Of that slave
On a day
When he does not
At an hour
He does not know.
He will severely
He will put him
With the unfaithful.”
ἥξει ὁ κύριος τοῦ δούλου ἐκείνου ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ᾗ οὐ προσδοκᾷ καὶ ἐν ὥρᾳ ᾗ οὐ γινώσκει, καὶ διχοτομήσει αὐτὸν, καὶ τὸ μέρος αὐτοῦ μετὰ τῶν ἀπίστων θήσει.
Luke indicated that Jesus said that the master or lord of this slave would come (ἥξει ὁ κύριος τοῦ δούλου ἐκείνου) on a day (ἐν ἡμέρᾳ) when this slave did not expect him (ᾗ οὐ προσδοκᾷ), and at an unknown hour (καὶ ἐν ὥρᾳ ᾗ οὐ γινώσκει). The lord would severely beat him (καὶ διχοτομήσει αὐτὸν) and put him with the unfaithful slaves (καὶ τὸ μέρος αὐτοῦ μετὰ τῶν ἀπίστων θήσει). This parable about the wicked slave is similar to Matthew, chapter 24:50-51, perhaps indicating a Q source. Matthew had Jesus say that the master of this slave came on a day when he was not expecting him, at an unknown hour (ἥξει ὁ κύριος τοῦ δούλου ἐκείνου ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ᾗ οὐ προσδοκᾷ καὶ ἐν ὥρᾳ ᾗ οὐ γινώσκει). This master would beat him severely (καὶ διχοτομήσει αὐτὸν) and put him with the hypocrites (καὶ τὸ μέρος αὐτοῦ μετὰ τῶν ὑποκριτῶν θήσει), where there would be weeping (ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς) and gnashing of teeth (καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων). The non-vigilant slave would suffer disaster, not like the good slave. Matthew added the elements about gnashing of teeth and mourning with weeping. Would you be the good slave or the bad slave?
It will be
At the end of the age.
The angels will come out.
They will separate
From the righteous.
They will throw them
Into the furnace of fire.
There will be weeping
And gnashing of teeth.”
οὕτως ἔσται ἐν τῇ συντελείᾳ τοῦ αἰῶνος· ἐξελεύσονται οἱ ἄγγελοι καὶ ἀφοριοῦσιν τοὺς πονηροὺς ἐκ μέσου τῶν δικαίων,
καὶ βαλοῦσιν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὴν κάμινον τοῦ πυρός· ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων.
Only Matthew has this explanation of the parable about the fishing net that was just mentioned. Once again, there is a reference to the end times (οὕτως ἔσται ἐν τῇ συντελείᾳ τοῦ αἰῶνος) as in the parable about the weeds. The angels, like with the weeds, would come and separate the evil or bad fish from the righteous or good fish (ἐξελεύσονται οἱ ἄγγελοι καὶ ἀφοριοῦσιν τοὺς πονηροὺς ἐκ μέσου τῶν δικαίων). These angels would then throw the evil ones or the bad fish into the furnace of fire (καὶ βαλοῦσιν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὴν κάμινον τοῦ πυρός), where there would be weeping or lamenting and gnashing or grinding of teeth (ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων). These angels burned the fish like they burned the weeds in the earlier parable in chapter 13:42. In fact, the same exact words were used in both parables about the furnace of fire and the weeping and gnashing of teeth. This later was the normal form of mourning or behavior of those who were upset or frustrated.
“How fair you are!
How pleasant you are!
O loved one!
You are stately as a palm tree.
Your breasts are like its clusters.
I will climb the palm tree.
I will lay hold of its branches.
O may your breasts be
Like clusters of the vine!
The scent of your breath is like apples.
Your kisses are
Like the best wine
That goes down smoothly.
They glide over my lips and teeth.”
What has been the effect of this female lover on the male lover? We find that he saw her as fair, pleasant, and delectable. She appeared stately as a palm tree. Then he went into an elaborate description of her breasts that were like clusters of a palm tree, not like gazelles or fawns. He wanted to climb this palm tree and grab hold of its branches, her breasts. He wanted her breasts to be like clusters in a vineyard. Then he went on to talk about her apple scented breath. He proclaimed that her kisses were sweeter than wine. They were in fact the best wine that went done smoothly over his lips and teeth. Certainly this was a vivid graphic description of how he perceived his lover.
“You are as beautiful as Tirzah.
You are as comely as Jerusalem.
You are as awesome
As an army with banners.
Turn away your eyes from me.
They disturb me.
Your hair is
Like a flock of goats,
Moving down the slopes of Gilead.
Your teeth are
Like a flock of shorn ewes,
That has come up from the washing.
They all bear twins.
Not one among them is bereaved.
Your cheeks are
Like halves of a pomegranate,
Behind your veil.”
