The good news about a son (Lk 1:13-1:13)

“Your prayer

Has been heard.

Your wife,

Elizabeth,

Will bear you

A son.

You will name him

John.”

 

διότι εἰσηκούσθη ἡ δέησίς σου, καὶ ἡ γυνή σου Ἐλεισάβετ γεννήσει υἱόν σοι, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰωάνην·

 

Luke then has this good news for Zechariah.  The heart of this message was that he was going to have a son.  This angel said that his prayer, supplication, or entreaty had been heard (διότι εἰσηκούσθη ἡ δέησίς σου).  His wife Elizabeth would bear him son (αὶ ἡ γυνή σου Ἐλεισάβετ γεννήσει υἱόν σοι).  He was to name or call him John (καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰωάνην).  This was a nice simple message, nothing complicated.  God was going to grant this barren old couple a son who should be called John.

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Adultery (Mt 5:27-5:28)

“You have heard

That it was said.

‘You shall not

Commit adultery.’

But I say to you

That everyone

Who looks at a woman

With lust

Has already committed adultery

With her

In his heart.’”

 

Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη Οὐ μοιχεύσεις.

γὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ βλέπων γυναῖκα πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ.

 

Once again, Matthew alone mentions one of the 10 Commandments from Exodus, chapter 20:14.  This was something all the Jewish people knew, since they had heard it said often (Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη).  Everyone knew that they should not commit adultery (Οὐ μοιχεύσεις), having sex with a married woman who was not your wife.  However, Matthew has this solemn statement of Jesus (γὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν) that he was demanding more.  Everyone who looked at a woman lustfully (ὅτι πᾶς ὁ βλέπων γυναῖκα πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν), has already committed adultery with her in his heart (ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ).  This was a much higher standard, not merely the act of adultery, but the planning to do so was wrong.  This was adultery of the heart.

Evil wives (Sir 25:16-25:20)

“I would rather live with a lion.

I would rather live with a dragon

Than live with an evil wife.

A wife’s wickedness

Changes her appearance.

Her wickedness darkens her face

Like that of a bear.

Her husband sits

Among the neighbors.

He cannot help sighing bitterly.

Any iniquity is small

Compared to a wife’s iniquity.

May a sinner’s lot befall her!

A sandy ascent

For the feet of the aged,

Such is a garrulous wife

To a quiet husband.”

Sirach continues his diatribe against women, particularly evil wives. He would rather live with a lion or a dragon, rather than an evil wife. In fact, he insists that her appearance changes because of her wickedness since her face will become dark like that of a bear. That would be some sight. Her poor husband will have to sit and eat with his neighbors and sigh bitterly. The worse kind of iniquity or evil is that committed by your wife. She should be reckoned as a sinner. This evil wife talks too much for her quiet husband. Thus he is like an old man trying to climb up a sandy dune. Sirach wants you to have pity for this poor husband with the evil wife, as if it never happened the other way around. Or perhaps he had some personal experience that colored his attitude.