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The Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament Reading

Zephaniah 1:7–16

7 הַ֕ס מִ‍פְּנֵ֖י אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֑ה כִּ֤י קָרוֹב֙ י֣וֹם יְהוָ֔ה

כִּֽי־הֵכִ֧ין יְהוָ֛ה זֶ֖בַח הִקְדִּ֥ישׁ קְרֻאָֽי‍ו׃

8 וְ‍הָיָ֗ה בְּ‍יוֹם֙ זֶ֣בַח יְהוָ֔ה

וּ‍פָקַדְתִּ֥י עַל־הַ‍שָּׂרִ֖ים וְ‍עַל־בְּנֵ֣י הַ‍מֶּ֑לֶךְ

וְ‍עַ֥ל כָּל־הַ‍לֹּבְשִׁ֖ים מַלְבּ֥וּשׁ נָכְרִֽי׃

9 וּ‍פָקַדְתִּ֗י עַ֧ל כָּל־הַ‍דּוֹלֵ֛ג עַל־הַ‍מִּפְתָּ֖ן בַּ‍יּ֣וֹם הַ‍ה֑וּא

הַֽ‍מְמַלְאִ֛ים בֵּ֥ית אֲדֹנֵי‍הֶ֖ם חָמָ֥ס וּ‍מִרְמָֽה׃     ס

10 וְ‍הָיָה֩ בַ‍יּ֨וֹם הַ‍ה֜וּא נְאֻם־יְהוָ֗ה

ק֤וֹל צְעָקָה֙ מִ‍שַּׁ֣עַר הַ‍דָּגִ֔ים וִֽ‍ילָלָ֖ה מִן־הַ‍מִּשְׁנֶ֑ה

וְ‍שֶׁ֥בֶר גָּד֖וֹל מֵ‍הַ‍גְּבָעֽוֹת׃  11 הֵילִ֖ילוּ יֹשְׁבֵ֣י הַ‍מַּכְתֵּ֑שׁ

כִּ֤י נִדְמָה֙ כָּל־עַ֣ם כְּנַ֔עַן נִכְרְת֖וּ כָּל־נְטִ֥ילֵי כָֽסֶף׃

12 וְ‍הָיָה֙ בָּ‍עֵ֣ת הַ‍הִ֔יא

אֲחַפֵּ֥שׂ אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלִַ֖ם בַּ‍נֵּר֑וֹת וּ‍פָקַדְתִּ֣י עַל־הָ‍אֲנָשִׁ֗ים

הַ‍קֹּֽפְאִים֙ עַל־שִׁמְרֵי‍הֶ֔ם הָ‍אֹֽמְרִים֙ בִּ‍לְבָבָ֔‍ם

לֹֽא־יֵיטִ֥יב יְהוָ֖ה וְ‍לֹ֥א יָרֵֽעַ׃

13 וְ‍הָיָ֤ה חֵילָ‍ם֙ לִ‍מְשִׁסָּ֔ה וּ‍בָתֵּי‍הֶ֖ם לִ‍שְׁמָמָ֑ה

וּ‍בָנ֤וּ בָתִּים֙ וְ‍לֹ֣א יֵשֵׁ֔בוּ וְ‍נָטְע֣וּ כְרָמִ֔ים וְ‍לֹ֥א יִשְׁתּ֖וּ אֶת־יֵינָֽ‍ם׃

