The woman with flowing blood (Lk 8:43-8:43)

“A woman

Had been suffering

From flowing blood

For twelve years.

Although she had spent

All that she had

On physicians,

No one

Could cure her.”

 

καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος ἀπὸ ἐτῶν δώδεκα, ἥτις οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἀπ’ οὐδενὸς θεραπευθῆναι

 

This episode about the woman with flowing blood interrupted the story about the synagogue leader and his dying daughter.  However, it can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:20, Mark, chapter 5:25, and Luke here.  Thus, Mark might be the source.  Luke said that a woman had been suffering from flowing blood (καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος) for 12 years (ἀπὸ ἐτῶν δώδεκα).  Although she had spent all that she had on physicians (ἰατροῖς προσαναλώσασα ὅλον τὸν βίον), no one could cure her (ἥτις οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἀπ’ οὐδενὸς θεραπευθῆναι).  This phrase about spending all her money on physicians was only in the Byzantine text.  Mark, like Luke, who probably followed him, said that she had suffered from flowing blood, rather than hemorrhages.  All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding.  Mark and Luke had a more elaborate story, about her background.  Mark said that she had endured or greatly suffered much under many physicians.  Thus, she had spent all her money.  Instead of helping her get better, she had actually become worse.  She was in a desperate situation.  Interesting enough, the word that Matthew used for hemorrhages (αἱμορροοῦσα) is only found there, but nowhere else in the biblical literature.  Mark and Luke said that she had flowing blood.  All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding.  Could you suffer something for 12 years?

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How to read the Bible

Be a faithful reader, regularly and with the eyes of faith.  Be an active reader, intelligently and critically.  Put the texts in context, read from a tradition and a believing community.  Read the Bible as a whole, not isolating passages.  Understand the background of each book.  Try to understand the consensus opinion about texts.  Appreciate the major themes and narratives.  Be open to God and his word.  Be aware of the continuity and discontinuity.  Try to translate the Bible to your life situations

The anger of Yahweh (Jer 30:23-30:24)

“Look!

The storm of Yahweh!

Wrath has gone forth!

It is a whirling tempest!

It will burst

Upon the head of the wicked.

The fierce anger of Yahweh

Will not turn back

Until he has executed

And accomplished

The intentions of his mind.

In the latter days,

You will understand this.”

Into every story must come a little sadness. The anger or wrath of Yahweh was always in the background of any story. Thus the storm of Yahweh or a whirling tempest would fall upon the wicked. No one could turn back the anger of Yahweh until he has executed and accomplished what he set out to do. Only later will people understand this.

Grandpa Jesus (Sir 0:5-0:14)

“My grandfather Jesus

Devoted himself especially

To the reading of the Law,

To the reading of the Prophets,

To the reading of the other books of our ancestors.

After acquiring considerable proficiency in them,

He was himself also led to write something

Pertaining to instruction,

Pertaining to wisdom.

By becoming familiar with this book,

Those who love learning

Should make even greater progress

In living according to the law.”

Who is Grandpa Jesus? Obviously, he is the grandfather of this writer/translator. This ‘Jesus’ is the Anglicized form of the Greek name Ἰησοῦς or the Aramaic Yeshua. He was the son of Sirach, a Jewish scribe who had been living in Jerusalem. He then authored this work in Alexandria, Egypt, around 180–175 BCE, where he is thought to have established a school. He is sometimes referred to as Ben Sira, son of Sir, or as it has been rendered in Greek, ‘Sirach’. There are all kinds of Jewish stories about his background. This ‘Jesus’ or ‘Sirach’ was a devoted scholar of the Hebrew Law, Prophets, and the other books of the Hebrew Bible. He wanted to share some of the instruction and wisdom that he had received from these books. Thus this author, his grandson, wants those who loved learning to become familiar with this work. With that, they would be better able to follow the Law itself.