“I have decided
What to do.
When I am
As a house manager,
Will welcome me
Into their homes.”
ἔγνων τί ποιήσω, ἵνα ὅταν μετασταθῶ ἐκ τῆς οἰκονομίας δέξωνταί με εἰς τοὺς οἴκους ἑαυτῶν
This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories. Luke indicated that Jesus said that this fired household manager came up with a plan. He decided what to do (ἔγνων τί ποιήσω). After he was dismissed as a house manager (ἵνα ὅταν μετασταθῶ ἐκ τῆς οἰκονομίας), he wanted people to welcome him into their homes (δέξωνταί με εἰς τοὺς οἴκους ἑαυτῶν). It is always a good idea to make plans before you leave a job. This dishonest house manager was no exception. He had a plan to survive. Do you have any plans in case you lose your job?
I did not presume
To come to you.
But only say the word!
Let my servant
διὸ οὐδὲ ἐμαυτὸν ἠξίωσα πρὸς σὲ ἐλθεῖν· ἀλλὰ εἰπὲ λόγῳ, καὶ ἰαθήτω ὁ παῖς μου.
Luke said that the friends of the centurion continued by saying he would not presume to come to Jesus (διὸ οὐδὲ ἐμαυτὸν ἠξίωσα πρὸς σὲ ἐλθεῖν). Instead, he wanted Jesus to only say the word (ἀλλὰ εἰπὲ λόγῳ), and thus his servant would be healed (καὶ ἰαθήτω ὁ παῖς μου). This saying of the centurion’s friends is exactly the same as the centurion himself in Matthew, chapter 8:8, perhaps indicating a Q source. The Roman centurion’s friends responded to Jesus that the centurion merely wanted Jesus to say the word, and then his servant would be healed. Perhaps, he was aware that Jewish people were not expected to go into the homes of gentiles like himself. Once again, this saying of the centurion and his friends has made its way into the Roman Catholic pre-communion prayer Eucharistic liturgy. Would you rely on the word of Jesus?
“On the first day
Of the Unleavened Bread,
When the Passover lamb
Said to him.
‘Where do you want
Us to go
Καὶ τῇ πρώτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν ἀζύμων, ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον, λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ Ποῦ θέλεις ἀπελθόντες ἑτοιμάσωμεν ἵνα φάγῃς τὸ πάσχα;
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:17, and Luke, chapter 22:7-8, but in Luke, Jesus was speaking to Peter and John explicitly. All three synoptic gospel writers said that this was the 1st day of the Unleavened Bread (Καὶ τῇ πρώτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν ἀζύμων). Mark explained that the Passover lamb was sacrificed then (ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον), but Matthew did not feel the need to explain that to his Jewish Christian readers. Some unnamed disciples spoke to Jesus (λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ). They wanted to know where Jesus wished that they prepare to eat the Passover meal amonst themselves (Ποῦ θέλεις ἀπελθόντες ἑτοιμάσωμεν ἵνα φάγῃς τὸ πάσχα). At that time, it was the custom to go to Jerusalem to eat the Passover, not in their homes as later, after the destruction of the Temple. The question of whether this was the Passover or the day before the Passover seems somewhat moot, since this was the 1st day of the Unleavened Bread, when they ate the matzah bread, the Hebrew word for unleavened bread. The Passover meal itself usually included a lamb.
“On the first day
Of Unleavened Bread,
Came to Jesus.
‘Where do you want us
To make the preparations
Τῇ δὲ πρώτῃ τῶν ἀζύμων προσῆλθον οἱ μαθηταὶ τῷ Ἰησοῦ λέγοντες Ποῦ θέλεις ἑτοιμάσωμέν σοι φαγεῖν τὸ πάσχα;
This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:12, and Luke, chapter 22:7-9, but in Luke, Jesus was speaking to Peter and John explicitly. All three synoptic gospel writers said that this was the 1st day of the Unleavened Bread (Τῇ δὲ πρώτῃ τῶν ἀζύμων). Mark and Luke explained that this was the Passover (τὸ πάσχα), but Matthew did not feel the need to explain that to his Jewish Christian readers. Some unnamed disciples came to Jesus (προσῆλθον οἱ μαθηταὶ τῷ Ἰησοῦ). They wanted to know where Jesus wished them to make preparations to eat the Passover (λέγοντες Ποῦ θέλεις ἑτοιμάσωμέν σοι φαγεῖν τὸ πάσχα). At that time, it was the custom to go to Jerusalem to eat the Passover (φαγεῖν τὸ πάσχα), not in their homes as later, after the destruction of the Temple. The question of whether this was the Passover or the day before the Passover seems somewhat moot, since this was the 1st day of the Unleavened Bread, when they ate the matzah bread, the Hebrew word for unleavened. The Passover meal itself usually included a lamb.
