“For a while
The bad judge
He said to himself.
No fear of God.
I have no respect
καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν ἐπὶ χρόνον· μετὰ ταῦτα δὲ εἶπεν ἐν ἑαυτῷ Εἰ καὶ τὸν Θεὸν οὐ φοβοῦμαι οὐδὲ ἄνθρωπον ἐντρέπομαι,
Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the bad judge. Luke indicated that Jesus said that for a time (ἐπὶ χρόνον), this judge refused her (καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν). However, after a while (μετὰ ταῦτα), he reevaluated his position. He said to himself (δὲ εἶπεν ἐν ἑαυτῷ) that he had no fear of God (Εἰ καὶ τὸν Θεὸν οὐ φοβοῦμαι) and no respect for anyone (οὐδὲ ἄνθρωπον ἐντρέπομαι). Why should he worry about this poor widow? Do you worry about poor old women?
“As I live!
Says Yahweh God!
Surely with a mighty hand,
With an outstretched arm,
With wrath poured out,
I will be king
Yahweh left no doubt what his position was. Yahweh was the God who stretched out his mighty hand and arm. Anger would pour out of him. He was going to be king over them, no questions asked.
It is I!
I have created the smith
Who blows the fire of coals.
He produces a weapon
Fit for its purpose.
I have also created the ravager
No weapon that is fashioned
You shall confute every tongue
That rises against you in judgment.
This is the heritage of the servants of Yahweh
Their vindication is from me.’
So says Yahweh.”
Second Isaiah has Yahweh explain his position about the arms and protection of Jerusalem. Yahweh has created the blacksmiths who stand before the blast furnaces creating these weapons of destruction. He has also created the people who oppose them. No weapon will be successful against the Israelites. They will also have to fight off verbal aggression that would arise against them. These servants of Yahweh are his heritage, so that he will vindicate them.
“On that day,
I will call my servant Eliakim,
Son of Hilkiah.
I will clothe him with your robe.
I will bind your sash on him.
I will commit your authority
To his hand.
He shall be a father
To the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
To the house of Judah.”
Yahweh, via Isaiah, will call Eliakim son of Hilkiah to take the place of Shebna. Eliakim is mentioned about 10 times between here in Isaiah and 2 Kings, chapter 18-19. He was the leader of the royal palace of King Hezekiah, who conducted the peace negotiations with the Assyrian invaders. On the day that Shebna was removed from his position, Eliakim was installed as the new master of the royal palace, but he seems to get more authority than his predecessor. Eliakim got Shebna’s robe and sash with all the authority that came with it. However, he also was to be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the house of Judah, a much bigger title.
“I was the last
To keep vigil.
I was like a gleaner
Following the grape-pickers.
By the blessing of the Lord,
I arrived first.
Like a grape-picker,
I filled my wine press.
Consider that I have not labored
For myself alone.
But I labored
For all who seek instruction.
Who are great among the people!
Leaders of the congregation!
This biblical book takes a very personal tone as Sirach defends his position as a teacher. He was the last one to keep the vigil in his congregation. He compared his position to the gleaners who came after the grape-pickers. The mostly poor gleaners picked up the leftover grapes after the good grapes had been picked. However, by the grace of God, Sirach was able to fill up his wine press with all his grapes. In other words, he was not originally a major figure in his religious assembly, but he has progressed. He was not working for himself, but for all those who wanted further instruction about the law. Thus he proclaimed in the assembled congregation that they should listen to him. They should pay attention to him.
“May his days be few!
May another seize his position!
May his children be orphans!
May his wife be a widow!
May his children wander about!
May his children beg!
May they be driven out of the ruins they inhabit!
May the creditor seize all that he has!
May strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!
May there be no one to do him a kindness!
May there be no one to pity his orphaned children!
May his posterity be cut off!
May his name be blotted out in the second generation!
May the iniquity of his father be remembered before Yahweh!
May the sin of his mother not be blotted out!
May they be before Yahweh continually!
May his memory be cut off from the earth!”
The enemies of David issued a whole series of curses against him. They wanted his days to be few with an early death, so that his children would be orphans and his wife a widow. They wanted someone to take over his position or the crown. They wanted his children to wander about begging. They wanted them driven out of their ruined home. Creditors should seize all his things. Strangers should plunder his fields. No one should show him kindness. No one should worry about his orphaned children. His name should be wiped out in the 2nd generation. People should remember the iniquity and sin of his father and mother. There was to be no memory of him on earth. All of this should be brought to Yahweh so that he might punish David. Obviously, these curses did not come true for David.