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?
“If then your whole body
Is full of light,
With no part
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?
Is the lamp
Of your body.
If your eye
Your whole body
Is full of light.
But if it is evil,
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?
“The eye is the lamp
Of the body.
If your eye is clear,
Your whole body
Will be full of light.
But if your eye is
Your whole body
Will be full of darkness.
If then the light
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.
“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.
“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 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.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet.
Your word is a light to my path.
I have sworn an oath.
I have confirmed it.
I will observe your righteous ordinances.
I am severely afflicted.
Give me life!
According to your word!
Accept my offerings of praise!
Teach me your ordinances!
I hold my life in my hand continually.
But I do not forget your law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me.
But I do not stray from your precepts.
Your decrees are my heritage forever.
They are the joy of my heart.
I incline my heart to perform your statutes,
To the end.”
The word of Yahweh is a lamp and a light so that the psalmist might walk in the right path. He had sworn an oath to observe the righteous ordinances. Despite his sufferings, he would continue to offer praise. He wanted to be taught about the ordinances since he never forgot the law. Even when the wicked set a snare for him, he never forgot the law. He never strayed from the precepts of Yahweh. They were his heritage forever, the joy of his heart. He would follow the statutes of Yahweh forever, even to the bitter end. Thus this section on the fourteenth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Nun, came to an end.
“Job again took up his discourse.
‘O that I were as in the months of old.
As in the days when God watched over me,
When his lamp shone over my head,
By his light I walked through darkness.
As I was in my prime,
When the friendship of God was upon my tent,
When the Almighty Shaddai was still with me,
When my children were around me,
When my steps were washed with milk,
The rock poured out for me streams of oil!’”
Now it is back to the old complaining Job. Once again this is a solemn discourse, not a mere complaint with his friends. This time he was reminiscing about the “good old days.” God was watching over him as his head had something like a lamp around it. Job was able to walk through darkness because God liked him in his tent. He was in the prime years of his life. The friendship of the almighty Shaddai was still with him. His children were all around him. His steps were washed with milk, while oil gushed out of rocks. In other words, these were metaphors for the fact that he was prosperous and happy.