“But Peter said
‘Explain this parable
Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Πέτρος εἶπεν αὐτῷ Φράσον ἡμῖν τὴν παραβολήν.
This saying of Peter is unique to Matthew, emphasizing the role of Peter and his lack of faith and understanding. In Mark, chapter 7:17, the disciples in general and not Peter ask for an explanation of the parable. Peter may also have been speaking for the rest of the disciples, as their leader. Peter replied to Jesus (Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Πέτρος εἶπεν αὐτῷ). He wanted Jesus to explain this parable to his disciples (Φράσον ἡμῖν τὴν παραβολήν).
“I will not continually accuse.
I will not always be angry.
The spirits would grow faint before me,
Even the souls that I have made.
Because of their wicked covetousness,
I was angry!
I struck them!
I was angry!
But they kept turning back
To their own ways.
I have seen their ways.
But I will heal them.
I will lead them.
I will repay them with comfort.
I will create
For their mourners
The fruit of their lips.”
Third Isaiah says that the wrath of Yahweh will not exist forever. He is not going to be angry all the time. He will stop accusing them. Otherwise their spirits would grow faint, even his own beloved ones. Their covetousness had made Yahweh angry. He hid from them. He struck them, but they kept turning back to their evil ways. Yahweh was going to heal them. He was going to be their leader and comfort them. He would help the mourners. The wrath of God would subside.
“Nor was anyone born
The leader of his brothers,
The support of the people.
Even his bones
Were cared for.”
Sirach gives Joseph only one verse, as he seems to have an odd spot here. The story of Joseph and his activity in Egypt can be found in 13 chapters of Genesis, 37-50. Although abandoned by his brothers, he turns out to be their leader and the support of his people. He wanted his bones returned to Canaan, but they were buried in an Egyptian tomb until Moses took them in Exodus, chapter 13. They were finally buried at Shechem in Joshua, chapter 24. Two of his sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, make up part of the 12 territorial tribes since Levi did not get any territory.
“The spirit of the people was rekindled when they heard these words. They answered in a loud voice.
‘You are our leader
In place of Judas
And Jonathan your brother.
Fight our battles.
All that you say to us we will do.’
So he assembled all the warriors. He hurried to complete the walls of Jerusalem. He fortified it on every side. He sent Jonathan son of Absalom to Joppa. He had a considerable army. He drove out its occupants and remained there.”
The people were excited to hear the voice of Simon. Their spirits were rekindled. They proclaimed that Simon was their leader in the place of his brother Judas and Jonathan. He was going to fight their battles. They were willing to do whatever he asked them to do. Simon sent Jonathan, who may have been his uncle, to take over the seacoast town of Joppa, which he did.