The speck in the eye (Mt 7:3-7:5)

“Why do you see

The speck

In your brother’s eye?

But you do not notice

The log

In your own eye.

How can you say

To your brother?

‘Let me take the speck

Out of your eye.’

When there is a log

In your own eye.

You hypocrite!

First take the log

Out of your own eye!

Then you will see clearly

To take the speck

Out of your brother’s eye.”

 

τί δὲ βλέπεις τὸ κάρφος τὸ ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου, τὴν δὲ ἐν τῷ σῷ ὀφθαλμῷ δοκὸν οὐ κατανοεῖς;

ἢ πῶς ἐρεῖς τῷ ἀδελφῷ σου· Ἄφες ἐκβάλω τὸ κάρφος ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ σου, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἡ δοκὸς ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ σοῦ;

ὑποκριτά, ἔκβαλε πρῶτον ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ σοῦ τὴν δοκόν, καὶ τότε διαβλέψεις ἐκβαλεῖν τὸ κάρφος ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου.

 

This saying of Jesus is exactly the same as in Luke, chapter 6:41-42, indicating a common Q source.  Jesus wanted to know why they saw the speck, splinter, or chip (τί δὲ βλέπεις τὸ κάρφος) in their brother’s eye (τὸ ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου), but they did not notice the log or beam in their own eyes (τὴν δὲ ἐν τῷ σῷ ὀφθαλμῷ δοκὸν οὐ κατανοεῖς)?  How can they say to their brother (ἢ πῶς ἐρεῖς τῷ ἀδελφῷ σου) that they wanted him to take the speck out of his eye (Ἄφες ἐκβάλω τὸ κάρφος ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ σου), when there was a log in their own eyes (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἡ δοκὸς ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ σοῦ)?  Jesus calls them hypocrites (ὑποκριτά).  The Greek word “ὑποκριτα” means actors, deceitful ones, dissemblers, pretenders, a two-faced person, someone who says one thing, but does another.  Matthew used this term 14 of the 18 times it was used in the New Testament literature, usually referring to the enemies of Jesus.  They first had to take out the log of their own eye (ἔκβαλε πρῶτον ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ σοῦ τὴν δοκόν).  Then they would be able to see clearly enough (καὶ τότε διαβλέψεις) to take out the speck of their brother’s eye (ἐκβαλεῖν τὸ κάρφος ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου).  Everything is in the eye of the beholder.

The response of the three men (Dan 3:16-3:18)

“Shadrach,

Meshach,

Abednego,

Answered the king.

‘O King Nebuchadnezzar!

We have no need

To present

A defense

To you

In this matter.

If our God,

Whom we serve,

Is able

To deliver us

From the furnace

Of blazing fire,

As well as out of your hand,

O king!

Let him deliver us!

But if not!

Let it be known to you!

O king!

That we will not serve

Your gods.

We will not worship

The golden statue

That you have set up.’”

The 3 companions of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar clearly and directly. They were not going to present a defense of their actions. If their God was able or not able to get them out of the fiery furnace away from the king, so be it. There was no ambiguity for them. They were not going to serve his gods or worship his golden statue, case closed.

The history of wisdom (Wis 6:22-6:25)

“I will tell you

What wisdom is.

I will tell you

How she came to be.

I will hide no secrets from you.

But I will trace her course

From the beginning of creation.

I will make knowledge of her clear.

I will not pass by the truth.

I will not travel in the company

Of sickly envy.

Envy does not associate with wisdom.

The multitude of the wise

Is the salvation of the world.

A sensible king

Is the stability of any people.

Therefore

Be instructed by my words.

You will profit.”

Assuming the first person singular, probably as King Solomon, this author sets out to tell the developing history of wisdom (σοφία καὶ πῶς ἐγένετο). He was not going to hide any secrets or mysteries (μυστήρια). He was going to trace all of wisdom from the beginning of creation (γενέσεως). He was going to point this out clearly and truthfully. Envy (φθόνῳ) does not associate with wisdom (οὐ κοινωνήσει σοφίᾳ). The multitude of the wise will bring salvation to the world. A sensible king brings stability to the people. Therefore all can be instructed and gain from his words.