Nothing to eat (Lk 15:16-15:16)

“He would gladly

Have filled himself

With the pods

That the pigs

Were eating.

However,

No one gave him

Anything to eat.”

 

καὶ ἐπεθύμει γεμίσαι τὴν κοιλίαν αὐτοῦ ἐκ τῶν κερατίων ὧν ἤσθιον οἱ χοῖροι, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐδίδου αὐτῷ.

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this prodigal son was longing to fill his belly or would have gladly filled himself (καὶ ἐπεθύμει γεμίσαι τὴν κοιλίαν αὐτοῦ) with the pods (ἐκ τῶν κερατίων) that the pigs were eating (ὧν ἤσθιον οἱ χοῖροι).  Once again, this is a unique word of Luke, κερατίων that does not appear in any of the other biblical literature writings that means a dark brown pea pod of the carob tree.  However, no one gave him anything to eat (καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐδίδου αὐτῷ).  This prodigal son was forced to feed the unclean pigs, while he himself was still hungry.  I wonder why he did not eat some of these brown pea pods.  Perhaps, it may have been culturally inappropriate.  Have you ever been really so hungry that you would eat anything?

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The Son of Man (Lk 11:30-11:30)

“Just as Jonah

Became a sign

To the people

Of Nineveh,

So,

The Son of Man

Will be a sign

To this generation.”

 

καθὼς γὰρ ἐγένετο Ἰωνᾶς τοῖς Νινευείταις σημεῖον, οὕτως ἔσται καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh (καθὼς γὰρ ἐγένετο Ἰωνᾶς τοῖς Νινευείταις σημεῖον), so, too, the Son of Man will be a sign to this generation (οὕτως ἔσται καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ).  This saying about the sign of Jonah can also be found in Matthew, chapter 12:39-40.  Perhaps this was a Q source, going back to Hebrew scripture roots.  Jesus used this story of the prophet Jonah, chapter 1:17, where he was in the belly of the whale or the sea monster for 3 days and 3 nights.  The obvious comparison between the 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the fish and Jesus in the tomb was not lost on the early Christians.  Matthew was even more specific than Luke.  He indicated that Jesus said that the only sign they were going to get was the sign of the prophet Jonah, who had been in the belly of the sea monster or whale that swallowed him for 3 days and 3 nights.  Thus, the Son of Man would be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.  This was a clear allusion to the death of Jesus in the tomb for 3 days and 3 nights before his resurrection.  Luke was not as clear or specific.  What do you know about Jonah and the whale?

All food is clean (Mk 7:19-7:19)

“Food enters,

Not the heart

But the stomach.

Then it goes out

Into the sewer.’

Thus,

Jesus declared

All foods clean.”

 

ὅτι οὐκ εἰσπορεύεται αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν καρδίαν ἀλλ’ εἰς τὴν κοιλίαν, καὶ εἰς τὸν ἀφεδρῶνα ἐκπορεύεται, καθαρίζων πάντα τὰ βρώματα;

 

Mark was extremely descriptive here just as Matthew, chapter 15:17, explained this problem about unclean food.  Mark indicated that Jesus seemed a little upset that they still did not understand what he was telling them about defilement.  Jesus said that any food did not enter the heart (ὅτι οὐκ εἰσπορεύεται αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν καρδίαν), but the stomach or belly (ἀλλ’ εἰς τὴν κοιλίαν).  From the stomach, it flowed out in a bowel movement that ended up in a sewer, latrine, or dung heap (καὶ εἰς τὸν ἀφεδρῶνα ἐκπορεύεται).  There was a famous saying that it is harder to sell corn after it has been eaten by a pig than before it was eaten.  Whatever went into your mouth would end up in a defecation anyway.  Thus, Jesus declared that all kinds of foods were cleansed or made clean (καθαρίζων πάντα τὰ βρώματα).  This would have been a major rejection of Jewish Torah law and the use of kosher food, since there was a major distinction between clean and unclean foods.  This saying of Mark about no more unclean foods was not in Matthew who was writing to a Jewish Christian audience, but it is here for this gentile Christian audience.  Luke omitted the whole question.

A description of Behemoth (Job 40:15-40:18)

“Look at Behemoth!

I made it as I made you.

It eats grass like an ox.

Its strength is in its loins.

Its power is in the muscles of its belly.

It makes its tail stiff like a cedar.

The sinews of its thighs are knit together.

Its bones are tubes of bronze.

Its limbs like bars of iron.”

Behemoth seems to be some kind of wild beast, a large hippopotamus, an ancient monster. Yahweh made this monster. The biblical author has Yahweh give a description of this monster that makes it seem like a hippo. This monster ate grass like an ox. Its power came from its loins and belly, while it had a stiff tail like a large tree. Its thighs seemed to be knit together with bronze bones and limbs like iron bars. Thus the idea that this is a large hippopotamus seems correct.