A rain shower is coming (Lk 12:54-12:54)

“Jesus said

To the crowds.

‘When you see

A cloud rising

In the west,

You immediately say.

‘There is going to be

A violent rain storm.’

Thus,

It happens.”

 

Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τοῖς ὄχλοις Ὅταν ἴδητε νεφέλην ἀνατέλλουσαν ἐπὶ δυσμῶν, εὐθέως λέγετε ὅτι Ὄμβρος ἔρχεται, καὶ γίνεται οὕτως·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to the crowds (Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τοῖς ὄχλοις) that when they saw a cloud rising in the western setting sun (Ὅταν ἴδητε νεφέλην ἀνατέλλουσαν ἐπὶ δυσμῶν), they immediately say that a violent rain storm was coming (εὐθέως λέγετε ὅτι Ὄμβρος ἔρχεται,).  Thus, it happened (καὶ γίνεται οὕτως).  The use of the word Ὄμβρος, that means a violent rain storm was unique to Luke here among all the biblical literature.  Jesus issued some weather commentary about the western setting sun wind and a violent rain storm.  The western winds from the Mediterranean River meant that a rain storm was coming.  There was something somewhat similar in Matthew, chapter 16:2, where Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees that they could read the signs in the sky about weather and storms, but they were unable to recognize the signs in their own world.  Jesus said that at evening time, people would say that there would be fair weather if the setting sun in the sky was red.  On the other hand, if the sky was red today in the morning, they thought that it would be a stormy day.  Most farmers are aware of the red sky in the morning was a warning, while the red sky at night was a delight.  Are you good at predicting the weather?

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Jonah runs away to Tarshish (Jon 1:3-1:3)

“But Jonah set out

To flee

To Tarshish,

From the presence

Of Yahweh.

He went down

To Joppa.

There he found a ship

Going to Tarshish.

He paid the fare.

He went on board,

To go with them

To Tarshish.

He wanted to get away

From the presence

Of Yahweh.”

Unlike all the other prophets, Jonah refused his mission.  He decided to run away to Tarshish, probably in Spain, as far away as he could get from Yahweh and Israel at that time.  Most of the ancient people considered it to be the end of the world.  Tarshish was often mentioned in the biblical literature as a rich ship building area, as in Isaiah, chapter 23 and Ezekiel, chapter 27.  Jonah went to Joppa, a seacoast town on the Mediterranean Sea.  There, he had enough money to purchase a fare to board a ship headed for Tarshish.  He really wanted to get away from the presence of Yahweh, as far as he could go.

The sinking of everything (Ezek 27:26-27:27)

“Your rowers

Have brought you

Into the high seas.

The east wind

Has wrecked you

In the heart

Of the seas.

Your riches,

Your wares,

Your merchandise,

Your mariners

Your pilots,

Your caulkers,

Your dealers

In merchandise,

All your warriors

Within you,

With all your company

That is with you,

Sink

Into the heart

Of the seas

On the day

Of your ruin.”

The rowers of the Tyre ships brought them into the high seas. The east wind then wrecked them in the heart of the sea. All their riches, goods, and merchandise sank. Their sailors, pilots, caulk workers, trade merchant dealers, their warriors, and all their company would sink into the heart of the sea on the day of their ruin. Tyre, its ships, its people, and all its goods would sink into the choppy Mediterranean Sea.

The ships of Tarshish (Ezek 27:25-27:25)

“The ships of Tarshish

Traveled for you

In your trade.

So you were filled.

You were heavily laden

In the heart

Of the seas.”

There is the problem of trying to situate Tarshish, which is often mentioned in the biblical literature. It could be Carthage in North Africa, Tarsus in Turkey, or Sardinia, an island in the Mediterranean Sea. This town had a lot of precious metals and important ships, as well as ship building. Thus the trade merchandise of Tyre was on these ships of Tarshish. They were filled with lots of items, as they moved on the high seas.

The wood used for the ships at Tyre (Ezek 27:5-27:6)

“They made

All your planks

Of fir trees

From Senir.

To make a mast

For you,

They took a cedar

From Lebanon.

They made your oars

From oaks

Of Bashan.

They made your deck

Of pines

From the coasts of Cyprus,

Inlaid with ivory.”

The people of Tyre got their wood for their ships from a variety of places. The planks for their ships came from the fir trees of Senir or Mount Hermon, between Syria and Lebanon. Of course, the cedar used for the mast of the ships came from Lebanon, as did all good cedar. The oars for the ships came from the oaks of Bashan, on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee. Their decks were made of pine from the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. Somehow their decks of pine were inlaid with ivory.

These foolish man made idols (Jer 10:8-10:9)

“They are stupid.

They are foolish.

The instruction given by idols

Is no better than wood.

Beaten silver is brought

From Tarshish.

Gold is brought

From Uphaz.

They are the work

Of the artisans.

They are the work

Of the hands of the goldsmiths.

Their clothing is blue.

Their clothing is purple.

They are all the product

Of skilled men.”

Jeremiah remarks that the false idol gods are stupid and foolish. Any instruction from them is like instruction from a piece of wood. Their silver is from Tarshish, the big ship building place somewhere on the Mediterranean Sea. Usually the gold is from Ophir, but here it is from an unknown place only mentioned here called Uphaz, that may be another name for Ophir. They even have blue and purple clothing. Obviously these false idols are the work products of skilled humans, both artisans and goldsmiths.