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The No-Name God

A Bible Study by Fred Kenison

 

9  DanielMalachi


The minor prophets additional warning for Israel

 

 

Daniel

Hosea

Joel

Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

 

Summary Highlights of Chapter 9

Attributes of Jehovah revealed in Chapter 9

 

 

Daniel

 

Daniel 1:17 says,

"As for these four youths, [the] god (‘elohiym:H430) gave them learning and skill in all letters and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams."

 

Jehovah was also the god of Daniel. The definite article was used with the word "god" because it was a renewed mention. Daniel was captured when Nebuchadnezzarr, king of Babylon, took Jerusalem and all of Judah by siege. The attribute of Jehovah displayed here is that of supplying all the needs of those whom he called to a special mission.

 

Daniel 2:23 shows that Daniel worshiped Jehovah.

"To thee, O god (‘elahh:H426) of my fathers, I give thanks and praise for thou hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known to me now what we asked of thee, for thou hast made known to me the matter of the king."

 

The word "fathers" was used to designate Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. The fathers all worshiped Jehovah, and so did Daniel.

 

As an aside, we might note that in this passage we encounter elahh, a new word. Some of the earlier parts of Daniel were written in Chaldean.  Ellah and eloyhim are Chaldean words, which are similar in meaning to their Hebrew equivalents.

 

Jehovah provided Daniel with the answer to the king’s dream, and within that answer was a wonderful prediction of Israel’s future.

"And in the days of those kings, the god (‘elahh:H426) of heaven will set up a kingdom which [the] ever (which to perpetuity) shall not be destroyed, nor its authority shall not be left to another people. It shall break in pieces and bring to an end all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for [the] ever." (Daniel 2:44).

 

The definite article appears before the word "ever" in both instances of its use, although it was not translated in the KJV. However, that usage signifies that there is only one "ever," or a specific "ever," intended here.

 

Daniel 3:25 refers to the time when three Hebrew men were cast into the fiery furnace for refusing to worship the gods of Nebuchadnezzar. The phrase used in the KJV, "the fourth is like the Son of God," has caused some confusion. What the verse actually says is this:

"He answered, but I see four men, loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of gods (‘elahh:H426)."

 

The word gods is not capitalized; neither is it singular, as translated in the KJV, but plural. The correct translation is "like a son of gods."  It could be that the person speaking in this verse was one of Nebuchadnezzar’s counselors, who recognized the fourth person in the fire as some kind of heavenly being, perhaps even one of his own gods.

 

However, Daniel 3:26 says,

"Then, Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of burning fire, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, his servants of the most high god (‘elahh:H426), come forth, and come here. Then, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came out from the fire."

 

Nebuchanezzar realized what specific god had saved the Hebrew men.

 

Daniel 3:28 continues,

"Nebuchadnezzar (answering) said, Blessed (their) god (‘elahh:H426) of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel, and delivered his servants who trusted in him, and set at nought the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god (‘elahh:H426) except their own god."

 

Because of what he had seen, Nebuchadnezzar declared,

"And by me I make a decree that all people, nation, or language, that speaks any thing (remissness) against (their) god (‘elahh:H426) of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god (‘elahh:H426) who is able to deliver in this way." (Daniel 3:29).

 

The story of Daniel in the lions’ den (Daniel 6) is a common story known by many. Any child who ever attended Sunday School knows that his god delivered Daniel by shutting the mouths of the lions, much to the joy of the king who had put him there. We will not make any further comments on this event.

 

Daniel 9 contains many references to Jehovah as Daniel’s god. Prior to this, the only references have been about the god "of Daniel," which could leave a question about which god Daniel actually worshiped. Here it is definitive, he worshiped Jehovah!

 

Daniel found the prophesy of Jeremiah which foretold the people’s 70 years of captivity for neglecting to let the land lie idle every seventh year. Therefore, Daniel knew that the time of their release was near, and he began to confess his own sin as well as the sins of all the people. He petitioned Jehovah to forgive the people, and return them to Judah.

 

Daniel 9:19 is a good example of how to pray for positive answers to your prayers.

