The lost silver coin (Lk 15:8-15:8)

“A woman,

Had ten silver coins.

If she loses

One of them,

Does she not

Light a lamp,

Sweep the house,

And search diligently

Until she finds it?”

 

Ἢ τίς γυνὴ δραχμὰς ἔχουσα δέκα, ἐὰν ἀπολέσῃ δραχμὴν μίαν, οὐχὶ ἅπτει λύχνον καὶ σαροῖ τὴν οἰκίαν καὶ ζητεῖ ἐπιμελῶς ἕως οὗ εὕρῃ;

 

Next Luke had Jesus present 3 unique parables that do not appear elsewhere in the canonical gospels.  The first one is a short story about a lost coin, while the other two unique parables are longer.  Jesus said that this woman (Ἢ τίς γυνὴ) had 10 drachma silver coins (δραχμὰς ἔχουσα δέκα).  If she lost one of them (ἐὰν ἀπολέσῃ δραχμὴν μίαν), would she not light a lamp (οὐχὶ ἅπτει λύχνον), sweep the house (καὶ σαροῖ τὴν οἰκίαν), and search diligently or carefully (καὶ ζητεῖ ἐπιμελῶς), until she found it (ἕως οὗ εὕρῃ).  In this story, a woman with 10 drachmas lost one of them.  The Greek drachma was worth about a day’s pay so that 10 would have been about 2 weeks’ salary.  Thus, this lost drachma would roughly be about a day’s pay.  Would she not search her house with a lamp, sweeping everywhere?  Do you search for things when you lose them?

Full of light (Lk 11:36-11:36)

“If then your whole body

Is full of light,

With no part

In darkness,

It will be

As full of light

As when a lamp

Gives you light

With its rays.”

 

εἰ οὖν τὸ σῶμά σου ὅλον φωτεινόν, μὴ ἔχον μέρος τι σκοτεινόν, ἔσται φωτεινὸν ὅλον ὡς ὅταν ὁ λύχνος τῇ ἀστραπῇ φωτίζῃ σε.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that if their whole body (εἰ οὖν τὸ σῶμά σου) was full of light (ὅλον φωτεινόν), with no part in total darkness (μὴ ἔχον μέρος τι σκοτεινόν), it will be full of light (ἔσται φωτεινὸν ὅλον).  Thus, it will be like a lamp (ὡς ὅταν ὁ λύχνος) that shines or gives light with its rays (τῇ ἀστραπῇ φωτίζῃ σε).  Many ancient societies believed that the eye was the source of the light for seeing.  If there was no darkness in a person, they would be like a bright light.  Notice, that throughout history, holy people were usually portrayed with a halo light around them, emphasizing light and goodness.  This was an inner light that would shine with its bright light.  Your body would be like a lampstand shining light on the whole world.  Do you light up a room when you arrive?

 

Your eye (Lk 11:34-11:34)

“Your eye

Is the lamp

Of your body.

If your eye

Is sound,

Your whole body

Is full of light.

But if it is evil,

Your body

Is full of darkness.”

 

ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου. ὅταν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς ᾖ, καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινόν ἐστιν· ἐπὰν δὲ πονηρὸς ᾖ, καὶ τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινόν

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that their eye (ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου) was the lamp of their body (ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν).  If their eye was clear, sound, or healthy (ὅταν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς ᾖ), their whole body would be full of light (καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινόν ἐστιν).  But if it was evil (ἐπὰν δὲ πονηρὸς ᾖ), their body was then full of darkness (καὶ τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινόν).  This saying of Jesus is similar to what was in Matthew, chapter 6:22-23, so that it may be from the Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that the eye was the lamp of the body (Ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλμός).  If there was a healthy clear sound eye (ἐὰν οὖν ᾖ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς), then you would have a whole body full of light (ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινὸν ἔσται).  This is the only time that the word “ἁπλοῦς” is used in the New Testament literature.  Both Luke and Matthew used it here, since it means simple, sound, clear, or perfect.  If, on the other hand, your eye was not healthy or evil (ἐὰν δὲ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου πονηρὸς ᾖ), your whole body would be full of darkness (ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινὸν ἔσται).  Notice that Matthew and Luke did not use the opposite of clear, but chose the more common word for evil, “πονηρὸς.”  Thus, you had an evil eye.  On the other hand, both Luke and Matthew used a word that appears only here, “σκοτεινὸν,” to talk about a full total darkness.  If the light that is in you is dark (εἰ οὖν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἐν σοὶ σκότος ἐστίν), that is a really great darkness (τὸ σκότος πόσον).  Light and darkness was a common theme among the early Christians.  Light was good, but darkness was evil.  The connection of light to the eye was natural, since the sense of blindness and darkness centered around the eyes.  The good-eyed person, like the good-hearted person, was compassionate, while the evil-eyed person, like a hard-hearted person, was selfish and miserly.  Do you have good eyes or evil eyes?

