The confession of sins (Dan 9:4-9:6)

“I prayed

To the Lord!

My God!

I made a confession.

I said.

‘O Lord!

Great God!

Awesome God!

You keep the covenant!

You have a steadfast love

With those

Who love you,

With those

Who keep your commandments!

We have sinned!

We have done wrong!

We have acted wickedly!

We have rebelled!

We have turned away

From your commandments,

From your ordinances!

We have not listened

To your servants,

The prophets,

Who spoke

In your name,

To our kings,

To our princes,

To our ancestors,

To all the people

Of the land.’”

Daniel personally prayed to God with this first-person singular confession of sins. However, he quickly reverted to the first-person plural “we” from the singular “I.” God was great and awesome. He had kept his covenant with a steadfast love to those who loved him and kept his commandments. However, they had sinned and done wrong. They had acted wickedly. They had rebelled and turned away from his commandments and ordinances. They had not listened to their prophets, kings, princes, ancestors, or even the people of the land.

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Ebed-melech the Ethiopian (Jer 38:7-38:9)

“Ebed-melech

The Ethiopian,

A eunuch,

In the king’s house,

Heard

That they had put Jeremiah

Into the cistern.

The king happened

To be sitting

At the Benjamin Gate.

Ebed-melech left

The king’s house.

He spoke to the king.

‘My lord king!

These men have acted

Wickedly in all

That they did

To the prophet Jeremiah.

They have cast him

Into the cistern

To die there of hunger.

There is no bread

Left in the city.’”

Ebed-melech was an Ethiopian or Cushite eunuch in King Zedekiah’s house. Eunuchs normally controlled the harem for the king. Thus he was a foreign confidant of the king. When he heard about what happened to Jeremiah, he went to the king who was sitting at the Benjamin Gate on the north side of Jerusalem. He told the king that these officials had acted wickedly by casting the prophet Jeremiah into a well to starve him to death. He was not aware that the king had given his okay to these royal officials. Ebed-melech was afraid that Jeremiah would starve to death, since there was so little bread in the city of Jerusalem.

 

Judas Maccabeus rallies his troops (2 Macc 8:16-8:18)

“But Judas Maccabeus gathered his men together, to the number six thousand. He exhorted them not to be frightened by the enemy. They were not to fear the great multitude of gentiles who were wickedly coming against them. But they were to fight nobly. They were to keep before their eyes the lawless outrage that the gentiles had committed against the holy place. They were to keep before their eyes the torture of the derided city, and besides, the overthrow of their ancestral way of life. He said.

‘They trust to arms and acts of daring.

But we trust in the Almighty God.

He is able with a single nod to strike down

Those who are coming against us

And even the whole world.’”

Like in 1 Maccabees, Judas Maccabeus was able to keep all his 6,000 troops together despite some minor defections. They were not to fear the wicked gentiles who were coming against them, but to fight nobly. They were to remember the evil acts of the gentiles against the holy place and the tortured city of their ancestors. They were to trust in the Almighty God who could strike down those coming against them, and even the whole world. He tried to calm their fears by saying that the powerful God was on their side.