The house with no foundation (Lk 6:49-6:49)

“But he who hears,

And does not act,

Is like a man

Who built a house

On the ground

Without a foundation.

When the river burst

Against it,

Immediately,

It fell.

Great was the ruin

Of that house.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀκούσας καὶ μὴ ποιήσας ὅμοιός ἐστιν ἀνθρώπῳ οἰκοδομήσαντι οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν χωρὶς θεμελίου, ᾗ προσέρηξεν ὁ ποταμός, καὶ εὐθὺς συνέπεσεν, καὶ ἐγένετο τὸ ῥῆγμα τῆς οἰκίας ἐκείνης μέγα.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the one who heard (ὁ δὲ ἀκούσας) the word of Jesus, but did not act on it (καὶ μὴ ποιήσας), was like a man (ὅμοιός ἐστιν ἀνθρώπῳ) who built a house (οἰκοδομήσαντι οἰκίαν) on ground (ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν) without a foundation (χωρὶς θεμελίου).  When the river streams burst against it (ᾗ προσέρηξεν ὁ ποταμός), immediately (καὶ εὐθὺς), it fell (συνέπεσεν).  Great was the ruin of that house (καὶ ἐγένετο τὸ ῥῆγμα τῆς οἰκίας ἐκείνης μέγα).  This is just like Matthew, chapter 7:26-27, which might indicate a Q source.  The opposite of the preceding verses was present here.  Everyone who heard these words of Jesus, but did nothing about them, as opposed to those who acted upon them, were like a foolish or stupid person.  These foolish people built a house on a sand foundation, sandy ground, or no foundation, not a rock foundation.  It is interesting to note that these must have been former followers of Jesus, since they had heard his words, not people who had never heard about Jesus, indicating a rift among the followers of Jesus.  The rains fell and the floods came.  The winds would blow and beat against this house also.  However, there was a different result here.  This house fell, because it was built on a weak foundation.  The rock foundation was those who had followed the words of Jesus.  The sand foundation was those who heard the words of Jesus but did not follow it.  Their house would suffer not just a fall, but a great fall.  It was not good enough to hear the words of Jesus, you had to act on them.  Is your house built on a weak foundation with no follow through on the words of Jesus?

Advertisements

Jesus goes to Tyre (Mk 7:24-7:24)

“From there,

Jesus set out.

He went away

To the region

Of Tyre.

He entered a house.

He did not want anybody

To know

That he was there.

Yet he could not

Escape notice.”

 

Ἐκεῖθεν δὲ ἀναστὰς ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὰ ὅρια Τύρου. Καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς οἰκίαν οὐδένα ἤθελεν γνῶναι, καὶ οὐκ ἠδυνάσθη λαθεῖν·

 

Matthew, chapter 15:21, has something similar, but also mentioned Sidon, while only some ancient orthodox texts added Sidon here.  Mark said that Jesus left the area (Ἐκεῖθεν δὲ ἀναστὰς) around the Sea of Galilee.  He went to the district or region of Tyre (ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὰ ὅρια Τύρου).  Tyre was a Phoenician coastal island city that still exists in southern Lebanon.  Known for its maritime trade and purple dye, it was actually originally in the Israelite territory of Asher.  The Mediterranean ports at both Sidon and Tyre. were commercial trading partners.  Tyre was a great ancient city with many merchant princes, while Sidon was also a maritime Phoenician city about 25 miles north of Tyre, mostly known for its fishing and trade.  Sidon was also the name of the grandson of Noah, and thus older than Tyre.  Traditionally, Isaiah, chapter 23, and the other prophets were against these two wealthy coastal towns.  It is not clear why Jesus went to this coastal region, except that the Pharisees were not there.  Mark has this unique sentence that Jesus entered a house (Καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς οἰκίαν) because he did not want anybody to know that he was there (οὐδένα ἤθελεν γνῶναι,).  However, he could not escape notice (καὶ οὐκ ἠδυνάσθη λαθεῖν).

The Canaanite woman (Mt 15:22-15:22)

“Just then,

A Canaanite woman

From that same region

Came out.

She started shouting.

‘Have mercy on me!

Lord!

Son of David!

My daughter

Is possessed

By a demon.’”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ Χαναναία ἀπὸ τῶν ὁρίων ἐκείνων ἐξελθοῦσα ἔκραζεν λέγουσα Ἐλέησόν με, Κύριε υἱὸς Δαυείδ· ἡ θυγάτηρ μου κακῶς δαιμονίζεται.

 

Mark, chapter 7:24-26, has something similar but there were more details there, as she entered a house.  A gentile Canaanite woman (καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ Χαναναία), from that same coastal region (ἀπὸ τῶν ὁρίων ἐκείνων) appeared on the scene.  The Canaanites, who worshiped Baal, were still the enemies of the Jewish people.  This Canaanite woman came out shouting (ἐξελθοῦσα ἔκραζεν λέγουσα).  She asked Jesus to have mercy on her (Ἐλέησόν με,).  She called Jesus, the Lord (Κύριε), and the Son of David (υἱὸς Δαυείδ), clear Jewish messianic terms.  She said that her daughter was possessed by a demon (ἡ θυγάτηρ μου κακῶς δαιμονίζεται).  She was not asking for a cure for herself, but for her daughter.