Once again we have another poem that is pretty much a repeat of the opening of chapter 4. Here the male lover also proclaims the beauty of his lover. However, he compares her to the two capital cities of Judah and Israel, Tirzah in northern Israel, Jerusalem in southern Judah. In fact, he says that she is awesome like an army with banners. Instead of commending her eyes that were like doves, he wants her to turn her eyes away because they disturb him. He repeats what was in chapter 4 about her hair, teeth, and cheeks. However, he does not repeat what he said earlier in chapter 4 about her lips, mouth, neck, and breasts. Once again he talks about her hair being like a flock of goats coming down the mountain of Gilead. These goats were happy twins, while Gilead was east of the Jordan River. Her teeth were like a flock of young sheep that had just been washed. Her cheeks, although covered with the veil, were like half pomegranates, a fruit that was popular in Babylon.
“Blessed be Yahweh!
He has not given us
As prey to their teeth!
We have escaped
As a bird
From the snare of the fowlers.
The snare is broken.
We have escaped!”
Yahweh should be blessed because he has not given them over to the teeth of their enemies as prey. They had escaped like a bird from a snare trap. The snare trap was broken so that they were able to escape.
Break the teeth in their mouths!
Tear out the fangs of the young lions!
Let them vanish
Like water that runs away!
Let them be
Like grass trodden down and wither!
Let them be
Like the snail that dissolves into slime!
Let them be
Like the untimely birth that never sees the sun.
Sooner than your pots
Can feel the heat of thorns,
Whether green or ablaze,
May he sweep them away!”
If the description was harsh, so much more so is this brutal curse to the wicked. He wanted God, Yahweh, to do his dirty work. David wanted their teeth broken. He wanted their fangs taken out. He wanted the wicked to vanish like water than just flows away. He wanted them to be like grass that was trodden down and then withered away. He wanted them to be like a snail that turned to slime. He wanted them to be aborted or still born so that they would never see the sun. He wanted them swept away. This was no simple curse, but a demand for Yahweh to get rid of the wicked ones altogether.
“God will send forth his steadfast love!
God will send forth his faithfulness!
I lie down among lions.
They greedily devour human prey.
Their teeth are spears and arrows.
Their tongues are sharp swords.
Above the heavens!
Let your glory
Be over all the earth!”
Sandwiched in between 2 praises of God is David with the lions. There was no specific mention of this in any of the stories of David. This might be a metaphor for his enemies and foes. David lies down among the lions that were looking for human prey. The lion’s teeth were like spears and arrows, while their tongue was like a sharp sword. David was sure the God would show him his steadfast love and faithfulness. In response, David was going to give glory to God all over the earth.
“At my stumbling
They gathered in glee.
They gathered together against me.
Ruffians whom I did not know
Tore at me without ceasing.
They impiously mocked more and more.
They gnashed at me with their teeth.”
Whenever David stumbled, these pursuers gathered in glee around him. People he did not know tore into him non-stop. They mocked him. They gnashed at him with their teeth. These are pretty graphic details about David’s enemies and what they were trying to do to him.
“He has put my family far from me.
My acquaintances are wholly estranged from me.
My relatives and my close friends have failed me.
The guests in my house have forgotten me.
My servant girls count me as a stranger.
I have become an alien in their eyes.
I call to my servant,
But he gives me no answer.
I must myself plead with him.
My breath is repulsive to my wife.
I am loathsome to my own family.
Even young children despise me.
When I rise,
They talk against me.
All my intimate friends abhor me.
Those whom I loved have turned against me.
My bones cling to my skin and to my flesh.
I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
Have pity on me!
Have pity on me!
O you my friends,
The hand of God has touched me!
Why do you,
Why are you never satisfied with my flesh?”
Job was an outcast from his family and friends. Everyone had failed him. His own house guests have forgotten him. As if to impress us with his wealth, his servant girls now treat him like a stranger. His servants do not answer him so that now he has to actually plead with them to do things. His wife did not like his breath. Even little kids ran away from him and talked behind his back. His bones clung to his skin since he seemed to lose weight. His teeth were in bad shape. He wanted God to have pity on him. He wanted to know why God was pursuing him. Why was everybody after him?
Who that was innocent ever perished?
Where were the upright cut off?
As I have seen,
Those who plow iniquity
Those who sow trouble reap the same.
By the breath of God they perish.
By the blast of his anger they are consumed.
The roar of the lion,
The voice of the fierce lion,
The teeth of the young lions are broken.
The strong lion perishes for lack of prey.
The whelps of the lioness are scattered.”
Eliphaz continued to talk about how the innocent and upright ones do not perish. Only the iniquitous or evil ones perish. What you sow is what you reap. The upright ones do not perish. Using beautiful metaphors, the evils one perish by the breath of God and the blast of his anger. The evil people are like fierce lions that have no teeth. They die because of the lack of prey. Meanwhile, their young cubs will scatter. He implied that God only punishes the evil ones not the good ones. The fierce toothless lion dies because he can no longer hunt his prey.