The millstone on the neck (Lk 17:2-17:2)

“It would be better

For you

If a millstone

Were hung

Around your neck.

Then you would be

Thrown

Into the sea.

Rather than cause

One of these little ones

To stumble.”

 

λυσιτελεῖ αὐτῷ εἰ λίθος μυλικὸς περίκειται περὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔρριπται εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, ἢ ἵνα σκανδαλίσῃ τῶν μικρῶν τούτων ἕνα.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that it would be better for anyone (λυσιτελεῖ αὐτῷ) if a stone from a mill (εἰ λίθος μυλικὸς) were hung around their neck (περίκειται περὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ).  Luke alone used the term μυλικὸς meaning mill.  They should be thrown into the sea (καὶ ἔρριπται εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν), rather than cause one of these little ones to stumble (ἢ ἵνα σκανδαλίσῃ τῶν μικρῶν τούτων ἕνα).  This saying about causing little believing children to sin or stumble can also be found in Mark, chapter 9:42, and Matthew, chapter 18:6, with some minor changes, with Matthew closer to MarkMatthew indicated that Jesus said that if anyone of them caused these little ones, who believed in him, to stumble, to sin, or be scandalized (ὃς δ’ ἂν σκανδαλίσῃ ἕνα τῶν μικρῶν τούτων τῶν πιστευόντων εἰς ἐμέ), it would be better for them to fasten a great heavy millstone around their necks (συμφέρει αὐτῷ ἵνα κρεμασθῇ μύλος ὀνικὸς περὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ) and thus sink and be drowned in the deep sea (καὶ καταποντισθῇ ἐν τῷ πελάγει τῆς θαλάσσης).  Mark indicated that Jesus said that if anyone of them caused these little ones, who believed in him, to be scandalized or stumble (Καὶ ὃς δ’ ἂν σκανδαλίσῃ ἕνα τῶν μικρῶν τούτων τῶν πιστευόντων), it would be better for them (καλόν ἐστιν αὐτῷ μᾶλλον) to fasten a great heavy millstone around their necks (εἰ περίκειται μύλος ὀνικὸς περὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ).  They should be thrown or cast into the deep sea (καὶ βέβληται εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν).  Causing the believing little children to sin meant it was better for that person to die in deep water with a heavy millstone around their neck.  This millstone was a stone for grinding various grains.  Luke never mentioned that they were believing little ones, just little ones.  Have you ever caused little children to sin?

The Son of Man will be delivered to men (Lk 9:43-9:44)

“Jesus said

To his disciples.

‘Let these words

Sink into your ears!

The Son of Man

Is going to be

Betrayed

Into human hands.’”

 

εἶπεν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ Θέσθε ὑμεῖς εἰς τὰ ὦτα ὑμῶν τοὺς λόγους τούτους· ὁ γὰρ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου μέλλει παραδίδοσθαι εἰς χεῖρας ἀνθρώπων.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to his disciples (εἶπεν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ) that they should let these words sink into their ears (Θέσθε ὑμεῖς εἰς τὰ ὦτα ὑμῶν τοὺς λόγους τούτους).  The Son of Man (ὁ γὰρ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) was about to be betrayed (μέλλει παραδίδοσθαι) into human hands (εἰς χεῖρας ἀνθρώπων).  Luke had Jesus insist that they listen to what he had to say to them.  This saying about the fate of the Son of Man can also be found in Matthew, chapter 17:22, and Mark, chapter 9:31, but they both mentioned the death and resurrection of Jesus that was not mentioned here.  Mark said that Jesus was teaching his disciples.  Thus, he told them that the Son of Man was about to be betrayed into human hands, without mentioning any particular group.  They were going to put him to death.  However, after being killed, three days later he would rise again.  Matthew said that Jesus and his disciples were gathering together in Galilee, probably getting ready to go to Jerusalem.  Jesus told them that the Son of Man was about to be betrayed by human hands, without mentioning any particular group as he had done earlier.  They were going to kill him.  However, on the third day, he would be raised up.  There was no mention of the death and resurrection of Jesus here in Luke, just his human betrayal.  Have you ever betrayed anyone?

Overloaded with fish (Lk 5:7-5:7)

“Thus,

They signaled

Their partners

In the other boat

To come

To help them.

They came.

They filled

Both boats.

Thus,

They began

To sink.”

 

καὶ κατένευσαν τοῖς μετόχοις ἐν τῷ ἑτέρῳ πλοίῳ τοῦ ἐλθόντας συλλαβέσθαι αὐτοῖς· καὶ ἦλθαν, καὶ ἔπλησαν ἀμφότερα τὰ πλοῖα ὥστε βυθίζεσθαι αὐτά.

