Write your debt in half (Lk 16:6-16:6)

“The man answered.

‘A hundred jugs

Of olive oil.’

This manager

Said to him.

Take your bill!

Sit down quickly!

Make it fifty!’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ἑκατὸν βάτους ἐλαίου. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα καὶ καθίσας ταχέως γράψον πεντήκοντα

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this debtor answered (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that he owed a 100 jugs or baths of olive oil (Ἑκατὸν βάτους ἐλαίου).  Once again, Luke used a word that does not appear any other place in the biblical literature, βάτους, that means a bath, an Israelite liquid measure, between eight and nine gallons.  Thus, this unjust house manager said to this debtor (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) to take his bill (Δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα).  Then sitting down, quickly change it to 50 (καὶ καθίσας ταχέως γράψον πεντήκοντα).  This would have been a 50% reduction from about 800 gallons of olive oil to 400 gallons.  That was a nice gesture.  Would his master and lord like that?  Have you ever tried to reduce your debt?

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Gethsemane (Mk 14:32-14:32)

“They went to a place

Named Gethsemane.

Jesus said

To his disciples.

‘Sit here!

While I pray.’”

 

Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς χωρίον οὗ τὸ ὄνομα Γεθσημανεί, καὶ λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ Καθίσατε ὧδε ἕως προσεύξωμαι.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:36.  In Luke, chapter 22:40, there is no mention of Gethsemane only the Mount of Olives, while in John, chapter 18:1, it is a garden in the Kidron Valley.  Mark said that they went out (Καὶ ἔρχονται) to a place with the name of Gethsemane (εἰς χωρίον οὗ τὸ ὄνομα Γεθσημανεί).  This Aramaic name Gethsemane means an oil press.  Thus, this might have been the place where olive oil came from as this urban garden was at the foothills of the Mount of Olives, where they had just been.  Jesus then told his disciples (καὶ λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ) to sit there (Καθίσατε), while he went to pray (ὧδε ἕως προσεύξωμαι).  Thus, they have gone from the room where the Last Supper Passover meal took place to the Mount of Olives, and now to the garden in Gethsemane at the base of this hill filled with olives.

They go to Gethsemane (Mt 26:36-26:36)

“Then Jesus

Went with them

To a place

Called Gethsemane.

He said

To his disciples.

‘Sit here!

I will go over there

And pray.’”

 

Τότε ἔρχεται μετ’ αὐτῶν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς χωρίον λεγόμενον Γεθσημανεί, καὶ λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς Καθίσατε αὐτοῦ ἕως οὗ ἀπελθὼν ἐκεῖ προσεύξωμαι.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:32.  In Luke, chapter 22:40, there is no mention of Gethsemane only the Mount of Olives, while in John, chapter 18:1, it is a garden in the Kidron Valley.  Matthew and Mark say that Jesus went with his disciples (Τότε ἔρχεται μετ’ αὐτῶν ὁ Ἰησοῦς) to a place called Gethsemane (εἰς χωρίον λεγόμενον Γεθσημανεί).  This Aramaic name Gethsemane means an oil press.  Thus, this might have been the place where olive oil came from since this urban garden was at the foothills of the Mount of Olives, where they had just been.  Jesus then told his disciples (καὶ λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς) to sit there (Καθίσατε αὐτοῦ), while he went away from them to pray (ἕως οὗ ἀπελθὼν ἐκεῖ προσεύξωμαι).  Thus, they have gone from the room where the Last Supper Passover meal took place to the Mount of Olives, and now to the garden in Gethsemane at the base of this hill filled with olives.

They need oil (Mt 25:8-25:8)

“The foolish ones

Said to the wise ones.

‘Give us

Some of your oil!

Our lamps

Are going out.’”

 

αἱ δὲ μωραὶ ταῖς φρονίμοις εἶπαν Δότε ἡμῖν ἐκ τοῦ ἐλαίου ὑμῶν, ὅτι αἱ λαμπάδες ἡμῶν σβέννυνται.

 

This parable story is unique to Matthew.  Jesus then pointed out this moment of crisis.  The 5 foolish bridesmaids said to the 5 wise ones (αἱ δὲ μωραὶ ταῖς φρονίμοις εἶπαν) that they wanted some of their olive oil (Δότε ἡμῖν ἐκ τοῦ ἐλαίου ὑμῶν) that they had in their flasks.  Their lamps were going out or extinguishing (ὅτι αἱ λαμπάδες ἡμῶν σβέννυνται).  Thus, they needed more oil to keep their oil lamps going for this night procession.

The foolish bridesmaids (Mt 25:3-25:3)

“When the foolish ones

Took their lamps,

They took no oil

With them.”

 

αἱ γὰρ μωραὶ λαβοῦσαι τὰς λαμπάδας οὐκ ἔλαβον μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν ἔλαιον·

 

This parable story is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that when the foolish ones took their lamps (αἱ γὰρ μωραὶ λαβοῦσαι τὰς λαμπάδας), they did not take any olive oil with them (ὐκ ἔλαβον μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν ἔλαιον).  The foolish bridesmaids acted carelessly by not taking any extra olive oil for their lamps or lanterns.  They would be ill prepared for what was to come.  Oil could be a metaphor for righteousness, since the foolish would not be righteous.

The two maids (Dan 13:17-13:18)

“Susanna said

To her maids.

‘Bring me olive oil!

Bring me ointments!

Shut the garden doors

So that I can bathe!’

They did

As she told them.

They shut the doors

Of the garden.

They went out

By the side doors

To bring

What they had been commanded.

They did not see

The elders,

Because they were hidden.”

Susanna told her two maids to get her some olive oil and other ointments. She wanted them to shut the garden doors. Thus, they went out by the side door into the house. They were doing what she had asked them to do. However, these maids did not see the elder judges, because they were hidden in the garden.

The righteous Tobit (Tob 1:6-1:9)

“But I alone went often to Jerusalem for the festivals, as it is prescribed for all Israel by an everlasting decree. I would hurry off to Jerusalem with the first fruits of the crops and the firstlings of the flock, the tithes of the cattle, and the first shearings of the sheep. I would give these to the priests, the sons of Aaron, at the altar. Likewise, I would give a tenth of the grain, wine, olive oil, pomegranates, figs, and rest of the fruits to the sons of Levi who ministered at Jerusalem. Also for six years I would save up a second tenth in money and go and distribute it in Jerusalem. A third tenth I would give to the orphans and widows, and to the converts who had attached themselves to Israel. I would bring it and give it to them in the third year. We would eat it according to the ordinance decreed concerning it in the Law of Moses and according to the instructions of Deborah, the mother of my father Tobiel. My father had died and left me an orphan. When I became a man I married a woman named Anna, a member of our family. By her I became the father of a son I called Tobias.”

Tobit goes on to explain why he is righteous. He went alone to the festivals at Jerusalem. The fact that he could take time to go to Jerusalem meant that he might have been among the rich of his area. He brought his tithes with him. He explained that he gave the tithes to the priests and Levites in Jerusalem. Every 3rd year, he would give a 10th to the orphans, widows, and converts to Judaism. This is one of the mentions of converts to Judaism. He followed the ordinances of the Law of Moses and his grandmother Deborah since his father had died and left him an orphan. Finally, he married Anna, from his family, and had a son called Tobias.