Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 1Ch 26
David organized the officers of the Levites as gatekeepers
(1Ch 26:1-19), treasury guards (1Ch 26:20-28), and leaders in external affairs
(1Ch 26:29-32). The gatekeepers were the temple guards (cf 1Ch 26:7,8). David
even specified the number of guards at each temple gate (1Ch 26:17,18). There
were 24 guard stations manned 24 hours a day. In view of the wealth in and about
the temple, security needed to be tight (cf 1Ch 26:27,28).
Reading 2 - Eze 35
"The word of the LORD came to me: 'Son of man, set your face
against Mount Seir; prophesy against it and say: "This is what the Sovereign
LORD says: I am against you, Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against
you and make you a desolate waste" ' " (Eze 35:1-3).
Mount Seir was a mountainous land inhabited by the Edomites.
The etymology suggests something hairy or shaggy and may be descriptive of the
former wooded nature of the landscape. Gen 36:8,9,30 connects the name with Edom
("red") and Esau ("hairy"). The mountainous region is southwest of the Dead Sea.
One of the highest points of Seir was Mount Hor where Aaron was buried (Num
20:27,28). Apparently the name Seir was later applied to the entire territory of
Edom both southeast and southwest of the Dead Sea.
The earliest inhabitants of the area known to the OT were the
Horites (Gen 14:6; Deu 2:12). Seir is listed as grandfather of the Horites (Gen
36:20,21; 1Ch 1:38). The children of Esau replaced them (Gen 32:3; 33:14,16; Deu
2:4,5,8,29; Jos 24:4). The Edomites (Num 24:18) were Israel's neighbors in this
area until about the middle of the 5th century BC when they were overcome by
Arabian tribesmen, later known as the Nabataeans.
Seir is significant in the OT as a synonym for Edom and Esau.
The people to whom all three names apply stood in a unique relation to Israel.
The three terms are related in the genealogy of Esau (Gen 36). The ambivalent
attitudes of brotherhood and competitive enmity are reflected in the cycle of
the Jacob narratives in Gen 25-36. The same tension is revealed when Moses and
the Israelites were forced to detour around Edom (Num 20; Deu 2:4-8).
David brutally subjugated Edom (2Sa 8:14), and successive
generations of Judean kings struggled in vain to maintain this subjection (2Ki
8:20-22; 14:7-10; 2Ch 20). The tension continued through the centuries. Lam
4:21,22 and Psa 137:7 accuse Edom of hateful collaboration with the common enemy
during the sack of Jerusalem in 586 BC.
Seir (= Edom) also stands in the prophetic denunciations of
this people (Eze 25:8; 35:1-15). No other people except Philistia is mentioned
so often in the prophecies against the nations (Amos 1:11,12; Isa 21:11,12; 34;
63:1-6; Jer 49:7-22; Eze 32; Oba; Joel 3:19; Mal 1:2-5; Zec 9:5...; Psa
Why is Edom introduced here, separate from the Ezekiel section
of prophecies about the Gentile nations (Eze 25-32)? Perhaps because, in this
instance, Edom was representative of all the enemies of Israel who wanted to
take over her land -- Edom was selected because of her long history of land
squabbles with Israel (cf Gen 25:22-34; 27; 36:1; Num 20:14-21; 24:15-19; 1Sa
14:47; 1Ki 11:14-22; 2Ki 8:21; 2Ch 20:1-23; 28:17; Psa 137:7; Isa 1:11-16; Lam
4:21,22; Amos 2:1; Oba 1:10-14; Mal 1:2-5). Edom was the nation that had longest
and most consistently resisted Israel's occupation of the Promised Land.
Therefore, if God was going to give Israel her land in the future, as He
promised in Eze 34, He would have to deal with Edom and all other nations that
opposed Israel's possession of it. This section assures the readers, both
ancient and modern, that He will deal with opponents to Israel occupying her
land by prophesying the destruction of Israel's greatest antagonist viewed as a
representative of all such powers. Edomite invasions of Israel following the
Babylonian decimation of Judah also made Edom a major topic of interest.
"Edom was the prototype of all Israel's later foes. The
destruction of Edom would signal the beginning of God's judgment on the whole
earth based on that nation's treatment of Israel (cf Gen 12:3)" (Thomas
Constable, "Notes on Ezekiel").
"Because you harbored an ancient hostility and delivered the
Israelites over to the sword at the time of their calamity, the time their
punishment reached its climax..." (Eze 35:5).
He would do this because the Edomites had been enemies of the
Israelites throughout their history (cf Eze 25:12; Gen 12:3). Furthermore, they
had not helped their brethren Israelites in the time of their calamity, the time
when God was punishing Israel, but had turned them over to their enemy, the
Babylonians (cf 2Ch 20:10; Psa 137:7; Lam 4:21,22).
"The time their punishment reached its climax" might be
translated: "the time of the iniquity of the end" (RV). Perhaps this means the
time of Jacob's final trouble (Jer 30:7), the last great crisis of the ages --
when Israel will be punished a final time, but the real wrath of God will fall
on the enemies of Israel because of their abominable treatment of His
Reading 3 - Phi 4:7
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phi 4:7).
"There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who
would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at
all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose
between them. One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror, for
peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with
fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect
picture of peace. The other picture had mountains too. But these were rugged and
bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightning played.
Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look
peaceful at all. But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny
bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her
nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her
nest... perfect peace. Which picture won the prize? The King chose the second
picture 'because,' he explained, 'peace does not mean to be in a place where
there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all
those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace'
" (Maritta Terrell).