No more idol worship (Ezek 37:23-37:23)

“They shall never again

Defile themselves

With their idols,

With their detestable things,

Or with any

Of their transgressions.

But I will save them

From all the apostasies

Into which they have fallen.

I will cleanse them.

They shall be

My people.

I will be their God.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, laid down the law. There was to be no more idol worship. They were never again to defile themselves with all these detestable things. There would be no more transgressions. Yahweh was going to save them from the various evil ways or apostasies that they had fallen into. Yahweh was going to cleanse them. Thus, they might be truly his people. Yahweh was going to be their God. There would not be any questions about this.

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The wicked ones (Isa 57:3-57:4)

“But as for you!

Come here!

You children of a sorceress!

You offspring of an adulterer!

You offspring of a whore!

Whom are you mocking?

Against whom

Do you open your mouth wide?

Against whom

Do you stick out your tongue?

Are you not

The children of transgression?

Are you not

The offspring of deceit?”

Now Third Isaiah has a tirade against the wicked Israelites. They are the children of sorceress, adulterers, and whores. What can you expect from them? They mock others. They open their mouths wide. They stick out their tongues. They are the children of transgressions and deceit. These are the illegitimate children of Israel, the apostates, those who do not follow the law, the wicked ones.

The servant of Yahweh suffers for us (Isa 53:4-53:6)

“Surely he has borne our infirmities.

He has carried our diseases.

Yet we accounted him stricken.

He was struck down by God.

He was afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions.

He was crushed for our iniquities.

Upon him

Was the punishment

That made us whole.

By his bruises

We are healed.

All of us

Like sheep

Have gone astray.

We have turned

To our own way.

Yahweh has laid on him

The iniquity of us all.”

According to Second Isaiah, this suffering servant has become a scapegoat for all of us, at least the Israelites. He bears their infirmities and diseases. He suffers their illness for them. God has stricken and afflicted him. He was wounded for their transgressions and crushed for their sins. His punishment made them whole. His bruises healed them. They were like sheep that had gone astray. He carries the iniquity of all of them. Who is this servant? How can it be Israel saving Israel? You can see why the early Christian writers applied these same ideas about this suffering servant in Second Isaiah to Jesus Christ in a more universal appeal.

The punishment for the unrighteous (Wis 14:30-14:31)

“But just penalties

Will overtake them on two counts.

They thought wrongly

About God,

In devoting themselves to idols.

In deceit,

They swore unrighteously

Through contempt for holiness.

It is not the power of the things

By which people swear,

But the just penalty

For those who sin,

That always pursues the transgression

Of the unrighteous.”

These idol worshipers will be penalized for doing two evil things. First, they thought wrongly about God (περὶ Θεοῦ) in devoting themselves to idols (προσχόντες εἰδώλοις). Second, they swore unrighteously (ἀδίκως ὤμοσαν ἐν δόλῳ) in contempt of holy things. They will receive a just penalty for their sins, as these are the transgressions of the unrighteous (ἀδίκων).

Difficult people (Prov 29:21-29:24)

“A slave pampered from childhood,

Will come to a bad end.

One given to anger

Stirs up strife.

The hot head

Causes much transgression.

A person’s pride will bring humiliation.

Whoever is lowly in spirit

Will obtain honor.

To be a partner of a thief

Is to hate one’s own life.

One hears the victim’s curse,

But discloses nothing.”

Do not pamper a slave or servant from childhood, because there will not be a good ending. The angry hot head stirs up strife and causes a lot of transgressions. Pride will bring humiliation, while the humble will be honored. If you are involved with a thief, you must hate your own life. If you hear a victim cry and do nothing, you are as bad as the thief.

Discipline children (Prov 29:15-29:17)

“The rod and reproof give wisdom.

But a mother is disgraced by a neglected child.

When the wicked are in authority,

Transgressions increase.

But the righteous will look upon their downfall.

Discipline your children.

They will give you rest.

They will give delight to your heart.”

The children who get beat with the rod and rebuked will get wisdom. A mother will be in disgrace because of a neglected child. When the wicked are in charge, transgressions increase. However, the righteous wait for their downfall. If you discipline your children, they will give rest and delight to your heart. Discipline those kids!

The senseless (Prov 17:18-17:20)

“It is senseless

To give a pledge.

It is senseless

To becomes surety for a neighbor.

Whoever loves transgression

Loves strife.

Whoever builds a high threshold

Invites broken bones.

The crooked of mind do not prosper.

The perverse of tongue fall into calamity.”

Do not give a pledge for your neighbor. If you love transgressions, then get ready to love strife. If you build a high threshold, you are inviting danger because some tall strong people might come into your house to hurt you. This might also be a sign that you are showing pride. The crooked and the perverse do not prosper, but fall into calamity or danger.