The people of Nineveh (Lk 11:32-11:32)

“The people of Nineveh

Will rise up

At the judgment

Against this generation.

They will condemn it.

Because they repented

At the preaching

Of Jonah.

See!

Someone greater

Than Jonah

Is here.”

 

ἄνδρες Νινευεῖται ἀναστήσονται ἐν τῇ κρίσει μετὰ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης καὶ κατακρινοῦσιν αὐτήν· ὅτι μετενόησαν εἰς τὸ κήρυγμα Ἰωνᾶ, καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Ἰωνᾶ ὧδε.

 

Luke also indicated that Jesus said that the people or men of Nineveh would rise up (ἄνδρες Νινευεῖται ἀναστήσονται) at the judgment time (ἐν τῇ κρίσει) against this generation (μετὰ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης).  They will condemn them (καὶ κατακρινοῦσιν αὐτήν) because they had repented or had a change of heart (ὅτι μετενόησαν) because of the preaching of Jonah (εἰς τὸ κήρυγμα Ἰωνᾶ).  However, someone greater than Jonah is here (καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Ἰωνᾶ ὧδε).  This saying about the positive response of repentance among the men of Nineveh, where the prophet Jonah had preached, can also be found in Matthew, chapter 12:41, so that perhaps this is a Q source.  Once again, these gospel writers and Jesus went back to the story of the prophet Jonah, chapter 3:5.  However, this story came first in Matthew, preceding the story about the Queen of the South.  He said that those people of Nineveh, who were long dead, would rise up at the judgment time against this generation.  They would condemn these contemporary people because they had repented during the 40-day preaching of Jonah in Nineveh.  Matthew then reminded them that someone greater than Jonah was there among them, Jesus himself.  Both these stories were about gentiles who praised Jewish leaders.  Do you repent after listening to the preaching of Jesus?

 

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This is my blood (Mt 26:27-26:28)

“Then he took a cup.

After giving thanks,

He gave it

To them.

He said.

‘Drink from it!

All of you!

This is my blood

Of the covenant,

Which is poured out

For many

For the forgiveness of sins.”

 

καὶ λαβὼν ποτήριον καὶ εὐχαριστήσας ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς λέγων Πίετε ἐξ αὐτοῦ πάντες·

τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης τὸ περὶ πολλῶν ἐκχυννόμενον εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:23-24, and similar in Luke, chapter 22:17, but preceding the blessing of the bread.  John, chapter 13:53-58, has Jesus preaching about eating and drinking the body and blood of the Son of Man.  Matthew and Mark agree that Jesus took a drinking cup (καὶ λαβὼν ποτήριον), assuming this cup was filled with wine.  After giving thanks (καὶ εὐχαριστήσας), Jesus gave them this drinking cup (ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς).  He told all of them to drink from this cup (λέγων Πίετε ἐξ αὐτοῦ πάντες).  He said that this was his blood of the covenant (τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης), that was to be poured out for many people (τὸ περὶ πολλῶν ἐκχυννόμενον) in order to forgive sins (εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν).  The blessing of the wine had a more elaborate narrative than the bread.  However, both would become part of the new developing Christian Eucharistic worship service.  Thus, the Greek word “εὐχαριστήσας (giving thanks)” became the name of the Last Supper Eucharist remembrance event.

King Zedekiah (Jer 27:1-27:1)

“In the beginning

Of the reign

Of King Zedekiah,

The son of King Josiah,

Of Judah,

This word came

To Jeremiah

From Yahweh.”

Once again we have an exact time frame for this oracle of Yahweh to Jeremiah. This oracle took place at the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah or King Mattaniah (598-587 BCE). He was the son of King Josiah (640-609 BCE), but he was installed by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (605-562 BCE) at the age of 21. His nephew King Jehoiachin or King Coniah (598 BCE) had preceded him for a couple of months. Thus this oracle took place around 598 BCE. Like the preceding chapter, this is a different numbered chapter in the Greek translation of the Septuagint, chapter 34, not 27.

The fate of the children of the ungodly (Wis 4:3-4:6)

“But the prolific brood of the ungodly

Will be of no use.

None of their illegitimate seedlings

Will strike a deep root.

They will not take a firm hold.

Even if they put forth boughs for a while,

Standing insecurely,

They will be shaken

By the wind.

They will be uprooted

By the violence of the winds.

Their branches will be broken off

Before they come to maturity.

Their fruit will be useless.

It will not be ripe enough to eat.

It is good for nothing.

Children born of unlawful unions

Are witnesses of evil

Against their parents,

When God examines them.”

This author makes a comparison between the children of the ungodly (ἀσεβῶν) from unlawful unions and a tree. Even if they have a lot of children, they will be of no use. These children will not have deep roots so that they will not last. The strong winds will uproot them. The branches of these trees, if they survive, will break off before they reach maturity. They will have useless fruit that will not be ripe enough to eat. The children of these unlawful unions (ἀνόμων ὕπνων τέκνα) are witnesses to the evil (μάρτυρές εἰσι πονηρίας) of their parents. God will examine them. Just as in the preceding chapter, this is a very strong rebuke of the so-called bastard children of these ungodly unlawful unions.

Pass on wisdom (Eccl 7:8-7:12)

“Better is the end of a thing

Than its beginning.

The patient in spirit are better

Than the proud in spirit.

Be not quick to anger!

Anger lodges in the bosom of fools.

Do not say.

‘Why were the former days

Better than these?’

It is not from wisdom

That you ask this.

Wisdom is good

With an inheritance.

Wisdom is an advantage

To those who see the sun.

The protection of wisdom is

Like the protection of money.

The advantage of knowledge is

That wisdom gives life

To the one who possesses it.”

Following up on the preceding dichotomies, Qoheleth then went on to speak about the value of wisdom. The end is better than its beginning. The patient in spirit are better than the proud in spirit. Do not be quick to anger because that is the way of fools. Wise people do not talk about the good old days. You should try to hand on wisdom as an inheritance, just like you might want to hand on a financial inheritance. In fact, knowledge and wisdom give life to the one who possesses it.

The importance of wisdom (Eccl 2:12-2:14)

“So I turned to consider wisdom.

I considered madness.

I considered folly.

What can one do

Who comes after the king?

Only what has already been done.

Then I saw that wisdom excels folly

As light excels darkness.

‘The wise have eyes in their head.

But fools walk in darkness.’”

Now Qoheleth considered, wisdom, madness, and folly again. What happens when a king dies? The next king will pretty much do what the preceding king had done. Finally, he saw the light. He realized that wisdom exceeds folly just like light exceeds darkness. Wisdom is light while folly is darkness. This picks up the main theme of Proverbs again. The wise have eyes in their head, but the fools are blind, walking in darkness.

Yahweh and the Exodus (Ps 136:10-136:15)

“Yahweh struck Egypt through their first-born.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He brought Israel out from among them.

His steadfast love endures forever.

With a strong hand,

With an outstretched arm,

His steadfast love endures forever.

He divided the Red Sea in two.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He made Israel pass through the midst of it.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,

His steadfast love endures forever.”

Once again, the congregational refrain, “His steadfast love endures forever” is repeated after every verse. Just as in the preceding psalm, Yahweh led the Israelites out of Egypt. He clearly struck down the first-born of humans and animals. He led them out with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. He divided the Red Sea into two parts so that the Israelites were able to pass through in the middle of it. Finally, he destroyed Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea. Throughout it all they realized that his steadfast love endures forever.