Do not be led astray (Lk 21:8-21:8)

“Jesus said.

‘Beware!

Do not be led astray!

Many will come

In my name.

They will say.

‘I am he!’

And

‘The time is near!’

Do not go after them!’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Βλέπετε μὴ πλανηθῆτε· πολλοὶ γὰρ ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου λέγοντες Ἐγώ εἰμι, καί Ὁ καιρὸς ἤγγικεν· μὴ πορευθῆτε ὀπίσω αὐτῶν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that they should be aware (Βλέπετε) and not be led astray (ὴ πλανηθῆτε) because many people would come in his name (πολλοὶ γὰρ ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου).  They would say (λέγοντες) that they were Jesus (Ἐγώ εἰμι) and that the end time was near (καί Ὁ καιρὸς ἤγγικεν).  However, they were not to go after them (μὴ πορευθῆτε ὀπίσω αὐτῶν).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:4-5, and in Mark, chapter 13:5-6, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus began to tell them about people who might lead them astray (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἤρξατο λέγειν αὐτοῖς).  He told them that they should be aware, so that they would not be led astray or be misled (Βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς πλανήσῃ).  They had to be cautious, so as not to be deceived.  Jesus said that many people would come in his name (πολλοὶ ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου) saying that they were the One (λέγοντες ὅτι Ἐγώ εἰμι).  They would try to deceive them by leading them astray (καὶ πολλοὺς πλανήσουσιν).  In Matthew, Jesus warned them against people who might lead them astray (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς πλανήσῃ).  Many people would come in his name (πολλοὶ γὰρ ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου) saying that they were the Messiah Christ (λέγοντες Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ Χριστός).  Matthew explicitly mentioned the Christ, but this was not in the other accounts.  They would say this in order to deceive them and lead them astray (καὶ πολλοὺς πλανήσουσιν).  Apparently, there were many deceptive Jewish messianic leaders who were saying that they were the Christ Messiah.  John the Baptist was an example of a messianic leader in the 1st century CE.  Other political Jewish leaders had messianic ambitions also, especially those who led the revolt against the Romans in the 2nd half of the 1st century.  Jesus was warning against all of them.  Have people tried to deceive you?

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Jesus enters the Temple (Lk 19:45-19:45)

“Jesus entered

The Temple.

He began

To drive out

Those who were

Selling things there.”

 

Καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν ἤρξατο ἐκβάλλειν τοὺς πωλοῦντας,

 

Luke simply said that Jesus entered the Temple in Jerusalem (Καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν).  Then he began to drive out those who were selling things there (ἤρξατο ἐκβάλλειν τοὺς πωλοῦντας).  This description of Jesus in the Temple can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:12, almost word for word with Mark, chapter 11:15.  However, they had more details in both of these accounts than the short summary here in Luke.  In John, chapter 2:14-16, there was an even more elaborate description, but this action took place at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, not at the end as here and other synoptics.  Mark described how Jesus and his disciples entered Jerusalem (Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα).  When they entered the Temple (Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸ ἱερόν), Jesus began to drive out or throw out (ἤρξατο ἐκβάλλειν) those who was selling (τοὺς πωλοῦντας), or buying (καὶ τοὺς ἀγοράζοντας) animals for the sacrifice offerings in the Temple (ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ).  John said that Jesus had whips.  He overturned the tables of the money-changers (καὶ τὰς τραπέζας τῶν κολλυβιστῶν), who converted foreign coins into the Temple shekels for the Temple offerings.  He also overturned the chairs or the seats of those who were selling doves (καὶ τὰς καθέδρας τῶν πωλούντων τὰς περιστεράς κατέστρεψεν) for the Temple sacrifices.  Matthew described how Jesus entered the Jerusalem Temple (Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὸ ἱερόν).  Then Jesus drove out or threw out everyone who was selling, exchanging, or buying animals for the sacrifice offerings in the Temple (καὶ ἐξέβαλεν πάντας τοὺς πωλοῦντας καὶ ἀγοράζοντας ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ).  He overturned the tables of the money-changers (καὶ τὰς τραπέζας τῶν κολλυβιστῶν κατέστρεψεν).  He also overturned the chairs or the seats of those who were selling doves (καὶ τὰς καθέδρας τῶν πωλούντων τὰς περιστεράς) for the Temple sacrifices.  All these people were functionaries of the Temple.  They were trying to help people make the right sacrificial offerings there.  Obviously, they made money from these sales, but this was the normal customary thing in the Temple.  Jesus upset these people with this somewhat violent action.  Up until this point, Jesus had been very mild mannered.  Are you mild mannered or violent in your reactions to things that displease you?

