The fishing net and the kingdom of heaven (Mt 13:47-13:48)

“Again,

The kingdom of heaven is

Like a net

That was thrown

Into the sea.

It caught fish

Of every kind.

When it was full,

They pulled it ashore.

They sat down.

They put the good fish

Into baskets.

But they threw out

The bad fish.”

 

Πάλιν ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν σαγήνῃ βληθείσῃ εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν καὶ ἐκ παντὸς γένους συναγαγούσῃ·

ἣν ὅτε ἐπληρώθη ἀναβιβάσαντες ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν καὶ καθίσαντες συνέλεξαν τὰ καλὰ εἰς ἄγγη, τὰ δὲ σαπρὰ ἔξω ἔβαλον.

 

Only Matthew has this parable about the fishing net.  Jesus, via Matthew, makes another comparison about the kingdom of heaven (Πάλιν ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν).  This time, it was like a fishing net that was thrown into the sea (σαγήνῃ βληθείσῃ εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν).  They caught all kinds of different fish (καὶ ἐκ παντὸς γένους συναγαγούσῃ).  When this fishing net was full, they pulled it ashore (ἣν ὅτε ἐπληρώθη ἀναβιβάσαντες ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν).  Then they sat down (καὶ καθίσαντες) to sort out the fish.  They collected the good fish into basket containers (συνέλεξαν τὰ καλὰ εἰς ἄγγη), but they threw out the bad fish (τὰ δὲ σαπρὰ ἔξω ἔβαλον).  The details of this fishing expedition, like the sowing in the field speak to an agricultural and fishing community.

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Daniel is safe (Dan 14:40-14:42)

“On the seventh day,

The king came

To mourn

For Daniel.

When he came

To the den,

He looked in.

There sat Daniel.

The king shouted

With a loud voice.

‘You are great!

O Lord!

God of Daniel!

There is no other

Besides you!’

Then he pulled

Daniel out.

He threw into the den

Those who had attempted

His destruction.

They were instantly eaten

Before his eyes.”

Thus, ends the great story of Daniel. On the 7th day, the king came to mourn the death of Daniel. Instead, he was surprised to see Daniel sitting in the den of lions. Then the king shouted out his praise for the God of Daniel, the Lord. There were no other gods like him. Next, he pulled Daniel out of the den. Finally, he threw those who had attempted the destruction of Daniel into the lion’s den. The lions immediately ate these men right before the eyes of the king.

Ebed-melech rescues Jeremiah from the cistern (Jer 38:10-38:13)

“Then the king commanded

The Ethiopian Ebed-melech.

‘Take three men with you

From here!

Pull the prophet Jeremiah

Up from the cistern

Before he dies.’

So Ebed-melech took the men

With him.

They went

To the house of the king,

To a wardrobe

Of the storehouse.

They took from there

Old rags

With worn-out clothes.

Then he let them down

To Jeremiah

In the cistern

By ropes.

Then the Ethiopian Ebed-melech

Said to Jeremiah.

‘Just put the rags

With the clothes

Between your armpits

And the ropes.’

Jeremiah did so.

Then they drew Jeremiah up

By the ropes.

They pulled him

Out of the cistern.

Jeremiah remained

In the court of the guard.”

The vacillating King Zedekiah responded to the Ethiopian Ebed-melech by telling him to take 3 men with him in order to pull Jeremiah from the cistern well. The king had told the men who put Jeremiah in the well that they could do with him whatever they wanted to do. So then Ebed-melech took the 3 men. They went to the royal wardrobe in the palace. He then took some old rags and worn out clothes. When he arrived at the pit, he told Jeremiah to put these old rags or clothes between the rope and his arm pits. Thus he would not hurt himself coming out of this well. Then the 4 of them pulled him up out of the well. However, Jeremiah was then sent back to the house arrest jail in the royal court of the guard. King Zedekiah had let his officials try to kill Jeremiah, yet he sent his eunuch to save him. The result was that Jeremiah was back in jail again, as if nothing had happened.

The suffering servant of Yahweh (Isa 50:5-50:6)

“I was not rebellious.

I did not turn backward.

I gave my back

To those who struck me.

I gave my cheeks

To those who pulled out my beard.

I hid not hide my face

From insult.

I did not hide my face

From spitting.”

Now Second Isaiah has this teaching servant become a suffering servant of Yahweh. He had not been rebellious nor turned his back on Yahweh. If anyone struck him, he turned his back to them. If anyone pulled on his beard, he did not turn away since he gave up his cheeks. If anyone insulted him by spitting on him, he did not turn his face to cover it. This suffering servant was very passive in the face of an attack.