The yeast (Lk 13:21-13:21)

“The kingdom of God

Is like yeast

That a woman took.

She mixed it in

With three measures

Of flour,

Until all of it

Was completely leavened.”

 

ὁμοία ἐστὶν ζύμῃ, ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ ἔκρυψεν εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία, ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the kingdom of God was like yeast (ὁμοία ἐστὶν ζύμῃ).  A woman took it (ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ) and mixed or hid it (ἔκρυψεν) within 3 measures of flour (εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία), until all of it was completely leavened (ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον).  This parable about the yeast in bread can also be found in Matthew, chapter 13:33, indicating a Q source.  Once again, the emphasis with this parable is growth from a small piece of flour to a large leavened loaf of bread, because of the yeast.  Jesus, via Matthew said that the kingdom of heaven, not the kingdom of God, was like yeast (Ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ζύμῃ).  A woman mixed in 3 measures of flour (ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ ἐνέκρυψεν εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία,) so that the bread was all leavened (ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον).  The kingdom of heaven would be like this leavened bread, always expanding.  The 3 measures of flour would be over 50 pounds, quite a lot of flour.  Do you use yeast in baking?

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Beware of the Pharisees (Lk 12:1-12:1)

“Meanwhile,

The crowd gathered

By the thousands,

So that they trampled

On one another.

Jesus began to speak,

First to his disciples.

‘Beware of the yeast

Of the Pharisees,

That is,

Their hypocrisy.’”

 

Ἐν οἷς ἐπισυναχθεισῶν τῶν μυριάδων τοῦ ὄχλου, ὥστε καταπατεῖν ἀλλήλους, ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ πρῶτον Προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης, ἥτις ἐστὶν ὑπόκρισις, τῶν Φαρισαίων.

 

Luke continued with a diatribe against the Pharisees.  Luke indicated that the crowd gathered by the thousands (Ἐν οἷς ἐπισυναχθεισῶν τῶν μυριάδων τοῦ ὄχλου), so that they trampled on one another (ὥστε καταπατεῖν ἀλλήλους).  This was the first mention of a problem with crowd control.  Jesus then began first to speak to his disciples (ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ πρῶτον).  He told them that they should be aware (Προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς) of the yeast (ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης) that is the hypocrisy (ἥτις ἐστὶν ὑπόκρισις) of the Pharisees (τῶν Φαρισαίων).  This saying about the yeast of the Pharisees can be found in Mark, chapter 8:16, and Matthew, chapter 16:6, but there are slight differences.  Mark and Luke did not mention the Sadducees, but Matthew did.  Matthew said that Jesus told his disciples to watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Matthew had a clear rebuff of both these groups and their growing yeast, leaven, or power that was expanding, but there was no mention of the Scribes.  For Mark and Matthew, this discussion took place about bread on a boat trip.  The disciples discovered that they had no food when they landed on the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  However, Mark said that it took place while they were still in the boat.  Mark was the only one to mention Herod, the Roman appointed political leader in Galilee.  Mark said that Jesus cautioned or instructed his disciples.  They were to watch out for and be aware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.  This was a clear rebuff of both the Pharisees and Herod.  Their growing yeast, leaven, or power was expanding.  Here, it is a simple warning against the Pharisees only.  Do you know anybody who is a hypocrite?

Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod (Mk 8:15-8:15)

“Jesus cautioned them.

He said.

‘Watch out!

Beware of the yeast

Of the Pharisees

And the yeast

Of Herod.’”

καὶ διεστέλλετο αὐτοῖς λέγων Ὁρᾶτε, βλέπετε ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ τῆς ζύμης Ἡρῴδου.

 

This saying about the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:6, and Luke, chapter 12:1, but there are slight differences.  Matthew mentioned the Sadducees, while Mark was the only one to mention Herod, the Roman appointed political leader in Galilee.  Mark said that Jesus cautioned or instructed his disciples (καὶ διεστέλλετο αὐτοῖς).  They were to watch out for and be aware (Ὁρᾶτε, βλέπετε) of the yeast of the Pharisees (πὸ τῆς ζύμης τῶν Φαρισαίων) and the yeast of Herod (καὶ τῆς ζύμης Ἡρῴδου).  This was a clear rebuff of both the Pharisees and Herod.  Their growing yeast, leaven, or power was expanding.  Like earlier in this chapter, there was no mention of the Scribes.

