The foolish ones with a sand foundation (Mt 7:26-7:27)

“Everyone

Who hears

My words,

But does not act

On them,

Will be

Like a foolish man.

The foolish man

Built his house

On sand.

The rains fell.

The floods came.

The winds blew.

They beat

Against that house.

It fell.

Great was its fall.”

 

καὶ πᾶς ὁ ἀκούων μου τοὺς λόγους τούτους καὶ μὴ ποιῶν αὐτοὺς ὁμοιωθήσεται ἀνδρὶ μωρῷ, ὅστις ᾠκοδόμησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν ἄμμον.

καὶ κατέβη ἡ βροχὴ καὶ ἦλθον οἱ ποταμοὶ καὶ ἔπνευσαν οἱ ἄνεμοι καὶ προσέκοψαν τῇ οἰκίᾳ ἐκείνῃ, καὶ ἔπεσεν, καὶ ἦν ἡ πτῶσις αὐτῆς μεγάλη

 

These verses are just like Luke, chapter 6:49, which might indicate a Q source.  The opposite of the preceding verses is present here.  Everyone who heard these words of Jesus (καὶ πᾶς ὁ ἀκούων μου τοὺς λόγους τούτους) but did nothing about them (καὶ μὴ ποιῶν αὐτοὺς), as opposed to those who acted upon them, were like a foolish or stupid man (ὁμοιωθήσεται ἀνδρὶ μωρῷ).  These foolish people built a house on a sand foundation or sandy ground (ὅστις ᾠκοδόμησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν ἄμμον), not a rock foundation.  It is interesting to note that these must have been former followers of Jesus, since they had heard his words, not people who had never heard about Jesus, indicating a rift among the followers of Jesus.  The rains fell (καὶ κατέβη ἡ βροχὴ) and the floods came (καὶ ἦλθον οἱ ποταμοὶ), just as the preceding verses.  Winds would blow (καὶ ἔπνευσαν οἱ ἄνεμοι) and beat against this house also (καὶ προσέπεσαν τῇ οἰκίᾳ ἐκείνῃ).  However, there was a different result here.  The house fell (καὶ ἔπεσεν) because it was built on a sand foundation.  The rock foundation was those who had followed the words of Jesus.  The sand foundation was those who heard the words of Jesus but did not follow it.  Their house would suffer not just a fall, but a great fall (καὶ ἦν ἡ πτῶσις αὐτῆς μεγάλη).  It was not good enough to hear the words of Jesus, you had to act on them.

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Wise men on a rock foundation (Mt 7:24-7:25)

“Everyone

Who hears

My words,

Then does them,

Will be

Like a wise man.

The wise man

Builds his house

On a rock.

The rains fell.

The floods came.

The winds blew.

They beat on that house.

But it did not fall,

Because it had been founded

On a rock.”

 

Πᾶς οὖν ὅστις ἀκούει μου τοὺς λόγους τούτους καὶ ποιεῖ αὐτούς, ὁμοιωθήσεται ἀνδρὶ φρονίμῳ, ὅστις ᾠκοδόμησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν.

καὶ κατέβη ἡ βροχὴ καὶ ἦλθον οἱ ποταμοὶ καὶ ἔπνευσαν οἱ ἄνεμοι καὶ προσέπεσαν τῇ οἰκίᾳ ἐκείνῃ, καὶ οὐκ ἔπεσεν· τεθεμελίωτο γὰρ ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν.

 

These verses are just like Luke, chapter 6:47-48, which might indicate a Q source.  Jesus said that everyone who heard his words (Πᾶς οὖν ὅστις ἀκούει μου τοὺς λόγους τούτους) and actually did and followed them (καὶ ποιεῖ αὐτούς), were like wise men (ὁμοιωθήσεται ἀνδρὶ φρονίμῳ).  These wise people built a house on a rock foundation or solid rocky ground (ὅστις ᾠκοδόμησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν.).  The rains fell (καὶ κατέβη ἡ βροχὴ and the floods came (καὶ ἦλθον οἱ ποταμοὶ).  Winds would blow (καὶ ἔπνευσαν οἱ ἄνεμοι) and beat against this house (καὶ προσέπεσαν τῇ οἰκίᾳ ἐκείνῃ), but it did not fall (καὶ οὐκ ἔπεσεν), because it was built on a strong rock foundation (τεθεμελίωτο γὰρ ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν).  This rock foundation was the words of Jesus carried out in daily life.  The fairy tale story of the 3 pigs with the brick, straw, and grass houses is similar to this saying about the stone foundation that could not be destroyed.

The punishments (Lam 5:1-5:2)

“Remember!

Yahweh!

What has befallen us!

Behold!

See our disgrace!

Our inheritance

Has been

Turned over

To strangers.

Our homes

Have been

Turned over

To aliens.”

This fifth lament has 22 verses also, but it is not an acrostic poem, since the opening lines do not use the Hebrew alphabet. However, it clearly is a personal lament about Jerusalem, usually attributed to Jeremiah himself. He wanted Yahweh to remember this situation. He wanted Yahweh to see their disgrace. Their inheritance has been given to strangers and aliens who live in their houses.

Destroy the enemies (Lam 3:64-3:66)

Taw

“Pay them back

For their deeds!

O Yahweh!

According to the work

Of their hands,

Give them anguish

Of heart!

May your curse

Be on them!

Pursue them

In anger!

Destroy them

From under Yahweh’s heavens!”

This personal lament ends with a plea to Yahweh to destroy his enemies. This author was very clear. He wanted his enemies paid back for what they had done. Yahweh was to use his own hands and his own anger. They were to receive an anguished heart. They should be cursed, pursued, and destroyed. They should be wiped out from under God’s heavens. These three verses start with the final Hebrew consonant letter Taw, since this is the last section of this acrostic poem.

The taunts of the enemy (Lam 3:61-3:63)

Shin

“You have heard

Their taunts!

O Yahweh!

You have heard

All their plots

Against me!

The whispers

With the murmurs

Of my assailants

Are against me

All day long.

Whether they sit

Or whether they rise,

I am the object

Of their taunt songs.”

This personalized lamentation approach continues with a complaint against his enemies who taunt him. They plot against him with whispers and murmurs all day long. Whether they are sitting around or moving about, they continue to make him the object of their taunting songs. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Shin in this acrostic poem.

The saving redemption (Lam 3:58-3:60)

Resh

“You have taken up

My cause!

O Yahweh!

You have redeemed

My life!

You have seen

The wrong

Done to me!

O Yahweh!

Judge my cause!

You have seen

All their malice!

You have seen

All their plots

Against me!”

This personalized lament continued, but this time on a positive note. Yahweh has taken up his cause. He has redeemed his life. He has seen the wrong things that were done to him. Yahweh was going to judge his case, since he saw all the malice that other people have done against him with their various plots. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Resh in this acrostic poem.

The prayer from the pit (Lam 3:55-3:57)

Qoph

“I called

On your name!

O Yahweh!

From the depths

Of the pit!

You heard my plea!

‘Do not close

Your ear

To my cry

For help!

But give me relief!’

You came near

When I called

On you.

You said.

‘Do not fear!’”

This personalized lament continues with a prayer from the bottom of the pit. This author called out to Yahweh. Yahweh then heard his plea as he did not close his ears. He responded to his cry for relief as he came near to him. Yahweh told him not to fear. There may be a happy ending after all this lamentation. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Qoph in this acrostic poem.