Updated: May 13
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Thus says the Lord God:
I myself will take a sprig
from the lofty top of a cedar;
I will set it out.
I will break off a tender one
from the topmost of its young twigs;
I myself will plant it
on a high and lofty mountain.
On the mountain height of Israel
I will plant it,
in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit,
and become a noble cedar.
Under it every kind of bird will live;
in the shade of its branches will nest
winged creatures of every kind.
All the trees of the field shall know
that I am the Lord.
I bring low the high tree,
I make high the low tree;
I dry up the green tree
and make the dry tree flourish.
I the Lord have spoken;
I will accomplish it.
This is the track 2 Old Testament option that could be read aloud on the third Sunday after Pentecost, Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. If chosen, it will be paired with Psalm 92, which sings: “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, and shall spread abroad like a cedar of Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.” They will be followed by an Epistle reading from Second Corinthians, where Paul wrote: “For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.” The Gospel reading will then be read from Mark, where it is written: “It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
In this reading selection, the Hebrew of these three verses includes the word “Yahweh,” written three times. In verse 22 is written “adonay Yahweh,” which is translated as “the Lord God.” The two other places [verse 24] where “Yahweh” is written, the NRSV has translated it as “Lord.” The question to the ‘think tank’ translators is this: Which is it: “God” or “Lord,” when both “Yahweh” and “adonay” are two different words translated as “Lord,” yet when “Yahweh” is translated as both “God” and “Lord”?
To translate “adonay Yahweh” as “Lord God” is an error that believes God [Yahweh] tells His prophets to write about “two-word entities.” They do that with “Jesus Christ” [or “Christ Jesus”] and the “Holy Spirit” [or “Spirit Holy”]. That is thinking [always a deadly thing to do] Yahweh needs an additional title added to His name, when simply “Yahweh” says everything needed to be said. Saying Yahweh is a “Lord” is unnecessary redundancy. The same applies to a capitalized [a Greek capability] “Pneuma,” where that cannot come from anyone other than Yahweh, due to the capitalization. If it is accepted to be Spirit that comes from Yahweh, then it is accepted to be “Holy.” The same error applies to “Christ Jesus,” as it gives the impression that “Christ” was the last name of “Jesus,” so both words must be said together. That as if Mr. Christ” [Yahweh the Father?] will be offended if His name is not mentioned.
All of this is the absurdity of English translations, which are all designed to lessen the power of Yahweh [that is the name of a Jewish God], to make authors of divine books be opinion writers. Their translations of this nature remove all thought from simple-speakers-of-English’s minds, as to individual responsibility to serve Yahweh as Jesus reborn. No one is taught that Yahweh has the power to make anyone a “Christ,” because all power to Anoint Spiritually can only come from Yahweh.
This means that every time the two words appear in Old Testament Scripture, saying “adonay Yahweh,” “adonay” refers to the “lord” over the prophet’s soul-body. That follows the marriage of that soul to Yahweh’s Spirit. This means “adonay Yahweh” is reference here to Ezekiel, whose “lord” over his body of flesh was “Yahweh.” As such, every word written by Ezekiel came from Yahweh, his lord. Yahweh is only lord to those souls He has married and are His wives. Calling Yahweh "Lord" does little to make Him become one's "lord."
By seeing that, when Ezekiel wrote, “kōh ’ā·mar ’ă·ḏō·nāy Yah·weh” [“thus says lord Yahweh”], Ezekiel was announcing, “I now write as the voice of Yahweh, because He instructs the following words.” The following words become metaphor from Yahweh, with four references to Yahweh being “I” [“’ā·nî”].
In verse 22, the metaphor is placed on “a cedar tree.” This becomes symbolism that should be realized. According to a search of the Internet [Google], using the terms “symbolism of cedar trees,” the following was posted on the website Garden Guides:
“The branches of the cedar tree are wide and grow almost parallel to the ground,
making the tree appear to be constructed of successively higher floors made of
greenery. In the late 19th century, author John Worcester compared the structure of the
cedar tree to the process of attaining successively higher natural and spiritual
knowledge, writing, "The spiritual tree also must extend its branches, put forth leaves,
and mature its fruit on successively interior planes of the mind." Worcester further
elaborated that the scent of cedar wood indicated the pleasure people find from
discovering knowledge and truth.”
