After lighting a lamp,
Under a jar.
Or puts it
Under a bed.
But they put it
On a lampstand.
Those who enter
May see the light.”
Οὐδεὶς δὲ λύχνον ἅψας καλύπτει αὐτὸν σκεύει ἢ ὑποκάτω κλίνης τίθησιν, ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ λυχνίας τίθησιν, ἵνα οἱ εἰσπορευόμενοι βλέπωσιν τὸ φῶς.
Luke indicated that Jesus said that no one (Οὐδεὶς), after lighting a lamp (δὲ λύχνον ἅψας), would hide it under a jar or a vessel (καλύπτει αὐτὸν σκεύει). No one puts a lamp under a bed (ἢ ὑποκάτω κλίνης τίθησιν). But they put it on a lampstand (ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ λυχνίας τίθησιν). Thus, those who enter the house (ἵνα οἱ εἰσπορευόμενοι) may see the light (βλέπωσιν τὸ φῶς). A similar saying of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 5:15, and Mark, chapter 4:21, and later in Luke, chapter 11:33. Mark indicated that Jesus said to his disciples that a lamp should not be brought into a house to be put under a bushel basket or under a bed. Rather it is better to put it on a lampstand. Thus, the light from the lit candle lamp would shine on everyone and everything in the house. Matthew was more expansive compared to Luke. He indicated that Jesus said that after lighting a lamp, no one puts it under a bushel, but rather on a lampstand. Thus, the light from the lit candle lamp would shine on everyone in the house. Matthew, instead of leaving it generic, applied this to his disciples. Their light should shine before other men. Thus, others would see their good works, since it was not about faith alone. The ultimate result would be that others would glorify their heavenly father. Does your light shine bright?
“You shall know
That I am Yahweh.
Among their idols,
Around their altars.
On every high hill,
On all the mountain tops,
Under every green tree,
Under every leafy oak,
Wherever they offered
To all their idols,
I will stretch out
I will make
The land desolate.
I will make
The land waste
Throughout all their settlements,
From the wilderness
Then they will know
That I am Yahweh.”
These false worshippers would know that Yahweh was in charge. All these worshippers would die and lie with their idols, around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountain tops, under every green tree, and under every leafy oak. This is the first mention of the green trees and leafy oaks, instead of the vague high places. Wherever they offered the pleasing odor to their idols, Yahweh was going to stretch out his hand against them. He was going to make their land desolate and a waste, no matter where they lived, from the wilderness in the south to Riblah in the north on the Syrian border. They would all come to know that Yahweh was in charge. He was Yahweh.
“Under the apple tree I awakened you.
There your mother was in labor with you.
There she who bore you was in labor.
Set me as a seal upon your heart.
Set me as a seal upon your arm.
Love is as strong as death.
Passion is as fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire.
It is a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love.
Neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love
All the wealth of one’s house,
It would be utterly scorned.”
The male lover woke his lover up under the apple tree. He maintains that it was there that she was born from the labor of her mother. Now he wants his lover to bear his seal on her heart and on her arm. The seal was a sense of ownership. Then he went on to talk about the power of love. Love is just as strong as death. Passion is just as fierce as the grave. The love flashes of fire become a raging flame that no water can quench. Not even a flood can drown out love. If someone offers all the wealth they had, the lover would scorn it for his true love.
If you have given your pledge to your neighbor,
If you have bound yourself to another,
You are snared by the utterance of your lips.
You are caught by the words of your mouth.
You have come into your neighbor’s power.
Plead with your neighbor!
Give your eyes no sleep.
Give your eyelids no slumber.
Like a gazelle from the hunter!
Like a bird from the hand of the fowler!”
This paternal advice continues with a strange admonition. It seems that there was an ancient custom of pledging your house to help a neighbor. However, here the father warns his children against doing this. If you have already pledged to help, then you are stuck with your own words. However, then it is time to negotiate a resolution with your neighbor since you are under his power. Plead with him until you get this resolved. Do not get any sleep until this is straightened out. You have to save yourself because you are being hunted like a hunter after an animal or a bird that is already caught in a trap.
“Lead me to the rock
That is higher than I.
You are my refuge.
You are a strong tower
Against the enemy.
Let me live in your tent forever!
Let me find refuge
Under the shelter of your wings!”
David wanted to be led to a high rock. God was his refuge like a strong tower against his enemies. He wanted to live forever in the tent of God. He wanted to find refuge in a shelter under the wings of God. This idea of the wings of God as shelter is quite common. The reference to a tent is probably a reference to the temple which is far away. This section ends with a musical interlude meditative pause, a Selah.