Did all that (Lk 18:21-18:21)

“He replied.

‘I have kept

All these

Since my youth.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ταῦτα πάντα ἐφύλαξα ἐκ νεότητος.

 

Luke indicated that this ruler replied (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that he had kept all these commandments (Ταῦτα πάντα ἐφύλαξα) since his youth (ἐκ νεότητος).  This comment can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:20, and Matthew, chapter 19:20, but slightly different, with Luke closer to Mark, who indicated that this man responded to Jesus (ὁ δὲ ἔφη αὐτῷ).  Once again, he called Jesus “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε).”  He said that he had kept or observed all these commandments (ταῦτα πάντα ἐφυλαξάμην) from his youth (ἐκ νεότητός μου).  In Matthew, this person was identified as a young man, who responded to Jesus (λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ νεανίσκος).  He said that he had kept or observed all these commandments (Ταῦτα πάντα ἐφύλαξα).  Mark and Luke added “from his youth,” but in Matthew he was still a young man.  What was he still lacking (τί ἔτι ὑστερῶ)?  This seems like a very forthright righteous person who was trying to do the best that he could.  Have you been a faithful commandment follower since your youth?

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The eternal covenant (Ezek 16:59-16:60)

“Yes!

Thus says Yahweh God.

‘I will deal

With you

As you have done.

You have despised

The oath.

You have broken

The covenant.

Yet I will remember

My covenant

With you

In the days

Of your youth.

I will establish

With you

An everlasting covenant.”

Yahweh was going to establish an everlasting covenant with Jerusalem, even though she had forgotten and despised this oath. She had broken her covenant with Yahweh. However, he would remember the days of Jerusalem’s youth. He would remember the day that he established his everlasting covenant with her, despite the lack of commitment on her part.

The dialog about defilement (Ezek 4:14-4:15)

“Then I said.

‘Yahweh God!

I have never

Defiled myself.

From my youth

Up until now,

I have never eaten

What died of itself

Or was torn by animals.

Carrion decaying flesh

Has never

Come into my mouth.’

Then he said to me.

‘See!

I will let you have

Cow’s dung

Instead of human dung.

You can prepare

Your bread on that.’”

Ezekiel was upset about eating unclean bread. He complained to Yahweh that he had never defiled himself from his youth on. He had never eaten anything that died of itself or any torn up animals. This meant that he ate only slaughtered animals. He had never touched decaying or the carrion flesh of dead animals. We might call it road kill animals. Yahweh responded that he would let him cook his barley cakes on animal dung, which was not considered unclean. Human excrement, however, was considered unclean. This was an indication of the obsession of later Israelites about touching and eating clean and unclean animals.

Wait for Yahweh (Lam 3:25-3:27)

Tet

“Yahweh is good

To those

Who wait for him.

Yahweh is good

To the soul

That seeks him.

It is good

That one should

Wait quietly

For the salvation

Of Yahweh.

It is good

For one to bear

The yoke

In his youth.”

Yahweh would be good to those wait quietly for his salvation. Yahweh would be good to any soul that seeks him. It is also good to bear the heavy burdens of the yoke in youth. This is now a very uplifting message after all the preceding moaning. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Tet in this acrostic poem.

Watch out for the loose woman (Prov 2:16-2:19)

“You will be saved from the loose woman.

You will be saved from the adulteress

With her smooth words.

She has forsaken the partner of her youth.

She has forgotten the covenant of her God.

Her house or way sinks down to death.

Her paths lead to the shades.

Those who go to her

Never come back.

They never regain the paths of life.”

The loose or strange woman was always a problem for young men. Notice this is specifically for young men, since there is no equivalent advice for young women to watch out for males who might want to commit adultery. This is an adulterous woman who uses smooth words to lure young men. Interestingly enough, the emphasis is on the wickedness of the woman, since the assumption was that the good young men would have to be led astray. She has forsaken the partner or companion of her youth for another young man. Actually that is what middle aged men do, not middle aged women. She has forgotten her covenant with God. She and her house would lead to death, as she lives in the shadows of life, not in the bright sunlight. Now came the big warning. Those who went to her would never return. Their whole life would be ruined. They would never regain the path of life. This was a strong warning to be aware of smooth talking middle aged women.

The attacks (Ps 129:1-129:4)

A Song of Ascents

“Often have they attacked me from my youth.

Let Israel now say.

‘Often have they attacked me from my youth.

Yet they have not prevailed against me.

The plowers plowed on my back.

They made their furrows long.’

Yahweh is righteous.

He has cut the cords of the wicked.”

Psalm 129 is another in this series of pilgrimage songs or psalms on the ascent to Jerusalem. In this particular song the psalmist claims to have been attacked since his youth. This youth may be a reference to Israel in its early stages in Canaan as Israel proclaimed the same message. They tried to plow the back of the psalmist. However, his enemies have not succeeded. Yahweh is the righteous one who has cut the cords of the wicked ones.

Job wants God to listen to him (Job 13:17-13:28)

“Listen carefully to my words!

Let my declaration be in your ears!

I have indeed prepared my case.

I know that I shall be vindicated.

Who is there that will contend with me?

Then I would be silent and die.

Only grant two things to me!

Then I will not hide myself from your face.

Withdraw your hand far from me!

Do not let dread of you terrify me!

Then call!

I will answer.

Let me speak!

You reply to me.

How many are my iniquities?

How many are my sins?

Make me know my transgression and my sin.

Why do you hide your face?

Why do you count me as your enemy?

Will you frighten a windblown leaf?

Will you pursue dry chaff?

You write bitter things against me.

You make me reap the iniquities of my youth.

You put my feet in the stocks.

You watch all my paths.

You set a bound to the soles of my feet.

One wastes away like a rotten thing.

One wastes away like a garment that is moth-eaten.”

Job pleads his case before God. He wanted him to listen carefully to his words. He has prepared his case well. He knew that he would be vindicated. He wanted to know who would oppose him. He wanted God not to hide his face and he would not hide his face. He wanted to go face to face with God. He wanted God not to scare him, but to call him. He wanted to reply to the many sins and iniquities of his youth. He wanted to know why God had him as an enemy. Why were bitter things written about him? This is almost saying that God had a face with a voice, and was able to hear and write things down with his hands. In this anthropomorphic view of God, he has a human face, ears, voice, and hands. God wanted him to be chained in a stockade, to waste away like a rotten garment that was moth-eaten. Certainly this was colorful language to use against a vindictive God.