The warning from Pilate’s wife (Mt 27:19-27:19)

“While Pilate was sitting

On the judgment seat,

His wife

Sent word to him.

‘Have nothing to do

With that innocent man.

I have suffered

A great deal

Because of a dream

About him.’”

 

Καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ γυνὴ αὐτοῦ λέγουσα Μηδὲν σοὶ καὶ τῷ δικαίῳ ἐκείνῳ· πολλὰ γὰρ ἔπαθον σήμερον κατ’ ὄναρ δι’ αὐτόν.

 

This warning from Pilate’s wife was not in the other gospel passion narratives, but was unique to Matthew, who said that while Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat or the tribunal chair (Καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος), his wife sent word to him (ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ γυνὴ αὐτοῦ).  She told him to have nothing to do with that innocent or righteous man (λέγουσα Μηδὲν σοὶ καὶ τῷ δικαίῳ ἐκείνῳ).  She said that she had suffered a great deal because of a dream about him (πολλὰ γὰρ ἔπαθον σήμερον κατ’ ὄναρ δι’ αὐτόν).  This concept of a troubling dream is very reminiscent of the dreams of Joseph in chapters 1-2.  Once again, Matthew tried to vindicate the Roman authority, as opposed to the more guilty Jewish leaders.

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Micah would rise again (Mic 7:8-7:10)

“Do not rejoice over me!

O my enemy!

When I fall,

I shall rise.

When I sit in darkness,

Yahweh

Will be a light for me.

I will bear the indignation

Of Yahweh,

Because I have sinned

Against him.

I wait

Until he takes

My side.

I wait

Until he executes judgment

For me.

He will bring me out

To the light.

I shall see

His vindication.

Then my enemy

Will see.

Shame will cover her

Who said to me.

‘Where is Yahweh

Your God?’

My eyes will see

Her downfall.

Now she will be trodden down,

Like the mire

Of the streets.”

Micah did not want his enemies to rejoice because he was going to rise again, just like Israel itself.  When Micah was in darkness, Yahweh was his light.  He was suffering the judgment of Yahweh, because of his sins.  However, Yahweh was going to vindicate him.  At that point, his enemies would be put to shame.  Those who had taunted him about his God Yahweh, would be stamped on in the streets, like stinky mud or mire.

The attack of Gog (Ezek 38:15-38:16)

“‘Come from your place!

Come out

Of the uttermost parts

Of the north!

You!

Many people

With you!

All of them

Will be riding on horses,

With a great multitude,

With a mighty army.

You will come up

Against my people

Israel,

Like a cloud

Covering the earth.

In the latter days,

I will bring you

Against my land.

Thus,

The nations

May know me,

When through you,

O Gog!

I vindicate

My holiness

Before their eyes.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, exhorted Gog to attack Israel. Gog was to come out of his home in the far north, along with many people. His whole army would be riding on horses. They would come up against Yahweh’s people Israel. Gog would be like a cloud covering the earth with a great army. This was going to happen later. Yahweh wanted Gog to fight against Israel, so that all the various nations and countries would know about Yahweh. He was going to vindicate his holiness in front of everyone.

The weapons of the new Jerusalem (Isa 54:16-54:17)

“‘See!

It is I!

I have created the smith

Who blows the fire of coals.

He produces a weapon

Fit for its purpose.

I have also created the ravager

To destroy.

No weapon that is fashioned

Against you

Shall prosper.

You shall confute every tongue

That rises against you in judgment.

This is the heritage of the servants of Yahweh

Their vindication is from me.’

So says Yahweh.”

Second Isaiah has Yahweh explain his position about the arms and protection of Jerusalem. Yahweh has created the blacksmiths who stand before the blast furnaces creating these weapons of destruction. He has also created the people who oppose them. No weapon will be successful against the Israelites. They will also have to fight off verbal aggression that would arise against them. These servants of Yahweh are his heritage, so that he will vindicate them.

The name of Yahweh (Ps 135:13-135:14)

“Yahweh!

Your name endures forever!

Yahweh!

Your renown endures throughout all ages!

Yahweh will vindicate his people.

He will have compassion on his servants.”

This is a short lyrical interlude about the glory of the name of Yahweh. His name and renown endures forever. He would vindicate his people. He would have compassion on his servants.

Who can go into the sanctuary? (Ps 24:3-24:6)

“Who shall ascend the hill of Yahweh?

Who shall stand in his holy place?

Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,

Those who do not lift up their soul to what is false,

Those who do not swear deceitfully,

They will receive blessings from Yahweh.

Vindication comes from the God of their salvation.

Such is the company of those who seek him.

They are the ones who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Selah”

Who can enter the sanctuary or the holy place? Who can ascend the hill to be with Yahweh? They have to have clean hands and a pure heart. They cannot be false or deceptive. They will receive the blessings from Yahweh. Only God can vindicate their salvation. These are the ones who will seek and see the face of the God of Jacob. This section ends with a Selah, a musical pause or meditation. Notice that they are seeking the face of God of Jacob, not Israel.

Zophar chimes in (Job 11:1-11:6)Zophar chimes in (Job 11:1-11:6)

“Then Zophar the Naamathite answered.

‘Should a multitude of words go unanswered?

Should one full of talk be vindicated?

Should your babble put others to silence?

When you mock,

Shall no one shame you?

You say.

‘My conduct is pure.

I am clean in God’s sight.’

But O that God would speak!

If he would open his lips to you!

He would tell you the secrets of wisdom!

Wisdom is many-sided.

Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.’”

Finally we hear from Zophar. He cannot let so many words go unanswered. He seems to chide Job harsher than the other 2 comforters. Talk does not itself vindicate. If Job continued to babble, was everyone to be silent? Someone had to speak out. Job had protested that he was innocent in God’s sight. But has he heard God say that? God could tell you in his secret wisdom the many sides of things. God is merciful and exacts less than the guilty deserve. Notice the link between God and wisdom, which is key to the wisdom or sapiential biblical literature.