“Pay attention to yourself!
If your brother disciple
You must rebuke
If there is repentance,
You must forgive.”
προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς. ἐὰν ἁμάρτῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου, ἐπιτίμησον αὐτῷ, καὶ ἐὰν μετανοήσῃ, ἄφες αὐτῷ.
Luke indicated that Jesus said to pay attention (προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς). If a brother disciple sinned (ἐὰν ἁμάρτῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου), they must rebuke the offender (ἐπιτίμησον αὐτῷ). If there is repentance (καὶ ἐὰν μετανοήσῃ), they must forgive him (ἄφες αὐτῷ). This saying about the sinning brother is something similar in Matthew, chapter 18:15, perhaps indicating a Q source, with some minor changes. Luke wanted the one offended to forgive the original offense. Matthew indicated that Jesus said that if one of your brothers had sinned against you (Ἐὰν δὲ ἁμαρτήσῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου), point out that fault or rebuke him (ὕπαγε ἔλεγξον αὐτὸν), when the two of you are alone (μεταξὺ σοῦ καὶ αὐτοῦ μόνου). If he listened to you (ἐάν σου ἀκούσῃ), you have regained your brother (ἐκέρδησας τὸν ἀδελφόν σου). There was no mention of any forgiveness here. Is this a blood brother or a fellow disciple of Jesus brother? It appears to be a fellow follower of Jesus. Forgiveness was important. Matthew had a more elaborate process of rebuking and forgiving. How do you forgive people?
“The Son of Man
Yet you say.
Of tax collectors
ἐλήλυθεν ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐσθίων καὶ πίνων, καὶ λέγετε Ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπος φάγος καὶ οἰνοπότης, φίλος τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν
Luke indicated that Jesus said that the Son of Man came (ἐλήλυθεν ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) eating (ἐσθίων) and drinking (καὶ πίνων). However, they said that he was a glutton (καὶ λέγετε Ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπος φάγος), a drunkard (καὶ οἰνοπότης), and a friend of tax collectors and sinners (φίλος τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν). Matthew, chapter 11:19, had a similar statement, indicating a possible common Q source. They called the Son of Man, Jesus, a glutton and a drunkard, because he was eating and drinking. The Son of Man was also considered a friend or lover to tax collectors and sinners. In other words, whether you ate or drank, it did not matter, they would find some fault in whatever John or Jesus did. Do you like to eat and drink and hang out with sinners?
“If your brother sins
Point out the fault,
When the two of you
If he listens to you,
You have regained
Ἐὰν δὲ ἁμαρτήσῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου, ὕπαγε ἔλεγξον αὐτὸν μεταξὺ σοῦ καὶ αὐτοῦ μόνου. ἐάν σου ἀκούσῃ, ἐκέρδησας τὸν ἀδελφόν σου·
This saying about the sinning brother has something similar in Luke, chapter 17:3, with some minor changes because Luke wanted the one offended to forgive the original offense. Jesus said that if one of your brothers has sinned against you (Ἐὰν δὲ ἁμαρτήσῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου), point out that fault or rebuke him (ὕπαγε ἔλεγξον αὐτὸν), when the two of you are alone (μεταξὺ σοῦ καὶ αὐτοῦ μόνου). If he listens to you (ἐάν σου ἀκούσῃ), you have regained your brother (ἐκέρδησας τὸν ἀδελφόν σου). There was no mention of any forgiveness here. Is this a blood brother or a fellow disciple of Jesus brother? It appears to be a fellow follower of Jesus.
“But if the sentinel
The sword coming,
But he does not blow
So that the people
Are not warned,
The sword comes.
The sword takes
Any one of them.
They are taken away
In their iniquity.
I will require
At the sentinel’s hand.”
Now we see the reverse. What if the sentinel or watchman failed to sound the trumpet when the enemy with the sword was coming upon them? This time, the people were not warned. The enemy sword came and took them away. The blood of these people was on the sentinel, not on the people avoiding the warning. There was no warning. Thus, it was the fault of the sentinel, so that their blood was on his hands.
“It was for the sins
Of her prophets
With the iniquities
Of her priests.
Of the righteous
In the midst of her.”
Yahweh was angry because the prophets had sinned and the priests had committed iniquities. They had shed the blood of the righteous in the middle of Jerusalem. Everyone was at fault, especially the leaders of the city who should have known better. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Mem in this acrostic poem.
“Do not say.
‘It was the Lord’s doing
That I fell away.’
He does not do
What he hates.
Do not say.
‘It was he who led me astray.’
He has no need of the sinful people.
The Lord hates all abominations.
Such things are not loved
By those who fear him.”
Sirach reminds us that God does make us sin. We should not say that it was the Lord’s fault that made us fall away. The Lord does not do what he hates. We should not say that it was the Lord who led us astray. The Lord does not need sinners. In fact, he hates all these abominations of sinfulness. Those who fear the Lord would not say such things, because they do not like sin and sinners.
“A prostitute is a deep pit.
An adulteress is a narrow well.
She lies in wait like a robber.
She increases the number of the faithless.”
Once again there is a warning about prostitutes and adulteress women who are trying to lure young men. They are like a deep pit or a narrow well. They will rob you since they lay in wait for you. These evil women are the cause of the increase in the number of the faithless. It is never the fault of the men, only the women. There are no admonitions to young women about males attempting to rape them. Perhaps they were more protected in this society.
“O that you would kill the wicked!
Then the bloodthirsty
Would depart from me!
Those who speak of you maliciously
Would depart from me!
Those who lift themselves up against you for evil
Would depart from me!
Do I not hate those who hate you?
Do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
I hate them with perfect hatred.
I count them my enemies.
Know my heart!
Know my thoughts!
See if there is any wicked way in me!
Lead me in the way everlasting!”
This psalm ends on a bitter note. David asked Yahweh to kill the wicked ones. They are the bloodthirsty, malicious, and evil ones who should depart from David. They were his enemies. He hated those who hated Yahweh. He loathed those who were against Yahweh. In fact, David had perfect hatred for his enemies. Finally, David recognized that he might have a fault. He wanted God to search and test him, know his heart and his thoughts. If there was anything wicked in him, he wanted to be led into the eternal everlasting way. So while he recognized the evil in others, he was also aware of his own shortcomings.
“Therefore the people turn and praise them.
They find no fault in them.
‘How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?’
Such are the wicked.
They are always at ease.
They increase in riches.
All in vain have I kept my heart clean.
I have washed my hands in innocence.
All day long I have been plagued.
I am punished every morning.”
Asaph, the psalmist warned that people were praising these wicked people. No one seemed to find fault in what they were doing. The people were saying how can God not know about this since he is the most high one. The wicked ones seem to be at ease as they increase their wealth. Asaph maintained that he had kept his heart clean in vain. He had washed his hands in innocence. However, all day long he suffered from illness. He was punished every morning as he woke up.
They lie in wait for my life.
The mighty stir up strife against me.
There is no transgression!
There is no sin of mine!
There is no fault of mine!
Yet they run.
They make ready.”
The evildoers or wicked ones were laying in wait to kill David. They wanted to stir up strife against him. However, David had no transgressions. He had not sinned. There was no fault in him. Nevertheless, they were running and getting ready for him.