Do not plan ahead (Lk 21:14-21:14)

“Make up your minds!

Do not prepare

Your defense

In advance!”

 

θέτε οὖν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν μὴ προμελετᾶν ἀπολογηθῆναι·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told them to make up or settle their minds or hearts (θέτε οὖν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν), so that they did not have to prepare their defense ahead of time (μὴ προμελετᾶν ἀπολογηθῆναι).  This is unique use by Luke of the term προμελετᾶν, that means to premeditate, meditate beforehand, or prepare.  Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:19, and Mark, chapter 13:11.  Mark indicated that Jesus told his disciples not to worry beforehand or be anxious about what to say (μὴ προμεριμνᾶτε τί λαλήσητε), when they were handed over and brought to trial (καὶ ὅταν ἄγωσιν ὑμᾶς παραδιδόντες).  Matthew indicated that Jesus told his disciples not to worry or be anxious (μὴ μεριμνήσητε), when they were handed over (ὅταν δὲ παραδῶσιν ὑμᾶς) to these courts or tribunals.  They should not worry about how or what they should say (πῶς ἢ τί λαλήσητε).  It will be given to them (δοθήσεται γὰρ ὑμῖν) in that hour at that time (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ) what they should say (τί λαλήσητε).  Luke simply said that they were not to make any preparations for their defense.  Would you like to be prepared before you went to court?

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The results of trading (Lk 19:15-19:15)

“This nobleman

Received royal power.

When he returned,

He ordered those slaves,

To whom

He had given the money,

To be summoned.

Thus,

He might find out

What they had gained

By trading.”

 

καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἐπανελθεῖν αὐτὸν λαβόντα τὴν βασιλείαν καὶ εἶπεν φωνηθῆναι αὐτῷ τοὺς δούλους τούτους οἷς δεδώκει τὸ ἀργύριον, ἵνα γνοῖ τίς τί διεπραγματεύσατο.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this nobleman did receive his royal power (καὶ ἐγένετο…αὐτὸν λαβόντα τὴν βασιλείαν) and then he returned home (ἐν τῷ ἐπανελθεῖν).  Once again, only Luke used this term ἐπανελθεῖν that means to return or come back again.  This nobleman ordered those 10 slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned to him (καὶ εἶπεν φωνηθῆναι αὐτῷ τοὺς δούλους τούτους οἷς δεδώκει τὸ ἀργύριον).  He wanted to find out what they had gained by trading (ἵνα γνοῖ τίς τί διεπραγματεύσατο).  Sure enough, this is the only use of the word διεπραγματεύσατο, in all the Greek biblical literature that means to examine thoroughly, to gain by trading, or doing business.  There is an equivalent in Matthew, chapter 25:19, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus said that after a long time (μετὰ δὲ πολὺν χρόνον), the master or lord of these slaves came back (ἔρχεται ὁ κύριος τῶν δούλων ἐκείνων).  He then wanted to settle his accounts with his slaves (καὶ συναίρει λόγον μετ’ αὐτῶν).  Luke had the more colorful language to explain the returning rich man who wanted to see how his slaves had done in their business dealings.  Have you ever traded stocks or other assets to make money?

The cruel capture and death of the Pharaoh (Ezek 32:3-32:6)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will throw my net

Over you

In an assembly

Of many people.

I will haul you up

In my dragnet.

I will throw you

On the ground.

I will fling you

On the open field.

I will cause

All the birds

Of the air

To settle on you.

I will let

The wild animals

Of the whole earth

Gorge themselves

With you.

I will strew

Your flesh

On the mountains.

I will fill the valleys

With your carcass.

I will drench

The land

With your flowing blood,

Up to the mountains.

The watercourses

Will be filled

With you.’”

