The crown (Zech 6:11-6:13)

“Take the silver!

Take the gold!

Make a crown!

Set it upon the head

Of the high priest Joshua,

The son of Jehozadak!

Say to him!

‘Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

Here is a man whose name

Is the Branch.

He shall branch out

In his place.

He shall build

The temple of Yahweh.

It is he who shall build

The temple of Yahweh.

He shall bear royal honor.

He shall sit

Upon his throne,

Where he shall rule.

There shall be a priest

By his throne,

With peaceful understanding

Between the two of them.’”

Yahweh wanted the prophet Zechariah to take the gold and silver that the former exile captives had given him and make a crown out it.  He was to set this crown on the head of the high priest Joshua, the son of Jehozadak.  Perhaps this is a mistake and maybe it should be Governor Zerubbabel, since this ruler ends up with a priest by his side.  This newly crowned person would be the branch that would spread out.  He was the one who was going to build the temple of Yahweh.  Thus, he would have a royal honor and sit on a throne ruling the people.  However, they were still under Persian jurisdiction.  Both the priest and this new ruler would get along peacefully.

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The future of the house of Jacob (Isa 29:22-29:24)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh,

Who redeemed Abraham,

Concerning the house of Jacob.

‘No longer shall Jacob be ashamed.

No longer shall his face grow pale.

When he sees his children,

The work of my hands,

In his midst,

They will sanctify my name.

They will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob.

They will stand in awe of the God of Israel.

Those who err in spirit

Will come to understanding.

Those who grumble

Will accept instruction.’”

Yahweh, via Isaiah, presents an oracle about the future of the house of Jacob. Yahweh has redeemed Abraham and his family. In the future, the house of Jacob will not be ashamed or have a pale face. Just the opposite, their children will sanctify the name of the Holy One of Jacob, Yahweh. They will stand in awe of the God of Israel, Yahweh. Those who make a mistake will understand what happened to them. Those who grumbled will then accept instruction on how to improve. The future looks bright for the house of Jacob.

The miser (Sir 14:3-14:10)

Riches are inappropriate

For a small minded person.

What use is wealth to a miser?

What he denies himself,

He collects for others.

Others will live in luxury on his goods.

If one is mean to oneself,

To whom will one be generous?

He will not enjoy his own riches.

No one is worse

Than one who is grudging to himself.

This is the punishment for their meanness.

If ever they do good,

It is my mistake.

In the end,

They reveal their meanness.

The miser is an evil person.

They turn away.

They disregard people.

The eye of the greedy person

Is not satisfied with their share.

Greedy injustice withers the soul.

A miser begrudges bread.

Thus it is lacking at his table.”

Sirach reminds us of the miser or the stingy greedy person. Wealth is wasted on these people. These misers deny themselves the pleasure of their own wealth. In fact, others live in luxury on the goods that they collected. If you are mean to yourself, how will you be generous to others. You should enjoy your own riches. The misers are punished for their meanness by themselves and their begrudging ways. If misers ever do anything good, it is by mistake, because they are evil people. They turn away and disregard other people. These greedy people are never satisfied with their share. They never share their bread with anyone.

Job wants them to explain themselves (Job 6:24-6:27)

“Teach me!

I will be silent.

Make me understand how I have gone wrong.

How forceful are honest words!

But you criticize.

What does it do to blame?

Do you think that you can use accusing words?

Is the speech of the desperate like a wind?

You would even cast lots over the orphan.

You would even bargain over your friend.”

Job dared them to tell him where he made a mistake. Where had he gone wrong? He was being criticized and reprimanded without anything specific. Where they critical of his words? Did they blame him? Their speech was like the wind, as it easily moved on. They were the kind of people who would gamble over orphans and bargain over friends. Who needs friends like this?