You took care of me (Mt 25:35-25:36)

“I was hungry!

You gave me food!

I was thirsty!

You gave me something

To drink!

I was a stranger!

You welcomed me!

I was naked!

You gave me

Clothing!

I was sick!

You took care of me!

I was in prison!

You visited me!”

 

ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν, ἐδίψησα καὶ ἐποτίσατέ με, ξένος ἤμην καὶ συνηγάγετέ με,

γυμνὸς καὶ περιεβάλετέ με, ἠσθένησα καὶ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με, ἐν φυλακῇ ἤμην καὶ ἤλθατε πρός με.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said to the sheep on the right side that they had taken care of him.  He said that when he was hungry, they gave him food to eat (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν).  When he was thirsty, they gave him something to drink (ἐδίψησα καὶ ἐποτίσατέ με).  When he was a stranger, they kindly took him in (ξένος ἤμην καὶ συνηγάγετέ με).  When he was naked, they gave him clothes to wear (γυμνὸς καὶ περιεβάλετέ με).  When he was sick, they visited and took care of him (ἠσθένησα καὶ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με).  When he was in prison, they came to visit him (ἐν φυλακῇ ἤμην καὶ ἤλθατε πρός με).  All of this was in the first person singular.  This sounds like the beatitudes mentioned earlier in chapter 5:3-11, but here they are more specific and personal.

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Saving both the north and the south (Zech 10:6-10:7)

“I will strengthen

The house of Judah.

I will save

The house of Joseph.

I will bring them back

Because I have compassion on them.

They shall be

As though I had not rejected them.

I am Yahweh,

Their God.

I will answer them.

Then the people of Ephraim

Shall become like warriors.

Their hearts shall be glad

As with wine.

Their children

Shall see it.

They shall rejoice.

Their hearts shall exult

In Yahweh.”

Yahweh, here in Zechariah, assumed the first person singular.  He was going to strengthen and save the house of Judah and Joseph, because he was going to bring them back in a compassionate way.  They were going to be, as if they had never been rejected.  Yahweh was clear.  He was their God.  Thus, he would answer them.  He would be particularly kind to the northern people in Ephraim.  They would become like warriors with wine filled glad hearts.  Their children would see what was going on and be happy as they exulted in Yahweh.

Yahweh himself calls for a return (Joel 2:12-2:12)

“Yahweh says.

‘Yet even now!

Return to me!

With all your heart!

Return with fasting!

Return with weeping!

Return with mourning!

Rend your hearts!

Not your garments!’”

Joel has Yahweh speak directly in the first-person singular. Yahweh himself wanted them to return to him, with all their hearts, after this devastating plague of locusts has hit them. They were to return to Yahweh by fasting, weeping, and mourning. They were to break open their hearts, and not tear their garments.

Daniel alone saw the vision (Dan 10:7-10:9)

“I,

Daniel,

Alone,

Saw the vision.

The people,

Who were with me,

Did not see the vision.

But a great trembling

Fell upon them.

They fled.

They hid themselves.

I was left alone

To see this great vision.

My strength

Left me.

My complexion

Grew deathly pale.

I retained no strength.

Then I heard

The sound

Of his words.

When I heard

The sound

Of his words,

I fell into a trance,

Face to the ground.”

Daniel explained in the first-person singular what happened to him when he saw this grand vision. Although there were other people there with him, he was the only one who saw the man clothed in linen. They did not see anything, but they began to tremble and then hid themselves. Thus, Daniel was left alone to see this vision by himself. He, too, had a problem. His strength left me. His complexion turned pale. When he heard the sound of this bronze man’s voice, he fell into a trance, face to the ground.

Daniel was mourning (Dan 10:2-10:3)

“In those days,

I,

Daniel,

Had been mourning

For three weeks.

I had eaten

No rich food.

I had eaten

No meat.

No wine

Had entered

My mouth.

I had not anointed myself

At all,

For the full three weeks.”

Daniel, once again, assumed the first-person singular to talk about this vision.   He had been in mourning for 3 weeks, but there is no indication on why he was mourning. Nevertheless, he had not eaten any rich food or meat. He had not taken any wine. Finally, he had not anointed or cleaned himself for the full 3 weeks.

The confession of sins (Dan 9:4-9:6)

“I prayed

To the Lord!

My God!

I made a confession.

I said.

‘O Lord!

Great God!

Awesome God!

You keep the covenant!

You have a steadfast love

With those

Who love you,

With those

Who keep your commandments!

We have sinned!

We have done wrong!

We have acted wickedly!

We have rebelled!

We have turned away

From your commandments,

From your ordinances!

We have not listened

To your servants,

The prophets,

Who spoke

In your name,

To our kings,

To our princes,

To our ancestors,

To all the people

Of the land.’”

Daniel personally prayed to God with this first-person singular confession of sins. However, he quickly reverted to the first-person plural “we” from the singular “I.” God was great and awesome. He had kept his covenant with a steadfast love to those who loved him and kept his commandments. However, they had sinned and done wrong. They had acted wickedly. They had rebelled and turned away from his commandments and ordinances. They had not listened to their prophets, kings, princes, ancestors, or even the people of the land.

Daniel does penance (Dan 9:3-9:3)

“Then I turned

To Yahweh

To seek

An answer,

By prayer,

By supplications,

With fasting,

With sackcloth,

With ashes.”

Daniel, in the first-person singular, turned to Yahweh, and not the God of heaven or the Most High God, as earlier in this book. This was the traditional Hebrew name of Yahweh. Daniel assumed the traditional role of a penitent with prayers and supplications while fasting, and wearing sackcloth with ashes on him.