Description of the servant of Yahweh (Matt 12:19-12:21)

“He will not quarrel.

He will not cry aloud.

They will not hear his voice

In the streets.

He will not break

A bruised reed.

He will not quench

A smoldering wick,

Until he brings justice to victory.

In his name,

The gentiles will hope.”

 

οὐκ ἐρίσει οὐδὲ κραυγάσει, οὐδὲ ἀκούσει τις ἐν ταῖς πλατείαις τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ.

κάλαμον συντετριμμένον οὐ κατεάξει καὶ λίνον τυφόμενον οὐ σβέσει, ἕως ἂν ἐκβάλῃ εἰς νῖκος τὴν κρίσιν.

καὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ ἔθνη ἐλπιοῦσιν.

 

Second Isaiah, chapter 42:2-4, described this servant of Yahweh.  He would not cry nor lift up his voice in the streets.  He would not break the bruised reeds nor put out a dimly burning wick on a candle.  In other words, he would be a very quiet person.  However, he would fight for justice.  He would not be faint or crushed, until he has established justice on the whole earth.  Matthew clearly applied this description to Jesus since Jesus would not quarrel or be contentious (οὐκ ἐρίσει).  Jesus would not cry out or shout (οὐδὲ κραυγάσει).  They would not hear Jesus’ voice in the streets (οὐδὲ ἀκούσει τις ἐν ταῖς πλατείαις τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ).  Jesus would not break a bruised reed into pieces (κάλαμον συντετριμμένον οὐ κατεάξει).  Jesus would not quench a smoldering wick on a candle (καὶ λίνον τυφόμενον οὐ σβέσει).  Jesus would bring justice to victory (ἕως ἂν ἐκβάλῃ εἰς νῖκος τὴν κρίσιν).  In the name of Jesus (καὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ), the gentile nations would hope (ἔθνη ἐλπιοῦσιν).  There was no doubt in the mind of Matthew that Jesus was the servant of Yahweh from Isaiah.

The problem of the rivers (Hab 3:8-3:8)

“Was your wrath

Against the rivers?

O Yahweh!

Was your anger

Against the rivers?

Was your rage

Against the sea,

When you drove

Your horses

With your chariots

To victory?”

Habakkuk wondered why Yahweh was angry at the rivers and the sea.  After all, Yahweh had driven his horses and chariots to victory over the rivers and seas.

Yahweh and the battle in Babylon (Jer 51:11-51:14)

“Sharpen the arrows!

Fill the quivers!

Yahweh has stirred up

The spirit of the kings

Of the Medes.

His purpose concerning Babylon

Is to destroy it.

That is the vengeance of Yahweh,

That is the vengeance

For his temple.

Raise a standard

Against the walls of Babylon!

Make the watch strong!

Post sentinels!

Prepare the ambushes!

Yahweh has both planned

As well as done

What he spoke

Concerning the inhabitants

Of Babylon.

You who live

By mighty waters,

Rich in treasures,

Your end has come.

The thread of your life

Is cut.

Yahweh of hosts

Has sworn by himself.

Surely I will fill you

With troops,

Like a swarm of locusts.

They shall raise

A shout of victory

Over you.”

Here there is a serious of commands from Yahweh, via Jeremiah. The warriors were to have their quivers ready full of arrows. Yahweh has stirred up the Medes, the people to the north of Babylon with the Persians. They were going to destroy Babylon because of Yahweh’s vengeance for what the Babylonians had done to his temple in Jerusalem. There was going to be an invasion of Babylon with wise watchmen and sentinels as well as strong ambushes. Yahweh had planned and carried out his word against Babylon, the land of mighty waters such as the Euphrates and the Tigris, with all their treasures. Their end has come. The thread of their life has been cut. There will be troops in Babylon, like swarms of locusts, shouting about victory.

Day of vengeance (Isa 63:4-63:6)

“‘The day of vengeance was in my heart.

The year of my redeeming work had come.

I looked!

But there was no helper.

I stared!

But there was no one to sustain me.

So my own arm brought me victory.

My wrath sustained me.

I trampled down people in my anger.

I crushed them in my wrath.

I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.’”

This had been the day of vengeance and the year of redemption of Yahweh. No one was there to help. No one was there to sustain him. Only his own arm brought victory. His wrath and anger sustained him as he trampled down people. He crushed them, as he poured out their blood on the earth. This was the day of revenge when the angry God alone crushed people.

Yahweh clothes himself with righteousness (Isa 59:15-59:17)

“Yahweh saw this.

It displeased him

That there was no justice.

He saw that there was no one.

He was appalled

That there was no one to intervene.

Thus his own arm brought him victory.

His righteousness upheld him.

He put on righteousness

Like a breastplate.

He put on a helmet of salvation

Upon his head.

He put on garments of vengeance

For clothing.

He wrapped himself in fury

As a mantle.”

Yahweh saw all this evil. He was displeased since there was no justice. He was appalled that no one had intervened in that situation. Thus he was going to bring victory with his mighty arm. Righteousness would be his breastplate out front. He would wear the helmet of salvation on his head. His garments would be for vengeance. His fury would be in his mantle coat. Yahweh, according to Third Isaiah, was dressed like a warrior ready for battle wearing the proper upright clothes.

False friends (Sir 37:1-37:6)

“Every friend says.

‘I too am a friend.’

But some friends

Are friends only in name.

Is it not a sorrow

Like death itself?

A dear friend

Turns into an enmity.

O inclination to evil!

Why were you formed?

Why do you cover the land

With deceit?

Some companions rejoice

In the happiness of a friend.

But in times of trouble,

They are against him.

Some companions help a friend

For their stomach’s sake.

Yet in battle

They will carry his shield.

Do not forget a friend

In your heart

During the battle.

Do not be unmindful of him

When you distribute your spoils.”

Sirach reminds us about false friends. Some friends are such in name only. Sometimes a friend turns into an enemy. Sirach wondered why there was this inclination to evil. Why was the land covered with deceit? Some companions are happy when you are happy. However, in troubled times, they may be against you. Some people help for the sake of a good meal, while others will go to battle with you. You should not forget the friends who went out to battle with you, especially when you distribute the rewards or spoils of victory.

Wisdom and knowledge (Prov 24:3-24:7)

“By wisdom

A house is built.

By understanding

The house is established.

By knowledge

The rooms are filled

With all precious and pleasant riches.

Wise warriors are mightier

Than strong ones.

Those who have knowledge are mightier

Than those who have strength.

By wise guidance

You can wage your war.

In an abundance of counselors

There is victory.

Wisdom is too high for fools.

At the gate

They do not open their mouths.”

You need wisdom and understanding to build a house. You need knowledge so that you can fill up the rooms with precious and pleasant rich items. The wise knowledgeable warrior is mightier than the physically strong warrior. You need wise guidance to wage a war. The more counselors you have, the greater the possibility of victory. Fools think that wisdom is too high and foolish. Thus at the meetings at the gate, they say nothing.