This becomes a perfect view of the growth pattern of the branches of a cedar tree. It makes the “highest branches” [“miṣ·ṣam·me·reṯ”] reflect upon those who had reached closest to Yahweh. This then becomes a statement of those who were like Ezekiel, as “adonay Yahweh.” It also is spoken through a prophet of Israel, even though his time as a prophet was served in the southern kingdom, Judah [including captivity in Babylon].
The name “Israel” is a reflection as the “highest branches,” as that is the name taken by Jacob, after his soul married Yahweh. His new name – the name “Israel” – means the soul of Jacob had become “God Is Upright” and “He Retains God.” [Abarim Publications] Thus, the “highest branches of a cedar tree” means those branches of one tree who have married the Spirit of Yahweh, being extensions of Yahweh, still on the physical plane.
As for the “cedar tree” [“hā·’e·rez”], that refers to the children of Israel, led to become a growth of Yahweh on earth, unlike any other “trees” of government or religion. Here, the “cedar tree” is said to symbolize “strength and eternity.” Still, as Ezekiel was a prophet of the mighty tree that was felled, it had once been Israel, but split by lightning and formed into Israel and Judah. That surviving “cedar tree” was then felled by the Babylonians.
This makes this become a prophecy of what Isaiah wrote about as well: “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” The “stump of Jesse” was the “cedar tree” that had been Israel under David, such that from his being “the highest branches” [everything went downhill from then], the metaphor of the “tender sprig” [“yō·nə·qō·w·ṯāw raḵ”] would be Jesus, whose DNA was implanted in the womb of Mary.
When verse 23 sings, “On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it, in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit,” here the name meaning of “Israel” [“yiś·rā·’êl”] must be understood. Because Ezekiel was a prophet of Judah, taken in the exile to Babylon, the meaning behind the name is the intent of Yahweh speaking. It has absolutely nothing to do with Yahweh promising to bring back to life a nation that failed, because it worshiped human kings, not Yahweh. Therefore, “the height of Israel” is the meaning that says, “God Strives” [Strong’s] or “He Retains God" – “God Is Upright” [Abarim Publications]. This speaks of all who would be like Ezekiel, married to Yahweh, so the “lord” of their souls would be His Spirit. The “fruit” [“p̄e·rî”] would be Jesus, which would give rise to the great new “cedar tree” called Christianity [still representative of “Israel” – not a nation run by humans, but individual soul married to God].
When verse 23 continues, singing “Under it every kind of bird will live; in the shade of its branches will nest winged creatures of every kind,” the metaphor of “birds” and “winged creatures” is that of angels. In Hebrew, the word “malak” is translated as “angel,” found written in Old Testament scripture a hundred ten times. The word actually means “messenger,” which [along with “ambassador” and “envoys”], so the same spelling shows up in Biblical translation a hundred three other times, with different translations than "angel." This then leads one to see “apostles” [from the Greek “apostolos”] as having the same essence as “malak,” meaning “a messenger, envoy, delegate, one commissioned by another to represent him in some way, especially a man sent out by Jesus Christ Himself to preach the Gospel; an apostle.” (Strong’s usage)
When one realizes that the meaning of “Israel” implies a divine marriage between soul and Spirit, so one has become “Holy, Sacred, Set apart by God” [the meaning of “Hagion”], it is this union that makes one’s “lord” [“adonay”] be “Yahweh.” Another Old Testament way of making this union be stated is “elohim,” such that Genesis 2 – once the seventh day came and it was deemed “holy” [we live today still in the seventh day] – one finds “Yahweh elohim” written eleven times. An “elohim” of “Yahweh” is then a “god” [“el”] on earth, exactly as is an “adonay Yahweh.” Thus, “elohim” are “winged creatures” [a modification of “kāl- kā·nāp̄,” which literally states “all-winged”] or “birds” [“ṣip·pō·wr”], under the protection of the new “cedar tree” – Jesus [a name meaning “Yah[weh] Will Save].
