Take nothing (Lk 9:3-9:3)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Take nothing

For your journey!

Take no staff!

Take no bag!

Take no bread!

Take no money!

Do not take

Even an extra tunic!’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Μηδὲν αἴρετε εἰς τὴν ὁδόν, μήτε ῥάβδον μήτε πήραν μήτε ἄρτον μήτε ἀργύριον μήτε ἀνὰ δύο χιτῶνας ἔχειν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told the 12 apostles (καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) to take nothing for their journey (Μηδὲν αἴρετε εἰς τὴν ὁδόν).  They were not to take a staff (μήτε ῥάβδον), a bag (μήτε πήραν), bread (μήτε ἄρτον), or money (μήτε ἀργύριον).  They were not to take even 2 tunics (μήτε ἀνὰ δύο χιτῶνας ἔχειν).  Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:9-10, and Mark, chapter 6:8-9, who is closer to Luke here.  Mark indicated that Jesus told them what they could not bring with them on their mission.  Jesus instructed them that they should not bring anything for their journey.  They could only bring a staff or walking stick, but they could not bring any bread, a bag or a sack, or money in their belts.  Mark said that they should wear sandals and have a walking stick, but without any food or bread.  However, all 3 synoptics agreed that they did not need two tunics, since one would be enough.  Matthew also indicated that Jesus told them what they could not bring with them on their mission.  They were not to bring with them any gold, silver, or copper, in their money belts, since they did not need money.  This was similar to what Mark had said about not bringing any money belts.  They were not to take any bags or sacks for their journey.  They were not to take two tunics, since one would be enough.  They were not to take any sandals or a staff.  However, these laborers did deserve their food.  Mark had said that they should bring a staff or sandals, but not bring food.  Matthew was the opposite.  He said that they were not to bring sandals, but could bring food.  They did not need any money or material things, but they certainly needed something to eat for nourishment.  This was a very strong demand on these 12 missionaries of Jesus.  Do you travel light with few things?

What to bring with you (Mt 10:9-10:10)

“Take no gold!

Take no silver!

Take no copper

In your belts!

Take no bag

For your journey!

Do not take

Two tunics!

Do not take

Sandals!

Do not take

A staff!

Laborers deserve

Their food.”

 

Μὴ κτήσησθε χρυσὸν μηδὲ ἄργυρον μηδὲ χαλκὸν εἰς τὰς ζώνας ὑμῶν,

μὴ πήραν εἰς ὁδὸν μηδὲ δύο χιτῶνας μηδὲ ὑποδήματα μηδὲ ῥάβδον· ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τῆς τροφῆς αὐτοῦ.

 

Equivalent passages to this can be found in Mark, chapter 6:8-9, and Luke, chapter 9:3.  Jesus told them what they could not bring with them on their mission.  They were not to bring with them any gold (Μὴ κτήσησθε χρυσὸν), silver (μηδὲ ἄργυρον), or copper (μηδὲ χαλκὸν) in their money belts (εἰς τὰς ζώνας ὑμῶν) since they did not need money.  They were not to take any bag or sack for their journey (μὴ πήραν εἰς ὁδὸν).  They were not to take two tunics (μηδὲ δύο χιτῶνας) since one would be enough.  They were not to take any sandals (μηδὲ ὑποδήματα) or a staff (μηδὲ ῥάβδον).  However, these laborers did deserve their food (ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τῆς τροφῆς αὐτοῦ).  They did not need any money or material things, but they certainly needed something to eat or nourishment.  This was a very strong demand on these missionaries of Jesus.

The response of Yahweh (Ezek 33:25-33:26)

“Therefore,

Say to them!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘You eat flesh

With the blood!

You lift up

Your eyes

To your idols!

You shed blood!

Shall you then

Possess the land?

You depend

On your swords.

You commit

Abominations.

Each of you

Defiles

His neighbor’s wife.

Shall you then

Possess the land?’”

Yahweh, their God, as usual, did not take kindly to anyone questioning him. He told Ezekiel to tell the Israelites that they had not behaved well. They had been eating flesh or meat with the blood still in it. They had lifted up their eyes to their own idols. They had shed blood by killing others. How would they then deserve to possess the promised land of Abraham? They had depended on their swords and committed many abominations. Many of them had defiled their neighbor’s wife. How then could they expect to possess the land of Abraham?

Drink the cup (Jer 49:12-49:12)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘If those who did not deserve

To drink the cup

Still have to drink it,

Shall you be the one

To go unpunished?

You shall not

Go unpunished.

You must drink it.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, said that the Edomites still had to drink from the cup of Yahweh’s wrath. Even if they did not deserve it, they would not go unpunished. Here Yahweh seems to indicate that the Edomites did not deserve the punishment that they were getting. However, they could not go unpunished. Thus they had to drink from this cup of wrath.

Jeremiah is saved (Jer 26:16-26:16)

“Then the officials

With all the people

Said to the priests

As well as the prophets.

‘This man does not deserve

The sentence of death.

He has spoken to us

In the name of Yahweh,

Our God.’”

After the defense of Jeremiah by himself, the royal officials and the rest of the people told the priests and the prophets that Jeremiah did not deserve to be put to death. He had only spoken to them in the name of Yahweh, their God. Let him be!

The good and bad wife (Sir 26:22-26:27)

“A prostitute is regarded as spittle.

A married woman

Is a tower of death to her lovers.

A godless wife is given as a portion

To a lawless man.

But a pious wife is given

To a man who fears the Lord.

A shameless woman constantly

Acts disgracefully.

A modest daughter will even

Be embarrassed before her husband.

A headstrong wife is regarded as a dog.

But one who has a sense of shame

Will fear the Lord.

A wife honoring her husband

Will seem wise to all.

But if she dishonors him

In her pride,

She will be known to all

As ungodly.

Happy is the husband

Of a good wife.

The number of his years

Will be doubled.

A loud voiced wife is

Like a trumpet sound.

A garrulous wife is

Like a trumpet sounding the charge.

Every person like this,

Lives in the anarchy of war.”

This section, like the preceding, does not appear in some editions. Sirach once again distinguishes between the good and the bad wife. Of course, prostitutes are like spit. A married wife who has lovers is like the tower of death to them. These godless wives belong with lawless husbands. On the other hand, a pious wife is a gift to a husband who fears the Lord. The shameless wife consistently acts disgraceful, so that even her daughter is embarrassed when her husband is around. A headstrong wife is a like a dog. She needs to be brought under control. The wife who has a sense of shame fears the Lord. Wives who honor their husbands are seen as wise. However, the ungodly wives dishonor their husbands. If a man has a good wife, as above, his life span will be doubled. A loud and talky wife is like a trumpet sound in battle. They deserve to live in a war of anarchy. Thus the humble wife is the ideal.

Humility (Sir 10:28-10:31)

“My child!

Honor yourself with humility!

Give yourself the esteem

That you deserve!

Who will acquit

Those who condemn themselves?

Who will honor

Those who dishonor themselves?

The poor are honored

For their knowledge.

The rich are honored

For their wealth.

One honored in poverty,

How much more in wealth!

One dishonored in wealth,

How much more in poverty!”

Sirach has a strange sort of humility. You should be honored with your humility. You should have a good self esteem because you deserve it. Do not condemn or dishonor yourself. Poor people are honored with knowledge, but the rich are honored with wealth. The best would be a poor person with knowledge and wealth. The worst would be a wealthy person who becomes poor. This strange kind of humility relies on knowledge and wealth as a determining factor.