Monday, 16 April 2012

The Ethical Will of Eleazar of Mayence Part 2

The above looks exactly like my treasured volume :)

Eleazar's ethical will is a much better inheritance to leave posterity than earthly booty. Here is another excerpt:

These are the things which my sons and daughters shall do at my request. They shall go to the house of prayer morning and evening...So soon as the service is over, they shall occupy themselves a little with the Torah, the Psalms, or with works of charity. Their business must be conducted honestly whether in dealings with Jew or Gentile. They must be courteous in their manners, and prompt to agree to every honorable request. They must not talk more than is necessary; by this will they be saved from slander, falsehood, and frivolity. They shall give an exact tithe of all their possessions. They shall never turn away a poor man empty-handed, but must give him what they can, be it much or little. If he beg a night's lodging, and they know him not, let them provide him with the wherewithal to pay an inn-keeper. Thus shall they satisfy the needs of the poor in every possible way...

The first sentence above reminds me of the 5th commandment to honor thy father and thy mother. This father requests alot from his children, many of the things listed above remind me of the Apostle Paul's admonitions to his spiritual children.

Rom 12:16  Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Rom 12:17  Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
Rom 12:18  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 

The counsel to provide lodging for those who need it reminds me of the story of the good Samaritan.  These are very high aspirations. When I see a homeless man my first thought is not to try to provide him safe lodging for the night. I certainly could not bring men off the street to sleep in my apartment, being a woman who lives alone. But I certainly could do more than I do. I think it is something that churches as a whole should work on being better at working together to provide shelter and clothing to the poor like the early NT churches did, and not leave it up to the government to do because they do a very slip-shod job of it, and it should never have come to this. When the church is truly doing their job they help the person back on their feet to do for themselves ASAP, and not live sucking the life and resources out of others.

2Th 3:10  For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
2Th 3:11  For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
2Th 3:12  Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
2Th 3:13  But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
2Th 3:14  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
2Th 3:15  Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

The above excerpt from Eleazar's will also reminds me of the counsel found here.

Jer 9:24  But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.


  1. So much of this is so very scriptural, hmmm?

    I especially like this:

    They must not talk more than is necessary; by this will they be saved from slander, falsehood, and frivolity.

    I was at my mom's a couple of weeks ago and I found myself just yammering and yammering and it was like in the back of my head someone was screaming "shut up!" but I didn't. I am afraid I may have engaged in some gossip. UGH! If we would shut it more, we'd be a lot better off!

    1. Me too (insert embarrassed smilie here) The last part of the will also adds:

      Let me repeat my warning against gossip and scandal. And as ye speak no scandal, so listen to none, for if there were no receivers there would be no bearers of slanderous tales: therefore the reception and credit of slander is as serious an offense as the originating of it...

      wow, that shoe pinches...

    2. The first sentence above reminds me of the 5th commandment to honor thy father and thy mother.

      Another thing Eleazar's will reminds me of is the book of Proverbs in which a father gives wise counsel to his son.


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