The wicked slave (Mt 24:48-24:51)

“But if that wicked slave

Says to himself.

‘My master is delayed.’

He begins to beat

His fellow slaves.

He eats

And drinks

With drunkards.

The master

Of that slave

Will come

On a day

When he does not expect him,

At an hour

That he does not know.

He will beat him severely

He will put him

With the hypocrites.

There will be weeping

And gnashing of teeth.”

 

ἐὰν δὲ εἴπῃ ὁ κακὸς δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ Χρονίζει μου ὁ κύριος,

καὶ ἄρξηται τύπτειν τοὺς συνδούλους αὐτοῦ, ἐσθίῃ δὲ καὶ πίνῃ μετὰ τῶν μεθυόντων,

ἥξει ὁ κύριος τοῦ δούλου ἐκείνου ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ᾗ οὐ προσδοκᾷ καὶ ἐν ὥρᾳ ᾗ οὐ γινώσκει,

καὶ διχοτομήσει αὐτὸν καὶ τὸ μέρος αὐτοῦ μετὰ τῶν ὑποκριτῶν θήσει· ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων.

 

This parable about the wicked slave is similar to Luke, chapter 12:44-47, with a little more elaboration in Luke, where the good slave became the wicked slave.  Jesus said that this wicked slave thought in his heart (ἐὰν δὲ εἴπῃ ὁ κακὸς δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ) that his master was delayed (Χρονίζει μου ὁ κύριος).  Then he began to beat up his fellow slaves (καὶ ἄρξηται τύπτειν τοὺς συνδούλους αὐτοῦ).  He ate and drank with the drunkards (ἐσθίῃ δὲ καὶ πίνῃ μετὰ τῶν μεθυόντων).  Then the master of this slave came on a day when he was not expecting him, at an unknown hour (ἥξει ὁ κύριος τοῦ δούλου ἐκείνου ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ᾗ οὐ προσδοκᾷ καὶ ἐν ὥρᾳ ᾗ οὐ γινώσκει).  This master would beat him severely (καὶ διχοτομήσει αὐτὸν) and put him with the hypocrites (καὶ τὸ μέρος αὐτοῦ μετὰ τῶν ὑποκριτῶν θήσει), where there would be weeping (ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς) and gnashing of teeth (καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων).  The non-vigilant slave would suffer disaster, not like the good slave.

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Adultery (Mt 5:27-5:28)

“You have heard

That it was said.

‘You shall not

Commit adultery.’

But I say to you

That everyone

Who looks at a woman

With lust

Has already committed adultery

With her

In his heart.’”

 

Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη Οὐ μοιχεύσεις.

γὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ βλέπων γυναῖκα πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ.

 

Once again, Matthew alone mentions one of the 10 Commandments from Exodus, chapter 20:14.  This was something all the Jewish people knew, since they had heard it said often (Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη).  Everyone knew that they should not commit adultery (Οὐ μοιχεύσεις), having sex with a married woman who was not your wife.  However, Matthew has this solemn statement of Jesus (γὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν) that he was demanding more.  Everyone who looked at a woman lustfully (ὅτι πᾶς ὁ βλέπων γυναῖκα πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν), has already committed adultery with her in his heart (ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ).  This was a much higher standard, not merely the act of adultery, but the planning to do so was wrong.  This was adultery of the heart.

The unhumble king (Dan 5:22-5:23)

“‘You!

His son!

King Belshazzar!

Have not humbled

Your heart,

Even though

You knew all this!

You have exalted yourself

Against the Lord of heaven!

The vessels

Of his temple

Have been brought in

Before you.

You,

Your lords,

Your wives,

Your concubines,

Have been drinking wine

From them.

You have praised

The gods

Of silver

Of gold,

Of bronze,

Of iron,

Of wood,

Of stone.

They do not

See,

Hear,

Or know.

You have not honored

The God

In whose power

Is your very breath,

To whom belong

All your ways.’”

Daniel then turned to King Belshazzar himself, because he had not humbled his heart, even though he knew all about his father or grandfather. He too exalted himself against the Lord of heaven. He even took the vessels from his holy temple for his feast or party to drink wine with his lords, wives, and concubines. He even praised the false idol gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone who could not see, hear, or know anything. He did not honor the true God, who controls his life and his actions.

The proud prince of Tyre as a wise trader (Ezek 28:3-28:5)

“You are indeed wiser

Than Daniel.

No secret

Is hidden

From you.

By your wisdom,

By your understanding,

You have amassed wealth

For yourself.

You have gathered

Gold,

With silver,

Into your treasuries.

By your great wisdom

In trade,

You have increased

Your wealth.

Your heart

Has become proud

In your wealth.”

Ezekiel’s reference to Daniel may be a Canaanite judge named Daniel who gave out wise decisions for orphans and widows, not the prophet Daniel. Thus, the prince of Tyre was wiser than this Daniel, since he knew all kinds of secrets. With his great wisdom and understanding, he had amassed great wealth for himself and his treasury full of gold and silver. This Tyre prince or leader was a very wise trader. His wealth, however, made his heart very proud.

Go to the exiles (Ezek 3:10-3:11)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘Son of man!

All my words

That I shall speak

To you,

Receive in your heart!

Hear with your ears!

Then go to the exiles!

Go to your people!

Speak to them!

Say to them!

‘Thus says Yahweh God!’

Whether they hear

Or refuse to hear.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel, the son of man, everything that he was to say. Ezekiel was to receive into his heart and hear with his ears all that Yahweh would tell him. Ezekiel was then to go to the exiles, his people. He was to say to them ‘Thus says Yahweh God!’ It did not matter whether they heard him or refused to hear him. He was to bring this message, pure and simple.

The everlasting covenant (Jer 32:40-32:41)

“I will make

An everlasting covenant

With them.

I will never draw back

From doing good

To them.

I will put the fear of me

In their hearts.

Thus they may not turn

From me.

I will rejoice

In doing good

To them.

I will plant them

In this land

In faithfulness,

With all my heart,

With all my soul.”

Yahweh was going to make an everlasting covenant with the new returnees from the exile. He was not going to stop doing good for them. They would have the fear of Yahweh in their hearts, so that they would never turn away from him again. Yahweh would rejoice in helping them. He wanted to plant them in this land of faithfulness with all his heart and soul. In other words, Yahweh was giving himself to the returning exiles to the Promised Land.

The bad situation of Jeremiah (Jer 23:9-23:10)

“My heart is crushed

Within me

Concerning the prophets.

All my bones shake.

I have become

Like a drunken man

Because of Yahweh.

I have become

Like one overcome by wine

Because of his holy words.

The land is full of adulterers.

Because of the curse,

The land mourns.

The pastures of the wilderness

Are dried up.

Their course has been evil.

Their might is not right.”

Jeremiah complains about the terrible situation he is in. His heart is crushed. His bones shake. He has become like a drunkard, overcome with wine, because of Yahweh and his words. His land is full of adulterers. His land itself mourns as the pastures have dried up. There is evil all around. No one does the right thing. Jeremiah is worried.