Why are you untying the colt? (Lk 19:33-19:33)

“As they were untying

The colt,

Its owners asked them.

‘Why are you untying

The colt?’”

 

λυόντων δὲ αὐτῶν τὸν πῶλον εἶπαν οἱ κύριοι αὐτοῦ πρὸς αὐτούς Τί λύετε τὸν πῶλον;

 

Luke said that that as these two disciples were untying the young colt (λυόντων δὲ αὐτῶν τὸν πῶλον), its owners or masters asked them (εἶπαν οἱ κύριοι αὐτοῦ πρὸς αὐτούς) why were they untying this colt (Τί λύετε τὸν πῶλον)?  This is similar to Mark, chapter 11:5, since Matthew had nothing about this.  Mark said that some of the bystanders (καί τινες τῶν ἐκεῖ ἑστηκότων), not the owners, spoke to Jesus’ two unnamed disciples (ἔλεγον αὐτοῖς).  They asked them what they were doing (Τί ποιεῖτε)?  Why were they untying the colt (λύοντες τὸν πῶλον)?  Jesus had told them to expect these kinds of questions.  Would you question someone who was taking your animal?

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The captivity of Jerusalem (Lam 1:5-1:5)

He

“Her foes have become

The masters.

Her enemies prosper.

Because Yahweh has

Made her suffer

For the multitude

Of her transgressions.

Her children

Have gone away,

Captives,

Before the foe.”

The foes of Zion have now become the masters of Jerusalem. Her enemies prosper. Zion was suffering because of her many transgressions. Her children have been taken away as captives by their former enemies. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter He. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem

The day of destruction of Yahweh (Isa 24:1-24:3)

“Now Yahweh is about

To lay waste the earth.

He will make it desolate.

He will twist its surface.

He will scatter its inhabitants.

It shall be,

As with the people,

So with the priest.

It shall be,

As with the slave,

So with his master.

It shall be,

As with the maid,

So with her mistress.

It shall be,

As with the buyer,

So with the seller.

It shall be,

As with the lender,

So with the borrower.

It shall be

As with the creditor,

So with the debtor.

The earth shall be utterly laid waste

It shall be utterly despoiled.

Yahweh has spoken this word.”

These next few chapters are sometimes referred to as the Isaiah Apocalypse. This section, like the other sections, is a hodgepodge of oracles and ideas, but these oracles are about the judgment at the end of the world. On this apocalyptic judgment day, much like the flood of Noah, destruction was to come upon the whole world, like in later eschatological works. The twisted earth was to be made desolate. All the inhabitants on earth would be wiped out, whether it is regular people, priests, slaves, masters, maids, mistresses, buyers, sellers, lenders, borrowers, debtors, or creditors. No one would be saved. The earth would be utterly ruined, because Yahweh has spoken.

The servant prayer (Ps 123:1-123:2)

A song of ascents

“To you I lift up my eyes.

O you who are enthroned in the heavens!

As the eyes of servants

Look to the hand of their master,

As the eyes of a maid

Look to the hand of her mistress,

So our eyes look to Yahweh our God,

Until he has mercy upon us.”

Psalm 123 is another very short psalm, or song, sung on the ascending way to Jerusalem in a pilgrimage. However, the tone is more somber as there is a cry for help against enemies. Both the male and female servants look to Yahweh to help them. They lift up their eyes to the heavens, like servants looking to the hands of their masters. Their eyes cry for mercy towards Yahweh, their God.

Job would prefer the eternal rest in death (Job 3:11-3:19)

“Why did I not die at birth?

Why did I not come forth from the womb and then expire?

Why were there knees to receive me?

Why were there breasts for me to suck?

Now I would be lying down and quiet.

I would be asleep.

Then I would be at rest.

With kings and counselors of the earth.

They rebuilt ruins for themselves.

I would be asleep with princes who had gold,

Who filled their houses with silver.

Why was I not buried like a stillborn child?

Why was I not like an infant that never sees the light?

There the wicked cease from troubling.

There the weary are at rest.

There the prisoners are at ease together.

They do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.

The small and the great are there.

The slave is free from his master.”

Job would prefer to be dead. Why didn’t he die at childbirth? Why didn’t he die as he left the womb? Why were there people to receive him? Why were there breasts to suck on? Otherwise, he could have eternal rest and quiet just like the kings, counselors, and princes with their monuments, gold, and silver. Why wasn’t he stillborn? He could be with the wicked who have no troubles, the prisoners who have no cares, and the slaves who have no masters. Death appears as a time of rest and no more troubles. Both the great and the small die. All have that eternal rest. This is often the allure of those who are thinking about suicide. However, I believe that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.