Family conflict (Mt 10:35-10:36)

“I have come

To set a man

Against his father.

I have come

To set a daughter

Against her mother.

I have come

To set a daughter-in-law

Against her mother-in-law.

A man’s foes

Will be members

Of his own household.”

 

ἦλθον γὰρ διχάσαι ἄνθρωπον κατὰ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ καὶ θυγατέρα κατὰ τῆς μητρὸς αὐτῆς καὶ νύμφην κατὰ τῆς πενθερᾶς αὐτῆς,

καὶ ἐχθροὶ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οἱ οἰκιακοὶ αὐτοῦ.

 

This verse of Matthew is similar to Luke, chapter 12:53, indicating a Q source.  However, it is also similar to what Jesus, via Matthew, had said in chapter 10:21, and Mark, chapter 13:12, as well as much like the Old Testament prophet Micah, chapter 7:6, where this prophet warned that they should not trust anyone in their own family.  Jesus may be the disrupter in their own family, not the peacemaker.  Jesus here said that he came to set a man against his father (ἦλθον γὰρ διχάσαι ἄνθρωπον κατὰ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ), a daughter against her mother (καὶ θυγατέρα κατὰ τῆς μητρὸς αὐτῆς), and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law (καὶ νύμφην κατὰ τῆς πενθερᾶς αὐτῆς).  Thus, the most ferocious enemies will be members of their own household (καὶ ἐχθροὶ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οἱ οἰκιακοὶ αὐτοῦ).  People always look outside for enemies, but sometimes they may be right beside them in their own family.

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Being pursued (Lam 4:19-4:19)

Qoph

“Our pursuers

Were swifter

Than the eagles

In the heavens.

They chased us

On the mountains.

They lay in wait

For us

In the wilderness.”

Continuing with the first person plural, the people of Jerusalem and this author believed that they were being pursued by their enemies that were faster than the eagles in the sky. Their foes chased them into the mountains and lay waiting to ambush them in the desert wilderness, since their enemies were all around them. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Qoph in this acrostic poem.

Yahweh did what he wanted to do (Lam 2:17-2:17)

Ayin

“Yahweh has done

What he purposed.

He has carried out

His threat.

As he ordained

Long ago,

He has demolished

Without pity.

He has made

Your enemies

Rejoice

Over you.

He exalted

The might

Of your foes.”

Yahweh has done what he planned to do. He has carried out his threat as he said he would. He has demolished Jerusalem without any pity. Notice that it was Yahweh and not the Babylonian king who destroyed Jerusalem. Now, he has made the enemies and foes of Zion rejoice and exalt. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Ayin. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The captivity of Jerusalem (Lam 1:5-1:5)

He

“Her foes have become

The masters.

Her enemies prosper.

Because Yahweh has

Made her suffer

For the multitude

Of her transgressions.

Her children

Have gone away,

Captives,

Before the foe.”

The foes of Zion have now become the masters of Jerusalem. Her enemies prosper. Zion was suffering because of her many transgressions. Her children have been taken away as captives by their former enemies. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter He. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem

The day of retribution for Yahweh (Jer 46:10-46:12)

“That day is

The day of Yahweh!

God of hosts!

A day of retribution

To gain vindication

From his foes!

The sword shall devour!

The sword shall be sated!

The sword shall drink

Its fill of their blood!

Yahweh,

God of hosts,

Holds a sacrifice

In the land of the north

By the Euphrates River.

Go up to Gilead!

Take balm!

O virgin daughter Egypt!

In vain,

You have used

Many medicines.

There is no healing for you.

The nations have heard

Of your shame.

The earth is full

Of your cry.

The warrior has stumbled

Against warrior.

They have both fallen together.”

The day of reckoning for Yahweh was the defeat of Egypt. Clearly Jeremiah and Yahweh are pro-Babylon and anti-Egypt. This will be a day of retribution and vindication against Yahweh’s foes. The sword will devour them and drink their blood, like a sacrifice in this land north of the Euphrates River. This virgin daughter Egypt would find it useless to seek any medicines to cure her. Not even the balms of Gilead would help Egypt. There will be no healing. Everyone would have heard of their shame and their cries. Their warriors have stumbled against each other as they fell.

The holy prophet Moses (Wis 11:1-11:4)

“Wisdom prospered their works

By the hand of a holy prophet.

They journeyed through an uninhabited wilderness.

They pitched their tents

In untrodden places.

They withstood their enemies.

They fought off their foes.

When they thirsted,

They called upon you.

Water was given them

Out of flinty rock.

A remedy for their thirst

Was from hard stone.”

Based on the stories in Exodus, chapter 17, here we see that Moses is called a holy prophet (προφήτου ἁγίου), not just a servant. Wisdom will now work through the hands (ἐν χειρὶ) of Moses. The Israelites pitched their tents in the stark wilderness or desert (ἔρημον). They were able to fight off their enemies and foes. When they were thirsty they got water (ὕδωρ) from the hard stone rocks.

Yahweh and the royal rule (Ps 110:2-110:3)

“Yahweh sends out from Zion

Your mighty scepter.

Rule in the midst of your foes!

Your people will offer themselves willingly,

On the day you lead your forces,

On the holy mountains.

From the womb of the morning,

Like dew,

Your youth will come to you.”

This is an extremely difficult passage to understand from the Hebrew text. It appears that Yahweh sends out the mighty scepter of David from Mount Zion in Jerusalem. King David would then rule in the middle of his foes and enemies. The people would offer themselves to David and be part of his armed forces. They would set out from the holy mountains. Somehow, David would regain his youth like the dew in the early morning.