Throw the bad salt away (Lk 14:35-14:35)

“This salt is fit

Neither

For the soil,

Nor for the manure pile.

Throw it away!

Let anyone

With ears

To hear,

Listen!”

 

οὔτε εἰς γῆν οὔτε εἰς κοπρίαν εὔθετόν ἐστιν· ἔξω βάλλουσιν αὐτό. ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν ἀκουέτω

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this salt was fit (εὔθετόν ἐστιν) neither for the soil (οὔτε εἰς γῆν), nor for the manure pile (οὔτε εἰς κοπρίαν).  It should be thrown away (ἔξω βάλλουσιν αὐτό).  Let anyone with ears to hear (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν), listen (ἀκουέτω)!  This saying of Jesus can be found somewhat similar in Matthew, chapter 5:13, and Mark, chapter 9:50.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that tasteless salt was now useless, impotent, and not good for anything (εἰς οὐδὲν ἰσχύει ἔτι).  The end result of this insipid salt was that it should either be thrown away (εἰ μὴ βληθὲν ἔξω) or have people trample it down (καταπατεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων).  Mark indicated that Jesus then turned to his followers.  He told them that they should have salt within themselves (ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἅλα), not exactly the salt of the earth, but close enough.  They should be at peace with one another (καὶ εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἀλλήλοις).  There was no indication here about throwing salt away because it had become useless, as in Matthew and Luke.  Salt would bring about brotherly peace or love.  Only Luke had the admonition to listen to what Jesus was saying.  How much salt do you use?

Be careful with your holy treasures (Mt 7:6-7:6)

“Do not give

What is holy

To the dogs!

Do not throw

Your pearls

Before swine!

They will trample them

Under foot.

They will turn on you.

They will attack you.”

 

Μὴ δῶτε τὸ ἅγιον τοῖς κυσίν, μηδὲ βάλητε τοὺς μαργαρίτας ὑμῶν ἔμπροσθεν τῶν χοίρων, μή ποτε καταπατήσουσιν αὐτοὺς ἐν τοῖς ποσὶν αὐτῶν καὶ στραφέντες ῥήξωσιν ὑμᾶς.

 

This is a Jesus saying, only found here in Matthew.  They were not to give holy things (Μὴ δῶτε τὸ ἅγιον) to the wild despised dogs (τοῖς κυσίν).  They were not to cast their pearls (μηδὲ βάλητε τοὺς μαργαρίτας ὑμῶν) in front of the equally hated swine, hogs, or pigs (ἔμπροσθεν τῶν χοίρων).  If they did, these dogs and pigs would trample with their feet (μή ποτε καταπατήσουσιν αὐτοὺς ἐν τοῖς ποσὶν αὐτῶν) on the sacred Temple meat and pearls.  These animals might turn on them to tear them to pieces (καὶ στραφέντες ῥήξωσιν ὑμᾶς).  Be careful around dogs and pigs.

The salvation of Yahweh (Hab 3:12-3:13)

“In fury,

You trod the earth.

In anger,

You trampled nations.

You came forth

To save your people.

You came forth

To save your anointed.

You crushed

The head

Of the wicked house.

You laid it bare

From its foundation

To its roof.”

Selah

Yahweh in his fury and anger would trample the various countries on earth.  Yahweh was going to come forward to save his people and their anointed one, the king.  He was going to crush the head of the wicked house, destroying it completely from its foundations to its roof.  Yahweh would save his people and their king by destroying their enemies.  Once again, we have a meditative pause in this canticle with a Selah.

The powerful Babylonian horses (Ezek 26:10-26:11)

“King Nebuchadnezzar’s horses

Shall be so many

That their dust

Shall cover you.

Your very walls

Shall shake

At the noise

Of the cavalry,

At the noise

Of the wheels,

At the noise

Of the chariots.

He enters

Your gates

Like those entering

A breached city.

With the hoofs

Of his horses,

He shall trample

All your streets.

He shall put

Your people

To the sword.

Your strong pillars

Shall fall

To the ground.”

