A rain shower is coming (Lk 12:54-12:54)

“Jesus said

To the crowds.

‘When you see

A cloud rising

In the west,

You immediately say.

‘There is going to be

A violent rain storm.’

Thus,

It happens.”

 

Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τοῖς ὄχλοις Ὅταν ἴδητε νεφέλην ἀνατέλλουσαν ἐπὶ δυσμῶν, εὐθέως λέγετε ὅτι Ὄμβρος ἔρχεται, καὶ γίνεται οὕτως·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to the crowds (Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τοῖς ὄχλοις) that when they saw a cloud rising in the western setting sun (Ὅταν ἴδητε νεφέλην ἀνατέλλουσαν ἐπὶ δυσμῶν), they immediately say that a violent rain storm was coming (εὐθέως λέγετε ὅτι Ὄμβρος ἔρχεται,).  Thus, it happened (καὶ γίνεται οὕτως).  The use of the word Ὄμβρος, that means a violent rain storm was unique to Luke here among all the biblical literature.  Jesus issued some weather commentary about the western setting sun wind and a violent rain storm.  The western winds from the Mediterranean River meant that a rain storm was coming.  There was something somewhat similar in Matthew, chapter 16:2, where Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees that they could read the signs in the sky about weather and storms, but they were unable to recognize the signs in their own world.  Jesus said that at evening time, people would say that there would be fair weather if the setting sun in the sky was red.  On the other hand, if the sky was red today in the morning, they thought that it would be a stormy day.  Most farmers are aware of the red sky in the morning was a warning, while the red sky at night was a delight.  Are you good at predicting the weather?

The weather signs (Mt 16:2-16:3)

“Jesus answered them.

‘When it is evening,

You say.

‘It will be fair weather

Because the sky is red.’

In the morning,

You say.

‘It will be stormy today

Because the sky is red

And threatening.’

You know how to interpret

The appearance of the sky.

But you cannot interpret

The signs of the times.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ὀψίας γενομένης λέγετε Εὐδία, πυρράζει γὰρ ὁ οὐρανός·

καὶ πρωΐ Σήμερον χειμών, πυρράζει γὰρ στυγνάζων ὁ οὐρανός. τὸ μὲν πρόσωπον τοῦ οὐρανοῦ γινώσκετε διακρίνειν, τὰ δὲ σημεῖα τῶν καιρῶν οὐ δύνασθε;

 

Matthew is the only one who has this weather saying of Jesus, although Luke, chapter 12:54-56, has Jesus issue some weather commentary about northern and southern winds and rain.  Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees that they could read the signs in the sky about weather and storms, but they were unable to recognize the signs in their own world.  Most farmers are aware of the red sky in the morning was a warning, while the red sky at night was a delight.  Jesus answered them (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that at evening time, people would say that there would be good or fair weather if the setting sun in the sky was red (Ὀψίας γενομένης λέγετε Εὐδία, πυρράζει γὰρ ὁ οὐρανός).  On the other hand, if the sky was red today in the morning, they thought that it would be a stormy day (καὶ πρωΐ Σήμερον χειμών, πυρράζει γὰρ στυγνάζων ὁ οὐρανός).  Then he asked them how come they were so good at discerning the overcast stormy weather signs in the heavens (τὸ μὲν πρόσωπον τοῦ οὐρανοῦ γινώσκετε διακρίνειν), but they were unable to interpret the signs of the times (τὰ δὲ σημεῖα τῶν καιρῶν οὐ δύνασθε), since the weather signs were in the heavenly skies.

The failure of the future false prophets (Zech 13:3-13:6)

“If any prophets appear again,

Their fathers,

With their mothers who bore them,

Will say to them.

‘You shall not live.

You speak lies

In the name of Yahweh!’

Their fathers,

With their mothers who bore them,

Shall pierce them through

When they prophesy.

On that day,

The prophets,

Every one of them,

Will be ashamed

Of their visions

When they prophesy.

They will not put on

A hairy mantle

In order to deceive.

But each of them will say.

‘I am no prophet.

I am a tiller of the soil.

The land has been my possession

Since my youth.’

If anyone asks them.

‘What are these wounds

On your chest?’

The answer will be.

‘I received

These wounds

In the house of my friends.’”

