Diner with the Pharisees (Lk 14:1-14:1)

“On one occasion,

When Jesus was going

To the house

Of a leader

Of the Pharisees

To eat a meal

On the Sabbath,

They were watching

Him closely.”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἐλθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς οἶκόν τινος τῶν ἀρχόντων τῶν Φαρισαίων σαββάτῳ φαγεῖν ἄρτον, καὶ αὐτοὶ ἦσαν παρατηρούμενοι αὐτόν.

 

This is another unique story of Luke, one of the 5 times that Jesus cured someone on the Sabbath as in chapter 4:31-35, the man with the unclean spirit, chapter 4;38-39, Simon’s mother-in-law, chapter 6:6-11, the man with the withered hand, and chapter 13:10-17, the crippled woman.  This was also the 3rd time that Jesus had dinner with some Pharisees.  The other times were in chapters 7:36 and 11:37, thus indicating a friendly personal relationship between Jesus and some of the Pharisees.  Luke said that on one occasion or it happened (Καὶ ἐγένετο), when Jesus went into a certain house (ἐν τῷ ἐλθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς οἶκόν τινος) of a leader of the Pharisees (τῶν ἀρχόντων τῶν Φαρισαίων) to eat a meal or break bread (φαγεῖν ἄρτον) on the Sabbath (σαββάτῳ), they were watching him closely (καὶ αὐτοὶ ἦσαν παρατηρούμενοι αὐτόν).  Even when Jesus was with the Pharisees in a social setting, they were still observing him, since he was under constant surveillance.  Do you feel that people are watching you?

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The famine at the time of Elijah (Lk 4:25-4:26)

“In truth!

I say to you!

There were many widows

In Israel

At the time of Elijah.

The heavens

Were shut closed for

Three years and six months.

There came

A great famine

Over all the land.

Yet Elijah was sent

To none of them,

Except to a widow

At Zarephath,

In Sidon.”

 

ἐπ’ ἀληθείας δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, πολλαὶ χῆραι ἦσαν ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Ἡλείου ἐν τῷ Ἰσραήλ, ὅτε ἐκλείσθη ὁ οὐρανὸς ἐπὶ ἔτη τρία καὶ μῆνας ἕξ, ὡς ἐγένετο λιμὸς μέγας ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν

καὶ πρὸς οὐδεμίαν αὐτῶν ἐπέμφθη Ἡλείας εἰ μὴ εἰς Σάρεπτα τῆς Σιδωνίας πρὸς γυναῖκα χήραν.

 

There are no similar stories in Mark and Matthew.  Luke uniquely had Jesus tell this story about Elijah as found in 1 Kings, chapter 17:1-16.  John the Baptist had been compared to Elijah, a major almost romantic 9th century BCE prophet, whose name appears more than 100 times in the biblical literature.  Elijah also appeared with Moses in the transfiguration of Jesus mentioned later in this work.  Elijah’s influence on the evangelical authors was very important, just like here.  There were a series of stories about Elijah when King Ahab (874-853 BCE) was king of Israel.  Elijah, commanded by Yahweh, went to a northern town near Sidon, probably a Phoenician town.  He provided a widow and her family with a never-ending jar and jug that provided meal and oil for her and her household until the drought came to an end.  Luke pointed out with a solemn pronouncement (ἐπ’ ἀληθείας δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν) that there were many widows (πολλαὶ χῆραι ἦσαν) at the time of Elijah (ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Ἡλείου), in Israel (ἐν τῷ Ἰσραήλ).  The heavens were closed or shut down (ὅτε ἐκλείσθη ὁ οὐρανὸς) for 3 ½ years (ἐπὶ ἔτη τρία καὶ μῆνας ἕξ).  Thus, there was a great drought across the whole land (ὡς ἐγένετο λιμὸς μέγας ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν).  However, Yahweh sent Elijah to none of the Israelite widows (καὶ πρὸς οὐδεμίαν αὐτῶν ἐπέμφθη Ἡλείας).  Instead Elijah was sent to a widow at Zarephath, in Sidon (εἰ μὴ εἰς Σάρεπτα τῆς Σιδωνίας πρὸς γυναῖκα χήραν).

Only one taken (Mt 24:40-24:41)

“Then two men

Will be in the field.

One will be taken.

One will be left.

Two women

Will be grinding

Meal together.

One will be taken.

One will be left.”

 

τότε ἔσονται δύο ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ, εἷς παραλαμβάνεται καὶ εἷς ἀφίεται

δύο ἀλήθουσαι ἐν τῷ μύλῳ, μία παραλαμβάνεται καὶ μία ἀφίεται.

 

This is exactly the same, almost word for word, in Luke, chapter 17:34-35, except that Luke has the men in bed instead of in the field.  Jesus said that there would be two men in the field (τότε ἔσονται δύο ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ).  However, only one would be taken or admitted (εἷς παραλαμβάνεται), while the other would be left or dismissed (καὶ εἷς ἀφίεται).  There would be two women grinding meal together (δύο ἀλήθουσαι ἐν τῷ μύλῳ).  Only one would be taken or admitted (μία παραλαμβάνεται), while the other would be left or dismissed (καὶ μία ἀφίεται).  Not everyone would like this Parousia or end times.

The good diner (Prov 15:16-15:17)

“Better is a little

With the fear of Yahweh

Than great treasure

Along with trouble.

Better is a dinner of vegetables

Where love is

Than a fatted ox

Along with hatred.”

What kind of meal do you want? It is better to fear Yahweh than have a great treasure and all the troubles that come with it. It is better to be a vegetarian with love than have a fatted ox, or steak, with hatred. Score one for the loving vegetarians!

Resources for the army of David (1 Chr 12:38-12:41)

“All these warriors, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with full intent to make David king over all Israel. Likewise all the rest of Israel were of a single mind to make David king. They were there with David for three days, eating and drinking, for their kindred had provided for them. Also their neighbors, from as far as Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali came bringing food on donkeys, camels, mules, and oxen, abundant provisions of meal, cakes of figs, clusters of raisins, wine, oil, oxen and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.”

This gathering would have been close to a half-million people. Obviously, it only lasted a couple of days. Provisions came from all over, but especially from the northern tribes of Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali. They used all the animals of transportation, donkeys, camels, mules, and oxen. They had all kinds of meal, cakes, raisons, oil, and meat. This was a time of great jubilation in Hebron.