The reward for the righteous (Mt 13:43-13:43)

“Then the righteous

Will shine

Like the sun

In the kingdom

Of their Father.

Let anyone with ears,

Listen!”

 

τότε οἱ δίκαιοι ἐκλάμψουσιν ὡς ὁ ἥλιος ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Πατρὸς αὐτῶν. ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω.

 

Only Matthew has this explanation about the parable of the weeds, in chapter 13:24-30.  Here it is the harvest time, the end times.  The righteous, like the good wheat, will shine (τότε οἱ δίκαιοι ἐκλάμψουσιν) like the sun in the kingdom of their Father (ὡς ὁ ἥλιος ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Πατρὸς αὐτῶν).  Then Jesus gave his final remark about his explanation.  He wanted anyone with ears to listen up (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω), ending this long explanation of Matthew about the simple parable of the weeds and the good wheat grain.  Wait until the end time to find out about your eternal reward or punishment.

The prophecy of Isaiah (Mt 13:14-13:15)

“With them indeed is fulfilled

The prophecy of Isaiah

That says.

‘You will indeed listen,

But never understand!

You will indeed see,

but never perceive!

This people’s heart

Has grown dull.

Their ears are

Hard of hearing.

They have shut their eyes,

So that they might not look

With their eyes.

So that they do not listen

With their ears.

So that they do not understand

With their hearts.

They should return.

I would heal them.’”

 

καὶ ἀναπληροῦται αὐτοῖς ἡ προφητεία Ἡσαΐου ἡ λέγουσα Ἀκοῇ ἀκούσετε καὶ οὐ μὴ συνῆτε, καὶ βλέποντες βλέψετε καὶ οὐ μὴ ἴδητε.

ἐπαχύνθη γὰρ ἡ καρδία τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου, καὶ τοῖς ὠσὶν βαρέως ἤκουσαν, καὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν ἐκάμμυσαν· μή ποτε ἴδωσιν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς καὶ τοῖς ὠσὶν ἀκούσωσιν καὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ συνῶσιν καὶ ἐπιστρέψωσιν, καὶ ἰάσομαι αὐτούς.

 

This prophecy of Isaiah is based on chapter 6:9-10, where Isaiah told the people that they were listening without comprehending.  They were looking without understanding.  Their hearts were dull.  Their eyes and ears were closed.  He wanted them not to look with their own eyes, but he wanted them to turn to Yahweh, so that they would be healed.  Only Matthew, among the synoptics, saw the fulfillment of this Isaiah prophecy in Jesus (καὶ ἀναπληροῦται αὐτοῖς ἡ προφητεία Ἡσαΐου ἡ λέγουσα).  They would listen and hear, but not understand (Ἀκοῇ ἀκούσετε καὶ οὐ μὴ συνῆτε).  They would see, but not perceive (καὶ βλέποντες βλέψετε καὶ οὐ μὴ ἴδητε).  Their hearts had grown dull or unfeeling (ἐπαχύνθη γὰρ ἡ καρδία τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου).  Their ears were hard of hearing, as they could barely hear (καὶ τοῖς ὠσὶν βαρέως ἤκουσαν).  They have shut their eyes (καὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν ἐκάμμυσαν), so that they might not see with their eyes (μή ποτε ἴδωσιν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς).  Thus, they did not hear with their ears (καὶ τοῖς ὠσὶν ἀκούσωσιν).  Thus, they did not understand with their hearts (καὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ συνῶσιν).  They should return (καὶ ἐπιστρέψωσιν).  Yahweh or now Jesus would heal them (καὶ ἰάσομαι αὐτούς).

The seeds in good soil (Mt 13:8-13:9)

“Other seeds fell on good soil.

They brought forth grain.

Some was a hundredfold.

Some was sixtyfold.

Some was thirtyfold.

Let anyone with ears,

Listen!”

 

ἄλλα δὲ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν τὴν καλὴν καὶ ἐδίδου καρπόν, ὃ μὲν ἑκατὸν ὃ δὲ ἑξήκοντα ὃ δὲ τριάκοντα.

ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω.

 

This good seed parable can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:8-9, and Luke, chapter 8:8, with Matthew closer to Mark.  There is a happy ending to this parable with the seeds that fell on good soil.  Then there is the warning at the end.  Other seeds fell on good soil (ἄλλα δὲ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν τὴν καλὴν).  They brought forth grain (καὶ ἐδίδου καρπόν).  Some yielded a hundredfold (ὃ μὲν ἑκατὸν), others sixtyfold (ὃ δὲ ἑξήκοντα) and still others thirtyfold (ὃ δὲ τριάκοντα).  Luke only listed 100 and never mentioned 60 or 30.  Jesus told them that anyone with ears should listen (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω) to this parable.

John as Elijah (Mt 11:13-11:15)

“All the prophets

And the law

Prophesied

Until John came.

If you are willing

To accept it,

He is Elijah,

Who is to come.

Let anyone with ears

Listen!”