“They shall go after Yahweh.
He will roar
Like a lion.
When he roars,
Shall come trembling
From the west.
They shall come trembling
They shall come trembling
From the land of Assyria.
‘I will return them
To their homes.’
The compassion of Yahweh will lead the Israelites to return to Israel and Ephraim. Yahweh would roar like a lion. When his children, the Israelites, heard this roar, they would come trembling back to Israel. They would come from the west, like birds from Egypt. They would also return like trembling doves from Assyria. Yahweh said that he would return them to their homes.
“‘Then those who live
In the towns
Will go out.
They will make fires
Of the weapons.
They will burn them,
They will make fires
For seven years.
They will not need
To take wood
Out of the field
Or cut down
In the forests.
They will make
Of the weapons.
They will despoil
Those who despoiled them.
They will plunder
Those who plundered them.’
Says Yahweh God.”
Yahweh God, via Ezekiel, said that the Israelites in the various towns would gather all the weapons from the army of Gog. They would use weapons in place of wood to keep their fires going for 7 years. They were going to burn all the equipment that they found, whether it was shields, hand bucklers, bows, arrows, pikes, or spears. Thus, they would not have to go out and collect wood for their fires. They would not have to cut down trees in the forest for their house fires. This was a form or recycling by saving the trees, since they used war weapons as fuel for your home. They would get the spoils and plunder of those who had tried to do the same to them.
“Four things on earth are small.
Yet they are exceedingly wise.
The ants are a people without strength.
Yet they provide their food in the summer.
The badgers are a people without power.
Yet they make their homes in the rocks.
The locusts have no king.
Yet all of them march in rank.
The lizard can be grasped in the hand.
Yet it is found in kings’ palaces.”
The next mention is about 4 wise small animals: 1) ants, 2) badgers, 3) locusts, and 4) lizards. There are 2 that are actually insects, ants and locusts. The ants and the badgers are called people. There seems to have been a preoccupation with ants since they were able to get their food in the summer. The badgers make their homes in rocks even though they are not powerful. The locusts obviously do not have a king, but they march like in army ranks. In fact, the ants are also organized. Finally, the small lizards can be found in the palaces of kings. All of these small animals and insects can teach us humans a lesson about working together without much individual strength.
“Yahweh raises the poor from the dust.
He lifts the needy from the ash heap.
He makes them sit with princes.
He makes them sit with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home.
He makes her the joyous mother of children.
This short psalm ends with Yahweh, from his heights, raising up the poor from the dust. He lifted the needy from the ash heaps. He made them sit with the princes of his people. He provided the barren women with homes and children so that they could be happy. Thus we all should join in and praise Yahweh as this short psalm concludes with the phrase “praise Yahweh,” another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.”
“In the trees,
The birds build their nests.
The stork has its home in the fir trees.
The high mountains are for the wild goats.
The rocks are a refuge for the badgers.”
The birds build their nests or homes in the various trees. Then there is the mention of 3 specific animals or birds, the stork in the fir tree, the wild goat in the mountains, and the badgers in the rocks. Yahweh created all this.
“It is not enemies who taunt me.
I could bear that.
It is not adversaries
Who deal insolently with me.
I could hide from them.
But it is you,
My familiar friend
I kept pleasant company with you.
We walked in the house of God with the throng.
Let death come upon them.
Let them go down alive to Sheol.
Evil is in their homes.
Evil is in their hearts.”
Now David derides his former friends. His enemies and adversaries have always taunted him and been mean to him. He understood that and could hide from them. The problem was that it was his former friends who were against him. These were his equals, his companions, his good buddies. He had great conversations with them. He enjoyed their company. They used to worship together in the Temple. This was the great betrayal. David may be thinking of the uprising of his son Absalom against him. His response to them was very stark. He wanted them dead. He wanted them to go to hell. He wanted them to go to Sheol, the underground place of death while still living. This was very harsh because he beloved that they had evil in their houses and hearts.