Swear by heaven (Mt 23:20-23:22)

“Whoever swears

By the altar,

Swears by it

And everything on it.

Whoever swears

By the Temple,

Swears by it

And the one

Who dwells in it.

Whoever swears

By heaven,

Swears by the throne

Of God

And by the one

Who sits upon it.”

 

ὁ οὖν ὀμόσας ἐν τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ ὀμνύει ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τοῖς ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ·

καὶ ὁ ὀμόσας ἐν τῷ ναῷ ὀμνύει ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐν τῷ κατοικοῦντι αὐτόν·

καὶ ὁ ὀμόσας ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ὀμνύει ἐν τῷ θρόνῳ τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ καθημένῳ ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ

 

This is unique to Matthew.  Jesus remarked that whoever swore by the altar (ὁ οὖν ὀμόσας ἐν τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ), also swore by it and everything on it (ὀμνύει ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τοῖς ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ).  Whoever swore by the Temple (καὶ ὁ ὀμόσας ἐν τῷ ναῷ), also swore by it and the one who dwelt in the Temple (ὀμνύει ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐν τῷ κατοικοῦντι αὐτόν).  Whoever swore by heaven (καὶ ὁ ὀμόσας ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ), swore by the throne of God (ὀμνύει ἐν τῷ θρόνῳ τοῦ Θεοῦ) and God himself who sits on it (καὶ ἐν τῷ καθημένῳ ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ).  Thus, Jesus pulled together the fact that the altar, the Temple, and heaven itself were related to the presence of God.

Advertisements

The Creator (Isa 40:21-40:24)

“Have you not known?

Have you not heard?

Has it not been told you

From the beginning?

Have you not understood

From the foundations of the earth?

It is he

Who sits above the circle of the earth.

Its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.

He stretches out the heavens

Like a curtain.

He spreads them

Like a tent to live in.

He brings princes to naught.

He makes the rulers of the earth

As nothing.

Scarcely are they planted,

Scarcely sown,

Scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,

When he blows upon them,

They wither.

The tempest carries them off

Like stubble.”

Second Isaiah continues to use the questioning style to make his point. He seems to call attention to the ignorance of the people. Do they not understand that God created them? God sits on top of the dome over the earth in the heavens, As Second Isaiah was expressing the cosmology of his day. God has stretched out the heavens like a curtain or a tent. All humans are like grasshoppers since he has such a lofty view. He controls the earthly princes and rulers. As soon as someone plants something and it begins to take roots, he blows on it and it withers. Then he sends a tempest storm to carry it off as stubble. Clearly God is in control as the creator of this world and the things in it.

The foolish woman (Prov 9:13-9:18)

“The foolish woman is loud.

She is ignorant.

She knows nothing.

She sits at the door of her house.

She takes a seat at the high places of the town.

She calls to those who pass by.

They go straight on their way.

‘You who are simple,

Turn in here!’

To those without sense,

She says.

‘Stolen water is sweet.

Bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’

But they do not know that the dead are there.

Her guests are in the depths of Sheol.”

Now we are back to the foolish woman. She is the loud, ignorant, and stupid woman who sits at her door or at the high places in town. She tries to get those passing by her to turn into her house. However, they go straight past her. Her sales pitch is that stolen water is sweet and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. This is a subtle form of seduction. Thus this first introduction to the proverbs ends with this admonition to avoid the evil ladies, as if men had nothing to do with it, as if men were not interested in sex without this enticement.

Yahweh as king (Ps 99:1-99:5)

“Yahweh rules as king.

Let the peoples tremble!

He sits enthroned upon the cherubim.

Let the earth quake!

Yahweh is great in Zion.

He is exalted over all the peoples.

Let them praise your great and awesome name!

Holy is he!

Mighty King!

Lover of justice!

You have established equity.

You have executed justice.

You have executed righteousness in Jacob.

Extol Yahweh!

Our God!

Worship at his footstool!

Holy is he!”

Psalm 99 continues the theme of Yahweh as king. Once again there is no title to this psalm. Yahweh rules as king. The people tremble. He sits enthroned on the angelic cherubim in Zion over all the people. This holy king should be praised because his name is awesome. He is the mighty holy king who loves justice and equity. He has executed justice and righteousness upon the descendants of Jacob. We should extol holy Yahweh as our God when we worship at his footstool. We see the repeated refrain “holy is he.”

God with his council (Ps 82:1-82:2)

A psalm of Asaph

“God has taken his place in the divine council.

In the midst of the gods he holds judgment.

‘How long will you judge unjustly?

How long will you show partiality to the wicked?’”

Selah

Psalm 82 is simply one in the series of psalms of Asaph, the Temple singer. The ancient Near East believed that the world was ruled by a series of gods, which was also the Greek and Roman concepts of divinity. Here God sits with his council, sometimes referred to as the angels. Speaking in God’s name was the Temple priest or prophet. God’s judgment questions were clear. Why were they judging unjustly? Why were they partial to the wicked ones? This section ends once again with the musical meditative interlude pause of Selah.

God is king of the world (Ps 47:7-47:9)

“God is king of all the earth.

Sing praises with a psalm!

God is the king over the nations.

God sits on his holy throne.

The princes of the peoples gather

As the people of the God of Abraham.

The shields of the earth

Belong to God.

He is highly exalted!”

This short psalm comes to an end where it began, proclaiming that God is king of the world, not just Israel, as in the first verses. He is the king of everyone. He sits on his throne. The princes of the world gather together with the people of the God of Abraham. All the protections or shields of the world belong to God. This might be a reference to the shields of the various rulers with their gang sign symbols. Once again we end with the idea that God is highly exalted in this psalm of worship.

The king is good looking (Ps 45:2-45:3)

“You are the most handsome of men.

Grace is poured upon your lips.

Therefore God has blessed you forever.

Gird your sword on your thigh

In your glory and majesty!

O mighty one!

The king is the most handsome man in the world. Grace sits on his lips. God has blessed him forever. His sword is on his thigh. He is the mighty one in glory and majesty. He is like a mini-god. Flattery will get you everywhere with this psalmist.