His blood be on us (Mt 27:25-27:25)

“Then the people

As a whole answered.

‘His blood be on us

And on our children!’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς πᾶς ὁ λαὸς εἶπεν Τὸ αἷμα αὐτοῦ ἐφ’ ἡμᾶς καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ τέκνα ἡμῶν.

 

This is another unique passage to Matthew, not found in the other gospel stories.  Matthew has the Jewish crowd admit their guilt as the people as a whole answered (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς πᾶς ὁ λαὸς εἶπεν) that the blood of Jesus would be on them (Τὸ αἷμα αὐτοῦ ἐφ’ ἡμᾶς) and their children (καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ τέκνα ἡμῶν).  Thus, this passage has been cited as the source of much anti-Semitism that has the Jews as Christ killers throughout Christian history.  The Christians at the time of this writing may have seen this as the cause for the destruction of the Jewish Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE.  The bias of Matthew was completely on display.

Yahweh’s response (Mic 2:3-2:4)

“Therefore thus,

Says Yahweh.

‘Now!

I am devising

Against this family

An evil,

From which you cannot

Remove your necks.

You shall not walk haughtily!

It will be an evil time!

On that day,

They shall take up

A taunt song

Against you.

They will wail

With bitter lamentation.

They will say.

‘We are utterly ruined.

Yahweh alters

The inheritance

Of my people.

He removes it from me!

Among our captors,

He divides our fields.’”

Yahweh responded that he was devising some evil against these wicked people.  They would wear a yoke on their necks, so that they could not walk around in a haughty manner.  There would be an evil time for them on Yahweh’s appointed day.  People would sing a taunting song against them as they would be wailing in a lamentation.  They would admit that they would be ruined, because Yahweh had altered their inheritance.  He had sent them off as captives, so that their fields would be divided up among other people.  Yahweh’s response to these evil doers was an exile captivity with the loss of their land.

Yahweh would return to heaven (Hos 5:15-5:15)Yahweh would return to heaven (Hos 5:15-5:15)

“I will return again

To my place,

Until they acknowledge

Their guilt,

Until they seek my face.

In their distress,

They will beg

My favor.”

Yahweh was going to return to his place in heaven. He was going to stay there, until they would recognize and admit their guilt. He would stay there, until they began to seek his face. Finally, when they were in distress, they might beg for his divine favor.

The powerless idols (Bar 6:53-5:56)

“These false idols cannot

Set up a king

Over a country.

They cannot

Give rain

To people.

They cannot

Judge

Their own cause.

They cannot

Deliver anyone

Who is wronged.

They have no power.

They are like crows

Between heaven and earth.

When fire breaks out

In a temple

Of wooden gods,

Overlaid with gold

Or silver,

Their priests will flee.

They will escape.

But the gods

Will be burned up

Like timbers.

Besides,

They can offer

No resistance

To a king

Or any enemies.

Why then must

Anyone admit

Or think

That they are gods?”

This author maintains that these false idols cannot set up a king over a country. They cannot give rain to anybody. They cannot judge their own cause. They cannot deliver anyone that has been wronged, since they have no power. They are like crows in the sky. If a fire breaks out in a temple of wooden gods with gold and silver, their priests will flee and escape. However, these idol gods will be burned up like timbers. These weak false idols cannot offer any resistance to a king or any enemies. How then can you think or admit that they are gods?

The sinners pray (Bar 2:12-2:15)

“We have sinned!

We have been ungodly!

We have done wrong!

O Lord!

Our God!

Against all your ordinances!

Let your anger

Turn away

From us!

We are left,

Few in number,

Among the nations

Where you have

Scattered us.

Hear!

O Lord!

Our prayer!

Hear

Our supplication!

For your own sake

Deliver us!

Grant us favor

In the sight of those

Who have carried us

Into exile!

Thus all the earth

May know

That you are

The Lord our God!

For Israel

With his descendants,

You are

Called by your name.”

These sinners admit that they have been ungodly, doing wrong since they had disobeyed the ordinances of their Lord and God. They wanted him to turn his anger away from them, because they were only a few of them left. They had been scattered among the various nations, not just in one country. They wanted the Lord to hear their prayers and grant them favors among the people who carried them away into exile. Then the whole world would know what the God of Israel had done for his people and their descendants. They will call out his name to all.

 

The repentance (Jer 3:21-3:23)

“A voice on the bare heights

Is heard.

The plaintive weeping of Israel’s children

Is heard.

Because they have perverted their ways.

They have forgotten Yahweh

Their God.

‘Return!

O faithless children!

I will heal your faithlessness.’

‘Here we come to you.

You are Yahweh

Our God.

Truly the hills

Are a delusion.

The orgies on the mountains

Are a delusion.

Truly in Yahweh our God

Is the salvation of Israel.’”

The weeping of the children of Israel can be heard on the mountains from the useless pagan sites. They admit that they had perverted their ways. They had forgotten Yahweh, their God. Jeremiah wants these faithless children to return to Yahweh, their God, since they would be healed. In a remarkable response, these Israelites cry out that the hills and the orgies on the mountains were a delusion. They wanted to return to Yahweh, the God of salvation for Israel.

The teacher of wisdom (Sir 51:31-51:36)

“Draw near to me!

You!

Who are uneducated!

Lodge in the home of instruction!

Why do you say

That you are lacking in these things?

Why do you endure such great thirst?

I opened my mouth.

I said.

Acquire wisdom for yourselves

Without money.

Put your neck under her yoke.

Let your souls receive instruction.

It is to be found close by.

See with your own eyes.

I have labored but little.

I found for myself much serenity.

Hear but a little of my instruction!

You will acquire silver.

You will gain much gold.”

Now this author or Sirach assumes a teaching mode. He wants the uneducated to come to his house of instruction. If you admit that you are lacking something, then maybe you can learn a thing or two. You have to thirst for knowledge in order to drink from the fountain of knowledge. He wanted them to acquire knowledge without any charges. However, they would have to put their neck under the yoke of wisdom in order to receive this instruction. You can see how much serenity Sirach has achieved. If you listen to a little of his instruction, you will make a lot of money by acquiring silver and gold.