The children in the marketplace (Lk 7:32-7:32)

“This generation

Is like children

Sitting

In the market place.

They call to one another.

‘We played

The flute

For you!

But you did not dance.

We wailed!

But you did not weep.’”

 

ὅμοιοί εἰσιν παιδίοις τοῖς ἐν ἀγορᾷ καθημένοις καὶ προσφωνοῦσιν ἀλλήλοις ἃ λέγει Ηὐλήσαμεν ὑμῖν καὶ οὐκ ὠρχήσασθε· ἐθρηνήσαμεν καὶ οὐκ ἐκλαύσατε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said this generation was like little children (ὅμοιοί εἰσιν παιδίοις) sitting in the market place (τοῖς ἐν ἀγορᾷ καθημένοις).  They would call to one another (καὶ προσφωνοῦσιν ἀλλήλοις ἃ), saying that they played the flute for them (λέγει Ηὐλήσαμεν ὑμῖν), but they would not dance (καὶ οὐκ ὠρχήσασθε).  They wailed or sang a dirge (ἐθρηνήσαμεν), but they would not weep (καὶ οὐκ ἐκλαύσατε).  Matthew, chapter 11:16-17, had a similar statement, indicating a possible common Q source.  Jesus took on this childish generation, since they were like little kids sitting in the market places calling to each other, as if playing games.  These spoiled little children grumbled about everything.  This childish generation complained that John and Jesus would not dance to their flute playing.  They would not wail and lament when they wanted them to join their dirge.  Jesus and John the Baptist would not play their childish games by dancing and mourning at the drop of a hat.  Are you part of a childish generation?

Judas Iscariot (Mk 14:10-14:10)

“Then Judas Iscariot,

Who was one of the twelve,

Went to the chief priests

In order to betray Jesus

To them.”

 

Καὶ Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριὼθ, ὁ εἷς τῶν δώδεκα, ἀπῆλθεν πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς ἵνα αὐτὸν παραδοῖ αὐτοῖς.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:14, and somewhat similar in Luke, chapter 22:3-4, and in John, chapter 13:2, where Satan played a role.  Here in Mark, there is just the simple statement that Judas Iscariot (Καὶ Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριὼθ), one of the beloved 12 leaders or apostles (ὁ εἷς τῶν δώδεκα) went to the chief priests (ἀπῆλθεν πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς).  He wanted to betray or turn over Jesus to these high priests (ἵνα αὐτὸν παραδοῖ αὐτοῖς).  Apparently, according to John, chapter 12:6, Judas had been in charge of their common money, but he was stealing from this fund.  Thus, there may have been financial reasons or greed pushing Judas to betray Jesus.  John seems to be much more vehemently opposed to Judas.

Jesus was going to go to Galilee (Mt 26:32-26:32)

“But after I am raised up,

I will go ahead of you

To Galilee.”

 

μετὰ δὲ τὸ ἐγερθῆναί με προάξω ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν.

 

This is exactly the same, word for word, as in Mark, chapter 14:28.  Interesting enough, Luke, chapter 24, and John, chapter 20, but not chapter 21, have the post resurrection appearances in Judea not Galilee.  Jesus said here that after he was raised up (μετὰ δὲ τὸ ἐγερθῆναί), he would go ahead of or precede them in Galilee (με προάξω ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν).  In the gospel of Matthew, Galilee played a predominant role.  Thus, after the resurrection, it does not seem out of place as a post-resurrection reunion site.

Judas Iscariot (Mt 26:14-26:14)

“Then one of the twelve,

Who was called

Judas Iscariot,

Went to the chief priests.”

 

Τότε πορευθεὶς εἷς τῶν δώδεκα, ὁ λεγόμενος Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριώτης, πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:10, and somewhat similar in Luke, chapter 22:3-5, and in John, chapter 13:2, where Satan played a role.  Here in Matthew, there is just the simple statement that the man called Judas Iscariot (ὁ λεγόμενος Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριώτης), one of the beloved 12 leaders or apostles (εἷς τῶν δώδεκα) went to the chief priests (Τότε πορευθεὶς…πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς).  Apparently, according to John, chapter 12:6, Judas had been in charge of their common money, but he was stealing from this fund.  Thus, there may have been financial reasons or greed pushing Judas to betray Jesus.  John seems to be much more vehemently opposed to Judas.

The prostitution of Israel (Hos 4:10-4:12)

“They shall eat,

But not be satisfied.

They shall play the prostitute,

But not multiply.

They have forsaken

Yahweh

To cherish prostitution.

Wine,

With new wine,

Takes away

Understanding.

My people consult

A piece of wood.

Their divining rod

Gives them oracles.

A spirit of prostitution

Has led them astray.

They have left

Their God

To play the prostitute.”

