“Then this evil spirit
Seven other spirits
They live there.
The last state
Of that person
Than the first.”
τότε πορεύεται καὶ παραλαμβάνει ἕτερα πνεύματα πονηρότερα ἑαυτοῦ ἑπτά, καὶ εἰσελθόντα κατοικεῖ ἐκεῖ, καὶ γίνεται τὰ ἔσχατα τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκείνου χείρονα τῶν πρώτων.
Luke indicated that Jesus said that this unclean spirit went and brought 7 others more evil spirits than him (τότε πορεύεται καὶ παραλαμβάνει ἕτερα πνεύματα πονηρότερα ἑαυτοῦ ἑπτά). They entered and lived there (καὶ εἰσελθόντα κατοικεῖ ἐκεῖ). Thus, the last state of that possessed person or man (καὶ γίνεται τὰ ἔσχατα τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκείνου) was worse than the first or original state (χείρονα τῶν πρώτων) of that person. This saying about the returning unclean spirit can be found almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 12:45, indicating a Q source. This implied a failed exorcism or a failed healing, so that the evil unclean spirit would return with more evil spirits. Thus, the unclean spirit brought 7 more evil spirits (τότε πορεύεται καὶ παραλαμβάνει μεθ’ ἑαυτοῦ ἑπτὰ ἕτερα πνεύματα πονηρότερα ἑαυτοῦ). All these evil spirits entered and lived there (καὶ εἰσελθόντα κατοικεῖ ἐκεῖ). Finally, the last state of that person would be worse than the original situation (καὶ γίνεται τὰ ἔσχατα τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκείνου χείρονα τῶν πρώτων). Thus, it would be the same for this evil generation (οὕτως ἔσται καὶ τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ τῇ πονηρᾷ). Jesus had just called this generation evil, earlier in that chapter. Luke never mentioned this current evil generation here. Do you think that more evil comes to an empty house?
“Then this unclean spirit says.
‘I will return
To my house,
From which I came.’
When he comes,
This spirit finds it empty.
It is swept.
It is put in order.
Then the unclean spirit goes
And brings along
Seven other spirits
More evil than itself.
They enter there.
They live there.
The last state of that person
Is worse than the first.
It will it be also
With this evil generation.”
τότε λέγει Εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου ἐπιστρέψω ὅθεν ἐξῆλθον· καὶ ἐλθὸν εὑρίσκει σχολάζοντα καὶ σεσαρωμένον καὶ κεκοσμημένον.
τότε πορεύεται καὶ παραλαμβάνει μεθ’ ἑαυτοῦ ἑπτὰ ἕτερα πνεύματα πονηρότερα ἑαυτοῦ, καὶ εἰσελθόντα κατοικεῖ ἐκεῖ· καὶ γίνεται τὰ ἔσχατα τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκείνου χείρονα τῶν πρώτων. οὕτως ἔσται καὶ τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ τῇ πονηρᾷ.
This saying about the returning unclean spirit can also be found word for word in Luke, chapter 11:25-26, indicating a Q source. This implies a failed exorcism or a failed healing, so that the evil unclean spirit would return with more evil spirits. Thus, the final state of that person would be worse than it was in the beginning. This unclean spirit said to itself that it would return to its house or the place or person that it had come from (τότε λέγει Εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου ἐπιστρέψω ὅθεν ἐξῆλθον). Nothing had been put in its place, because this unclean spirit found it empty or unoccupied (καὶ ἐλθὸν εὑρίσκει σχολάζοντα), swept clean (καὶ σεσαρωμένον) and in order, newly decorated (καὶ κεκοσμημένον). Thus, the unclean spirit went and brought 7 more evil spirits (τότε πορεύεται καὶ παραλαμβάνει μεθ’ ἑαυτοῦ ἑπτὰ ἕτερα πνεύματα πονηρότερα ἑαυτοῦ). All these evil spirits entered and lived there (καὶ εἰσελθόντα κατοικεῖ ἐκεῖ·). Finally, the last state of that person would be worse than the original situation (καὶ γίνεται τὰ ἔσχατα τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκείνου χείρονα τῶν πρώτων). Thus, it would be the same for this evil generation (οὕτως ἔσται καὶ τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ τῇ πονηρᾷ). Jesus had just called this generation evil in chapter 12:19.
“It is he who made the earth
By his power.
He established the world
By his wisdom.
By his understanding,
He stretched out the heavens.
