Forgiveness (Lk 11:4-11:4)

“Forgive us

Our sins!

We ourselves

Forgive everyone

Indebted to us.”

 

καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν, καὶ γὰρ αὐτοὶ ἀφίομεν παντὶ ὀφείλοντι ἡμῖν·

Luke indicated that Jesus said that we should ask the Father to forgive our sins (καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν).  Afterall, we ourselves have forgiven everyone indebted to us (καὶ γὰρ αὐτοὶ ἀφίομεν παντὶ ὀφείλοντι ἡμῖν).  Matthew, chapter 6:12, said that we should ask the Father to forgive our debts (καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰ ὀφειλήματα ἡμῶν).  This includes whatever we owe to God, because our sins have put us in debt to God.  If we ask for forgiveness, that assumes that we have forgiven our own debtors (ὡς καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀφήκαμεν τοῖς ὀφειλέταις ἡμῶν).  This saying about forgiveness seems similar to Matthew, chapter 6:14-15, that came right after the “Our Father” prayer.  Basically, the heavenly Father would forgive those people who have forgiven others for their missteps or trespasses.  On the other hand, if you did not forgive others, your heavenly Father would not forgive you your trespasses.  You can see how the idea of trespasses, instead of debtors, came to be part of the “Our Father.”  Mark, chapter 11:25, indicated that Jesus said that whenever they would stand and pray, they should forgive others, especially if they have anything against anyone.  Then their heavenly Father would forgive them for their missteps or trespasses.  What are these trespasses?  The Greek word “τὰ παραπτώματα” means to fall away after being close, a lapse, a deviation from the truth, an error, a slip up, relatively unconscious, or non-deliberate.  Apparently, this was not a serious offense, something like daily implied insensitive insults.  However, they still had to forgive the trespasses of others to be forgiven by the heavenly father.  You can see how the idea of trespasses took on a greater significance over debtors in this great prayer to the Father.  Do you forgive other people?

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The daily burnt offering of the lamb (Ezek 46:13-46:15)

“The prince shall provide

A lamb a year old,

Without blemish,

For a burnt offering

To Yahweh

Daily.

Morning by morning

He shall provide it.

He shall provide

A grain offering

With it,

Morning by morning.

This shall be

One sixth of an ephah,

One third of a hin of oil

To moisten the flour,

As a grain offering

To Yahweh.

This is the ordinance

For all time.

Thus,

The lamb

With the grain offering,

Along with the oil,

Shall be provided,

Morning by morning,

As a regular burnt offering.”

Not only was the prince responsible for the sacrifices at the festivals, the weekly Sabbath, and the monthly new moon offerings, he was also responsible for providing the lamb offered up daily as a burnt offering in the Temple to Yahweh. Besides that, he also had to provide a small grain offering of 1/6th of an ephah or less than 1/10th of a bushel of grain with 1/3rd of a gallon of oil. This was a daily task. The oil moistened the flour, as usual. Yahweh, via Ezekiel said that this was a perpetual ordinance. There was to be a morning burnt offering to Yahweh of a lamb, with the accompanying grain and oil, every single day.

Ezekiel’s bread (Ezek 4:9-4:10)

“You take wheat.

You take barley.

You take beans.

You take lentils.

You take millet.

You take spelt.

Put them into

One vessel!

Make bread

For yourself!

During the number of days

That you lie

On your side,

Three hundred ninety days,

You shall eat it.

The food

That you eat

Shall be twenty shekels

A day,

By weight.

You shall eat it

At fixed times.”

The voice of Yahweh continued telling Ezekiel how to make his bread. It will be a combination of wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt. These last two were grains and flours. This sounds more like a stew or a soup, than rich bread. Ezekiel was to be put this combination of ingredients into one pot or vessel to make bread for himself. He was to eat this bread while he was laying on his side for the 390 days. He could eat 20 shekel weight of food daily at specific times, maybe once a day. It is not clear who was preparing his food.

 

Jeremiah wants to go to the palace jail (Jer 37:20-37:21)

“‘Now please hear me!

My lord king!

Be good enough

To listen to my plea!

Do not send me

Back to the house

Of the secretary Jonathan

To die there.’

So King Zedekiah gave orders.

They committed Jeremiah

To the court of the guard.

A loaf of bread

Was given him daily

From the bakers’ street,

Until all the bread of the city

Was gone.

So Jeremiah remained

In the court of the guard.”

Jeremiah did not want to go back to the dungeon cell in the house of the secretary Jonathan. Thus he pleaded with the king to get out of there. King Zedekiah granted his request. He was going to be kept in a semi-house arrest in the court of the guard, a real prison attached to the royal palace. There he would get a fresh loaf of bread from the common baker’s street area daily, until there were no more provisions in the city. Thus Jeremiah got better living conditions, if not released.

The sinful rebellious nation (Isa 58:1-58:2)

“Shout out!

Do not hold back!

Lift up your voice

Like a trumpet!

Announce to my people

Their rebellion!

Announce to the house of Jacob

Their sins!

Yet they seek me daily.

They delight to know my ways,

As if they were a nation

That practiced righteousness,

As if they did not forsake

The ordinance of their God.

They ask of me

Righteous judgments.

They delight to draw near to God.”

Third Isaiah wants the house of Jacob to shout out and not hold back. They should lift up their voices, as if it was like a trumpet. However, the announcement was that they were a sinful rebellious people. They have pretended to act righteously. They profess daily that they delight in God’s ways. Meanwhile, they are a nation that has forsaken the ordinances of God. They want righteous judgments. They say that they want to draw near to God, but they do not follow his laws.

Sing a new song to Yahweh (Ps 96:1-96:6)

“O sing to Yahweh!

Sing a new song!

Sing to Yahweh,

All the earth!

Sing to Yahweh!

Bless his name!

Tell of his salvation

From day to day!

Declare his glory

Among the nations!

Declare his marvelous works

Among all the peoples!

Yahweh is great!

He is greatly to be praised!

He is to be revered above all gods.

All the gods of the peoples are idols.

But Yahweh made the heavens.

Honor and majesty are before him.

Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.”

Once again, this Psalm 96 is a worship Temple psalm without any title. This psalmist calls for a new song to be sung to Yahweh. All the earth should sing to Yahweh. His name should be blessed. His salvation should be made known daily. His glory and marvels should be known among all peoples and nations. Yahweh is great. Thus he is revered over all the other idol gods. Yahweh made the heavens so that honor and majesty are due him. His strength and beauty can be seen in his sanctuary.