The children in the marketplace (Lk 7:32-7:32)

“This generation

Is like children

Sitting

In the market place.

They call to one another.

‘We played

The flute

For you!

But you did not dance.

We wailed!

But you did not weep.’”

 

ὅμοιοί εἰσιν παιδίοις τοῖς ἐν ἀγορᾷ καθημένοις καὶ προσφωνοῦσιν ἀλλήλοις ἃ λέγει Ηὐλήσαμεν ὑμῖν καὶ οὐκ ὠρχήσασθε· ἐθρηνήσαμεν καὶ οὐκ ἐκλαύσατε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said this generation was like little children (ὅμοιοί εἰσιν παιδίοις) sitting in the market place (τοῖς ἐν ἀγορᾷ καθημένοις).  They would call to one another (καὶ προσφωνοῦσιν ἀλλήλοις ἃ), saying that they played the flute for them (λέγει Ηὐλήσαμεν ὑμῖν), but they would not dance (καὶ οὐκ ὠρχήσασθε).  They wailed or sang a dirge (ἐθρηνήσαμεν), but they would not weep (καὶ οὐκ ἐκλαύσατε).  Matthew, chapter 11:16-17, had a similar statement, indicating a possible common Q source.  Jesus took on this childish generation, since they were like little kids sitting in the market places calling to each other, as if playing games.  These spoiled little children grumbled about everything.  This childish generation complained that John and Jesus would not dance to their flute playing.  They would not wail and lament when they wanted them to join their dirge.  Jesus and John the Baptist would not play their childish games by dancing and mourning at the drop of a hat.  Are you part of a childish generation?

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The first hired are upset (Mt 20:10-20:12)

“Now when the first group came,

They thought that

They would receive more.

But each of them

Also received a denarius.

When they received it,

They grumbled

Against the landowner.

They said.

‘These last laborers worked

Only one hour.

You have made them

Equal to us.

We have borne

The burden of the day

And the scorching heat.’”

 

καὶ ἐλθόντες οἱ πρῶτοι ἐνόμισαν ὅτι πλεῖον λήμψονται· καὶ ἔλαβον τὸ ἀνὰ δηνάριον καὶ αὐτοί.

λαβόντες δὲ ἐγόγγυζον κατὰ τοῦ οἰκοδεσπότου

λέγοντες Οὗτοι οἱ ἔσχατοι μίαν ὥραν ἐποίησαν, καὶ ἴσους αὐτοὺς ἡμῖν ἐποίησας τοῖς βαστάσασι τὸ βάρος τῆς ἡμέρας καὶ τὸν καύσωνα.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, as Jesus continued his parable story.  When the first group of hired laborers came (καὶ ἐλθόντες οἱ πρῶτοι) to get their pay as the last ones, they thought that they would receive more than the one denarius that all the later hired laborers had received (ἐνόμισαν ὅτι πλεῖον λήμψονται).  However, each of them received one denarius (καὶ ἔλαβον τὸ ἀνὰ δηνάριον καὶ αὐτοί), what they had agreed to in the early morning.  When they got this pay (λαβόντες δὲ), they grumbled against the landowner (ἐγόγγυζον κατὰ τοῦ οἰκοδεσπότου).  They complained that the last hired laborers had worked only 1 hour (λέγοντες Οὗτοι οἱ ἔσχατοι μίαν ὥραν ἐποίησαν).  This land owner had made them equal to those who had worked 12 hours (καὶ ἴσους αὐτοὺς ἡμῖν).  They had been picking grapes all day long in the scorching heat (ἐποίησας τοῖς βαστάσασι τὸ βάρος τῆς ἡμέρας καὶ τὸν καύσωνα).  This seemed grossly unfair.  If the last hired got one denarius (15 cents) for 1 hour of work, why were they not paid 12 denarii ($1.80) for 12 hours of work.  They seemed to have a good argument.  However, so did those who started at 9 AM, noon, and 3 PM.  They all got one denarius but did not grumble.  Remember it is a story or parable.

The future of the house of Jacob (Isa 29:22-29:24)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh,

Who redeemed Abraham,

Concerning the house of Jacob.

‘No longer shall Jacob be ashamed.

No longer shall his face grow pale.

When he sees his children,

The work of my hands,

In his midst,

They will sanctify my name.

They will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob.

They will stand in awe of the God of Israel.

Those who err in spirit

Will come to understanding.

Those who grumble

Will accept instruction.’”

Yahweh, via Isaiah, presents an oracle about the future of the house of Jacob. Yahweh has redeemed Abraham and his family. In the future, the house of Jacob will not be ashamed or have a pale face. Just the opposite, their children will sanctify the name of the Holy One of Jacob, Yahweh. They will stand in awe of the God of Israel, Yahweh. Those who make a mistake will understand what happened to them. Those who grumbled will then accept instruction on how to improve. The future looks bright for the house of Jacob.

Dislike of the Promised Land (Ps 106:24-106:27)

“Then they despised the pleasant land.

They had no faith in his promise.

They grumbled in their tents.

They did not obey the voice of Yahweh.

Therefore he raised his hand.

He swore to them.

He would make them fall in the wilderness.

He would disperse their descendants among the nations.

He would scatter them over the lands.”

Based on Numbers, chapter 14, the Israelites were reluctant to enter the Promised Land. In fact, some wanted to return to Egypt. They had no faith in the promise of Yahweh. They grumbled. They said that they would not obey the voice of Yahweh. This made Yahweh angry. Once again, Moses intervened. This time Yahweh said that the grumblers would not see the Promised Land. Instead they would die in the wilderness before they got there. On top of that, their descendents would be scattered among many nations and various lands. This seems to be a justification for the later Exile.