeremiah, why they had to tear down the buildings in the city, including the houses of the kings of Judah. The military needed to protect themselves from the siege ramps that the Chaldeans had put up against the city walls. These Chaldeans or Babylonians were coming to fight. They would find the dead bodies that Yahweh had struck down inside the city walls. Yahweh had killed these Israelites because of his anger and wrath. He had hidden his face from this city because of their wickedness.

Against the false prophets (Jer 23:11-23:12)

“‘Both prophet

As well as priest

Are ungodly.

Even in my house

I have found

Their wickedness.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Therefore their way

Shall be to them

Like slippery paths

In the darkness.

They shall be driven

Into them.

They shall fall.

I will bring disaster

Upon them

In the year of their punishment.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, condemns both the priests and prophets. They have brought their wickedness into the Lord’s house. Thus they will be driven into dark slippery paths where they will fall. At the time of the great punishment, disaster will come upon them. Yahweh was clearly opposed to these false prophets and evil priests.

Yahweh rails against the false prophets (Jer 14:14-14:16)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘The prophets are prophesying lies

In my name.

I did not send them.

I did not command them.

I did not speak to them.

They are prophesying to you

A lying vision,

A worthless divination,

The deceit of their own minds.

Therefore thus says Yahweh

Concerning the prophets

Who prophesy in my name,

Although I did not send them.’

They say.

‘Sword shall not come on this land.

Famine shall not come on this land.’

By sword and famine

Those prophets shall be consumed

By sword

Or with famine.

The people to whom they prophesy

Shall be cast out into the streets of Jerusalem.

They will be the victims of famine.

They will be the victims of the sword.

There shall be no one to bury them,

Themselves,

Their wives,

Their sons,

Their daughters.

I will pour out their wickedness

Upon them.”

Yahweh spoke again to Jeremiah about the false prophets who told them not to worry about the sword or famine. Yahweh said that they were lying false prophets pretending to prophesize in his name. Yahweh did not send them or command them to speak. They were, in fact, prophesying a lying vision or a worthless prediction. They were deceived in their own minds. He never told them that there would be no sword or famine. Instead, these prophets would be consumed by the sword or famine. Those listening to them will also be consumed, that includes themselves, their wives, and their children. Yahweh was going to pour out all their wickedness upon them.

Israel brought it on themselves (Jer 2:17-2:19)

“Have you not brought this upon yourself?

You have forsaken Yahweh your God.

He tried to lead you in the way.

What did you gain by going to Egypt?

Why did you try to drink

The waters of the Nile?

What did you gain by going to Assyria?

Why did you try to drink

The waters of the Euphrates?

Your wickedness will punish you.

Your apostates will convict you.

Know!

See!

It is evil!

It is bitter for you

To forsake Yahweh

Your God.

The fear of me is not in you.’

Says Yahweh

God of hosts.”

Jeremiah reminds Israel that they brought all this destruction on themselves by giving up on Yahweh and going their own way. They gained nothing by going to Egypt to drink from the Nile River or from Assyria to drink from the Euphrates River. They will be punished for their wickedness by their own people. They will know and see that it is evil and bitter to forsake Yahweh.  They did not fear Yahweh, the God of hosts.