Exegesis of the Parables at Vespers for Pentecost Numbers 11:16-17, 24-29 ; Joel 2:23-32 ; Ezekiel 36:24-28

Coptic Ikon of Pentecost.

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Synopsis: The "Parables" for an important commemoration are read on the eve of the feast, and are usually from the OT, and they always elucidate the meaning of the feast in some way. We look at the 3 OT readings for Pentecost Vespers, which, among other things, describe the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the calling of the Gentiles, the promise of the sending of the Holy Spirit to all Christians, and a superb description of the human condition and how the Holy Spirit helps heal it. This last point may be the most important one, because of we do not recognize our need, we will not do everything in our power to have the Holy Spirit abide in us.

More homilies on Pentecost are HERE

Numbers 11:16-17, 24-29 16 And the Lord said to Moses: Gather unto me seventy men of the ancients of Israel, whom thou knowest to be ancients and masters of the people: and thou shalt bring them to the door of the tabernacle of the covenant, and shalt make them stand there with thee, 17 That I may come down and speak with thee: and I will take of thy spirit, and will give to them, that they may bear with thee the burden of the people, and thou mayest not be burthened alone. 24 Moses therefore came, and told the people the words of the Lord, and assembled seventy men of the ancients of Israel, and made them to stand about the tabernacle. 25 And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spoke to him, taking away of the spirit that was in Moses, and giving to the seventy men. And when the spirit had rested on them they prophesied, nor did they cease afterwards. 26 Now there remained in the camp two of the men, of whom one was called Eldad, and the other Medad, upon whom the spirit rested; for they also had been enrolled, but were not gone forth to the tabernacle. 27 And when they prophesied in the camp, there ran a young man, and told Moses, saying: Eldad and Medad prophesy in the camp. 28 Forthwith Josue the son of Nun, the minister of Moses, and chosen out of many, said: My lord Moses forbid them. 29 But he said: Why hast thou emulation for me? O that all the people might prophesy, and that the Lord would give them his spirit!

Joel 2:23-32 23 And you, O children of Sion, rejoice, and be joyful in the Lord your God: because he hath given you a teacher of justice, and he will make the early and the latter rain to come down to you as in the beginning. 24 And the floors shall be filled with wheat, and the presses shall overflow with wine and oil. 25 And I will restore to you the ears which the locust, and the bruchus, and the mildew, and the palmerworm have eaten; my great host which I sent upon you. 26 And you shall eat in plenty, and shall be filled: and you shall praise the name of the Lord your God, who hath done wonders with you, and my people shall not be confounded for ever. 27 And you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: and I am the Lord your God, and there is none besides: and my people shall not be confounded for ever. 28 And it shall come to pass after this, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy: your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29 Moreover upon my servants and handmaids in those days I will pour forth my spirit. 30 And I will shew wonders in heaven; and in earth, blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood: before the great and dreadful day of the Lord doth come. 32 And it shall come to pass, that every one that shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved: for in mount Sion, and in Jerusalem shall be salvation, as the Lord hath said, and in the residue whom the Lord shall call.

Ezekiel 36:24-28 24 For I will take you from among the Gentiles, and will gather you together out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 And I will pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness, and I will cleanse you from all your idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit in the midst of you: and I will cause you to walk in my commandments, and to keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And you shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God


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