Zechariah returns home (Lk 1:23-1:23)

“When his time

Of liturgical service

Was completed,

He went

To his home.”

 

καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τῆς λειτουργίας αὐτοῦ, ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke remarked that Zechariah had fulfilled his time or days (καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι) of priestly Levite liturgical service (τῆς λειτουργίας αὐτοῦ) at the Jerusalem Temple.  As his two-week duty was over, he went home (ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ).  There was nothing strange about this.  Obviously, Zechariah did not live at the Temple, since his home was elsewhere.

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The folly of the artistic idol maker (Wis 15:7-15:8)

“A potter kneads the soft earth.

He laboriously molds each vessel for our service.

He fashions out of the same clay

Both the vessels that serve clean uses

As well as those for contrary uses.

He makes all alike.

But which shall be the use of each of them?

The worker in clay decides.

With misspent toil,

These workers form a futile god

From the same clay.

These mortals were made of earth a short time before.

After a little while,

They go to the earth

From which all mortals are taken.

When the time comes,

They return the souls that were borrowed.”

The potter makes items from clay. Thus he performs a service to society by making things that for everyday usage. Some items are for good use and others are not. He must decide whether to spend his time on good uses or making futile gods of clay (κακόμοχθος θεὸν). He must have forgotten that he too was made of clay a short time ago. He, too, will return to the earth (γῆς) when his soul (τῆς ψυχῆς) separates from his mortal body. This concept of body and soul shows the influence of Greek philosophy since the body merely borrowed the soul.