Rabbi (Mt 23:7-23:8)

“The Pharisees

And Scribes

Love to be greeted

With respect

In the marketplaces.

They loved

To have people

Call them rabbi.

But you are not

To be called rabbi.

You have one teacher.

You are all student brothers.”

 

καὶ τοὺς ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς καὶ καλεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων Ῥαββεί.

ὑμεῖς δὲ μὴ κληθῆτε Ῥαββεί· εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ διδάσκαλος, πάντες δὲ ὑμεῖς ἀδελφοί ἐστε.

 

There is unique to Matthew.  Rabbi is a derogatory term for Matthew, rather than a term of respect as it was and is among the Jewish people.  Jesus said that the Pharisees and Scribes loved to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces (καὶ τοὺς ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς).  They loved to have people call them rabbi (καὶ καλεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων Ῥαββεί), since this was an Aramaic term that generally meant great teacher or master.  Jesus was often called a teacher by Matthew, but not a rabbi.  Jesus warned them not to call anyone rabbi (ὑμεῖς δὲ μὴ κληθῆτε Ῥαββεί).  They only had one teacher (εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ διδάσκαλος), implying himself, Jesus, since all of them were brother students (πάντες δὲ ὑμεῖς ἀδελφοί ἐστε) learning from Jesus.  Matthew once again indicated his distaste for the Pharisees who called themselves rabbis.

Crooked minds (Prov 11:20-11:23)

“Crooked minds are an abomination to Yahweh.

But those of blameless ways are his delight.

Be assured!

The wicked will not go unpunished.

But those who are righteous will escape.

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout

Is a beautiful woman

Without good sense.

The desire of the righteous

Ends only in good.

The expectation of the wicked

Ends in wrath.”

Yahweh does not like crooked minds. He delights in the blameless ones. You should not worry because the wicked will not go unpunished. The righteous, however, will escape punishment. A beautiful woman without any sense is like a gold ring in a pig’s nose. This simile is doubly stark because of the distaste of pigs and pork in the Middle East culture. The righteous will have their desires fulfilled, but the expectations of the wicked will end in disaster.