The king of Babylon had a lot of horses, so many that the dust from these galloping horses would cover them up. The cavalry would make such a loud noise that the walls would shake. The noisy wheels of the chariots, driven by horses, would enter their gates as if there were no gates there. The hoofs of their horses would trample all their streets. Their people would be killed. Their large pillars would be crushed to the ground. In very colorful language, there would be a lot of horses with cavalry and chariots attacking Tyre.

Yahweh predicts the invader from the north (Isa 41:25-41:29)

“I stirred up one from the north.

He has come.

From the rising of the sun,

He was summoned by name.

He shall trample on rulers

Like on mortar,

Like the potter treads clay.

Who declared it from the beginning?

We might know before time.

We might say.

‘He is right!’

There was none

Who declared it.

None who proclaimed it.

None who heard your words.

I first have declared it to Zion.

I give to Jerusalem

A herald of good tidings.

But when I look

There is no one.

Among these,

There is no counselor.

When I ask,

Who gives an answer?

No!

They are all a delusion.

Their works are nothing.

Their images are empty wind.”

Although most interpret this passage as the predicting the victory of King Cyrus of Persia, his name is never explicitly mentioned. He is an invader from the northeast, which could be Persia. Second Isaiah says that he was summoned by name, but no name is mentioned. This invader was going to trample underfoot the rulers, as if they were like mortar or potter’s clay. This was an indication of things to come. No one else is talking about the future. However, Second Isaiah and Yahweh had declared this herald of good tidings in Jerusalem. There was no one with advice, no one to give an answer. Their works were all an empty delusion because all their false image idols were like an empty wind.

The victory chant (Isa 26:1-26:6)

“On that day,

This song will be sung

In the land of Judah.

‘We have a strong city.

He sets up victory,

Like walls,

Like bulwarks.

Open the gates!

Thus the righteous nation

That keeps faith

May enter in.

You keep them in peace

Those of a steadfast mind.

You keep them in peace

Because they trust you.

Trust in Yahweh forever!

Trust in Yahweh God!

You have an everlasting rock.

He has brought low

The inhabitants of the heights.

He lays low the lofty city.

He lays it low to the ground.

He casts it to dust.

The foot tramples it.

The feet of the poor

Trample it.

The steps of the needy

Trample it.’”

Isaiah presents this victory song or chant that may have used in processions into Jerusalem, since this text says that it should be sung in Judah. There is an emphasis on a strong city like Jerusalem because of its protective walls. In typical fashion, the high people are brought low. The gates are open so that everyone in the righteous nation might enter. They have peace because they trusted the Lord, Yahweh, who is their eternal rock. However, the lofty city was laid low. He has crushed the mighty into the ground so that they are like dust. Now all can trample on them. Both the needy and the poor trample away.

Assyria will be erased (Isa 14:24-14:27)

“Yahweh of hosts has sworn.

‘As I have designed,

So shall it be.

As I have planned,

So shall it come to pass.

I will break the Assyrian

In my land.

On my mountains

I will trample him under foot.

His yoke shall be removed

From them.

His burden shall be removed

From their shoulders.’

This is the plan that is planned

Concerning the whole earth.

This is the hand that is stretched out

Over all the nations.

Yahweh of hosts has planned.

Who will annul it?

His hand is stretched out.

Who will turn it back?”

Having dealt with Babylon and its city, Yahweh turned to the Assyrians themselves. He says that the Assyrians would be wiped out. Around 610 BCE, they were wiped out by the Persians. The Assyrian Empire went back a couple of millennium BCE. However, the so-called neo-Assyrian Empire went from about 911-610 BCE. This large neo-Assyrian Empire is what the Israelites faced during this time frame. Isaiah has Yahweh clearly plan the destruction of the Assyrian Empire. The theme here is that whatever Yahweh has planned, it will come to pass. He was going to break the Assyrians and trample them underfoot. Yahweh said that the Assyrians would no longer be in his land and his mountains. The Assyrian yoke and burden would be removed from the Israelites. However, Yahweh’s plan was also for the whole world. He had planned it and stretched out his hand. It was going to happen. Who was going to stop Yahweh? Thus it came to pass that the Persians attacked and destroyed the Assyrian Empire in the 7th century BCE, because of the plan of Yahweh.