‘Why do your disciples
Break the tradition
Of the elders?
They do not wash
Before they eat.’”
Διὰ τί οἱ μαθηταί σου παραβαίνουσιν τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν πρεσβυτέρων; οὐ γὰρ νίπτονται τὰς χεῖρας ὅταν ἄρτον ἐσθίωσιν.
There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 7:2-5 and Luke chapter 11:39. These Pharisees wanted to know why the disciples of Jesus (Διὰ τί οἱ μαθηταί σου) did not wash their hands before they ate bread (οὐ γὰρ νίπτονται τὰς χεῖρας ὅταν ἄρτον ἐσθίωσιν). They said that this action was a transgression or violation against the tradition of the elders (παραβαίνουσιν τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν πρεσβυτέρων). Originally, this practice of washing hands before eating was what the Levites did in the Temple to practice ritual purity as indicated in Exodus, chapter 30:17-21. Yahweh had told Moses that there should be a bronze basin with a bronze stand for washing. Thus, Aaron and his sons should wash their hands and feet when they went into the meeting tent or the altar. The penalty for not washing your hands and feet was death under this perpetual ordinance. However, the Pharisaic oral tradition, or the tradition of the elders, had extended this practice to individual homes.
“Then I heard
A holy one speaking.
Another holy one
Said to the one
‘For how long
Is this vision
The regular burnt offering
How long will
With the host
‘For two thousand three hundred
Evenings and mornings.
Then the sanctuary
Shall be restored
To its rightful state.’”
Here Daniel has a conversation between 2 holy ones, probably a reference to angels. One holy one or angel wanted to know how long the lack of the regular burnt offerings at the sanctuary would continue. The transgression of the sanctuary meant that the it and the people who worked there, the hosts, the priests, were trampled under. The response of the other angel was an exact time, 2,300 evenings and mornings, that turns out to be 1,150 days or about 3 ½ years. It was about 3 years that the sanctuary was defiled until 164 BCE.
“Whoever flatters a neighbor
Is spreading a net for the neighbor’s feet.
In the transgressions of the evil
There is a snare.
But the righteous sing.
The righteous rejoice.
The righteous know the rights of the poor.
The wicked have no such understanding.”
If you flatter your neighbor, you are setting a trap or net for his feet. In the very transgression of the evil deed, there is a snare trap. The righteous sing and rejoice. They know about the rights of the poor, while the wicked have no understanding of the poor.
“When words are many,
Transgression is not lacking.
But the prudent are restrained in speech.
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver.
The mind of the wicked is of little worth.
The lips of the righteous feed many.
But fools die for lack of sense.”
If you talk too much, the chance of transgression increases. The prudent are more restrained in speech. The righteous have a silver tongue, while the wicked have very little worthwhile in their mind. The lips of the righteous can feed many people, but fools die for a lack of good sense.
“I know my transgressions.
My sin is ever before me.
Have I sinned against.
I have done what is evil in your sight.
Thus you are justified
In your sentence.
You are blameless when you pass judgment.
I was born guilty.
I was a sinner
When my mother conceived me.”
David knew that he had sinned. His transgression was in front of him. He knew that he had done evil in the sight of God. He recognized that the sin was against God alone, as he did not see the human implications of his sin. This was evil in the sight of God. Thus God was justified and blameless in passing judgment on him. Then David hid behind the fact that he was born guilty. He was a sinner from his conception. Somehow he was throwing his sinfulness back to his mother and sex in general. Perhaps he was alluding to the human condition to be prone to sin or something akin to human original sin.