The herdsmen tell everyone (Lk 8:34-8:34)

“When the swine herdsmen

Saw what had happened,

They ran off.

They reported this

In the city

And in the countryside.”

 

ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ βόσκοντες τὸ γεγονὸς ἔφυγον καὶ ἀπήγγειλαν εἰς τὴν πόλιν καὶ εἰς τοὺς ἀγρούς.

 

Luke said that when the swine herdsmen saw what had happened (ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ βόσκοντες τὸ γεγονὸς), they ran off (ἔφυγον).  They reported (καὶ ἀπήγγειλαν) this in the city (εἰς τὴν πόλιν) and the in the countryside (καὶ εἰς τοὺς ἀγρούς).  All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:33, Mark, chapter 5:14, and Luke here, have the herdsmen of these pigs tell everybody in the area what happened, with slight nuances in each story.  Mark said that the shepherds of this herd of pigs fled when they saw what had happened to their flocks.  They recounted the whole story about what had happened to the demoniac and their herd of pigs to the town and the countryside.  However, people came out to see what had happened, to see what had taken place.  Matthew said that the shepherds of these herds of pigs ran off when they saw what had happened to their flocks.  They went into the town, probably Gadara.  Then they told the whole story about what had happened to the demoniacs and their herd of pigs.  They were without a job.  Have you ever lost your job suddenly?

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The swine herdsmen fled (Mk 5:14-5:14)

“The swineherds

Ran off.

They told it

In the city

And in the countryside.

The people came

To see

What it was

That had happened.”

 

Καὶ οἱ βόσκοντες αὐτοὺς ἔφυγον καὶ ἀπήγγειλαν εἰς τὴν πόλιν καὶ εἰς τοὺς ἀγρούς· aκαὶ ἦλθον ἰδεῖν τί ἐστιν τὸ γεγονός.

 

All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:33, and Luke, chapter 8:34, and Mark here, have the herdsmen of these pigs tell everybody in the area what happened, with slight nuances in each story.  Mark said that the shepherds of these herds of pigs ran off (Καὶ οἱ βόσκοντες αὐτοὺς ἔφυγον) when they saw what had happened to their flocks.  They announced, proclaimed, or recounted (καὶ ἀπήγγειλαν) to the town (εἰς τὴν πόλιν), and the countryside (καὶ εἰς τοὺς ἀγρούς) the whole story about what had happened to the demoniac and their herd of pigs.  They were without a job.  However, people came out to see what had happened, to see what had taken place (aκαὶ ἦλθον ἰδεῖν τί ἐστιν τὸ γεγονός).

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.

Against Kedar (Jer 49:28-49:29)

“Concerning Kedar

With the kingdoms of Hazor

That King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon

Defeated.

Thus says Yahweh.

‘Rise up!

Advance against Kedar!

Destroy the people of the east!

Take their tents!

Take their flocks!

Take their curtains!

Take all their goods!

Carry off their camels

For yourselves!

A cry shall go up.

‘Terror is all around!’”

Kedar was the second son of Ishmael, the step brother of Isaac. However, this biblical term was applied to a group of nomadic tribes in the northwest Arabian desert, east of the Jordan River and Ammon, in what is today Saudi Arabia. They were considered to be the people of the east, the Arabs. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was going to defeat them. He was going to take their possessions since they had no buildings to burn. They were going to lose their tents, flocks, curtains, and most importantly their camels. They would cry out that terror was all around them. They had no fortresses to defend themselves. Both Kedar and Hazor were not restored, but left as wastelands.

A good cluster of grapes (Isa 65:8-65:10)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘As the wine is found in the cluster,

They say.

‘Do not destroy it!

There is a blessing in it!’

So I will do for my servants’ sake.

I will not destroy them all.

I will bring forth descendants

From Jacob.

I will bring from Judah

Inheritors of my mountains.

My chosen ones shall inherit it.

My servants shall settle there.

Sharon shall become

A pasture for flocks.

The Valley of Achor shall become

A place for herds to lie down.

My people have sought me.”

Yahweh here makes an exception. He would not destroy all of them. Just like a good cluster of grapes should be saved for wine, so too, he would save the good Israelites. No one wants to destroy a good cluster of grapes because it was considered a blessing. Yahweh was going to bring descendants from the people of Jacob. The people from Judah would inherit the mountains. These chosen servants of Yahweh would inherit this land and live there. Sharon, the northern coastal plain area, would become a place for flocks to pasture, while the arid valley of Achor, west of the Dead Sea, would also be a great place for herds to rest. Yahweh is doing this because some of his people had sought him out.

Luxurious wealth (Eccl 2:4-2:8)

“I made great works.

I built houses.

I planted vineyards for myself.

I made myself gardens.

I made myself parks.

I planted in them

All kinds of fruit trees.

I made myself pools from which

To water the forest of growing trees.

I bought male slaves.

I bought female slaves.

I had slaves who were born in my house.

I had great possessions of herds.

I also had great possessions of flocks.

More than any

Who had been before me in Jerusalem.

I also gathered for myself

Silver and gold

From the treasure of kings and provinces.

I got singers,

Both men and women.

I enjoyed the delights of the flesh

With many concubines.”

Qoheleth continued his first person singular narrative. Was it all about him? He built great houses and vineyards just for himself. He made his own gardens and parks, all full of great fruit trees. He put in ponds besides the trees for irrigation. He bought both male and female servants. He created his own slaves by having them procreate in his house. He had great herds and flocks of animals and birds. He was richer than any man who had ever lived in Jerusalem. He gathered gold and silver from the various kings and provinces. He had male and female singers. Of course, he had many concubines to delight him. This was the life of luxury of a rich powerful self indulgent king of Jerusalem.

Yahweh helped the weak (Ps 107:39-107:43)

“When they are diminished,

When they are brought low,

Through oppression, trouble, and sorrow,

He pours contempt upon the princes.

He makes them wander in trackless wastes.

However he raises up the needy out of distress.

He makes their families like flocks.

The upright see it.

They are glad.

All the wickedness keeps its mouth shut.

Let those who are wise,

Give heed to these things.

Let them

Consider the steadfast love of Yahweh.”

This psalm ends with something that looks like it was added on. All of a sudden there are princes that are brought low and diminished with oppression, trouble, and sorrow. Yahweh had contempt for the princes wandering in some waste land. On the other hand, he raised up the needy or the poor out of their distress. He made them fruitful like flocks of birds. The upright, those with a right heart, were glad because wickedness never came out of their mouth. The wise person paid attention to these things. They always remembered the steadfast love of Yahweh.