And hired himself out
To one of the citizens
Of that country.
He sent him
To his fields
To feed the pigs.”
καὶ πορευθεὶς ἐκολλήθη ἑνὶ τῶν πολιτῶν τῆς χώρας ἐκείνης, καὶ ἔπεμψεν αὐτὸν εἰς τοὺς ἀγροὺς αὐτοῦ βόσκειν χοίρους·
This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories. Luke indicated that Jesus said that this young prodigal son went and hired himself out (καὶ πορευθεὶς ἐκολλήθη) to one of the citizens of that country (ἑνὶ τῶν πολιτῶν τῆς χώρας ἐκείνης), where he was living. This land owner sent him to his fields (καὶ ἔπεμψεν αὐτὸν εἰς τοὺς ἀγροὺς αὐτοῦ) to feed the pigs (βόσκειν χοίρους). Obvious, this was a non-Jewish country where pigs were raised for food, not a Jewish country where there would be no pork eaten. What could be more humiliating for a Jewish person than taking care of unclean swine or pigs? Have you ever had a job that you felt was degrading to you?
“Crooked minds are an abomination to Yahweh.
But those of blameless ways are his delight.
The wicked will not go unpunished.
But those who are righteous will escape.
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
Is a beautiful woman
Without good sense.
The desire of the righteous
Ends only in good.
The expectation of the wicked
Ends in wrath.”
Yahweh does not like crooked minds. He delights in the blameless ones. You should not worry because the wicked will not go unpunished. The righteous, however, will escape punishment. A beautiful woman without any sense is like a gold ring in a pig’s nose. This simile is doubly stark because of the distaste of pigs and pork in the Middle East culture. The righteous will have their desires fulfilled, but the expectations of the wicked will end in disaster.
“After the first brother had died in this way, they brought forward the second for their sport. They tore off the skin of his head with the hair. They asked him.
‘Will you eat rather than have your body punished limb by limb?
He replied in the language of his ancestors.
He said to them.
Therefore he in turn underwent tortures as the first brother had done. When he was at his last breath, he said.
‘You accursed wretch,
You dismiss us from this present life.
But the King of the universe will raise us up
To an everlasting renewal of life,
Because we have died for his laws.’”
After the 1st brother had died, they took a 2nd brother and scalped him. Then they asked him if he would eat the pork food or be punished limb by limb. He responded with an emphatic no. Thus he suffered the same tortures as his other brother. With his last breath he warned them that they could dismiss him from this present life, but the King of the universe would raise him up to everlasting life because he had died for the law. It is interesting to note that God is the king of the universe, not merely the God of his ancestors. He also expects an eternal afterlife.