Wise men on a rock foundation (Mt 7:24-7:25)

“Everyone

Who hears

My words,

Then does them,

Will be

Like a wise man.

The wise man

Builds his house

On a rock.

The rains fell.

The floods came.

The winds blew.

They beat on that house.

But it did not fall,

Because it had been founded

On a rock.”

 

Πᾶς οὖν ὅστις ἀκούει μου τοὺς λόγους τούτους καὶ ποιεῖ αὐτούς, ὁμοιωθήσεται ἀνδρὶ φρονίμῳ, ὅστις ᾠκοδόμησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν.

καὶ κατέβη ἡ βροχὴ καὶ ἦλθον οἱ ποταμοὶ καὶ ἔπνευσαν οἱ ἄνεμοι καὶ προσέπεσαν τῇ οἰκίᾳ ἐκείνῃ, καὶ οὐκ ἔπεσεν· τεθεμελίωτο γὰρ ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν.

 

These verses are just like Luke, chapter 6:47-48, which might indicate a Q source.  Jesus said that everyone who heard his words (Πᾶς οὖν ὅστις ἀκούει μου τοὺς λόγους τούτους) and actually did and followed them (καὶ ποιεῖ αὐτούς), were like wise men (ὁμοιωθήσεται ἀνδρὶ φρονίμῳ).  These wise people built a house on a rock foundation or solid rocky ground (ὅστις ᾠκοδόμησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν.).  The rains fell (καὶ κατέβη ἡ βροχὴ and the floods came (καὶ ἦλθον οἱ ποταμοὶ).  Winds would blow (καὶ ἔπνευσαν οἱ ἄνεμοι) and beat against this house (καὶ προσέπεσαν τῇ οἰκίᾳ ἐκείνῃ), but it did not fall (καὶ οὐκ ἔπεσεν), because it was built on a strong rock foundation (τεθεμελίωτο γὰρ ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν).  This rock foundation was the words of Jesus carried out in daily life.  The fairy tale story of the 3 pigs with the brick, straw, and grass houses is similar to this saying about the stone foundation that could not be destroyed.

The two women and the wicked basket (Zech 5:9-5:11)

“Then I looked up.

I saw two women

Coming forward.

The wind

Was in their wings.

They had wings

Like the wings

Of a stork.

They lifted up the basket

Between the earth

And the heavens.

Then I said to the angel

Who talked with me.

‘Where are they taking

The basket?’

He said to me.

‘To the land of Shinar,

To build a house for it.

When this is prepared,

They will set the basket

Down there on its base.’”

Next two-winged women came forward, with wings like a stork.  They took the basket into the sky with the wicked woman in it.  Zechariah wanted to know where they were taking the basket.  The angel who had been talking with Zechariah said that they were taking the basket to the land of Shinar, another name for Babylon.  There they were going to build a house or a temple and put this basket of wickedness in the middle of the temple on a base set up there.  In other words, this wicked basket was going to become a Babylonian idol.

Woe to the wicked (Mic 2:1-2:2)

“Woe to those

Who devise wickedness!

Woe to those

Who devise evil deeds

On their beds!

When the morning dawns,

They perform them,

Because it is

In their power.

They covet fields.

They seize them.

They covet houses.

They take them away.

They oppress

The householder

With his house.

They oppress

People

With their inheritance.”

Yahweh, via Micah, warned about the evil wicked people, who were devising evil deeds from their beds.  Then when they got up in the morning, they put their thoughts into action, because of their power.  If they wanted a field or a house, they would seize the field and the house.  By taking them away, they were oppressing the one who owned the house, his household, and the house itself, the people with their inheritance.

The dark day of Yahweh (Am 5:18-5:20)

“Woe to you!

You who desire

The day of Yahweh!

Why do you want

The day of Yahweh?

It is darkness,

Not light.

It is like

As if someone fled

From a lion,

But a bear met him.

It is like

Someone went into the house.

They then rested

Their hand

Against the wall.

Then a serpent bit him.

Is not

The day of Yahweh

Darkness,

Not light?

It is gloom

With no brightness in it.”

The day of Yahweh meant many different things to the ancient Israelites. For some, it was a favorable intervention of Yahweh. For others, as here, it was a day of Yahweh’s anger. After the exile, it was considered a day of hope that the anger of Yahweh would turn on Israel’s oppressors. Then this day of Yahweh became a day of judgment, as a triumph for the righteous. Finally, there were cosmic signs that would accompany this day of Yahweh. Here, Amos wanted to know why anyone would want the day of Yahweh to come, because it was a time of darkness, not light. In fact, he wanted to curse them for wishing the day of Yahweh to come. This day of Yahweh was more like a person fleeing from a lion, only to run into a bear. It was like going into a house, and then resting your arm on the wall, only to be bit by a snake. For Amos, the day of Yahweh was a time of darkness, not light, a time of gloom and not brightness.