Rejoice! (Lk 6:23-6:23)

“Rejoice in that day!

Leap for joy!

Surely!

Your reward

Is great

In heaven!

That is what

Their ancestors

Did to the prophets.”

 

χάρητε ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ καὶ σκιρτήσατε· ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολὺς ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ· κατὰ αὐτὰ γὰρ ἐποίουν τοῖς προφήταις οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should rejoice that day (χάρητε ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ).  They were to leap for joy (καὶ σκιρτήσατε) because their reward would be great in heaven (ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολὺς ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ), This persecution is precisely what (κατὰ αὐτὰ) their ancestors (οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν) had done to the ancient prophets (γὰρ ἐποίουν τοῖς προφήταις).  This passage is very similar to Matthew, chapter 6:11, so this may be from the Q source.  Matthew also indicated that Jesus told them to rejoice and be glad because there would be a future great reward for them in heaven.  In a certain sense, they were a continuation of the Old Testament persecuted prophets who had gone before them.  This saying was like a pep talk.

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Tower of Babel and Abraham (Wis 10:5-10:5)

“Wisdom also,

When the nations in wicked agreement

Had been put to confusion,

Recognized the righteous man.

She preserved him

Blameless before God.

She kept him strong

In the face of his compassion

For his child.”

Here there seems to be a link with the Tower of Babel and Abraham. Once again in this abridgment of Genesis, there is a leap from chapter 11 about the Tower of Babel and Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac in chapter 22. Obviously, we then have this abbreviated history of mankind that jumps from Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, to Noah and the flood, without explicitly mentioning their names. Now the jump is from the Tower of Babel to Abraham. Here it is wisdom and not God who caused the confusion as the men were building the high tower. She also recognized and preserved Abraham as the strong righteous man who was blameless before God (ἄμεμπτον Θεῷ). Just as the idea of God dominates over wisdom, she, wisdom, is the one who had compassion for the child (τέκνου) of Abraham, Isaac.

The battle rages (Wis 5:21-5:23)

“Shafts of lightning will fly

With true aim.

He will leap from the clouds

To the target,

As from a well-drawn bow.

Hailstones full of wrath will be hurled

As from a catapult.

The water of the sea will rage against them.

Rivers will relentlessly overwhelm them.

A mighty wind will rise against them.

Like a tempest

It will winnow them away.

Lawlessness will lay waste the whole earth.

Evildoing will overturn the thrones of rulers.”

The Lord will send aimed shafts of lightning. He will leap from the clouds to hit the target like a good archer. Hailstones will come down as from a catapult launcher. The sea and waters will rage and overwhelm them. A tempest will roar across the land. Lawlessness will destroy the earth as the evildoers will take over the royal thrones. So the judgment has come upon earth.

Protection from my enemies (Ps 17:7-17:12)

“From my adversaries

Who are at your right hand!

Guard me as the apple of your eye!

Hide me in the shadow of your wings!

Hide me from the wicked who despoil me!

Hide me from my deadly enemies who surround me!

They close their hearts to pity.

With their mouths

They speak arrogantly.

They track me down.

Now they surround me!

They want to cast me to the ground.

They are like a lion eager to tear.

They are like a young lion lurking in ambush.”

Now the psalmist is explicit. He wanted to be the apple of God’s eye. He wanted to be hidden in the shadow of his wings. He wanted protection from the wicked and deadly enemies who surrounded him. The enemies had no pity as they were arrogant. They had tracked him down and surrounded him. They were about to leap at him like a young lion lurking in an ambush.