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Tuesday, March 22 2016
Matthew 23: The Seven Woes
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves"
The English-language word "woe" originated from the Anglo-Saxon word wa which was meant to express the natural groan-like sound that humans make when grieving. "Woe" is used to render (not necessarily translate because it was a sound, not a word, that was being expressed from one language to another) a number of Hebrew and Greek words of the Holy Scriptures, including:
The Messiah's lesson began with a declaration of the behavior that He was grieving over, not merely the religious hypocrites of that time.
"23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 23:2 Saying,
The Messiah's command was then made plain. Do not put yourself in the place of the Messiah's authority. Do not "lord it over" others that the LORD has called to understanding during this era (see The Meaning Of Parables). Don't lust to "lead" God's people.
"23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." (Matthew 23:8-12 KJV)
Then, the "seven woes" of the Messiah's grief for those who made their service to the LORD and His people into a hypocritical, self-serving ego trip ("something that someone does to feel more important or better than other people," from The Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
"23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Fact Finder: The Messiah rebuked the righteous appearing "leaders" for their iniquity ("Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity" verse 28, above). What does iniquity mean? Why is it evil?
This Day In History, March 22
1349: The Jews of Fulda, Germany, were massacred by the townspeople who blamed them for the plague known as the "Black Death." Not only were the Jews not the source of the plague, they were much healthier than most of the other townspeople because they observed the LORD's Biblical rules of health and hygiene (see Leviticus 13: Bacteria and Leviticus 15: Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness; also Leviticus 18: Sexual Abominations and Leviticus 11: What Makes Creatures Clean or Unclean?).
1638: Anne Hutchinson, a mother of 15 children, was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for "religious dissent" - her home Bible-study group was attracting too many people away from the "established church of the colony."
1752: Canada's first newspaper, the Halifax Gazette, was established.
1765: The democratically-elected British Parliament passed the Stamp Act - a tax to be levied directly on its New England colonies to help pay for their own defense against the powerful and threatening "New France" French Empire in North America. Ironically, the defense tax was used as one of the major manipulated excuses for the rebellion of the colonies against their founders. Fortunately for the survival of the colonies, France didn't attack them after they rejected British protection because Napoleon Bonaparte (the former Corporal, then self-proclaimed revolutionary General, who reigned as Emperor of the French from 1769 to 1821) consumed the bulk of his massive forces in the Napoleonic Wars across Europe - from which he suffered his famous defeat at Waterloo (Belgium) by the British Army.
Most of the British Army and Navy were never involved in the New England rebellion of 1776 or the War of 1812 (1812-1814), but were, through all of those years, engaged in the massive "world war" against Napoleon all across Europe and into Russia - the wars in the New England colonies were a minor, but related to the French threat, conflict.
1848: The Venetian Republic declared independence from Austria.
1895: In Paris, Auguste and Louis Lumiere first demonstrated motion pictures using celluloid film.
1903: A drought caused Niagara Falls to temporarily stop flowing.
1917: Ironically, in view of subsequent history, the U.S. became the first country to recognize the communist government of Russia, following the overthrow of the czar. The apparent logic was that the U.S. and Russian were both "we the people revolutions," and both involved the founding of a republic after the overthrow of a king.
1919: The first international airline service was inaugurated on a weekly schedule between Paris, France and Brussels, Belgium.
1945: The Arab League, a loose confederation of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Transjordan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, was formed in Cairo for the purpose of securing Arab unity. Others joined later: Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, Kuwait, Algeria, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (see also What Does The Bible Say About Arabs?).
1946: Britain recognized the independence of the protectorate of Transjordan, known today as the Kingdom of Jordan (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate; also Jordan's West Bank Invasion and Where Is Palestine?).
1947: Viscount Louis Mountbatten and his wife Edwina arrived in Delhi; the last viceroy in India, Mountbatten's mission was to bring about independence for India.
1979: The Israeli Parliament approved the peace treaty with Egypt (see Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century).
1993: Intel began marketing the first "Pentium" (80586) computer processors.
1995: Russian Cosmonaut Valeriy Polyakov returned to earth after a record 438 days in orbit.
2004: Ahmed Yassin, a leader of Hamas (a Palestinian Sunni Islamist group; see also Where Is Palestine?) was assassinated (the elderly, blind quadriplegic was in his wheelchair, being taken out of morning prayers, when killed) in the Gaza Strip by Israeli helicopter-fired missiles; nine nearby civilians ("collateral damage") were also killed.