The salt loses its taste (Lk 14:34-14:34)

“Salt is good.

But if salt

Has lost its taste,

How can its saltiness

Be restored?”

 

Καλὸν οὖν τὸ ἅλας· ἐὰν δὲ καὶ τὸ ἅλας μωρανθῇ, ἐν τίνι ἀρτυθήσεται;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that salt was good (Καλὸν οὖν τὸ ἅλας).  But if the salt has lost its taste (ἐὰν δὲ καὶ τὸ ἅλας μωρανθῇ), how can its saltiness be restored or re-seasoned (ἐν τίνι ἀρτυθήσεται)?  This saying of Jesus can be found in Mark, chapter 9:50, and Matthew, chapter 5:13.  Salt was important not just as a spice and preservative, but it represented wisdom and purity in the ancient world and Judaism.  Matthew had Jesus turn to his disciples to remind them that they were the salt of the earth or the land (Ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ ἅλας τῆς γῆς).  The other two gospel writers just had statements about salt, rather than speaking explicitly to the disciples.  Matthew switched to the 3rd person from the 2nd person, when he explained about salt losing its taste (ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας μωρανθῇ).  How can that taste be restored to the salt (ἐν τίνι ἁλισθήσεται)?  Mark indicated that Jesus said that salt was good (καλὸν τὸ ἅλας).  However, if the salt has lost its taste or saltiness (ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας ἄναλον γένηται), if it is insipid, how can the taste be restored to the salt (ἐν τίνι αὐτὸ ἀρτύσετε)?  How can you season the salt?

Advertisements

The first and last (Lk 13:30-13:30)

“Indeed,

Some who are last

Will be first.

Some who are first

Will be last.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ εἰσὶν ἔσχατοι οἳ ἔσονται πρῶτοι, καὶ εἰσὶν πρῶτοι οἳ ἔσονται ἔσχατοι

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that some who are last now will be first (καὶ ἰδοὺ εἰσὶν ἔσχατοι οἳ ἔσονται πρῶτοι).  At the same time, some who are first now will be last (καὶ εἰσὶν πρῶτοι οἳ ἔσονται ἔσχατοι).  This eschatological saying about the reversal of order can also be found in Matthew, chapter 19:30, and Mark, chapter 10:31, almost word for word.  This same saying was also repeated in Matthew, chapter 20:16, about day laborers.  This renewal at the end times, would reverse the earthly hierarchy.  Mark and Matthew said that this would happen to many people, while Luke said that only some people would be involved.  Mark indicated that many people who are now first would be last (πολλοὶ δὲ ἔσονται πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι), while the people last now would be first (καὶ οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι) at the end eschatological renewal final time.  Matthew also said that many people (Πολλοὶ) who are now first would be last (Πολλοὶ δὲ ἔσονται πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι), while the people now last would be first (καὶ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι) at the end eschatological renewal final time.  This is a saying often used to remind people that things will not always be the same as they are today.  Will you be first or last?

The first and the last (Mk 10:31-10:31)

But many who are first

Will be last.

The last

Will be first.”

 

πολλοὶ δὲ ἔσονται πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι καὶ οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι.

 

This eschatological saying about the reversal of order can be found in Matthew, chapter 19:30, and Luke, chapter 13:30, almost word for word.  This same saying will be repeated by Matthew in chapter 20:16 about day laborers.  This renewal at the end times, would reverse the earthly hierarchy.  Mark and Matthew say that this will happen to many people, while Luke said only some people.  Here many people who are now first will be last (πολλοὶ δὲ ἔσονται πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι), while the people last now will be first (καὶ οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι) at the end eschatological renewal final time.  This is a saying often used to remind people that things will not always be the same as they are today.

Peter remembers Jesus’ words (Mt 26:74-26:75)

“At that moment,

The cock crowed.

Then Peter remembered

What Jesus had said.

‘Before the cock crows,

You will deny me

Three times.’

He went out.

He wept bitterly.”

 

καὶ εὐθὺς ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν.