In verse 24 Ezekiel wrote, “All the trees of the field shall know that I am [Yahweh].” When one realizes the “cedar tree” is the religion of the true priests of Yahweh [His wives in marriage], then “all the trees of the field” become every religion or denomination of a religion that believes in lesser gods. This includes all Christians who refuse to call upon the name Yahweh, preferring to generally state someone unknown [by name]. That lack of personal relationship is what lowers that religion to “all others of the field,” which make up the total scope of religion on earth. This is the difference in the “elohim” of those who worshiped Ba’al and the “elohim” who was himself one, Elijah. Those failed to light an altar fire through prayer alone were the “trees” of religion that had no direct contact to a true Spirit.
This relates to Yahweh saying through Ezekiel’s hand, “I bring low the high tree, I make high the low tree.” One needs to keep in mind here, how the “highest branches” of “Israel” now become the lowest tier of the tree. As such, the roots of the tree are the hidden union with Yahweh, where the Spirit is one with the soul of the tree, so the lowest branches were those of David’s reign, after the Saul branch was pruned and thrown into the fire. Saul was non-productive, producing no fruit. Conversely, the higher branches would be furthest from the roots and therefore less connected to the Spirit, although the highest. The higher branches are too young to produce fruit, but their “tender twigs” contain the code for becoming the Son of man. The wives of Yahweh are the soul produced by the tree of Israel [those in whom "God Is Upright"], not the other trees in the forest.
When the verse then sings, “I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish,” this must be seen as precursor metaphor for Ezekiel’s dream of Yahweh taking his soul to a valley filled with dry bones. [Ezekiel 37] The statement “I dry up the green tree” speaks of the death of mortal existence in a body of flesh. The dead matter that is flesh is only made “green” [from “lāḥ” or “lach,” which actually means “moist, fresh, new”] when the “breath” [ruach] of life brings sinews, muscles and skin around the dryness of dead matter [bones]. This means reincarnation; and, it is the promise of mortality. That says the dream Ezekiel spoke of reincarnation, where now Yahweh says souls come back as “new trees,” after having been “trees” before. However, to make the “dry tree flourish” that means the promise of everlasting life. That was the lesson of Yahweh telling Ezekiel to prophesy to the breath, beyond prophesying to the dry bones.
The final segments of this song say, “I Yahweh have spoken and done.” This should not be read as some brag about the powers of Yahweh. Such truth needs no boasting come forth … from Yahweh. This then means “I Yahweh have spoken” is what we read having been written by Ezekiel. Yahweh speaks through the prophets; so, Ezekiel equates [minimally] to all who wrote divine text of Holy Scripture. Yahweh has spoken the truth every time. His Word becomes the physical roots from which a “cedar tree” grows. No religion claiming Yahweh as the “lord” of the souls who run an organization can use any other text. Even when those souls claim Yahweh is named “Allah” or “the Lord,” they cannot claim that “Yahweh has spoken” through themselves. Therefore, they are not the “cedar tree.” The “cedar tree” is only Jesus resurrected with a soul married to Yahweh and Yahweh alone.
The word translated as “and done” [or “I will accomplish it”] – “wə·‘ā·śî·ṯî” – says the proof is not to see prophecy fulfilled, as that is a lack of faith. The souls who grow from the “cedar tree” of eternal strength will marry Yahweh because they know what has been “done.” That knowledge can only come from personal experience of Yahweh, which means the soul [roots] have merged with the Spirit of Yahweh and the truth courses through one’s flesh. This faith of “done” is the truth of the “blood of Jesus,” whose soul allows one’s mind to know the truth of Yahweh and lead one into His service.
As an optional Old Testament selection to be read aloud on the third Sunday after Pentecost, one should readily see how the verbiage of Ezekiel becomes a match for the metaphor of Mark, where Jesus spoke of seeds growing and bearing fruit. It is vital, if this reading is chosen, to see Israel as a Spirit merged with a soul, creating one in whom “God Is Upright.” One needs to see how the “low” will be made high, not the other way around. Those who think [the deadly curse of mankind] they are high and mighty enough to stop calling Yahweh by His name will find their souls appearing on His doorstep, after their “green tree has been made dry,” only to hear YAHWEH say, “You did not know me, so I do not know you.”
--------------------  There are no capital letters in Hebrew. The word written is “יְהוִ֔ה.” Myself and BibleHub [and others, I assume] capitalize the transliteration as “Yahweh,” in the same way that proper names are capitalized. The intent implies capitalization, when in reality there is none. So, “adonay” translates as “lord.”