“If you have not
Belongs to another,
Who will give you
What is your own?”
καὶ εἰ ἐν τῷ ἀλλοτρίῳ πιστοὶ οὐκ ἐγένεσθε, τὸ ἡμέτερον τίς δώσει ὑμῖν;
Once again, this is a unique statement of Luke, not found in the other gospel stories. Luke indicated that Jesus said that if they had not been faithful or trustworthy (καὶ εἰ…πιστοὶ οὐκ ἐγένεσθε) with what belongs to another (ἐν τῷ ἀλλοτρίῳ), who would give them what is their own (τὸ ἡμέτερον τίς δώσει ὑμῖν)? Why should you be trusted with your own stuff, when you do not know how to handle other people’s stuff, money or other things? Are you trustworthy with borrowed money?
“Whoever is faithful
In a very little thing
Is faithful also
Whoever is dishonest
In a very little thing
Is dishonest also
ὁ πιστὸς ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ καὶ ἐν πολλῷ πιστός ἐστιν, καὶ ὁ ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ ἄδικος καὶ ἐν πολλῷ ἄδικός ἐστιν.
Once again, this is a unique statement of Luke, not found in the other gospel stories. Luke indicated that Jesus said that whoever was faithful or trustworthy (ὁ πιστὸς) with very small things (ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ) would be faithful or trustworthy (πιστός ἐστιν) also with much things (καὶ ἐν πολλῷ). On the other hand, whoever was dishonest (ἄδικος) in very little things (καὶ ὁ ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ) would be dishonest (ἄδικός ἐστιν) also with much things (καὶ ἐν πολλῷ). This was another common sense saying of Jesus, only here in Luke. How you treated little things, honestly or dishonestly, would be how you would handle big things. How do you handle little things?
“Keep strict watch
Over a headstrong daughter.
Otherwise when she finds liberty,
She will make use of it.
Be on guard
Against her impudent eye.
Do not be surprised
If she sins against you.
As a thirsty traveler
Opens his mouth to drink
From any water near him,
So she will sit
In front of every tent peg.
She will open her quiver
To the arrow.”
Sirach has some advice on how to handle a headstrong daughter. Notice that there is no mention of a headstrong son. This daughter will try to exercise her freedom. However, the father is warned against this, because she may have an impudent eye. In fact, she may sin not against God, but this father, as if he were God. She is like a thirsty traveler who opens his mouth to drink any kind of water. She will sit in front of the tent by the pegs that hold it down. There she will open her archery quiver so that others may put their arrows into it. This sounds like a sexual allusion. Thus there is a need to keep an eye on all young daughters, so that they do not stray from their father’s wishes.
“Do you have cattle?
Look after them.
If they are profitable to you,
Do you have children?
Make them obedient from their youth.
Do you have daughters?
Be concerned for their chastity.
Do not show yourself too indulgent with them.
Give a daughter in marriage.
You will have completed a great task.
But give her to a sensible man.”
Sirach continued with his recommendations on how to handle children. However, he also mentioned cattle. If you had cattle take care of them if they profitable. If not, get rid of them. If you have children, there is a clear directive, discipline them. There is no alternative. They have to be obedient from their youth. If you have daughters, you have to protect their chastity. There is no such recommendation for the sons. You should not indulge your daughters. Your task, as a father, was to get your daughter married to a sensible man. If you did that you had accomplished a great task. However, there is no demand on you to have your son have a good marriage.
“She considers a field.
She buys it.
With the fruit of her hands,
She plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength.
She makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff.
Her hands hold the spindle.”
The good wife does not sit around all day and gossip. She goes out and buys fields, just like men do. She plants a vineyard, just like other workers. She has strength with strong arms. She buys and sells merchandise like her husband. She stays up late figuring things out. She even knows how to handle the spindle. She is like a super woman. She even has contact with others in business doings. Thus she is not a stay at home wife, but really a business partner.
“Will it make many supplications to you?
Will it speak soft words to you?
Will it make a covenant with you?
Will it be taken as your servant forever?
Will you play with it as with a bird?
Will you put it on a leash for your girls?
Will traders bargain over it?
Will they divide it up among the merchants?
Can you fill its skin with harpoons?
Can you fill its head with fishing spears?
Lay hands on it!
Think of the battle!
You will not do it again!
Any hope of capturing it will be disappointed.
The gods were even overwhelmed at the sight of it.
No one is so fierce as to dare to stir it up.
Who can stand before it?
Who can confront it?
Who can be safe?
No one under the whole heaven can confront it?”
Like the popular children’s movie series, How to Train a Dragon, how are you to handle this big sea monster? However, this is not a play thing. Yahweh asks who can confront this Leviathan. Will it pray softy for him? Will it make a treaty with him? Would you play with it or put it on a leash? Do the traders buy and sell it? Could you put spears and harpoons into it? Leviathan cannot be captured because even the gods are overwhelmed seeing it. No one under the heavens could confront it or stand up to it. The Leviathan was the original bully since it did whatever it wanted to do.