Your brother’s eye (Lk 6:42-6:42)

“How can you say

To your brother?

‘Brother!

Let me take out

The speck

In your eye!’

When you yourself

Do not see

The log

In your own eye.

‘You hypocrite!

First take the log

Out of your own eye!

Then you will see clearly

To take the speck out

In your brother’s eye.’”

 

πῶς δύνασαι λέγειν τῷ ἀδελφῷ σου Ἀδελφέ, ἄφες ἐκβάλω τὸ κάρφος τὸ ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ σου, αὐτὸς τὴν ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ σοῦ δοκὸν οὐ βλέπων; ὑποκριτά, ἔκβαλε πρῶτον τὴν δοκὸν ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ σοῦ, καὶ τότε διαβλέψεις τὸ κάρφος τὸ ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου ἐκβαλεῖν

 

Luke had this saying of Jesus that is almost exactly the same as in Matthew, chapter 7:4-5, indicating a common Q source.  Luke indicated that Jesus said how can they say to their brother (πῶς δύνασαι λέγειν τῷ ἀδελφῷ σου), dear brother (Ἀδελφέ), let me take out the speck or splinter in your eye (ἄφες ἐκβάλω τὸ κάρφος τὸ ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ σου), when they did not see the log or beam in their own eye (αὐτὸς τὴν ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ σοῦ δοκὸν οὐ βλέπων).  They were hypocrites (ὑποκριτά).  The Greek word “ὑποκριτά” means actors, deceitful ones, dissemblers, pretenders, a two-faced person, someone who says one thing, but does another.  Matthew used this term more often than anyone else in the New Testament literature, usually referring to the enemies of Jesus.  First, they had to take the log or beam out of their own eye (ἔκβαλε πρῶτον τὴν δοκὸν ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ σοῦ) so that they could see clearly (καὶ τότε διαβλέψεις) to take the speck out of their brother’s eye (τὸ κάρφος τὸ ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου ἐκβαλεῖν).  Everything is in the eye of the beholder.  Fraternal correction starts at home with oneself.  Are you a hypocrite?

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Hungry (Mk 11:12-11:12)

“On the following day,

When they came

From Bethany,

Jesus was hungry.”

 

Καὶ τῇ ἐπαύριον ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶν ἀπὸ Βηθανίας ἐπείνασεν.

 

This story about Jesus being hungry in the morning can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:18.  On the following day, the next day (Καὶ τῇ ἐπαύριον), when Jesus and his disciples came from Bethany (ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶν ἀπὸ Βηθανίας), he was hungry (ἐπείνασεν).  This simple statement starts an intriguing story, but also shows an interesting human trait of Jesus.  Like many other humans, he was hungry in the morning.

The symbolic history of Jerusalem (Ezek 16:1-16:3)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Make known

To Jerusalem

Her abominations!

Say!

Thus says Yahweh God

To Jerusalem.

Your origin,

Your birth

Were in the land

Of the Canaanites.

Your father was

An Amorite.

Your mother was

A Hittite.’”

Once again, Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. This time, it was about the origins and symbolic history of Jerusalem. The context was a berating of Jerusalem and her abominations. Unlike most stories of Israel that talk about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or the Egyptian experience under Moses, this history of Jerusalem starts with the Canaanites. This has led many to believe that there may be some validity to this history. Of course, this is specifically aimed at the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They were Canaanites whose mother was a Hittite with their father an Amorite. The Amorites were an ancient Syrian tribe with a Semitic language that also lived in Canaan from about 1700 BCE. From a biblical perspective based on Genesis, chapter 10, they were the descendants of Canaan and Ham. Amorite and Canaanite were interchangeable. They were definitely there before the Moses-Joshua experience. The Hittites were another Canaanite group that seemed to be friendly in many of the Genesis stories.

The punishments (Lam 4:22-4:22)

Taw

“The punishment

Of your iniquity,

O daughter Zion,

Is accomplished.

He will keep you

In exile

No longer.

But your iniquity,

O daughter Edom,

He will punish.

He will uncover

Your sins.”

The good news was that the punishment of Zion was over. They would no longer be in exile. However, Edom was about to be punished, as their sins would be uncovered. This last verse of this Lamentation starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Taw, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, in this last acrostic poem.

Against Edom (Lam 4:21-4:21)

Shin

“Rejoice!

Be glad!

O daughter Edom!

You live

In the land of Uz!

But to you also

The cup shall pass!

You shall

Become drunk!

You shall

Strip yourself bare!”

This poem ends with a swipe at Judah’s southern neighbor Edom. With an ironic twist, this author told Edom to rejoice and be glad because they lived in Uz, the place where Job lived. However, there was a warning that the cup of anger would pass to them. They would become drunk and naked. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Shin in this acrostic poem.

The anointed king (Lam 4:20-4:20)

Resh

“Yahweh’s anointed,

The breath

Of our life,

Was taken

In their pits.

This is the one

Of whom

We said.

‘Under his shadow

We shall live

Among the nations.’”

Using the first personal plural, they extol Yahweh’s anointed one, the king of Judah, King Zedekiah. He was the breath of their life, but he fell into a pit and was captured. They had agreed to live under his shadow, but now he was no more. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Resh in this acrostic poem.

Being pursued (Lam 4:19-4:19)

Qoph

“Our pursuers

Were swifter

Than the eagles

In the heavens.

They chased us

On the mountains.

They lay in wait

For us

In the wilderness.”

Continuing with the first person plural, the people of Jerusalem and this author believed that they were being pursued by their enemies that were faster than the eagles in the sky. Their foes chased them into the mountains and lay waiting to ambush them in the desert wilderness, since their enemies were all around them. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Qoph in this acrostic poem.