9月7日-End of Ezekiel’s Ministry


以西结使命的结束-End of Ezekiel’s Ministry
尼布甲尼撒王时期阶段性的疯狂打压-Nebuchadnezzar’s Temporary Insanity
耶利米使命的结束-End of Jeremiah’s Ministry

End of Ezekiel’s Ministry

After Ezekiel’s great temple vision, it is another two years before the word of the Lord comes to him again. This time it comes as a somewhat strange footnote to a judgment which Ezekiel had brought 16 years earlier against the city of Tyre. Pursuant to the earlier prophecy, Nebuchadnezzar was to destroy Tyre completely, and someday it would be left a “bare rock.” Since then Nebuchadnezzar has indeed laid a 13-year siege against Tyre, and the mainland city has evidently been destroyed. But Nebuchadnezzar has apparently not been able to reach the island city itself—at least not profitably enough to make it worth his trouble. Therefore God seems to be telling Ezekiel that he is giving Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar as a consolation prize. For such a brief passage, it raises several interesting questions. It even ends on a mysterious note.

# 以西结书(EZK)
## 必以埃及地赐巴比伦王为赏劳
[29:17] 二十七年正月初一日,耶和华的话临到我说:
[29:18] 「人子啊,巴比伦王尼布甲尼撒使他的军兵大大效劳,攻打推罗,以致头都光秃,肩都磨破;然而他和他的军兵攻打推罗,并没有从那里得什么酬劳。
[29:19] 所以主耶和华如此说:我必将埃及地赐给巴比伦王尼布甲尼撒。他必掳掠埃及群众,抢其中的财为掳物,夺其中的货为掠物,这就可以作他军兵的酬劳。
[29:20] 我将埃及地赐给他,酬他所效的劳,因王与军兵是为我勤劳。这是主耶和华说的。(570 B.C.)
# 以西结书(EZK)
## 以色列必复兴起
[29:21] 当那日,我必使以色列家的角发生,又必使你以西结在他们中间得以开口,他们就知道我是耶和华。」

If, in fact, Nebuchadnezzar was unable to subdue Tyre completely, the city’s fate is not yet secure. In 322 B.C. Alexander the Great and his mighty Grecian army will build a causeway to the island and bring about the very degree of destruction which Ezekiel has predicted.

With this enigmatic passage the prophecies of Ezekiel come to an end. At age 55 Ezekiel has had a wonderful ministry lasting 25 years, and perhaps God continues to use him, as the last passage seems to suggest. It will be another 34 years before the first exiles return to Palestine. Ezekiel will be 89 years old if his life continues until that time. So, even if Ezekiel dies in his land of exile, it is altogether possible that he will live long enough to see the beginning of the great restoration about which he has brought such hope.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Temporary Insanity

In what appears to be the last two or three years of his reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia apparently becomes a true believer in the powerful God of his servant Daniel. The process of belief has been a long one, developing over some 40 years. Nebuchadnezzar was first awed by Daniel’s God when Daniel was given the ability to tell the king his dreams and interpret their meaning. He was further amazed when this God of the Hebrews saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace. Polytheistic in his beliefs, however, he has yet to confront the singular, exclusive power of a creative and personal God of the universe, and does not at this point recognize his dependence upon such a divine being. He in fact still believes that all his accomplishments have been the result of his own abilities, and he fails to see a purposeful God working through him. As he reflects on his reign, his heart is filled with false pride. Yet, ironically, this very pride makes Nebuchadnezzar an easy target for God’s final appeal to him.

In the account that follows, Nebuchadnezzar issues an edict telling the whole world how God first warned him and then proceeded to humble him by bringing on a period of temporary insanity, during which time he roamed outside his palace like the animals among which he lived. His expressed reason for revealing the embarrassing incident is to bring honor to a God powerful enough to so humble a world leader, yet gracious enough to restore him to his throne. In issuing the royal decree Nebuchadnezzar appears to be a sincere believer, even to the point of evangelistically urging all people to turn to this very special King of heaven, the Most High God. What a happy ending to the life of one who has spent years oppressing God’s chosen nation!

