The good and bad things (Lk 16:25-16:25)

“But Abraham said.

‘Son!

Remember

That during

Your lifetime,

You received

Your good things!

Lazarus,

In like manner,

Received

His evil things.

But now he is

Comforted here.

You are in agony!’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ Ἀβραάμ Τέκνον, μνήσθητι ὅτι ἀπέλαβες τὰ ἀγαθά σου ἐν τῇ ζωῇ σου, καὶ Λάζαρος ὁμοίως τὰ κακά· νῦν δὲ ὧδε παρακαλεῖται σὺ δὲ ὀδυνᾶσαι.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus remarked that Abraham said (εἶπεν δὲ Ἀβραάμ) to the rich man, calling him son (Τέκνον) that he should remember (μνήσθητι) that during his lifetime he had received good things (ὅτι ἀπέλαβες τὰ ἀγαθά σου ἐν τῇ ζωῇ σου).  Lazarus, however, had received evil things (καὶ Λάζαρος ὁμοίως τὰ κακά).  Thus, now he was being comforted here (νῦν δὲ ὧδε παρακαλεῖται) with Abraham, while he, the rich man, was in agony (σὺ δὲ ὀδυνᾶσαι).  Abraham spoke to the rich man telling him that he had a good time during his lifetime, while Lazarus had not.  Now the tables were turned, Lazarus would live in comfort, but he would be tormented.  This was a clear sign of an afterlife with consequences based on current lifestyles.  Which lifestyle would you prefer?

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Evil comes from the human heart (Mk 7:21-7:23)

“It is from within,

From the human heart,

That evil intentions come.

Fornication,

Theft,

Murder,

Adultery,

Avarice,

Wickedness,

Deceit,

Licentiousness,

Envy,

Slander,

Pride,

And folly,

All these evil things

Come from within.

They defile a person.”

 

ἔσωθεν γὰρ ἐκ τῆς καρδίας τῶν ἀνθρώπων οἱ διαλογισμοὶ οἱ κακοὶ ἐκπορεύονται, πορνεῖαι, κλοπαί, φόνοι,

μοιχεῖαι, πλεονεξίαι, πονηρίαι, δόλος, ἀσέλγεια, ὀφθαλμὸς πονηρός, βλασφημία, ὑπερηφανία, ἀφροσύνη·

πάντα ταῦτα τὰ πονηρὰ ἔσωθεν ἐκπορεύεται καὶ κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 15:19-20.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that it is from within the heart of a person (ἔσωθεν γὰρ ἐκ τῆς καρδίας τῶν ἀνθρώπων) that evil or wicked thoughts come forth spreading out (οἱ διαλογισμοὶ οἱ κακοὶ ἐκπορεύονται).  This included such evil things as fornication or pornography (πορνεῖαι), theft (κλοπαί), murders or killings (φόνοι), adulteries (μοιχεῖαι), avarice (πλεονεξίαι), wickedness (πονηρίαι), deceit (δόλος), licentiousness or wanton sensuality (ἀσέλγεια,), envy or the evil eye (ὀφθαλμὸς πονηρός), slander, abusive language, or blasphemy (βλασφημία), pride (ὑπερηφανία), and folly or foolishness (ἀφροσύνη).  This list in Mark was longer and different than the list in Matthew.  All these evil things came from within (πάντα ταῦτα τὰ πονηρὰ ἔσωθεν).  They come forth from the person (ἐκπορεύεται).  They are the things that defile a person (καὶ κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον).  You can clearly see what Jesus, his disciples, and the early Christian community considered as sins or defilements that made a person unclean or defiled.

The good and bad treasure (Mt 12:35-12:35)

“The good person

Brings good things out

Of a good treasure.

The evil person

Brings evil things

Out of an evil treasure.”

 

ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος ἐκ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ θησαυροῦ ἐκβάλλει ἀγαθά, καὶ ὁ πονηρὸς ἄνθρωπος ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ θησαυροῦ ἐκβάλλει πονηρά.

