Guiltless (2 Cor. 7:11)

“See the very same thing!

How much earnestness

This godly grief

Has produced

In you!

What eagerness

To clear yourselves!

What indignation!

What fear!

What longing!

What zeal!

What vindicative punishment!

At every point

You have proved yourselves

Guiltless

In this matter.”

ἰδοὺ γὰρ αὐτὸ τοῦτο τὸ κατὰ Θεὸν λυπηθῆναι πόσην κατειργάσατο ὑμῖν σπουδήν, ἀλλὰ ἀπολογίαν, ἀλλὰ ἀγανάκτησιν, ἀλλὰ φόβον, ἀλλὰ ἐπιπόθησιν, ἀλλὰ ζῆλον, ἀλλὰ ἐκδίκησιν. ἐν παντὶ συνεστήσατε ἑαυτοὺς ἁγνοὺς εἶναι τῷ πράγματι.

Paul said that they should see (ἰδοὺ γὰρ) the very same thing (αὐτὸ τοῦτο)!  How much (πόσην) earnestness (σπουδήν) this godly or divine grief (τὸ κατὰ Θεὸν λυπηθῆναι) has produced (κατειργάσατο) in them (ὑμῖν)!  What eagerness to clear themselves or defend themselves (ἀλλὰ ἀπολογίαν)!  They had indignation (ἀλλὰ ἀγανάκτησιν), fear (ἀλλὰ φόβον), longing (ἀλλὰ ἐπιπόθησιν), zeal (ἀλλὰ ζῆλον), and vindictive punishment (ἀλλὰ ἐκδίκησιν)!  At every point they have proved themselves guiltless (ἁγνοὺς εἶναι τῷ πράγματι) in this matter (εἶναι τῷ πράγματι).  Only the Pauline letters used this word κατειργάσατο, that means to work out, effect by labor, achieve, or bring about, and the word ἁγνοὺς, that means free from ceremonial defilement, holy, sacred, pure chaste.  Only this Corinthian letter used this word ἐπιπόθησιν, that means longing, desire, or strong affection, and the word ἀγανάκτησιν that means indignation, or feeling of anger.  Paul reminded them of the consequences of this diving grief that that they had experienced.  They are now more earnest in seeking God.  They are willing to defend themselves.  At the same time, they had indignation at wrong things.  They had fear of God.  They longed for the holy spiritual things.  They had zeal for Christ.  They were willing to accept vindictive punishment.  All along, no matter what they were doing, they proved they were not guilty of any serious matter.  Paul listed a series of good things that had happened because of their repentance or metanoia brought about by God’s grief in them.  Can repentance or metanoia lead to a better life?

The Lord of the Sabbath (Mt 12:6-12:8)

“I tell you!

Something greater

Than the temple is here.

If you had known

What this means.

‘I desire mercy,

Not sacrifice!’

You would not have

Condemned

The guiltless.

The Son of Man is

Lord of the Sabbath.”

 

λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν ὅτι τοῦ ἱεροῦ μεῖζόν ἐστιν ὧδε.

εἰ δὲ ἐγνώκειτε τί ἐστιν Ἔλεος θέλω καὶ οὐ θυσίαν, οὐκ ἂν κατεδικάσατε τοὺς ἀναιτίους.

κύριος γάρ ἐστιν τοῦ σαββάτου ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

 

Mark, chapter 2:27-28, has a similar saying to this, so that he may be the source of this saying.  Matthew has Jesus begin with a solemn proclamation (λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν).  Something or someone greater than the Temple is here (ὅτι τοῦ ἱεροῦ μεῖζόν ἐστιν ὧδε), a clear reference to Jesus himself.  Too bad, that they did not know what the saying about mercy was all about (εἰ δὲ ἐγνώκειτε τί ἐστιν).  Matthew then used the same citation of Hosea that he had earlier in chapter 9:13.  Jesus explained that he desired mercy (τί ἐστιν Ἔλεος θέλω), and not sacrifices (καὶ οὐ θυσίαν), based on Hosea, chapter 6:6, where the essential message was that Yahweh wanted real faithful love, not mere sacrifices.  Hosea wanted the Israelites to have real knowledge of God, rather than worry about burnt offerings.  Thus, the Pharisees would not have condemned the innocent or guiltless ones (οὐκ ἂν κατεδικάσατε τοὺς ἀναιτίους) since Jesus and his disciples had done nothing wrong.  The Son of Man was the Lord of the Sabbath (κύριος γάρ ἐστιν τοῦ σαββάτου ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  Jesus then could control the Sabbath, not the other way around.  Instead of the Sabbath as a gift to humans, Jesus would reinterpret the laws of the Sabbath as the Lord of the Sabbath.

The priests in the Temple (Mt 12:5-12:5)

“Have you not read

In the law

That on the Sabbath

The priests in the temple

Break the Sabbath.

Yet they are guiltless?”

 

ἢ οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε ἐν τῷ νόμῳ ὅτι τοῖς σάββασιν οἱ ἱερεῖς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ τὸ σάββατον βεβηλοῦσιν καὶ ἀναίτιοί εἰσιν;

 

This saying is unique to Matthew.  He has Jesus cite an example in Numbers, chapter 28:9-10, where there was a special sacrifice only on the Sabbath.  This sacrifice had two male one-year old lambs without blemish, and two-tenths of an ephah of choice flour for a grain offering, mixed with oil, and its drink offering.  This was the burnt offering every Sabbath.  This was in addition to the regular burnt offerings and the drink offerings.  However, this sacrifice was not mentioned in any other place in the Torah.  Jesus asked them if they had read the law (ἢ οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε ἐν τῷ νόμῳ) where on the Sabbath (ὅτι τοῖς σάββασιν), the priests in the temple (οἱ ἱερεῖς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ) broke or profaned the Sabbath with these sacrifices (τὸ σάββατον βεβηλοῦσιν), yet they were guiltless (καὶ ἀναίτιοί εἰσιν).

Yahweh rewards David (Ps 18:20-18:24)

“Yahweh rewarded me,

According to my righteousness.

According to the cleanness of my hands,

He recompensed me.

I have kept the ways of Yahweh.

I have not wickedly departed from my God.

All his ordinances were before me.

His statutes I did not put away from me.

I was blameless before him.

I kept myself from guilt.

Therefore Yahweh has recompensed me,

According to my righteousness,

According to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.”

Once again, like 2 Samuel, chapter 22, Yahweh rewarded David for his righteousness. His hands were clean because he kept the ways of Yahweh. He never departed from God. He held all his statutes and ordinances before him. He was blameless and guiltless. Therefore Yahweh had compensated him because of his cleanliness. Yahweh had been good to him because David had followed him. David clearly was self righteous and felt that he deserved the rewards that he received from Yahweh.