The seeds on the path (Lk 8:5-8:5)

“A sower

Went out

To sow his seeds.

As he sowed,

Some fell

On the path.

They were trampled on.

The birds

Of the air

Ate them up.”

 

Ἐξῆλθεν ὁ σπείρων τοῦ σπεῖραι τὸν σπόρον αὐτοῦ. καὶ ἐν τῷ σπείρειν αὐτὸν ὃ μὲν ἔπεσεν παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν, καὶ κατεπατήθη, καὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατέφαγεν αὐτό.

 

This sower parable can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:4, and Mark, chapter 4:4, and here in Luke, with Matthew closer to Mark.  Thus, Mark might be the source of this parable.  This first section was about the unsuccessful seeds.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that a sower or farmer went out to sow his seeds (Ἐξῆλθεν ὁ σπείρων τοῦ σπεῖραι τὸν σπόρον αὐτοῦ).  As he sowed (καὶ ἐν τῷ σπείρειν αὐτὸν), some seeds fell on the path or road (ὃ μὲν ἔπεσεν παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν).  They were trampled on (καὶ κατεπατήθη).  Then the birds of the air ate them up (αὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατέφαγεν αὐτό).  Mark wanted everyone to listen as he said that they should see that this farmer went out to sow his seeds.  Matthew and Mark said that the first group of seeds fell on the walking path, so that the birds devoured them.  They did not mention that these seeds were trampled on.  Thus, this first group of seeds were unsuccessful for this farmer.  Does it matter how you plant seeds?

Advertisements

Blind guides (Mt 15:13-15:14)

“Jesus answered.

‘Every plant

That my heavenly Father

Has not planted

Will be rooted up.

Let them alone!

They are blind guides

Of the blind.

If a blind person

guides another blind person,

Both will fall

Into a pit.’”

 

δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Πᾶσα φυτεία ἣν οὐκ ἐφύτευσεν ὁ Πατήρ μου ὁ οὐράνιος ἐκριζωθήσεται.

ἄφετε αὐτούς· τυφλοί εἰσιν ὁδηγοί τυφλῶν· τυφλὸς δὲ τυφλὸν ἐὰν ὁδηγῇ, ἀμφότεροι εἰς βόθυνον πεσοῦνται.

 

Something similar to this can be found in Luke, chapter 6:39, about the blind leading the blind.  Jesus responded (δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) to his disciples about the Pharisees.  He told them that every plant that was not planted by his heavenly Father would be rooted up (Πᾶσα φυτεία ἣν οὐκ ἐφύτευσεν ὁ Πατήρ μου ὁ οὐράνιος ἐκριζωθήσεται.).  He told them to leave the Pharisees alone (ἄφετε αὐτούς).  They were blind guides of blind people (τυφλοί εἰσιν ὁδηγοί τυφλῶν).  It was as if one blind person was guiding or leading another blind person (τυφλὸς δὲ τυφλὸν ἐὰν ὁδηγῇ).  They would both fall into a pit (ἀμφότεροι εἰς βόθυνον πεσοῦνται), a common Old Testament prophetic theme about the bad times, when you would fall into an open pit.

Yahweh will plant the sprig (Ezek 17:22-17:22)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I myself

Will take a sprig

From the lofty top

Of the cedar.

I will set it out.

I will break off

A tender one

From the topmost

Of its young twigs.

I myself

Will plant it

On a high mountain,

On a lofty mountain.’”

Yahweh himself was going to plant this sprig branch on a high mountain. He was going to take it off the top of a very high cedar tree. He was going to break off a tender twig from the top of that tree. Then he was going to plant it on a high lofty mountain. There would be no more eagle plantings. Yahweh himself was stepping in.

The fierce successful attack on Babylon (Jer 50:14-50:16)

“Take up your positions

Around Babylon!

All you that bend the bow!

Shoot at her!

Spare no arrows!

She has sinned

Against Yahweh.

Raise a shout

Against her

From all sides!

She has surrendered!

Her bulwarks have fallen!

Her walls are thrown down!

This is the vengeance

Of Yahweh.

Take vengeance on her!

Do to her

As she has done!

Cut off from Babylon

The sower with

The wielder of the sickle

In the time of harvest.

Because of the destroying sword,

All of them shall return

To their own people.

All of them shall flee

To their own land.”

The attack on Babylon would be successful. The archers with their great arrows would take their positions and shoot at the Babylonians. They would raise great shouts of joy from all sides. Babylon had sinned against Yahweh. Finally, Babylon would surrender. The fortresses and the walls would come tumbling down, because this was the vengeance of Yahweh at work. Babylon was done. There would be nobody to plant. No one would be there to cut down the harvest, since there would be no harvest. Everyone would return and flee to their own lands. Thus the destruction of Babylon in 539 BCE was described here some 60 years previous to the event. Is that an indication of a later composition?

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.

The everlasting covenant (Jer 32:40-32:41)

“I will make

An everlasting covenant

With them.

I will never draw back

From doing good

To them.

I will put the fear of me

In their hearts.

Thus they may not turn

From me.

I will rejoice

In doing good

To them.

I will plant them

In this land

In faithfulness,

With all my heart,

With all my soul.”

Yahweh was going to make an everlasting covenant with the new returnees from the exile. He was not going to stop doing good for them. They would have the fear of Yahweh in their hearts, so that they would never turn away from him again. Yahweh would rejoice in helping them. He wanted to plant them in this land of faithfulness with all his heart and soul. In other words, Yahweh was giving himself to the returning exiles to the Promised Land.

The basket of good figs (Jer 24:4-24:7)

“Then the word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Thus says Yahweh!

The God of Israel!

Like these good figs,

So I will regard as good

The exiles from Judah.

I have sent them away

From this place

To the land of the Chaldeans.

I will set my eyes

Upon them for good.

I will bring them back

To this land.

I will build them up.

I will not tear them down.

I will plant them.

I will not pluck them up.

I will give them a heart

To know

That I am Yahweh.

They shall be my people.

I will be their God.

They shall return to me

With their whole heart.’”

Yahweh, the God of Israel, explained to Jeremiah that the basket of good figs referred to those who had gone into exile in 598 BCE, not those who had remained in Judah. The Babylonians or the Chaldeans had taken them. Yahweh was going to bring these good people back from their exile. He was again going to plant them in this land, since he was not going to tear them down. Their hearts would know Yahweh. Thus they would be his people and he would be their God. They would return to Yahweh with their whole hearts.