Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Confusing scripture finally enlightened

Yesterday in the Liturgy of the Hours, Office of Reading I read the following, (from First Kings):

Tuesday, Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, "Please,
let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and I will follow you."
"Go back!" Elijah answered. "Have I done anything to you?"

Year after year I've read this and been perplexed by Elijah's response.
Sometimes I forget to look at other resources; so I looked at the DR translation.

19:16. And thou shalt anoint [...] Eliseus, the son of Saphat, of
Abelmeula, thou shalt anoint to be prophet [...].

19:20. And he forthwith left the oxen, and run after Elias,
and said: Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my
mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said to him:
Go, and return back: for that which was my part, I have
done to thee.

Now it makes sense! Elijah discharged his commission from God and was done. The new translations are supposed to be clearer, but there are several places where they can be very obscure instead.

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