# 但以理书(DAN)
## 承认神之国乃历世永存
[4:1] 尼布甲尼撒王晓谕住在全地各方、各国、各族的人说、愿你们大享平安!
[4:2] 我乐意将至高的神向我所行的神迹奇事宣扬出来。
[4:3] 他的神迹何其大!他的奇事何其盛!他的国是永远的!他的权柄存到万代!(Ca. 562 B.C.?)
# 但以理书(DAN)
## 尼布甲尼撒王自述得梦术士不能详解
[4:4] 我尼布甲尼撒安居在宫中,平顺在殿内。
[4:5] 我作了一梦,使我惧怕。我在床上的思念,并脑中的异象,使我惊惶。
[4:6] 所以我降旨召巴比伦的一切哲士到我面前,叫他们把梦的讲解告诉我。
[4:7] 于是那些术士、用法术的、迦勒底人、观兆的都进来,我将那梦告诉了他们,他们却不能把梦的讲解告诉我。
## 以梦告但以理
[4:8] 末后,那照我神的名,称为伯提沙撒的但以理来到我面前,他里头有圣神的灵,我将梦告诉他说:
[4:9] 「术士的领袖伯提沙撒啊,因我知道你里头有圣神的灵,什么奥祕的事都不能使你为难,现在要把我梦中所见的异象和梦的讲解告诉我。
[4:10] 我在床上脑中的异象是这样:我看见地当中有一棵树,极其高大。
[4:11] 那树渐长,而且坚固,高得顶天,从地极都能看见;
[4:12] 叶子华美,果子甚多,可作众生的食物;田野的走兽卧在荫下,天空的飞鸟宿在枝上;凡有血气的都从这树得食。
[4:13] 我在床上脑中的异象,见有一位守望的圣者从天而降,
[4:14] 大声呼叫说:『伐倒这树!砍下枝子,摇掉叶子,抛散果子,使走兽离开树下,飞鸟躲开树枝。
[4:15] 树墩却要留在地内,用铁圈和铜圈箍住,在田野的青草中让天露滴湿,使他与地上的兽一同吃草,
[4:16] 使他的心改变,不如人心,给他一个兽心,使他经过七期。
[4:17] 这是守望者所发的命,圣者所出的令,好叫世人知道至高者在人的国中掌权,要将国赐与谁,就赐与谁,或立极卑微的人执掌国权。』
[4:18] 这是我尼布甲尼撒王所作的梦。伯提沙撒啊,你要说明这梦的讲解,因为我国中的一切哲士都不能将梦的讲解告诉我,惟独你能,因你里头有圣神的灵。」
## 但以理为王解梦
[4:19] 于是称为伯提沙撒的但以理惊讶片时,心意惊惶。王说:「伯提沙撒啊,不要因梦和梦的讲解惊惶。」伯提沙撒回答说:「我主啊,愿这梦归与恨恶你的人,讲解归与你的敌人。
[4:20] 你所见的树渐长,而且坚固,高得顶天,从地极都能看见;
[4:21] 叶子华美,果子甚多,可作众生的食物;田野的走兽住在其下;天空的飞鸟宿在枝上。
[4:22] 王啊,这渐长又坚固的树就是你。你的威势渐长及天,你的权柄管到地极。
[4:23] 王既看见一位守望的圣者从天而降,说:『将这树砍伐毁坏,树墩却要留在地内,用铁圈和铜圈箍住,在田野的青草中让天露滴湿,使他与地上的兽一同吃草,直到经过七期。』
[4:24] 王啊,讲解就是这样:临到我主我王的事是出于至高者的命。
[4:25] 你必被赶出离开世人,与野地的兽同居,吃草如牛,被天露滴湿,且要经过七期。等你知道至高者在人的国中掌权,要将国赐与谁就赐与谁。
[4:26] 守望者既吩咐存留树墩,等你知道诸天掌权,以后你的国必定归你。
[4:27] 王啊,求你悦纳我的谏言,以施行公义断绝罪过,以怜悯穷人除掉罪孽,或者你的平安可以延长。」
## 梦兆应于王身
[4:28] 这事都临到尼布甲尼撒王。
[4:29] 过了十二个月,他游行在巴比伦王宫里。
[4:30] 他说:「这大巴比伦不是我用大能大力建为京都,要显我威严的荣耀吗?」
[4:31] 这话在王口中尚未说完,有声音从天降下说:「尼布甲尼撒王啊,有话对你说:你的国位离开你了。
[4:32] 你必被赶出离开世人,与野地的兽同居,吃草如牛,且要经过七期。等你知道至高者在人的国中掌权,要将国赐与谁,就赐与谁。」
[4:33] 当时这话就应验在尼布甲尼撒的身上,他被赶出离开世人,吃草如牛,身被天露滴湿,头发长长,好像鹰毛,指甲长长,如同鸟爪。
[4:34] 日子满足,我尼布甲尼撒举目望天,我的聪明复归于我,我便称颂至高者,赞美尊敬活到永远的神。他的权柄是永有的,他的国存到万代。
[4:35] 世上所有的居民、都算为虚无。在天上的万军和世上的居民中,他都凭自己的意旨行事。无人能拦住他手,或问他说:「你作什么呢?」
[4:36] 那时,我的聪明复归于我,为我国的荣耀威严和光耀也都复归于我,并且我的谋士和大臣也来朝见我。我又得坚立在国位上,至大的权柄加增于我。
[4:37] 现在我尼布甲尼撒赞美、尊崇、恭敬天上的王,因为他所作的全都诚实,他所行的也都公平。那行动骄傲的,他能降为卑。

