The Pharisee and the tax collector (Lk 18:10-18:10)

“Two men

Went up

Into the Temple

To pray.

One was

A Pharisee.

The other was

A tax collector.”

 

Ἄνθρωποι δύο ἀνέβησαν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν προσεύξασθαι, ὁ εἷς Φαρισαῖος καὶ ὁ ἕτερος τελώνης.

 

Luke has Jesus tell a parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector that is only found in this gospel.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that two men (Ἄνθρωποι δύο) went up into the Temple (ἀνέβησαν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν) to pray (προσεύξασθαι).  One was a Pharisee (ὁ εἷς Φαρισαῖος).  The other was a tax collector (καὶ ὁ ἕτερος τελώνης).  Both of these men were well intentioned, since they went to the Temple to pray to God, a good thing.  Socially, they were of two different strata.  The Pharisee was a pillar of Jewish society as an interpreter of the Mosaic Law.  The tax collector, on the other hand, was considered a traitor to the Jewish community, since he worked for the Roman Empire, the occupation force.  These tax collectors were often compared to public sinners.  The contrast was real and set out at the beginning of this story.  Is there a social strata in your religious culture?

The future of Israel (Hos 3:4-3:5)

“The Israelites

Shall remain many days

Without a king

Or a prince.

They shall remain

Without sacrifice

Or pillar,

Without ephod

Or teraphim.

Afterward,

The Israelites

Shall return.

They shall seek

Yahweh,

Their God,

With David

Their king.

They shall come

In awe

To Yahweh,

To his goodness,

In the latter days.”

Hosea that predicted that the Israelites would spend many days without a king, prince, or leader. They also would be without sacrifices, since there would be no temple or pillar to worship at. There would be no high priest who would wear the ephod. There would be no teraphim or household gods, implying that the Israelites had some of these gods as in Genesis, chapter 31. The good news was that these Israelites would eventually seek Yahweh, their God. They would have David or his descendants as their king. In awe, they would return to the good Yahweh in the days to come.

Yahweh in control of Egypt (Isa 19:19-19:22)

“On that day,

There will be an altar to Yahweh

In the center of the land of Egypt.

There will be a pillar to Yahweh

At its border.

It will be a sign.

It will be a witness

To Yahweh of hosts

In the land of Egypt.

When they cry to Yahweh

Because of oppressors,

He will send them a savior.

He will defend them.

He will deliver them.

Yahweh will make himself known

To the Egyptians.

The Egyptians will know Yahweh.

On that day,

They will worship with sacrifice.

They will worship with burnt offering.

They will make vows to Yahweh.

They will perform them.

Yahweh will strike Egypt,

Striking and healing.

They will return to Yahweh.

He will listen to their supplications.

He will heal them.”

On that special day, the Egyptians will convert to Yahweh. They will build an altar to Yahweh in the center of Egypt, much like another Jerusalem. There will even be a pillar to Yahweh at the borders of Egypt. This would indicate and witness that Egypt was under the protection of Yahweh. If they had any oppressors, all that they had to do was to cry out to Yahweh for help. Then he would send a savior to them in order to defend and deliver them. They were also going to be the people of Yahweh as the Egyptians would worship with sacrifices and burnt offerings to Yahweh. They would make vows and perform them for Yahweh. Yahweh would listen to them and heal them. He even would forgive them like the Israelites. Thus we have a new people of Yahweh in Egypt. How different this is from the idea of a few remnant Israelites in Jerusalem.

Yahweh and the ancient intercessors (Ps 99:6-99:7)

“Moses and Aaron were among his priests.

Samuel also was among

Those who called on his name.

They cried to Yahweh.

He answered them.

He spoke to them in the pillar of the cloud.

They kept his decrees.

They kept the statutes that he gave them.”

We see that there are 3 main figures of the past that dominate, Moses, Aaron, and Samuel. Moses and Aaron were called priests. Samuel was more of a prophet intercessor. They cried to Yahweh who answered them in the cloud pillar. Why were these ancient ones of Moses, Aaron, and Samuel successful? They kept the decrees and statutes of Yahweh. These decrees and statutes came directly from Yahweh, so that there was very little dispute about them.