These northern Israelites would eat, but not be satisfied or full. They played the prostitute. They did not increase or multiply. They have cherished prostitution rather than Yahweh. All kinds of wine, new and old, take away understanding. Thus, the Israelite people consult with pieces of wood, the wooden idol gods. Their oracles or sayings come from their magical divining rods or sticks. This concept of prostitution has led them astray. They have left God to be prostitutes to other gods. Obviously, this was an allusion to the prostitution fertility rites and the fact that they were turning to other wooden idol gods, rather than being faithful to Yahweh.

The days of King Josiah (Jer 3:6-3:6)

“Yahweh said to me

In the days of King Josiah.

‘Have you seen what she did?

That faithless one!

Israel!

She went up on every high hill.

She was under every green tree.

She played the whore there.”

During the days of King Josiah, 640-609 BCE, Yahweh spoke to Jeremiah. He asked Jeremiah if he had seen what Israel, the northern tribes, had done. They were the faithless ones who had been brought into captivity nearly a hundred years earlier. They went to every high hill and under every green oak tree, where they played the whore with these false idol worship services.

A reproach against carousing (Isa 5:11-5:13)

“Woe to you

Who rise early in the morning,

In pursuit of strong drink!

Woe to you

Who linger in the evening

To be inflamed by wine!

These feasts consist of

Lyre,

Harp,

Tambourine,

Flute,

And wine.

They do not regard

The deeds of Yahweh!

They do not see

The work of his hands!

Therefore my people

Go into exile

Without knowledge.

Their nobles

Are dying of hunger.

Their multitude

Is parched with thirst.”

Isaiah turns to those who think only about drinking and carousing around. The first thing they think of in the morning is where their next drink is coming from. At night, they only worry about drinking wine while others played musical instruments like the lyre, harp, tambourine, and the flute. While the Israelites were going into exile, these people had no regard for the work of Yahweh and his deeds since they lacked knowledge. The nobles and the people were dying of malnutrition and thirst. However, these folks continued to play on.

The prideful women of Jerusalem (Isa 3:16-3:17)

“Yahweh said.

‘Because the daughters of Zion

Are haughty,

They walk

With outstretched necks.

They glance wantonly

With their eyes.

They mince along

As they go.

They tinkle

With their feet.

Yahweh will afflict them

With scabs

On the heads

Of the daughters of Zion.

Yahweh will lay bare

Their secret parts.”

Now Isaiah presents another oracle of Yahweh about the prideful women of Zion in Jerusalem. The women of Zion were proud, since they stretched out their necks.   They were provocative with their wandering unrestrained sexual looks in their eyes. They minced or played around as they went their way. They made noises or tinkled bells with their feet as they walked to gain attention. Yahweh was not content to let this go. Instead he was going to put scabs on their heads. He was going to make them naked, revealing their private parts. Obviously, this is a strong anti-feminism attitude.

The legend of King David (Sir 47:2-47:5)

“As the fat is set apart

From the offering of well-being,

So David was set apart

From the Israelites.

He played with lions

As though they were young goats.

He played with bears

As though they were lambs of the flock.

In his youth

Did he not kill a giant?

Did he take away the people’s disgrace?

Did he not whirl the stone in the sling?

Did he not strike down

The boasting Goliath?

He called on the Lord,

The Most High.

He gave him strength

To his right hand.

He struck down a mighty warrior.

He exalted the power of his people.”

Sirach sets out to portray David as a super hero, not just a holy famous man. He was set apart from all Israelites, like the fat at a sacrificial offering. As a young boy, he played with lions and bears as if they were goats and lambs. Then he killed the giant Goliath with his sling shot as found in 1 Samuel, chapter 17. He did this because he had called on the name of the Lord, the Most High God. Thus he exalted the power of his people with all these exploits. This was super David. It is interesting to note that Sirach did not consider the first king of Israel, King Saul, as a famous holy man, only this second king of Israel, the super hero King David.

The guilt of the idol makers (Wis 15:9-15:13)

“But the workers are not concerned

That mortals are destined to die.

Their life is brief.

But they compete with workers

In gold.

They compete with workers

In silver.

They imitate workers

In copper.

They count it as a glorious thing

To mold counterfeit gods.

Their heart is ashes.

Their hope is cheaper than dirt.

Their lives are of less worth than clay.

Because they failed to know

The one who formed them.

They failed to know

Who inspired them with active souls.

They failed to know

Who breathed a living spirit into them.

They considered our existence an idle game.

They considered our life a festival held for profit.

They say one must get money

However one can,

Even by base means.

For these persons,

More than all others,

Know that they sin

When they make from earthy matter fragile vessels,

When they make graven images.”

These idol makers do not care about their short lives. They are competing with other artisans making gold, silver, and copper molded items. They are making counterfeit gods. They have hearts (καρδία αὐτοῦ) like ashes and hope cheaper than dirt (γῆς). Their lives are less worthy than their own clay images. They do not know the one who formed them. They do not know the one who inspired them with a living soul (ψυχὴν). They do not know that their living spirit (πνεῦμα ζωτικόν) came from God. They consider life to be an idle game or a festival played for profit. They maintain that they need money, so that even a low base means (πορίζειν) is okay. More than others, they know that they are sinning. They make these vessels and carved images from mere earth.