Rich and poor (2 Cor. 8:9)

“You know about

The grace

Of our Lord Jesus Christ,

That though he was rich,

Yet for your sake

He became poor,

So that by this poverty

You might become rich.”

γινώσκετε γὰρ τὴν χάριν τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὅτι δι’ ὑμᾶς ἐπτώχευσεν πλούσιος ὤν, ἵνα ὑμεῖς τῇ ἐκείνου πτωχείᾳ πλουτήσητε.

Paul said that you know (γινώσκετε γὰρ) about the grace or generous act of our Lord (τὴν χάριν τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν) Jesus Christ (Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ).  Even though he was rich (πλούσιος ὤν), yet for your sake (ὅτι δι’ ὑμᾶς) he became poor or destitute (ἐπτώχευσεν), so that by this poverty (ἵνα ὑμεῖς τῇ ἐκείνου πτωχείᾳ) you might become rich (πλουτήσητε).  Only this Corinthian letter used this word ἐπτώχευσεν, that means to be a beggar, be destitute, or in poverty.  Paul indicated that these Corinthians knew about the grace and generous actions of the Lord, Jesus Christ.  Although he was rich and had every divine thing, yet for their sake he became poor or destitute, taking on a human existence.  Thus, with this human poverty, he was able to enrich them.  Jesus was poor or destitute in his human condition.  He thus saves all of us from poverty.  Have you made your poverty a richness?

Rich and poor (Prov 13:7-13:11)

“Some pretend to be rich.

Yet they have nothing.

Others pretend to be poor,

Yet they have great wealth.

Wealth is a ransom for a person’s life.

But the poor get no threats.

The light of the righteous rejoices.

But the lamp of the wicked goes out.

By insolence

The heedless make strife.

But wisdom is

With those who take advice.

Wealth hastily gotten

Will dwindle.

But those who gather little by little

Will increase it.”

Once again there is a comparison between the rich and the poor. The rich are the righteous, while the poor are the foolish. Some people pretend to be rich when they do not have anything. Others pretend to be poor when they are rich. Those who lead a good life will get riches, while the poor will not get anything. The light of the righteous or a good life will bring them happiness. The wicked will see their light go out because of their insolence and heedless strife or arguing. The wise ones take advice. If you get wealthy too quickly your wealth will dwindle. However, if you gain wealth slowly, a little at a time, your wealth will increase.

The reproach of Nathan to David (2 Sam 12:1-12:10)

“But the thing that David had done displeased Yahweh. Yahweh sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him.

‘There were two men in a certain city,

The one was rich and the other poor.

The rich man had very many flocks and herds.

The poor man had nothing,

Except one little ewe lamb, which he had bought.

He brought it up,

It grew up with him and with his children.

It used to eat of his meager fare,

And drink from his cup,

And lie in his bosom.

It was like a daughter to him.

Now there came a traveler to the rich man,

He was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd

To prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him.

But he took the poor man’s lamb,

He prepared that for the guest who had come to him.’

Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan. ‘As Yahweh lives, the man who has done this deserves to die. He shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.’”

Nathan told the story of the rich man and poor man. The rich man had flocks and herds and the other poor man had only one lamb. When a traveler came to visit, the rich man did not prepare a meal from his herd, but took the one lamb that the poor man had. David was angry when he heard this. He thought the rich man should die because he had no pity. In fact, he wanted restoration fourfold.

“Nathan said to David. ‘You are the man! Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel. ‘I anointed you king over Israel. I rescued you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house. I gave you your master’s wives into your bosom. I gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. If that would have been too little, I would add much more. Why have you despised the word of Yahweh, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword. You have taken his wife to be your wife. You have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me. You have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.'”

Nathan turned to David and said that you are the rich man. Yahweh has done so much for you. He had made you king of Israel and Judah. He saved you from Saul. He gave you this great house with all the wives that you have.   Yahweh would have given you more. Why did you despise Yahweh. You killed Uriah so that you could have his wife. The sword will never depart from you.