When he utters his voice
There is a tumult of waters
In the heavens.
He makes the mist rise
From the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain.
He brings forth the wind
From his storehouses.”
Jeremiah proclaims that Yahweh is all powerful. He made the earth by his power and thus established the world by his wisdom. He stretched out the heavens by his understanding, so that when he utters his voice, the waters in the heaven can create a mist from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning in the rain. He also brings wind from his various wind storehouses. Thus you can see this author’s cosmology about the powerful God, Yahweh, who has control of the world and its climate.
“There is a manner of speaking
Comparable to death.
May it never be found
In the inheritance of Jacob.
Such conduct will be far
From the godly.
They will not wallow in sins.
Do not accustom your mouth
To coarse foul language.
This involves sinful speech.
Remember your father!
Remember your mother!
When you sit among the great ones!
Otherwise you might forget yourself
In their presence.
You might behave
Like a fool
Through bad habit.
Then you will wish
That you had never been born.
You will curse the day of your birth.
Whoever is accustomed
To use abusive language
Will never become disciplined
As long as they live.”
Sirach warns against the manner of speaking that brings death. This could be blasphemy or some profane sinful language that should never appear among the descendants of Jacob. Notice that is Jacob and not Israel. You should watch your language and not wallow in sin, since this is ungodly. Do not get accustomed to using coarse foul vulgar language. You should remember your parents whenever you are with great people. Otherwise, you might behave like a fool with bad habits. If you do, you will wish that you were never born. You will curse the day of your birth. If you get accustomed to using abusive language, you will never be disciplined in your life, no matter how long you live.
“Good things and bad,
Life and death,
Poverty and wealth,
All come from the Lord.
The Lord’s gift remains
With the devout.
His favor brings lasting success.
One becomes rich
One becomes rich
The reward allotted to him is this.
When he says.
‘I have found rest.
Now I shall feast on my goods!’
He does not know
How long it will be
Until he leaves them to others,
Until he dies.”
Everything comes from the Lord, both good and bad, life and death, as well as poverty and wealth. The Lord graces or gifts those who are devout. The Lord’s favor brings lasting success. You can become rich through diligence and self-denial. You might even say that you want to enjoy your wealth. However, you have no idea how long you will be able to do this because death is always looming. Someone else will probably enjoy these things that you worked so hard to get.
“The wise woman builds her house.
But the foolish woman tears it down
With her own hands.
Those who walk uprightly
But one who is devious in conduct
The talk of fools
Is a rod for their backs.
But the lips of the wise
The wise woman builds her own house. The foolish woman, on the other hand, tears it down herself. If you walk upright, you fear Yahweh. If you are devious all over the place, then you despise Yahweh. The talk of fools brings the whipping rod to their backs, while the lips of the wise keep them save.
“Whoever speaks the truth
Gives honest evidence.
But a false witness
Rash words are like sword thrusts.
But the tongue of the wise
Truthful lips endure forever.
But a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil.
But those who counsel peace have joy.
No harm happens to the righteous.
But the wicked are filled with trouble.
Lying lips are an abomination to Yahweh.
But those who act faithfully are his delight.”
Truth is important. Telling the truth is giving honest evidence. The false witness was full of deceitful speech. Their rash words were like sword swipes. The tongue of the wise truthful one brings healing and endures forever. The lying tongue only lasts a moment. The deceitful people plan their evil deeds. If you counsel peace, you will bring joy. The righteous are not harmed, but the wicked are full of trouble. Yahweh hates lying lips, but loves faithful true lips.
“A false balance is an abomination to Yahweh.
But an accurate weight is his delight.
When pride comes,
Then disgrace comes.
But wisdom is with the humble.
The integrity of the upright guides them.
But the crookedness of the treacherous
Riches do not profit in the day of wrath.
But righteousness delivers from death.”
Yahweh wants integrity in humans. They should not use a false scale, but have accurate weights in their business dealings. Pride brings disgrace while humility is wise. Integrity should be your guide, as it is for the upright, because the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them. On the day of wrath, riches will not be worth much, but righteousness will deliver you from death.
“I know that Yahweh maintains the cause of the needy.
He executes justice for the poor.
Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name.
The upright shall live in your presence.”
This psalm ends on a happy note. Yahweh will give victory to the righteous. David knows that Yahweh helps the needy and brings justice to the poor. The righteous ones will give thanks to his name, while the upright shall live in the presence of Yahweh. Thus we have a happy ending.