Eat, drink, and be merry (Lk 12:19-12:19)

“I will say

To my soul!

‘Soul!

You have ample goods

Laid up for many years.

Relax!

Eat!

Drink!

Be merry!’”

 

καὶ ἐρῶ τῇ ψυχῇ μου Ψυχή, ἔχεις πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ κείμενα εἰς ἔτη πολλά· ἀναπαύου, φάγε, πίε, εὐφραίνου.

 

Luke uniquely continued with this story as Jesus indicated that this rich fool said to his soul (καὶ ἐρῶ τῇ ψυχῇ μου).  He spoke to his soul (Ψυχή) to say that he had ample goods laid up for many years (ἔχεις πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ κείμενα εἰς ἔτη πολλά).  Therefore, he would relax (ἀναπαύου), eat (φάγε), drink (πίε), and be merry (εὐφραίνου), the classical saying for indulging yourself with the pleasures of this world.  Thus, this foolish greedy man thought that his abundant resources meant that he no longer had to work hard.  Now he could enjoy an easygoing permissive lifestyle.  He could retire in luxury.  Do you have enough resources to retire to the good life?

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The sinfulness of Israel (Hos 4:7-4:9)

“The more they increased,

The more they sinned

Against me.

They changed

Their glory

Into shame.

They feed

On the sin

Of my people.

They are greedy

For their iniquity.

It shall be

Like people,

Like priests.

I will punish them

For their ways.

I will repay them

For their deeds.”

Once again, Yahweh, via Hosea, reminded the people of the northern kingdom of Israel that the more that they grew larger, the more that they sinned against him, Yahweh. They had changed their glory into shame. Their food was sin itself. They were greedy for iniquity. Both the priests and the people shared the blame, so that Yahweh was going to punish them both together. He was going to repay them for their sinful deeds.

The false prophets and priests (Jer 8:10-8:12)

“Therefore I will give their wives to others.

I will give their fields to conquerors.

Because from the least to the greatest,

Everyone is greedy for unjust gain.

From prophet to priest,

Everyone deals falsely.

They have treated

The wound of my people carelessly.

Saying.

‘Peace!

Peace!’

When there is no peace.

They acted shamefully.

They committed an abomination.

Yet they were not at all ashamed.

They did not know how to blush.

Therefore they shall fall

Among those who fall.

At the time that I punish them,

They shall be overthrown.’

Says Yahweh.”

This is a copy word for word of the same thing that was found in chapter 6. Yahweh was going to give away their wives and their fields, since he is not happy about the false priests and prophets. This goes for the least of the people to the most important ones in Jerusalem. All of them were greedy for monetary gain. They were all careless with his people. They pretended that there was peace when there was no peace there. They acted shamefully, but they were not ashamed since they didn’t even know how to blush. These priests and prophets would fall with all the others, as they will be overthrown at the time of punishment.

There is no peace (Jer 6:12-6:15)

“‘From the least to the greatest of them,

Everyone is greedy for unjust gain.

From prophet to priest,

Everyone deals falsely.

They have treated

The wound of my people carelessly.

Saying.

‘Peace!

Peace!’

When there is no peace.

They acted shamefully.

They committed abominations.

Yet they were not at all ashamed.

They did not know how to blush.

Therefore they shall fall

Among those who fall.

At the time that I punish them,

They shall be overthrown.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, is not happy about the false priests and prophets. This goes for the least of the people to the most important ones in Jerusalem. All of them were greedy for monetary gain. They were all careless with his people. They pretended that there was peace when there was no peace there. They acted shamefully, but they were not ashamed, since they didn’t even know how to blush. These priests and prophets would fall with all the others, as they will be overthrown at the time of punishment.

Moderation in food (Sir 37:27-37:31)

“My child!

Test yourself

While you live!

See what is bad for you!

Do not give in to it!

Not everything is good

For everyone.

No one enjoys everything.

Do not be greedy

For every delicacy!

Do not eat without restraint!

Overeating brings sickness.

Gluttony leads to nausea.

Many have died of gluttony.

But whoever guards against it,

Prolongs his life.”

Sirach assumes the parental tone again. He warns that we should test ourselves in this life. We should recognize what is bad for us and not give in to it. Not everything is good for everybody. Do not be greedy for delicacies! You have to use restraint. Overeating can lead to illness. Gluttony can lead to stomach aches or even to death. If you guard against over eating, you will prolong your life.

Good banquet manners (Sir 31:12-31:18)

“Are you seated

At the table of the great?

Do not be greedy at it!

Do not say.

‘How much food there is here!’

Remember that a greedy eye

Is a bad thing.

What has been created greedier

Than the eye?

Therefore it sheds tears

For any reason.

Do not reach out your hand

For everything you see!

Do not crowd your neighbor

At the dish!

Judge your neighbor’s feelings

By your own.

In every matter,

Be thoughtful!

Eat what is set before you,

Like a well brought-up person.

Do not chew greedily!

You might give offense.

Be the first to stop eating!

This befits good manners.

Do not be insatiable!

You might give offense.

If you are seated

Among many persons,

Do not help yourself

Before they do.”

When you go to a banquet with great people, do not be greedy. Do not say “wow, this is a lot of food.” Sirach warns that a greedy eye is a bad thing. In fact eyes are the greediest since they also cry. Do not reach out for everything on the table. Don’t crowd your neighbor when you are eating. Be thoughtful of other people’s feelings. Eat like a well breed person. Do not greedily chew your food. Be the first one to stop eating. Don’t keep eating. Let others go before you when you go to get food. Sirach wanted everyone to have good banquet manners.

The selfish misers (Prov 28:21-28:28)

“To show partiality is not good.

Yet for a piece of bread

A person may do wrong.

A miser is in a hurry to get rich.

He does not know that loss is sure to come.

Whoever rebukes a person,

Will afterward find more favor

Than one who flatters with the tongue.

Anyone who robs his father or his mother

While saying,

‘That is no crime,’

Is partner to a thug.

The greedy person stirs up strife.

But whoever trusts in Yahweh

Will be enriched.

Those who trust in their own wits are fools.

But those who walk in wisdom

Come through safely.

Whoever gives to the poor

Will lack nothing.

But one who turns a blind eye

Will get many a curse.

When the wicked prevail,

People go into hiding.

But when the wicked perish,

The righteous increase.”

You should not show partiality in judging others. Sometimes people will do wrong things just for a piece of bread. The misers will hurry to gain wealth but they will lose it in the end. It is better to rebuke people than to flatter them. Anyone who robs his mother or father, and then says that it is not a crime, is already the companion of a common thief. The greedy misers are always stirring up strife and trouble. If you trust in your own wits, you are a fool. Those who walk in wisdom come out safe. If you give to the poor, you will not lack anything. However, if you turn a blind eye to the poor, you will be cursed. Then this section ends with a repeat of what was said earlier in this chapter about when the wicked prevail, then people go into hiding. When the wicked perish, then the righteous increase.