The Samaritan (Lk 10:33-10:33)

“But a Samaritan,

While traveling,

Came near him.

When he saw him,

He was moved

With pity.”

 

Σαμαρείτης δέ τις ὁδεύων ἦλθεν κατ’ αὐτὸν καὶ ἰδὼν ἐσπλαγχνίσθη,

 

Luke continued his unique story.  Jesus said that a Samaritan (Σαμαρείτης), while traveling (δέ τις ὁδεύων), came near to this wounded man (ἦλθεν κατ’ αὐτὸν).  When he saw him (καὶ ἰδὼν), he was moved with pity (ἐσπλαγχνίσθη).  Who then is this Samaritan?  Samaritans lived in Samaria, between Judea and Galilee.  This was the territory that had been formerly assigned to Ephraim and Manasseh.  The Samaritans were part of the former Northern Kingdom of Israel with the city of Samaria as their capital city, after the death of Solomon.  There was an example of kindness by the northern tribes in 2 Chronicles, chapter 28:12-15, but that was long before the bitterness set in between Samaria and Judea.  Over time, since the 8th century BCE, they had become a distinct ethnic group that was in dispute with the Judean Jews, since the territory of Samaria was between Judea and Galilee.  They became bitter enemies with the Jews of Judea in particular.  Luke showed Jesus interacting with the Samaritans more than any of the other gospel writers.  Luke had uniquely mentioned that Jesus had gone into some Samaritan villages in chapter 9:52-56.  It might even be questioned, why would this Samaritan be on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem?  Nevertheless, this unnamed Samaritan like the unnamed priest and Levite, came on the scene.  Unlike the other two prominent Jewish religious leaders, this Samaritan was moved with pity.  Samaritans were the underclass among the Judeans.  They worshiped a false Jewish God with their Samaritan Torah at the destroyed Mount Gerizim.  They were not at the top of Jewish society, quite the opposite.  Can someone at the bottom of a society do anything good?

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The mourning lamentation for Tyre (Ezek 27:30-27:32)

“All these seamen

Wail aloud

Over you.

They cry bitterly.

They cast dust

On their heads.

They wallow

In ashes.

They make themselves

Bald

For you.

They put on

Sackcloth.

They weep

Over you,

In bitterness of soul,

With bitter mourning.

In their wailing,

They raise

A lamentation

For you.

They lament

Over you.

‘Who was ever destroyed

Like Tyre

In the midst

Of the sea?’”

All these seamen onlookers lamented and mourned for Tyre. They wailed loudly and cried bitterly over Tyre. In typical mourning fashion, they put dust on their heads and wallowed in ashes. They made themselves bald and put on sackcloth. They wept with a bitterness of soul in their mourning. They lamented over Tyre. They wondered if anyone had ever been destroyed on the high seas like Tyre.

The Spirit and the people at the River Chebar (Ezek 3:14-3:15)

“The Spirit

Lifted me up.

He took me away.

I went in bitterness

In the heat

Of my spirit.

The hand

Of Yahweh

Was strong upon me.

I came

To the exiles

At Tel-abib.

They lived

By the river Chebar.

I sat there

Among them,

Stunned,

For seven days.”

Ezekiel continued his first person recounting of what happened to him after he saw this colorful vision. The same Spirit of Yahweh or the Holy Spirit lifted up Ezekiel and took him away. Ezekiel went in bitterness of spirit, because the hand of Yahweh was strongly on him. Thus he went to the exiles at Tel-abib, by the river Chebar, near Nippur, not far from the Chebar canal. There Ezekiel sat among these exiles for about a week stunned, in a state of shock.

Personal distress (Lam 3:4-3:6)

Beth

“Yahweh has made

my flesh waste away.

He has made

My skin waste away.

He has broken

My bones.

He has besieged me.

With bitterness.

He has enveloped me

With tribulation.

He has made me

Sit in darkness

Like the dead

Of long ago.”

Almost like the sufferings of Job, this author complains about his own personal suffering. His flesh and his skin are wasting away, since his bones are broken. He has been besieged and enveloped in bitterness and tribulation, sitting in darkness like a person dead for a long time. Throughout this poem, these three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Beth. Each three verse section after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this personal acrostic poem.

The wise ones (Sir 21:11-21:13)

“Whoever keeps the law

Controls his thoughts.

Wisdom is the fulfillment

Of the fear of the Lord.

The one who is not clever

Cannot be taught.

But there is cleverness

That increases bitterness.

The knowledge of the wise

Will increase like a flood.

Their counsel is

Like a life-giving spring.”

If you keep the law, you will control your thoughts. Wisdom completes those who fear the Lord. If you are not clever, you cannot be taught. Yet there is cleverness that increases bitterness. The knowledge of the wise people increases like a flood. Their counsel is like a refreshing spring of water that saves lives.

The blissful rest of wisdom (Wis 8:16-8:16)

“When I enter my house,

I shall find rest with her.

Companionship with her

Has no bitterness.

Life with her

Has no pain.

But it has gladness.

It has joy.”

When this author came home to his house (τὸν οἶκόν μου), he found rest and companionship with wisdom, his new roommate. There was no bitterness or pain. Life with her was gladness and joy (εὐφροσύνην καὶ χαράν).

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.