Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:41-1:41)

“When Elizabeth

Heard

Mary’s greeting,

The child leaped

In her womb.

Elizabeth was filled

With the Holy Spirit.”

 

καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤκουσεν τὸν ἀσπασμὸν τῆς Μαρίας ἡ Ἐλεισάβετ, ἐσκίρτησεν τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ αὐτῆς, καὶ ἐπλήσθη Πνεύματος Ἁγίου ἡ Ἐλεισάβετ

 

Luke indicated that somehow John, the six-month old fetus in Elizabeth’s womb, recognized Mary and her pregnancy.  Luke said that the baby or child (τὸ βρέφος) heard Mary’s greeting to Elizabeth (καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤκουσεν τὸν ἀσπασμὸν τῆς Μαρίας ἡ Ἐλεισάβετ).  Then John lept in the womb of Elizabeth (ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ αὐτῆς).  Luke also said that Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (καὶ ἐπλήσθη Πνεύματος Ἁγίου ἡ Ἐλεισάβετ).  Notice that Elizabeth, like Mary in verse 35, was also filled with the Holy Spirit.  Later in this chapter, Zechariah, in verse 67, will be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Clearly Luke emphasized the importance of the Holy Spirit to these main characters.

Good ears to hear (Mk 4:9-4:9)

“Jesus said.

‘Let anyone with ears

To hear,

Listen.’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγεν Ὃς ἔχει ὦτα ἀκούειν ἀκουέτω.

 

This warning at the end of the sower parable can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, in Matthew, chapter 13:8, and in Luke, chapter 8:8, and here.  Jesus warned them as he said (καὶ ἔλεγεν) that anyone with ears to hear should listen (Ὃς ἔχει ὦτα ἀκούειν ἀκουέτω) to this parable.  Jesus often mentioned the importance of hearing and listening.

The need for faith (Mt 21:21-21:22)

“Jesus answered them.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

If you have faith,

If you do not doubt,

Not only will you do

What has been done

To the fig tree,

But even if you say

To this mountain.

‘Be lifted up!

Be thrown into the sea!’

It will be done.

Whatever you ask for

In prayer,

With faith,

You will receive.’”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἐὰν ἔχητε πίστιν καὶ μὴ διακριθῆτε, οὐ μόνον τὸ τῆς συκῆς ποιήσετε, ἀλλὰ κἂν τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ εἴπητε Ἄρθητι καὶ βλήθητι εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, γενήσεται·

καὶ πάντα ὅσα ἂν αἰτήσητε ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ πιστεύοντες λήμψεσθε.

 

This Jesus saying about faith can be found in Mark, chapter 11:20-24, word for word, but it was the next day after the curse, not the same day.  Jesus answered the disciple’s question (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) about how the fig tree withered with a solemn pronouncement (Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) about the importance of faith.  If they had faith (ἐὰν ἔχητε πίστιν) and did not doubt (καὶ μὴ διακριθῆτε), they too would be able to effectively curse a fig tree (οὐ μόνον τὸ τῆς συκῆς ποιήσετε).  Not only that, but if they had faith, they could move mountains.  They could tell a mountain (ἀλλὰ κἂν τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ εἴπητε) to be lifted up or taken away (Ἄρθητι) and thrown into the sea (καὶ βλήθητι εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν), and it would happen (γενήσεται).  Whatever they asked for in believing prayer (καὶ πάντα ὅσα ἂν αἰτήσητε ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ πιστεύοντες), they would receive it (λήμψεσθε).  The essential ingredient of effective prayer was faith.

Anger and insults (Mt 5:22-5:22)

“But I say to you!

That everyone angry

With his brother

Shall be liable

To judgment.

Whoever insults

His brother

By calling him

Empty-headed

Without brains

Shall be liable

To the Sanhedrin council.

Whoever says.

‘You impious fool!’

Shall be liable

To the hell of fire.”

 

ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὀργιζόμενος τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει· ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ Ῥακά, ἔνοχος ἔσται τῷ συνεδρίῳ· ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ Μωρέ, ἔνοχος ἔσται εἰς τὴν γέενναν τοῦ πυρός.

 

Matthew once again showed the importance of this saying of Jesus with “But I say or tell you (ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν)!” This time it is about anger and insults. Anyone who was angry with his brother would be liable to the local Jewish council judgment (ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὀργιζόμενος τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει). If he insulted his brother, by calling him, an empty head without brains (ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ Ῥακά), he was liable to the Jerusalem Sanhedrin Council (ἔνοχος ἔσται τῷ συνεδρίῳ). Calling someone a “Ῥακά” was a worse crime than a mere insult. If he called his brother an insensitive non-religious or impious fool (ἔσται τῷ συνεδρίῳ ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ Μωρέ), the punishment for this outrageous insult would be to be thrown into to the fiery hell (ἔνοχος ἔσται εἰς τὴν γέενναν τοῦ πυρός). The Greek term “Μωρέ” developed into the English term moron. The Greek word for hell “γέενναν” or the English Gehenna was based on the Hebrew word Gehinnom that was the name of the valley south of Jerusalem where burning child sacrifices would take place. There seemed to be 3 stages of punishment, depending on what they had said to their brother. Insulting them was bad. Calling them empty-headed was worse. But worst of all was calling them an insensitive non-religious fool. Be careful what you say to your brother or sister.

The sanctuary territory (Ezek 48:8-48:8)

“Adjoining the territory

Of Judah,

From the east side

To the west side,

Shall be the portion

That you shall set apart,

Twenty-five thousand cubits

In width.

In length,

It shall be equal

To one of the tribal portions,

From the east side

To the west side.

The sanctuary

Shall be in the middle of it.”

However, the similarity of Judah with the other tribes ends with the importance of the Temple sanctuary. Once again, there is a mention of east and west of Judah as in the earlier comments about the other tribal territories. However, the width of this sanctuary territory was 25,000 cubits, about 1,500 yards or a mile wide. The length was unspecified, which in itself is unusual. Nevertheless, it should be the size of one of the portions given to the other tribes. That could be very large. The sanctuary was to be right in the middle of this territory. Obviously, this was not part of the Joshua distribution, since there was no planned temple there.

Thanks to God (Sir 51:1-51:1)

“I give you thanks!

O Lord!

O king!

I will praise you!

O God!

My Savior!

I give thanks

To your name!”

This work has a couple of appendices about giving thanks to God and the importance of wisdom. This was as if to envelop these sometimes mundane comments of Sirach within a more religious context. This author wants to give thanks to the Lord who is his king. He wants to praise God who is his savior. He wants to give thanks to his name, the unnamed Yahweh.