Jesus warns about the yeast of the Pharisees (Mt 16:6-16:6)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Watch out!

Beware of the yeast

Of the Pharisees

And Sadducees.’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ὁρᾶτε καὶ προσέχετε ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ Σαδδουκαίων.

 

Now this saying about the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees can be found in Mark, chapter 8:15, and Luke, chapter 12:1, but there are slight differences.  Mark and Luke did not mention the Sadducees.  Jesus told his disciples (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) to watch out for and be aware (Ὁρᾶτε καὶ προσέχετε) of the yeast (ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης) of the Pharisees and Sadducees (ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης).  Matthew has this as a clear rebuff of both these groups and their growing yeast, leaven, or power that was expanding.  Like earlier in this chapter, there was no mention of the Scribes.  The Pharisees were a political party, a social movement, and a religious school of thought that followed the Law of Moses, but with a number of oral traditions.  They had they own expert explanations of Jewish law that sometimes appeared to be hypocritical or arrogant, with a form of Judaism that extended beyond the Temple.  The Sadducees, on the other hand, were generally aristocratic priestly officials, tied to the Temple and ritual purifications.  They were less concerned about oral traditions, so that they might have been political religious rivals to the Pharisees.  However, Jesus warned his disciples against both groups.

The parable of the yeast (Mt 13:33-13:33)

“He told them another parable.

‘The kingdom of heaven is

Like yeast

That a woman took.

She mixed in

Three measures of flour,

Until all of it was leavened.’”

 

Ἄλλην παραβολὴν ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς Ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ζύμῃ, ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ ἐνέκρυψεν εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία, ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον.

 

This parable about the yeast in bread can be found in in Luke, chapter 13:20, indicating a Q source.  Once again, the emphasis of this parable is growth from a small piece of flour to a large leavened loaf of bread because of the yeast.  Jesus, via Matthew, told them another short parable (Ἄλλην παραβολὴν ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς).  The kingdom of heaven is like yeast (Ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ζύμῃ).  A woman mixed in three measures of flour (ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ ἐνέκρυψεν εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία,) so that the bread was all leavened (ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον).  The kingdom of heaven will be like this leavened bread, always expanding.

The power of natural forces (Wis 17:18-17:21)

“There came a whistling wind.

There was a melodious sound of birds

In wide-spreading branches.

There was the rhythm of the violently rushing water.

There was the harsh crash of rocks hurled down.

There was the unseen running of leaping animals.

There was the sound of the most savage roaring beasts.

There was an echo thrown back from a hollow of the mountains.

These things paralyzed them with terror.

The whole world was illumined with brilliant light.

However,

They went about its work unhindered.

While over those men alone,

Heavy night was spread.

An image of the darkness was destined to receive them.

But still heavier than darkness

Were they to themselves.”

Here we have the natural forces that hit the Egyptians, expanding on the Exodus story. There was a whistling wind, but yet the melodious sounds of birds. There was the rushing water, the crashing rocks, the leaping animals, and the roaring beasts. All these things paralyzed them with terror. The rest of the world (ὁ κόσμος) was fine in brilliant light (φωτὶ), but those Egyptians were in darkness (σκότους). They brought the darkness on themselves.

The leech (Prov 30:15-30:16)

“The leech has two daughters.

They cry.

‘Give!

Give!’

Three things are never satisfied.

Four never say.

‘Enough.’

They are Sheol,

The barren womb,

The earth ever thirsty for water,

And the fire.

They never say.

‘Enough.’”

Now we have the various proverbs with numbers in them. They are a lot like a riddle or a prophetic saying. These riddles may have had non-Israelite roots, like much of the wisdom literature. This first proverb is about 2 daughters of a blood sucking leech. There are 4 things that are never satisfied so that they never say enough, just like the leech. These 4 things are 1) Sheol, the shadowy underground afterlife, 2) the barren womb of a woman, 3) the earth that always takes more water, and finally, 4) a fire that is ever expanding. These things never say, ‘enough.’ They are never satisfied.