“Make up your minds!
Do not prepare
θέτε οὖν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν μὴ προμελετᾶν ἀπολογηθῆναι·
Luke indicated that Jesus told them to make up or settle their minds or hearts (θέτε οὖν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν), so that they did not have to prepare their defense ahead of time (μὴ προμελετᾶν ἀπολογηθῆναι). This is unique use by Luke of the term προμελετᾶν, that means to premeditate, meditate beforehand, or prepare. Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:19, and Mark, chapter 13:11. Mark indicated that Jesus told his disciples not to worry beforehand or be anxious about what to say (μὴ προμεριμνᾶτε τί λαλήσητε), when they were handed over and brought to trial (καὶ ὅταν ἄγωσιν ὑμᾶς παραδιδόντες). Matthew indicated that Jesus told his disciples not to worry or be anxious (μὴ μεριμνήσητε), when they were handed over (ὅταν δὲ παραδῶσιν ὑμᾶς) to these courts or tribunals. They should not worry about how or what they should say (πῶς ἢ τί λαλήσητε). It will be given to them (δοθήσεται γὰρ ὑμῖν) in that hour at that time (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ) what they should say (τί λαλήσητε). Luke simply said that they were not to make any preparations for their defense. Would you like to be prepared before you went to court?
“I tell you!
You will never get out
Until you have paid
The very last penny.”
λέγω σοι, οὐ μὴ ἐξέλθῃς ἐκεῖθεν ἕως καὶ τὸ ἔσχατον λεπτὸν ἀποδῷς.
Luke said that Jesus gave a solemn pronouncement (λέγω σοι) that they would never get out of jail (οὐ μὴ ἐξέλθῃς ἐκεῖθεν) until they had paid every last lepton or penny (ως καὶ τὸ ἔσχατον λεπτὸν ἀποδῷς). A lepton was a small Greek coin, the smallest amount of money. Thus, it is translated as a penny. There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 5:26, indicating a Q source. Matthew had this solemn statement of Jesus (ἀμὴν λέγω σοι), just like Luke. They would never get out of jail (οὐ μὴ ἐξέλθῃς ἐκεῖθεν) until they had paid off the last κοδράντην (ἕως ἂν ἀποδῷς τὸν ἔσχατον κοδράντην). This κοδράντην was a 1/10 of a drachma, about .03 cents, generally translated as a penny. Settle your debts before you go to court! Have you had difficult financial dealings with other people?
“Thus says Yahweh.
‘Your hurt is incurable!
Your wound is grievous!
There is no one
To uphold your cause!
There is no medicine
For your wound!
There is no healing for you.
All your lovers
Have forgotten you.
They care nothing for you.
I have dealt you
The blow of an enemy,
Of a merciless foe,
Because your guilt is great,
Because your sins
Are so numerous.
Why do you cry out
Over your hurt?
Your pain is incurable.
Because your guilt is great,
Because your sins
Are so numerous.
I have done these things to you.’”
Yahweh says that the Israelites are in great pain. They have a serious incurable wound that will not heal. There is no medicine available to help them. There is no one who will defend them in court. All their lovers have forgotten about them. Yahweh has helped their enemies deliver a severe blow. Yahweh repeats himself twice saying that the guilt of the Israelites is very great and numerous. They should stop crying about their terrible pains. Yahweh has done all to this to them. Just cry out to Yahweh and forget all the other stuff.
“What your eyes have seen
Do not hastily bring into court.
What will you do in the end?
What if your neighbor puts you to shame?
Argue your case with your neighbor directly.
Do not disclose another’s secret.
Or else someone who hears you
Will bring shame upon you.
Your ill repute will have no end.”
Do not be hasty to bring your neighbor to court, even if you have seen the offense with your own eyes. What will be the gain for you if you are put to shame by your neighbor? Settle the dispute with your neighbor directly. Do not reveal any secrets because someone might hear them. They might bring shame to you and lead to a bad reputation for you.
“Do not be a witness
Against your neighbor without cause.
Do not deceive with your lips!
Do not say.
‘I will do to others
As they have done to me.
