“Those who passed by
They were shaking
You who would destroy
And build it
In three days,
From the cross!’”
Καὶ οἱ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν καὶ λέγοντες Οὐὰ ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν καὶ οἰκοδομῶν ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις,
σῶσον σεαυτὸν καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ.
This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:39-40. In Luke, chapter 23:35-37, the religious leaders and the soldiers were doing the mocking, not the passersby people. However, John did not have anyone making remarks about Jesus. Mark said that some people passing by abused and derided Jesus (Καὶ οἱ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν). They shook their heads at Jesus (κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν). They said “Aha! (Οὐὰ),” as they reminded Jesus that he had said (καὶ λέγοντες) if the Temple was destroyed (ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν), he would rebuild it in three days (καὶ οἰκοδομῶν ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις). They told Jesus to save himself (σῶσον σεαυτὸν). Why didn’t he come down from the cross (καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ)? The taunting of these people seemed to turn on Jesus’ own words. It would be surprising if many people came by the cross.
“Those who passed by
‘You who would destroy
And then build it
In three days,
If you are
The Son of God,
From the cross.’”
Οἱ δὲ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν
καὶ λέγοντες Ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις οἰκοδομῶν, σῶσον σεαυτόν, εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ κατάβηθι ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ.
This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:29-30. In Luke, chapter 23:35, the religious leaders were doing the mocking. However, John did not have anyone making remarks about Jesus. Matthew said that some passing by people abused and derided Jesus (Οἱ δὲ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν). They shook their heads at Jesus (κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν). They reminded Jesus (καὶ λέγοντες) that he had said if the Temple was destroyed (Ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν), he would rebuild it in three days (καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις οἰκοδομῶν). They told Jesus to save himself (σῶσον σεαυτόν). If he was the Son of God (εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ), why didn’t he come down from the cross (καὶ κατάβηθι ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ). The taunting of these people seemed to turn on Jesus’ own words.
“Thus says Yahweh.
‘For three transgressions
And for four,
I will not revoke
Because they delivered
Over to Edom.
They did not remember
The covenant of brotherhood.
I will send a fire
On the wall of Tyre.
This fire shall devour
Tyre was the northern port city in the old Israelite territory of Asher. Yahweh, via Amos, invoked the same language as against Damascus and the Philistines. He used the same numeric formula of 3 and 4, that was in Proverbs, chapter 30. He was not going to forgive. The city of Tyre, like the city of Gaza, was involved in the slave trade with Edom. They did not understand the universal covenant or treaty of all people who are really brothers or somehow related. They abused other humans as slaves. Thus, Yahweh was going to send a fire, just like that at Gaza, to devour their strongholds.
“If in bitterness of soul,
Some should curse you,
Their Creator will hear their prayer.
Endear yourself to the congregation.
Bow your head low to the great.
Give a hearing to the poor.
Return their greeting politely.
Rescue the oppressed from the oppressor.
Do not be hesitant in giving a verdict.
Be like a father to orphans.
Be like a husband to their mother.
You will then be like a son of the Most High.
He will love you more than does your mother.”
Now it may happen, that someone who is bitter might curse you. Let the Creator God judge you. Fit into your community. Bow your head to the people in charge. Listen to the poor. Greet them politely. Rescue those who are being abused. Do not be afraid to make a judgment. Be like a father to orphans and a husband to widows. If you do these things, you will be like a son of the Most High God. God, the Creator, will love you more than your mother does. This is a strong demand for a civil society.
“Whoever corrects a scoffer wins abuse.
Whoever rebukes the wicked gets hurt.
A scoffer who is rebuked,
Will only hate you.
The wise man,
Will love you.
Give instruction to the wise.
They will become wiser still.
Teach the righteous,
They will gain in learning.
The fear of Yahweh
Is the beginning of wisdom.
The knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Your days will be multiplied.
Years will be added to your life.
If you are wise,
You are wise for yourself.
If you scoff,
You alone will bear it.”
If you mock or deride people as scoffers, there is no sense in rebuking you. You will only get hurt and abused because you are as if rebuking a wicked person. They will hate you. On the other hand, if you give instruction to the wise ones, they will become wiser still. If you teach the righteous, they will gain in learning. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of Yahweh. The knowledge of the Holy One leads to insight. Wisdom will multiple your days and years. If you are wise, it will go well with you. If you are a scoffer or cynic, you will bear the whole burden alone.