Loaded with burdens (Lk 11:46-11:46)

“Jesus said.

‘Woe to you!

Lawyers!

You load people

With burdens

Hard to bear!

You,

Yourselves,

Do not lift

A finger

To ease them.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς νομικοῖς οὐαί, ὅτι φορτίζετε τοὺς ἀνθρώπους φορτία δυσβάστακτα, καὶ αὐτοὶ ἑνὶ τῶν δακτύλων ὑμῶν οὐ προσψαύετε τοῖς φορτίοις.

 

Then Luke indicated that Jesus turned on these lawyers, also.  Jesus cursed them also (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς νομικοῖς οὐαί).  They had loaded people with hard burdens to bear (ὅτι φορτίζετε τοὺς ἀνθρώπους φορτία δυσβάστακτα).  At the same time, they did not lift a finger to ease their burdens (καὶ αὐτοὶ ἑνὶ τῶν δακτύλων ὑμῶν οὐ προσψαύετε τοῖς φορτίοις).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:4, where Jesus said that the Pharisees and the Scribes, not the lawyers, tied up heavy burdens on the people that were hard or oppressive to bear.  They put these burdens on the shoulders of other men, but they themselves were unwilling to lift a finger to help them remove these burdens.  These heavy burdens of the Torah may have been their multiple perplexing oral interpretations of the law rather than the law itself that was usually considered a blessing.  Here in Luke, Jesus was talking about lawyers, who may have been Pharisaic lawyers of the Law of Moses, who also would not help others in any way.  Do you know any religious lawyers?

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They tie up heavy burdens (Mt 23:4-23:4)

“The Pharisees

And the Scribes

Tie up heavy burdens,

Hard to bear.

They lay them

On the shoulders of others.

But they themselves

Are unwilling to lift a finger

To move them.”

 

δεσμεύουσιν δὲ φορτία βαρέα καὶ ἐπιτιθέασιν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὤμους τῶν ἀνθρώπων, αὐτοὶ δὲ τῷ δακτύλῳ αὐτῶν οὐ θέλουσιν κινῆσαι αὐτά.

 

This is unique to Matthew.  However, there is something similar in Luke, chapter 11:46, but there Jesus was talking about a lawyer, who may have been a Pharisaic lawyer of the Law of Moses, who would not help others.  Jesus said that these Pharisees and the Scribes tied up heavy burdens (δεσμεύουσιν δὲ φορτία βαρέα) on the people that were hard or oppressive to bear.  They put these burdens on the shoulders of other men (καὶ ἐπιτιθέασιν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὤμους τῶν ἀνθρώπων), but they themselves were unwilling to lift a finger to help them remove these burdens (αὐτοὶ δὲ τῷ δακτύλῳ αὐτῶν οὐ θέλουσιν κινῆσαι αὐτά).  These heavy burdens of the Torah may have been their multiple perplexing oral interpretations of the law rather than the law itself that was usually considered a blessing.

Get rid of idols (Zech 13:2-13:2)

“Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘On that day,

I will cut off

The names

Of the idols

From the land.

Thus,

They shall be remembered

No more.

Also,

I will remove

From the land

The prophets.

I will remove

From the land

The unclean spirit.’”

Yahweh spoke directly to Zechariah.  On that day to come, he was going to cut off the names of the various idols in the land.  Thus, no one would remember them anymore.  He also was going to remove the prophets and unclean spirits.  This will be the end of institutional prophets.

The filthy clothes of Joshua (Zech 3:3-3:5)

“Now Joshua was dressed

With filthy clothes,

As he stood

Before the angel.

The angel said

To those who were standing

Before him.

‘Take off his filthy clothes!’

He said to him.

‘See!

I have taken your guilt away

From you.

I will clothe you

With festive apparel.’

I said.

‘Let them put a clean turban

On his head.’

Thus,

They put a clean turban

On his head.

They clothed him

With the apparel.

The angel of Yahweh

Was standing by.”

Joshua the high priest was wearing filthy clothes before the angel of Yahweh.  The dirty clothes represented the sins of the people and the high priest, as a form of mourning.  Then the angel told him that he should remove his dirty clothing, because the angel had removed the guilt of his sins.  Now he was to put on festive clothing.  Then Zechariah chimed in with the comment that the high priest should have a clean turban for his head.  Of course, they then got a clean turban hat for Joshua.

No more disasters (Zeph 3:18-3:19)

“I will remove disaster

From you,

So that you will not bear

Reproach for it.

I will deal

With all your oppressors

At that time.

I will save the lame.

I will gather the outcast.

I will change their shame

Into praise.

I will make them

Renown in all the earth.”

Yahweh, via Zephaniah, would remove all the disasters from the Israelites.  They would not have to bear any reproach.  Yahweh was going to deal with all their oppressors.  He was going to save the lame and gather the outcasts, so that their shame would be turned to praise.  The Israelites would be known throughout the whole world.

The humble poor of Israel (Zeph 3:11-3:13)

“On that day,

You shall not

Be put to shame,

Because of the deeds

By which you have rebelled

Against me.

Then I will remove

From your midst

Your proudly exultant ones.

You shall no longer

Be haughty

On my holy mountain.

I will leave

In the midst of you

A humble people,

A lowly people.

They shall seek refuge

In the name of Yahweh.

The remnant of Israel

Shall do no wrong.

They shall utter no lies.

A deceitful tongue

Shall not be found

In their mouth.

They shall pasture.

They shall lie down.

No one shall make them

Afraid.”

Yahweh, via Zephaniah, said that the Israelites would not be put to shame.  The reason was fairly simple.  Yahweh was going to remove all those rebellious ones that proudly exulted themselves.  Thus, there would be no more haughty ones in their midst.  Instead, all the people left would be humble and lowly people, who took refuge in Yahweh.  These were the remnant of Israel, who would not do anything wrong or utter any lies with a deceitful tongue.  They would be able to lie down in their pastures, since no one was going to make them afraid.

The new heart and a new spirit (Ezek 36:26-36:27)

“I will give you

A new heart.

I will put within you,

A new spirit.

I will remove

From your body

The heart of stone.

I will give you

A heart of flesh.

I will put

My Spirit

Within you.

I will make you

Follow

My statutes.

You will be careful

To observe

My ordinances.”

Yahweh was going to help the returning Israelites, by giving them a new heart and a new spirit. He was going to remove their old hearts of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. Yahweh was going to infuse them with his Holy Spirit. Thus, they would follow his statutes and observe carefully all his ordinances.