“When he had spent
Everything he had,
A severe famine
Throughout that country.
To be in need.”
δαπανήσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ πάντα ἐγένετο λιμὸς ἰσχυρὰ κατὰ τὴν χώραν ἐκείνην, καὶ αὐτὸς ἤρξατο ὑστερεῖσθαι.
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 when this young prodigal son had spent everything that he had (δαπανήσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ πάντα), a severe famine took place (ἐγένετο λιμὸς ἰσχυρὰ) throughout that country (κατὰ τὴν χώραν ἐκείνην). He began to be and feel needy (καὶ αὐτὸς ἤρξατο ὑστερεῖσθαι). Having dissipated his wealth, he was broke in a foreign land, where there was a famine. He really began to feel like he needed help. Have you ever felt like you needed help?
“Ephraim was a trader.
Have false balances.
He loves to oppress people.
Ephraim has said.
I am rich.
I have gained wealth
In all of my gain,
Has been found
That would be a sin.’”
Ephraim was a trader, which is the same word as Canaanite. In other words, Ephraim had become like a common Canaanite trader with false balances in his trades. He loved to oppress the people. However, he justified his wealth and gain by saying that that in becoming wealthy, he had not sinned. No one could find anything wrong with him.
“He has put my family far from me.
My acquaintances are wholly estranged from me.
My relatives and my close friends have failed me.
The guests in my house have forgotten me.
My servant girls count me as a stranger.
I have become an alien in their eyes.
I call to my servant,
But he gives me no answer.
I must myself plead with him.
My breath is repulsive to my wife.
I am loathsome to my own family.
Even young children despise me.
When I rise,
They talk against me.
All my intimate friends abhor me.
Those whom I loved have turned against me.
My bones cling to my skin and to my flesh.
I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
Have pity on me!
Have pity on me!
O you my friends,
The hand of God has touched me!
Why do you,
Why are you never satisfied with my flesh?”
Job was an outcast from his family and friends. Everyone had failed him. His own house guests have forgotten him. As if to impress us with his wealth, his servant girls now treat him like a stranger. His servants do not answer him so that now he has to actually plead with them to do things. His wife did not like his breath. Even little kids ran away from him and talked behind his back. His bones clung to his skin since he seemed to lose weight. His teeth were in bad shape. He wanted God to have pity on him. He wanted to know why God was pursuing him. Why was everybody after him?