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雞年說雞

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原刊於Pastor Kenny Cheung's Blog,2017年1月29日

蘇格拉底是很幽默的,無論在甚麼時候,他常保持輕鬆愉快的心情。當他面臨死亡的一刻,他的弟子們都痛哭失聲,他仍然是妙語如珠,沖淡了不少的悲哀氣氛。有一位弟子勸他在臨死前換下那件破舊的長袍,他堅持不肯,同時說:「我生前即穿著這件破舊的衣服,難道穿著它,死後不能見上帝嗎?」他死前的最後一句話,是對克利多(Crito)說的:「克利多,我還欠阿斯克雷比斯(Asclepius, [希臘神話中的醫神])一隻雄雞,請別忘記還給他。」

~ Phaedo 118a1

古代以色列人中,雞是人所共知最出名大聲鳴叫的雀鳥,雞是雀鳥的一種。舊約記載:「還有高視闊步的(原文זַרְזִ֣יר “高視闊步的” מָתְנַ֣יִם 作 “束著腰的”,意義隱晦;現參古譯本改譯。)雄雞 [ESV, CSB17: “strutting rooster” ] 和公山羊,以及率領軍兵的君王。」(箴言30:31 引自新譯本,包括翻譯註釋, 加上原文.)或許雄雞在古代以色人心中是英武如戰士一樣。一般來說,人都認為雞鳴叫一日最少有三次,第一次是午夜時份,第二次是零晨三時,羅馬兵轉換看守的更次也是按雞的嗚叫時間。2

1. 代贖的祭牲

在宗正猶太人之間有一個Kapparot習俗是在贖罪日之前,就像是舊約利未記中代罪羔羊儀式,用雞作為代贖,一般是一個公雞代替一男子,或一群男性,而每個女子就以不同的的母雞代替,把雞放在頭上搖幾搖,然後就講:“願這雞代替我, 進到死亡, 而我就進到生命永恆中。(“May this chicken be a substitute for me; it will go to death, and I, to life everlasting.”)這可謂是代罪雞,這古老傳統後來有些拉比卻反對,把買搖雞的相同價值的錢捐作慈善。無論如何,這儀式不單是向神認罪,也同樣向人認罪,要求別人寬恕,甚自願要求被打手掌39下,有敬虔的人因自己的罪要求朋友或別人用帶子之類的東西打自己,之後人還要快快用膳,日落之後就開始禁食了。3

2. 回轉的提醒

有人認為神先造公雞和母雞先,然後才生蛋。4有學者解釋約伯記38至38章的背景中是被擄後的第一個新年,雞是與巴勒斯坦的民間故事秋天雨有關,更認為雞是聰明的。5在福音書中,耶穌提及到彼得在雞叫之前會三次否認祂,這可能是彼得的加利利鄉音,幾段經文時序有一些討論,有些解釋是認為一天有幾次雞的嗚叫,不同福音作者所指的那一次有所不同,但不會影響故事的主要情節。(可14:30, 35, 68, 72; 太26:74,75; 路22:34,60,61; 約13:38,18:27)雞的鳴叫是時間的表達,也是一個提醒的象徵意義,似乎按著彼得的性格,耶穌給了他一個回轉的提醒機會,而猶大卻沒有,神的旨意在人的抉擇中交織,回轉和悔改還要看彼得最後的抉擇。6

3. 警醒的禱告

耶穌在耶路撒冷時曾多次呼召聚集百姓回轉歸向神,但一如以往以色列拒絕先知,甚至把他們殺害。耶穌感嘆地說:「我多少次想聚集你的兒女,好像母雞把小雞聚集在翅膀底下,但是你們不願意。」(太23:37, 路13:34)

雞在巴勒斯坦地的鳴叫就好像今日現代人的響鬧鐘,一些學者認雞的鳴叫如守夜的人一樣。有人又認為雞的嗚叫是在零晨12:30分,第二次是1:30分, 然後分別不同時間。有關雞的鳴叫,在第二世紀的文獻記載牠們的報時很準確,在黎明前的鳴叫,人剛好把準備起床的人叫醒過來。馬可福音記載:「所以你們要警醒,因為你們不知道家主甚麼時候來到,也許在黃昏,也許在半夜,也許在雞叫時,也許在清晨。」(可13:35, 新譯本)那時有遠行的大戶,作管家的僕人的,手握大門的出入鑰匙,看管其他僕人等進出,如果是在夜,從遠行回來的主人,在路途又或遛在街上是會有遇上盜賊的危險的,僕人如有疏忽職守,一定會受到責罰。7

