A prophet without honor (Mk 6:4-6:4)

“Then Jesus said

To them.

‘Prophets are not

Without honor,

Except in their hometown,

Among their own relatives,

And in their own house.’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι Οὐκ ἔστιν προφήτης ἄτιμος εἰ μὴ ἐν τῇ πατρίδι αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ.

 

This saying about no honor for prophets in their hometown can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:57, and Luke, chapter 4:24, and here.  Mark said that Jesus told them (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) that prophets are not without honor or not despised (ὅτι Οὐκ ἔστιν προφήτης ἄτιμος), except in their own country (εἰ μὴ ἐν τῇ πατρίδι αὐτοῦ), among their own relatives (καὶ ἐν τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν αὐτοῦ), and in their own house (καὶ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ).  They would be not honored among their own hometown, relatives, and in their own house.  It is always more difficult in your own home town.  This was common among the Old Testament prophets, especially the Israelite prophets Jeremiah and Amos.

 

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The deceitful neighbors (Jer 9:4-9:6)

“‘Beware of your neighbors!

Put no trust in any of your relatives!

All your relatives are liars.

Every neighbor goes around

Like a slanderer.

They all deceive their neighbors.

No one speaks the truth.

They have taught their tongues

To speak lies.

They commit iniquity.

They are too weary to repent.

Oppression upon oppression!

Deceit upon deceit!

They refuse to know me.’

Says Yahweh.”

Jeremiah has another oracle of Yahweh about watching out for your neighbors and their deceitfulness. Not only are they to be aware of their neighbors, but also their own relatives and next of kin. They were not to trust them because they were liars, hoping to take their place. Neighbors are going around slandering them. No one was speaking the truth because they all had taught their tongues to lie. When they did something wrong, they were too weary to repent. Thus there was oppression piled on oppression, deceit after deceit. They all refused to know Yahweh.

The wickedness destroyed (Isa 9:18-9:21)

“Wickedness burned like a fire.

It consumed briers.

It consumed thorns.

It kindled the thickets of the forest.

They swirled upward

In a column of smoke.

Through the wrath of Yahweh of hosts

The land was burned.

The people became

Like fuel for the fire.

No one spared another.

They gorged on the right.

But they were still hungry.

They devoured on the left.

But they were not satisfied.

They devoured

The flesh of their own kindred.

Manasseh devoured Ephraim.

Ephraim devoured Manasseh.

Together they were against Judah.

Thus his anger has not turned away.

His hand is still stretched out.”

Isaiah says that wickedness burned like a fire consuming all briers and thorns, like a forest fire. The northern Israelites would be like swirling smoke because the wrath of God would come upon them. He would burn their land with the people on it as fuel for the fire. No one would be spared because they would become like cannibals, eating their own relatives, but never satisfied. They would turn on each other. Even the 2 northern brother tribes of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, would turn on each other. They would also attack Judah. Once again, this statement ends with the refrain that the angry hand of Yahweh was still outstretched against northern Israel.

The good wife (Prov 18:22-18:24)

“He who finds a wife

Finds happiness.

He obtains favor from Yahweh.

The poor use entreaties.

But the rich answer roughly.

Some friends play at friendship.

But a true friend sticks closer

Than one’s nearest relative.”

You will be happy if you find a good wife. Yahweh will favor you. Even though the poor use entreaties to beg, the rich usually answer roughly. Some people play at friendship, but a true friend stays closer to you than your own relatives.