The reward for the slave with two talents (Mt 25:23-25:23)

“His master

Said to him.

‘Well done!

Good slave!

Trustworthy slave!

You have been

Faithful

In a few things.

I will put you

In charge

Of many things.

Enter into the joy

Of your master.’”

 

ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ Εὖ, δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ, ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός, ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω· εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is something similar in Luke, chapter 19:19, where the nobleman said that this 2nd trader slave had done well, so that he put him in charge of 5 cities.  Here Jesus said that this master said to this 2nd diligent trader slave (ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ) that he done a good job (Εὖ).  He was a good trustworthy slave (δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ).  As he had been trustworthy or faithful in a few things (ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός), this master was going to put him in charge or appoint him over many things (ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω), without being specific.  This 2nd slave was to enter into the joy of his master or lord (εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου).  Notice that the Greek wording is exactly the same, word for word, as it was for the first slave with the 5 talents in verse 21.  They both belonged in the same category as good trustworthy faithful slaves.

 

The reward for the slave with five talents (Mt 25:21-25:21)

“His master

Said to him.

‘Well done!

Good slave!

Trustworthy slave!

You have been

Faithful

In a few things.

I will put you

In charge

Of many things.

Enter into the joy

Of your master.’”

 

ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ Εὖ, δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ, ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός, ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω· εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is something similar in Luke, chapter 19:17, where the nobleman said that the trader slave had done well, so that he put him in charge of 10 cities.  Here Jesus said that this master said to this 1st diligent trader slave (ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ) that he done a good job (Εὖ).  He was a good trustworthy slave (δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ).  As he had been trustworthy or faithful in a few things (ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός), this master was going to put him in charge or appoint him over many things (ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω), without being specific.  This first slave was to enter into the joy of his master or lord (εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου).

Explanation of the seeds on rocky ground (Mt 13:20-13:21)

“As for what was sown

On rocky ground,

This is the one

Who hears the word

And immediately receives it

With joy.

Yet he has no roots.

But only endures for a while.

When tribulation arises

Or persecution arises,

On account of the word,

That person

Immediately falls away.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη σπαρείς, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων καὶ εὐθὺς μετὰ χαρᾶς λαμβάνων αὐτόν·

οὐκ ἔχει δὲ ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιρός ἐστιν, γενομένης δὲ θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ διὰ τὸν λόγον εὐθὺς σκανδαλίζεται.

 

This explanation of the sower parable centered around the seeds sown on the rocky ground that can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:16-17, and Luke, chapter 8:13, with Matthew closer to Mark.  Jesus explained that the seeds sown on the rocky ground (ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη σπαρείς) were like the people who heard the word of the kingdom (οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων), and immediately received it with joy (καὶ εὐθὺς μετὰ χαρᾶς λαμβάνων αὐτόν).  Yet these seedlings had no roots (οὐκ ἔχει δὲ ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτῷ), since they only endured for a little while (ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιρός ἐστιν).  When trouble, tribulation, or persecution arose (γενομένης δὲ θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ), because of the word (διὰ τὸν λόγον), they immediately stumbled and fell away (εὐθὺς σκανδαλίζεται).  Once again, the seeds are the words of the kingdom.  Listening to the word was not enough if it did not resonate or take root.  Due to this rocky ground, the early excitement of receiving the word was not good enough to sustain a continual adherence to the word of the kingdom.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.

The lamentation for Assyria (Nah 3:18-3:19)

“Your shepherds

Are asleep!

O king of Assyria!

Your nobles slumber!

Your people are scattered

On the mountains!

There is no one

To gather them!

There is no assuaging

Your hurt!

Your wound is mortal!

All who hear

The news of you,

Clap their hands

Over you.

Who has ever escaped

Your endless cruelty?”

It almost seems like Yahweh, via Nahum, was sorry about the situation in Assyria.  Nahum has a lament for their situation.  Nahum said that all their leaders or shepherds were asleep, while their nobles also slumbered.  The people had been scattered to the mountains, with no one to gather them back.  They had suffered a mortal wound.  Unfortunately, everyone who heard the news about them were clapping their hands in joy.  Assyria would never escape from its cruel position.  Ding dong, Assyria was dead.

The farmers should mourn (Joel 1:11-1:12)

“Be dismayed!

You farmers!

Wail!

You vinedressers!

The wheat,

The barley,

The crops

Of the field

Are ruined.

