The great condemnation (Lk 20:47-20:47)

“The Scribes

Devour

Widows’ houses.

They say long prayers

For the sake of appearance.

They will receive

A greater condemnation.”

 

οἳ κατεσθίουσιν τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσεύχονται· οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his condemnation of the Scribes.  He said that the Scribes devour widows’ houses (οἱ κατεσθίοντες τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν).  They say long prayers for the sake of appearance (καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι).  They will receive the greater condemnation (οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα).  Mark, chapter 12:40, and Matthew, chapter 23:14, are almost word for word like here in Luke.  They all talked about how these Scribes took advantage of widows and pretended to be men of prayer.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that these Scribes devoured widows’ houses (οἱ κατεσθίοντες τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν), the same as Luke.  What did he mean by that?  They obviously took advantage of the generosity of widows.  For the sake of appearances, these Scribes said long prayers (καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι).  Thus, they would receive a great severe condemnation (οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα.) for their behavior.  Once again, there was no mention of any Pharisees, just the Scribes.  In Matthew, this first part of the opening verse is exactly the same as the preceding verse.  Woe to you (Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν)!  Scribes (γραμματεῖς)!  Woe to you!  Pharisees (καὶ Φαρισαῖοι)!  Hypocrites (ὑποκριταί)!  There is no doubt that here Jesus was cursing both the Scribes and the Pharisees, who were devouring widow’s houses (ὅτι κατεσθίετε τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν), as they were taking advantage of widows.  They also made long lengthy prayers (καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι), so that they would look better and more pious.  However, they were about to receive a greater condemnation (διὰ τοῦτο λήψεσθε περισσότερον κρίμα) than they had expected.  Once again, the major difference was the role of the Pharisees in Matthew, that is not in Luke or Mark.  Are you a hypocrite?

The outside of the cup (Lk 11:39-11:39)

“Then the Lord

Said to the Pharisee.

‘Now you Pharisees!

You clean

The outside

Of the cup

And of the dish,

But inside,

You are full

Of greed

And wickedness.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Κύριος πρὸς αὐτόν Νῦν ὑμεῖς οἱ Φαρισαῖοι τὸ ἔξωθεν τοῦ ποτηρίου καὶ τοῦ πίνακος καθαρίζετε, τὸ δὲ ἔσωθεν ὑμῶν γέμει ἁρπαγῆς καὶ πονηρίας.

 

Luke indicated that the Lord Jesus said to the Pharisee (εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Κύριος πρὸς αὐτόν) that they, the Pharisees (Νῦν ὑμεῖς οἱ Φαρισαῖοι), clean (καθαρίζετε) the outside of the cup and the dish (τὸ ἔξωθεν τοῦ ποτηρίου καὶ τοῦ πίνακος).  However, their inside (τὸ δὲ ἔσωθεν ὑμῶν) was full of (γέμει) greed or plundering (ἁρπαγῆς) and evil wickedness (καὶ πονηρίας).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:25-26, but Jesus was cursing the Pharisees there.  Matthew said that Jesus continued to curse the Pharisees and the Scribes as hypocrites for their impure hearts or intentions.  They cleaned the outside of the cup and the plate, but let the inside remain full of greed or robbery and self-indulgence.  Jesus called them blind Pharisees.  He reminded them to first clean the inside of their cups and their plates.  Then. the outside would be clean also.  Their interior heart was important.  Luke repeated that same message here.  How clean are you on the inside?

The tradition of Moses (Mk 7:10-7:10)

“Moses said.

‘Honor your father!

Honor your mother!’

‘Whoever speaks evil

Of father

Or mother,

Must surely die!’”

 

Μωϋσῆς γὰρ εἶπεν Τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου καὶ τὴν μητέρα σου, καί Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα θανάτῳ τελευτάτω.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 15:4.  Mark indicated that Jesus gave an example of one of God’s Ten Commandments that Moses had given them (Μωϋσῆς γὰρ εἶπεν) about honoring your father and mother (Τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου καὶ τὴν μητέρα σου), as found in Exodus, chapter 20:12 and Deuteronomy chapter 5:16.  There it said that you will live long and things will go well with you, if you take care of and honor your parents.  Jesus then added in the saying about speaking evil of one’s parents (καί Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα) from Exodus, chapter 21:17, and Leviticus, chapter 20:9, where the penalty for striking or cursing a parent was death (θανάτῳ τελευτάτω).

Converts (Mt 23:15-23:15)

“Woe to you!

Scribes!

Woe to you!

Pharisees!

Hypocrites!

You cross the sea.

You cross the dry land

To make a single convert.

You make

The new convert

Twice as much

A child of hell

As yourselves.”

 

Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί, ὅτι περιάγετε τὴν θάλασσαν καὶ τὴν ξηρὰν ποιῆσαι ἕνα προσήλυτον, καὶ ὅταν γένηται, ποιεῖτε αὐτὸν υἱὸν γεέννης διπλότερον ὑμῶν.

 

This first part of the opening verse is exactly the same as the preceding verse in this unique saying of Matthew.  Woe to you (Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν)!  Scribes (γραμματεῖς)!  Woe to you!  Pharisees (καὶ Φαρισαῖοι)!  Hypocrites (ὑποκριταί)!  There is no doubt that here Jesus was cursing the Scribes and the Pharisees.  These Pharisees were trying to convert many of the Romans to Judaism.  They would cross seas and dry lands trying to make a single convert or proselyte (ὅτι περιάγετε τὴν θάλασσαν καὶ τὴν ξηρὰν ποιῆσαι ἕνα προσήλυτον).  However, in doing so (καὶ ὅταν γένηται), they had made these new converts to Pharisaic Judaism twice as much a child of Gehenna or hell as themselves (ποιεῖτε αὐτὸν υἱὸν γεέννης διπλότερον ὑμῶν).