A healthy eye (Mt 6:22-6:23)

“The eye is the lamp

Of the body.

So,

If your eye is clear,

Your whole body

Will be full of light.

But if your eye is

Evil,

Your whole body

Will be full of darkness.

If then the light

In you

Is darkness,

How great is that darkness!”

 

Ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλμός. ἐὰν οὖν ᾖ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς, ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινὸν ἔσται·

ἐὰν δὲ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου πονηρὸς ᾖ, ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινὸν ἔσται. εἰ οὖν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἐν σοὶ σκότος ἐστίν, τὸ σκότος πόσον.

 

This saying of Jesus is similar to what is in Luke, chapter 11:34-35, so that it may be from the Q source.  The eye was the lamp of the body (Ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλμός).  If there was a healthy clear sound eye (ἐὰν οὖν ᾖ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς), then you would have a whole body full of light (ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινὸν ἔσται).  This is the only time that the word “ἁπλοῦς” is used in the New Testament literature.  Both Luke and Matthew used it here, since it means simple, sound, clear, or perfect.  If, on the other hand, your eye was not healthy or evil (ἐὰν δὲ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου πονηρὸς ᾖ), your whole body would be full of darkness (ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινὸν ἔσται).  Notice that Matthew did not use the opposite of clear, but chose the more common word for evil, “πονηρὸς.”  Thus, you had an evil eye.  On the other hand, both Luke and Matthew used a word that appears only here, “σκοτεινὸν,” to talk about a full total darkness.  If the light that is in you is dark (εἰ οὖν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἐν σοὶ σκότος ἐστίν), that is a really great darkness (τὸ σκότος πόσον).  Light and darkness was a common theme among the early Christians.  Light was good, but darkness was evil.  The connection of light to the eye was natural since the sense of blindness and darkness centered around the eyes.

The evil enemies (Prov 24:15-24:20)

“Do not lie in wait,

Like an outlaw,

Against the home of the righteous.

Do no violence to the place

Where the righteous live!

Although the righteous fall seven times,

They will rise again.

But the wicked are overthrown by calamity.

Do not rejoice when your enemies fall!

Do not let your heart be glad when they stumble!

Yahweh will see it.

He will be displeased.

He will turn away his anger from them.

Do not fret because of evildoers!

Do not envy the wicked!

The evil have no future.

The lamp of the wicked will be put out.”

Do not attack the righteous like an outlaw. Do not wait for them or do any violence to them where they live. The righteous will fall 7 times, but they will still get up. However, the wicked are easily overthrown by calamity. Do not rejoice when your enemies fall. Don’t be happy when they stumble. Yahweh sees all this. He will be displeased. He will probably turn his anger away from them. Don’t worry about evildoers or envy the wicked ones. Just remember that they have no future. Their lamp will go out never to burn again.

Religious vows (Prov 20:25-20:30)

“It is a snare for one to say rashly.

‘It is holy.’

Then only begin to reflect after making a vow.

A wise king winnows the wicked.

He drives the wheel over them.

The human spirit is the lamp of Yahweh.

It searches every innermost part.

Loyalty and faithfulness preserve the king.

His throne is upheld by righteousness.

The glory of young men is their strength.

The beauty of the aged is their gray hair.

Blows that wound

Cleanse away evil.

Strokes make clean the innermost parts.”

Watch out for snares or traps. When someone thinks that something is holy and then makes a vow, they might be caught because only later do they think about what they just agreed to do. A wise king winnows or gets rid of the wicked ones. Then he drives a wheel over them. The human spirit is like God’s lamp that searches his most inner part. If the king is loyal and faithful he will preserve himself. Righteousness keeps the king on his throne. The glory of young people is their strength. However, the aged are beautiful because of their wonderful gray hair. Any blows that wound people clean up any evil in them. These strokes clean the innermost parts of their human bodies. This seems like an argument for corporal punishment.

Yahweh’s promise to Zion (Ps 132:13-132:18)

“Yahweh has chosen Zion.

He has desired it for his habitation.

‘This is my resting place forever.

Here I will reside.

I have desired it.

I will abundantly bless its provisions.

I will satisfy its poor with bread.

I will clothe its priests with salvation.

Its faithful will shout for joy.

There I will cause a horn to sprout up for David.

I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one.

I will clothe his enemies with shame.

But upon him,

His crown will gleam.’”

This psalm ends with Yahweh’s promise to remain at Zion, Jerusalem. Yahweh has chosen Zion for his dwelling place. He was going to rest there at his new residence. He desired to live there. He was going to provide for the poor people there with provisions and bread. The priests would be provided with saving clothes, while the faithful would be full of joyful shouts. David would have his horn of plenty full. He would have a lamp for the anointed one, David. His enemies would be clothed in shame, while David’s crown would gleam.   Thus the combination of the Ark of the Covenant, the covenant with David, and Jerusalem as the holy city are all combined into one thought here at the conclusion of this psalm.