Divide the property (Lk 15:12-15:12)

“The younger son

Of them said

To his father.

‘Father!

Give me

The share

Of the property

That will belong

To me.’

Thus,

The father divided

His property

Between them.”

 

καὶ εἶπεν ὁ νεώτερος αὐτῶν τῷ πατρί Πάτερ, δός μοι τὸ ἐπιβάλλον μέρος τῆς οὐσίας. ὁ δὲ διεῖλεν αὐτοῖς τὸν βίον.

 

This long parable story about the two sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the younger son said to his father (καὶ εἶπεν ὁ νεώτερος αὐτῶν τῷ πατρί), very respectfully calling him “father (Πάτερ)” that he wanted the share of the property that was going to belong to him (δός μοι τὸ ἐπιβάλλον μέρος τῆς οὐσίας).  Thus, the father obliged.  He divided his property between the two of them (ὁ δὲ διεῖλεν αὐτοῖς τὸν βίον).  This is a simple story.  The younger son wanted his inheritance early, which was an unusual request, since inheritances would not take place until the death of his father.  Nevertheless, the father said ok, without consulting with the older son.  Has there been a fight in your family about inheritances?

Terms of peace (Lk 14:32-14:32)

“If he cannot,

Then,

While the other king

Is still far away,

He would send

A delegation,

Asking for

Peace terms.”

 

εἰ δὲ μήγε, ἔτι αὐτοῦ πόρρω ὄντος πρεσβείαν ἀποστείλας ἐρωτᾷ τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his unique story about the king planning a war.  Jesus said that if this king realized that he could not defeat the other king (εἰ δὲ μήγε), then, while this other king was still far away (ἔτι αὐτοῦ πόρρω ὄντος), he would send a delegation (πρεσβείαν ἀποστείλας), asking for peace terms (ἐρωτᾷ τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην).  Make peace instead of war, if you are outmanned and have no realistic hope of success.  Would you rather fight or make peace?

Put your swords away (Mt 26:52-26:54)

“Then Jesus said

To him.

‘Put your sword back

Into its place.

All who take

The sword

Will perish

By the sword.

Do you think

That I cannot appeal

To my Father?

He will at once

Send me

More than

Twelve legions

Of angels.

But how then

Should the scriptures

Be fulfilled?

It must happen

In this way.’”

 

τότε λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ἀπόστρεψον τὴν μάχαιράν σου εἰς τὸν τόπον αὐτῆς· πάντες γὰρ οἱ λαβόντες μάχαιραν ἐν μαχαίρῃ ἀπολοῦνται.

ἢ δοκεῖς ὅτι οὐ δύναμαι παρακαλέσαι τὸν Πατέρα μου, καὶ παραστήσει μοι ἄρτι πλείω δώδεκα λεγιῶνας ἀγγέλων;

πῶς οὖν πληρωθῶσιν αἱ γραφαὶ ὅτι οὕτως δεῖ γενέσθαι;

 

This is unique to Matthew, among the synoptic gospelsHowever,  John, chapter 18:11, had Jesus tell Peter to put his sword away also.  Matthew recounted that Jesus said to the swordsman (τότε λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) to put his sword away or put it back in the place where it belonged (Ἀπόστρεψον τὴν μάχαιράν σου εἰς τὸν τόπον αὐτῆς).  Then he said that all those who take up the sword (πάντες γὰρ οἱ λαβόντες μάχαιραν) would perish by the sword (ἐν μαχαίρῃ ἀπολοῦνται).  Live by the sword!  Die by the sword!  He reminded them that he could appeal to his Father (ἢ δοκεῖς ὅτι οὐ δύναμαι παρακαλέσαι τὸν Πατέρα μου) to send him more than 12 legions of angels (καὶ παραστήσει μοι ἄρτι πλείω δώδεκα λεγιῶνας ἀγγέλων).  Instead, these things had to happen this way to fulfill the scriptures (πῶς οὖν πληρωθῶσιν αἱ γραφαὶ ὅτι οὕτως δεῖ γενέσθαι).  There was no indication of what exact scriptures needed to be fulfilled.  Jesus maintained that he had heavenly or spiritual powers that could save him.  A legion was about 6,000 men, so that would mean about 72,000 angels could come to fight for Jesus.  However, based on the Father’s plan, this suffering was the way it was going to go.

Description of the servant of Yahweh (Matt 12:19-12:21)

“He will not quarrel.

He will not cry aloud.

They will not hear his voice

In the streets.

He will not break

A bruised reed.

