The dogs licked his sores (Lk 16:21-16:21)

“Lazarus longed

To satisfy

His hunger

With what fell

From the rich man’s table.

Even the dogs

Would come

And lick his sores.”

 

καὶ ἐπιθυμῶν χορτασθῆναι ἀπὸ τῶν πιπτόντων ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης τοῦ πλουσίου· ἀλλὰ καὶ οἱ κύνες ἐρχόμενοι ἐπέλειχον τὰ ἕλκη αὐτοῦ.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that Lazarus longed to satisfy his hunger or to be fed (καὶ ἐπιθυμῶν χορτασθῆναι) with what fell from the rich man’s table (ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης τοῦ πλουσίου).  Even the dogs would come and lick his sores (ἀλλὰ καὶ οἱ κύνες ἐρχόμενοι ἐπέλειχον τὰ ἕλκη αὐτοῦ).  Once again, Luke has a unique word use among the biblical writers of the Greek word ἐπέλειχον to lick off, lick clean, or lick up.  Lazarus was treated like a dog, getting the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.  However, he was even worse, since the dogs were licking his sores.  Do you associate dogs with poverty?

 

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You are more valuable than birds (Lk 12:24-12:24)

“Consider the ravens!

They neither sow

Nor reap.

They have neither

A storehouse

Nor a barn.

Yet God feeds them.

Of how much more

Value are you

Than the birds!”

 

κατανοήσατε τοὺς κόρακας, ὅτι οὔτε σπείρουσιν οὔτε θερίζουσιν, οἷς οὐκ ἔστιν ταμεῖον οὐδὲ ἀποθήκη, καὶ ὁ Θεὸς τρέφει αὐτούς· πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὑμεῖς διαφέρετε τῶν πετεινῶν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told his disciples to think about the ravens (κατανοήσατε τοὺς κόρακας).  They neither sow (ὅτι οὔτε σπείρουσιν) nor reap (οὔτε θερίζουσιν).  They have neither a storehouse (οἷς οὐκ ἔστιν ταμεῖον) nor a barn (οὐδὲ ἀποθήκη).  Yet God feeds them (καὶ ὁ Θεὸς τρέφει αὐτούς).  Of how much more value are you than the birds (πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὑμεῖς διαφέρετε τῶν πετεινῶν).  Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:26, has a similar Jesus saying, almost word for word, indicating a common Q source.  Luke called the birds ravens, but Matthew did not.  Matthew had Jesus tell his disciples to look and see the birds of the heavenly skies (ἐμβλέψατε εἰς τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ).  These birds did not sow or scatter (ὅτι οὐ σπείρουσιν) or gather crops (οὐδὲ συνάγουσιν) into a granary or barn (εἰς ἀποθήκας).  They were freeloaders.  Yet they were able to eat off the land, because the heavenly Father fed them (καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τρέφει αὐτά).  Are the disciples or followers of Jesus not more valuable than these birds (οὐχ ὑμεῖς μᾶλλον διαφέρετε αὐτῶν)?  Matthew said the Father fed the birds, but Luke said that it was God who fed them.  Birds did not do any farm work, yet they did not have to worry about food.  Are you worried about where your next meal is coming from?

The children’s bread (Mk 7:27-7:27)

“Jesus said to her.

‘Let the children

Be fed first!

It is not fair

To take the children’s bread

And throw it

To the dogs.’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτῇ Ἄφες πρῶτον χορτασθῆναι τὰ τέκνα· οὐ γάρ ἐστιν καλόν λαβεῖν τὸν ἄρτον τῶν τέκνων καὶ τοῖς κυναρίοις βαλεῖν.

 

This time Jesus answered her like in Matthew, chapter 15:26.  Mark said that Jesus responded to her (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτῇ) that the children had to be feed or satisfied first (Ἄφες πρῶτον χορτασθῆναι τὰ τέκνα).  It was not right or fair (οὐ γάρ ἔστιν καλὸν) to take the children’s food or bread (λαβεῖν τὸν ἄρτον τῶν τέκνων) and feed it, throw it, or cast it to the unclean dogs (καὶ τοῖς κυναρίοις βαλεῖν).  His food was for the children of Israel, not for the gentile dogs.

 

Punishment for forgetting Yahweh (Hos 13:6-13:8)

“When I fed them,

They were satisfied.

They were satisfied,

So that

Their heart was proud.

Therefore,

They forgot me.

So,

I will become

Like a lion to them.

Like a leopard,

I will lurk

Beside the way.

I will fall upon them

Like a bear

Robbed of her cubs.

I will tear open

The covering

Of their heart.

I will devour them

Like a lion.

Just like a wild animal

Would mangle them.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, warned the Israelites that he had fed them. Once they were satisfied with food, they had become proud. They forgot all about Yahweh. Thus, he was going to become like a lion or leopard lurking along their paths. He would attack them, like a bear who had been robbed of cubs. He was going to tear open the covering around their hearts. He would devour them like a wild animal would mangle its prey. They had better watch out.

Yahweh is your God (Hos 13:4-13:5)

“I am Yahweh!

Your God!

I have been

Your God

Ever since the land of Egypt.

You know no God

But me!

Besides me,

There is no savior!

It was I

Who fed you

In the wilderness,

In the land

Of drought.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, was clear. He left no doubt that he was the God of Israel, since he had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They did not know any other God except him, since he alone was their savior. He fed them and brought them out of the drought stricken wilderness.

Israel as an ungrateful child (Hos 11:1-11:4)

“When Israel was a child,

I loved him.

I called my son

Out of Egypt.

The more I called them,

The more they went from me.

They kept sacrificing

To the Baals.

They kept offering incense

To idols.

Yet it was I

Who taught Ephraim

To walk.

I took them up

In my arms.

But they did not know

That I healed them.

I led them

With cords

Of human kindness.

I led them

With the bands of love.

I was to them

Like those who lift infants

To their cheeks.

I bent down to them.

I fed them.”

When Israel was a child, Yahweh loved him. He had called his son out of Egypt. However, the more that he called them, the more that they went from him. They kept sacrificing to the Baals, offering incense to these idols. Yahweh was the one who taught Ephraim how to walk. He took him up in his arms. They did not know that he had healed them. He led them around with cords of human kindness and bands of love. He lifted them up to his cheeks. He bent down to fed them. Now instead of Israel or Ephraim as an unfaithful lover as earlier in this work, Israel and Ephraim have become ungrateful children.

The distressed sheep (Ezek 34:7-34:8)

“Therefore,

You shepherds!

Hear

The word of Yahweh!

Says Yahweh God!

‘As I live!

My sheep

Have become

A prey.

My sheep

Have become

Food

For all the wild animals.

Because there was

No shepherd.

Because my shepherds

Have not searched

For my sheep.

But the shepherds

Have fed themselves.

They have not fed

My sheep.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, wanted those Israelite shepherds to listen. Yahweh’s sheep, the Israelites, had become a prey and food for all the wild animals of the foreign countries. There was no shepherd or leader. Thus, Yahweh’s sheep had been scattered, but no one searched for them. These shepherds or so-called leaders fed themselves, but they never fed Yahweh’s sheep.