Take a discount (Lk 16:7-16:7)

“Then the manager

Asked another debtor.

‘How much do you owe?’

He replied.

‘A hundred containers

Of wheat.’

The manager said to him.

‘Take your bill!

Make it eighty!’”

 

ἔπειτα ἑτέρῳ εἶπεν Σὺ δὲ πόσον ὀφείλεις; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ἑκατὸν κόρους σίτου. λέγει αὐτῷ Δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα καὶ γράψον ὀγδοήκοντα.

 

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 the house manager asked another debtor (ἔπειτα ἑτέρῳ εἶπεν) how much did he owe his master (Σὺ δὲ πόσον ὀφείλεις).  This debtor replied (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that he owed 100 cors or containers of wheat (Ἑκατὸν κόρους σίτου).  Once again, Luke was the only biblical writer to use this term κόρους that means a cor, about 15 bushels, a dry measure, equivalent to 120 gallons.  This dishonest manager then told him (λέγει αὐτῷ) to take his bill (Δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα) and make it 80 cors (καὶ γράψον ὀγδοήκοντα).  This was only a 20% discount or a reduction from 1,500 bushels to 1,200 bushels of wheat.  This corrupt manager was not as kind to this debtor, compared to the first debtor.  Is debt a good thing to have?

You will always have poor people (Mk 14:7-14:7)

“You will always

Have the poor

With you.

You can show

Kindness to them

Whenever you wish.

But you will not always

Have me.”

 

πάντοτε γὰρ τοὺς πτωχοὺς ἔχετε μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν, καὶ ὅταν θέλητε δύνασθε αὐτοῖς εὖ ποιῆσαι, ἐμὲ δὲ οὐ πάντοτε ἔχετε.

 

This is almost word for word in Mathew, chapter 26:11, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:8.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that they would always have poor people with them (πάντοτε γὰρ τοὺς πτωχοὺς ἔχετε μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν).  In other words, there would be no immediate solution to the difficulties of poverty that has persisted for over 2,000 years.  Mark also indicated that Jesus added that they were able to do kind or good acts to the poor whenever they wished or wanted (καὶ ὅταν θέλητε δύνασθε αὐτοῖς εὖ ποιῆσαι).  However, Jesus reminded them in the first person singular that they would not always have him (ἐμὲ δὲ οὐ πάντοτε ἔχετε).

 

Saving both the north and the south (Zech 10:6-10:7)

“I will strengthen

The house of Judah.

I will save

The house of Joseph.

I will bring them back

Because I have compassion on them.

They shall be

As though I had not rejected them.

I am Yahweh,

Their God.

I will answer them.

Then the people of Ephraim

Shall become like warriors.

Their hearts shall be glad

As with wine.

Their children

Shall see it.

They shall rejoice.

Their hearts shall exult

In Yahweh.”

Yahweh, here in Zechariah, assumed the first person singular.  He was going to strengthen and save the house of Judah and Joseph, because he was going to bring them back in a compassionate way.  They were going to be, as if they had never been rejected.  Yahweh was clear.  He was their God.  Thus, he would answer them.  He would be particularly kind to the northern people in Ephraim.  They would become like warriors with wine filled glad hearts.  Their children would see what was going on and be happy as they exulted in Yahweh.

True judgments (Zech 7:8-7:10)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to Zechariah,

Saying.

‘Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

Render true judgments!

Show kindness

To one another!

Show mercy

To one another!

Do not oppress

The widows!

Do not oppress

The orphans!

Do not oppress

The aliens!

Do not oppress

The poor!

Do not devise evil

In your hearts

Against one another!’”

This oracle of Yahweh came to Zechariah.  Yahweh of hosts told him to tell the people that they should render true justice in the land, since they should show kindness and mercy toward each other.  They were not to oppress the widows, the orphans, the aliens, and the poor people.  They should not devise evil in their hearts against each other.  This is good old be kind and nice to each other.

The weakness of his enemies (Nah 1:8-1:8)

Kaph

“Yahweh will make a full end

Of his adversaries.

He will pursue

His enemies

Into darkness.”

According to the last of these Hebrew letters, Kaph, Yahweh would not be kind to his enemies.  He would put an end to them and pursue them until they lived in darkness, presumably death.

Jerusalem did not remember (Ezek 16:43-16:43)

“‘You have not remembered

The days of your youth.

But you have enraged me

With all these things.

Therefore,

I have returned

Your deeds

Upon your head.’

Says Yahweh God.

‘Have you not

Committed lewdness

Beyond all

Your abominations?’”

Jerusalem did not remember the days of her youth when Yahweh was kind and compassionate towards her. Instead Jerusalem enraged Yahweh with her wicked actions. Thus Yahweh has returned these deeds back on her. Jerusalem has committed many lewd deeds, beyond all her abominations. Yahweh is portrayed as ungrateful man because his lover Jerusalem has left him for other lovers.

The choice of a wife (Sir 36:26-36:31)

“A woman

Will accept any man

As a husband.

But one girl

Is preferable to another.

A woman’s beauty

Lights up a man’s face.

There is nothing

He desires more.

If kindness marks her speech,

If humility marks her speech,

Her husband is more fortunate

Than other men.

He who acquires a wife

Gets his best possession.

She is a helper

Fit for him.

She is a pillar of support.

Where there is no fence,

The property will be plundered.

Where there is no wife,

A man will become a fugitive.

He will be a wanderer.

Who will trust a nimble robber?

He skips from city to city.

Who will trust a man

That has no nest?

He lodges

Wherever night overtakes him.”

Sirach seems to think that women do not care who they marry. However, a man should marry a beautiful woman, because it will light up his face. Then he will not desire anything more. If she is kind and humble in her speech, he will be more fortunate than many other men. She will help him and be a support to him. There is no doubt that a man’s best possession is his wife. Clearly, she is a step above a slave as a possession. It is also a good idea for a man to have a wife because she can act like a fence around him. If he is not married, he will wander around from city to city, like a fugitive. People will think that he is a robber, since he has no home. He will not be trusted because he stays wherever he is when night time comes. Marriage added stability to a community.