Storage space (Lk 12:17-12:17)

“He thought to himself.

‘What shall I do?

I have no place

To store my crops.’”

 

καὶ διελογίζετο ἐν ἑαυτῷ λέγων Τί ποιήσω, ὅτι οὐκ ἔχω ποῦ συνάξω τοὺς καρπούς μου;

 

Luke uniquely continued this parable about the rich man.  Jesus said that this rich man thought or was reasoning to himself (καὶ διελογίζετο ἐν ἑαυτῷ λέγων) what should I do (Τί ποιήσω)?  He had no place to store his crops (ὅτι οὐκ ἔχω ποῦ συνάξω τοὺς καρπούς μου).  This seems like a legitimate concern.  His harvest had been so abundant that he no place to put all his harvested crops.  Do you worry about a place to put all your stuff?

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Give more to those who have a lot (Lk 8:18-8:18)

“Pay attention!

To how you listen!

Those who have more,

More will be given!

From those who have not,

Even what they seem to have

Will be taken away.”

 

βλέπετε οὖν πῶς ἀκούετε· ὃς ἂν γὰρ ἔχῃ, δοθήσεται αὐτῷ, καὶ ὃς ἂν μὴ ἔχῃ, καὶ ὃ δοκεῖ ἔχειν ἀρθήσεται ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should pay attention on how they listen or hear things (βλέπετε οὖν πῶς ἀκούετε).  Those who have things (ὃς ἂν γὰρ ἔχῃ), more will be given (δοθήσεται αὐτῷ).  From those who do not have things (καὶ ὃς ἂν μὴ ἔχῃ), even what they appear or seem to have (καὶ ὃ δοκεῖ ἔχειν) will be taken away from them (ἀρθήσεται ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ).  All 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:12, Mark, chapter 4:25, and here, have this quirky saying, almost word for word.  Mark said that to those who had knowledge, more would be given to them.  However, those who had nothing, even what little they had would be taken away.  Matthew indicated that those who had more knowledge, even more abundant knowledge would be given to them.  However, those who had nothing, even what little they had would be taken away.  There would be no center ambiguous positions, it was all or nothing.  What more do you want?

The distressed city of Nineveh (Nah 2:6-2:9)

“The river gates

Are opened.

The palace trembles.

It is decreed

That the city

Be exiled.

Its slave women were

Led away,

Moaning

Like doves,

Beating their breasts.

Nineveh is

Like a pool

Whose waters

Run away.

‘Halt!

Halt!’

They cry.

But no one turns back.

Plunder the silver!

Plunder the gold!

There is no end

Of treasure.

There is an abundance

Of every precious thing.

Devastation!

Desolation!

Destruction!

Hearts faint!

Knees tremble!

All loins quake!

All faces grow pale!”

Nahum painted this picture of chaos in Nineveh.  He said that the river gates were opened, so that the palace and the people in it were trembling.  The people of this city were going to go into exile.  The slave women were led away, moaning like doves and beating their breasts.  The whole city of Nineveh had become like an overflowing pool.  People were saying stop, but no one was listening.  No one turned back as they keep on fleeing.  Meanwhile, there was a great plunder of their treasures of gold, silver, and the other abundant precious things.  Everywhere there was devastation, desolation, and destruction in this great city.  Hearts were fainting, while kneels were trembling.  Their faces grew pale as their loins shook.

Yahweh has compassion (Lam 3:31-3:33)

Kaph

“Yahweh will not

Reject forever.

Although he causes grief,

He will have compassion

According to the abundance

Of his steadfast love.

He does not willingly

Afflict anyone.

He does not willingly

Grieve anyone.”

This grieving author talks about the compassion of Yahweh, since Yahweh was not going to reject him forever. Yahweh definitely caused him grief, but he is compassionate with his abundant steadfast love. Then in a strange statement that almost contradicts what was said earlier, this author proclaims that Yahweh does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone. In fact, that had been the main complaint earlier in this poem. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Kaph in this acrostic poem.

Overflowing wisdom (Sir 24:24-24:29)

“It overflows

Like the Pishon,

With wisdom.

It overflows

Like the Tigris

At the time of the first fruits.

It runs over,

Like the Euphrates,

With understanding.

It is

Like the Jordan

At harvest time.

It pours forth instruction

Like the Nile.

It is

Like the Gihon

At the time of vintage.

Just as the first man

Did not know wisdom fully,

Neither will the last one

Fathom her.

Her thoughts

Are more abundant

Than the sea.

Her counsel deeper

Than the great abyss.”

Sirach goes into a section on how wisdom overflows its banks like many of the rivers in the area. Using the 4 biblical paradise rivers mentioned as surrounding the Garden of Eden, in Genesis, chapter 2, the Pishon, the Tigris, the Euphrates, and the Gihon, Sirach spoke of them individually. Wisdom overflowed each of them. He also spoke of 2 other important rivers for the Israelites, the Jordan and the Nile. Finally he mentioned that the first man did not fully understand wisdom. However, he also said that the last man would not fully understand wisdom either, because her thoughts are more abundant and deeper than the sea.

Oxen (Prov 14:4-14:4)

“Where there are no oxen,

There is no grain.

Abundant crops come

By the strength of the ox.”

In a clear farming allusion, if you have no oxen, you will have a hard time planting and harvesting grain. The stronger your ox, the more abundant your grain will be. In today’s terms, without a strong tractor you will not have a good harvest.

The goodness of Yahweh (Ps 31:19-31:20)

“O how abundant is your goodness!

You have laid up goodness

For those who fear you.

You have accomplished goodness

For those who take refuge in you.

This is done in the sight of everyone!

In the shelter of your presence,

You hide them

From human plots.

You hold them safe

Under your shelter

From contentious tongues.”

The goodness of Yahweh is abundant. This goodness goes to those who fear God, for those who take refuge in Yahweh. Yahweh hides them from human plots. They are safe in his good shelter from all the contentious tongues out there against them.