Zechariah blessed God (Lk 1:64-1:64)

“Immediately,

His mouth

Was opened.

His tongue

Was free

To talk.

He was speaking,

Blessing God.”

 

ἀνεῴχθη δὲ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ παραχρῆμα καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐλάλει εὐλογῶν τὸν Θεόν

 

Luke indicated that as soon as Zechariah wrote on the tablet that the name of the child should be John, immediately his mouth was opened (ἀνεῴχθη δὲ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ παραχρῆμα).  His tongue was free to talk (καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα αὐτοῦ).  He spoke, blessing God (καὶ ἐλάλει εὐλογῶν τὸν Θεόν).  Once he had written the name of John, Zechariah was no longer mute.  He immediately praised or blessed God, because any hint of his doubts had disappeared.

The Spirit of Yahweh and speechless Ezekiel (Ezek 3:24-3:27)

“But the Spirit

Entered into me.

He set me on my feet.

He spoke with me.

He said to me.

‘Go!

Shut yourself

Inside your house!

As for you,

Son of man,

Cords will be placed

On you.

You shall be bound

With them.

Thus you cannot go out

Among the people.

I will make your tongue

Cling to the roof

Of your mouth.

Thus you shall be

Speechless.

You will be unable

To reprove them.

They are a rebellious house.

But when I speak

With you,

I will open your mouth.

You shall say to them,

‘Thus says Yahweh God!

Let those who will hear,

Hear!

Let those who refuse to hear,

Refuse!

They are a rebellious house.’”

This is one of the few times that the Spirit of Yahweh or the Holy Spirit actually speaks to someone. This Holy Spirit entered into Ezekiel. He put him on his feet and spoke to him. He told Ezekiel, the son of man, to lock himself inside of his house. It is not clear where this house came from. Cords were going to be placed binding up Ezekiel, so that he could not go among the people. Then this Spirit was going to make Ezekiel’s tongue stick to the roof of his mouth, so that he would be speechless and unable to reprove this rebellious house. When Ezekiel would be allowed to speak later, he was to say the famous saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh God!’ Anyone who wanted to hear could hear. Or they could refuse to hear. After all, he was going to speak to this rebellious house who might not want to listen.

The teaching servant of Yahweh (Isa 50:4-50:5)

“Yahweh God has given me

The tongue of a teacher.

Thus I may know how

To sustain the weary

With a word.

Morning by morning,

He wakens me.

He wakens my ear to listen

As those who are taught.

Yahweh God has opened my ear.”

Now we are at the third chant of the servant of Yahweh in Second Isaiah. This servant has the tongue of a teacher, so that he was able to sustain the weary ones with his words. Every morning, Yahweh woke him up to listen and be taught, because Yahweh had opened his ears to hear and learn. Thus he could then be a teaching servant of Yahweh.

Turn to Yahweh (Isa 45:22-45:23)

“Turn to me!

Be saved!

All the ends of the earth!

I am God!

There is no other!

By myself I have sworn.

From my mouth has gone forth

In righteousness.

A word that shall not return.

‘To me

Every knee shall bow.

Every tongue shall swear.’”

Second Isaiah has Yahweh ask that everybody from the ends of the earth should turn to him to be saved. Yahweh proclaimed that he is God and that there is no other besides him. He speaks in righteousness and truth. Thus every knee should bow to him. Every tongue should swear to him. This is somewhat the same language that the Paul in his epistles to the Romans and the Philippians will use about Jesus Christ.

The anger of Yahweh (Isa 30:27-30:28)

“See!

The name of Yahweh

Comes from far away.

It burns with his anger,

In thick rising smoke.

His lips are

Full of indignation.

His tongue is

Like a devouring fire.

His breath is

Like an overflowing stream

That reaches up to the neck.

He sifts the nations

With the sieve of destruction.

He places on the jaws of the people

A bridle that leads them astray.”

Is this an allusion to the Assyrians as they attack Jerusalem? The name of Yahweh comes from a distance. Could this be an indication of the far off Assyrians? Or was this Yahweh himself angry? He burns with anger so that smoke is rising up. His lips and tongue were full of indignation and fire. His breath was like an overflowing stream that reached to your neck. He used a sieve to sift out the destruction of the various nations. He placed a bridle on the jaws of the people to lead them in the wrong direction. This is either a description of an anthropomorphic mad Yahweh or how Yahweh made the Assyrians mad.

The end of Israelite internal strife (Isa 11:12-11:16)

“Yahweh will raise a signal for the nations.

He will assemble the outcasts of Israel.

He will gather the dispersed of Judah

From the four corners of the earth.

The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart.

The hostility of Judah shall be cut off.

Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah.

Judah shall not be hostile towards Ephraim.

But they shall swoop down

On the backs of the Philistines

In the west.

Together they shall plunder

The people of the east.

They shall put forth their hand

Against Edom and Moab.

The Ammonites shall obey them.

Yahweh will utterly destroy

The tongue of the sea of Egypt.

He will wave his hand over the River,

With his scorching wind.

He will split it into seven channels.

Thus there will be a way to cross on foot.

There shall be a highway from Assyria

For the remnant that is left of his people,

As there was for Israel

When they came up

From the land of Egypt.”

Isaiah implies that there will be a glorious reunion of Judah and Ephraim, the south and north of Israel, since Yahweh, the Lord, will give a signal to all the nations. The dispersed Israelites were to return from the four corners of the earth. There would no longer be any jealousy or hostility between Judah and Ephraim, north and south. Instead, they would unite to fight against the Philistines in the west and the Edomites and Moabites on the eastern side of Israel. They would have control of the Ammonites, the traditional enemies of Israel, as outlined in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles. The reference to the tongue of the sea is to the Red Sea. Of course, the River is the Euphrates River. Yahweh was going to break up these seas so that people could walk through them. He wanted a highway from Assyria to the Promise Land so that all the exiles in Assyria could return, just like the Exodus march from Egypt took place. Obviously, we are talking about the time of the Exile in the 6th and 7th centuries BCE, and how it would end.

The wise person (Prov 21:22-21:23)

“A wise person went up against a city of warriors.

He brought down the stronghold in which they trusted.

Whoever watches over their mouth and their tongue

Keeps out of trouble.”

A wise person can go against a city of warriors because he can figure out how to bring down the trusted stronghold of these warriors. If you watch your mouth and tongue, you will keep out of trouble.