Shut off heaven (Mt 23:14-23:14)

“Woe to you!

Scribes!

Woe to you!

Pharisees!

Hypocrites!

You devour widow’s houses!

For the sake of appearance,

You make long prayers!

Therefore,

You will receive

The greater condemnation.”

 

Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι, ὑποκριταί, ὅτι κατεσθίετε τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν, καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι· διὰ τοῦτο λήψεσθε περισσότερον κρίμα.

 

This verse is missing in a number of manuscripts but can be found in other Greek Orthodox versions of this unique saying of Matthew.  This first part of the opening verse is exactly the same as the preceding verse.  Woe to you (Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν)!  Scribes (γραμματεῖς)!  Woe to you!  Pharisees (καὶ Φαρισαῖοι)!  Hypocrites (ὑποκριταί)!  There is no doubt that here Jesus was cursing the Scribes and the Pharisees, who were devouring widow’s houses (ὅτι κατεσθίετε τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν), as they were taking advantage of widows.  They also made long lengthy prayers (καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι·), so that they would look better and more pious.  However, they were about to receive a greater condemnation (διὰ τοῦτο λήψεσθε περισσότερον κρίμα) than they had expected.

 

Jesus curses the fig tree (Mt 21:19-21:20)

“Jesus saw a fig tree

By the side of the road.

He went to it.

He found nothing on it

But leaves only.

He said to it.

‘May no fruit

Ever come

From you again!’

The fig tree withered

At once.

When the disciples saw it,

They were amazed.

They said.

‘How did the fig tree

Wither at once?’”

 

καὶ ἰδὼν συκῆν μίαν ἐπὶ τῆς ὁδοῦ ἦλθεν ἐπ’ αὐτήν, καὶ οὐδὲν εὗρεν ἐν αὐτῇ εἰ μὴ φύλλα μόνον, καὶ λέγει αὐτῇ Οὐ μηκέτι ἐκ σοῦ καρπὸς γένηται εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα. καὶ ἐξηράνθη παραχρῆμα ἡ συκῆ.

καὶ ἰδόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ ἐθαύμασαν λέγοντες Πῶς παραχρῆμα ἐξηράνθη ἡ συκῆ;

 

This story about Jesus cursing the fig tree can be found in Mark, chapter 11:13-14, in a condensed form.  Luke, chapter 13:6-9, has a parable about a fig tree that would not bear fruit.  Jesus saw one fig tree by the side of the road (καὶ ἰδὼν συκῆν μίαν ἐπὶ τῆς ὁδοῦ).  He went over to it (ἦλθεν ἐπ’ αὐτήν) but he found no fruit (καὶ οὐδὲν εὗρεν ἐν αὐτῇ), since only leaves were on it (εἰ μὴ φύλλα μόνον).  He then said to the tree (καὶ λέγει αὐτῇ) that no fruit would ever come from that tree again (Οὐ μηκέτι ἐκ σοῦ καρπὸς γένηται εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα).  Then the fig tree withered or dried up instantly (καὶ ἐξηράνθη παραχρῆμα ἡ συκῆ).  When his disciples saw this (καὶ ἰδόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ), they were amazed and marveled (ἐθαύμασαν).  They wondered about this and said (λέγοντες).  “How did this fig tree wither immediately (Πῶς παραχρῆμα ἐξηράνθη ἡ συκῆ)?”  Even his disciples were amazed about this withering fig tree.

Honor your parents (Mt 15:4-15:5)

“God said.

‘Honor your father!

Honor your mother!’

‘Whoever speaks evil

Of father

Or mother

Must surely die.’

But you say.

‘Whoever tells

His father

Or his mother.

Whatever gift

He made

To God,

It would not profit

Or honor

His parents.’”

 

ὁ γὰρ Θεὸς εἶπεν Τίμα τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὴν μητέρα, καί Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα θανάτῳ τελευτάτω·

ὑμεῖς δὲ λέγετε Ὃς ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ πατρὶ ἢ τῇ μητρί Δῶρον ὃ ἐὰν ἐξ ἐμοῦ ὠφεληθῇς,

 

There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 7:10-12.  Jesus gave an example of how the Pharisees had turned away from God’s commandments in favor of their own traditions.  He took as an example, one of God’s Ten Commandments (ὁ γὰρ Θεὸς εἶπεν) about honoring your father and mother (Τίμα τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὴν μητέρα), as found in Exodus, chapter 20:12 and Deuteronomy chapter 5:16, where it said that you will live long and things will go well with you if you take care of and honor your parents.  Jesus then added in the saying about speaking evil of one’s parents (καί Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα) from Exodus, chapter 21:17, and Leviticus, chapter 20:9, where the penalty for striking or cursing a parent was death (θανάτῳ τελευτάτω).  He seemed to indicate that the Pharisees believed and said (ὑμεῖς δὲ λέγετε) that an individual could tell his parents (Ὃς ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ πατρὶ ἢ τῇ μητρί) that whatever gift they had given to God as a “korab” Temple offering, their parents could not profit from it (Δῶρον ὃ ἐὰν ἐξ ἐμοῦ ὠφεληθῇς).  Therefore, they would only offer gifts to God and not their parents.  Sometimes people did not give their temple gift or “korab” until just before death, but never give anything to their parents.