The great condemnation (Lk 20:47-20:47)

“The Scribes

Devour

Widows’ houses.

They say long prayers

For the sake of appearance.

They will receive

A greater condemnation.”

 

οἳ κατεσθίουσιν τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσεύχονται· οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his condemnation of the Scribes.  He said that the Scribes devour widows’ houses (οἱ κατεσθίοντες τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν).  They say long prayers for the sake of appearance (καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι).  They will receive the greater condemnation (οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα).  Mark, chapter 12:40, and Matthew, chapter 23:14, are almost word for word like here in Luke.  They all talked about how these Scribes took advantage of widows and pretended to be men of prayer.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that these Scribes devoured widows’ houses (οἱ κατεσθίοντες τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν), the same as Luke.  What did he mean by that?  They obviously took advantage of the generosity of widows.  For the sake of appearances, these Scribes said long prayers (καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι).  Thus, they would receive a great severe condemnation (οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα.) for their behavior.  Once again, there was no mention of any Pharisees, just the Scribes.  In Matthew, this first part of the opening verse is exactly the same as the preceding verse.  Woe to you (Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν)!  Scribes (γραμματεῖς)!  Woe to you!  Pharisees (καὶ Φαρισαῖοι)!  Hypocrites (ὑποκριταί)!  There is no doubt that here Jesus was cursing both the Scribes and the Pharisees, who were devouring widow’s houses (ὅτι κατεσθίετε τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν), as they were taking advantage of widows.  They also made long lengthy prayers (καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι), so that they would look better and more pious.  However, they were about to receive a greater condemnation (διὰ τοῦτο λήψεσθε περισσότερον κρίμα) than they had expected.  Once again, the major difference was the role of the Pharisees in Matthew, that is not in Luke or Mark.  Are you a hypocrite?

Watch what the Scribes do (Mk 12:40-12:40)

“The Scribes devour

Widows’ houses.

For the sake of appearance,

They say long prayers.

They will receive

The greater condemnation.”

 

οἱ κατεσθίοντες τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι, οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα.

 

Next Mark talked about how these Scribes took advantage of widows and pretended to be men of prayer.  Something similar can be found in Luke, chapter 20:47, but not in MatthewMark indicated that Jesus said that these Scribes devoured widows’ houses.  What did he mean by that?  They obviously took advantage of the generosity of widows.  For the sake of appearances, these Scribes said long prayers.  Thus, they would receive a great severe condemnation for their behavior.  Once again, there was no mention of any Pharisees, just the Scribes.

Jesus heals people (Mk 6:56-6:56)

“Wherever Jesus went,

In villages,

Or cities,

Or country farms,

They laid the sick

In the market places.

They begged him

That they might touch

Even the fringe

Of his cloak.

All who touched it

Were healed.”

 

καὶ ὅπου ἂν εἰσεπορεύετο εἰς κώμας ἢ εἰς πόλεις ἢ εἰς ἀγροὺς, ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς ἐτίθεσαν τοὺς ἀσθενοῦντας, καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν ἵνα κἂν τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ ἅψωνται· καὶ ὅσοι ἂν ἥψαντο αὐτοῦ ἐσῴζοντο.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 14:36.  Mark seems to emphasize the various places that these sick people were coming from.  Mark said that wherever Jesus traveled (καὶ ὅπου ἂν εἰσεπορεύετο), whether in villages (εἰς κώμας), in cities (ἢ εἰς πόλεις), or in country areas or farms (εἰς ἀγροὺς), they were placing or laying those ailing or sick people in the public market places (ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς ἐτίθεσαν τοὺς ἀσθενοῦντας).  They begged or entreated him (καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν) to touch the fringe or the tassel of his clothing (ἵνα κἂν τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ ἅψωνται).  Everyone who touched him was healed (καὶ ὅσοι ἂν ἥψαντο αὐτοῦ ἐσῴζοντο).  These people in Gennesaret were well aware of the powers of Jesus.  They wanted to take advantage of his healing magic touch.  They wanted to touch his outer garment or tunic coat in order to be healed like the woman with the excessive blood flow.

The request for the head of John the Baptist on a platter (Mk 6:25-6:25)

“Immediately,

She rushed back

To the king.

She requested.

‘I want you

To give me

At once

The head

Of John the Baptist

On a platter.’”

 

καὶ εἰσελθοῦσα εὐθὺς μετὰ σπουδῆς πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα ᾐτήσατο λέγουσα Θέλω ἵνα ἐξαυτῆς δῷς μοι ἐπὶ πίνακι τὴν κεφαλὴν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ.

 

This is like Matthew, chapter 14:8.  Urged on by her mother, this girl immediately rushed or hastened back to the king (καὶ εἰσελθοῦσα εὐθὺς μετὰ σπουδῆς πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα).  She told the king her request (ᾐτήσατο λέγουσα) that she wanted him to give her at once (Θέλω ἵνα ἐξαυτῆς δῷς μοι) the head of John the Baptist on a platter or a dish (ἐπὶ πίνακι τὴν κεφαλὴν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ).  Obviously.  King Herod had made a silly solemn statement and his wife Herodias took advantage of this situation.

 

 

Shut off heaven (Mt 23:14-23:14)

“Woe to you!

Scribes!

Woe to you!

Pharisees!

Hypocrites!

You devour widow’s houses!

For the sake of appearance,

You make long prayers!

Therefore,

You will receive

The greater condemnation.”

 

Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι, ὑποκριταί, ὅτι κατεσθίετε τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν, καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι· διὰ τοῦτο λήψεσθε περισσότερον κρίμα.

 

This verse is missing in a number of manuscripts but can be found in other Greek Orthodox versions of this unique saying of Matthew.  This first part of the opening verse is exactly the same as the preceding verse.  Woe to you (Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν)!  Scribes (γραμματεῖς)!  Woe to you!  Pharisees (καὶ Φαρισαῖοι)!  Hypocrites (ὑποκριταί)!  There is no doubt that here Jesus was cursing the Scribes and the Pharisees, who were devouring widow’s houses (ὅτι κατεσθίετε τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν), as they were taking advantage of widows.  They also made long lengthy prayers (καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι·), so that they would look better and more pious.  However, they were about to receive a greater condemnation (διὰ τοῦτο λήψεσθε περισσότερον κρίμα) than they had expected.

 

The princes of Judah (Hos 5:10-5:10)

“The princes of Judah

Have become

Like those

Who remove the landmark.

To them,

I will pour out

My wrath

Like water.”

The princes of Judah were not safe from Yahweh. They were like the people who move landmarks. They tried to take advantage of the situation, by tying to extend their territory. Thus, Yahweh was going to pour out his wrath on them like gushing water.

Bloodshed will come to Mount Seir (Ezek 35:5-35:6)

“‘You cherished

An ancient enmity.

You gave over

The people of Israel

To the power

Of the sword,

At the time

Of their calamity,

At the time

Of their final punishment.’

Says Yahweh God!

‘Therefore,

As I live,

I will prepare you

For blood.

Blood shall

Pursue you.

You did not hate

Bloodshed.

Therefore,

Bloodshed

Shall pursue you.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, noted that Edom or Mount Seir had been an ancient enemy with enmity towards Israel. Thus, they took advantage of the people of Israel at the time of their calamity, at their final punishment, by using the sword against them, helping the Babylonians. The response of Yahweh God was that he was going to prepare these Edomites for further bloodshed. As they did not hate bloodshed, it would pursue them further.