The prophet of the Most High (Lk 1:76-1:76)

“You!

Child!

Will be called

The prophet

Of the Most High!

You will go

Before the Lord

To prepare

His ways.”

 

Καὶ σὺ δέ, παιδίον, προφήτης Ὑψίστου κληθήσῃ· προπορεύσῃ γὰρ ἐνώπιον Κυρίου ἑτοιμάσαι ὁδοὺς αὐτοῦ,

 

Finally, Zechariah, via Luke in this canticle, turned to his child John.  He said to him (Καὶ σὺ δέ, παιδίον) that he would be called the prophet of the Most High (προφήτης Ὑψίστου κληθήσῃ).  He would go before or precede the Lord (προπορεύσῃ γὰρ ἐνώπιον Κυρίου) to prepare his ways (ἑτοιμάσαι ὁδοὺς αὐτοῦ).  The term Most High was an attempt to translate the Hebrew word for God “Elohim.”  There was no Greek word equivalent for Yahweh, so that the tendency was to use the word “Lord” or “Κυρίου.”  Notice that Jesus was going to be the Son of the Most High, while John was going to be the prophet of the Most High.  John was to prepare the ways for the Lord, as in Isaiah, chapters 40:3 and 57:14.

 

The survivors (Ezek 14:22-14:23)

“‘Yet,

Survivors

Shall be left

In Jerusalem.

Sons,

With Daughters,

Will be brought out.

They will come out

To you.

When you see

Their ways,

When you see

Their deeds,

You will be consoled.

I have brought

Evil

Upon Jerusalem.

I have brought

All upon it.

They shall console you,

When you see

Their ways,

When you see

Their deeds.

You shall know

That it was not

Without cause

That I did

All that

I have done

In it.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh said that there would be survivors left in Jerusalem. Sons and daughters of Jerusalem would be brought out of there. They would come out to the earlier exiles. When they saw how the people of Jerusalem had acted in their ways and deeds, they would be consoled.   Jerusalem deserved the evil that came upon them. Yahweh sent it to them because he had reason to do so, since this was not a random action.

The pride of Judah and Jerusalem (Jer 13:8-13:11)

“Then the word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Thus says Yahweh.

I will ruin the pride of Judah.

I will ruin the great pride of Jerusalem.

This is an evil people.

They refuse to hear my words.

They stubbornly follow their own will.

They have gone after other gods.

They serve them.

They worship them.

They shall be like this loincloth,

That is good for nothing.

Just as the loincloth clings

To one’s loins,

So I made the whole house of Israel

With the whole house of Judah

Cling to me.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Thus they might be for me

A people,

A name,

A praise,

A glory.

But they would not listen.’”

Now Yahweh explains to Jeremiah the problem and story of the loincloth. Just as the loincloth was ruined, so too would the great pride of Judah and Jerusalem also be ruined. These were evil people who would not listen to the words of Yahweh. They would rather follow their own will and ways. Besides, they have gone after other gods serving and worshipping them. Thus they will be like Jeremiah’s ruined loincloth, good for nothing. Just as the loincloth clung to Jeremiah’s loins, both the house of Judah and Israel had clung to Yahweh. He wanted to make them a great people with a great name that everyone would praise and glory, but they would not listen.

You deserve what you get (Jer 4:17-4:18)

“Yahweh says.

‘You have rebelled

Against me.

Your ways,

Your doings

Have brought this

Upon you.

This is your doom.

It is bitter.

It has reached

Your very heart.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, says that they had rebelled against him. Their ways and actions brought this destruction upon themselves. They were doomed because this bitterness had reached their hearts.

Listen to instructions (Prov 8:32-8:36)

“Now,

My children!

Listen to me!

Happy are those who keep my ways!

Hear instruction!

Be wise!

Do not neglect it!

Happy is the one who listens to me!

He watches daily at my gates.

He waits beside my doors.

Whoever finds me,

Finds life.

He obtains favor from Yahweh.

But those who miss me,

Injure themselves.

All who hate me,

Love death.”

This time wisdom wants the children to listen to her instructions in order to become wise.   Happy are those who follow the wise ways. They will be wise and do not neglect this teaching. The listeners are the really happy ones. They would watch at the town gates and beside the doors. Whoever found wisdom, would find life. They would obtain favors from Yahweh. However, those who missed wisdom would injure themselves. Anyone who hated wisdom would love death.

A hymn of praise to Yahweh (Ps 138:4-138:6)

“All the kings of the earth shall praise you!

Yahweh!

They have heard the words of your mouth.

They shall sing of the ways of Yahweh.

Great is the glory of Yahweh.

Even though Yahweh is high,

He regards the lowly.

However he perceives the haughty

From far away.”

All the kings on earth should praise Yahweh. They have heard Yahweh’s words. Therefore they should sing about the ways of Yahweh. Yahweh’s glory is great. Despite his high position, he still regards the lowly. On the other hand, he perceives the haughty or proud of this world from far away.

Job wants to plead his case before God (Job 13:13-13:16)

“Let me have silence!

I will speak.

Let come on me what may happen!

I will take my flesh in my teeth.

I will put my life in my hand.

See!

He will kill me.

I have no hope.

Yet I will defend my ways to his face.

This will be my salvation.

A godless man shall not come before him.”

Job wanted silence. He wanted to speak, regardless of the outcome. He was willing to put his life on the line even suffer death. He realized that he had no hope. Yet he felt that he had to defend his life and ways to the face of God. That was his only salvation. He was not a godless man coming before God, just the opposite.