Yahweh was very explicit about what he was going to do to the Pharaoh. He was going to throw his fishing net over him in front of many people. He was then going to drag this net to some open field. There he was going to fling him to the ground, so that the birds of the air and the wild animals would settle on him and gorge themselves. Yahweh was going to spread the Pharaoh’s flesh on the mountains and the valleys. Parts of his dead body and his flowing blood would drench the land in the streams and on the mountains.

The death of the cedar tree (Ezek 31:13-31:14)

“All the birds

Of the air

Settle

On its fallen trunk.

All the wild animals

Lodge

Among its boughs.

All this is

In order

That no trees

By the waters

May grow

To a lofty height

Or set their tops

Among the clouds.

No trees

That drink water

May reach up

To them

In height.

All of them

Are handed over

To death,

To the world below.

They will be

With all mortals,

Who go down

To the pit.”

The birds of the air will settle on the fallen trunk of this great cedar tree. Wild animals will be among its loose branches. This would be a warning that no other trees that were near water should grow to lofty heights. No other trees should have their tree tops in the clouds or reach up to those heights. All of them would be handed over to death, to go to the world below, the great pit, where all the other mortals go. This personification of the cedar tree was complete, since it would share the afterlife with other mortals in the underworld pit.

The gathering of the house of Israel (Ezek 28:25-28:25)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will gather

The house of Israel

From the people

Among whom

They are scattered.

I will manifest

My holiness

In them,

In the sight of the nations.

Then they shall settle

On their own soil

That I gave

To my servant

Jacob.’”

Yahweh said that he was going to gather the house of Israel from all the people, countries, and nations that they had been scattered into. Yahweh was going to manifest his holiness then, so that all the nations would see it. Finally, the Israelites would settle on their own soil, the same land that Yahweh had given to his servant, Jacob.

Drought and wild animals in Babylon (Jer 50:38-50:40)

“‘A drought

Against her waters!

Thus they may be dried up!

It is a land of images.

They go mad

Over idols.

Therefore,

Wild animals

Shall live

With hyenas

In Babylon.

Ostriches

Shall inhabit her.

She shall never again

Be inhabited

For all generations.

As when God overthrew

Sodom and

Gomorrah,

With their neighbors,

So no one

Shall live there.

No one

Shall settle there.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh was clear. He was going to make Babylon an abandoned desert. The waters of the land would dry up and leave a drought. It is hard to believe that he meant the Tigris River and the Euphrates River. He wanted their images and idols destroyed.   Thus wild animals, hyenas, and ostriches would live in Babylon. No humans would live or settle in Babylon. It would become like the ancient destroyed cites of Sodom and Gomorrah as in Genesis, chapter 19, a desolation.

Against Hazor (Jer 49:30-49:33)

“‘Flee!

Wander far away!

Hide in deep places!

O inhabitants of Hazor!’

Says Yahweh.

‘King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon

Has made a plan

Against you.

He has formed a purpose

Against you.

‘Rise up!

Advance

Against a nation at ease,

That dwells securely.’

Says Yahweh.

‘They have no gates.

They have no bars.

They live alone.

Their camels

Shall become booty.

Their herds of cattle

Shall become a spoil.

I will scatter to every wind

Those who have shaven temples.

I will bring calamity

Against them

From every side.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Hazor shall become

A liar of jackals,

An everlasting waste.

No one shall live there.

No one shall settle in it.’”

The kingdom of Hazor was the more sedentary northwestern Arab tribes in the Arabian Desert, east of the Jordan River, in present day Saudi Arabia, not the Israelite town of Hazor. Yahweh warned them to flee and get out of there, because King Nebuchadnezzar had a plan against them. Even though they were at ease and secure, they had no gates, bars or fortresses, since they lived alone. The king of Babylon was going to take their flocks of cattle and their camels as the spoils of war. These shaven temple Hazor people would be scattered all over the place with all kinds of trouble on every side. These oasis tent towns would become a wasteland, as if they were not already. No one would want to live and settle there. This is like the previous warnings to other places, earlier in this chapter.