To the crowds.
‘When you see
A cloud rising
In the west,
You immediately say.
‘There is going to be
A violent rain storm.’
Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τοῖς ὄχλοις Ὅταν ἴδητε νεφέλην ἀνατέλλουσαν ἐπὶ δυσμῶν, εὐθέως λέγετε ὅτι Ὄμβρος ἔρχεται, καὶ γίνεται οὕτως·
Luke indicated that Jesus said to the crowds (Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τοῖς ὄχλοις) that when they saw a cloud rising in the western setting sun (Ὅταν ἴδητε νεφέλην ἀνατέλλουσαν ἐπὶ δυσμῶν), they immediately say that a violent rain storm was coming (εὐθέως λέγετε ὅτι Ὄμβρος ἔρχεται,). Thus, it happened (καὶ γίνεται οὕτως). The use of the word Ὄμβρος, that means a violent rain storm was unique to Luke here among all the biblical literature. Jesus issued some weather commentary about the western setting sun wind and a violent rain storm. The western winds from the Mediterranean River meant that a rain storm was coming. There was something somewhat similar in Matthew, chapter 16:2, where Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees that they could read the signs in the sky about weather and storms, but they were unable to recognize the signs in their own world. Jesus said that at evening time, people would say that there would be fair weather if the setting sun in the sky was red. On the other hand, if the sky was red today in the morning, they thought that it would be a stormy day. Most farmers are aware of the red sky in the morning was a warning, while the red sky at night was a delight. Are you good at predicting the weather?
Stepped out of the boat,
Out of the tombs,
With an unclean spirit,
Among the tombs.
No one could restrain him
Even with chains.”
καὶ ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ πλοίου, εὐθὺς ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ ἐκ τῶν μνημείων ἄνθρωπος ἐν πνεύματι ἀκαθάρτῳ,
ὃς τὴν κατοίκησιν εἶχεν ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν, καὶ οὐδὲ ἁλύσει οὐκέτι οὐδεὶς ἐδύνατο αὐτὸν δῆσαι
All three synoptic gospels. Matthew, chapter 8:28 and Luke, chapter 8:26-27, have Jesus travel to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Mark, like Luke, said that Jesus met a man as he stepped out of the boat (καὶ ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ πλοίου). Matthew had Jesus meet 2 people possessed by the devil, who were menacing people as they passed by. Here Mark has Jesus immediately meet one person coming out of the tombs (εὐθὺς ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ ἐκ τῶν μνημείων ἄνθρωπος) with an unclean spirit (ἐν πνεύματι ἀκαθάρτῳ). This demonic person lived among the tombs (ὃς τὴν κατοίκησιν εἶχεν ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν). No one could restrain or bind him (οὐδεὶς ἐδύνατο αὐτὸν δῆσαι), even with chains (καὶ οὐδὲ ἁλύσει οὐκέτι). This was a strong violent possessed person.
“From the days
Of John the Baptist
The kingdom of heaven
Has suffered violence.
The violent seize it
ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ ἕως ἄρτι ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν βιάζεται, καὶ βιασταὶ ἁρπάζουσιν αὐτήν
This saying about John the Baptist can be found in a different context with different meaning in Luke, chapter 16:16. This strange saying of Jesus, via Matthew, talked about the days of John the Baptist until the present (ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ ἕως ἄρτι), not a very long time. The kingdom of heaven has suffered violence (ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν βιάζεται). What does that mean? What kind of violence was taking place in the heavenly kingdom? Did this mean that so many people were violently seeking the kingdom of heaven that John was talking about? Is this some kind of violence within the kingdom of heaven? Were these violent people trying to get into the kingdom of heaven? The next sentence seems to support this idea that violent people wanted to seize the kingdom of heaven by force (καὶ βιασταὶ ἁρπάζουσιν αὐτήν).
“Woe to you!
You make your neighbors drink!
You pour out your wrath,
Until they are drunk,
In order to gaze
On their nakedness!
You will be sated
Instead of glory!
In Yahweh’s right hand
Will come around to you.
Shame will come upon
The violence done
Will overwhelm you.
Of the animals
Will terrify you,
Because of human bloodshed
With the violence to the earth,
To the cities,
To all who live in them.”