How long Nebuchadnezzar’s mental illness lasted is not clear from the phrase “seven times.” What is clear is that it was long enough to confront Nebuchadnezzar with his sinful state and his need for a redeeming God. How often it is that God humbles the proud, weakens the powerful, and brings shame to the beautiful in an effort to call all his creatures to know him! Of course not all people respond in penitent belief, but in Nebuchadnezzar God apparently found a fertile conscience that was ripe for conversion.

End of Jeremiah’s Ministry

Aminor historical footnote brings to a close the record of Jeremiah’s ministry. It comes at a time of changing leadership in Babylonia. After a reign of some 45 years, Nebuchadnezzar is succeeded by his son Awel-Marduk. In the first year of his reign he releases Jehoiachin from prison and brings him to a place of honor in Babylonia. Awel-Marduk evidently considers Jehoiachin the legitimate king of Judah and thus accords him an elevated status. (Jehoiachin had been taken captive 37 years earlier in the great deportation of 597 B.C.) At 55 he gets a new lease on life, but he will not figure in Judah’s future history.

# 列王纪下(2KI)
## 巴比伦王厚待约雅斤
[25:27] 犹大王约雅斤被掳后三十七年,巴比伦王以未米罗达元年十二月二十七日,使犹大王约雅斤抬头,提他出监,
[25:28] 又对他说恩言,使他的位高过与他一同在巴比伦众王的位,
[25:29] 给他脱了囚服。他终身常在巴比伦王面前喫饭。
[25:30] 王赐他所需用的食物,日日赐他一分,终身都是这样。
# 耶利米书(JER)
## 巴比伦王恩待约雅斤
[52:31] 犹大王约雅斤被掳后三十七年,巴比伦王以未米罗达元年十二月二十五日,使犹大王约雅斤抬头,提他出监,
[52:32] 又对他说恩言,使他的位高过与他一同在巴比伦众王的位,
[52:33] 给他脱了囚服。他终身在巴比伦王面前喫饭。
[52:34] 巴比伦王赐他所需用的食物,日日赐他一分.终身是这样,直到他死的日子。 (Ca. 561 B.C.)

Whether Jeremiah is still alive at this time is not known. His last prophetic utterance took place in 586 B.C. after he had been taken to Egypt by a renegade band of his own people. At that time his ministry had spanned more than 40 years, and it has been about 25 years since then. Without knowing how old Jeremiah was when he received his prophetic call, in 627 B.C., it is not possible to determine his age at this time. In any event, the record of Jehoiachin’s release is probably added to Jeremiah’s prophecies by his faithful scribe, Baruch.

Although there will be other prophets and prophecies to come, the era of the great written prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel now comes to a close.

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