Wisdom (Lk 7:35-7:35)

“Nevertheless,

Wisdom

Is vindicated

By all her children.”

 

καὶ ἐδικαιώθη ἡ σοφία ἀπὸ πάντων τῶν τέκνων αὐτῆς.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that wisdom (ἡ σοφία) would be vindicated (καὶ ἐδικαιώθη) by all her children (ἀπὸ πάντων τῶν τέκνων αὐτῆς).  This is similar to Matthew, chapter 11:19.  This personification of wisdom would have the justified end result that righteousness would show up in its deeds or its children.  Do your children show that you are wise?

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The death of the cedar tree (Ezek 31:13-31:14)

“All the birds

Of the air

Settle

On its fallen trunk.

All the wild animals

Lodge

Among its boughs.

All this is

In order

That no trees

By the waters

May grow

To a lofty height

Or set their tops

Among the clouds.

No trees

That drink water

May reach up

To them

In height.

All of them

Are handed over

To death,

To the world below.

They will be

With all mortals,

Who go down

To the pit.”

The birds of the air will settle on the fallen trunk of this great cedar tree. Wild animals will be among its loose branches. This would be a warning that no other trees that were near water should grow to lofty heights. No other trees should have their tree tops in the clouds or reach up to those heights. All of them would be handed over to death, to go to the world below, the great pit, where all the other mortals go. This personification of the cedar tree was complete, since it would share the afterlife with other mortals in the underworld pit.

Patience (Bar 4:23-4:26)

“I sent you out

With sorrow,

With weeping.

But God will give you

Back to me

With joy,

With gladness forever.

As the neighbors of Zion

Have now seen

Your capture,

So they soon will see

Your salvation

By God.

This will come

To you

With great glory,

With the splendor

Of the Everlasting One.

My children,

Endure with patience

The wrath

That has come upon you

From God.

Your enemy

Has overtaken you.

But you will soon see

Their destruction.

You will tread

Upon their necks.

My pampered children

Have traveled rough roads.

They were taken away

Like a flock

Carried off

By the enemy.”

The personification of Jerusalem continued as this city advised her exiles to have patience. She had sent them out of town with sorrow and weeping. However, God was going to bring them back to Jerusalem with eternal joy and gladness. Zion’s neighbors had seen them captured. They would soon see these Israelites safely coming back with the glorious splendor of the Everlasting One, not Yahweh. Jerusalem wanted her pampered children to endure patiently the wrath of God that had come via their enemies. They would soon tread on the necks of their enemies since they would be destroyed. Even though they had traveled rough roads and were taken away like a flock of sheep, they needed patience.

Courage and hope (Bar 4:21-4:22)

“Take courage!

My children!

Cry to God!

He will deliver you

From the power

Of the enemy!

He will deliver you

From the hand

Of the enemy!

I have put my hope

In the Everlasting One

To save you!

Joy has come

To me

From the Holy One!

Because mercy

Will soon come

To you

From your everlasting Savior.”

Continuing with the personification of Jerusalem, this city wanted her children to have courage. They should cry to God who would deliver them from the power and hand of their enemy. Jerusalem had put her hope in the Everlasting One, not Yahweh, to save them from their enemy. Joy has come to Jerusalem because the mercy of the Holy One would soon come to them to be their everlasting savior.

Jerusalem is in sack cloth (Bar 4:17-4:20)

“But I!

How can I help you?

He who brought

These calamities

Upon you

Will deliver you

From the hand

Of your enemies.

Go!

My children!

Go!

I have been left desolate.

I have taken off

The robe of peace.

I put on

Sackcloth

For my supplication.

I will cry

To the Everlasting One

All my days.”

The personification of Jerusalem continued with the first person singular, I. Jerusalem wanted to know how she could help. God, who brought their calamities, was also going to deliver them from the hand of their enemies. Jerusalem told her children to go and leave her. She would be left desolate. She was going to take off her robe of peace and prosperity to put on sackcloth for crying to the Everlasting One, not Yahweh, all her remaining days.

A reminder for Israel (Bar 4:5-4:8)

“Take courage!

My people!

You perpetuate

Israel’s name!

It was not

For destruction

That you were sold

To the nations.

But you were handed over

To your enemies

Because you angered

God.

You provoked the one

Who made you!

You sacrificed to demons,

Not to God!

You forgot

The everlasting God,

Who brought you up!

You grieved Jerusalem,

Who reared you.”

This reminder for Israel was for the people to have courage, since they were going to perpetuate the name of Israel. These Israelites had been sold to various nations, not to destroy them, but to punish them. They had been handed over to their enemies, because they had angered God. They had provoked their creator by sacrificing to demons, and not God. They had forgotten their everlasting God who brought them up. There was no mention of the name of Yahweh here. They had grieved Jerusalem, the city that had reared them. Once again there is a personification of Jerusalem that can feel pain.

Wisdom and creation (Bar 3:32-3:34)

But the one who knows

All things

Knows her.

He found her

By his understanding.

The one who prepared

The earth

For all time

Filled it

With four-footed creatures.

The one who sends forth

The light,

Then it goes.

He called it.

It obeyed him

Trembling.

The stars shone

In their watches.

They were glad.

He called them.

They said.

‘Here we are!’

They shone

With gladness

For him

Who made them.”

Baruch connected wisdom with creation, a great theme of late wisdom literature. Once again, this puts into doubt the Baruch authorship. God, who knows everything, knew about wisdom. Somehow wisdom was separate from God. God was able to find this wisdom, because of his understanding. God prepared the earth for all time in this static view of the earth. He filled it with four-footed creatures, while other creatures were not mentioned. God sent the light and it happened. He merely had to call it, and it happened. This is much like the first creation story in Genesis, chapter 1. The stars in the sky gladly followed his commands. They were like the prophets with this personification of stars saying that they were ready to shine with gladness in obedience to the creative God who made them.