Habakkuk then cursed the Chaldean drunkards. They made their neighbors drunk so that they would become naked. They themselves would drink until they staggered around. They used alcohol as a weapon and as a form of feasting. Their glory would turn to shame. They had been violent to Lebanon. The destruction of animals would terrify them. They had committed violence that led to bloodshed in the various cities that they had taken over.
“I placed you
With an anointed cherub
As a guardian.
On the holy mountain
You walked among
The stones of fire.
You were blameless
In your ways
From the day
That you were created,
Was found in you.
In the abundance
Of your trade
You were filled
So I cast you
As a profane thing
From the mountain
The guardian cherub
Drove you out
The stones of fire.”
Ezekiel has a variation of the Garden of Eden story, in Genesis, chapters 2-3. This time, Tyre is on a mountain of God or God’s mountain. Usually this referred to Jerusalem. This may have been a reference to the Canaanite myth about Mount Sapon, near the Turkish-Syrian border. This holy mountain had a guardian anointed cherub angel. There Tyre could walk on stones of fire. He, like Adam, was created blameless. Then iniquity came from the abundance of his trade. Tyre became violent and sinned. Then he was cast out from this mountain of God by this guardian cherub as something profane and not holy. Thus Tyre could no longer walk on the stones of fire.
“The hypocrites hatch adders’ eggs.
They weave spider webs.
Whoever eats their eggs dies.
The crushed egg hatches out a viper.
Their webs cannot serve as clothing.
They cannot cover themselves
With what they make.
Their works are works of iniquity.
The deeds of violence
Are in their hands.
Their feet run to evil.
They rush to shed innocent blood.
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity.
Desolation is in their highways.
Destruction is in their highways.
They do not know the way of peace.
There is no justice in their paths.
They have made their roads crooked.
No one who walks in them
Third Isaiah talks about the contamination among hypocrites in the Israelite community. Using the metaphor of eggs, they hatch adder eggs and have useless spider webs that can make no clothing. Some of these eggs produce vipers when broken. All their works are violent and full of iniquity. They run to evil, so that they can have innocent blood on their hands. They are always thinking about evil deeds and iniquity. Their roads are full of desolation and destruction, since they know nothing about peace and justice. They walk on crooked paths where no one else walks.
“Discipline your child while there is hope.
Do not set your heart on their destruction.
A violent tempered person will pay the penalty.
If you effect a rescue
You will only have to do it again.
Listen to advice!
Thus you may gain wisdom for the future.
The human mind may devise many plans.
But it is the purpose of Yahweh that will be established.
What is desired in a man is loyalty.
It is better to be a poor
Than a liar.”
You can discipline your child as long as there is hope. However, you should not try to destroy your children. A violent person will pay the penalty. If you try to help a violent person, you may have to do it again. You should listen to advice and instruction so that you will have future wisdom. The human mind can devise many plans, but Yahweh is the one who finally decides things. Loyalty is a desirable feature. It is better to be poor than lie.
“Scoundrels concoct evil.
Their speech is like a scorching fire.
A perverse person spreads strife.
A whisperer separates close friends.
The violent entice their neighbors.
They lead them in a way that is not good.
Whoever winks their eyes
Plans perverse things.
Whoever compresses their lips
Brings evil to pass.”
Scoundrels plan evil. Their speech is like a raging fire. These perverse people spread strife. The whispering ones separate close friends. The violent ones entice their neighbors in leading them in the wrong way. Whoever winks their eyes is planning perverse things. If they press their lips, they are working on evil things.
From the hands of the wicked!
Protect me from violent.
They have planned my downfall.
The arrogant have hidden a trap for me.
They have spread a net with cords.
They have set snares for me along the road.”
David wanted Yahweh to guard him and protect him from the hands of the wicked ones. They were planning his downfall. They have hidden traps and snares for him along the road. He wanted the protection of Yahweh from these arrogant wicked violent men. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.
To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of David
From evil men.
From those who are violent.
From those who plan evil things in their minds.
From those who stir up wars continually.
They make their tongue sharp as a snake’s tongue.
Under their lips is the poison of vipers.”
Psalm 140 is another in this series of deliverance choral psalms of David. This is a lament against evil men. David wants to be protected from violent people, evil minds, and war mongers. These evil men have tongues like snakes. Their lips were like the poison of vipers. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.