The yeast (Lk 13:21-13:21)

“The kingdom of God

Is like yeast

That a woman took.

She mixed it in

With three measures

Of flour,

Until all of it

Was completely leavened.”

 

ὁμοία ἐστὶν ζύμῃ, ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ ἔκρυψεν εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία, ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the kingdom of God was like yeast (ὁμοία ἐστὶν ζύμῃ).  A woman took it (ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ) and mixed or hid it (ἔκρυψεν) within 3 measures of flour (εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία), until all of it was completely leavened (ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον).  This parable about the yeast in bread can also be found in Matthew, chapter 13:33, indicating a Q source.  Once again, the emphasis with this parable is growth from a small piece of flour to a large leavened loaf of bread, because of the yeast.  Jesus, via Matthew said that the kingdom of heaven, not the kingdom of God, was like yeast (Ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ζύμῃ).  A woman mixed in 3 measures of flour (ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ ἐνέκρυψεν εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία,) so that the bread was all leavened (ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον).  The kingdom of heaven would be like this leavened bread, always expanding.  The 3 measures of flour would be over 50 pounds, quite a lot of flour.  Do you use yeast in baking?

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The parable of the yeast (Mt 13:33-13:33)

“He told them another parable.

‘The kingdom of heaven is

Like yeast

That a woman took.

She mixed in

Three measures of flour,

Until all of it was leavened.’”

 

Ἄλλην παραβολὴν ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς Ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ζύμῃ, ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ ἐνέκρυψεν εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία, ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον.

 

This parable about the yeast in bread can be found in in Luke, chapter 13:20, indicating a Q source.  Once again, the emphasis of this parable is growth from a small piece of flour to a large leavened loaf of bread because of the yeast.  Jesus, via Matthew, told them another short parable (Ἄλλην παραβολὴν ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς).  The kingdom of heaven is like yeast (Ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ζύμῃ).  A woman mixed in three measures of flour (ἣν λαβοῦσα γυνὴ ἐνέκρυψεν εἰς ἀλεύρου σάτα τρία,) so that the bread was all leavened (ἕως οὗ ἐζυμώθη ὅλον).  The kingdom of heaven will be like this leavened bread, always expanding.

The poor crops (Hag 2:16-2:17)

“‘How did you fare?

When one came

To a heap

Of twenty measures,

There were but ten.

When one came

To the wine vat

To draw fifty measures,

There were but twenty.

I struck you!

I struck all the products

Of your toil

With blight,

With mildew,

With hail!

Yet you did not return

To me!’

Says Yahweh.”

Haggai has this oracle of Yahweh about their poor crops.  When they were expecting 20 measures of a crop, they only got 10 measures.  When they were expecting 50 measures for the wine vat, they only got 20.  Thus, even when they had some crops in the fields, they were below expectations.  Yahweh had struck them and all their products.  Despite their hard labor, their crops were hit with blight, mildew, and hail.  Why did this happen?  They had not returned to Yahweh, pure and simple.

The writing on the wall (Dan 5:24-5:25)

“So,

From his presence,

The hand was sent.

This writing

Was inscribed.

This is the writing

That was inscribed.

‘Mene,

Mene,

Tekel,

Parsin.’”

Daniel said that the divine presence of God sent a hand to write on the wall. The inscription on the wall included 3 Aramaic words, one repeated twice, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin. What does it mean? It could mean various weights or measures such as the mina, the shekel, and a half mina. However, it could mean the 3 Babylonian kings, or the 3 countries of Babylon, Persia, and Medes.

The Egyptian experience and creation (Sir 16:15-16:16)

“The Lord hardened Pharaoh.

Thus he did not recognize him.

The result was

That his works might be known

Under heaven.

His mercy is manifest

To the whole of creation.

He divided

His light

And his darkness

With a plumb line.”

Sirach seems to say that the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh in order to show off his majesty. His great power was manifested in all his creation, including his mercy. The Lord has divided the world into light and darkness using a builder’s plumb line that measures things.

Business transactions (Prov 20:14-20:17)

“‘It is bad.

It is bad.’

Says the buyer.

Then he goes away.

Then he boasts.

There is gold.

There is an abundance of costly stones.

But the lips informed by knowledge

Are a precious jewel.

Take the garment of one

Who has given surety for a stranger.

Seize the pledge

Given as surety for foreigners.

Bread gained by deceit is sweet.

But afterward the mouth will be full of gravel.”

Here we have a series of business transactions. We have already seen the bad scales and measures. Now this is how people complain when they buy something, saying it is bad. However, when they go away they boast about the good bargain they just made. Although there are gold and precious stones, nothing is more precious than lips informed by knowledge. Then there is the problem of pledge and surety for loans. It is not a good idea to lend to strangers, especially if you are the stranger. You seem to be able to take their garments and pledges. Watch out for bread that you get by being deceitful, it may taste sweet at first, but afterwards it will be like a mouthful of gravel.

Righteous humans (Prov 20:7-20:10)

“The righteous walk in integrity.

Happy are the children who follow them!

A king who sits on the throne of judgment

Winnows all evil with his eyes.

Who can say?

‘I have made my heart clean.

I am pure from my sin’

Diverse weights

Are an abomination to Yahweh.

Likewise diverse measures

Are an abomination to Yahweh.”

The righteous people walk with integrity. Any children who follow the ways of the righteous with their integrity will be happy children. The king on his throne will be righteous if he removes or winnows all evil from his eyes. However, it is doubtful if anyone has a pure and clean heart. Yahweh does not like diverse weights and measures. There should be one standard, otherwise it is an abomination.