Saturday, September 25, 2010

Matthew 6:19-21, A Matter of Life and Death

Μαθθαῖον 6·19 Μὴ θησαυρίζετε ὑμῖν θησαυροὺς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, ὅπου σὴς καὶ βρῶσις ἀφανίζει καὶ ὅπου κλέπται διορύσσουσιν καὶ κλέπτουσιν·  20 θησαυρίζετε δὲ ὑμῖν θησαυροὺς ἐν οὐρανῷ, ὅπου οὔτε σὴς οὔτε βρῶσις ἀφανίζει καὶ ὅπου κλέπται οὐ διορύσσουσιν οὐδὲ κλέπτουσιν·  21 ὅπου γάρ ἐστιν ὁ θησαυρός σου, ἐκεῖ ἔσται καὶ ἡ καρδία σου. 
Do not store up treasures for yourself on the earth, where moth and corrosion destroys it and where thieves break in and steal it.  But store up treasures for yourself in heaven, where neither moth nor corrosion destroys it and where thieves neither break in nor steal it.  For where your treasure (treasury) is, your heart will be there also.  Matthew 6:19-21
This one is going to be a little different than most blogs that I do.  This is one that my preacher friends may find interesting.
θησαυροὺς actually means “storehouses” or “treasury boxes”.  In other words, it is a place where you would store your treasures.  So, this passage could really mean “do not store up treasures in your treasury boxes on the earth”.
βρῶσις means “eating away”.  If the word is used with moth, then it means “rust” or “corrosion”.
διορύσσουσιν means “to break through” or “to dig through”.  Jesus always used word images in order to describe what he really wanted the people to understand.  He liked using every-day thing to paint a picture of the things he needed to drive home.  Back in the 1st century, most Jewish homes were made of sun-dried mud bricks.  That made it very easy for thieves to “dig through” and steal the owner’s “treasure”.
When I read this passage, I can’t help but to think of how the ancient Egyptian kings were buried.  They were buried in their finest clothes and also had many treasures around them in their tomb.  All of this was suppose to help them in the after-life in their journey to nether-world.  The Egyptians made sure that their Royalty were equipped with every thing they would need in the “life after death”.  The problem was that most of the tombs were broken into and plundered.  The thieves had to dig through all of the stone and brick, but they got to most of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings and all of the tombs in the great Pyramids.  
Those kings prepared store rooms in tombs and filled them up with treasure in order to “walk in death”.  We should prepare our store rooms in heaven and fill them up with treasure in order to “walk in life”.  If your heart is in the tomb, you are dead.  If your heart is in heaven, you are alive.

1 comment:

  1. Nothing we couldn't have gotten out of the english in the king james bible. There's a way to expound on a verse without correcting the "unfortunate rendering in the english."