 

πάντες γὰρ οἱ προφῆται καὶ ὁ νόμος ἕως Ἰωάνου ἐπροφήτευσαν

καὶ εἰ θέλετε δέξασθαι, αὐτός ἐστιν Ἡλείας ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι

ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω

 

This saying of Jesus, via Matthew, was based on the prophet Malachi, chapter 4:5, where Yahweh said that he was going to send the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of Yahweh would come.  Mark has something similar in chapter 9:11-13.  Matthew repeated this saying later in chapter 17:11-13, where Jesus again compared John to Elijah.  There was no question here.  All the prophets and the law had prophesized until the time of John the Baptist (πάντες γὰρ οἱ προφῆται καὶ ὁ νόμος ἕως Ἰωάνου ἐπροφήτευσαν).  Then Jesus said that John was the new Elijah (αὐτός ἐστιν Ἡλείας), the one who was to come (ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι).  However, they had to be willing to accept this (καὶ εἰ θέλετε δέξασθαι).  Anyone who had ears to hear should listen to this (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω).

 

The attack of the angry lovers (Ezek 23:25-23:26)

“I will direct

My indignation

Against you.

Thus they may deal

With you

In fury.

They shall cut off

Your nose.

They shall cut off

Your ears.

Your survivors

Shall fall

By the sword.

They shall seize

Your sons.

They shall seize

Your daughters.

Your survivors

Shall be devoured

By fire.

They shall also strip you

Of your clothes.

They will take away

Your fine jewels.”

Yahweh was going to let his indignation against Jerusalem be dealt out by the angry former lovers of Jerusalem. They would deal with her in all their anger. They would cut off her nose and ears. Anyone that survived would be killed by the sword. They were going to seize her sons and daughters. Anyone who survived all this would be devoured by fire. Finally, they would strip Jerusalem of all her clothes and fine jewels. These angry former lovers would carry out Yahweh’s will.

Go into exile (Ezek 12:1-12:3)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

You are living

In the midst

Of a rebellious house!

They have eyes to see,

But they do not see!

They have ears to hear,

But they do not hear!

They are

A rebellious house!

Therefore,

Son of man!

Prepare for yourself

An exile’s baggage!

Go into exile

By day

In their sight!

You shall go

Like an exile

From your place

To another place

In their sight.

Perhaps

They will understand,

Though they are

A rebellious house.’”

Here is another oracle of Yahweh to Ezekiel, the son of man, filled with symbolism about the exile. Yahweh told Ezekiel that he was living in the middle of a rebellious house. These people had eyes to see, but they did not see. They had ears to hear, but they did not hear. Thus Ezekiel was going to prepare himself to go into exile with the baggage of an exile. He was to leave in plain sight during the day. He was to go from one place to another, so that everyone could see it. Perhaps the people of this rebellious house might understand what was going on.

The foolish senseless people (Jer 5:20-5:21)

“Declare this!

In the house of Jacob!

Proclaim it in Judah!

‘Hear this!

O foolish people!

O senseless people!

You have eyes,

But you do not see.

You have ears,

But you do not hear.”

Yahweh wants Jeremiah to proclaim and declare to the house of Jacob in Judah that they are foolish and senseless people. They have eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but they do not hear.

New things (Isa 48:6-48:8)

“From this time forward,

I make you hear new things.

These hidden things,

You have not known.

They are created now,

Not long ago.

Before today,

You have never heard of them.

Thus you could not say.

‘I already knew them.’

You have never heard!

You have never known!

From of old

Your ear has not been opened.

I knew that

You would deal

Very treacherously.

I knew that

From birth

You were called a rebel.”

Now Second Isaiah has Yahweh reveal new hidden things, revelations that they did not know anything about. These were created now, not long ago. Nobody could have heard about them, so that they cannot say that they already knew about them. This is something that nobody heard or knew about. Their ears were not open. Besides, he knew that they were rebels from birth. They would deal treacherously with this information, if they had it. Once again, these are remarks about their unfaithfulness.

The great assembly (Isa 43:8-43:9)

“Bring forth the people

Who are blind,

Yet have eyes!

Bring forth the people

Who are deaf,

Yet have ears!

Let all the nations gather together!

Let the people assemble!

Who among them can declare this?

Who has foretold to us the former things?

Let them bring their witnesses

To justify them!

Let them hear!

Let them say!

‘It is true.’”

Yahweh wanted them to bring out the blind and the deaf who had eyes and ears. He wanted all the nations and people of the earth together in his universal outreach. Was there anyone who had foretold what was to happen in the past? Were there any witnesses to justify that it was true? Let them come forward!

The instructions of Yahweh (Isa 6:9-6:10)

“Yahweh said.

‘Go!

Say to this people!

‘Keep listening!

But do not comprehend!

Keep looking!

But do not understand!

Make the mind of this people dull!

Stop their ears!

Shut their eyes!

Thus they may not look

With their eyes.

They may not listen

With their ears.

They may not comprehend

With their minds.

Turn!

Be healed!’”

Now Isaiah gets his marching orders from Yahweh. He was to tell the people that they were listening without comprehending. They were looking without understanding. Their minds were dull. Their eyes and ears were closed. He wanted them not to look with their own eyes. He wanted them to not listen with their own ears, since they would not begin to comprehend. He told Isaiah to turn and go, since he had been healed of his sins. This is somewhat echoed in the words of Jesus among the later Christian evangelists.