“As Jesus came near
He saw the city.
He wept over it.”
Καὶ ὡς ἤγγισεν, ἰδὼν τὴν πόλιν ἔκλαυσεν ἐπ’ αὐτήν,
Luke uniquely said that as Jesus came near (Καὶ ὡς ἤγγισεν) to Jerusalem, he saw the city (ἰδὼν τὴν πόλιν) and wept over it (ἔκλαυσεν ἐπ’ αὐτήν). However, this was the second time that he lamented about the situation in Jerusalem as he had earlier in chapter 13:33-34 about Jerusalem killing its prophets. Jesus sadly entered the city after the rousing entrance in the preceding verses. He was acutely aware of the sufferings and problems to come for himself, the city, and its people. Have you ever wept over a city?
“When the ten
To be angry
Καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ δέκα ἤρξαντο ἀγανακτεῖν περὶ Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰωάνου.
There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 20:24, but slightly different. There was a little dissention here. Mark said that when the ten other leaders or apostles heard (Καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ δέκα) about this situation of the sons of Zebedee, they began to be angry, incensed, or indignant (ἤρξαντο ἀγανακτεῖν) with these two brothers, James and John (περὶ Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰωάνου). Why did they want to be prominent? What about them? Were not all the apostles equal? What made these two so important?
“When he heard this,
The man was shocked.
He went away grieving.
ὁ δὲ στυγνάσας ἐπὶ τῷ λόγῳ ἀπῆλθεν λυπούμενος, ἦν γὰρ ἔχων κτήματα πολλά.
This story about the young man walking away can be found in Matthew, chapter 19:22, and Luke, chapter 18:23, but slightly different. Mark said that this man was shocked at these words of Jesus (ὁ δὲ στυγνάσας ἐπὶ τῷ λόγῳ). He went away pained or grieving (ἀπῆλθεν λυπούμενος), because he had many possessions or a lot of property (ἦν γὰρ ἔχων κτήματα πολλά). This rich young man was willing to listen to Jesus, but could not bring himself to totally commit his life to him, by giving up his worldly possessions. Thus, he went away very sad, because he realized his own situation, that he lacked the urge to make that final commitment to Jesus, by getting rid of his earthly wealth.
She rushed back
To the king.
‘I want you
To give me
Of John the Baptist
On a platter.’”
καὶ εἰσελθοῦσα εὐθὺς μετὰ σπουδῆς πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα ᾐτήσατο λέγουσα Θέλω ἵνα ἐξαυτῆς δῷς μοι ἐπὶ πίνακι τὴν κεφαλὴν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ.
This is like Matthew, chapter 14:8. Urged on by her mother, this girl immediately rushed or hastened back to the king (καὶ εἰσελθοῦσα εὐθὺς μετὰ σπουδῆς πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα). She told the king her request (ᾐτήσατο λέγουσα) that she wanted him to give her at once (Θέλω ἵνα ἐξαυτῆς δῷς μοι) the head of John the Baptist on a platter or a dish (ἐπὶ πίνακι τὴν κεφαλὴν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ). Obviously. King Herod had made a silly solemn statement and his wife Herodias took advantage of this situation.
“The princes of Judah
Who remove the landmark.
I will pour out
The princes of Judah were not safe from Yahweh. They were like the people who move landmarks. They tried to take advantage of the situation, by tying to extend their territory. Thus, Yahweh was going to pour out his wrath on them like gushing water.
Of the infant
To the roof
Of its mouth
Beg for food.
But no one gives
The situation in Jerusalem was dire, since the infants are so thirsty that their tongues stick to the roof of their mouths. The children had to beg for food. But even then, there was no one to give them food. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Daleth in this acrostic poem.
“When Moab presents himself,
When he wearies himself
Upon the high place,
When he comes
To his sanctuary to pray,
He will not prevail.”
Despite all the affection for their situation, Isaiah is clear that the Moabites will not prevail. When they present themselves to their high place to pray, they will not be heard. When they weary themselves in the sanctuary, their prayers will be useless.
“Outsiders conspired against Aaron.
They envied him in the wilderness.
There was Dathan with his followers.
There was Abiram with his followers.
There was the company of Korah.
They were filled with wrath and anger.
The Lord saw it.
He was not pleased.
In the heat of his anger
They were destroyed.
He performed wonders against them.
He consumed them in a flaming fire.
He added glory to Aaron.
He gave him a heritage.
He allotted to him
The best of the first fruits.
He prepared bread of first fruits
They eat the sacrifices of the Lord.
He gave it to him
And his descendants.
But in the land of the people
He has no inheritance.
He has no portion
Among the people.
The Lord himself
Is his portion
The Lord himself
Is his inheritance.”
In this section Sirach is relying on Numbers, chapter 16, about a revolt of some Levi tribe members, particularly Korah, along with Dathan and Abiram from the tribe of Reuben. It was not clear why Sirach called them outsiders since there were about 250 of those Israelites in the desert who actually revolted against Moses and Aaron. This uprising was put down, when Moses called for an incense face-off. Then Yahweh made the ground catch fire and split up so that this fire swallowed up these trouble makers. Aaron was then given more glory. This is why he and his descendants receive the best of the first fruits of the harvest. However, the Levites were not given any territory in the new Promise Land like the other tribes. Their portion was the Lord himself. That was their inheritance. Once again, this was an attempt to explain the situation of the later Levitical priests.
“Know well the condition of your flocks.
Give attention to your herds.
Riches do not last forever.
A crown does not endure for all generations.
When the grass is gone,
The new growth appears.
The herbage of the mountains is gathered.
The lambs will provide your clothing.
The goats provide the price of a field.
There will be enough goats’ milk for your food.
This is the food of your household.
This will nourish your servant-girls.”
You have to take good care of your farm animals. You should know the condition of your flock and your herds. Wealth, like the crown of a king, does not last forever. When the grass is gone, a new growth will appear. The vegetables or herbage of the mountains will be gathered. The lamb’s wool will be made into clothing. The goat’s milk will provide you with food. There will be enough food for your household and your servants. This is a warning to the rich not to take their situation too lightly since things could change.
“The enemy has pursued me.
He has crushed my life to the ground.
He has made me sit in darkness
Like those long dead.
Therefore my spirit faints within me.
My heart within me is appalled.”
The situation of David is described as being pursued by his enemies. He seems like he has been crushed to the ground. He sat in darkness as if he were dead. His spirit was fainting as mentioned above. His heart was appalled. He was in bad shape.