Be ready! (Lk 12:35-12:35)

“Be dressed

For action!

Have your lamps

Lit!”

 

Ἔστωσαν ὑμῶν αἱ ὀσφύες περιεζωσμέναι καὶ οἱ λύχνοι καιόμενοι·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to them that they should have their clothes dressed for action (Ἔστωσαν ὑμῶν αἱ ὀσφύες περιεζωσμέναι).  They should have their lamps burning with light (καὶ οἱ λύχνοι καιόμενοι).  There was something similar in Matthew chapter 25:1, about having lamps lit.  There Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven would be like 10 bridesmaids, having lamps with them, waiting to meet the bridegroom.  They were to be an escort in a procession to the bride’s house and then to the wedding banquet with their lit candles.  However, there was nothing in Matthew about being dressed for action.  Are you always dressed and ready for action?

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They shut the door (Mt 25:10-25:10)

“While the foolish ones

Went to buy the oil,

The bridegroom came.

Those wise ones,

Who were ready,

Went with him

Into the wedding banquet.

The door was shut.”

 

ἀπερχομένων δὲ αὐτῶν ἀγοράσαι ἦλθεν ὁ νυμφίος, καὶ αἱ ἕτοιμοι εἰσῆλθον μετ’ αὐτοῦ εἰς τοὺς γάμους, καὶ ἐκλείσθη ἡ θύρα.

 

This parable story is unique to Matthew.  Jesus continued with this story of the 10 bridesmaids.  While the foolish bridesmaids departed to buy some oil (ἀπερχομένων δὲ αὐτῶν ἀγοράσαι), the bridegroom came (ἦλθεν ὁ νυμφίος).  Those 5 wise bridesmaids, who were ready with their lamps, went with the bridegroom (καὶ αἱ ἕτοιμοι εἰσῆλθον μετ’ αὐτοῦ).  They probably had a procession to the wedding banquet (εἰς τοὺς γάμους).  When they got there, the door was shut (καὶ ἐκλείσθη ἡ θύρα).  The 5 foolish bridesmaids went in the middle of the night to find some oil for their lamps.  Meanwhile the bridegroom, the Son of Man or Jesus, came and had his procession to the wedding banquet.  The closed door meant that no one else could come in.

They all got up (Mt 25:7-25:7)

“Then all those bridesmaids

Got up.

They trimmed

Their lamps.”

 

τότε ἠγέρθησαν πᾶσαι αἱ παρθένοι ἐκεῖναι καὶ ἐκόσμησαν τὰς λαμπάδας ἑαυτῶν.

 

This parable story is unique to Matthew.  Jesus continued with this parable.  All those 10 bridesmaids got up (τότε ἠγέρθησαν πᾶσαι αἱ παρθένοι ἐκεῖναι).  They trimmed or decorated their lamps so that they would be in good order (καὶ ἐκόσμησαν τὰς λαμπάδας ἑαυτῶν) for the procession.  All of these 10 bridesmaids tried to get their lamps or lanterns ready.

Ten bridesmaids (Mt 25:1-25:1)

“The kingdom of heaven

Will be like this.

Ten bridesmaids

Took their lamps.

They went to meet

The bridegroom.”

 

Τότε ὁμοιωθήσεται ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν δέκα παρθένοις, αἵτινες λαβοῦσαι τὰς λαμπάδας ἑαυτῶν ἐξῆλθον εἰς ὑπάντησιν τοῦ νυμφίου

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is something similar in Luke, chapter 12:35-36, about having lamps lit.  Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven would be like (ότε ὁμοιωθήσεται ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν)10 bridesmaids, virgins, or unmarried maidens (δέκα παρθένοις) having lamps with them (αἵτινες λαβοῦσαι τὰς λαμπάδας ἑαυτῶν).  They were waiting to go out to meet the bridegroom (ἐξῆλθον εἰς ὑπάντησιν τοῦ νυμφίου).  The custom at that time was to have these virgin bridesmaids or unmarried maidens accompany the bridegroom from his house to the house of the bride before they would go to the wedding place.  Thus, these bridesmaid virgins would act as an escort in a procession to the bride’s house and then to the wedding banquet place.

Remembering the Temple (Ps 42:4-42:6)

“These things I remember,

As I pour out my soul.

How I went with the throng.

I led them in procession

To the house of God.

There were glad shouts.

There were songs of thanksgiving.

There was a multitude keeping a festival.

Why are you cast down?

O my soul!

Why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God!

I shall again praise him.

My help!

My God!”

This psalmist remembers the Temple worship as he poured out his soul. There was a great crowd and a great procession to the house of God with happy shouts of joy. Everyone was keeping the festival. However, now he was cast down because his soul was disturbed and disquieted. He, however, hoped that he would again praise God in his Temple. He relied on God as his helper.

The celebration at the gates (Neh 12:31-12:37)

“Then I brought up the leaders of Judah onto the wall. I appointed two great companies which gave thanks. They went in procession. One went to the right upon the wall to the Dung Gate. After them went Hoshaiah and half of the princes of Judah. There was Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah, and some of the young priests with trumpets. There was Zechariah son of Jonathan, son of Shemaiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Micaiah, son of Zaccur, son of Asaph. His kindred were Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani, with the musical instruments of King David, the man of God. The scribe Ezra went in front of them. At the Fountain Gate, in front of them, they went straight up by the stairs of the city of David, at the ascent of the wall, above the house of David, to the Water Gate on the east.”

Once again, we come back to the 1st person singular, “I”, after all that went before in the 3rd person singular. Nehemiah divided the people into 2 groups. One group walked the wall on the southeast side from the Dung Gate at the south side to the Fountain Gate and then to the Water Gate. At the Fountain Gate they walked the stairs into the city of David. This group was led by the scribe Ezra. This is the only mention of Hoshaiah, who must have been some kind of leader. While Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, and Jeremiah are mentioned elsewhere, there were also the young priests who were the sons of famous priests with their trumpets. Some of the kindred only appear here, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, and Maai, while the others are more familiar like Shemaiah, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani. They played the instruments of King David, lyre, harps, and cymbals.