14 קָר֤וֹב יוֹם־יְהוָה֙ הַ‍גָּד֔וֹל קָר֖וֹב וּ‍מַהֵ֣ר מְאֹ֑ד

ק֚וֹל י֣וֹם יְהוָ֔ה מַ֥ר צֹרֵ֖חַ שָׁ֥ם גִּבּֽוֹר׃

15 י֥וֹם עֶבְרָ֖ה הַ‍יּ֣וֹם הַ‍ה֑וּא י֧וֹם צָרָ֣ה וּ‍מְצוּקָ֗ה

י֤וֹם שֹׁאָה֙ וּ‍מְשׁוֹאָ֔ה י֥וֹם חֹ֨שֶׁךְ֙ וַ‍אֲפֵלָ֔ה

י֥וֹם עָנָ֖ן וַ‍עֲרָפֶֽל׃  16 י֥וֹם שׁוֹפָ֖ר וּ‍תְרוּעָ֑ה

עַ֚ל הֶ‍עָרִ֣ים הַ‍בְּצֻר֔וֹת וְ‍עַ֖ל הַ‍פִּנּ֥וֹת הַ‍גְּבֹהֽוֹת׃

Be silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is near; the Lord has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests. And on the day of the Lord’s sacrifice—“I will punish the officials and the king’s sons and all who array themselves in foreign attire. On that day I will punish everyone who leaps over the threshold, and those who fill their master’s house with violence and fraud.” “On that day,” declares the Lord, “a cry will be heard from the Fish Gate, a wail from the Second Quarter, a loud crash from the hills. Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar! For all the traders are no more; all who weigh out silver are cut off. At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are complacent, those who say in their hearts, ‘The Lord will not do good, nor will he do ill.’ Their goods shall be plundered, and their houses laid waste. Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit them; though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them.” The great day of the Lord is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there. A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements. (ESV)

Epistle Reading

1 Thessalonians 5:1–11

5:1 Περὶ δὲ τῶν χρόνων καὶ τῶν καιρῶν, ἀδελφοί, οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ὑμῖν γράφεσθαι, 5:2 αὐτοὶ γὰρ ἀκριβῶς οἴδατε ὅτι ἡμέρα κυρίου ὡς κλέπτης ἐν νυκτὶ οὕτως ἔρχεται.  5:3 ὅταν λέγωσιν, Εἰρήνη καὶ ἀσφάλεια, τότε αἰφνίδιος αὐτοῖς ἐφίσταται ὄλεθρος ὥσπερ ἡ ὠδὶν τῇ ἐν γαστρὶ ἐχούσῃ, καὶ οὐ μὴ ἐκφύγωσιν.  5:4 ὑμεῖς δέ, ἀδελφοί, οὐκ ἐστὲ ἐν σκότει, ἵνα ἡ ἡμέρα ὑμᾶς ὡς κλέπτης καταλάβῃ·  5:5 πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς υἱοὶ φωτός ἐστε καὶ υἱοὶ ἡμέρας.  οὐκ ἐσμὲν νυκτὸς οὐδὲ σκότους·  5:6 ἄρα οὖν μὴ καθεύδωμεν ὡς οἱ λοιποὶ ἀλλὰ γρηγορῶμεν καὶ νήφωμεν.  5:7 οἱ γὰρ καθεύδοντες νυκτὸς καθεύδουσιν καὶ οἱ μεθυσκόμενοι νυκτὸς μεθύουσιν·  5:8 ἡμεῖς δὲ ἡμέρας ὄντες νήφωμεν ἐνδυσάμενοι θώρακα πίστεως καὶ ἀγάπης καὶ περικεφαλαίαν ἐλπίδα σωτηρίας·  5:9 ὅτι οὐκ ἔθετο ἡμᾶς ὁ θεὸς εἰς ὀργὴν ἀλλὰ εἰς περιποίησιν σωτηρίας διὰ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ 5:10 τοῦ ἀποθανόντος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, ἵνα εἴτε γρηγορῶμεν εἴτε καθεύδωμεν ἅμα σὺν αὐτῷ ζήσωμεν.  5:11 Διὸ παρακαλεῖτε ἀλλήλους καὶ οἰκοδομεῖτε εἷς τὸν ἕνα, καθὼς καὶ ποιεῖτε.

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (ESV)

