Eat, drink, and be merry (Lk 12:19-12:19)

“I will say

To my soul!

‘Soul!

You have ample goods

Laid up for many years.

Relax!

Eat!

Drink!

Be merry!’”

 

καὶ ἐρῶ τῇ ψυχῇ μου Ψυχή, ἔχεις πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ κείμενα εἰς ἔτη πολλά· ἀναπαύου, φάγε, πίε, εὐφραίνου.

 

Luke uniquely continued with this story as Jesus indicated that this rich fool said to his soul (καὶ ἐρῶ τῇ ψυχῇ μου).  He spoke to his soul (Ψυχή) to say that he had ample goods laid up for many years (ἔχεις πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ κείμενα εἰς ἔτη πολλά).  Therefore, he would relax (ἀναπαύου), eat (φάγε), drink (πίε), and be merry (εὐφραίνου), the classical saying for indulging yourself with the pleasures of this world.  Thus, this foolish greedy man thought that his abundant resources meant that he no longer had to work hard.  Now he could enjoy an easygoing permissive lifestyle.  He could retire in luxury.  Do you have enough resources to retire to the good life?

The captivity in Babylon (Bar 6:2-6:3)

“Because of the sins

That you have committed

Before God,

You will be taken

To Babylon

As exiles

By King Nebuchadnezzar,

The king of the Babylonians.

Therefore

When you have come

To Babylon,

You will remain there

For many years,

For a long time,

Up to seven generations.

After that,

I will bring you

Away from there

In peace.”

This letter presents the traditional view that they were being sent into exile because of the sins that they had committed. King Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the Babylonians was going to take them to Babylon where they might stay for a long time, many years, possibly 7 generations, and not 70 years as in Jeremiah, chapter 29. After that they would leave in peace.

Premature death of the righteous (Wis 4:10-4:15)

“There were some who pleased God.

They were loved by him.

While living among sinners,

They were taken up.

They were caught up

So that evil might not change their understanding.

Thus evil guile did not deceive their souls.

The fascination of wickedness

Obscures what is good.

Roving desire perverts the innocent mind.

Being perfected in a short time,

They fulfilled long years.

Their souls were pleasing to the Lord.

Therefore he took them quickly

From the midst of wickedness.

Yet the peoples saw.

They did not understand.

They did not take such a thing to heart.

God’s grace is with his elect.

God’s mercy is with his elect.

He watches over his holy ones.”

Even those who were pleasing to God (εὐάρεστος τῷ Θεῷ) were taken up at an early age. They were living among sinners (ἁμαρτωλῶν) when they were taken up from earth. They were loved (ἠγαπήθη), so that no evil (μὴ κακία) was able to change their understanding or their souls. There is a fascination with wickedness that obscures good things. Sometimes, a roving desire perverts an innocent mind. Some people are perfect in a short time, as if they had lived many years. Thus the Lord takes them quickly. They are pleasing to him (ἀρεστὴ γὰρ ἦν Κυρίῳ). People see this, but they do not understand it or take it to heart. God’s grace and mercy is with his chosen ones (χάρις καὶ ἔλεος ἐν τοῖς ἐκλεκτοῖς) since he watches over these holy ones.

Listen to your parents (Prov 3:1-3:2)

“My child!

Do not forget my teaching!

Let your heart keep my commandments!

They will give you

Length of days and years of life.

They will give you

Abundant welfare.”

This next chapter of Proverbs also points out that children will acquire wisdom by listening to their parents. They will keep their commandments. If they do so, they will have many days and many years of life. On top of that, they will have a prosperous life.