The little horn takes over the sanctuary (Dan 8:11-8:12)

“The little horn

Acted arrogantly,

Even against

The Prince

Of the host.

It took

Regular burnt offering

Away from him.

It overthrew

The place

Of his sanctuary.

Because of wickedness,

The host

Was given over

to it,

Together

With the regular burnt offering.

It cast truth

To the ground,

It kept prospering

In what it did.”

Thus, this King Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the little horn, conquered Palestine and violated the sanctuary of God, the Prince of the hosts around 167 BCE. He acted arrogantly against God, by taking away the regular burnt offerings from the sanctuary. This little horn was successful in taking over the host or people of the Temple as well as doing away with the regular offerings to God. He cast truth to the ground, while he continued to prosper and do whatever he wanted to do.

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Jeremiah is sent to the king of Judah (Jer 22:1-22:2)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘Go down to the house

Of the king of Judah!

Speak there this word!’

Say!

‘Hear the word of Yahweh!

O King of Judah!

Sitting on the throne

Of David!

You!

Your servants!

Your people

Who enter these gates!’”

Yahweh sends Jeremiah to the king of Judah. He was to speak these words of Yahweh to the king who sat on the throne of David. The king, his servants, and all the people in Jerusalem were to listen to God’s word as proclaimed by Jeremiah. Jeremiah was to speak truth to power. This is more or less a reinforcement of the preceding chapter.

A lamentation about the moral corruption of Judah (Jer 9:1-9:3)

“‘O that my head were a spring of water!

O that my eyes were a fountain of tears!

Thus I might weep day and night

For the slain of my poor people!

O that I had in the desert

A traveler’s lodging place!

Thus I might leave my people!

Thus I might go away from them!

They are all adulterers.

They are a band of traitors.

They bend their tongue

Like bows.

They have grown strong in the land

Because of falsehood,

Not because of truth.

They proceed from evil to evil.

They do not know me.’

Says Yahweh.”

Jeremiah has another oracle of Yahweh that speaks out about his lament over the corruption in Judah. Yahweh wished that he had a head with a spring of water or fountain of tears in his eyes, so that he could weep all day and night for the dead people of Judah. He wished that he had a lodging place in the desert so that he could get away from his poor people. They were all adulterers and traitors. They bent their tongues like bows with all their falsehood, instead of truth. They simply went from one evil to another evil. They did not even know Yahweh. It was a terrible scene. There is a slight discrepancy of the verse numbers since this first verse in the Jerusalem Bible is the last of the preceding chapter. However, I will follow the Revised Standard edition numbering for this chapter.

They will not listen (Jer 7:27-7:28)

“So you shall speak

All these words to them.

But they will not listen to you.

You shall call to them,

But they will not answer you.

You shall say to them.

‘This is the nation

That did not obey

The voice of Yahweh,

Their God.

They did not accept discipline.

Truth has perished.

Truth is cut off from their lips.”

Yahweh told Jeremiah what to say. However, he warned Jeremiah that the Israelites would not listen to him either. He would call to them but they would not respond to him. Yahweh told him to tell them that they were a nation that did not obey the voice of Yahweh, their God. They would not accept any kind of discipline because truth had perished and was no longer coming from their lips.

The return to Yahweh (Jer 4:1-4:2)

“‘If you return!

O Israel!’

Says Yahweh.

‘If you return to me!

If you remove your abominations

From my presence!

If you do not waver!

If you swear!

‘As Yahweh lives!’

In truth,

In justice,

In uprightness,

Then nations shall be blessed

By him.

They shall boast

By him.’”

Would Israel return to Yahweh? Yahweh sets down some conditions. They would have to remove their abomination idol statues from his presence. They would have to not waver. They had to swear that Yahweh lives. If this was done in truth, justice, and uprightness, then the nations would be blessed by him. Then they could boast in Yahweh.

The confession of sins (Isa 59:12-59:15)

“Our transgressions before you are many.

Our sins testify against us.

Our transgressions indeed are with us.

We know our iniquities.

We have transgressed Yahweh.

We have denied Yahweh.

We have turned away

From following our God.

We talk oppression.

We talk revolt.

We conceive lying words.

We utter them from our hearts.

Justice is turned back.

Righteousness stands at a distance.

Truth stumbles in the public square.

Uprightness cannot enter.

Truth is lacking.

Whoever turns from evil is despoiled.”

Third Isaiah seems to have a community confession or acknowledgement of sins. They have committed many transgressions, since their sins will testify against them. They know that they have denied God. They have tried to turn away from him, as they wanted to revolt. They lied from their hearts. They have turned back justice since righteousness is now far away. There is no truth in the public squares, no uprightness. Anyone who turns from evil is attacked.

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.