Luke said that Levi gave a great banquet for Jesus (Καὶ ἐποίησεν δοχὴν μεγάλην Λευεὶς αὐτῷ) in his house (ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ). There was a large crowd of tax collectors (καὶ ἦν ὄχλος πολὺς τελωνῶν) and others (καὶ ἄλλων οἳ ἦσαν) sitting or reclining at the table with them (μετ’ αὐτῶν κατακείμενοι). Mark, chapter 2:15, and Matthew, chapter 9:10, are similar to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this event. Mark and Luke explicitly mentioned that Jesus was having a meal in the house of Levi. Perhaps Levi was wealthy enough to have a house big enough for a large banquet. As Levi was a tax collector, other tax collectors were there also. Was this a farewell meal for Levi as he was about to set out as a disciple of Jesus? Jesus sat or reclined at the dining table in Levi’s house. However, besides the tax collectors, Mark and Matthew said that a lot of sinners came to sit down or recline with Jesus and his disciples. However, Luke simply called them “others.” These tax collectors were collecting money or tolls for the Roman Empire, so that they could hardly be called model Jewish citizens. The others or sinners, on the other hand, could either be non-Jewish gentiles or other public immoral unclean Jewish men. In general, tax collectors and sinners were lumped together, since neither cared much for following the Jewish law, unlike the Pharisees. Matthew said some of the disciples of Jesus were there. He also said that this meal was in a house without indicating whose house. Would it have been the house of Jesus in Capernaum? Presumably, it was the house of Matthew, the tax collector, since other tax collectors were there also.
There is less confusion about this Joseph since he is mentioned in all 4 gospel stories. This text is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:57-58. Luke, chapter 23:50-52, mentioned that Joseph was a member of the elder’s council in Jerusalem who had not voted for the plan to destroy Jesus. John, chapter 19:38, said that Joseph was a secret disciple of Jesus. Mark said that Joseph from Arimathea (ἐλθὼν Ἰωσὴφ ὁ ἀπὸ Ἀριμαθαίας) came forward. He was a respected member of the Jerusalem council (εὐσχήμων βουλευτής). He was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God (ὃς καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν προσδεχόμενος τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ). He went boldly to Pilate (τολμήσας εἰσῆλθεν πρὸς τὸν Πειλᾶτον). He asked for the body of Jesus (καὶ ᾐτήσατο τὸ σῶμα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ). Many legends have developed around this wealthy Joseph from Arimathea, a town in Judea near Jerusalem.
This Canaanite woman responded somewhat like in Matthew, chapter 15:27. This woman was willing to accept that she was like a despised dog. Mark said that she responded to Jesus, by calling him Lord and agreeing with him (ἡ δὲ ἀπεκρίθη καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ναί, Κύριε). She reminded him that even the dogs (καὶ τὰ κυνάρια), who are under the table (ὑποκάτω τῆς τραπέζης), eat the children’s crumbs (ἐσθίουσιν ἀπὸ τῶν ψιχίων τῶν παιδίων) that fall from the table. In a wealthy materialistic country, we sometimes forget how our crumbs might feed or help poor people around the world today.
There is less confusion about this Joseph since he is mentioned in all 4 gospel stories. This text is similar to Mark, chapter 15:43. Luke, chapter 23:50-51, mentioned that Joseph was a member of the elder’s council in Jerusalem who had not voted for the plan to destroy Jesus. John, chapter 19:38, said that Joseph was a secret disciple of Jesus. Matthew said that when it was evening (Ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης), a rich man from Arimathea (ἦλθεν ἄνθρωπος πλούσιος ἀπὸ Ἀριμαθαίας), named Joseph (τοὔνομα Ἰωσήφ), who was also a disciple of Jesus (ὃς καὶ αὐτὸς ἐμαθητεύθη τῷ Ἰησοῦ) came forward. Notice that it was evening since no burials were permitted on the Sabbath or feast days. Many legends have developed around this wealthy Joseph from Arimathea, a town in Judea near Jerusalem.
This enemy would keep devouring the people. Yahweh has made people like fish in the sea, since they have no ruler, much like crawling things. Thus, this enemy has a hook with a net. He has dragged the people out of the sea, as if they were fish in a net. He has gathered them in his seine, which is a great big net. Thus, this enemy is happy and exulted about his big catch of humans, much like a proud fisherman. Then, this enemy would sacrifice offerings to his big nets, because they have contributed to his lavish life style with rich food. He has become wealthy by catching all these humans in his big fish nets. Thus, he kept emptying his nets and catching more humans in them. He continued to destroy nations and countries without any mercy for anyone. His evil ways just went on and on.
Ephraim was a trader, which is the same word as Canaanite. In other words, Ephraim had become like a common Canaanite trader with false balances in his trades. He loved to oppress the people. However, he justified his wealth and gain by saying that that in becoming wealthy, he had not sinned. No one could find anything wrong with him.
Gabriel went on to tell Daniel about how King Antiochus IV worshiped foreign gods, probably the Greek gods of Jupiter at Olympus, not the Syrian gods of his ancestors. Apparently, King Antiochus IV had more respect for these Greek gods. Jupiter was a god of strength. His ancestors knew nothing about these Greek gods. However, he honored them with gold, silver, precious stones, and costly gifts. He relied on these foreign gods to maintain his stronghold positions. King Antiochus made people wealthy, if they agreed with him. In fact, he may have practiced a form of bribery, by dividing up the land for a price.
Yahweh warns, via Jeremiah, that the wise should not boast in their wisdom. The mighty should not boast in their might. The wealthy should not boast in their wealth. If they want to boast it should be in understanding and knowing Yahweh. He should be their boast, because he acts with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness. Yahweh delights in those things.
How were they going to get all these people into Jerusalem? Some people would go out to various places and have people from there come to Jerusalem to see the glory of Yahweh. Tarshish was the place that had the famous sailing ships. Perhaps it was some place in Spain or on the Mediterranean Sea. Put or Pul may have been in Somalia. Lud refers to some place in Libya or Asia Minor. Tubal and Javan were probably wealthy places in Asia Minor that would send ships to Tyre on the Mediterranean coast. Obviously all the coastal cities on the great sea were to be included. They had no idea about the fame and glory of Yahweh. They would all like to see the fame and glory of Jerusalem. The glory of Yahweh was to be declared to all these nations.
Qoheleth says that if you love money, you will never have enough money to be satisfied. The same goes for wealth. You are never wealthy enough. No gain is enough. We see this all the time. The rich and wealthy never say that they have enough. They always want more. All this is vanity and useless. If you have more goods, there will be more people there to eat them up. What is the gain for the owner of this increase in food? He gets to watch others eat it up.