On the housetops (Mt 24:17-24:17)

“The one on the housetop

Must not go down

To take

What is in his house.”

 

ὁ ἐπὶ τοῦ δώματος μὴ καταβάτω ἆραι τὰ ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας αὐτοῦ,

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 13:15, but not in Luke.  During this end times, the people on the housetop or roofs of their houses (ὁ ἐπὶ τοῦ δώματος) should not go down (μὴ καταβάτω) to take things out of their houses (ἆραι τὰ ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας αὐτοῦ).  It would be useless to do so, as the world was coming to an end.

Jesus said he could not feed the dogs (Mt 15:26-15:26)

“Jesus answered.

‘It is not fair

To take the children’s food

And throw it to the dogs.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Οὐκ ἔστιν καλὸν λαβεῖν τὸν ἄρτον τῶν τέκνων καὶ βαλεῖν τοῖς κυναρίοις.

 

This time Jesus answered her like in Mark, chapter 7:27.  Jesus responded (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) that it was not right or fair (Οὐκ ἔστιν καλὸν) to take the children’s food or bread (λαβεῖν τὸν ἄρτον τῶν τέκνων) and feed it, throw it, or cast it to the unclean dogs (καὶ βαλεῖν τοῖς κυναρίοις).  His food was for the children of Israel.

What to bring with you (Mt 10:9-10:10)

“Take no gold!

Take no silver!

Take no copper

In your belts!

Take no bag

For your journey!

Do not take

Two tunics!

Do not take

Sandals!

Do not take

A staff!

Laborers deserve

Their food.”

 

Μὴ κτήσησθε χρυσὸν μηδὲ ἄργυρον μηδὲ χαλκὸν εἰς τὰς ζώνας ὑμῶν,

μὴ πήραν εἰς ὁδὸν μηδὲ δύο χιτῶνας μηδὲ ὑποδήματα μηδὲ ῥάβδον· ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τῆς τροφῆς αὐτοῦ.

 

Equivalent passages to this can be found in Mark, chapter 6:8-9, and Luke, chapter 9:3.  Jesus told them what they could not bring with them on their mission.  They were not to bring with them any gold (Μὴ κτήσησθε χρυσὸν), silver (μηδὲ ἄργυρον), or copper (μηδὲ χαλκὸν) in their money belts (εἰς τὰς ζώνας ὑμῶν) since they did not need money.  They were not to take any bag or sack for their journey (μὴ πήραν εἰς ὁδὸν).  They were not to take two tunics (μηδὲ δύο χιτῶνας) since one would be enough.  They were not to take any sandals (μηδὲ ὑποδήματα) or a staff (μηδὲ ῥάβδον).  However, these laborers did deserve their food (ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τῆς τροφῆς αὐτοῦ).  They did not need any money or material things, but they certainly needed something to eat or nourishment.  This was a very strong demand on these missionaries of Jesus.

The destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel (Hos 13:9-13:11)

“I will destroy you!

O Israel!

Who can help you?

Where now is your king?

Can he save you?

Where in all your cities,

Are your rulers?

You said.

‘Give me a king!

Give me rulers!’

I have given you

A king.

In my anger,

I took him away

In my wrath.”

Yahweh was going to destroy the northern kingdom of Israel. Who was going to help them? Who could save them? What happened to their rulers? Yahweh gave them a king because they wanted one. Now in his anger and wrath, Yahweh was going to take their king away. This might be a reference to King Hoshea who ruled from 732-724 BCE, when the northern dynasty fell.

The decision is final (Dan 4:17-4:17)

“‘This sentence is

Rendered by decree

Of the watchers.

The decision

Is given

By order

Of the holy ones.

All who live

May know

That the Most High

Is sovereign

Over the kingdoms

Of mortals.

He gives it

To whom he will.

He sets over it

The lowliest

Of human beings.’”

The holy watcher or angel explained that this decree and sentence was final, because it was given by order of the watchers or holy ones, who live with the Most High God. God was over all mortal kingdoms. He can give and take away human kingdoms. He sets kings up. He sometimes takes the lowliest of humans to be kings.

The resident aliens as citizens of Israel (Ezek 47:22-47:23)

“You shall allot it

As an inheritance

For yourselves,

As well as for the aliens

Who reside among you.

