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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings

Wisdom’s Children

Submitted by on Friday, 11 December 2009One Comment

dalai11

  • Reading I: Isaiah 48:17-19
  • Resp. Psalm: Psalm 1:1-2,6
  • Gospel Reading: Matthew 11:16-19

In Matthew 11:16-19 Jesus compares the towns where he has been preaching to children playing in the marketplace: they won’t respond to the dirge of the Baptist’s asceticism or to the flute of Jesus’ joyful announcement of the good news. In Filipino, one can even interject that "this generation" is sala sa init, sala sa malamig. Then Jesus concludes his comparison with a wisdom saying that has been rendered differently by different translations.


kai edikaiothe he sophia apo ton teknon autes

But Wisdom is justified by her children (New King James Version)
But Wisdom is justified of her children (American Version)
Yet Wisdom is justified by her deeds (NJB)
Yet Wisdom is vindicated by her works (NRSV)
Yet time will prove where Wisdom lies (NAB)
But Wisdom is shown to be right by what results from it (NLT)

Notice that the NKJV and the AV represent very literal renderings of the original with minor differences in the interpretation of apo. The NJB and NRSV however represent an effort to render the concept behind "Wisdom’s children" where "children" are understood as those that are "effected" by Wisdom. In this sense, the New Living Translation is more explicit in its line of interpretation when it chooses a longer rendering "by what results from it (Wisdom)." Given this sampling of renderings, the NAB seems to represent a wholly different line of thought: where does it get the idea of time? Was the translator imagining a word like aharit ("generation after" which can also conceivably stand for "children") behind the Greek teknon?. The NAB translation however retains the enigmatic character of the saying. The line of interpretation followed by the NJB, NRSV and NLT however lends well to the larger context, if we would include the following prophetic oracles over the unrepentant towns within it. This latter ends with a prayer where Jesus mentions "children" as opposed to the "wise and the clever."

At that time Jesus said in reply, "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike. (Matthew 11:25)

This would make the "works of Wisdom" repentance and faith in Jesus’ words. But given the literal translation of the NKJV and AV (also the Douay-Rheims and Vulgate), would it still be necessary to do so? Wisdom’s children would be the community of faith itself.

Isaiah 48:17-19
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
17Thus saith the Lord thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord thy God that teach thee profitable things, that govern thee in the way that thou walkest.
18O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments: thy peace had been as a river, and thy justice as the waves of the sea,
19And thy seed had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof: his name should not have perished, nor have been destroyed from before my face.
Psalm 1:1-2,6
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the chair of pestilence.
2But his will is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he shall meditate day and night.
6For the Lord knoweth the way of the just: and the way of the wicked shall perish.
Matthew 11:16-19
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
16But whereunto shall I esteem this generation to be like? It is like to children sitting in the market place.
17Who crying to their companions say: We have piped to you, and you have not danced: we have lamented, and you have not mourned.
18For John came neither eating nor drinking; and they say: He hath a devil.
19The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say: Behold a man that is a glutton and a wine drinker, a friend of publicans and sinners. And wisdom is justified by her children.
Matthew 11:16-19
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
16But whereunto shall I esteem this generation to be like? It is like to children sitting in the market place.
17Who crying to their companions say: We have piped to you, and you have not danced: we have lamented, and you have not mourned.
18For John came neither eating nor drinking; and they say: He hath a devil.
19The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say: Behold a man that is a glutton and a wine drinker, a friend of publicans and sinners. And wisdom is justified by her children.
Matthew 11:25
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
25At that time Jesus answered and said: I confess to thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to the little ones.

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One Comment »

  • Daily Inspirations » Heed My Command (Isaiah 48:17-19) said:

    […] More here… Isaiah 48:17-19View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew17Thus saith the Lord thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord thy God that teach thee profitable things, that govern thee in the way that thou walkest.18O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments: thy peace had been as a river, and thy justice as the waves of the sea,19And thy seed had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof: his name should not have perished, nor have been destroyed from before my face.Psalm 1:1-2,4View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew1Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the chair of pestilence.2But his will is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he shall meditate day and night.4Not so the wicked, not so: but like the dust, which the wind driveth from the face of the earth.Matthew 11:16-19View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek16But whereunto shall I esteem this generation to be like? It is like to children sitting in the market place.17Who crying to their companions say: We have piped to you, and you have not danced: we have lamented, and you have not mourned.18For John came neither eating nor drinking; and they say: He hath a devil.19The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say: Behold a man that is a glutton and a wine drinker, a friend of publicans and sinners. And wisdom is justified by her children.Isaiah 48:17-19View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew17Thus saith the Lord thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord thy God that teach thee profitable things, that govern thee in the way that thou walkest.18O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments: thy peace had been as a river, and thy justice as the waves of the sea,19And thy seed had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof: his name should not have perished, nor have been destroyed from before my face.Isaiah 48:17-19View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew17Thus saith the Lord thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord thy God that teach thee profitable things, that govern thee in the way that thou walkest.18O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments: thy peace had been as a river, and thy justice as the waves of the sea,19And thy seed had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof: his name should not have perished, nor have been destroyed from before my face.Matthew 11:16-19View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek16But whereunto shall I esteem this generation to be like? It is like to children sitting in the market place.17Who crying to their companions say: We have piped to you, and you have not danced: we have lamented, and you have not mourned.18For John came neither eating nor drinking; and they say: He hath a devil.19The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say: Behold a man that is a glutton and a wine drinker, a friend of publicans and sinners. And wisdom is justified by her children.AKPC_IDS += "1061,";Popularity: unranked [?]See the NRSV rendering for v. 18, which is the most common way of translating the passage. The NAB translation — which I would have preferred — renders the statement in the present tense. [↩] […]

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