Friday, February 24, 2017

What Scripture Says About How to Honor Parents

Scripture provides a lot of guidance on how we are to relate to our parents, beyond the basic command to “honor” them.  Much of that guidance can be gleaned by focusing on the Hebrew or Greek meaning of the verbs used to describe what we should or shouldn’t do. Here are some general principles, followed by annotated quotes of the relevant scriptures.

General Principles
We are to affirmatively help, seek to benefit, our parents in practical ways

         Be real assets to them

         We certainly cannot do them affirmative harm

We must understand/appreciate the importance/centrality of the relationship

It is so important that we must do hard/heavy stuff to keep it going and meet our parents’ needs

We must recognize and execute the duties/obligations that come from such an important relationship

That goes far beyond meeting parents’ needs, we must positively bless & honor them

We must value, revere, venerate them and our relationship with them; we should show piety towards them

We are to recognize that the parent is the leader, the dominant person, in the relationship

         The parent is worthy of great, reverent, honorific, respect

                  Sort of like the “fear” of the Lord.

We are to take very seriously what our parents have to say, heed their instructions/requests

         We should harken to, listen for, what they have to say

We can't ignore, discount, deride their insights/directions 

We are to affirmatively seek after their wisdom/insights, go out of our way to get them

We must pay attention to them with great interest

We should recognize the value of their thoughts/instructions

         And most of all, we are to obey them

Specific Scriptures
Genesis 9:18-27
The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth-Ham being the father of Canaan.19These three were Noah's sons, and from these the whole earth was peopled.

20 Noah, a tiller of the soil, was the first to plant the vine. 21 He drank some of the wine, and while he was drunk, he lay uncovered in his tent. 22 Ham, father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 23 Shem and Japheth took a cloak and they both put it over their shoulders, and walking backwards, covered their father's nakedness; they kept their faces turned away, and they did not look at their father naked.

         Ham spoke ill of, denigrated, his father

                  Told= nagad
                           to be conspicuous, tell, make known
                           announce, report
                           make known, expound
                           to publish, proclaim    
                           stand boldly out
                           to expose

         Shem and Japheth went out of their way to respect their father
They also helped him in practical ways
                  They showed him respect/care even though he messed up

24 When Noah awoke from his stupor he learned what his youngest son had done to him, 25 and said: Accursed be Canaan, he shall be his brothers' meanest slave. 26 He added: Blessed be Yahweh, God of Shem, let Canaan be his slave! 27 May God make space for Japheth, may he live in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his slave!

Honor your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you.
Honor =kabad
          to be heavy, be weighty, be grievous, be hard, be rich, be honorable, 
          be glorious, be burdensome
          to make weighty

Anyone who strikes father or mother will be put to death.
Strikes= nakah             
to smite, attack, attack and destroy, conquer, subjugate, ravage
         to smite, chastise, send judgment upon, punish, destroy

Anyone who curses father or mother will be put to death.
Curses = qalal
            to be slight, be swift, be trifling, be of little account, be light
            to be lightly esteemed
            to treat with contempt, bring contempt or dishonor
            easy, trifling, vile,
            cast away from

Each of you will respect father and mother.
Respect = yare'
             to fear, revere, be afraid
             to stand in awe of, be awed
             reverence, honor, respect
             venerable, august

Anyone who curses father or mother will be put to death. Having cursed father or mother, the blood will be on that person's own head.
Curses = qalal
Honor your father and your mother, as Yahweh your God has commanded you, so that you may have long life and may prosper in the country which Yahweh your God is giving you.
Honor =kabad

Accursed be anyone who treats father or mother dishonorably. And the people must all say, Amen.
Dishonorably = qalal

He summoned his son Tobias and told him, 'When I die, give me an honorable burial. Honor your mother, and never abandon her all the days of your life. Do all that she wants, and give her no reason for sorrow. 4 Remember, my child, all the risks she ran for your sake when you were in her womb. And when she dies, bury her at my side in the same grave.

My child, do not forget my teaching, let your heart keep my principles, 2 since they will increase your length of days, your years of life and your well-being.
Forget= shakach
          ignore, wither, cease to care

Listen, my children, to a father's instruction; pay attention, and learn what understanding is. 2 What I am offering you is sound doctrine: do not forsake my teaching. 3 I too was once a child with a father, in my mother's eyes a tender child, unique. 4 This was what he used to teach me, 'Let your heart treasure what I have to say, keep my principles and you will live; 5 acquire wisdom, acquire understanding, never forget her, never deviate from my words.
Listen = shama
           to hear, listen to, obey
           to hear with attention or interest, listen to
           give heed
            yield to
            to obey, be obedient
            to be regarded
            to hear intelligently(with implication of attention, obedience)
            give ear
            attend to
            render obedience

