Just like Lot (Lk 17:28-17:28)

“Likewise,

Just as it was

In the days

Of Lot.

They were eating.

They were drinking.

They were buying.

They were selling.

They were planting.

They were building.”

 

ὁμοίως καθὼς ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Λώτ· ἤσθιον, ἔπινον, ἠγόραζον, ἐπώλουν, ἐφύτευον, ᾠκοδόμουν

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus also mentioned Lot from Genesis, chapter 19.  Jesus said likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot (ὁμοίως καθὼς ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Λώτ), they were eating (ἤσθιον), drinking (ἔπινον), buying (ἠγόραζον), selling (ἐπώλουν), planting (ἐφύτευον), and building (ἐφύτευον).  This was much the same as the statement about Noah.  At the time of Lot, the nephew of Abraham, they too were carrying on normal activities.  In other words, people assume that nothing will happen to them.  What do you know about Lot?

The cost of a building (Lk 14:28-14:28)

“Which of you,

Intending

To build

A tower,

Does not first

Sit down

And calculate

The cost?

You have to see

Whether you have enough

To complete it.”

 

Τίς γὰρ ἐξ ὑμῶν θέλων πύργον οἰκοδομῆσαι οὐχὶ πρῶτον καθίσας ψηφίζει τὴν δαπάνην, εἰ ἔχει εἰς ἀπαρτισμόν;

 

Luke uniquely has Jesus tell this story about intending or wishing to build a tower (Τίς γὰρ ἐξ ὑμῶν θέλων πύργον οἰκοδομῆσαι).  Did they not first sit down (οὐχὶ πρῶτον καθίσας) and calculate the cost (ψηφίζει τὴν δαπάνην)?  They would want to see if they had enough money to complete it (εἰ ἔχει εἰς ἀπαρτισμόν).  Luke uniquely used the word ἀπαρτισμόν that means completion or perfection.  This story about building a tower would assume a sophistication on the part of his audience.  Very few people would have enough assets to build a tower.  Do you calculate the cost of things before you start something?

The first son (Mt 21:28-21:29)

“What do you think?

A man had two sons.

He went to the first one.

He said.

‘Son!

Go!

Work

In the vineyard today.’

He answered.

‘I will not!’

But later

He changed his mind.

He went out to work.”

 

Τί δὲ ὑμῖν δοκεῖ; ἄνθρωπος εἶχεν τέκνα δύο· προσελθὼν τῷ πρώτῳ εἶπεν Τέκνον, ὕπαγε σήμερον ἐργάζου ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι.

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Ἐγὼ κύριε, καὶ οὐκ ἀπῆλθεν.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew and is reminiscent of the parable of the day laborers in the vineyard in chapter 20:1-16.  Jesus was still talking with the chief priests and elders.  Jesus continued with another parable by asking them what did they think (Τί δὲ ὑμῖν δοκεῖ)?  In this parable story, a man had two sons (ἄνθρωπος εἶχεν τέκνα δύο).  He went to the first one (προσελθὼν τῷ πρώτῳ).  He told this first son to go and work in his vineyard that day (εἶπεν Τέκνον, ὕπαγε σήμερον ἐργάζου ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι).  However, this first son answered (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) that he was not going to go out into the vineyard to work (Ἐγὼ κύριε, καὶ οὐκ ἀπῆλθεν).  Interesting enough, most of the Greek manuscript texts do not have the last phrase that this son changed his mind.  However, the explanations assume this verse that the first son later or afterwards changed his mind and went out to work in the vineyard (ὕστερον δὲ μεταμεληθεὶς ἀπῆλθεν).

The light of the world (Mt 5:14-5:14)

“You are

The light

Of the world!

A city built

On a hill

Cannot be hid.”

 

Ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου. οὐ δύναται πόλις κρυβῆναι ἐπάνω ὄρους κειμένη·

 

This saying of Jesus can be found in John, chapter 8:12. The main difference is that here Matthew has Jesus say that his disciples are the light of the world (Ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου), “you are” (Ὑμεῖς ἐστε). However, in John, Jesus said that he was the light of the world (Ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου), “I am” (Ἐγώ εἰμι). That is quite a difference. Are the disciples the light of the world or is only Jesus who is the light of the world? Or are they both lights to the world. I assume that they both can be. The disciples of Jesus were both the salt of the earth and the light of the world, so that they were very important people. Matthew then added a unique phrase about a city set on or built on a hill that could not hide itself (οὐ δύναται πόλις κρυβῆναι ἐπάνω ὄρους κειμένη), as if to say that the disciples were like a city on a hill that could not be hidden. These are powerful words about the disciples of Jesus.

Ezekiel lies on his left side for Israel (Ezek 4:4-4:5)

“Then lie on your left side!

Place the punishment

Of the house of Israel

On it!

You shall bear

Their punishment

For the number of the days

That you lie there.

I assign to you

A number of days,

Three hundred ninety days.

This is equal

To the number of the years

Of their punishment.

So you shall bear

The punishment

Of the house of Israel.”

The voice of Yahweh or the Spirit continued telling Ezekiel to lie on his left side for 390 days to indicate the number of years that Israel would be punished. Thus Ezekiel would assume this punishment that was intended for Israel, lying there on his left side one day for every year, like a scapegoat. It is hard to figure out where this number came from since it is more than a year of days. The exile did not last this long.

Read the scroll (Bar 1:14-1:14)

“You shall read aloud

This scroll

That we are sending you,

To make

Your confession

In the house

Of the Lord,

On the days

Of the festivals,

At the appointed seasons.”

They were to read out loud this book or scroll that Baruch was sending to the people in Jerusalem. Baruch seems to assume that there is some sort of customary life in Jerusalem. He wanted them to make a confession of their sins in the house of the Lord on the normal festival days. The problem, of course, is that the temple has been destroyed. Who was going to lead these normal appointed festivals? Apparently, somebody was there.

The foolish children (Prov 17:21-17:28)

“The one who begets a fool gets trouble.

The parent of a fool has no joy.

A cheerful heart is a good medicine.

But a downcast spirit dries up the bones.

The wicked accept a concealed bribe.

They pervert the ways of justice.

The discerning person looks to wisdom.

But the eyes of a fool look to the ends of the earth.

Foolish children are

A grief to their father.

Foolish children are

Bitterness to her who bore them.

To impose a fine on the innocent

Is not right.

To flog the noble for their integrity

Is not right.

Whoever spares words is knowledgeable.

Whoever is cool in spirit has understanding.

Even fools who keep silent

Are considered wise.

When they closes their lips,

They are deemed intelligent.”

Foolish children are trouble. There is no joy in dealing with them. A cheerful heart is good medicine for you, while a downcast spirit will dry up your bones. The wicked judges, when they accept a concealed bribe, are perverting justice. A discerning person looks for wisdom, but fools try to go to the ends of the earth in search of something or other. Foolish children are a grief to their father and bitterness to their mother. You should not impose a fine on the innocent ones. You should not flog the noblemen for their integrity. If you do not speak too much you give the impression of being knowledgeable. If you appear cool, people assume you understand things. Thus even fools who keep silent are sometimes considered wise. Some people appear to be more intelligent when they never open their mouth or move their lips.