Yahweh warned, via Zechariah, that future prophets would not fare well.  Fathers and mothers who had children who wanted to become prophets were told to tell them that they are lying in the name of Yahweh.  In fact, these young men were not to live, since their parents would kill them with a sword.  All the prophets would be ashamed.  They would not wear their normal prophetic hairy coats.  Instead, they would pretend to be farmers.  If anyone wanted to know why they had cuts on their chests like prophets, they would say that their friends had done it.  Clearly, this was the end of institutional prophecy.  The very few remaining prophets would be afraid to be pointed out, since they might be put to death.

The bad harvest (Hab 3:17-3:17)

“The fig trees

Do not blossom.

There is no fruit

On the vines.

The produce

Of the olive tree fails.

The fields yield

No food.

The flock is cut off

From the fold.

There is no herd

In the stalls.”

These farmers have hit bad times.  The fig trees were not blossoming, while there were no fruits of grapes on the vines in the vineyard.  The fields were not yielding any kind of food.  The flocks were running aimlessly, while the herd was not in its stalls.  Things were in bad shape.

The war club of Yahweh (Jer 51:20-51:23)

“You are my war club!

You are my hammer!

My weapon of battle!

With you

I smash nations.

With you

I destroy kingdoms.

With you

I smash the horse.

With you

I smash its rider.

With you

I smash the chariot.

With you

I smash the charioteer.

With you

I smash men.

With you

I smash women.

With you

I smash the old man.

With you

I smash the boy.

With you

I smash the young man.

With you

I smash the girl.

With you

I smash the shepherds.

With you

I smash their flock.

With you

I smash the farmers.

With you

I smash their teams.

With you

I smash the governors.

With you

I smash their deputies.”

Yahweh is the war club or hammer that smashes everything. Thus with Yahweh, Jeremiah can smash nations, kingdoms, horses, riders, chariots, charioteers, men, women, old men, boys, young men, girls, shepherds, their flocks, farmers, their teams, governors, and their deputies. Yahweh is a strong weapon that can smash practically everything.

The great drought (Jer 14:2-14:6)

“Judah mourns.

Her gates languish.

Her people lie in gloom

On the ground.

The cry of Jerusalem goes up.

Her nobles send their servants

For water.

They come to the cisterns.

They find no water.

They return

With their vessels empty.

They are ashamed.

They are dismayed.

They cover their heads.

Because the ground is cracked.

Because there has been no rain

On the land.

The farmers are dismayed.

They cover their heads.

Even the doe in the field

Forsakes her newborn fawn.

Because there is no grass.

The wild asses stand

On the bare heights.

They pant for air

Like jackals.

Their eyes fail.

Because there is no herbage.”

This drought had Judah in mourning. Gloom was all around. The nobles sent their servants for water, but the well cisterns had no water. Thus they returned empty handed, being ashamed and dismayed. They too went into mourning by covering their heads. The dry ground was cracking because there had been no rain in the land. The farmers were dismayed and went into mourning by covering their heads. Even the deer were giving up their young fawns since they could not find any grass. The wild asses on the bare heights had breathing difficulties. Their eyes were failing because they could not find any wild green plants to eat. Everyone was having difficulty in this drought.

Harvesting (Isa 28:7-28:29)

“Dill herbs are not threshed

With a threshing sledge.

Nor is a cart wheel rolled over carrot seeds.

But the dill herbs are beaten out with a stick.

The carrot seeds are beaten with a rod.

Grain is crushed for bread.

But one does not thresh it forever.

One drives the cart wheel with horses over it.

But he does not pulverize it.

This also comes from Yahweh of hosts.

He is wonderful in counsel.

He is excellent in wisdom.”

Each crop has a different form of harvesting. The dill herbs and carrot seeds are too fragile to be smashed with a threshing sledge hammer. You do not roll the cart wheels over the herbs and seeds like you do to the wheat and the barley. You beat the herbs and seeds with a stick or a rod that is gentler than the wheel cart. However, the threshing of the wheat and barley requires a heavy horse drawn cart wheel in order to provide grain for bread. However, you do not want to pulverize these grains into nothing. How do these farmers know how to do this? Why, the Lord of hosts, Yahweh has told them how to do it. Yahweh is wonderful in his counsel and excellent in his wisdom, as in the later wisdom tradition.