The weather signs (Mt 16:2-16:3)

“Jesus answered them.

‘When it is evening,

You say.

‘It will be fair weather

Because the sky is red.’

In the morning,

You say.

‘It will be stormy today

Because the sky is red

And threatening.’

You know how to interpret

The appearance of the sky.

But you cannot interpret

The signs of the times.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ὀψίας γενομένης λέγετε Εὐδία, πυρράζει γὰρ ὁ οὐρανός·

καὶ πρωΐ Σήμερον χειμών, πυρράζει γὰρ στυγνάζων ὁ οὐρανός. τὸ μὲν πρόσωπον τοῦ οὐρανοῦ γινώσκετε διακρίνειν, τὰ δὲ σημεῖα τῶν καιρῶν οὐ δύνασθε;

 

Matthew is the only one who has this weather saying of Jesus, although Luke, chapter 12:54-56, has Jesus issue some weather commentary about northern and southern winds and rain.  Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees that they could read the signs in the sky about weather and storms, but they were unable to recognize the signs in their own world.  Most farmers are aware of the red sky in the morning was a warning, while the red sky at night was a delight.  Jesus answered them (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that at evening time, people would say that there would be good or fair weather if the setting sun in the sky was red (Ὀψίας γενομένης λέγετε Εὐδία, πυρράζει γὰρ ὁ οὐρανός).  On the other hand, if the sky was red today in the morning, they thought that it would be a stormy day (καὶ πρωΐ Σήμερον χειμών, πυρράζει γὰρ στυγνάζων ὁ οὐρανός).  Then he asked them how come they were so good at discerning the overcast stormy weather signs in the heavens (τὸ μὲν πρόσωπον τοῦ οὐρανοῦ γινώσκετε διακρίνειν), but they were unable to interpret the signs of the times (τὰ δὲ σημεῖα τῶν καιρῶν οὐ δύνασθε), since the weather signs were in the heavenly skies.

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The sea storm (Jon 1:4-1:4)

“But Yahweh

Hurled a great wind

Upon the sea.

Such a mighty storm

Came upon the sea,

That the ship

Threatened

To break up.”

After the ship had set out to sea, Yahweh hurled a great wind on the Mediterranean Sea, since Yahweh controlled the weather.  The ship seemed to feel like it was threatening to break up into pieces.

The menacing wild animals in Edom (Isa 34:13-34:15)

“Thorns shall grow over Edom’s strongholds.

Nettles shall be in its fortresses.

Thistles shall be in its fortresses.

It shall be the haunt of jackals.

It shall be an abode for ostriches.

Wildcats shall meet with hyenas.

Goat-demons shall cry to each other.

There too Lilith shall repose.

It shall find a place to rest.

There shall the owl nest.

The owl lays there.

The owl hatches its brood in its shadow.

There too the buzzards shall gather.

Each one shall have her mate.”

This terrible place of Edom will have thorn bushes growing in its strongholds, with nettles and thistles in these fortresses. A number of menacing odd animals will live there, the jackal wolf dogs, the ostriches, the wildcats, and the hyenas. On top of that there will be demon like goats and the ancient monster female demon Lilith. Strangely enough, the menacing owls are also there to rest and nest their young ones. Of course, there would be the ever threatening buzzards with their mates.

The message from Apollonius to Jonathan (1 Macc 10:69-10:73)

“Then Apollonius sent the following message to Jonathan the high priest.

‘You are the only one to rise up against us.

I have become a laughingstock and reproach because of you.

Why do you assume authority against us in the hill country?

If you now have confidence in your forces,

Come down to the plain to meet us,

Let us match strength with each other there,

I have with me the power of the cities.

Ask and learn

Who I am?

Who are the others that are helping us?

Men will tell you that you cannot stand before us.

Your ancestors were twice put to flight in their own land.

Now you will not be able to withstand my cavalry

And such an army in the plain,

Where there is no stone or pebble,

Or place to flee.’”

Apollonius sent this threatening message to Jonathan. He wanted to know why Jonathan was fighting back since that made Apollonius look like a laughing stock. He told Jonathan that he Jonathan was afraid to come out of the hills and have a battle on the plains where strength against strength can be measured. Apollonius had the strength of the cities with a cavalry and a strong army that Jonathan would not be able to withstand.