Seek the kingdom! (Lk 12:31-12:31)

“Instead!

Strive

For his kingdom!

All these things

Will be given

To you

As well.”

 

πλὴν ζητεῖτε τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ, καὶ ταῦτα προστεθήσεται ὑμῖν.

 

Luke had Jesus give a simple solution.  Instead of worrying, they were to strive or seek (πλὴν ζητεῖτε) his kingdom (τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ).  Then all these things would be given to them as well (καὶ ταῦτα προστεθήσεται ὑμῖν).  Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:33, had a similar Jesus saying, indicating a common Q source, as the same theme continued.  Thus, they should seek or strive first (ζητεῖτε δὲ πρῶτον) for the kingdom (τὴν βασιλείαν) and his righteousness (καὶ τὴν δικαιοσύνην αὐτοῦ).  Then all these other things would be taken care of for them (καὶ ταῦτα πάντα προστεθήσεται ὑμῖν).  Do you seek the kingdom of God?

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Everybody needs food and clothing (Lk 12:30-12:30)

“The nations

Of the world

Seek after

All these things.

Your Father knows

That you need them.”

 

ταῦτα γὰρ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη τοῦ κόσμου ἐπιζητοῦσιν· ὑμῶν δὲ ὁ Πατὴρ οἶδεν ὅτι χρῄζετε τούτων·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the nations of the world (τὰ ἔθνη τοῦ κόσμου) seek after (ἐπιζητοῦσιν) all these things (ταῦτα γὰρ πάντα).  However, your Father (ὑμῶν δὲ ὁ Πατὴρ) knows (οἶδεν) that you need them (ὅτι χρῄζετε τούτων).  Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:32, had a similar Jesus saying, indicating a common Q source, as the same theme continued.  Matthew attacked the gentile, non-Jewish people, what Luke called “the nations of the world”.  Matthew had Jesus say that those were the kinds of questions that gentiles sought or asked about (πάντα γὰρ ταῦτα τὰ ἔθνη ἐπιζητοῦσιν).  Their heavenly Father knew about everything that they needed (οἶδεν γὰρ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος ὅτι χρῄζετε τούτων ἁπάντων).   They should not be worried, since their heavenly Father would take care of them, unlike all the other gentile, non-Jewish countries who needed to worry.  Do you worry a lot?

Watching Jesus (Lk 11:54-11:54)

“They were

Watching Jesus,

To trap him

In something

He might say.”

 

ἐνεδρεύοντες αὐτὸν θηρεῦσαί τι ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke uniquely said that these Scribes, Pharisees, and lawyers were watching Jesus (ἐνεδρεύοντες αὐτὸν) to trap him (θηρεῦσαί) in something that that he might say or might come out of his mouth (τι ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ).  Once again, Luke used a word that only appears here in all the Greek biblical literature, θηρεῦσαί, that means to hunt, seek, catch, entrap, or lay hold of.  This section ended with greater hostility between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders.  They were going to be aware of Jesus and try to catch him saying something in public.  Are you careful about what you say?

No sign will be given to this generation (Mk 8:12-8:12)

“Jesus sighed deeply

In his spirit.

He said.

‘Why does this generation

Seek a sign?

Truly!

I say to you!

No sign will be given

To this generation.’”

 

καὶ ἀναστενάξας τῷ πνεύματι αὐτοῦ λέγει Τί ἡ γενεὰ αὕτη ζητεῖ σημεῖον; ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, εἰ δοθήσεται τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ σημεῖον

 

While both Matthew, chapter 12:39, and Luke, chapter 11:29-30, perhaps using a Q source, said that Jesus would only give them the sign of Jonah, Mark said here that Jesus was not going to give them any sign at all.  He said that Jesus sighed deeply in his spirit (καὶ ἀναστενάξας τῷ πνεύματι αὐτοῦ).  He asked them why was this generation seeking a sign (λέγει Τί ἡ γενεὰ αὕτη ζητεῖ σημεῖον)?  With a rare solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) in Mark, Jesus told them point blank that no sign would be given to this generation in this convoluted phrase (εἰ δοθήσεται τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ σημεῖον).  Sometimes miracles were considered heavenly signs, but Mark continued to call miracles works of power and not signs, as other gospel writers sometimes referred to them.

Many people come to Yahweh (Zech 8:20-8:22)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘People shall yet come.

The inhabitants of many cities

Shall come.

The inhabitants of one city

Shall go to another,

Saying.

‘Come!

Let us go

To entreat

The favor of Yahweh.

Let us seek Yahweh of hosts.

I myself am going.’

Many people,

Strong nations

Shall come to seek

Yahweh of hosts

in Jerusalem.

They shall come

To entreat

The favor of Yahweh.’”

Yahweh of hosts once again revealed to Zechariah that the people from many different cities were going to come to seek Yahweh in Jerusalem.  They would say to each other that they were going to seek the favor of Yahweh.  Many people and major countries were going to seek Yahweh in Jerusalem.  They all would come to seek the favor of Yahweh of hosts.

The call to conversion (Zeph 2:1-2:3)

“Gather together!

Gather!

O shameless nation!

Before you are driven away

Like the drifting chaff,

Before there comes

Upon you

The fierce anger of Yahweh,

Before there comes

Upon you

The day

Of Yahweh’s wrath.

Seek Yahweh!

All you humble

Of the land!

You do his commands.

You seek righteousness.

You seek humility.

Perhaps,

You may be hidden

On the day

Of Yahweh’s wrath.”

Yahweh gave them one last chance to convert to him.  He wanted this shameless country to gather together to seek him.  If they did not, they would be driven away like useless chaff.  If they did not, the anger of Yahweh would come upon them on the day of his wrath.  The humble or the poor of the land should seek Yahweh.  All they had to do was to follow his commandments.  They had to seek righteousness and humility.  Then perhaps, on the day of Yahweh’s wrath, they would be hidden or stored away from his anger.  There still was a chance for these righteous humble poor people.

The siege of Nineveh (Nah 3:12-3:14)

“You also will be drunken.

You will go into hiding.

You will seek

A refuge

From the enemy.

All your fortresses are

Like fig trees

With first-ripe figs.

If shaken,

They fall

Into the mouth

Of the eater.

Look at your troops!

They are women

In your midst.

The gates

Of your land

Are wide open

To your foes.

Fire has devoured

The bars of your gates.

Draw water

For the siege!

Strengthen your forts!

Trample the clay!

Tread the mortar!

Take hold

Of the brick mold!”

So too, the people of Nineveh would be drunk and go into hiding, as they would seek to get away from their enemies.  All their strong fortresses would be like ripe fig trees.  If they would be touched or shaken, these strongholds would fall like ripe fruit right into the mouths of their enemies.  Women had become their troops.  The gates of the city were wide open to their enemies because fire had consumed the bars on their gates.  They had to get water during the siege.  They would have to strengthen their fortresses with clay, mortar, and bricks.