Using the north and south gates (Ezek 46:9-46:10)

“When the people

Of the land

Come before Yahweh,

At the appointed festivals,

Whoever enters

By the north gate

To worship

Shall go out

By the south gate.

Whoever enters

By the south gate

Shall go out

By the north gate.

They shall not return

By way of the gate

By which they entered.

But they shall go out

Straight ahead.

When they go in,

The prince shall

Come in with them.

When they go out,

He shall go out.”

Interesting enough, Yahweh, via Ezekiel, had a sense of crowd control for these religious festivals. Although you could enter from either the north or south side gates, you could not turn around. You had to go straight ahead. If you came in on the north side, you went out the south side, and vice versa. Here the prince came in with the people, while just earlier he had a special entrance.

Put on the robe of glory (Bar 5:1-5:4)

“Take off the garment

Of your sorrow!

Take off the garment

Of your affliction!

O Jerusalem!

Put on forever

The beauty

Of the glory

From God!

Put on the robe

Of the righteousness

From God!

Put on your head

The diadem

Of the glory

Of the Everlasting One!

God

Will show

Your splendor

Everywhere under heaven!

God

Will give you forever

The name

‘Righteousness peace!

Godly glory!’”

The author of this book told Jerusalem to take off its garments of sorrow and distress. Jerusalem was to put on the beauty of the glorious God, the robe of the righteousness of God. Jerusalem was to wear a diadem crown to show the glory of the Everlasting One. Once again, God is no longer called Yahweh. God was going to show the splendor of this great city to everyone in the world. Now Jerusalem had a new name, “righteous peace and Godly glory”. There would be a great turn around in Jerusalem.

Isaiah (Sir 48:22-48:25)

“King Hezekiah followed

What the prophet Isaiah

Had commanded.

Isaiah was great.

Isaiah was trustworthy

In his visions.

In Isaiah’s days,

The sun went backward.

He prolonged

The life of the king.

By his dauntless spirit

He saw the future.

He comforted the mourners

In Zion.

He revealed

What was to occur

To the end of time.

He revealed the hidden things

Before they happened.”

Sirach may have had 2 sources for his information about the prophet Isaiah (approximately 772-698 BCE). Besides, the mention of Isaiah in 2 Kings, chapters 17-20, there is a whole biblical Book of Isaiah with 66 chapters about and supposedly from this prophet Isaiah. He consulted with a number of kings, but especially King Hezekiah. He is generally considered one of the most important of the Israelite prophets both for age and time, because he was faithful to Yahweh. He made the sun turn around when he cured King Hezekiah, by lengthening his life. He also was a seer or predicator of things to come, but some of these visions may have been written after the events had already happened. He revealed many hidden things. Suffice it to say, his impact on Judaism and early Christianity was enormous.