The right wineskins (Mt 9:17-9:17)

“Neither is new wine

Poured into old wineskins.

Otherwise,

The skins burst.

The wine is spilled.

The skins

Are destroyed.

But new wine

Is poured

Into fresh wineskins.

Thus,

Both are preserved.”

 

οὐδὲ βάλλουσιν οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς· εἰ δὲ μήγε, ῥήγνυνται οἱ ἀσκοί, καὶ ὁ οἶνος ἐκχεῖται καὶ οἱ ἀσκοὶ ἀπόλλυνται· ἀλλὰ βάλλουσιν οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς καινούς, καὶ ἀμφότεροι συντηροῦνται.

 

This wineskin saying is almost the same as in Mark, chapter 2:22, and Luke, chapter 5:37-38.  Jesus continued with his metaphors.  New wine should not be poured (οὐδὲ βάλλουσιν οἶνον νέον) into old wineskins or leather pouches (εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς), because they would crack.  The old wineskins would burst open (εἰ δὲ μήγε, ῥήγνυνται οἱ ἀσκοί,).  The new wine would be spilled (καὶ ὁ οἶνος ἐκχεῖται) and the skins destroyed (καὶ οἱ ἀσκοὶ ἀπόλλυνται).  New wine should be poured (ἀλλὰ βάλλουσιν οἶνον νέον) into fresh or new wineskins leather pouches (εἰς ἀσκοὺς καινούς), so that both the wine and the wineskins would be preserved (καὶ ἀμφότεροι συντηροῦνται).  Do not mix up the new with the old.

Advertisements

Yahweh causes the death of many in Jerusalem (Lam 2:21-2:21)

Shin

“The young

With the old

Are lying

On the ground

In the streets.

My young women

With my young men

Have fallen

By the sword.

In the day

Of your anger,

You have killed them,

Slaughtering

Without mercy.”

Suddenly, the author switches to the first person singular as Jerusalem itself laments the death of its people. Both the young and the old people were lying in the streets dead. Both the young men and the young women were killed by the sword. Now this author, speaking as Jerusalem, blames all of this on Yahweh. He claimed with a very strong accusation that on the day of his anger, Yahweh killed and slaughtered the people of Jerusalem without mercy. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Shin. 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.

Yahweh and the defeat of Egypt and Ethiopia (Isa 20:3-20:5)

“Yahweh said.

‘Just as my servant Isaiah

Has walked naked and barefoot

For three years,

As a sign against Egypt,

As a portent against Ethiopia,

So shall the king of Assyria

Lead away the Egyptians as captives.

The Ethiopians also will be exiles,

Both the young and the old,

The naked and the barefoot,

With buttocks uncovered,

To the shame of Egypt.

They shall be dismayed.

They shall be confounded

Because of Ethiopia,

Their hope,

As well as Egypt

Their boast.’”

Now we have the oracle of Yahweh, via Isaiah. The prophet Isaiah had been naked for 3 years, as a sign against Egypt and Ethiopia. Now, the Assyrian king would capture Egypt and Ethiopia. They will be lead away as captives and exiles. No one will be saved. The young and the old will all be captured naked and barefooted. Thus the symbolism of Isaiah will actually happen to the Egyptians and Ethiopians as their naked butts will bring them shame. They will be dismayed and confused. Their hope and their boast about Egypt and Ethiopia will come to an end.

Death (Sir 41:1-41:4)

“O death!

How bitter is the thought of you!

Death is bitter to those

Who live at peace

Among their possessions!

Death is bitter to those

Who have nothing to worry about!

Death is bitter to those

Who are prosperous in everything!

Death is bitter to those

Who still are vigorous enough

To enjoy food!

O death!

How welcome is your sentence?

Death is welcome to those

Who are failing in strength!

Death is welcome to those

Who are worn down by age!

Death is welcome to those

Who are anxious about everything!

Death is welcome to those

Who are contrary!

Death is welcome to those

Who have lost all patience!

Do not fear death’s decree for you!

Remember those who went before you!

Remember those who will come after you!

This is the Lord’s decree for all flesh.

Why then should you reject

The will of the Most High?

Whether life lasts

For ten years,

Or a hundred years,

Or a thousand years,

There are no questions asked

In Hades.”

Sirach has a poem about death. The thought of death is bitter to those who are doing well with a lot of possessions. They are prosperous, without worry, and vigorous enough to enjoy foods. On the other hand, the thought of death is welcomed by those who are not doing as well, the needy, the old, the contrary, those with failing strength, those anxious about everything, and those who have lost all patience. Remember that everybody before you and after you will die also. It does not matter how long your life is, in Hades they do not care if you lived 10 years, or a 100 years or a 1,000 years. It is death, plain and simple.