[FT] The fifth commandment [was RE: Virgin Birth]
Jose A. Fernandez
jaf at kuriake.com
Sun Nov 6 12:01:26 PST 2005
Is there an authoritative (or at least well done) work on the meanings
and nuances of the fifth commandment:
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the
land of the LORD your God is giving you.
-- Exodus 20:12, NIV
Merriam-Webster Online defines honor as:
1. a good name or public esteem
3. a person of superior standing
4. one whose worth brings respect or fame
5. the center point of the upper half of an armorial escutcheon
6. an evidence or symbol of distinction
7. chastity, purity
9. social courtesies or civilities extended by a host
10. <certain playing cards>
Merriam-Webster's aren't very satisfying, and actual practice is even
less satisfying. Some practice honor through obedience. Some pratice
honor by public promotion or support. Some practice honor by saying
nice things. In this spectrum of practices, one can honor one's parents
by saying nice things about them while not obeying a single word.
What does "honor" really mean?
I am extremely skeptical of the notion I do not have to honor my parents
if their advice and example are an obstacle to God's will. The fifth
commandment does not include conditions.
From: Julia Ewen
Sent: Friday, November 04, 2005 1:07 PM
Yes, Vanessa, to "honor" someone was not to give them an award. It
was to demonstrate one's respect and love. It involved in the case
of one's parents listening to their wisdom and following their
example (providing of course that such was in line with God's will
expressed through his law and his prophets).
Where our parents' advice and example are an obstacle to God's will,
we don't have to honor them, according to Jesus. When a man said he
would follow Jesus after he had buried his father (one of the
important ways one showed honor to one's parents), Jesus said, "Let
the dead bury the dead". Meaning that if you use obligations to
parents as a way to defer work for God, it is not really the sort of
"honor" that Moses's commandments have at heart.
But Jews have always believed that both father and mother were to be
treated with loving respect...
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