"O Lord (‘adonay:H136), hear; O lord (‘adonay:H136), forgive; O lord (‘adonay:H136), give heed and act; defer not, for thine own sake, O my god (‘elohiym:H430), because thy city and thy people are called by thy name."

 

Daniel prayed for Jehovah to act for his own name’s sake.

 

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Hosea

 

The prophet Hosea—like Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel before him—was told by Jehovah to do things that were tiresome and physically wearing in order to demonstrate to Israel how Jehovah felt about them when they went astray.

"And then Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) said unto Hosea, Go, take in marriage for yourself a wife of whoredom and children of whoredom; for the land has been habitually committing fornication from (following) after Yahweh (yehovah:H3068)." (Hosea 1:2).

 

For a godly man like Hosea, this must have a very burdensome and troubling thing to do. Keep in mind that the physical adultery in Hosea’s marriage to Gomer was to symbolize the point that Jehovah felt Israel had committed adultery when they worshiped other gods.

 

Hosea married Gomer, who bore him two sons and a daughter. Hosea named them as he had been instructed by Jehovah, with each name indicating how Jehovah would deal with his people.

 

The first son was named Jezreel, because

"it will be in that day, and I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel (Hosea 1:5)."

 

This meant to destroy their ability to make war or defend themselves.

 

The daughter was named Lo’ruhamah, which meant that Jehovah

"shall not have pity any more for the house of Israel, for I shall not forgive them." (Hosea 1:6).

 

The second son was named Lo’ammi, which meant that

"you [are] not my people, and I shall not be to you [a god]."

 

The word "god" does not appear in the original manuscript. The latter part of the verse would be correctly translated as "I will not be to you (a god)."

 

Jehovah constantly warned his people through the prophets, but they ignored them all. They mistook Jehovah’s longsuffering toward them as meaning that they could do whatever they wished without being punished.

 

However, time does not have the same meaning for Jehovah as it does for people. He had warned the people for over 400 years that he would punish them for their sins. By comparison, that is about twice as long as the United States has been a nation! After such a long time, people considered all these warnings to be empty threats.

 

Hosea 4:1-2 says,

"Hear the word of Yahweh (yehovah:H3068), sons of Israel, for a dispute to Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) with the inhabitants of the earth. There is no faithfulness, and there is no kindness, and there is no knowledge of god (‘elohiym:H430) in the earth; swearing, and deceiving, and murdering, and stealing, and committing adultery they burst out and bloods touch unto bloods."

 

The nation of Israel had fallen into a very sorry condition. They certainly were not a testimony of Jehovah to the people around them. Hosea 12:3 refers back to the birth of Jacob:

"And a controversy to Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) with Judah, and to visit (punish) upon Jacob, according to his ways, according to his deeds, he will recompense to him."

 

Once again we must raise the question of whether the punishment of Israel was an immediate decision of Jehovah, or whether it was the result of continually going against the precepts given by Jehovah?

 

There is always a consequence to sin. Often, this consequence is seen as a direct punishment by Jehovah, when it is actually a built-in judgment as a result of sin.

 

Hosea 14:10 seems to make this same point:

"Who [is] wise, and let him understand these intelligent [things], and let him know them for they, the ways of Yahweh (yehovah:H3068), (are) straight (right), and righteous ones will walk in them, and transgressors will stumble in them."

 

Hosea did not reveal any new attributes of Jehovah, but it did reveal that Jehovah used a different manner in trying to warn his people about their sin.

 

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Joel

 

Joel was another prophet who pleaded for his people to turn back to Jehovah, their god. He also asked them to repent of their sins, to rend their hearts rather than their garments. He said that Jehovah would not accept only an outward sign of repentance, but required a change of heart (see Joel 2:12-13). However, no other new attributes of Jehovah were found in Joel.

 

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Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

 

These minor prophets are all listed together because there were very few verses requiring comment pertinent to the focus of this study.

 

The prophets gave many wonderful prophecies, but many of those are outside the province of this study. For the most part, these prophets, like those before them, were used by Jehovah to warn not only Judah and Israel about the wrath to come, but also to warn all the nations who had helped bring Judah and Israel to their knees.

