Swear by the altar or the gift (Mt 23:18-23:18)

“You say.

‘Whoever swears

By the altar,

Is bound by nothing.

But whoever swears

By the gift

That is on the altar,

Is bound

By the oath.’”

 

καί Ὃς ἂν ὀμόσῃ ἐν τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ, οὐδέν ἐστιν· ὃς δ’ ἂν ὀμόσῃ ἐν τῷ δώρῳ τῷ ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ, ὀφείλει.

 

This unique diatribe against the Scribes and Pharisees continued in Matthew alone with the same idea and phrases that were expressed in verse 16.  These Pharisees and Scribes say that whoever swears by the altar (καί Ὃς ἂν ὀμόσῃ ἐν τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ) was not bound by anything, because it was considered as nothing (οὐδέν ἐστιν).  However, anyone who swears by the gift that is on the altar (ὃς δ’ ἂν ὀμόσῃ ἐν τῷ δώρῳ τῷ ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ) was bound by his oath (ὀφείλει).  In other words, the only thing that they were bound to fulfill was the gift on the altar that they were contributing, not other vows or promises.  This goes back to the question of whether you should swear to do anything or not, as posed earlier in this work in chapter 5:33-37.

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The sun beats on Jonah (Jon 4:7-4:8)

“But when dawn came up,

The next day,

God appointed a worm

That attacked the bush.

Thus,

It withered.

When the sun rose,

God prepared

A sultry east wind.

The sun beat down

On the head of Jonah,

So that he was faint.

He asked

That he might die.

He said.

‘It is better for me

To die

Than to live.’”

Jonah still had the same death wish that he had expressed earlier.  When dawn came up, God sent a worm to attack Jonah’s shade bush, so that the bush withered.  In addition to that, God sent a sultry east wind, so that the sun beat down on Jonah’s head.  He then became faint.  As earlier in this chapter, Jonah thought that it was better that he died rather sit in the beating hot sun.  Obviously, Jonah was not a very strong individual.

The power of Yahweh (Isa 30:30-30:30)

“Yahweh will cause

His majestic voice

To be heard.

The descending blow of his arm

Would be seen

In furious anger.

It would be seen

With a flame of devouring fire.

It would be seen

With a cloudburst.

It would be seen

With a tempest.

It would be seen

With hailstones.”

Isaiah says that the majestic voice of Yahweh will be heard. Not only could that happen, but the blows of his arm would be seen in his anger, with devouring fires, cloudbursts, storms, and hailstones, as Yahweh expressed his anger via these climate abnormalities.

The fool (Prov 18:1-18:3)

“Whoever lives alone is self-indulgent.

He shows contempt for all who have sound judgment.

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding.

He only wants to express his own personal opinion.

When wickedness comes,

Contempt comes also.

With dishonor comes disgrace.”

The fool does not take any pleasure in understanding. He only wants to hear his own personal opinion expressed to others. If you live alone, you are self-indulgent since you show contempt for any other person with a sound judgment other than your own. When wickedness comes, contempt comes with it. With dishonor comes disgrace. The fool seems to be a loner who is worried about his own opinions.