The second invitation to the wedding banquet (Mt 22:4 -22:4)

“Again,

He sent other slaves.

Saying.

‘Tell those

Who have been invited.

‘Look!

I have prepared

My dinner.

My oxen

And my fat calves

Have been slaughtered.

Everything is ready.

Come to the wedding banquet!’”

 

πάλιν ἀπέστειλεν ἄλλους δούλους λέγων Εἴπατε τοῖς κεκλημένοις Ἰδοὺ τὸ ἄριστόν μου ἡτοίμακα, οἱ ταῦροί μου καὶ τὰ σιτιστὰ τεθυμένα, καὶ πάντα ἕτοιμα· δεῦτε εἰς τοὺς γάμους.

 

This is unique to Matthew when compared to the Luke equivalent.  Jesus said that this king has made all the preparations for this great wedding feast.  For a second time, this king sent other slaves (πάλιν ἀπέστειλεν ἄλλους δούλους) to these invited guests.  He told his slaves to tell these guests (λέγων Εἴπατε τοῖς κεκλημένοις) that he had already prepared his dinner for them (Ἰδοὺ τὸ ἄριστόν μου ἡτοίμακα).  He had slaughtered his oxen and fat calves (οἱ ταῦροί μου καὶ τὰ σιτιστὰ τεθυμένα).  Everything was ready (πάντα ἕτοιμα).  All they had to do was show up at this banquet (δεῦτε εἰς τοὺς γάμους).  This sounds like a reasonable request.

 

The eight tables in the inner chamber (Ezek 40:40-40:41)

“On the outside

Of the vestibule,

At the entrance

Of the north gate,

Were two tables.

On the other side

Of the vestibule

Of the gate

Were two tables.

Four tables were

On the inside.

Four tables were

On the outside

Of the side

Of the gate.

There were eight tables,

On which the sacrifices

Were to be slaughtered.”

At the north side of the Temple, by the vestibule, at the entrance gate there were 2 tables on either side for a total of 4 tables. However, there was 4 more tables on the inside. These were the 8 tables where the animals would be slaughtered in preparation for the sacrifices.

These shepherds do not take care of their sheep (Ezek 34:3-34:4)

“You eat the fat.

You clothe yourselves

With wool.

You slaughter

The fatlings.

But you do not

Feed the sheep.

You have not strengthened

The weak ones.

You have not healed

The sick ones.

You have not bound up

The injured ones.

You have not brought back

The strayed ones.

You have not sought

The lost ones.

You have ruled them

With force.

You have ruled them

With harshness.”

Yahweh complained, via Ezekiel, to these shepherds that they ate the good fat things and clothed themselves with wool clothing. They slaughtered the fat livestock, but they did not feed the sheep. They did not strengthen the weak ones or heal the sick or injured sheep. They never brought back the straying or lost sheep. These shepherds ruled over the sheep with force and harshness.

The sacrificed children (Ezek 16:20-16:22)

“You took your sons.

You took your daughters.

You had borne them

To me.

You sacrificed them

To be devoured.

As if being a whore

Was not enough?

You slaughtered

My children.

You delivered them up

As an offering

To them.

In all your abominations,

In all your acts

Of prostitution,

You did not remember

The days of your youth,

When you were naked,

When you were bare,

Flailing about

In your blood.”

There is little doubt that this young girl Jerusalem and Yahweh bore children together. Yahweh clearly says that their mutual sons and daughters had been sacrificed to these false gods. This woman Jerusalem had slaughtered their children. Was it not bad enough that she was a prostitute? Did she have to sacrifice their children too? They were delivered to these strange gods as a death offering. In all her abominations and various prostitute ways, she never remembered her youth when she was naked, lying in blood. She was not grateful for all that Yahweh had done for her.

Yahweh causes the death of many in Jerusalem (Lam 2:21-2:21)

Shin

“The young

With the old

Are lying

On the ground

In the streets.

My young women

With my young men

Have fallen

By the sword.

In the day

Of your anger,

You have killed them,

Slaughtering

Without mercy.”

Suddenly, the author switches to the first person singular as Jerusalem itself laments the death of its people. Both the young and the old people were lying in the streets dead. Both the young men and the young women were killed by the sword. Now this author, speaking as Jerusalem, blames all of this on Yahweh. He claimed with a very strong accusation that on the day of his anger, Yahweh killed and slaughtered the people of Jerusalem without mercy. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Shin. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The shame of Moab (Jer 48:13-48:15)

“‘Then Moab

Shall be ashamed

Of Chemosh,

As the house of Israel

Was ashamed

Of Bethel,

Their confidence.

How can you say?

‘We are heroes!

We are the mighty warriors!

The destroyer of Moab

With his towns

Has come up.

The choicest

Of his young men

Have gone down

To slaughter.’

Says the King,

Whose name is

Yahweh of hosts.”

King Yahweh was speaking about Moab, since it was going to be ashamed of their national god Chemosh since his towns were going to be destroyed. Chemosh was compared to the northern Israelite worshiping place of Bethel, the competing place with Jerusalem for worshippers, before the northern kingdom collapsed. There may even have been some Chemosh worshippers in Jerusalem. However, Moab with its heroes and mighty warriors would not be able to withstand the coming attack. Many of its best young men would be slaughtered in the coming invasion.

The death of the worshipers of Gad and Meni (Isa 65:11-65:12)

“But you!

Who forsake Yahweh!

You forgot my holy mountain!

You set a table for Gad,

The god of Fortune.

You filled cups of mixed wine for Meni,

The god of Destiny.

I will destine you to the sword.

All of you shall bow down

To the slaughter.

Because,

When I called,

You did not answer.

When I spoke,

You did not listen.

But you did what was evil

In my eyes.

You chose

What I did not delight in.”

Yahweh comes out really strong against the worshippers of Gad and Meni. Gad was, of course, the name of one of the sons of Jacob. The territory of Gad was on the eastern side of the Jordan River. Gad was also the name of a Canaanite or Aramaic god of good fortune, like a lucky god. Meni, on the other hand, was the god of destiny, but very little is known about him. Obviously, Yahweh was not happy about the worship of these gods. Thus they were to be slaughtered by the sword, but there is no mention of when and where this would take place. Yahweh had called, but they did not answer. When he spoke. they did not listen. They did evil things that displeased Yahweh. The result was their pending death.