 

Amos 3:7 says,

"Surely the lord (‘adonay:H136) Yahweh (yehovih:H3069) does not a thing without revealing his secret to his servants, the prophets."

 

Here is the reason that Jehovah’s prophets continuously warned the people about the troublous times to come. Jehovah told the prophets what he was going to do, and the prophets told the people. Jehovah did nothing that affected the people without first revealing it through his prophets.

 

Amos 5:18 declares,

"Woe to you who desire the day of Yahweh (yehovah:H3068). Why would you have this to you? The day of Yahweh (yehovah:H3068), it is darkness, and not light."

 

In context, this verse is preceded by Jehovah’s warning to the people. Although they were out of fellowship with Jehovah, they had somehow convinced themselves they wanted to see the day of Jehovah. However, Jehovah said that to them his day would be darkness, not light.

 

Amos 8:11-12 is a dreadful warning to any nation who turns its back on the lord, giving him only empty, outward worship.

"Behold, days are coming, says the lord (‘adonay:H136) Yahweh (yehovih:H3069), when I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Yahweh (yehovah:H3068). And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of Yahweh (yehovah:H3068), but they shall not find [it]."

 

This must have been an incredulous statement. People thought they were hearing the word of Jehovah from the priests, but they were not. The priests were only pretending or presuming to bring Jehovah’s words, while actually manipulating people for their own gain.

 

Jehovah sent the prophet Jonah to Nineveh to warn them. When the people of Nineveh repented and turned to Jehovah, he forgave their sins and did not punish them, which upset Jonah very much.

 

Jonah 2:8 is an interesting verse because it illustrates where the prayers of the people were directed.

"When my soul fainted within me I remembered Yahweh (yehovah:H3068), and my prayer came to thee, into thy holy temple."

 

The people of that day prayed to the glory, or presence, of Jehovah which was in the holy of holies. They did not normally pray to someone in heaven. On rare occasions, knowing that Jehovah was a spiritual being, they prayed to him as filling heaven and earth.

 

Zechariah 2:12 says,

"For thus says Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) of hosts, After his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye."

 

The eyeball is a very tender spot, and Jehovah used this as an analogy to explain how he feels whenever any nation harms his people, Israel.

 

Zechariah 12:1 points out that,

"An oracle (of) the word of Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) concerning Israel, says Yahweh (yehovah:H3068), who stretched out the heavens, and founded the earth, and formed the spirit of man within him."

 

This refers back to Genesis, when the breath of life was breathed into Adam. Zechariah substantiates Genesis 2:7, stating that it was the lord, Jehovah, who did this.

 

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Summary Highlights of Chapter 9

 

# Daniel 9:19 is a good example of how to pray for positive answers to

     your prayers.  Daniel prayed for Jehovah to act for his own name’s

     sake.

 

# Jehovah constantly warned his people through the prophets, but they

     ignored them all. They mistook Jehovah’s longsuffering toward them

     as meaning that they could do whatever they wished without being

     punished.

 

# There is always a consequence to sin. Often, this consequence is seen as

     a direct punishment by Jehovah, when it is actually a built-in judgment

     as a result of sin.

 

# Jehovah told the prophets what he was going to do, and the prophets

     told the people. Jehovah did nothing that affected the people without

     first revealing it through his prophets.

 

# Although they were out of fellowship with Jehovah, they had somehow

     convinced themselves they wanted to see the day of Jehovah. However,

     Jehovah said that to them his day would be darkness, not light.

 

# People thought they were hearing the word of Jehovah from the priests,

     but they were not. The priests were only pretending or presuming to

     bring Jehovah’s words, while actually manipulating people for their

     own gain.

 

Return to top

 

 

Attributes of Jehovah revealed in Chapter 9

 

# The attribute of Jehovah displayed here is that of supplying all the

     needs of those whom he called to a special mission.

 

# Jehovah would not accept only an outward sign of repentance, but

     required a change of heart

 

 

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October 2009

 

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