The tradition of Moses (Mk 7:10-7:10)

“Moses said.

‘Honor your father!

Honor your mother!’

‘Whoever speaks evil

Of father

Or mother,

Must surely die!’”

 

Μωϋσῆς γὰρ εἶπεν Τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου καὶ τὴν μητέρα σου, καί Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα θανάτῳ τελευτάτω.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 15:4.  Mark indicated that Jesus gave an example of one of God’s Ten Commandments that Moses had given them (Μωϋσῆς γὰρ εἶπεν) about honoring your father and mother (Τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου καὶ τὴν μητέρα σου), as found in Exodus, chapter 20:12 and Deuteronomy chapter 5:16.  There it said that you will live long and things will go well with you, if you take care of and honor your parents.  Jesus then added in the saying about speaking evil of one’s parents (καί Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα) from Exodus, chapter 21:17, and Leviticus, chapter 20:9, where the penalty for striking or cursing a parent was death (θανάτῳ τελευτάτω).

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Honor your parents (Mt 15:4-15:5)

“God said.

‘Honor your father!

Honor your mother!’

‘Whoever speaks evil

Of father

Or mother

Must surely die.’

But you say.

‘Whoever tells

His father

Or his mother.

Whatever gift

He made

To God,

It would not profit

Or honor

His parents.’”

 

ὁ γὰρ Θεὸς εἶπεν Τίμα τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὴν μητέρα, καί Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα θανάτῳ τελευτάτω·

ὑμεῖς δὲ λέγετε Ὃς ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ πατρὶ ἢ τῇ μητρί Δῶρον ὃ ἐὰν ἐξ ἐμοῦ ὠφεληθῇς,

 

There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 7:10-12.  Jesus gave an example of how the Pharisees had turned away from God’s commandments in favor of their own traditions.  He took as an example, one of God’s Ten Commandments (ὁ γὰρ Θεὸς εἶπεν) about honoring your father and mother (Τίμα τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὴν μητέρα), as found in Exodus, chapter 20:12 and Deuteronomy chapter 5:16, where it said that you will live long and things will go well with you if you take care of and honor your parents.  Jesus then added in the saying about speaking evil of one’s parents (καί Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα) from Exodus, chapter 21:17, and Leviticus, chapter 20:9, where the penalty for striking or cursing a parent was death (θανάτῳ τελευτάτω).  He seemed to indicate that the Pharisees believed and said (ὑμεῖς δὲ λέγετε) that an individual could tell his parents (Ὃς ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ πατρὶ ἢ τῇ μητρί) that whatever gift they had given to God as a “korab” Temple offering, their parents could not profit from it (Δῶρον ὃ ἐὰν ἐξ ἐμοῦ ὠφεληθῇς).  Therefore, they would only offer gifts to God and not their parents.  Sometimes people did not give their temple gift or “korab” until just before death, but never give anything to their parents.

The makers of the false god idols (Bar 6:45-6:47)

“These false idol gods

Are made

By carpenters

Or goldsmiths.

They can be nothing

But what the artisans

Wish them to be.

Those who make them

Will certainly not live

Very long themselves.

How can the things

That are made

By them

Be gods?

They have left

Only lies

With reproach

For those

Who come after.”

This author points out that carpenters and goldsmiths made these false idol gods. The idol gods are what these artisans wanted them to be. Besides all these craftsmen who made these idols will not live long anyway. How then can these things made by finite humans be infinite gods? These false idol makers leave only lies and reproach for those who come after they die.

The wisdom of the scribes (Sir 39:6-39:11)

If the great Lord is willing,

He will be filled

With the spirit of understanding.

He will pour forth

Words of wisdom.

He will give thanks

To the Lord in prayer.

The Lord will direct his counsel.

The Lord will direct his knowledge.

He will meditate on his mysteries.

He will show the wisdom

Of what he has learned.

He will glory in the law

Of the Lord’s covenant.

Many will praise

His understanding.

It will never be blotted out.

His memory will not disappear.

His name will live

Through all generations.

Nations will speak of his wisdom.

The congregation

Will proclaim his praise.

If he lives long,

He will leave a name

Greater than a thousand.

If he goes to rest,

It is enough for him.”

Sirach continues his praise for the wise scribes like himself. Always it is the will of God that brings wisdom and understanding. These scribes will speak words of wisdom and give prayerful thanks to the Lord. The Lord directs their counsel and knowledge, as they meditate on the divine mysteries. These scribes will show their wisdom by glorifying the law and the covenant. However, many will praise these scribes, since their names will not disappear or be blotted out, but remain for generations to come. Many countries and congregations will praise them also. If they live long, their names will be remembered more than 1,000 others. If they die early, that will be okay also.

The children of adulterers (Wis 3:16-3:19)

“But the children of adulterers

Will not come to maturity.

The offspring of an unlawful union

Will perish.

Even if they live long,

They will be held of no account.

Finally their old age

Will be without honor.

If they die young,

They will have no hope.

They will have no consolation

On the judgment day.

The end of an unrighteous generation

Is grievous.”

The children of adulterers (τέκνα δὲ μοιχῶν) will not have a good ending. They may not even come to maturity, since they may die at a young age. Even if they live long, it will not be a very rewarding life. If they get to old age, there will be no honor. If they die young, there will be no hope or consolation on the judgment day (ἡμέρᾳ διαγνώσεως). This unrighteous or unjust generation (γενεᾶς γὰρ ἀδίκου) will not end well. This was a very strong rebuke of the so-called bastard children of adulterers.