Give! (Lk 6:38-6:38)

“Give!

Then it will be given

To you.

A good measure,

Pressed down,

Shaken together,

Running over,

Will be put

Into your lap.

The measure

That you give

Will be the measure

That you get back.”

 

δίδοτε, καὶ δοθήσεται ὑμῖν· μέτρον καλὸν πεπιεσμένον σεσαλευμένον ὑπερεκχυννόμενον δώσουσιν εἰς τὸν κόλπον ὑμῶν· ᾧ γὰρ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε ἀντιμετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that if they gave (δίδοτε), it would be given back to them (καὶ δοθήσεται ὑμῖν).  If they used a good measure (μέτρον καλὸν), one that was pressed down (πεπιεσμένον), shaken together (σεσαλευμένον), and running over (ὑπερεκχυννόμενον), it would be put into their lap (ώσουσιν εἰς τὸν κόλπον ὑμῶν).  The measure that they give (ᾧ γὰρ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε) would be the measure that would be given back to them (ἀντιμετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν).  This last phrase is the same as Matthew, chapter 7:2, and Mark, chapter 4:24, who said whatever they used as a measuring tool or rod, it would be the same measuring stick used on them.  The use of a pouch formed from the cloak that they wore would carry things as a measure.  If the grain was shaken and pressed down, they were able to get a fair amount of grain that overflowed their pouch.  Are you good at giving a fair portion or measure?

Personal suffering (Lam 3:1-3:3)

Aleph

“I am the one

Who has seen affliction

Under the rod

Of God’s wrath.

He has driven me.

He has brought me

Into darkness

Without any light.

Against me alone

He turns his hand

Again and again

All day long.”

These three short verses, instead of one verse, start with the Hebrew consonant letter Aleph. Each section after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this personal acrostic poem or psalm. Using the first person singular, this author proclaims that he has seen a lot of suffering. He has seen affliction, due to the rod or stick of God’s wrath. God drove him into darkness, without any light. God has turned his hand against him alone, over and over again, all day long. He was in great pain.

Yahweh against Assyria (Isa 30:31-30:33)

“The Assyrians will be terror-stricken

At the voice of Yahweh,

When he strikes with his rod.

Every stroke of the staff of punishment

That Yahweh lays upon them

Will be to the sound of timbrels,

Will be to the sound of lyres.

Battling with brandished arm,

He will fight with them.

His burning place of Topheth

Has long been prepared.

Truly,

It is made ready

For the King Molech.

Its pyre is made deep.

It is made wide.

There is fire in abundance.

There is wood in abundance.

The breath of Yahweh,

Like a stream of sulfur,

Kindles it.”

Isaiah warns Assyria that Yahweh will come after them. The Assyrians would be afraid of the voice of Yahweh. However, it is the stick or rod in his strong arm that they really have to fear. While music played, the clanging timbrels and the sweet sounding lyres, Yahweh would punish them. He had long prepared to light the fire that would destroy them. The burning place would be like Topheth, the ancient burning sacrifice place outside Jerusalem, where there were sacrifices to the Canaanite god king Molech. The abundant wood pile was prepared. All it needed was the sulfur breath of Yahweh to kindle and start this fire.

The rhetorical questions (Isa 10:15-10:15)

“Shall the axe vaunt itself

Over the one who wields it?

Can the saw magnify itself

Against the one who handles it?

Can the rod

Raise the one who lifts it up?

Can the staff

Lift the one who is not wood?”

Isaiah asks a series of rhetorical questions about the proud King Tiglath-Pileser III (745-727 BCE) of Assyria. The axe cannot wield itself. Someone, like Yahweh, has to wield the axe, who is the king. A saw, like the king, will not work unless someone is making it work, like Yahweh. The rod by itself, the king, is useless unless Yahweh lifts it up for punishment. Can a staff of wood do anything without someone controlling it like Yahweh. Yahweh is controlling this proud king, but he thinks that he is in charge.

The role of the king of Assyria (Isa 10:5-10:7)

“O Assyria!

The rod of my anger!

The club in their hands

Is my fury!

Against a godless nation,

I send him.

Against the people of my wrath,

I command him

To take spoil.

I command him

To seize plunder.

I command him

To tread them down

Like the mire of the streets.

This is not what he intends.

He did not have this in mind.

But in his heart,

He wanted to destroy.

He wanted to cut off

Not a few nations.”

It seems like Yahweh is sending the king of Assyria as his rod and club to work out God’s plans. Thus, King Tiglath-Pileser III (745-727 BCE) of Assyria wanted to deport people, so that they would not lead a revolt against him. This Assyrian king was to be the stick of Yahweh’s anger to make the northern Israelites like sludge in the streets. He would take the plunder and the spoils of the people of Yahweh, the northern Israelites. The Assyrian king controlled a great part of the Middle East from the Tigris River, including Babylon, during this time of Isaiah. However, the Assyrian King Tiglath-Pileser III did not intend to do the will of Yahweh. He really wanted to destroy and cut up many nations with his deportation and plunder policies.

Discipline children (Prov 29:15-29:17)

“The rod and reproof give wisdom.

But a mother is disgraced by a neglected child.

When the wicked are in authority,

Transgressions increase.

But the righteous will look upon their downfall.

Discipline your children.

They will give you rest.

They will give delight to your heart.”

The children who get beat with the rod and rebuked will get wisdom. A mother will be in disgrace because of a neglected child. When the wicked are in charge, transgressions increase. However, the righteous wait for their downfall. If you discipline your children, they will give rest and delight to your heart. Discipline those kids!

Discipline your children (Prov 23:13-23:16)

“Do not withhold discipline from your children.

If you beat them with a rod,

They will not die.

If you beat him with the rod

You will save their lives from Sheol.

My child!

If your heart is wise,

My heart too will be glad.

My soul will rejoice

When your lips

Speak what is right.”

Here is the reason for the good use of discipline. You were not to withhold discipline to a child. Your children were not going to die from being beat with a stick or rod. In fact, they will be saved from the underworld Sheol. If the child has a wise heart, the heart of the parents will be glad. Parents will rejoice when the lips of their children speak what is right.