The prophecy of Isaiah (Mk 7:6-7:7)

“Jesus said

To them.

‘Isaiah prophesied rightly

About you hypocrites!

As it is written.

‘This people honor me

With their lips,

But their hearts

Are far from me.

In vain

Do they worship me!

They teach

Human precepts

As doctrines.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Καλῶς ἐπροφήτευσεν Ἡσαΐας περὶ ὑμῶν τῶν ὑποκριτῶν, ὡς γέγραπται ὅτι Οὗτος ὁ λαὸς τοῖς χείλεσίν με τιμᾷ, ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν πόρρω ἀπέχει ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ·

μάτην δὲ σέβονταί με, διδάσκοντες διδασκαλίας ἐντάλματα ἀνθρώπων·

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 15:7-9.  Mark indicated that Jesus said to these Pharisees (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that Isaiah had prophesied correctly (Καλῶς ἐπροφήτευσεν Ἡσαΐας) about them being hypocrites (περὶ ὑμῶν τῶν ὑποκριτῶν) as it was written (ὡς γέγραπται) in Isaiah.  Hypocrites were people who played a part in a drama, but who were not sincere.  This Greek quotation from Isaiah, chapter 29:13, is from the Septuagint, almost the same as in Matthew.  This oracle of Yahweh, via Isaiah, centered on insincere worship.  These Israelites adored Yahweh with their mouths and lips, but their hearts were far away.  They only praised the Lord because of human demands, as they recited rote prayers.  Jesus repeated these verses of Isaiah.  These people honored him with their lips or mouth (ὅτι Οὗτος ὁ λαὸς τοῖς χείλεσίν με τιμᾷ).  However, their hearts were far away from him (ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν πόρρω ἀπέχει ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ).  In a vain or useless way, they adored, worshiped, or reverenced him (μάτην δὲ σέβονταί με).  They were teaching doctrines (διδάσκοντες διδασκαλίας) that were human precepts or ordinances (ἐντάλματα ἀνθρώπων).  Thus Jesus, via Mark and Isaiah, was wailing against false worship and human precepts pretending to be divine worship and divine teachings.

Isaiah and vain worship (Mt 15:8-15:9)

“This people honors me

With their lips.

But their hearts

Are far from me.

In vain,

Do they worship me,

They teach human precepts

As doctrines.”

 

Ὁ λαὸς οὗτος τοῖς χείλεσίν με τιμᾷ, ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν πόρρω ἀπέχει ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ·

μάτην δὲ σέβονταί με, διδάσκοντες διδασκαλίας ἐντάλματα ἀνθρώπων.

 

This Greek quotation from Isaiah, chapter 29:13 is from the Septuagint, almost the same as in Mark, chapter 7:6-7.  This oracle of Yahweh, via Isaiah, centers on insincere worship.  These Israelites adored Yahweh with their mouths and lips, but their hearts were far away.  They only praised the Lord because of human demands, as they recited rote prayers.  Jesus repeated the verses of Isaiah, via Matthew.  These people honored him with their lips or mouth (Ὁ λαὸς οὗτος τοῖς χείλεσίν με τιμᾷ).  However, their hearts were far away from him (ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν πόρρω ἀπέχει ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ).  In a vain or useless way, they adored, worshiped, or reverenced him (μάτην δὲ σέβονταί με).  They are teaching doctrines (διδάσκοντες διδασκαλίας) that were human precepts or ordinances (ἐντάλματα ἀνθρώπων).  Thus Jesus, via Matthew and Isaiah, was wailing against false worship and human precepts as divine worship and teachings.

The boat in the middle of the sea (Mt 14:24-14:24)

“But by this time,

The boat,

Battered by the waves,

Was far from the land.

The wind

Was against them.”

 

τὸ δὲ πλοῖον ἤδη σταδίους πολλοὺς ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς ἀπεῖχεν, βασανιζόμενον ὑπὸ τῶν κυμάτων, ἦν γὰρ ἐναντίος ὁ ἄνεμος.

 

This incident about the disciples in the boat at sea can be found in Mark, chapter 6:47, and John, chapter 6:18-19.  By this time, instead of the disciples waiting near shore, their boat was far from the land, many “stadiums” “σταδίους” from the shoreland (τὸ δὲ πλοῖον ἤδη σταδίους πολλοὺς ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς).  A stadium was about 1/8 of a mile based on the race tracks in the Roman arenas.  The waves tossed the boat (ἀπεῖχεν βασανιζόμενον ὑπὸ τῶν κυμάτων) and the wind was against them (ἦν γὰρ ἐναντίος ὁ ἄνεμος).  In other words, they were in a little trouble.

The punishment for the city (Ezek 22:3-22:5)

“You shall say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘A city!

It sheds blood

Within itself!

Its time has come!

It is making idols.

It defiles itself.

You have become guilty

By the blood

That you have shed.

You have become defiled

By the idols

That you have made.

You have brought

Your day near.

The appointed time

Of your years

Has come.

Therefore,

I have made you

A disgrace

Before the nations.

I have made you

A mockery

To all the countries.

Those who are near,

Those who are far

From you,

Will mock you.

You infamous one!

You are

Full of tumult!’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel to speak to the city of Jerusalem because it was shedding blood within itself. Its time has come. It had been making idols and defiling itself. They have become guilty by the blood that they have shed. They have brought their day of punishment nearer. The appointed time of their years has come to an end. Yahweh was going to make them a disgrace and a mockery among the various nations and countries, whether they were near or far. Everyone would mock them as the infamous place full of tumult.

Peace (Isa 57:19-57:21)

“‘Peace!

Peace!

Peace to those far away!

Peace to those near!’

Says Yahweh.

‘I will heal them.

But the wicked are

Like the tossing sea.

It cannot keep still.

Its waters toss up mire.

Its waters toss up dirt.

There is no peace

For the wicked!’

Says my God.”

Third Isaiah ends this chapter with a cry for peace. Peace will be with those near and far. Yahweh was going to heal them and bring them peace. However, the wicked would not have any peace. They are like a tossing sea that keeps throwing up mire and dirt, so that there is no hope for them.

Vengeance (Sir 27:28-27:29)

“Mockery issues

From the proud.

Abuse issues

From the proud.

But vengeance

Lies in wait

For them

Like a lion.

Whoever rejoices

In the fall of the godly

Will be caught in a snare.

Pain will consume them

Before their death.”

The proud mock and abuse people. However, Sirach reminds us that vengeance, like that of a lion, is not far off. Anyone who is happy about the fall of the godly righteous person will be caught in a trap that will lead to a lot of pain before they die.

Blessed be Yahweh (Ps 31:21-31:22)

“Blessed be Yahweh!

He has wondrously shown

His steadfast love to me,

When I was beset

As a city under siege.

I had said in my alarm.

‘I am driven far from your sight.’

But you heard my supplications,

When I cried to you for help.”

Yahweh was blessed. He had shown his steadfast love to David, especially when he was like a city under siege. David thought that he was far from the sight of Yahweh. He was alarmed and cried for help from Yahweh. When he cried, Yahweh came to help him. Yahweh was truly his blessed help.