The father embraces the son (Lk 15:20-15:20)

“Thus,

The prodigal son

Set off.

He went

To his father.

But while he was

Still far off,

His father saw him.

He was filled

With compassion.

He ran to him.

He put his arms

Around him.

He kissed him.”

 

καὶ ἀναστὰς ἦλθεν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ἑαυτοῦ. ἔτι δὲ αὐτοῦ μακρὰν ἀπέχοντος εἶδεν αὐτὸν ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐσπλαγχνίσθη, καὶ δραμὼν ἐπέπεσεν ἐπὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ καὶ κατεφίλησεν αὐτόν.

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this prodigal son set off to go to his father (καὶ ἀναστὰς ἦλθεν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ἑαυτοῦ).  While he was still far away (ἔτι δὲ αὐτοῦ μακρὰν ἀπέχοντος), his father saw him (εἶδεν αὐτὸν ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ).  He was filled with compassion (καὶ ἐσπλαγχνίσθη).  He ran to him (καὶ δραμὼν).  He put his arms around him or fell upon his neck (ἐπέπεσεν ἐπὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ) and he kissed him (καὶ κατεφίλησεν αὐτόν).  In case there was any doubt, the father was going to accept the prodigal sinning son without any conditions.  There was not even an “I’m sorry!” from the son.  This compassionate father ran out to embrace him before he even got close to their house.  Obviously, he was out in the fields working.  Do you feel closer to the wasteful repentant prodigal son or the compassionate forgiving father?

Daniel is rewarded (Dan 5:29-5:29)

“Then King Belshazzar

Gave the command.

Daniel was clothed

In purple.

A chain of gold

Was put

Around his neck.

A proclamation

Was made

Concerning him.

He should rank third

In the kingdom.”

Despite the fact that Daniel had said that he did not want any rewards or gifts, the king gave him purple royal clothing. Daniel was to be a royal member, the 3rd in command in the kingdom of Babylon, after King Belshazzar and his father. Daniel would wear a chain of gold around his neck. Thus, this Judean exile would become the 3rd most powerful person in the great Babylonian kingdom.

The king explains the situation to Daniel (Dan 5:15-5:16)

“‘Now the wise men,

The enchanters,

Have been brought in

Before me

To read this writing.

They were to tell me

Its interpretation.

But they were not able

To give the interpretation

Of the matter.

But I have heard

That you can give

Interpretations.

You can

Solve problems.

Now if you able

To read the writing,

If you are able

To tell me

Its interpretation,

You shall be clothed

In purple.

You shall have

A chain of gold

Around your neck.

You shall rank third

In the kingdom.’”

The king explained to Daniel that the wise men and enchanters of Babylon were not able to read this writing on the wall. Thus, they were not able to give its interpretation. However, the king had heard that Daniel was capable of giving interpretations and solving problems. Then he made the same offer that he had made to the others. If Daniel was able to read and interpret this writing, he would be clothed in purple, the sign of royalty. He would then have a chain of gold around his neck, indicating that he was the 3rd in command in the kingdom of Babylon, after himself and his father.

Jeremiah is to wear an iron yoke (Jer 28:13-28:14)

“‘Go!

Tell Hananiah!

Thus says Yahweh!

You have broken wooden bars,

Only to forge iron bars

In place of them!

Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

The God of Israel!

I have put an iron yoke

On the neck of all these nations.

Thus they may serve

King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon.

They shall indeed serve him.

I have even given to him

The wild animals.’”

Yahweh spoke to Jeremiah to tell him to go to the prophet Hananiah. Jeremiah was to tell Hananiah that even though he had broken the wooden yoke that Jeremiah had around his neck, it was going to be replaced with an iron yoke. In fact, Yahweh, the God of Israel, was going to put an iron yoke on all the nations, so that they would all serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. There was no doubt that Yahweh favored the Babylonian king, so that even the wild animals were under his control.

The word of Yahweh comes to Jeremiah (Jer 28:12-28:12)

Sometime after

The prophet Hananiah

Had broken the yoke

From the neck

Of the prophet Jeremiah,

The word of Yahweh

Came to Jeremiah.”

Sometime after the speech by the prophet Hananiah, the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah. Hananiah had broken the yoke that Jeremiah had been wearing on his neck, but now a new word from Yahweh came to Jeremiah.

Hananiah breaks the yoke of Jeremiah (Jer 28:10-28:10)

“Then the prophet Hananiah

Took the yoke

From the neck

Of the prophet Jeremiah.

He broke it.”

In a real symbolic efficacious action, the prophet Hananiah took the yoke off the neck of Jeremiah. Remember from the preceding chapter that Jeremiah wore a yoke around his neck to symbolize the power of King Nebuchadnezzar had over him and the people of Judah. Now this prophet Hananiah took the yoke off of Jeremiah and broke it.

King Zedekiah was to serve the Babylonian king (Jer 27:12-27:13)

“I spoke to King Zedekiah

Of Judah

In the same way.

‘Bring your necks

Under the yoke

Of the king of Babylon.

Serve him!

Serve his people!

Live!

Why should you,

With your people,

Die

By the sword,

By famine,

By pestilence?

Yahweh has spoken

Concerning any nation

That will not serve

The king of Babylon.”

Jeremiah says that he spoke to King Zedekiah or King Mattaniah (598-587 BCE) who had been put on the throne by the King of Babylon. Jeremiah told King Zedekiah to put his neck unde the yoke of this Babylonian king. He was to serve him and his people. Thus he would live. Why should they die by the sword, famine, or pestilence? Yahweh had said that this was to be the fate of those who did not serve the king of Babylon.