He will not quench

A smoldering wick,

Until he brings justice to victory.

In his name,

The gentiles will hope.”

 

οὐκ ἐρίσει οὐδὲ κραυγάσει, οὐδὲ ἀκούσει τις ἐν ταῖς πλατείαις τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ.

κάλαμον συντετριμμένον οὐ κατεάξει καὶ λίνον τυφόμενον οὐ σβέσει, ἕως ἂν ἐκβάλῃ εἰς νῖκος τὴν κρίσιν.

καὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ ἔθνη ἐλπιοῦσιν.

 

Second Isaiah, chapter 42:2-4, described this servant of Yahweh.  He would not cry nor lift up his voice in the streets.  He would not break the bruised reeds nor put out a dimly burning wick on a candle.  In other words, he would be a very quiet person.  However, he would fight for justice.  He would not be faint or crushed, until he has established justice on the whole earth.  Matthew clearly applied this description to Jesus since Jesus would not quarrel or be contentious (οὐκ ἐρίσει).  Jesus would not cry out or shout (οὐδὲ κραυγάσει).  They would not hear Jesus’ voice in the streets (οὐδὲ ἀκούσει τις ἐν ταῖς πλατείαις τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ).  Jesus would not break a bruised reed into pieces (κάλαμον συντετριμμένον οὐ κατεάξει).  Jesus would not quench a smoldering wick on a candle (καὶ λίνον τυφόμενον οὐ σβέσει).  Jesus would bring justice to victory (ἕως ἂν ἐκβάλῃ εἰς νῖκος τὴν κρίσιν).  In the name of Jesus (καὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ), the gentile nations would hope (ἔθνη ἐλπιοῦσιν).  There was no doubt in the mind of Matthew that Jesus was the servant of Yahweh from Isaiah.

The great panic (Zech 14:13-14:14)

“On that day,

A great panic

From Yahweh

Shall fall on them.

Thus,

Each will seize

The hand of a neighbor.

The hand of the one

Will be raised

Against the hand of the other.

Even Judah

Will fight at Jerusalem.

The wealth

Of all the surrounding nations

Shall be collected,

Gold,

Silver,

Garments.

All in great abundance.”

There would be a panic on the great day of Yahweh.  Thus, they would seize their neighbors by the hand.  They would raise their hands against each other.  Even Judah would fight with Jerusalem.  All the wealth of the surrounding countries of gold, silver, and garments would be collected in large amounts.  Everything would be topsy-turvy.

The importance of the house of Judah (Zech 10:3-10:5)

“Yahweh will make

The house of Judah

Like his proud war-horse.

Out of them,

Shall come the cornerstone.

Out of them,

Shall come the tent peg.

Out of them,

Shall come the battle bow.

Out of them,

Shall come every commander.

Together they shall be

Like warriors in battle.

They will trample the foe

In the mud of the streets.

They shall fight

Because Yahweh is with them.

They shall put to shame

The riders on horses.”

Yahweh was going to make the house of Judah his war horse.  Thus, out of them would come the cornerstones, the tent pegs, the battle bows, and the commanders.  They would be strong battle warriors, so that they would trample their foes in the muddy streets.  They would fight, because Yahweh was with them.  Thus, they would put to shame the other enemy cavalries.

Against the small towns in Judah (Mic 1:10-1:12)

“Tell it not in Gath!

Weep not at all

In Beth-leaphrah!

Roll yourselves in the dust!

Inhabitants of Shaphir!

Pass on your way

In nakedness and shame!

The inhabitants of Zaanan

Do not come forth

From their town.

Beth-ezel is wailing.

They shall remove its support

From you.

The inhabitants of Maroth

Wait anxiously

For good.

Yet disaster has come down

From Yahweh

To the gates of Jerusalem.”

In a play on words, Micah wailed against 10 small Judean towns near where he lived.  One of the largest towns mentioned was the old Philistine town of Gath that King Uzziah (781-740 BCE) had conquered.  Micah used the same terminology as in 2 Samuel, chapter 1, about Gath, since there should be no weeping for that town.  Then Micah turned to 5 small towns that are difficult to determine where they were.  Beth-leaphrah literally means rolling around in dust.  Shaphir literally means the fair one.  Thus, the good-looking people of this town of Shaphir should keep going in their naked shame.  On the other hand, the people of Zaanan did not come out to fight from their town.  Beth-ezel was mourning and not supporting Yahweh.  The people of Maroth were waiting anxiously for something good to happen.  Yet Yahweh sent a disaster that went as far as the gates of Jerusalem.