 

This is similar to Luke, chapter 6:45, thus indicating a possible Q source.  Matthew has Jesus continue the same dichotomy theme that only good can come from good people and only bad can come from bad persons.  This is a common-sense statement that talks about good and evil men.  The good or kind person (ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος) brings good things out of his good treasure or store house (ἐκ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ θησαυροῦ ἐκβάλλει ἀγαθά).  The evil or wicked person (καὶ ὁ πονηρὸς ἄνθρωπος) brings evil things out of his evil treasure or store house (ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ θησαυροῦ ἐκβάλλει πονηρά).  There is never any ambiguity.

The second curse against their evil gains (Hab 2:9-2:11)

“Woe to you!

You get evil gain

For your houses!

You set your nest

On high,

To be safe

From the reach of harm.

You have devised shame

For your house,

By cutting off many people.

You have forfeited

Your life.

The very stones

Will cry out

From the wall.

The plaster

Will respond

From the woodwork.”

Habakkuk’s 2nd woe or curse against the Chaldeans was about their house or dynasty.  They had gathered evil things, so that they could build up their dynasty or houses.  They set their houses on high perches, safe from the reach of any harm.  By cutting off so many people to protect their own lives, they have brought shame to their dynasty.  Thus, the very stones and the plaster of their walls and woodwork would respond and cry out to them.

The death of the worshipers of Gad and Meni (Isa 65:11-65:12)

“But you!

Who forsake Yahweh!

You forgot my holy mountain!

You set a table for Gad,

The god of Fortune.

You filled cups of mixed wine for Meni,

The god of Destiny.

I will destine you to the sword.

All of you shall bow down

To the slaughter.

Because,

When I called,

You did not answer.

When I spoke,

You did not listen.

But you did what was evil

In my eyes.

You chose

What I did not delight in.”

Yahweh comes out really strong against the worshippers of Gad and Meni. Gad was, of course, the name of one of the sons of Jacob. The territory of Gad was on the eastern side of the Jordan River. Gad was also the name of a Canaanite or Aramaic god of good fortune, like a lucky god. Meni, on the other hand, was the god of destiny, but very little is known about him. Obviously, Yahweh was not happy about the worship of these gods. Thus they were to be slaughtered by the sword, but there is no mention of when and where this would take place. Yahweh had called, but they did not answer. When he spoke. they did not listen. They did evil things that displeased Yahweh. The result was their pending death.

 

The evil idols (Wis 15:4-15:6)

“The evil intent of human art has not misled us.

The fruitless toil of painters has not misled us,

A figure stained with varied colors,

Whose appearance arouses yearning in fools,

So that they desire the lifeless form of a dead image.

These are lovers of evil things.

They are fit for such objects of hope.

There are those who make them.

There are those who desire them.

There are those who worship them.”

The righteous were not misled by human (ἀνθρώπων) art or painters with vivid colors. The appearance of these idols (εἶδος) led fools to desire the lifeless form of a dead image (τε νεκρᾶς εἰκόνος). The idol worshippers loved evil things, whether they were the makers of these idols, only desiring them, or actually worshiping them.

The punishment for the unrighteous (Wis 14:30-14:31)

“But just penalties

Will overtake them on two counts.

They thought wrongly

About God,

In devoting themselves to idols.

In deceit,

They swore unrighteously

Through contempt for holiness.

It is not the power of the things

By which people swear,

But the just penalty

For those who sin,

That always pursues the transgression

Of the unrighteous.”

These idol worshipers will be penalized for doing two evil things. First, they thought wrongly about God (περὶ Θεοῦ) in devoting themselves to idols (προσχόντες εἰδώλοις). Second, they swore unrighteously (ἀδίκως ὤμοσαν ἐν δόλῳ) in contempt of holy things. They will receive a just penalty for their sins, as these are the transgressions of the unrighteous (ἀδίκων).