Treasures in heaven (Lk 12:33-12:33)

“Sell your possessions!

Give alms!

Make purses

For yourselves

That do not wear out!

Have an unfailing treasure

In heaven!

There,

No thief

Comes near!

No moth

Destroys!”

 

Πωλήσατε τὰ ὑπάρχοντα ὑμῶν καὶ δότε ἐλεημοσύνην· ποιήσατε ἑαυτοῖς βαλλάντια μὴ παλαιούμενα, θησαυρὸν ἀνέκλειπτον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, ὅπου κλέπτης οὐκ ἐγγίζει οὐδὲ σὴς διαφθείρει·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told them to sell their possessions (Πωλήσατε τὰ ὑπάρχοντα ὑμῶν) and then give alms to charity (καὶ δότε ἐλεημοσύνην).  They were to make their own purses (ποιήσατε ἑαυτοῖς βαλλάντια) that did not wear out (ὴ παλαιούμενα).  Their unfailing treasure (θησαυρὸν ἀνέκλειπτον) should be in heaven (ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς), where no thief could get near it (ὅπου κλέπτης οὐκ ἐγγίζει) and no moth would destroy it (οὐδὲ σὴς διαφθείρει).  This is the only time that the word ἀνέκλειπτον appears in the New Testament literature, meaning unfailing, not giving up.  The same idea but in different words can be found in Matthew, chapter 6:19-20.  Matthew had Jesus say that they should not store up treasures (Μὴ θησαυρίζετε ὑμῖν θησαυροὺς) here on earth (ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς), because it was too much trouble to store things.  Either moths (ὅπου σὴς) would eat up the garments or rust would consume them.  This is one of the 3 times that moths are mentioned in the biblical New Testament.  The other was the Luke comparative and later in Matthew.  Garments were often considered treasures.  Rust was a more common term and applied to other goods.  Otherwise, thieves might break in and steal it anyhow (καὶ ὅπου κλέπται διορύσσουσιν καὶ κλέπτουσιν).  The opposite of the earthly treasures were the heavenly treasures (θησαυρίζετε δὲ ὑμῖν θησαυροὺς ἐν οὐρανῷ) that you should store up.  Moths and rust could not consume them (ὅπου οὔτε σὴς οὔτε βρῶσις ἀφανίζει).  Thieves could not break in and steal them either (καὶ ὅπου κλέπται οὐ διορύσσουσιν οὐδὲ κλέπτουσιν).  Clearly, heaven was a better place to store up treasures than the dangerous earth.

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Eternal salvation (Isa 51:7-51:8)

“Listen to me!

You who know righteousness!

You people!

You have my teaching in your hearts!

Do not fear the reproach of others!

Do not be dismayed

When they revile you!

The moth will eat them up

Like a garment.

The worm will eat them

Like wool.

But my deliverance will be forever.

My salvation is to all generations.”

Again, Second Isaiah asks people, especially the righteous who have his teaching in their hearts, to listen to Yahweh. They should not be afraid of the reproach of others when they are reviled. Forget about that! These revilers would be eaten up like a moth destroys a garment or worms ruin wool. Never fear, the deliverance and salvation of Yahweh is forever into many generations to come.

Be careful of what you do (Prov 25:20-25:22)

“One who sings songs to a heavy heart is

Like vinegar on a wound,

Like a moth in clothing,

Like a worm in wood,

Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day.

If your enemies are hungry,

Give them bread to eat.

If they are thirsty,

Give him water to drink.

You will thus heap coals of fire

On their heads.

Yahweh will reward you.

The north wind produces rain.

A backbiting tongue produces angry looks.”

If someone has a heavy heart, do not try to cheer them up with happy songs. That is like pouring vinegar on a wound or taking someone’s clothes on a cold day. You would be like a moth in clothing or a worm in wood. If your enemies are hungry or thirsty, give them bread and water. This will increase their punishment as you are heaping coal on their heads. Yahweh, on the other hand, will reward you for this. A backbiting tongue produces angry looks just like a north wind produces rain.

The insignificance of humans (Ps 39:11-39:11)

“You chastise mortals

In punishment for sin.

You consume like a moth

What is dear to him.

Surely everyone is a mere breath.”

Selah

God chastises mortals for their sins. In other words, what happens to you is deserved because you have sinned. God is like a moth that consumes anything that gets close to him. In reality, everyone is really like a mere breath of God, not more significant than that. This section ends with a musical pause, a Selah.