The Pharisees complain (Mt 9:11-9:11)

“When the Pharisees

Saw this,

They said

To his disciples.

‘Why does your teacher

Eat

With tax collectors

And sinners?’”

 

καὶ ἰδόντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι ἔλεγον τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ Διὰ τί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν;

 

This story about the Pharisees complaining about this dinner party is similar to Mark, chapter 2:16, and Luke, chapter 5:30, but here it is only the Pharisees speaking out, since there is no mention of scribes here, as in the other two stories.  These Pharisees saw this dinner party (καὶ ἰδόντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι) from the outside.  Then they asked the disciples of Jesus (ἔλεγον τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ), and not Jesus himself, why was Jesus, their teacher (ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν), eating with tax collectors and sinners (Διὰ τί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει).  The Pharisees were a political party, a social movement, and a religious school of thought that became the basis for later Rabbinic Judaism.  They had they own expert explanations of Jewish law that sometimes appeared to be hypocritical or arrogant, with the letter of the law above its spirit.  They had a form of Judaism that extended beyond the Temple.  The Pharisees in the New Testament, engaged in conflicts with Jesus and his disciples, as here.  However, Paul the Apostle may have been a Pharisee before his conversion.  Maybe Jesus and some of his followers were Pharisees, so that these arguments with the Pharisees may have been internal arguments.  Or is this portrait of the Pharisees in the New Testament a caricature, since the late first century Christians were fighting with the emerging Rabbinic Pharisees?

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The sorrow in Jerusalem (Lam 1:12-1:12)

Lamed

“Is it nothing to you?

All you who pass by!

Look!

See!

If there is any sorrow

Like my sorrow?

It was brought

Upon me.

Yahweh inflicted it

On the day

Of his fierce anger.”

Now this is no longer a description of Jerusalem, but Jerusalem herself speaking out. She wants the passers-by to notice the great sorrow that is in Jerusalem. They should look and see what Yahweh in his anger has inflicted on her. There is no sorrow like the sorrow in Jerusalem. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Lamed. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The hot wind of judgment (Jer 4:11-4:12)

“At that time,

It will be said to

This people,

To Jerusalem.

‘A hot wind comes from me

Out of the bare heights

In the desert,

Toward my poor people,

Not to winnow,

Not to cleanse.

A wind too strong

For that comes.

Now it is I

Who speak

In judgment against them.’”

Yahweh was going to come like a hot wind from a height in a desert upon the people of Judah. This wind would be not be like a winnowing or cleansing wind, but a strong destroying wind, speaking out in judgment against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.