Blessed is the womb (Lk 11:27-11:27)

“While Jesus

Was speaking,

A woman

In the crowd

Raised her voice.

She said to Jesus.

‘Blessed is the womb

That bore you

And the breasts

That nursed you!”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ λέγειν αὐτὸν ταῦτα ἐπάρασά τις φωνὴν γυνὴ ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου εἶπεν αὐτῷ Μακαρία ἡ κοιλία ἡ βαστάσασά σε καὶ μαστοὶ οὓς ἐθήλασας.

 

Luke alone has this incident about the woman shouting out in a crowd.  Luke said that while Jesus was speaking (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ λέγειν αὐτὸν ταῦτα), a woman in the crowd (γυνὴ ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου) raised her voice (ἐπάρασά τις φωνὴν).  She said to Jesus (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that blessed (Μακαρία) was the womb that bore him (ἡ κοιλία ἡ βαστάσασά σε) and the breasts that nursed him (καὶ μαστοὶ οὓς ἐθήλασας).  This woman in the crowd wanted to praise the mother of Jesus because she had borne and nursed Jesus.  Jesus’ mother should be blessed, happy or fortunate (Μακαρία), which she was.  Luke seemed to pay more attention to women that the other gospel writers.   Do you think that women are undervalued?

The child of Elizabeth is born (Lk 1:57-1:57)

“Now the time came

For Elizabeth

To give birth.

She bore a son.”

 

Τῇ δὲ Ἐλεισάβετ ἐπλήσθη ὁ χρόνος τοῦ τεκεῖν αὐτήν, καὶ ἐγέννησεν υἱόν.

 

Luke said that the time had been completed for Elizabeth (Τῇ δὲ Ἐλεισάβετ ἐπλήσθη ὁ χρόνος) to give birth (τοῦ τεκεῖν αὐτήν).  Elizabeth had gone through her 9 months of pregnancy.  Thus, with a normal birth, she bore a son (καὶ ἐγέννησεν υἱόν).  There was nothing spectacular here.

Fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah (Mt 8:17-8:17)

“This was to fulfill

What was spoken

Through the prophet Isaiah.

‘He took our infirmities.

He bore our diseases.’”

 

ὅπως πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος Αὐτὸς τὰς ἀσθενείας ἡμῶν ἔλαβεν καὶ τὰς νόσους ἐβάστασεν.

 

Once again, this citation of Deutero-Isaiah, chapter 53:4, is unique to Matthew, who said that Jesus was the fulfillment of the spoken prophecy of the prophet Isaiah (ὅπως πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος).  He would take on our infirmities (Αὐτὸς τὰς ἀσθενείας ἡμῶν ἔλαβεν).  He would bear our diseases (καὶ τὰς νόσους ἐβάστασεν).  However, there was no mention of his healing others or casting out demons in this original citation from Isaiah.  According to Second Isaiah, this suffering servant Messiah would become a scapegoat for all of us since he would bear our infirmities and diseases.  He would suffer our illness.  God would strike and afflict him.  He would be wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our sins.  His punishment would make us whole.  His bruises would heal us.  This was Matthew’s attempt to show that Jesus was the expected Messiah.  However, the original text did not have the Messiah healing people, but rather suffering like the rest of us.

They example of northern Israel (Mic 6:16-6:16)

“You have kept

The statutes of Omri.

You have kept

All the works

Of the house of Ahab.

You have followed

Their counsels.

Therefore,

I will make you

A desolation.

I will make your inhabitants

An object of hissing.

Thus,

You shall bear

The scorn of my people.”

The statutes of King Omri (885-874 BCE) and King Ahab (874-853 BCE), the kings of northern Israel, favored the Baal worship and various injustices in Samaria.  They had followed the bad counsels of these northern kings of Israel.  Thus, Yahweh was going to make them a desolation.  The people of the north would become an object of hissing, as they bore the scorn of Yahweh’s people.

No pity for the children (Hos 2:4-2:5)

“Also,

I will have no pity

Upon her children,

Because they are children

Of whoredom.

Their mother

Has played the whore.

She conceived them,

But she has acted shamefully.

She said.

‘I will go after

My lovers.

They give me

My bread,

My water,

My wool,

My flax,

My oil,

My drink.’”

The prophet Hosea also has no pity on his or her children since they were considered the children of a prostitute. She conceived them and bore them, but she had acted shamefully. She went after her lovers in order to get bread, water, wool, flax, oil, and something to drink, basically the necessities of life. Obviously, Gomer, the prostitute, was the Israelite people, who sought their lovers among the various fertility Canaanite gods and Baals.

The breakup (Hos 2:2-2:3)

“Plead with your mother!

Plead!

She is not my wife!

I am not her husband!

She should put away

Her whoring

From her face.

She should put away

Her adultery

From between her breasts.

Otherwise,

I will strip her naked.

I will expose her

As in the day

She was born.

I will make her

Like a wilderness.

I will turn her

Into a parched land.

I will kill her

With thirst.”

Now the prophet Hosea really tore into Gomer. He told the children that Gomer was not his wife and that he was not her husband. Gomer had to stop her whoring ways. She continued to commit adultery, although she bore 3 children. Hosea had a punishment for her. He was going to strip her naked, so that she would be like the day she was born. He was going to turn her into a wilderness or a parched land. He was going to kill her with thirst. I guess that there was no reconciliation here. The verse numbering system is not the same here for various bibles, since the Bible of Jerusalem has this at the end of the chapter.

The second son was called Lo-ammi (Hos 1:8-1:9)

“When Gomer

Had weaned Lo-ruhamah,

She conceived again.

She bore another son.

Yahweh said.

‘Name him Lo-ammi!

You are not my people!

I am not your God!’”

After Gomer had weaned her daughter Lo-ruhamah, the not loved or not pitied one, she conceived and bore another son. This time his name was to be Lo-ammi, meaning not my people. In very strong terms, Yahweh said that the Israelites were not his people. He was not going to be their God.