The vine withers.

The fig tree droops.

Pomegranate trees,

Palm trees,

Apple trees,

All the trees

Of the field

Are dried up.

Surely,

Joy withers away

Among the people.”

The famers and the vinedressers should wail and be upset. All the crops of the field, the wheat and the barley, are ruined. The vines wither away, while the fig trees droop. All the trees of the field, the pomegranate, the palm, and the apple trees, have dried up. There is no longer any joy among the people because of this plague of locusts.

The return of the exiles (Bar 4:36-4:37)

“Look toward the east!

O Jerusalem!

See the joy

That is coming

To you

From God!

Look!

Your children

Are coming!

Those you sent away

Are coming.

They are gathered

From the east,

From the west,

At the word

Of the Holy One,

Rejoicing

In the glory

Of God.”

Jerusalem was to look to the east to see the joy of those coming back to Jerusalem. The children, who were sent away, are now returning to this holy city. They are being gathered from the east and the west at the word of the Holy One, not Yahweh. They are rejoicing in the glory of God.

Courage and hope (Bar 4:21-4:22)

“Take courage!

My children!

Cry to God!

He will deliver you

From the power

Of the enemy!

He will deliver you

From the hand

Of the enemy!

I have put my hope

In the Everlasting One

To save you!

Joy has come

To me

From the Holy One!

Because mercy

Will soon come

To you

From your everlasting Savior.”

Continuing with the personification of Jerusalem, this city wanted her children to have courage. They should cry to God who would deliver them from the power and hand of their enemy. Jerusalem had put her hope in the Everlasting One, not Yahweh, to save them from their enemy. Joy has come to Jerusalem because the mercy of the Holy One would soon come to them to be their everlasting savior.

Crying for Moab and its vineyard (Jer 48:31-48:33)

“Therefore I wail for Moab!

I cry out for all Moab!

I mourn for

The people of Kir-heres.

More than for Jazer,

I weep for you!

O vine of Sibmah!

Your branches

Crossed over the sea,

Reached as far as Jazer.

The destroyed has fallen

Upon your summer fruits,

Upon your vintage.

Gladness has been taken away.

Joy has been taken away,

From the fruitful land

Of Moab.

I have stopped the wine

From the wine presses.

No one treads them

With shouts of joy.

The shouting is

Not the shout of joy.”

Yahweh seems to have great pity for Moab, like in Isaiah, chapter 16. He seemed very concerned about the summer fruits and the wine in Moab. Both Isaiah and Jeremiah mention the town of Kir-heres that is on the main road about 10 miles from the Dead Sea. Of particular interest to both of them was the vineyard of Sibmah, since their descriptions are almost the same. The vines of Sibmah were about 5 miles east of Heshbon, also part of Moab and Reuben. The wonderful vine shoots that had strayed into the desert and even across waters were now languishing. Jeremiah, like Isaiah, has Yahweh crying, because there would no longer be any shouting in the fields at the grape harvest time, because there were no more summer fruits. There would be no joy, gladness, shouting, or singing since there was no one to tread the wine presses. There were no more grapes. Yahweh had stopped the wine presses. The shouts that you now heard were not shouts of joy.

Future restoration (Jer 33:6-33:9)

“I going to bring

Recovery

With healing.

I will heal them.

I will reveal to them

Abundance of prosperity

With security.

I will restore

The fortunes of Judah,

The fortunes of Israel.

I will rebuild them

As they were at first.

I will cleanse them

From all the guilt

Of their sin

Against me.

I will forgive

All the guilt

Of their sin

With their rebellion

Against me.

This city shall be to me

A name of joy,

A praise,

As well as a glory

Before all the nations

Of the earth.

They shall hear

Of all the good

That I do for them.

They shall fear.

They shall tremble

Because of all the good,

As well as all the prosperity

I provide for it.”

Yahweh was going to heal Israel and Judah. He was going to help the city of Jerusalem to recover. They would have an abundance of prosperity and security in Jerusalem. Both the fortunes of the towns in Judah and among the northern Israelites would be rebuilt for them like it used to be. Yahweh was going to cleanse them from the guilt of all their sins against him. He was going to forgive their rebellion against him. Jerusalem would become a name of joy, praise, and glory for the whole world to see. Everyone would know about Jerusalem and the good that Yahweh had done for them. In fact, they would tremble and fear at all the good prosperity that he had provided for them. There were great days ahead.