Matt. 6:11

Jeffrey B. Gibson jgibson000 at
Fri Oct 30 20:46:02 EST 1998


I have occasion recently to give some (more) thought to the bread
petition in the LP (there is an old posting from me on this somewhere at
the beginning of this year, I believe).  And here some random thoughts
on this petition for which I solicit your reactions. 

1. Assuming that EPIOUSION ARTON is a reference to the "bread from
referred to in Ex. 16:4 (the getting of which, and the constraints
about, the faithless wilderness generation grumbled against and
ultimately rejected, thus challenging God's good intentions toward his
elect)  -- is it not the case then that praying  "Father,
do give us SHMERON our EPIOUSION bread", in effect expresses the wish to
be distingushed from, and guarded against becoming, the community of
"Sons" who had this same bread and yet, craving other food, spurned it
as "worthless" (Num. 11; Ps. 78) and demanded to be released from its
constraint, thereby, as Ps. 78 notes (cf. Ex. 17:1-7; Num. 14:22; Ps.
95:6), "test[ing] God in their hearts"?

2. Is SHMERON in the petition a reference to the time when the EPIOUSION
bread is to be given (give us today, i.e., before the sun goes down), or
is it a reference to a particular time of crisis which has dawned and
which stands in the background of the petition, the arrival of which
makes the acceptance of, and satsisfaction with, EPIOUSION bread all the
more necessary for those who wish to show themsleves among God's elect?
In other words, should Matt. 6:11 be translated "DO give us NOW THAT IT
IS "TODAY" the EPIOUSION bread!"?

3. Is it a coincidence that in Hebrews 3:15-17 we find an injunction to
avoid, while there is still time,  becoming like the wilderness
generation coupled with a reference to the dawning of God's "Today"?

4. Would not such a rendering of the meaning of Matt. 6:11 show that
Luke's version of the same petition is really no different than


Jeffrey Gibson
Jeffrey B. Gibson
7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
Chicago, Illinois 60626
e-mail jgibson000 at

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