Attention = qashab
            heed, incline, attend, hearken, pay attention, listen
             to prick up the ears

             grasp, hold, support, attain, lay hold of, hold fast
             to be seized

My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen carefully to what I know; 2 so that you may preserve discretion and your lips may guard knowledge.
Attention = qashab

Listen= natah
         to stretch out, extend, spread out, pitch, turn, incline, bend, bow
         to turn aside, incline, decline, bend down
         incline, intend

And now, son, listen to me, never deviate from what I say
Listen = shama

He who ill-treats his father and drives out his mother is a child both worthless and depraved.
Ill-treats= shadad
         to deal violently with, despoil, devastate, ruin, destroy, spoil
         to ravage

Drives out= barach
to go through, flee, run away, chase, drive away, put to flight, reach, shoot (extend), hurry away
chase (away); drive away, fain, flee (away), put to fligh

Whoever curses father or mother will have his lamp put out in the deepest darkness.
Curses = qalal

Listen to your father from whom you are sprung, do not despise your mother in her old age.
Listen = shama

Despise= buwz
         to despise, hold in contempt, hold as insignificant

Whoever robs father and mother saying, 'Nothing wrong in that!' is comrade for a brigand.
Robs= gazal
to tear away, seize, plunder, tear off, pull off, rob, take away by force

The eye which looks jeeringly on a father, and scorns the obedience due to a mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, and eaten by the vultures.
Looks jeeringly on= la'ag
         to mock, deride, ridicule
         to speak barbarously

Ccorn= buwz
         to despise, hold in contempt, hold as insignificant

Children, listen to me for I am your father: do what I tell you, and so be safe; 2 for the Lord honors the father above his children and upholds the rights of a mother over her sons.
3 Whoever respects a father expiates sins, 4 whoever honors a mother is like someone amassing a fortune.
5 Whoever respects a father will in turn be happy with children, the day he prays for help, he will be heard.
6 Long life comes to anyone who honors a father, whoever obeys the Lord makes a mother happy.
7 Such a one serves parents as well as the Lord.
8 Respect your father in deed as well as word, so that blessing may come on you from him; 9 since a father's blessing makes his children's house firm, while a mother's curse tears up its foundations.
10 Do not make a boast of disgrace overtaking your father, your father's disgrace reflects no honor on you;11 for a person's own honor derives from the respect shown to his father, and a mother held in dishonor is a reproach to her children.
12 My child, support your father in his old age, do not grieve him during his life.
13 Even if his mind should fail, show him sympathy, do not despise him in your health and strength;14 for kindness to a father will not be forgotten but will serve as reparation for your sins.
15 On your own day of ordeal God will remember you: like frost in sunshine, your sins will melt away.
16 Whoever deserts a father is no better than a blasphemer, and whoever distresses a mother is accursed of the Lord.

Then Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem came to Jesus and said, 2 'Why do your disciples break away from the tradition of the elders? They eat without washing their hands.' 3 He answered, 'And why do you break away from the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, "Honor your father and your mother" and "Anyone who curses his father or mother will be put to death." 5 But you say, "If anyone says to his father or mother: Anything I might have used to help you is dedicated to God, 6 he is rid of his duty to father or mother." In this way you have made God's word ineffective by means of your tradition.
         to assist, to be useful or advantageous, to profit
         to benefit:—advantage, better, prevail, profit.

Children, be obedient to your parents in the Lord -- that is what uprightness demands. 2 The first commandment that has a promise attached to it is: Honor your father and your mother, 3 and the promise is: so that you may have long life and prosper in the land.4 And parents, never drive your children to resentment but bring them up with correction and advice inspired by the Lord.
Be obedient= hypakouo
         to listen, to harken
         of one who on the knock at the door comes to listen who it is
         (the duty of a porter)
         to obey, be obedient to, submit to
         to listen attentively
         to heed or conform to a command or authority
         fix the value
         for the value of something belonging to one's self
         to revere, venerate
         To honor with many honors

Children, be obedient to your parents always, because that is what will please the Lord.21 Parents, do not irritate your children or they will lose heart.
Be obedient= hypakouo

 If a widow has children or grandchildren, they are to learn first of all to do their duty to their own families and repay their debt to their parents, because this is what
pleases God.
Duty= eusebo
         to act piously or reverently
         dutiful regard or reverence
         to respect (support)

Debt= amoibe
         requital, recompense

Anyone who does not look after his own relations, especially if they are living with him, has rejected the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Look after = pronoeo
         to perceive before, foresee
         to provide for one
         to take thought for, care for
         look out for beforehand (actively, by way of maintenance)