The second group gets killed also (Mt 21:36-21:36)

“Again,

The landowner sent

Other slaves,

More than the first time.

The tenants did the same

To them.”

 

πάλιν ἀπέστειλεν ἄλλους δούλους πλείονας τῶν πρώτων, καὶ ἐποίησαν αὐτοῖς ὡσαύτως.

 

This parable of the wicked tenants can be found in Mark, chapter 12:4-5, and Luke, chapter 20:11-12, but there were multiple occasions with individual slaves in both these accounts, instead of the multiple slaves here on just one occasion.  This landowner sent more slaves (πάλιν ἀπέστειλεν ἄλλους δούλους) this second time around.  This time, there was more than the 3 like the first time (πλείονας τῶν πρώτων), without any indication of how many.  However, the wicked tenants did the same thing to them (καὶ ἐποίησαν αὐτοῖς ὡσαύτως) that they had done to the first group of slaves, once again without being specific.

The disciples could not heal the epileptic (Mt 17:15-17:16)

“The kneeling man said.

‘Lord!

Have mercy on my son!

He is an epileptic!

He suffers terribly!

He often falls

Into the fire.

He often falls

Into the water.

I brought him

To your disciples.

But they were not able

To cure him.’”

 

καὶ λέγων Κύριε, ἐλέησόν μου τὸν υἱόν, ὅτι σεληνιάζεται καὶ κακῶς ἔχει· πολλάκις γὰρ πίπτει εἰς τὸ πῦρ καὶ πολλάκις εἰς τὸ ὕδωρ.

καὶ προσήνεγκα αὐτὸν τοῖς μαθηταῖς σου, καὶ οὐκ ἠδυνήθησαν αὐτὸν θεραπεῦσαι.

 

The story of the man with the incurable epileptic son can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 9:17-18, Luke, chapter 9:38-40, and here in Matthew, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Here it is the kneeling man, and not someone from the crowd who yells out to Jesus.  He addressed Jesus as the Lord (καὶ λέγων Κύριε).  He wanted Jesus to have mercy on his son (ἐλέησόν μου τὸν υἱόν), who was an epileptic (ὅτι σεληνιάζεται).  Epileptics were often considered to be possessed by the devil.  Even today, we are still unsure of the exact cause of epilepsy seizures.  This man’s son suffered very badly (καὶ κακῶς ἔχει).  He often fell into a fire (πολλάκις γὰρ πίπτει εἰς τὸ πῦρ) and into water (καὶ πολλάκις εἰς τὸ ὕδωρ).  Then there is the kicker that he had asked Jesus’s disciples to cure his son (καὶ προσήνεγκα αὐτὸν τοῖς μαθηταῖς σου), but they were not able to cure him (καὶ οὐκ ἠδυνήθησαν αὐτὸν θεραπεῦσαι).  Why were the disciples of Jesus unable to cure his son?

The death of King Sennacherib (Tob 1:21-1:22)

“But not forty days passed before two of King Sennacherib’s sons killed him. They fled to the mountains of Ararat. Then his son King Esarhaddon reigned in his place. He appointed Ahikar, the son of my brother Hanael, over all the accounts of his kingdom. He had authority over the entire administration. Ahikar interceded for me. Then I returned to Nineveh. Now Ahikar was chief cupbearer, the keeper of the signet. He was in charge of the administration of the accounts under King Sennacherib of Assyria. King Esarhaddon reappointed him. He was my nephew and so a close relative.”

Now we have the revolt of the sons of King Sennacherib as was mentioned in 2 Kings, chapter 19. We have a new player Ahikar, or as he is sometimes called Achiacharus. He is the nephew of Tobit, the son of Tobit’s brother Hanael, who was not mentioned until here. Somehow Ahikar was in charge of the accounts for the deceased King Sennacherib of Assyria. It is not clear how he got that job. With the new King Esarhaddon (681-669 BCE), after the revolution, he was put in charge of the entire administration in Assyria. Now this important nephew pleaded with the king to help Tobit.