Do not ask for your goods back! (Lk 6:30-6:30)

“If anyone

Takes away

Your goods,

Do not ask

For them again.”

 

καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ αἴροντος τὰ σὰ μὴ ἀπαίτει.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that if anyone was taking away their goods (καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ αἴροντος τὰ σὰ), they were not to ask for them back again (μὴ ἀπαίτει).  Matthew, chapter 5:42, was somewhat similar when he indicated that Jesus said that if someone wished to borrow money from you, you should not refuse them or turn them away (καὶ τὸν θέλοντα ἀπὸ σοῦ δανίσασθαι μὴ ἀποστραφῇς).  These were tough difficult recommendations, but actually based on the Torah.  Would you be so tolerant?

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Unusual kindness (Mt 5:40-5:42)

“If anyone wants

To sue you,

If they want

To take your tunic coat,

Give your outer cloak as well!

If anyone forces you

To go one mile,

Go also the second mile!

Give to everyone

Who begs from you!

Do not refuse anyone

Who wants

To borrow

From you!”

 

καὶ τῷ θέλοντί σοι κριθῆναι καὶ τὸν χιτῶνά σου λαβεῖν, ἄφες αὐτῷ καὶ τὸ ἱμάτιον·

καὶ ὅστις σε ἀγγαρεύσει μίλιον ἕν, ὕπαγε μετ’ αὐτοῦ δύο.

τῷ αἰτοῦντί σε δός, καὶ τὸν θέλοντα ἀπὸ σοῦ δανίσασθαι μὴ ἀποστραφῇς

 

Once again, these sayings can be found in Luke, chapter 6:29-30, perhaps from the Q source.  Matthew indicates that the followers of Jesus should be kind people.  We might even call these activities unusual acts of kindness.  If someone wished to sue you (καὶ τῷ θέλοντί σοι κριθῆναι), not only should you give him your inner tunic coat (τὸν χιτῶνά σου λαβεῖν), but also your outer cloak as well (ἄφες αὐτῷ καὶ τὸ ἱμάτιον).  This seems like you would give all the clothes off your back, since most people did not own more than 2 coats.  If someone, probably a Roman soldier, forced you to go a mile with them (καὶ ὅστις σε ἀγγαρεύσει μίλιον ἕν), then go with them a second mile (ὕπαγε μετ’ αὐτοῦ δύο), since Roman soldiers could order people to carry their stuff for only a mile.  If anyone begs from you, give him something (τῷ αἰτοῦντί σε δός).  If someone wished to borrow money from you, you should not refuse them or turn away from them (καὶ τὸν θέλοντα ἀπὸ σοῦ δανίσασθαι μὴ ἀποστραφῇς).  These were tough difficult recommendations, but actually based on the Torah.  People were expected to give charity and at the same time offer interest free loans.

The problem of the famine (Neh 5:1-5:5)

“Now there was a great outcry of the people and their wives against their Jewish kin. There were those who said. ‘With our sons and our daughters, we are many. We must get grain, so that we may eat and keep alive.’ There were also those who said. ‘We have to pledge our fields, our vineyards, and our houses in order to get grain during the famine.’ There were those who said. ‘We have to borrow money on our fields and vineyards to pay the king’s tax. Now our flesh is the same as that or our kindred. Our children are the same as their children. Yet we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves. Some of our daughters have already been ravished. We are powerless. Our fields and vineyards now belong to others.’”

Apparently there were 3 Jewish groups that were complaining about the famine in Jerusalem. The 1st group just wanted grain to stay alive because they had families. The 2nd group had pledged their land and houses in order to get grain. The 3rd group was complaining about the king’s taxes since they had to borrow money to pay it. Their children were becoming slaves, especially their daughters being ravished. They were powerless since they had lost their land to others.