Jericho (Lk 19:1-19:1)

“Jesus entered Jericho.

He was passing through.”

 

Καὶ εἰσελθὼν διήρχετο τὴν Ἱερειχώ

 

Luke uniquely said that Jesus entered Jericho (Καὶ εἰσελθὼν…τὴν Ἱερειχώ), but that he was only passing through (διήρχετο), not staying there.  Jericho was an important customs center on a main trading route, about 16 miles northeast of Jerusalem.  Just as Luke had Jesus cure the blind man while on his way into Jericho, now Luke had Jesus enter Jericho on his way to Jerusalem.  What do you know about walls of Jericho?

The conversation about measuring Jerusalem (Zech 2:2-2:5)

“Then I said.

‘Where are you going?’

He answered me.

‘To measure Jerusalem!

To see what is its width!

To see what is its length!’

Then the angel,

Who talked with me,

Came forward.

Another angel

Also came forward

To meet him.

He said to him.

‘Run!

Say to that young man!

Jerusalem shall be inhabited

Like villages without walls,

Because of the multitude

Of people,

As well as animals

In it.’

‘I will be

A wall of fire

All around it.’

Says Yahweh.

‘I will be the glory

within it.’”

Zechariah then questioned the man with the measuring cord in his hand.  He responded that he was going to measure Jerusalem to find out its width and length.  The angel that had been talking to Zechariah heard from another angel that the new Jerusalem would not need walls, because so many people and animals would be there.  Instead, Yahweh would provide protection with a wall of fire all around it, like a ring of fire.  Yahweh was going to bring glory to Jerusalem, because he was going to bring his glory to Jerusalem.

The locusts are everywhere (Joel 2:6-2:9)

“Before them,

People are in anguish.

All faces grow pale.

Like warriors,

They charge.

Like soldiers,

They scale the wall.

Each keeps

To his own course.

They do not swerve

From their paths.

They do not jostle

One another.

Each keeps

To his own track.

They burst

Through the weapons

They are not halted.

They leap upon the city.

They run upon the walls.

They climb up

Into the houses.

They enter

Through the windows,

Like a thief.”

Joel continued his description of the swarm of locusts as they attacked the city and the people in it. The people there were in aguish, as their faces turned pale. These grasshoppers charged like warriors. They scaled the walls like soldiers. These locusts stayed in formation, not wandering around. They did not try to push each other around. They were able to go straight through any barriers or weapons. They leapt into the city on its walls and in its houses. These locusts came through the windows, like a thief in the night. This plague of grasshoppers was really strong and powerful in their destruction.

The wooden altar (Ezek 41:21-41:22)

“The doorposts

Of the nave

Were square.

In front of the holy place

Was something resembling

An altar of wood.

It was

Three cubits high,

Two cubits long,

Two cubits wide.

Its corners,

Its base,

Its walls were

Of wood.

He said to me.

‘This is the table

That stands

Before Yahweh.’”

Next Ezekiel explained the wooden altar. There were square doorposts in the nave in front of the holy place. Ezekiel seemed vague as he said that he saw something resembling an altar of wood that was 3 cubits high or 5 feet high. However, the top was a small square, 2 cubits long and wide, about 3 feet square. All its corners, base, and walls were made of wood. Then the bronze man explicitly told Ezekiel that this was the table that stood before Yahweh.

Gog’s plan of attack (Ezek 38:11-38:12)

“‘You will say!

‘I will go up

Against the land

Of unwalled villages.

I will fall upon

The quiet people

Who live in safety.

All of them live

Without walls.

They have no bars.

They have no gates.’

You want

To seize spoil.

You want

To carry off plunder.

You want to assail

The waste places

That are now inhabited.

You want to assail

The people

Who were gathered

From the nations.

You want to assail,

Those who are acquiring cattle.

You want to assail

Those with goods,

Who live

At the center

Of the earth.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel said that Gog would say to himself that he would go up against this land of unwalled villages. He was going to attack these quiet safe people. They lived without walls with no bars or gates. Gog wanted to seize the spoils and plunder this former wasted land that was now inhabited. These people had been gathered from the various nations. Now they were acquiring cattle with other goods as well. They lived at the center of the earth. Where was the center of earth? Of course, it was Jerusalem. Everyone thinks that where they live is the center of the world.

The powerful Babylonian horses (Ezek 26:10-26:11)

“King Nebuchadnezzar’s horses

Shall be so many

That their dust

Shall cover you.

Your very walls

Shall shake

At the noise

Of the cavalry,

At the noise

Of the wheels,

At the noise

Of the chariots.

He enters

Your gates

Like those entering

A breached city.

With the hoofs

Of his horses,

He shall trample

All your streets.

He shall put

Your people

To the sword.

Your strong pillars

Shall fall

To the ground.”

The king of Babylon had a lot of horses, so many that the dust from these galloping horses would cover them up. The cavalry would make such a loud noise that the walls would shake. The noisy wheels of the chariots, driven by horses, would enter their gates as if there were no gates there. The hoofs of their horses would trample all their streets. Their people would be killed. Their large pillars would be crushed to the ground. In very colorful language, there would be a lot of horses with cavalry and chariots attacking Tyre.

More beautiful than ever (Isa 60:17-60:18)

“Instead of bronze

I will bring gold.

Instead of iron,

I will bring silver.

Instead of wood,

I will bring bronze.

Instead of stones,

I will bring iron.

I will appoint peace

As your overseer.

I will appoint righteousness

As your taskmaster.

Violence shall no more

Be heard in your land.

Devastation shall no more

Be within your borders.

Destruction shall no more

Be within your borders.

You shall call your walls

Salvation.

You shall call your gates

Praise.”

The new Temple will be more beautiful than the older destroyed Temple of King Solomon, if that is possible. Instead of bronze, there will be gold. Instead of iron, there will be silver. In the place of wood, there will be bronze. In the place of stones, there will be iron. Peace and righteousness will be the overseer and taskmaster for this project. There will be no more violence, devastation, or destruction within its borders. The walls will be called salvation and the gates praise. This will be some great place.