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Jesus's description of the betrayer's actions


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Yesterday's reading contains the note from Jesus to his disciples about the woman showering him head to body with her perfume. Matthew has him asking a rhetorical question, in Greek, and the Hellene is rather a pun on the knowledge Jesus bears and the woman.


His adjective for her actions suggests something beautiful.


γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς·

Τί κόπους παρέχετε τῇ γυναικί;


ἔργον γὰρ καλὸν ἠργάσατο εἰς ἐμέ·


Today's reading contains the same adjective. This time the actions Jesus is describing are something base and bad.


ὁ μὲν υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὑπάγει καθὼς γέγραπται περὶ αὐτοῦ,

οὐαὶ δὲ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἐκείνῳ δι’ οὗ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται·


καλὸν ἦν αὐτῷ εἰ οὐκ ἐγεννήθη ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος.


In the short context of the reading of yesterday and today we ought not make too much of Matthew's Greek. Or ought we not? Is there no parallel in our close reading? Would a quick English translation help us? Would it show the play, perhaps, that Matthew is making on the generations story of Genesis 1 and of Genesis 2 as it's told in Greek, as by the LXX translators? Where God does a work day after day and declares it beautiful, or good?


Joshua, bearing knowledge like a woman bears a baby, spoke to them --

Why are you all cramping this woman with labor pains?

It's a work of pure good, this creative work that she's worked for me.




The human's boy departs exactly as the Scriptures predict he will.
But Oy Vey is all I can say to the human who gives the human's boy up.

Pure good for him would have been this, if that very human had never been born a baby.


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