Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time


Suppose you see someone who is searching out physicians. You probably would conjecture that he is sick. In the same way also, when you see either man or woman searching out information on the laws of dissolving marriages, you might not be far from wrong in conjecturing that some alienation has occurred between them and that one or the other may be wanton.
So does the question of this passage arise out of alienation.1


“Male and female.” Not male and many females, so that a man is allowed to possess many wives, nor males and a female, so that one woman is allowed to have many husbands. No, he said male and female, so that a woman should think that no man has been made in the world except one, and a man should think that no woman has been made in the world except one. For it was not two or three ribs that he took from the side of man; and he did not make two or three women. When, therefore, a second or a third wife stands before your face, as then Eve stood before Adam, how could you say to them, “This is bone from my bones”? For even if that woman is truly a rib, it is still not yours. If you have not said this to her, you do not affirm that she is your wife; but if you have said it, you lie.2


What does it mean when Joshua, the son of Nun, says among other things which he recalls that the Lord had done for the Israelites: “He sent wasps before you and drove out the Canaanites from your face”? One also finds that statement in the book of Wisdom, but nonetheless one cannot find any account of such a thing taking place. But perhaps “wasps” ought to be understood in a metaphorical sense to mean the sharp stings of fear, by which they were stung in a way as rumors flew about, so that they fled. Or wasps may refer to the invisible spirits of the air, as it says in the psalm, “through wicked angels.” Perhaps someone will say that not everything which took place has been written down and that the incident with the wasps also took place in a visible manner, so that this passage should be understood to refer to real wasps.3


  1. HOMILY 32.  Simonetti, M. (Ed.). (2002). Matthew 14-28 (p. 90). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  2. HOMILY 32.  Simonetti, M. (Ed.). (2002). Matthew 14-28 (p. 91). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  3. QUESTIONS ON JOSHUA 27.  Franke, J. R. (Ed.). (2005). Old Testament IV: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1–2 Samuel (p. 95). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
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