Thoughts and Reflection
Today we read about Hananiah, a false prophet who says that in two years Nebuchadnezzar is going to fall and the people of Israel will return. Hananiah takes the yoke off Jeremiah’s neck and breaks it. Jeremiah says that it will be replaced with a yoke of Iron. The people will not repent or accept that they are going to be destroyed, the wooden yoke of mercy will be replaced with an iron yoke of punishment.
We can look at the commandments of God as a yoke or burden like a wooden yoke. If we do not follow them, then God allows us to experience the consequences, an iron yoke of punishment. Hananiah dies within two months after being rebuked for his false prophesies. Jeremiah writes that the people in Babylon told them how to live in exile. He tells them that they will be there for seventy years. They should go ahead and build their lives in exile but always remember they will be returning home.
Daniel has a vision of an angel who appears after he has done penance. The angel tells Daniel that God heard his prayers from the moment he began to pray but there is more going on in the divine plan. Daniel’s prophecy in chapter 11 is also fulfilled. Alexander the Great, dies without an heir and is succeeded by four of his generals.
God is always fighting for his people.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
1 That same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, a Gibeonite, spoke as follows to Jeremiah in the Temple of Yahweh in the presence of the priests and of all the people,
2 ‘Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this, “I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.
4 And I shall also bring back Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah and all the exiles of Judah who have gone to Babylon, Yahwehdeclares, for I shall break the yoke of the king of Babylon.” ‘
6 ‘So be it!’ the prophet Jeremiah said, ‘May Yahweh do so! May he fulfil the words that you have prophesied and bring all the vessels of the Temple of Yahweh and all the exiles back to this place from Babylon.
8 From remote times, the prophets who preceded you and me prophesied war, disaster and plague for many countries and for great kingdoms;
11 In front of all the people Hananiah then said, ‘Yahweh says this, “This is how, in exactly two years’ time, I shall break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and take it off the necks of all the nations.” ‘ At this, the prophet Jeremiah went away.
14 For Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: An iron yoke is what I now lay on the necks of all these nations to enslave them to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. (They will be enslaved to him; I have even given him the wild animals.)” ‘
17 The prophet Hananiah died the same year, in the seventh month.
1 This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to those who were left of the elders in exile, to the priests, the prophets and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had deported from Jerusalem to Babylon.
2 This was after King Jeconiah had left Jerusalem with the queen mother, the eunuchs, the chief men of Judah and Jerusalem, and the blacksmiths and metalworkers.
9 since they prophesy lies to you in my name. I have not sent them, Yahweh declares.
10 For Yahweh says this: When the seventy years granted to Babylon are over, I shall intervene on your behalf and fulfil my favourable promise to you by bringing you back to this place.
13 When you search for me, you will find me; when you search wholeheartedly for me,
14 I shall let you find me (Yahweh declares. I shall restore your fortunes and gather you in from all the nations and wherever I have driven you, Yahweh declares. I shall bring you back to the place from which I exiled you).
15 ‘Since you say: Yahweh has raised up prophets for us in Babylon-
17 Yahweh Sabaoth says this: I am now going to send them sword, famine and plague; I shall make them like rotten figs, so bad as to be uneatable.
18 I shall pursue them with sword, famine and plague. I shall make them an object of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse, a thing of horror, scorn and derision to all the nations where I have driven them,
20 But all you exiles, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon, listen to Yahweh’s word!
21 ‘This is what Yahweh Sabaoth, God of Israel, says about Ahab son of Kolaiah, and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who prophesy lies to you in my name: I shall hand them over now to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon who will put them to death before your very eyes.
23 because they have done a scandalous thing in Israel, committing adultery with their neighbour’s wives and speaking lying words in my name without orders from me. I know all the same and am witness to it, Yahweh declares.’
24 ‘And to Shemaiah of Nehelam you will speak as follows:
25 Yahweh Sabaoth, God of Israel, says this: Since you, on your own initiative, have sent a letter to all the people in Jerusalem, to the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah (and to all the priests), saying:
28 Why, he has even sent us a message in Babylon, saying: It will be a long time. Build houses, settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.’. . .
