I tell you!
The kingdom of God
Will be taken away
It will be given
To a people
The fruits of the kingdom.”
διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἀρθήσεται ἀφ’ ὑμῶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ δοθήσεται ἔθνει ποιοῦντι τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτῆς.
This is a unique saying of Matthew. However, strangely enough, he called the kingdom “the kingdom of God” rather than his usual “kingdom of heaven.” Jesus had a solemn pronouncement (διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν) that the kingdom of God will be taken away from them (ὅτι ἀρθήσεται ἀφ’ ὑμῶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ). Instead, it would be given to a people that would produce the fruits of this kingdom (καὶ δοθήσεται ἔθνει ποιοῦντι τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτῆς). Thus, the productive followers of Jesus that produced fruits, rather than the chosen people, especially the Jewish religious leaders, would inherit the kingdom of God.
“The wild animals will honor me.
The jackals will honor me.
The ostriches will honor me.
I give water in the wilderness.
I give rivers in the desert
To give drink
To my chosen people.
They are the people
Whom I formed for myself
That they might declare my praise.”
Second Isaiah has Yahweh continue in the first person singular, saying that the wild animals will honor him. However, he only lists the jackals and the ostriches. Yahweh has provided water in the wilderness by providing rivers in the desert. Thus his specially chosen people could also give praise, just like the wild animals have. The wild animals seemed to appreciate the water more than Yahweh’s chosen people. Apparently on the return from Babylon, they passed through a desert wilderness in Syria some place.
“Then Judith, standing beside his bed, said in her heart.
‘O Lord God of all might,
Look in this hour upon the work of my hands
For the exaltation of Jerusalem.
Now, indeed is the time to help your heritage
To carry out my design
To destroy the enemies
Who have risen up against us.”
Judith now prayed for strength to carry out her work for Jerusalem. She was going to help God’s chosen people. She was going to carry out her design to destroy the enemies of Israel. She wanted God’s help to kill General Holofernes.