They have begotten children

Among you.

They shall be

To you

As citizens of Israel.

With you,

They shall be allotted

An inheritance

Among the tribes of Israel.

In whatever tribe,

Aliens reside,

There you shall assign them

Their inheritance.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, seemed to favor the resident aliens who were living in Israel. They received the same inheritance as the sons of the tribes, especially if they have had children among the Israelites. There did not seem to be any code or legal restrictions on these resident aliens. This was a very strong open immigration policy. As long as they lived with an Israelite tribe, they became citizens. Thus, they could inherit the land. Perhaps this was a way of accepting the people who were living in these various tribal areas, without taking their land.

The prince can give only his own property (Ezek 46:18-46:18)

“The prince

Shall not take

Any of the inheritance

Of the people,

Thrusting them

Out of their property.

He shall give

His sons

Their inheritance

Out of his own property.

Thus,

None of my people

Shall be dispossessed

Of their property.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was also insistent that the prince could not take the property of others, and then give it to his sons. He could only give property to his sons from his own inheritance. He could not throw people off their own property to give to his children as gifts. No one in Israel would be dispossessed of their own property, because their property was safe from the prince or ruler.

The captive cities of Egypt (Ezek 30:17-30:19)

“The young men

Of On

Shall fall by the sword.

The young men

Of Pi-beseth

Shall fall by the sword.

The cities themselves

Shall go into captivity.

At Tehaphnehes,

The day shall be dark,

When I break

The dominion of Egypt.

Its proud might

Shall come to an end.

The city

Shall be covered

By a cloud.

Its daughters-towns

Shall go into captivity.

Thus I will execute

Acts of judgment

On Egypt.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh.”

Not only would Yahweh destroy many Egyptian cities, he was also going to take their surviving citizens captive. The young men of On and Pi-beseth would die by the sword. On was Heliopolis and Pi-beseth was Bubastis. Anyone still remaining alive in these cities would be taken into captivity. At Tehaphnehes or Tahpanhes, the day would become dark. Yahweh was going to put an end to the great dominion of Egypt. This powerful city would be covered, as if there was a cloud over it. The daughters-towns or suburbs of Tehaphnehes would also be taken into captivity. Yahweh was going to execute his judgment on Egypt, so that they would know that he was Yahweh, God.

The temple prostitutes (Bar 6:42-6:44)

“The women,

With cords around them,

Sit along the passageways.

The burn bran

For incense.

When one of them

Is led off

By one of the passers-by,

They are taken to bed

By him.

She then derides

The woman next to her,

Because she was not

As attractive

As herself.

Her cord

Was not broken.

Whatever is done

For these idols

Is false.

Why then must anyone think

That they are gods?

Why call them gods?”

Here there is a description of the temple prostitutes and their behavior. These women, with cords around them, would sit in the passageways at the temple, burning bran for incense. Then a passer-by would invite them or take them off to sleep with them. Strangely enough, when the woman would return, she would make fun of the other women who were not chosen to have sex with these passer-bys, because they were not as attractive as she was. These other women had no one to break their cords. Thus these false idols bring about all kinds of strange behaviors. That is why people might doubt that these were true gods. How could you call them gods?

The wicked scoundrels (Jer 5:26-5:29)

“‘Wicked scoundrels are

Found among my people.

They take over

The goods of others.

They lurk

Like fowlers,

They set a trap.

They catch human beings.

Like a cage full of birds,

Their houses are full of treachery.

Therefore they have become great.

They have become rich.

They have grown fat.

They have become sleek.

They know no limits

In their deeds of wickedness.

They do not judge

With justice

The cause of the orphans,

To make them prosper.

They do not defend

The rights of the needy.

Shall I not punish them for these things?’

Says Yahweh.

‘Shall I not bring retribution

On a nation such as this?’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, justifies his stance against the Israelites. This time he cites the wicked scoundrels in the land among his own people. They actually take the goods of others like robbers. They are like bird trappers, but they set their traps for their fellow humans. They are full of tricks that have made them great, rich, fat, and sleek. They have no limits to their wickedness. When they judge, they judge without justice, especially in the cases of orphans and the needy. Why shouldn’t Yahweh punish them? Why shouldn’t he bring retribution on this whole nation?