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?

Healing the hand (Lk 6:10-6:10)

“After looking around

At all of them,

He said to the man

With the withered hand.

‘Stretch out your hand!’

He did so.

His hand was restored.”

 

καὶ περιβλεψάμενος πάντας αὐτοὺς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἔκτεινον τὴν χεῖρά σου. ὁ δὲ ἐποίησεν, καὶ ἀπεκατεστάθη ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke said that after looking around at all of them (καὶ περιβλεψάμενος πάντας αὐτοὺς), Jesus said to the man with the withered hand (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) to stretch out his hand (Ἔκτεινον τὴν χεῖρά σου).  He did so (ὁ δὲ ἐποίησεν), and his hand was restored (καὶ ἀπεκατεστάθη ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ).  All 3 synoptic gospels have this healing the same way.  Matthew, chapter 12:13, and Mark, chapter 3:5, have something similar where Jesus cured the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath.  Thus, Mark may have been the source of this healing story.  Mark said that Jesus was angry, because he was upset at the hardness of their hearts.  Finally, after all this discussion about the Sabbath, Jesus said to the man with the withered hand to stretch out his hand, which he did.  Then his hand was restored like new.  Jesus healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath without doing any physical activity.  His hand was restored just like his other hand.

 

Salt is good (Mk 9:50-9:50

“Salt is good.

But if salt

Has lost

Its saltiness,

How can you

Season it?

Have salt

In yourselves.

Be at peace

With one another!”

 

καλὸν τὸ ἅλας· ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας ἄναλον γένηται, ἐν τίνι αὐτὸ ἀρτύσετε; ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἅλα καὶ εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἀλλήλοις.

 

This saying of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 5:13, and Luke, chapter 14:34.  Salt was important not just as a spice and preservative but it represented wisdom and purity in the ancient world and Judaism.  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?  Jesus then turned to his followers.  He told them that they should have salt within themselves (ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἅλα), not exactly salt of the earth but close enough.  They should be at peace with one another (καὶ εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἀλλήλοις).  There was no indication here about throwing salt away because it had become useless as in Matthew and Luke.  Salt would bring about brotherly peace or love.

Jesus heals his hand (Mk 3:5-3:5)

“Jesus looked around

At them

With anger.

He was grieved

At their hardness of heart.

He said to the man.

‘Stretch out your hand!’

He stretched it out.

His hand was restored.”

 

καὶ περιβλεψάμενος αὐτοὺς μετ’ ὀργῆς, συνλυπούμενος ἐπὶ τῇ πωρώσει τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν, λέγει τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ Ἔκτεινον τὴν χεῖρα. καὶ ἐξέτεινεν, καὶ ἀπεκατεστάθη ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ.

 

Matthew, chapter 12:13, and Luke, chapter 6:10, have something similar where Jesus cured the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath.  Thus, Mark may have been the source of this healing story.  He said that Jesus looked around him with anger (καὶ περιβλεψάμενος αὐτοὺς μετ’ ὀργῆς).  He was upset or grieved at the hardness of their hearts (συνλυπούμενος ἐπὶ τῇ πωρώσει τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν).  Finally, after this discussion about the Sabbath, Jesus said to the man with the withered hand (λέγει τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ) to stretch out his hand (Ἔκτεινόν τὴν χεῖρα).  He then stretched out or extended his hand (καὶ ἐξέτεινεν).  It was restored like new (καὶ ἀπεκατεστάθη ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ).  After all this discussion, Jesus healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath without doing any physical activity.

 

Jesus heals the man’s hand (Mt 12:13-12:13)

“Then Jesus said

To the man.

‘Stretch out your hand.’

He stretched it out.

It was restored,

As sound as the other.”

 

τότε λέγει τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ Ἔκτεινόν σου τὴν χεῖρα. καὶ ἐξέτεινεν, καὶ ἀπεκατεστάθη ὑγιὴς ὡς ἡ ἄλλη.

 

Matthew has Jesus cure the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath.  This is similar to Mark, chapter 3:5, and Luke, chapter 6:10.  After this discussion about the Sabbath, Jesus said to the man with the withered hand (τότε λέγει τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ) to stretch out his hand (Ἔκτεινόν σου τὴν χεῖρα).  He then stretched out or extended his hand (καὶ ἐξέτεινεν).  It was restored, so that it was just like his other hand (καὶ ἀπεκατεστάθη ὑγιὴς ὡς ἡ ἄλλη).  After all this discussion, Jesus finally healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath.

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).

The final return (Zeph 3:20-3:20)

“‘At that time,

I will bring you home.

At the time,

When I gather you,

I will make you

Renowned.

I will make you

Praised

Among all the people

Of the earth,

When I restore

Your fortunes

Before your eyes.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Zephaniah, uttered his final oracle.  He was going to bring them back home at that time.  He was going to gather them from everywhere.  Thus, they would be renowned and praised among all the people on earth.  They would have their fortunes restored right before their own eyes.  Yahweh has spoken.  Good times were coming.

No inheritance (Mic 2:5-2:5)

“Therefore,

You will have no one

To cast the line

By lot

In the assembly

Of Yahweh.”

When the Israelites would be restored to their land, these evil wicked people would have no one to cast a lot for them in the redistribution of their land within the assembly of Yahweh.

Restoration of the Davidic rule (Am 9:11-9:12)

“On that day,

I will raise up

The booth of David

That is fallen.

I will repair

Its breaches.

I will raise up

Its ruins.

I will rebuild it

As in the days of old.

Thus,

They may possess

The remnant of Edom.

They may possess

All the nations

Who are called

By my name.’

Says Yahweh

Who does this.”

This oracle of Yahweh might be a later addition.  However, it asked for the restoration of the Davidic rule.  Yahweh wanted the fallen booth or tent of David to be restored, since it needed to be repaired.  Yahweh was going to raise up the ruins of that dynasty, so that it would be like the good old days.  Then Israel would possess whatever was left over of Edom.  Just like at the time of David, the other neighbors of Israel would come under the rule of Israel.  Thus, there was an allusion to the other countries who were called by the name of Yahweh.  Yahweh had said this, now he was going to do it.

The call for the king to repent (Dan 4:26-4:27)

“As it was commanded

To leave the stump,

As well as the roots

Of the tree,

Your kingdom

Shall be reestablished

For you,

From the time

That you learn

That Heaven is sovereign.

Therefore,

O king!

May my counsel

Be acceptable to you!

Atone

For your sins

With righteousness!

Atone

For your iniquities

By showing mercy

To the oppressed!

Thus,

Your prosperity

May be prolonged!”

Daniel continued with the interpretation of the dream. Just as the stump and the roots of the tree remained, so too the king would be restored or reestablished in his kingdom, as soon as he recognized the heavenly control of all kingdoms. Daniel gave him some more advice. The king was to atone for sins by doing right and good things. He was to atone for his iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed. If he did this, his prosperity would be prolonged.