31 ‘Send this message to all the exiles, “This is what Yahweh says about Shemaiah of Nehelam: Since Shemaiah has prophesied to you without my sending him, and since he has caused you to rely on what is false
32 for that reason, Yahweh declares, I shall punish Shemaiah of Nehelam and his descendants; no male member of his family will survive among this people to see the happiness that I will bestow on my people (Yahweh declares, since he has preached rebellion against Yahweh).”‘
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was made to Daniel known as Belteshazzar, a true revelation of a great conflict. He grasped the meaning of the revelation; what it meant was disclosed to him in a vision.
5 I raised my eyes to look about me, and this is what I saw: A man dressed in linen, with a belt of pure gold round his waist:
6 his body was like beryl, his face looked like lightning, his eyes were like fiery torches, his arms and his face had the gleam of burnished bronze, the sound of his voice was like the roar of a multitude.
8 I was left alone, gazing on this great vision; I was powerless, my appearance was changed and contorted; my strength deserted me.
11 He said, ‘Daniel, you are a man specially chosen; understand the words that I am about to say; stand up; I have been sent to you now.’ He said this, and I stood up trembling.
12 He then said, ‘Daniel, do not be afraid: from that first day when, the better to understand, you resolved to mortify yourself before God, your words have been heard; and your words are the reason why I have come.
14 and have come to tell you what will happen to your people in the final days. For here is a new vision about those days.’
16 then someone looking like a man touched my lips. I opened my mouth to speak, and I said to the person standing in front of me, ‘My lord, anguish overcomes me at this vision, and my strength deserts me.
19 ‘Do not be afraid,’ he said, ‘you are a man specially chosen; peace be with you; play the man, be strong!’ And as he spoke to me I felt strong again and said, ‘Let my lord speak, you have given me strength.’
21 It is to tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. I must go back to fight the Prince of Persia; when I have overcome him, the Prince of Javan will come next.In all this, there is no one to lend me support except Michael your Prince,
1 on whom I rely to give me support and to reinforce me.
2 And now I shall tell you the truth about these things. ‘Three more kings are going to rise in Persia; a fourth will come and be richer than all the others, and when, thanks to his wealth, he has grown powerful, he will make war on all the kingdoms of Greece.
3 A mighty king will rise and govern a vast empire and do whatever he pleases.
4 But once he has come to power, his empire will be broken up and parcelled out to the four winds of heaven, though not to his descendants: it will not be ruled as he ruled it, for his sovereignty will be uprooted and will pass to others than his own descendants.
6 Some years later, these will conclude a treaty and, to ratify the agreement, the daughter of the king of the south will go to the king of the north. Her arm will not, however, retain its strength, nor his posterity endure: she will be handed over, she, her escorts and her child, and he who has had authority over her. In due time
9 but the latter will invade the kingdom of the king of the south, then retire to his own country.
15 The king of the north will then come and throw up siege-works to capture a strongly fortified city. The forces of the south will not stand their ground; the pick of the people will not be strong enough to resist.
22 Armies will be utterly routed and crushed by him, the Prince of the covenant too.
23 Through his alliances he will act treacherously and, despite the smallness of his following, grow ever stronger.
24 At his pleasure, he will invade rich provinces, acting as his fathers or his fathers’ fathers never acted, distributing among them plunder, spoil and wealth, plotting his stratagems against the fortresses — for a time.
25 ‘He will summon up his might and courage against the king of the south with a great army. The king of the south will march to warwith a huge and powerful army but will not succeed, since he will be outwitted by trickery.
36 ‘The king will do as he pleases, growing more and more arrogant, considering himself greater than all the gods; he will utter incredible blasphemies against the God of gods, and he will thrive until the wrath reaches bursting point; for what has been decreed will certainly be fulfilled.
39 He will use the people of an alien god to defend the fortresses; he will confer great honours on those whom he acknowledges, by giving them wide authority and by parcelling the country out for rent.
40 ‘When the time comes for the End, the king of the south will try conclusions with him; but the king of the north will come storming down on him with chariots, cavalry, and a large fleet. He will invade countries, overrun them and drive on.
13 We shall find treasures of every sort, we shall fill our houses with plunder;
14 throw in your lot with us: one purse between us all.’