Build well!

“That one

Who heard his word

And acted on it is

Like a man

Building a house.

He dug deeply.

He laid the foundation

On a rock.

When a flood came,

The river burst

Against that house.

However,

It could not shake it,

Because it had been

Well built.”

 

ὅμοιός ἐστιν ἀνθρώπῳ οἰκοδομοῦντι οἰκίαν, ὃς ἔσκαψεν καὶ ἐβάθυνεν καὶ ἔθηκεν θεμέλιον ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν· πλημμύρης δὲ γενομένης προσέρηξεν ὁ ποταμὸς τῇ οἰκίᾳ ἐκείνῃ, καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσεν σαλεῦσαι αὐτὴν διὰ τὸ καλῶς οἰκοδομῆσθαι αὐτήν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said the one who had heard his word and acted on it was like a man building a house (ὅμοιός ἐστιν ἀνθρώπῳ οἰκοδομοῦντι οἰκίαν).  He dug deeply (ὃς ἔσκαψεν καὶ ἐβάθυνεν).  He laid the foundation on a rock (καὶ ἔθηκεν θεμέλιον ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν).  When a flood came (πλημμύρης δὲ γενομένης), the streams of the river burst against that house (ροσέρηξεν ὁ ποταμὸς τῇ οἰκίᾳ ἐκείνῃ).  However, they could not shake it (καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσεν σαλεῦσαι αὐτὴν), because it had been well built (διὰ τὸ καλῶς οἰκοδομῆσθαι αὐτήν).  This is just like Matthew, chapter 7:24-25, which might indicate a Q source.  Jesus said there that these wise people built a house on a rock foundation or solid rocky ground.  The rains fell and the floods came.  The winds would blow and beat against this house, but it did not fall, because it was built on a strong foundation.  This rock foundation was the words of Jesus carried out in daily life.  The fairy tale story of the 3 pigs with the brick, straw, and grass houses is similar to this saying about the stone foundation that could not be destroyed.  How have you built your house?

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The power of fire (Wis 16:15-16:19)

“To escape from your hand

Is impossible.

The ungodly,

Refusing to know you,

Were flogged

By the strength of your arm.

They were pursued

By unusual rains.

They were pursued

By hail.

They were pursued

By relentless storms.

They were utterly consumed

By fire.

Most incredible of all,

In water,

Which quenches all things,

The fire had still greater effect.

The universe defends the righteous.

At one time,

The flame was restrained.

Thus it might not consume the creatures

Sent against the ungodly.

But seeing this,

They might know

That they were being pursued

By the judgment of God.

At another time,

Even in the midst of water

It burned more intensely than fire.

Thus they destroyed the crops

Of the unrighteous land.”

It is impossible to escape from the hand of God (σὴν χεῖρα), so that the ungodly (ἀσεβεῖς) were flogged with his hands. God pursued them with unusual rains, hail, and storms. However, they were consumed by fire. The water was not able to put out the powerful fire (δύναμιν φλέγει). In fact, the righteous and the creatures against the ungodly were saved. The ungodly, however, were to learn that they were pursued by the judgment of God (Θεοῦ κρίσει). Even in the middle of water the fires destroyed the crops of the unrighteous.

Springtime (Song 2:10-2:14)

Male lover

“My beloved speaks.

He says to me.

‘Arise!

My love!

My fair one!

Come away!

Now the winter is past.

The rain is over.

The rain is gone.

The flowers appear on the earth.

The time of singing has come.

The voice of the turtledove

Is heard in our land.

The fig tree puts forth its figs.

The vines are in blossom.

They give forth fragrance.

Arise!

My love!

My fair one!

Come away!

O my dove!

In the clefts of the rock,

In the covert of the cliff,

Let me see your face.

Let me hear your voice.

Your voice is sweet.

Your face is lovely.’”

This female lover recounts the words of her male lover. In a phrase that is repeated twice within a couple of verses, we have that wonderful love request.   Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away with me! Will she go? Was this request enough to make her leave her home? He tells her why she should do this now. It is springtime. The winter has gone. The rains are gone. The flowers are appearing. The turtledove birds are singing. The fig trees have figs. The vines are blossoming with a sweet smell. It was time to go with him as he repeated the phrases from above. This turtledove lives in the rocks and the cliffs. He wanted to see her lovely face and to hear her sweet voice, a clear presentation of springtime romantic love.

The role of the king (Prov 16: 10-16:15)

“Inspired decisions are on the lips of a king.

His mouth does not sin in judgment.

Honest balances and scales are Yahweh’s.

All the weights in the bag are his work.

It is an abomination for kings to do evil.

The throne is established by righteousness.

Righteous lips are the delight of a king,

He loves those who speak what is right.

A king’s wrath is a messenger of death.

Whoever is wise will appease it.

In the light of a king’s face

There is life.

His favor is like the clouds

That bring the spring rain.”

This next section follows the medieval concept of the diving right of kings. Thus the king speaks in the name of Yahweh. His decisions are thus inspired by Yahweh. He does not sin in making his judgments. He expects, like Yahweh, to have honest scales and balances, so that there should not be any false weights in bags on the scales. Thus, it is an abomination for a king to do evil because the throne was established by righteousness, which should be the delight of the king. The king loves those who speak correctly and rightly. On the other hand, his wrath is a messenger of death. The wise ones are able to appease his anger. You will have life if the king’s face lights upon you. His favors are like refreshing spring rains.

The happy ones in Zion (Ps 84:5-84:8)

“Happy are those

Whose strength is in you!

Happy are those

In whose heart are the highways to Zion.

As they go through the valley of Baca,

They make it a place of springs.

The early rain also covers it with pools.

They go from strength to strength.

The God of gods will be seen in Zion.

Yahweh!

God of hosts!

Hear my prayer!

Give ear!

O God of Jacob!”

Selah

The happy people are those who put their strength in Yahweh. The happy people are on their way to Zion. Even when they are in the valleys, there will be springs of water and gentle early morning rains. They go from strength to the strength of Yahweh, who is the God of gods, as if there were other false gods. Then there are the pleas for the God of Jacob, Yahweh, to give an ear and listen to his prayers. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.