He poured oil
Then he put him
On his own animal.
He brought him
To an inn.
He took care of him.”
καὶ προσελθὼν κατέδησεν τὰ τραύματα αὐτοῦ ἐπιχέων ἔλαιον καὶ οἶνον, ἐπιβιβάσας δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ ἴδιον κτῆνος ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν εἰς πανδοχεῖον καὶ ἐπεμελήθη αὐτοῦ.
Luke continued his unique story. Jesus said that this Samaritan went to or approached this wounded man (καὶ προσελθὼν), instead of crossing over to the other side of the road. He bandaged his wounds (κατέδησεν τὰ τραύματα αὐτοῦ) and poured oil and wine on them (ἐπιχέων ἔλαιον καὶ οἶνον). Apparently, oil and wine were like medicine to heal the wounds. Then he put him on his own animal (ἐπιβιβάσας δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ ἴδιον κτῆνος), either a horse or a mule. He then brought him to an inn (ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν εἰς πανδοχεῖον). This Samaritan really took care of this wounded man (καὶ ἐπεμελήθη αὐτοῦ). This underclass Samaritan stepped up. He helped the wounded half dead man by the wayside. He apparently was ready for this kind of thing, because he had bandages, oil, and wine with him. He even was traveling with an animal, probably a mule. There was no mention of any animal with the priest or the Levite. Thus, we have the famous saying about Good Samaritans, based on this story, someone unrelated, who shows up and helps a person in need. This Good Samaritan story has become part of our contemporary secular cultural language. Thus, this story has reached beyond a pure religious context. However, the assumptions are always that the helping person was motivated by a higher calling. Have you ever been a Good Samaritan?
“Some of the elders
Of the land
To all the assembled people.
‘Micah of Moresheth prophesied
During the days of King Hezekiah
He said to all the people
‘Thus says Yahweh of hosts.
Zion shall be plowed
As a field. Jerusalem shall become
A heap of ruins.
The mountain of the house
Will be a wooded height.’
Did King Hezekiah
With all Judah,
Put him to death?
Did he not fear Yahweh?
Did he not entreat
The favor of Yahweh?
Did not Yahweh change
About the disaster
That he had pronounced
But we are about
To bring great disaster
Some of the elders reminded the assembly that at the time of King Hezekiah of Judah (716-687 BCE), about a hundred years previously, that the prophet Micah (737-696 BCE) from Moresheth, in southwestern Judah, had made some disturbing prophecies. Micah was considered one of the Minor Prophets with his own biblical book. During his day, he told King Hezekiah that Judah would be plowed like a field, while Jerusalem would become a ruined heap, as found in chapter 3 of Micah. King Hezekiah did not put him to death. Just the opposite, the king feared Yahweh and asked Yahweh for favors. Thus Yahweh changed his mind at that time, since he did not send a disaster to them. This was right after the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 714 BCE. If they kill Jeremiah, they might bring a great disaster on themselves. Thus a little history lesson helps Jeremiah.
“All counselors praise
The counsel that they give.
But some give counsel
In their own interest.
Be wary of a counselor!
What is his interest!
He will take thought
He may cast the lot
He may tell you.
‘Your way is good.’
Then he may stand aside
To see what happens to you.”
Sirach warns that you should be cautious about consultants. They all think that they are giving you good advice. However, they may be giving you advice that helps them rather than you. After all, they are more interested in themselves than you. They may turn against you. They might say that your idea was good, and then step aside to see what happens.
“Yahweh executes justice for the oppressed.
Yahweh gives food to the hungry.
Yahweh sets the prisoners free.
Yahweh opens the eyes of the blind.
Yahweh lifts up those who are bowed down.
Yahweh loves the righteous.
Yahweh watches over the strangers.
Yahweh upholds the orphan and the widow.
Yahweh brings to ruin the way of the wicked.”
Yahweh makes sure that there is justice for the oppressed. He gives food to the hungry. He sets prisoners free. He opens the eyes of the blind. He lifts up those who are bowed down. He loves the righteous. He watches over strangers. He helps orphans. He holds up widows. However, he brings to ruin those who are pursuing wicked ways.
“I know that Yahweh maintains the cause of the needy.
He executes justice for the poor.
Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name.
The upright shall live in your presence.”
This psalm ends on a happy note. Yahweh will give victory to the righteous. David knows that Yahweh helps the needy and brings justice to the poor. The righteous ones will give thanks to his name, while the upright shall live in the presence of Yahweh. Thus we have a happy ending.
The needy when they call.
Those who have no helper.
He has pity on the weak.
He has pity on the needy.
He saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence
He redeems their life.
Precious is their blood in his sight.”
This ideal king helps the needy when they ask for help. He delivers the poor and those who have no one to help them. He has pity on the weak and the needy. He saves them from oppression and violence as he redeems their lives. Their blood is precious in his sight.
“Our God is a God of salvation!
Belongs the escape from death!”
This shout out says that Yahweh is a God of salvation who helps people escape from death.
Endures forever and ever.
Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity.
You love righteousness.
You hate wickedness.
Has anointed you
With the oil of gladness.
Thus you are beyond your companions.
Your robes are all fragrant
With myrrh, aloes, and cassia.
From ivory palaces
Stringed instruments make you glad.
Daughters of kings are
Among your ladies of honor.
At your right hand
Stands the queen in gold of Ophir.”
Is this throne the throne of God or the king that endures forever? Once again, the scribe psalmist treats the king like a mini-god. The royal crown helps insure equality. Then we have the famous saying about being anointed with the oil of gladness that had such a resonance with Christian prayers about anointing. This is a royal anointing of the new king. This new king was beyond his companions. His robes were fragrant or smelly. They were filled with myrrh, aloes, and cassia. Myrrh was an aromatic perfume from the Asian bushes. Aloes was a bitter tasting leaf that was used in perfumes. Cassia is an Asian evergreen tree with an aromatic bark that also was used in perfumes. Ivory and stringed instruments were also there. All this adds to the concept of wealth. Of course stringed instruments and beautiful ladies of honor were also added to the scene. Then there was queen in her gold from the mysterious unknown but often mentioned Ophir.