這個家主會在某次雞叫時隨時回到家,所以屋內的人要點燈和儆醒,在主人回來敲門時,立刻給他開門。

結語

在出埃及事件中,以色列人在第一次過逾越節時,神就吩咐他們要的束腰和最後的準備(出12:1);在童女的故事中,童女要準備好燃點著的燈(太25:7),因為主人隨時都會來敲門(參啟3:2)「你們的起來,燈也該點著,像等候自己的主人從婚筵回來一樣,好叫你們在主人回來敲門時,立刻給他開門。」(路12:35,36, 新譯本)

信徒應該好像僕人一樣,要時刻警醒祈禱(可13:33),教會就像聰明的童女一樣等候基督的時刻,要保持燈裡有油和不間斷地照亮黑暗的四周(太5:14-16; 25:1-13); 因為我們主隨時會回來,而且時間已經很近了。

  1. Phaedo 118a, http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=plat.+phaedo+118a ; http://www2.hongai.edu.hk/~lm/socrates.htm , 圖片來自網上.
  2. Chad Brand, Charles Draper, Archie England (General Editors), Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 2003, “Cock”.
  3. Feinberg, Charles Lee, “The Old Testament in Jewish Thought and Life, Part 2” Bibliotheca Sacra, Volume111(1954), Issue 442: Apr-Jun. P137: “The ceremony consists of offering a rooster for a man and a hen for a woman. As the person swings the fowl over the head, he says, “May this chicken be a substitute for me; it will go to death, and I, to life everlasting.” The fowl or its value in money is given to charity. Another custom is that of begging forgiveness of one another. Some receive at the hands of another “thirty-nine lashes.” The pious ask a neighbor or a friend to strike them with a strap as %5Ba%5D self-inflicted punishment for their sins. The fast-meal must be eaten before sunset.18 After this meal no food nor drink may be taken until after sunset the next day. All are expected to fast with the exception of children under thirteen years of age and sick persons.” See also http://jewishroots.net/holidays/day-of-atonement/yom-kippur.html ; http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Fall_Holidays/Yom_Kippur/yom_kippur.html
  4. Rankin, John C., “The Corporeal Reality Of Nepes And The Status Of The Unborn” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (2012), P155: “The egg did not precede the chicken, but God created the rooster and chicken first, and thereafter the chicken sat on the egg in nurturance.”
  5. Terrien Samuel., “The Yahweh Speeches And Job’s Responses”, Review & Expositor (Issue 4: Fall 1971), p507: “The motif of the autumnal rain makes the strophe pivotal, for it unites the seasonal calendar in ch. 38 to the carnival of the animals in ch. 39. The presence of a double question on the wisdom of the ibis and the intelligence of the rooster, at the very center of the second sub-strophe, at first glance appears to be out of place (vs. 36), since it is quite separated from the zoological sketches of ch. 39. Actually, this allusion is not in any way surprising if one recalls that the ibis is the bird of Thot, which announces the flood of the Nile, and the rooster (cf. Vulgate) has been associated in the folklore of Palestine with the autumnal rain. In view of the part played in the New Year celebration in the middle-eastern cults by these two motifs, the ritual of royal expiration and the expectation of the autumn rain, one may conjecture that the poem of Job fits a similar situation.”
  6. 有關這段彼得的回轉,有很多註釋書的討論, 但討論預定和神的旨意的,卻不多, 這文章看有教義神學上的討論: House H. Wayne, “The Partially Infinite God: An Exegetical Response to Greg Boyd’s The God of the Possible. Part II”, Conservative Theological Journal (Issue 18: August 2002), P169: “But something more, not only was the prediction that Peter would deny Christ, and do it three times, but it would be before the rooster crowed. Boyd merely says before morning, but there is more than morning involved. The denials occurred immediately before a rooster crowed. How would God, in an open view, anticipate the acts of a non-moral, non-free will being in this prediction?…”
  7. Keener, Craig S., The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, Second Edition (IVP-NT Commentary 2), 2014, P 165.
本文簡短連結 http://faith100.org/XFIMU

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