καὶ ἐμνήσθη ὁ Πέτρος τοῦ ῥήματος Ἰησοῦ εἰρηκότος ὅτι Πρὶν ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι τρὶς ἀπαρνήσῃ με· καὶ ἐξελθὼν ἔξω ἔκλαυσεν πικρῶς

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:72, except that Mark has the cock crowing twice instead of once.  In Luke, chapter 22:60-62, not only does the cock crow, but Peter sees Jesus look at him to remind him of his failures.  John, chapter 18:27, has only the simple remark that the cock crowed when Peter denied Jesus the 3rd time, without Peter weeping.  Matthew recounts that at that moment when the rooster cock crowed (καὶ εὐθὺς ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν), Peter remembered what Jesus had said (καὶ ἐμνήσθη ὁ Πέτρος τοῦ ῥήματος Ἰησοῦ εἰρηκότος).  Before the cock or the rooster crowed (ὅτι Πρὶν ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι), he would deny, disown, or repudiate Jesus 3 times (τρὶς ἀπαρνήσῃ με).  Thus, Peter went out and wept or lamented bitterly (καὶ ἐξελθὼν ἔξω ἔκλαυσεν πικρῶς).  The early followers of Jesus, the primitive Christian community, were in shambles.  Both Peter and Judas, two of the 12 leaders, had betrayed Jesus, while Jesus himself was about to be led off to death.

The dogs eat crumbs (Mt 15:27-15:27)

“The Canaanite woman said.

‘Yes!

Lord!

Yet even the dogs

Eat the crumbs

That fall

From their master’s table.’”

 

ἡ δὲ εἶπεν Ναί, κύριε· καὶ γὰρ τὰ κυνάρια ἐσθίει ἀπὸ τῶν ψιχίων τῶν πιπτόντων ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης τῶν κυρίων αὐτῶν.

 

This Canaanite woman responded like in Mark, chapter 7:28.  This woman was willing to accept that she was like a despised dog.  She respected Jesus as her Lord (ἡ δὲ εἶπεν Ναί, κύριε).  However, she wanted to remind him that even the dogs eat the crumbs (αὶ γὰρ τὰ κυνάρια ἐσθίει ἀπὸ τῶν ψιχίων τῶν) that fall from its master’s table (πιπτόντων ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης τῶν κυρίων αὐτῶν). In a wealthy materialistic country, we sometimes forget how our crumbs might feed or help poor people around the world today.

The salt of the earth (Mt 5:13-5:13)

“You are

The salt of the earth!

But if salt

Has lost its taste,

How can saltiness

Be restored?

It is no longer good

For anything,

But is thrown out.

It is trampled

Under foot.”

 

Ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ ἅλας τῆς γῆς· ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας μωρανθῇ, ἐν τίνι ἁλισθήσεται; εἰς οὐδὲν ἰσχύει ἔτι εἰ μὴ βληθὲν ἔξω καταπατεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων.

 

This saying of Jesus can be found in Mark, chapter 9:49-50, and Luke, chapter 14:34-35, but not connected to the Beatitudes at all and with different phraseology. Salt was important not just as a spice and preservative but it represented wisdom and purity in the ancient world and Judaism. Matthew has Jesus turn to his disciples to remind them that they are the salt of the earth or the land (Ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ ἅλας τῆς γῆς). Meanwhile, the other two gospel writers just had statements about salt, rather than speaking explicitly to the disciples. Matthew then switched to the 3rd person from the 2nd person, when he explained about salt losing its taste (ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας μωρανθῇ). How can the taste be restored to the salt (ἐν τίνι ἁλισθήσεται)? That salt was now useless, impotent, and not good for anything (εἰς οὐδὲν ἰσχύει ἔτι). The end result of this tasteless salt was that it should either be thrown away (εἰ μὴ βληθὲν ἔξω) or have people trample it down (καταπατεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων).

Enforce the edict against Daniel (Dan 6:11-6:13)

“The conspirators came.

They found Daniel praying,

Seeking mercy

Before his God.

Then they approached the king.

They said

Concerning the interdict.

‘O king!

Did you not sign

An interdict,

That anyone

Who prays to anyone,

Divine or human,

Within thirty days,

Except to you,

O king!

Shall be thrown

Into a den of lions?’

The king answered.

‘The thing stands fast,

According to the law

Of the Medes,

Of the Persians,

That cannot be revoked.’

Then they responded

To the king.

‘Daniel,

One of the exiles

From Judah,

Pays no attention

To you!

O king!

Or the interdict

You have signed.

But he is saying his prayers

Three times a day.’”

These conspirators, once they had the decree signed, found Daniel praying and seeking mercy from his God. They went to the king to remind him that he had signed this interdiction about no one being allowed to pray to any human or divine person for 30 days, except to the king. The punishment was to be thrown into a den of lions. The king said that he understood that this was the law according to the Medes and the Persians. Then they said that Daniel, one of the Judean exiles, was not paying attention to him and his decree, since he was praying 3 times a day to his God in his house.