The children (Mk 10:13-10:13)

“People were bringing

Little children

To Jesus.

Thus,

He might touch them.

However,

The disciples

Spoke sternly

To them.”

 

Καὶ προσέφερον αὐτῷ παιδία ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅψηται· οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς.

 

This story about the little children can be found in Matthew, chapter 19:13, and Luke, chapter 18:15.  Mark said that people were bringing little children to Jesus (Καὶ προσέφερον αὐτῷ παιδία), so that he might touch them (ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅψηται).  Matthew had mentioned hand laying and praying for them, but that is not here.  However, the disciples spoke sternly or admonished those people (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς) who brought these children to Jesus.  There seemed to be a conflict between Jesus, who valued little children in the Jewish tradition, and his disciples, who wanted to keep them away from Jesus.

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The heavenly Father (Mt 5:45-5:45)

“Thus,

You may be

Sons of your Father

Who is in heaven.

He makes his sun rise

On the evil ones

As well as the good ones.

He sends rain

On the righteous

As well as the unrighteous.”

 

ὅπως γένησθε υἱοὶ τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς, ὅτι τὸν ἥλιον αὐτοῦ ἀνατέλλει ἐπὶ πονηροὺς καὶ ἀγαθοὺς καὶ βρέχει ἐπὶ δικαίους καὶ ἀδίκους.

 

Matthew has a consequence for loving your enemies, much like Luke, chapter 6:35.  They would become the children or sons of their heavenly father (ὅπως γένησθε υἱοὶ τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς).  Their father in heaven makes the sun rise on both the bad and the good people (ὅτι τὸν ἥλιον αὐτοῦ ἀνατέλλει ἐπὶ πονηροὺς καὶ ἀγαθοὺς).  He also sends rain to both the righteous and the unrighteous (καὶ βρέχει ἐπὶ δικαίους καὶ ἀδίκους).  Clearly God is a powerful paternal person who takes care of both the just and the unjust people.

 

The breakup (Hos 2:2-2:3)

“Plead with your mother!

Plead!

She is not my wife!

I am not her husband!

She should put away

Her whoring

From her face.

She should put away

Her adultery

From between her breasts.

Otherwise,

I will strip her naked.

I will expose her

As in the day

She was born.

I will make her

Like a wilderness.

I will turn her

Into a parched land.

I will kill her

With thirst.”

Now the prophet Hosea really tore into Gomer. He told the children that Gomer was not his wife and that he was not her husband. Gomer had to stop her whoring ways. She continued to commit adultery, although she bore 3 children. Hosea had a punishment for her. He was going to strip her naked, so that she would be like the day she was born. He was going to turn her into a wilderness or a parched land. He was going to kill her with thirst. I guess that there was no reconciliation here. The verse numbering system is not the same here for various bibles, since the Bible of Jerusalem has this at the end of the chapter.

The dying Israelites (Bar 3:1-3:4)

“O Lord Almighty!

God of Israel!

The soul in anguish

Cries out to you!

The wearied spirit

Cries out to you!

Hear!

O Lord!

Have mercy!

We have sinned

Before you!

You are enthroned forever!

We are perishing forever!

O Lord Almighty!

God of Israel!

Hear now

The prayer

Of the people

Of Israel,

The children

Of those who sinned

Before you.

They did not heed

The voice

Of the Lord

Their God.

Thus calamities

Have clung to us.”

Baruch addressed God as the Lord Almighty, not simply Yahweh, the Lord, God of Israel. The anguished soul and the weary spirit cried out to God. Baruch wanted God to hear their cries and have mercy on them because they had sinned. The Lord Almighty was enthroned forever, while the Israelites were perishing forever because of their finitude. God should listen to the prayer of his people, the children of those who sinned. Their ancestors had not listened to the voice of God, so that their calamities have clung to them as fellow sinners who are the sons and daughters of sinners.

Cry for the children (Lam 2:19-2:19)

Qoph

“Arise!

Cry out

In the night,

At the beginning

Of the watches!

Pour out

Your heart

Like water

Before the presence

Of Yahweh!

Lift your hands

To him

For the lives

Of your children.

They faint

For hunger

At the head

Of every street.”

This author wanted everyone to cry to Yahweh at night, at the beginning of every watch change of the guard. However, there was nothing to guard. They were to pour out their heart like water before Yahweh. They were to pray with outstretched hands for the children who were fainting with hunger on every street corner in town. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Qoph. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The fate of the Jerusalem inhabitants (Jer 6:11-6:12)

“‘Pour it out

On the children in the street!

Pour it out also

On the gatherings of young men!

Both husband with wife shall be taken.

The old folk shall be taken.

The very aged shall be taken.

Their houses shall be turned over to others.

Their fields shall be turned over to others.

Their wives also shall be turned over to others.

I will stretch out my hand

Against the inhabitants of the land.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, says that this information should be spread to the children in the streets and the young men. However, both husbands and wives will be taken away, as well as the old and very old people. Their houses, wives, and fields will be turned over to others. Yahweh was going to stretch out his hand against the inhabitants of this land.

The repentance (Jer 3:21-3:23)

“A voice on the bare heights

Is heard.

The plaintive weeping of Israel’s children

Is heard.

Because they have perverted their ways.

They have forgotten Yahweh

Their God.

‘Return!

O faithless children!

I will heal your faithlessness.’

‘Here we come to you.

You are Yahweh

Our God.

Truly the hills

Are a delusion.

The orgies on the mountains

Are a delusion.

Truly in Yahweh our God

Is the salvation of Israel.’”

The weeping of the children of Israel can be heard on the mountains from the useless pagan sites. They admit that they had perverted their ways. They had forgotten Yahweh, their God. Jeremiah wants these faithless children to return to Yahweh, their God, since they would be healed. In a remarkable response, these Israelites cry out that the hills and the orgies on the mountains were a delusion. They wanted to return to Yahweh, the God of salvation for Israel.