Dying of hunger (Lk 15:17-15:17)

“But when he came

To himself,

He said.

‘How many

Of my father’s

Hired hands

Have bread enough

To spare.

But here I am

Dying of hunger.’”

 

εἰς ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἐλθὼν ἔφη Πόσοι μίσθιοι τοῦ πατρός μου περισσεύονται ἄρτων, ἐγὼ δὲ λιμῷ ὧδε ἀπόλλυμαι.

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that when this prodigal son came to his senses or himself (εἰς ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἐλθὼν), he said that many of his father’s hired servants (ἔφη Πόσοι μίσθιοι τοῦ πατρός μου) had bread enough to spare or an abundance of bread (περισσεύονται ἄρτων).  However, he was dying or perishing from hunger (ἐγὼ δὲ λιμῷ ὧδε ἀπόλλυμαι).  This prodigal son realized that he had come from a privileged upbringing.  Even the hired hands on his father’s and brother’s farm had more than enough bread to eat.  He, on the other hand, was starving to death.  Do you ever remember being very hungry?

Yahweh’s people (Mal 3:17-3:18)

“Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘They shall be mine.

They shall be

My special possession

On the day

When I act.

I will spare them,

As parents

Spare their children

Who serve them.

Then once more,

You shall see

The difference

Between the righteous

And the wicked,

Between one who serves God

And one who does not serve him.’”

Yahweh of hosts, via Malachi, said that the righteous would be his possession on the day when he acted.  He would spare them, just as parents spare their children.  Then on that day, they would once again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who served God and those who did not.

The call to God (Joel 2:17-2:17)

“Between the vestibule

And the altar,

Let the priests,

The ministers of Yahweh,

Weep!

Let them say!

‘Spare your people!

O Yahweh!

Do not make your heritage

A mockery!

Do not let it be

A byword among the nations!

Why should it be said

Among the people?

‘Where is their God?’”

Joel wanted the temple priests, the minister of Yahweh, to deliver a prayer to Yahweh between the altar and the vestibule, in the open court. They were to weep and ask God to spare them. They did not want the heritage of Yahweh to be a mockery or a byword among the various countries. There should never be a question about their God. Yahweh should show himself during this time of the locust plagues.

Daniel discussed the situation with his companions (Dan 2:17-2:18)

“Then Daniel went

To his house.

He informed

His companions,

Hananiah,

Mishael,

Azariah.

He told them

To seek mercy

From the God of heaven

Concerning this mystery.

Thus,

Daniel

With his companions

Might not perish

With the rest

Of the wise men

Of Babylon.”

Daniel went home and shared his information with his 3 other companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. He told them to ask mercy from the God of heaven. Once again it is not Yahweh, but the God of heaven. He wanted help with this great mystery. He hoped and prayed that they and the other wise men of Babylon would be able to spare their lives.

Yahweh will do what he says (Ezek 24:14-24:14)

“‘I!

Yahweh!

Have spoken!

The time is coming!

I will act!

I will not refrain!

I will not spare!

I will not relent!

According to your ways,

According to your doings,

I will judge you.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, has spoken. The time for action was coming. He was not going to hold back, spare anyone, or relent. Each one would be judged according to their deeds. Yahweh was clear that there were no favorites.

The explanation of Yahweh about this killing (Ezek 9:8-9:10)

“While they were killing,

I was left alone.

I fell prostrate

On my face.

I cried.

‘Ah Yahweh God!

Will you destroy

All who remain

Of Israel

As you pour out

Your wrath

Upon Jerusalem?’

Then he said to me.

‘The guilt

Of the house of Israel

As well as

The house of Judah

Is exceedingly great.

The land is full

Of bloodshed.

The city is full

Of perversity.’

They say.

‘Yahweh has forsaken

The land.

Yahweh does not see.’

As for me,

My eye will not spare.

I will not have pity.

But I will bring down

Their deeds

Upon their heads.’”

Ezekiel was all shook up with all this killing going on. He was alone, so he prostrated his face. He cried to God. He wanted to know if everyone of the remaining Israelites would be destroyed. Would anybody remain in Jerusalem? Then Yahweh explained to him that the guilt of the house of Israel as well as the guilt of the house of Judah was exceedingly great. The land was full of bloodshed. The city was full of perversity. Those remaining had said that Yahweh had forsaken the land. He would not see what they were doing. However, Yahweh was clear. He was not going to spare them or have pity on them. Their own deeds brought this on their heads. Thus the annihilation of the inhabitants of Jerusalem continued.

The new Passover slaughter (Ezek 9:5-9:7)

“To the other executioners

Yahweh said

In my hearing.

‘Pass through the city

After him!

Kill!

Your eye shall not spare!

You shall show no pity!

Cut down old men!

Cut down young men!

Cut down young women!

Cut down little children!

Cut down women!

But touch no one

Who has the mark!

Begin at my sanctuary!’

So they began

With the elders

Who were in front

Of the house.

Then he said

To them.

‘Defile the house!

Fill the courts

With the slain!

Go forth!’

So they went out.

They killed

In the city.”

Yahweh then told the other executioners so that Ezekiel could hear what he was saying. They were to pass through the city after the man with the writing case had marked off those who were to be saved. They were to kill all the others that were not marked with the taw. They were to spare no one. They were not to show any pity. They were to kill the old men, the young men, the young women, the little children, and the other older women. However, those with the mark were not to be touched. These executioners would begin at the sanctuary itself. Thus the first ones killed were the elders around the Temple. The holy house of Yahweh was defiled as the courts were filled with dead bodies. Yahweh told these killers to get going. Thus they went out and killed all the unmarked people in the city.