Mary and Joseph did not understand (Lk 2:50-2:50)

“They did not understand

What he said

To them.”

 

καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐ συνῆκαν τὸ ῥῆμα ὃ ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς.

 

Luke indicates that Mary and Joseph did not understand what Jesus had said to them (καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐ συνῆκαν τὸ ῥῆμα ὃ ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς).  They did not grasp or comprehend what he was talking about.  Somehow, these parents of Jesus had no idea about who he was or what he was going to do.  This seems odd, since his parents would have known him better than anyone else.

Blessed God (Lk 2:28-2:28)

“Simeon took

Jesus

In his arms.

He blessed God.”

 

καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδέξατο αὐτὸ εἰς τὰς ἀγκάλας καὶ εὐλόγησεν τὸν Θεὸν

 

Luke said that Simeon took Jesus into his arms (καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδέξατο αὐτὸ εἰς τὰς ἀγκάλας).  He then blessed God (καὶ εὐλόγησεν τὸν Θεὸν).  It would seem a little odd for an old man to take a small child under two-months old into his arms without asking the mother if it was okay.  However, the blessing of God did not seem out of place here in the Jerusalem Temple.

Take a prostituting wife (Hos 1:2-1:2)

“When Yahweh

First spoke

Through Hosea,

Yahweh said to Hosea.

‘Go!

Take for yourself

A wife of prostitution!

Have children

Of prostitution!

The land commits

Great prostitution

By forsaking Yahweh.’”

The command of Yahweh to Hosea is a little strange at first sight. Yahweh God wants Hosea to take a wife, which is not odd. However, she should be a prostitute or whore. He should have children with this prostitute. Thus, the life of Hosea the prophet became symbolic in itself. The reason for the emphasis on prostitution was that the land of Israel had prostituted itself by giving up on Yahweh. The great theme of the infidelity of the Israelites was lived out by Hosea in a real symbolic way. The later prophets of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel would mention this infidelity of Israel also.

Beautiful Tyre (Ezek 27:3-27:4)

“Thus says Yahweh God.

‘O Tyre!

You have said.

‘I am perfect

In beauty.’

Your borders are

In the heart

Of the seas.

Your builders

Made perfect

Your beauty.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, seemed to praise the beauty of Tyre. The people of Tyre thought that they were perfect in beauty. As a city island, her borders were the sea all around her. Somehow her builders made her perfectly beautiful. This seems odd coming after the complete condemnation of Tyre, at the end of the last chapter. This was a strange lamentation about Tyre.

Food and drink (Ezek 4:11-4:13)

“‘You shall drink

Water

By measure,

One-sixth of a hin.

You shall drink

At fixed times.

You shall eat it

As a barley cake.

You will bake it

In their sight

On human dung.’

Yahweh said.

‘Thus shall

The people of Israel

Eat their bread unclean,

Among the nations

To which I will drive them.’”

Yahweh clearly gave orders about food and drink. Ezekiel had to measure his water.   A hin is about 5 quarts, so that 1/6th of a hin would be a little less than a quart of water, which is a reasonable amount of water. Once again, Ezekiel was to drink it at fixed times. Then he was to eat barley cakes that were baked on human dung. This seems odd. Here, Yahweh seems to say that the people of Israel should eat unclean bread, as long as they were living among strangers in various countries.

The captives and the poor (Jer 52:15-52:16)

Nebuzaradan,

The captain of the guard,

Carried into exile

Some of the poorest

Of the people.

He took into exile

The rest of the people

Who were left in the city,

He took into exile

The deserters

Who had defected

To the king of Babylon,

Together with the rest

Of the artisans.

But Nebuzaradan,

The captain of the guard,

Left some of the poorest people

Of the land,

To be vinedressers

Or tillers of the soil.”

Once again, this is very close to 2 Kings, chapter 25. The king of Babylon did not come himself, but he sent the captain of his bodyguard, Nebuzaradan, to take all the people as captives. This included those who had deserted to the Chaldeans as well as those left in the city. However, he gave some poor people the vineyards and fields to work. This might be a problem when the exiles return. However, here, unlike the 2 Kings narrative and the earlier Jeremiah story of chapter 39, he also took the some of the poor people. This seems odd, since the next sentence talks about leaving the poor people to take care of the vineyards and till the soil. There was no mention of them getting fields and vineyards as in the earlier Jeremiah story. Also here there is a mention of artisans that was lacking in the other presentations.

Remain in this land (Jer 42:9-42:10)

“Jeremiah said to them.

‘Thus says Yahweh,

The God of Israel,

To whom you sent me

To present your plea

Before him.

‘If you will remain in this land,

Then I will build you up.

I will not pull you down.

I will plant you.

I will not pluck you up.

I am sorry for the disaster

That I have brought upon you.’”

Jeremiah then reported back to the people that Yahweh, the God of Israel, had spoken to him after 10 days. In a surprising response from Yahweh, he says that he is sorry for the disaster that he brought upon them. It is odd to hear God say that he was sorry. Most times, the opposite is true. Humans are sorry. Yahweh said that if they remained in this land, he would build them up and not pull them down. He would plant them and not pluck them up. Yahweh seems to show some regret for the Babylonian attack and captivity.