Gospel Reading

Matthew 25:14–30

25:14 Ὥσπερ γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ἀποδημῶν ἐκάλεσεν τοὺς ἰδίους δούλους καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτοῖς τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ, 25:15 καὶ ᾧ μὲν ἔδωκεν πέντε τάλαντα, ᾧ δὲ δύο, ᾧ δὲ ἕν, ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὴν ἰδίαν δύναμιν, καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν.  εὐθέως 25:16 πορευθεὶς ὁ τὰ πέντε τάλαντα λαβὼν ἠργάσατο ἐν αὐτοῖς καὶ ἐκέρδησεν ἄλλα πέντε·  25:17 ὡσαύτως ὁ τὰ δύο ἐκέρδησεν ἄλλα δύο.  25:18 ὁ δὲ τὸ ἓν λαβὼν ἀπελθὼν ὤρυξεν γῆν καὶ ἔκρυψεν τὸ ἀργύριον τοῦ κυρίου αὐτοῦ.  25:19 μετὰ δὲ πολὺν χρόνον ἔρχεται ὁ κύριος τῶν δούλων ἐκείνων καὶ συναίρει λόγον μετ᾽ αὐτῶν.  25:20 καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ τὰ πέντε τάλαντα λαβὼν προσήνεγκεν ἄλλα πέντε τάλαντα λέγων, Κύριε, πέντε τάλαντά μοι παρέδωκας·  ἴδε ἄλλα πέντε τάλαντα ἐκέρδησα.  25:21 ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ, Εὖ, δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ, ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός, ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω·  εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου.  25:22 προσελθὼν [δὲ] καὶ ὁ τὰ δύο τάλαντα εἶπεν, Κύριε, δύο τάλαντά μοι παρέδωκας·  ἴδε ἄλλα δύο τάλαντα ἐκέρδησα.  25:23 ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ, Εὖ, δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ, ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός, ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω·  εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου.  25:24 προσελθὼν δὲ καὶ ὁ τὸ ἓν τάλαντον εἰληφὼς εἶπεν, Κύριε, ἔγνων σε ὅτι σκληρὸς εἶ ἄνθρωπος, θερίζων ὅπου οὐκ ἔσπειρας καὶ συνάγων ὅθεν οὐ διεσκόρπισας, 25:25 καὶ φοβηθεὶς ἀπελθὼν ἔκρυψα τὸ τάλαντόν σου ἐν τῇ γῇ·  ἴδε ἔχεις τὸ σόν.  25:26 ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Πονηρὲ δοῦλε καὶ ὀκνηρέ, ᾔδεις ὅτι θερίζω ὅπου οὐκ ἔσπειρα καὶ συνάγω ὅθεν οὐ διεσκόρπισα;  25:27 ἔδει σε οὖν βαλεῖν τὰ ἀργύριά μου τοῖς τραπεζίταις, καὶ ἐλθὼν ἐγὼ ἐκομισάμην ἂν τὸ ἐμὸν σὺν τόκῳ.  25:28 ἄρατε οὖν ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ τὸ τάλαντον καὶ δότε τῷ ἔχοντι τὰ δέκα τάλαντα·  25:29 τῷ γὰρ ἔχοντι παντὶ δοθήσεται καὶ περισσευθήσεται, τοῦ δὲ μὴ ἔχοντος καὶ ὃ ἔχει ἀρθήσεται ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ.  25:30 καὶ τὸν ἀχρεῖον δοῦλον ἐκβάλετε εἰς τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον·  ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων.

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”


Commentary

Zephaniah 1:9

The following commentary is from Luther's Works, Volume 18 (Lectures on Minor Prophets I).

9. And I will punish everyone who leaps proudly over the threshold. The Latin translator renders this quite well. You see, he respects the sense, if not the words. In the Hebrew it goes this way: “anyone jumping over the threshold on that day.” We have the same expression also in the Song of Solomon (Song of Sol. 2:8): “Behold, my beloved comes leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills.” Also here the interpreters are again looking for another meaning. They take this passage to refer to the priests of Dagon, who would not tread on the threshold of the temple of Dagon after their statue of Dagon had toppled, as we have it in 1 Sam. 5:1-5. However, as I said earlier, it is not my practice here to tear up the prophets as they are in the habit of doing who look for new meanings in almost every single clause and for whom all of it hangs together very poorly. The sense I get is this: Just as he had a little earlier rebuked the wicked princes and had threatened them and the sons of the king with captivity, so here he attacks the sycophants and servants of the princes, people who agree with their masters and their wicked acts and fawn over them” (LW 18:327–8).


Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Written by

Mason Vieth

Mason Vieth is a recent graduate of Concordia University Chicago and is currently a first-year student at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He interned in the professional and academic editorial department at Concordia Publishing House in the summer of 2017. Some of the projects he worked on include Who Was Martin Luther?, CPH’s Academic Blog, as well as other academic and professional resources.

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