Had I been properly bible indoctrinated as an infant, I probably would have recognized 23:23 sooner as a verse number and included it in my previous post on the subject. But better late than never, the connection was finally made and another whole layer of speculation added to what the 23:23 effect means, if anything.
Chapter 23 of the Book of Matthew makes for surprisingly topical reading in our modern day and age. Suffice it to say that the word “judgment” as used by ol’ Matt derives from the Greek word krisis… ring a bell?
In this chapter, we find JC at his finest, the man true Christians admire and the nemesis of the holey roamin’ catchalick death sect. In this diatribe, the Nazarene applies his righteous verbal fury against the “scribes and Pharisees” and makes abundantly clear his deep contempt for their ilk… unless you consider “brood of vipers” to be a compliment.
So who are these hypocrites so reviled by the anointed one? Well, scribes are the lawmakers and Pharisees are the “rule of law” tribe, so it doesn’t take a great stretch to find their counterparts in the form of modern politicos and the bankster-corporatista crime syndicate.
If you’re on the lookout for the second coming, here’s the kind of discourse you should be listening for regarding these modern elites:
In one chapter, Matthew 23, Jesus Christ rips the scribes and Pharisees to shreds. Eight times He pronounces on them woe—defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “deep suffering, grief, affliction, ruinous trouble.” He dubs them “hypocrites” seven times, “blind guides” twice, “fools and blind” twice, “blind” once, “whitewashed tombs” once, and finishes His name-calling tirade by designating them “brood of vipers”!
He then accuses them of being the children of those who had killed the prophets—a heavy-duty insult considering how proud they were of their ancestry. He predicts they would do the same themselves and declares that He would have nothing to do with them until they accept and bless the ones He sends.
Source: The Weightier Matters (Part 1): Introduction (www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/ARTC/k/346/The-Weightier-Matters-Part-1-Introduction.htm)
I tend to agree that were JC here now rousing the rabble with this kind of language, he would undoubtedly be targeted for termination with extreme prejudice. It takes but one look at the land where he was born, under occupation now as it was then, with the natives punished for being children of the prophet, to understand just how gladly they would crucify him anew and a thousand times more if that’s what it takes.
But let’s take a closer look at verse 23:23 in particular:
Matthew 23:23 (King James Version)
23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
And here are a couple of excerpts from the same commentary cited above:
The scribes and Pharisees used the law on others like a club and perverted it for their own selfish gain. “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble” (James 1:27). How could anyone, by any stretch of the imagination, reason a way to turn this around to the point he could turn widows and orphans out of their homes, then stand in the streets as if righteous, making long prayers to God?
As used in Matthew 23:23 as a weighty matter, “judgment” is from the Greek word krisis, meaning “decision for or against” and suggesting a tribunal or formal judgment. It implies “justice.” Justice has several meanings, the first of which is “impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or assignment of deserved punishment or reward.” More simply, when a conflict arises among people, justice is administering what is just—”factual, reasonable, faithful, morally upright, good, fair, righteous, impartial, and legally correct.”
Again, these commentaries resonate with the times, most significantly in the context of the ongoing con-omic “krisis”. Make no mistake: the crisis of the 99% is an illusion foisted upon us, but the crisis of the 1% syndicate is very real, as more and more folks get wise to their con game. The 1% know the rule of critical mass better than anyone… if more than 10% of the people get educated, things start snowballing and the wigginess factor comes into play, bringing with it great uncertainty and mobs bearing torches, hempen ropes and iPhones trampling the garden petunias at 3 AM.
Regarding the 23:23 effect, which was originally understood as a temporal phenomenon, we enter a realm too speculative –even for a blog as detached from con-sensus reality as this– by relating times of day with biblical verses. Which is not to say it is completely without merit, but some other crazy will have to go down this particular rabbit hole. My worldview is flexible enough to incorporate this possibility without too many gymnastics; after all, it is either a higher application of the law of Universal symmetry or simply a figment of my own wholesome nuttiness. Either explanation is good enough for me; in fact, I don’t distinguish much between the two anymore.
All I know is that right now it’s 17:17, and I have absolutely no desire to know where that leads…