Tuesday, August 04, 2015

"upon the mountains of Ararat" - Aesop's Fish

A Tokyo Railroad Station

Aesop's Fish

It is very interesting that 500 years before Christ the world had seen great philosophers or persons of religion: Daniel, Socrates, the Buddha, Confucius, etc.

But the most interesting one that seems to have had an influence on Christ Jesus is Aesop.
Aesop (c. 620–564 BCE) was an Ancient Greek fabulist or story teller credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop's Fables.

From Aristotle and Herodotus we learn that Aesop was a slave in Samos and that his masters were first a man named Xanthus and then a man named Iadmon; that he must eventually have been freed, because he argued as an advocate for a wealthy Samian; and that he met his end in the city of Delphi.

So, it is no wonder that Judaists and Christ Jesus heard some stories created by Aesop.
The following Bible verses may have been taken from Aesop:
1. The Fighting Cocks and the Eagle 
Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
2. The Mouse and The Bull 
Ecclesiastes 9:11 "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong… but time and chance happeneth to them all."
3. The Kingdom of the Lion 
Isaiah 11:6-9 "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid... And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together… They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain..."
4. The Raven and the Swan 
Jeremiah 13:23 "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil." 
5. The Two Pots 
Douay-Rheims: Ecclesiasticus 13:3 "What agreement shall the earthen pot have with the kettle? for if they knock one against the other, it shall be broken."
6. Wolf in Sheep's Clothing 
Matthew 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
7. The Quack Frog 
Luke 4:23 "And he [Jesus] said unto them… Physician, heal thyself."
8. The Fisherman and His Pipe 
Luke 7:32 "They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept."


It is so interesting that Christ Jesus adapted The Fisherman and His Pipe.
Luk 7:29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
Luk 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
Luk 7:31 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?
Luk 7:32 They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
Luk 7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
Luk 7:34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
However the original story regrading The Fisherman and His Pipe is as follows:
There was once a fisherman who saw some fish in the sea and played on his pipe, expecting them to come out onto the land. When his hopes proved false, he took a net and used it instead, and in this way he was able to haul in a huge catch of fish. As the fish were all leaping about, the fisherman remarked, 'I say, enough of your dancing, since you refused to dance when I played my pipe for you before!'

It is a little hard to find relevance between Aesop's story and Christ's saying.  But, even if fish or people didn't act as expected by God, God would take a decisive step to realize what He has expected.

We should dance and weep, when we are expected to do so by God.  But the minds, hearts, and souls clouded and soiled by desire and money cannot dance and weep if they see a sacred man being executed.

So, I have to liken people of our generation to those fish.

Additionally, Aesop's Fables were first introduced into Japan in the late 16th century by Catholic missionaries to Japan.  The Fables had some influences on the Japanese literature in later centuries.

アリとキリギリス(The Ants and the Grasshopper)

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Gen 8:4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.