The circumcision (Lk 1:59-1: 59)

“On the eighth day,

They came

To circumcise

The child.

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ ὀγδόῃ ἦλθον περιτεμεῖν τὸ παιδίον,

 

Luke explained what happened on the eighth day (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ ὀγδόῃ) after the birth of the child.  They came to circumcise this child (ἦλθον περιτεμεῖν τὸ παιδίον).  This circumcision, brit milah, or bris was a sign of the covenant with God that goes back to Abraham in Genesis, chapter 17:11-12.  This sacerdotal covenant alliance story emphasized male circumcision as the main part of the Yahweh covenant.  Thus. circumcision became a big deal.  Every male was to be circumcised by removing the flesh of the foreskin of his penis, when he was eight days old.  This also included male slaves born or brought into the house.  An uncircumcised Jewish male would be cut off from his people, because he had broken the covenant with God.  Circumcision has been practiced among many ancient and contemporary groups for either religious or hygienic reasons.  In fact, despite their differences, Islamic males practice circumcision also.  In the USA, most boys born in a hospital are circumcised for hygienic or health purposes.

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The giants perish without wisdom (Bar 3:26-3:28)

“The giants were born there.

They were famous of old.

They were great

In stature.

They were experts

In war.

God did not choose them.

He did not give them

The way to knowledge.

Thus they perished

Because they had

No wisdom.

They perished

Through their folly.”

Israel was the land of the famous ancient giants who were great men and experts at war. However, even these great people did not have knowledge. Thus they perished because they had no wisdom. They were foolish and that was their downfall.

Against Elam (Jer 49:34-49:35)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to the prophet Jeremiah

Concerning Elam,

At the beginning

Of the reign

Of King Zedekiah

Of Judah.

Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

‘I am going to break

The bow of Elam,

The mainstay of their might.’”

Elam was an ancient pre-Persian society, east of Babylon, in what is now present day Iran. There is very little mention of Elam in the biblical works. From the text, this oracle can be dated to the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah (598-597 BCE) of Judah. Whether this was an attack of the king of Babylon or a hint at the later Persian attack is not clear. Yahweh was going to break the bow of Elam because the Elamites were famous for their strong use of the bow and arrow. Although most of the preceding parts of this chapter were translated as chapter 30 in the Greek Septuagint, this section on Elam was translated as chapter 25, not chapter 30 or chapter 49 as here.

The worship of idols (Wis 13:10-13:10)

“But miserable,

With their hopes set on dead things,

Are those Who give the name ‘gods’

To the works of men’s hands.

That is gold fashioned with skill.

That is silver fashioned with skill,

In the likenesses of animals.

That is a useless stone,

The work of an ancient hand.”

Now this author is much more opposed to the works of human hands seen as gods (θεοὺς ἔργα χειρῶν ἀνθρώπων) rather than works of nature, which were not as bad. These idol worship people are miserable. They put their hopes in dead things and called them gods. These skillful art works of gold and silver were usually in the form of some kind of animal. These ancient man made stones that were considered useless.

Title (Prov 10:1-10:1)

“The proverbs of Solomon”

This is the main part of this work after the previous introduction. Obviously this is a reference to Solomon, the son of David, and King of Israel, as described in 1 Kings, chapters 1-11. One of the attributes of Solomon was his wisdom. These proverbs are poetic wisdom sayings without any real order. In general, as we have already seen, there is a correlation between the wise and the righteous against the foolish and the wicked on the other side. Just like the so-called psalms of David, not every proverb is directly from Solomon. However, these are ancient Hebrew poetic sayings.