The curse to the betrayer (Mt 26:23-26:24)

“Jesus answered.

‘The one who has dipped

His hand

Into the bowl

With me,

Will betray me.

The Son of Man

Goes to death,

As it is written of him.

But woe to that man

By whom

The Son of Man

Is betrayed!

It would have been better

For that man

Not to have been born.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Ὁ ἐμβάψας μετ’ ἐμοῦ τὴν χεῖρα ἐν τῷ τρυβλίῳ, οὗτός με παραδώσει.

ὁ μὲν Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὑπάγει καθὼς γέγραπται περὶ αὐτοῦ, οὐαὶ δὲ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἐκείνῳ δι’ οὗ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται· καλὸν ἦν αὐτῷ εἰ οὐκ ἐγεννήθη ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:21, and Luke, chapter 22:21-22, but there is no mention of him not being born there.  John, chapter 13:26-27, has the dipping of the hand in the bowl for bread in a conversation between Jesus and Peter.  Here, Jesus answered and said (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) that the one who dipped his hand into the bowl or the deep platter with him (Ὁ ἐμβάψας μετ’ ἐμοῦ τὴν χεῖρα ἐν τῷ τρυβλίῳ) would betray him (οὗτός με παραδώσει).  He said that the Son of Man would go to death (ὁ μὲν Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὑπάγει), as it was written about him (καθὼς γέγραπται περὶ αὐτοῦ).  But then Jesus cursed the man who would betray the Son of Man (οὐαὶ δὲ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἐκείνῳ δι’ οὗ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται).  He said that it would have been better if that man had never been born (καλὸν ἦν αὐτῷ εἰ οὐκ ἐγεννήθη ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος).  This was a very strong curse, but without an exact identification for whom it was meant.

Throw him out of the feast (Mt 22:12-22:13)

“The king said to him.

‘Friend!

How did you get in here

Without a wedding garment?’

He was speechless.

Then the king said

To the attendants,

‘Bind him

Hand and foot!

Throw him

Into the outer darkness.

There will be weeping.

There will be gnashing

Of teeth.’”

 

καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ἑταῖρε, πῶς εἰσῆλθες ὧδε μὴ ἔχων ἔνδυμα γάμου; ὁ δὲ ἐφιμώθη.

τότε ὁ βασιλεὺς εἶπεν τοῖς διακόνοις Δήσαντες αὐτοῦ πόδας καὶ χεῖρας ἐκβάλετε αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον· ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων.

 

This is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that the king addressed this man (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ) without a wedding garment with a sarcastic greeting of “Friend (Ἑταῖρε).”  How had he gotten into the wedding banquet without a wedding garment (ὧδε μὴ ἔχων ἔνδυμα γάμου)?  The man without the wedding robe was speechless or silent (ὁ δὲ ἐφιμώθη).  Then the king told his serving attendants (ότε ὁ βασιλεὺς εἶπεν τοῖς διακόνοις) to tie him up hand and foot (Δήσαντες αὐτοῦ πόδας καὶ χεῖρας) and throw him into the extreme darkness (ἐκβάλετε αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον).  There would be weeping gnashing of teeth out there in this darkness (ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων), the traditional way of mourning.  The moral of this parable was always wear the right clothes for every occasion.

Better maimed than eternal fire (Mt 18:8-18:8)

“If your hand

Or your foot

Causes you to sin

Or stumble,

Cut it off!

Throw it away!

It is better for you

To enter life maimed

Or lame

Than to have

Two hands

Or two feet

But thrown

Into the eternal fire.”

 

Εἰ δὲ ἡ χείρ σου ἢ ὁ πούς σου σκανδαλίζει σε, ἔκκοψον αὐτὸν καὶ βάλε ἀπὸ σοῦ· καλόν σοί ἐστιν εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν ζωὴν κυλλὸν ἢ χωλόν, ἢ δύο χεῖρας ἢ δύο πόδας ἔχοντα βληθῆναι εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ αἰώνιον.

 

This saying about better to be maimed than sin can also be found in Mark, chapter 9:43-45, with some minor changes.  Matthew also has something similar in chapter 5:30.  In a rather harsh statement, Jesus said that if your hand (Εἰ δὲ ἡ χείρ σου) or your foot (ἢ ὁ πούς σου) causes you to stumble or sin (σκανδαλίζει σε), cut them off (ἔκκοψον αὐτὸν)!  Throw them away (καὶ βάλε ἀπὸ σοῦ·)!  It would be better for you to enter life maimed or lame (καλόν σοί ἐστιν εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν ζωὴν κυλλὸν ἢ χωλόν) than to have two hands (ἢ δύο χεῖρας) or two feet (ἢ δύο πόδας) but thrown into the eternal fire (ἔχοντα βληθῆναι εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ αἰώνιον).  Whatever, the temptation, stumbling block, or snare is, get rid of it, even if it is one of your hands or feet.

Jesus saves Peter (Mt 14:31-14:31)

“Jesus immediately reached out

His hand.

He caught him.

He said to him.

‘You of little faith!

Why did you doubt?’”