 

Luke said that Simon and his boat signaled for their partners (καὶ κατένευσαν τοῖς μετόχοις) in the other boat (ἐν τῷ ἑτέρῳ πλοίῳ) to come to help them (τοῦ ἐλθόντας συλλαβέσθαι αὐτοῖς).  They came (καὶ ἦλθαν) and filled both boats (καὶ ἔπλησαν ἀμφότερα τὰ πλοῖα).  Thus, they began to sink (ὥστε βυθίζεσθαι αὐτά).  This is the only place where the haul of fish made the boats sink.

Do not cause children to sin (Mt 18:6-18:6)

“If anyone causes

These little ones,

Who believe in me,

To sin or stumble,

It would be better

For them

If a heavy millstone

Were fastened

Around their necks.

It would be better

For them

To be drowned

In the depth of the sea.”

 

ὃς δ’ ἂν σκανδαλίσῃ ἕνα τῶν μικρῶν τούτων τῶν πιστευόντων εἰς ἐμέ, συμφέρει αὐτῷ ἵνα κρεμασθῇ μύλος ὀνικὸς περὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ καὶ καταποντισθῇ ἐν τῷ πελάγει τῆς θαλάσσης.

 

This saying about causing little believing children to sin or stumble can also be found in Mark, chapter 9:42, and Luke, chapter 17:1-2, with some minor changes, with Matthew closer to Mark.  Jesus said that if anyone of them caused these little one, who believed in him, to stumble, to sin, or be scandalized (ὃς δ’ ἂν σκανδαλίσῃ ἕνα τῶν μικρῶν τούτων τῶν πιστευόντων εἰς ἐμέ), it would be better for them to fasten a great heavy millstone around their necks (συμφέρει αὐτῷ ἵνα κρεμασθῇ μύλος ὀνικὸς περὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ) and thus sink and be drowned in the deep sea (καὶ καταποντισθῇ ἐν τῷ πελάγει τῆς θαλάσσης).  Causing the believing little children to sin meant it was better for that person to die in deep water with a heavy millstone around their neck.  This millstone was a stone for grinding various grains.

Peter walks on the water (Mt 14:29-14:30)

“Jesus said.

‘Come!’

Thus,

Peter got out of the boat.

He started walking

On the water.

He came toward Jesus.

But when he noticed

The strong wind,

He became frightened.

He began to sink.

He cried out.

‘Lord!

Save me!’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ἐλθέ. καὶ καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ πλοίου Πέτρος περιεπάτησεν ἐπὶ τὰ ὕδατα καὶ ἦλθεν πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν.

βλέπων δὲ τὸν ἄνεμον ἐφοβήθη, καὶ ἀρξάμενος καταποντίζεσθαι ἔκραξεν λέγων Κύριε, σῶσόν με.

 

This section about Peter walking on the water is unique to Matthew, as he tended to emphasize the importance of Peter.  Jesus told Peter to come to him (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ἐλθέ).  Thus, Peter got out of the boat (καὶ καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ πλοίου Πέτρος) and started walking on the water (περιεπάτησεν ἐπὶ τὰ ὕδατα).  He came toward Jesus (καὶ ἦλθεν πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν), but he noticed a strong wind (βλέπων δὲ τὸν ἄνεμον), so that he became frightened (ἐφοβήθη).  Thus, he began to sink (καὶ ἀρξάμενος καταποντίζεσθαι), as he cried out to Jesus, his Lord or master, to save him (ἔκραξεν λέγων Κύριε, σῶσόν με).

The death of the prince of Tyre (Ezek 28:6-28:8)

“Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘You compare

Your mind

With the mind

Of a god.

Therefore,

I will bring strangers

Against you.

I will bring

The most terrible

Of the nations.

They shall draw

Their swords

Against the beauty

Of your wisdom.

They will defile

Your splendor.

They shall thrust you

Down to the pit.

You shall die

A violent death

In the heart

Of the seas.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was upset because the prince of Tyre had compared his mind to that of a god. Thus Yahweh was going to bring strangers, the most terrible of all the nations, against him. They would draw their swords against his beautiful wisdom. They would defile his splendor. They would throw him into the pit with a violent death, right in the middle of the high seas. He would sink and drown.

The sinking of everything (Ezek 27:26-27:27)

“Your rowers

Have brought you

Into the high seas.

The east wind

Has wrecked you

In the heart

Of the seas.

Your riches,

Your wares,

Your merchandise,

Your mariners

Your pilots,

Your caulkers,

Your dealers

In merchandise,

All your warriors

Within you,

With all your company

That is with you,

Sink

Into the heart

Of the seas

On the day

Of your ruin.”

The rowers of the Tyre ships brought them into the high seas. The east wind then wrecked them in the heart of the sea. All their riches, goods, and merchandise sank. Their sailors, pilots, caulk workers, trade merchant dealers, their warriors, and all their company would sink into the heart of the sea on the day of their ruin. Tyre, its ships, its people, and all its goods would sink into the choppy Mediterranean Sea.