I will pay them back
For what they have done.’”
Do not cause a problem with your neighbors. Do not go to court against them with no good reason, without a cause. Do not deceive others with your lips by telling lies. Do not reverse the good you have done by using the concept of vengeance. Do not do to others what they have done to you. Do not pay them back for what they did to you. Vengeance is not yours.
“If one gives an answer before hearing,
It is folly and shame.
The human spirit will endure sickness.
But who can bear a broken spirit?
An intelligent mind acquires knowledge.
The ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
A gift opens doors.
Gifts give access to the great.
Whoever first states a case seems right,
Until the other comes,
Until the other cross-examines him.”
The intelligent mind is always acquiring knowledge. The wise ones always have an ear seeking knowledge. Inquiring minds want to know. It is folly and your shame if you give an answer before you hear the question. The human spirit can endure sickness, but a broken spirit is more difficult to bear. A gift will open doors for you, especially to the great ones. If you go to court, your case may seem right until you are cross-examined by somebody else.
“Ascribe to Yahweh!
O families of the peoples!
Ascribe to Yahweh
Glory and strength!
Ascribe to Yahweh
The glory due his name!
Bring an offering!
Come into his courts!
Worship Yahweh in holy splendor!
Tremble before him!
All the earth!”
This is a universal call for all people to worship Yahweh. They were to recognize his glory and his strength. They were to acknowledge the glory of his name. They were to bring offerings to the court of Yahweh with their best garments on them. All the earthly humans should tremble before him.
“They also rebuilt the sanctuary and the interior of the temple. They consecrated the courts. They made new holy vessels. They brought the lamp stand, the altar of incense, and the table into the temple. Then they offered incense on the altar. They lit the lamps on the lamp stand so that they gave light in the temple. They placed the bread on the table. They hung up the curtains. Thus they finished all the work they had undertaken.”
Then they rebuilt the sanctuary and the interior of the Temple. They consecrated the courts, and make new vessels. They brought in the lamp stand, the incense table, and the table for the bread. They also hung the curtains. With the lamp stands burning, they had light in the Temple. They finished refurnishing the Temple.
“On the third day Queen Esther put on her royal robes. She stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, opposite the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne inside the palace opposite the entrance to the palace. As soon as the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won his favor. He held out to her the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Queen Esther approached and touched the top of the scepter. The king said to her.
‘What is it, Queen Esther?
What is your request?
It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.’”
Now we are back to the Hebrew text which is a summary of what preceded in the Greek text with a slightly different ending. It is the 3rd day. However, here she stands in the court opposite the king’s hall. He summons her because she is so beautiful. There is no fainting. She just accepts the golden scepter. The king spoke first. He was willing to give her any request she might make, even giving half the kingdom to her. Surprisingly the Hebrew text shows the king as more gentle.
“Now Mordecai took his rest in the courtyard with Gabatha and Tharra, the two eunuchs of the king who kept watch in the courtyard. He overheard their conversation. He inquired into their purposes. He learned that they were preparing to lay hands upon King Artaxerxes. He informed the king concerning them. Then the king examined the two eunuchs. After they had confessed it, they were led away to execution. The king made a permanent record of these things. Mordecai also wrote an account of them. The king ordered Mordecai to serve in the court. He rewarded him for these things. However, Haman, son of Hammedatha, a Bougaean, was in great honor with the king. He sought to injure Mordecai and his people because of the two eunuchs of the king.”
Once again, a eunuch was a castrated man who personally served the king. It is not clear why Mordecai was sleeping with these 2 men in the courtyard. Nevertheless, Mordecai heard their conversation where they were plotting to overthrow and kill the king. He turned on the 2 eunuchs and told the Persian King Artaxerxes what he had heard. The king examined the situation, as the 2 eunuchs confessed their plot. Then the king had them executed. He ordered Mordecai to write an account of the affair, and serve in his court. All looks well for Mordecai. However, Haman comes on the scene. He may have been behind the plot of the 2 eunuchs because he does not seem happy that Mordecai uncovered it. He was a man of high honor but he was also against Mordecai’s people, the Jews.