 

εὐθέως δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα ἐπελάβετο αὐτοῦ καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ὀλιγόπιστε, εἰς τί ἐδίστασας;

 

This section about Peter is unique to Matthew, as he tended to emphasize the importance of Peter, yet at the same time, there was a continual mention of the lack of Peter’s faith.  After Peter cried out for help, Jesus immediately reached out his hand (εὐθέως δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα) and caught or grabbed Peter before he fell into the water (ἐπελάβετο αὐτοῦ).  He said to him (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ).  Why did he have so little faith (Ὀλιγόπιστε,)?  Why did he doubt or hesitate (εἰς τί ἐδίστασας) when he was already walking?  Thus, even the leader of his disciples, Peter, was not so sure of his confidence in Jesus.

The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (Mt 8:14-8:15)

“When Jesus entered

Peter’s house,

He saw

His mother-in-law

Lying in bed

With a fever.

He touched

Her hand.

The fever left her.

She got up.

She began to serve them.”

 

Καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Πέτρου εἶδεν τὴν πενθερὰν αὐτοῦ βεβλημένην καὶ πυρέσσουσαν·

καὶ ἥψατο τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς, καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτὴν ὁ πυρετός· καὶ ἠγέρθη, καὶ διηκόνει αὐτῷ.

 

This healing story about the mother-in-law of Peter can be found in Mark, chapter 1:29-31, and Luke, chapter 4:38-39.  The context is different in Luke and Mark since Jesus was leaving the synagogue.  He also went into Simon’s house, his Hebrew name, rather than Peter’s house, his Greek name.  Here Jesus entered Peter’s house (Καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Πέτρου).  He then saw Peter’s mother-in-law (εἶδεν τὴν πενθερὰν αὐτοῦ), lying in bed sick with a fever (βεβλημένην καὶ πυρέσσουσαν).  He then touched her hand (καὶ ἥψατο τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς) and her fever went away (καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτὴν ὁ πυρετός).  Then she got up and began to serve or wait on them (καὶ ἠγέρθη, καὶ διηκόνει αὐτῷ.) with her normal hospitality.  This was a typical healing that took place with a touching hand.  The mother-in law of Peter was staying at his house.  She was cured so well, that she able to do the normal tasks of hospitality.  However, there was no mention of Peter’s wife.

Dominant Bible translations

Although many believe that the English translation of the King James Version of the Bible is inspired, the actual inspired words of the Bible were written in Hebrew and Greek.  The King James Version of the Bible was the dominant standard translation in the English-speaking world for nearly four centuries, since no other English translations were allowed.  The Vulgate Latin translation of St. Jerome in the fourth century remained the dominant normative translation of the original Hebrew and Greek texts for over a thousand years during the European Middle Ages.  As there was no printing press, the only way to duplicate the Bible was by hand.

The pretend god of Tyre will die (Ezek 28:9-28:10)

“‘Will you still say

‘I am a god.’

In the presence

Of those who kill you?

You are but a mortal!

You are no god

In the hands of those

Who wound you!

You shall die

The death

Of the uncircumcised,

By the hand

Of foreigners!

I have spoken.’

Says Yahweh God!”

Yahweh wanted to know if the prince of Tyre would still say that he was a god in the presence of those trying to kill him. The prince of Tyre was a mere human mortal and not a god. Those trying to wound him did not see him as a god. He was going to die the death of the uncircumcised ones at the hand of foreigners. Yahweh God had clearly spoken via Ezekiel. Some Christians have interpreted this as the fall of Lucifer or the fallen angel, the devil.

Yahweh is against the false prophets (Ezek 13:8-13:9)

“Therefore

Thus says Yahweh God.

‘Because you have uttered

Falsehood

With envisioned lies,

I am against you.’

Says Yahweh God.

‘My hand

Will be against

The prophets

Who see false visions.

My hand

Will be against

The prophets

Who utter lying divinations.

They shall not be

In the council

Of my people.

They shall not be

Enrolled

In the register

Of the house of Israel.

They shall not

Enter

The land of Israel.

You shall know

That I am Yahweh God.’”

Yahweh was clearly against these false prophets who had uttered falsehoods and lying visions. His hand was going to be against these prophets with their false visions and lying sayings. Yahweh was not going to allow them into the council of his people. They would not be allowed to be enrolled or registered in the house of Israel. In fact, they would not be allowed to enter the land of Israel. Everyone should know that Yahweh was their God. No one else or no false prophets would have the final say.

Courage and hope (Bar 4:21-4:22)

“Take courage!

My children!

Cry to God!

He will deliver you

From the power

Of the enemy!

He will deliver you

From the hand

Of the enemy!

I have put my hope

In the Everlasting One

To save you!

Joy has come

To me

From the Holy One!

Because mercy

Will soon come

To you

From your everlasting Savior.”

Continuing with the personification of Jerusalem, this city wanted her children to have courage. They should cry to God who would deliver them from the power and hand of their enemy. Jerusalem had put her hope in the Everlasting One, not Yahweh, to save them from their enemy. Joy has come to Jerusalem because the mercy of the Holy One would soon come to them to be their everlasting savior.

Personal suffering (Lam 3:1-3:3)

Aleph

“I am the one

Who has seen affliction

Under the rod

Of God’s wrath.

He has driven me.

He has brought me

Into darkness

Without any light.

Against me alone

He turns his hand

Again and again

All day long.”

These three short verses, instead of one verse, start with the Hebrew consonant letter Aleph. Each section after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this personal acrostic poem or psalm. Using the first person singular, this author proclaims that he has seen a lot of suffering. He has seen affliction, due to the rod or stick of God’s wrath. God drove him into darkness, without any light. God has turned his hand against him alone, over and over again, all day long. He was in great pain.