“Then Jesus said
To the man.
‘Stretch out your hand.’
He stretched it out.
It was restored,
As sound as the other.”
τότε λέγει τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ Ἔκτεινόν σου τὴν χεῖρα. καὶ ἐξέτεινεν, καὶ ἀπεκατεστάθη ὑγιὴς ὡς ἡ ἄλλη.
Matthew has Jesus cure the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath. This is similar to Mark, chapter 3:5, and Luke, chapter 6:10. After this discussion about the Sabbath, Jesus said to the man with the withered hand (τότε λέγει τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ) to stretch out his hand (Ἔκτεινόν σου τὴν χεῖρα). He then stretched out or extended his hand (καὶ ἐξέτεινεν). It was restored, so that it was just like his other hand (καὶ ἀπεκατεστάθη ὑγιὴς ὡς ἡ ἄλλη). After all this discussion, Jesus finally healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath.
“Look at the rainbow!
Who made it!
It is exceedingly beautiful
In its brightness.
It encircles the sky
With its glorious arc.
The hands of the Most High
Have stretched it out.”
Sirach now points out the beauty of the rainbow, after a rainfall. He wants us to look at it. He wants us think about who made it, since it is exceeding beautiful and bright. The half circle arc seems to go into the sky. If you were in Ireland you might go look for some gold at the end of the rainbow. There have been popular songs about rainbows. Sirach indicates that the hands of the Most High God have stretched it out. In fact, it was considered a sign of the covenant between Yahweh and Noah, after the flood in Genesis, chapter 9, but that is not mentioned here. Neither is there any indication of the various colors that reflect the sun’s rays through the rain clouds that has become a symbol of diversity.
O my soul!
You are very great!
You are clothed with honor!
You are clothed with majesty!
You are wrapped in light
As with a garment!
You stretch out the heavens
Like a tent!
You set the beams of your chambers
On the waters!
You make the clouds your chariot!
You ride on the wings of the wind!
You make the winds your messengers!
Fire and flame are your ministers!”
Psalm 104 is a hymn to Yahweh as creator that does not have a title. However, it follows the cosmology of creation as in Genesis, chapter 1. This psalm continues with the idea of blessing Yahweh. The psalmist’s soul is to bless the great Yahweh. Yahweh is clothed with garments of honor, majesty, and light. Yahweh had stretched out the heavens like a tent. This was the classic view of creation with the beams set in the waters. The clouds were his chariots so that Yahweh rode on the wings of the winds. The winds and fires were ministering to Yahweh.
“Having said this, he went away. Then the priests stretched out their hands toward heaven. They called upon the constant defender of our nation, in these words.
‘O Lord of all,
Although you have need of nothing,
You were pleased
That there should be a temple for thy habitation among us.
O holy One,
Lord of all holiness,
Keep undefiled forever this house that has been so recently purified.’”
When Nicanor left the Temple, the priests stretched out their hands to heaven and began to pray. They prayed to the defender of their nation. They realized that God, the Lord of all, did not need anything. However, he had been pleased by this Temple so that he could live among them. Now they were asking him, the holy one, the Lord of all holiness, to keep this Temple or house of the Lord undefiled since it had been so recently purified.
“After him, the third son was the victim of their sport. When it was demanded, he quickly put out his tongue. He courageously stretched forth his hands. He said nobly.
‘I got these from heaven.
Because of his laws I disdain them.
From him I hope to get them back again.’
As a result, the king himself and those with him were astonished at the young man’s spirit. He regarded his sufferings as nothing.”
The 3rd son put out his tongue and hands. He said that he had gotten these limbs from heaven and hoped to get them back. The king and those with him were astonished at this 3rd son who regarded the sufferings as nothing. Clearly the king is present. This 3rd son also expected some sort of afterlife where he would get his tongue and limbs back.