Divide the property (Lk 15:12-15:12)

“The younger son

Of them said

To his father.

‘Father!

Give me

The share

Of the property

That will belong

To me.’

Thus,

The father divided

His property

Between them.”

 

καὶ εἶπεν ὁ νεώτερος αὐτῶν τῷ πατρί Πάτερ, δός μοι τὸ ἐπιβάλλον μέρος τῆς οὐσίας. ὁ δὲ διεῖλεν αὐτοῖς τὸν βίον.

 

This long parable story about the two sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the younger son said to his father (καὶ εἶπεν ὁ νεώτερος αὐτῶν τῷ πατρί), very respectfully calling him “father (Πάτερ)” that he wanted the share of the property that was going to belong to him (δός μοι τὸ ἐπιβάλλον μέρος τῆς οὐσίας).  Thus, the father obliged.  He divided his property between the two of them (ὁ δὲ διεῖλεν αὐτοῖς τὸν βίον).  This is a simple story.  The younger son wanted his inheritance early, which was an unusual request, since inheritances would not take place until the death of his father.  Nevertheless, the father said ok, without consulting with the older son.  Has there been a fight in your family about inheritances?

Israelite idolatry (Hos 8:4-8:6)

“They made kings,

But not through me.

They set up princes,

But without my knowledge.

With their silver,

With their gold,

They made idols

For their own destruction.

Your calf is rejected!

O Samaria!

My anger burns

Against them.

How long

Will they be incapable

O innocence?

It is from Israel

That an artisan made it.

It is not God.

The calf of Samaria

Shall be broken into pieces.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, was upset about the idolatry in northern Israel, Samaria. They had their own kings, who killed each other to be kings. Thus, these kings did not come from Yahweh. They set up their own officials and princes, without consulting Yahweh. Most important of all, they made idols made of silver and gold that led to their own destruction. The golden calf of Samaria was to be rejected. Yahweh was burning with anger against them, since they were incapable of being innocent. Local Israelite artisans made these idols, not God. Therefore, the Samarian calf would be broken into pieces.

The penitential assembly at Mizpah (1 Macc 3:46-49)

“Then they gathered together. They went to Mizpah, opposite Jerusalem, because Israel formerly had a place of prayer in Mizpah. They fasted that day. They put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on their heads. They tore their clothes. They opened the book of the law to inquire into those matters about which the gentiles were consulting the images of their gods. They also brought the vestments of the priesthood, the first fruits, and the tithes. They stirred up the Nazirites who had completed their days.”

The troops of Judas Maccabeus assembled at Mizpah, where Samuel had gathered the Israelites for repentance in 1 Samuel, chapter 7. Mizpah was close to Jerusalem. Like at the time of Samuel, they fasted, put on sackcloth, and tore their clothes in repentance. The Jewish people consulted their book of the law rather than the images of the divine oracles of the Greek gentiles. They had a cultic experience by bringing the vestments of the priests, even though there was no mention of any Levite priests here. They also brought first fruits and tithes. It is difficult to see what they did with these things since the Temple at Jerusalem had been destroyed. They also stirred up the Nazirites who had finished their obligations. Obviously this revolutionary group was inspired by the Nazirite movement as outlined in Numbers, chapter 6.