A prophet without honor (Mk 6:4-6:4)

“Then Jesus said

To them.

‘Prophets are not

Without honor,

Except in their hometown,

Among their own relatives,

And in their own house.’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι Οὐκ ἔστιν προφήτης ἄτιμος εἰ μὴ ἐν τῇ πατρίδι αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ.

 

This saying about no honor for prophets in their hometown can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:57, and Luke, chapter 4:24, and here.  Mark said that Jesus told them (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) that prophets are not without honor or not despised (ὅτι Οὐκ ἔστιν προφήτης ἄτιμος), except in their own country (εἰ μὴ ἐν τῇ πατρίδι αὐτοῦ), among their own relatives (καὶ ἐν τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν αὐτοῦ), and in their own house (καὶ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ).  They would be not honored among their own hometown, relatives, and in their own house.  It is always more difficult in your own home town.  This was common among the Old Testament prophets, especially the Israelite prophets Jeremiah and Amos.

 

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The darkness in the skies (Mt 24:29-24:29)

“Immediately

After the sufferings

Of those days,

The sun

Will be darkened.

The moon

Will not give its light.

The stars

Will fall

From heaven.

The powers

Of the heavens

Will be shaken.”

 

Εὐθέως δὲ μετὰ τὴν θλῖψιν τῶν ἡμερῶν ἐκείνων ὁ ἥλιος σκοτισθήσεται, καὶ ἡ σελήνη οὐ δώσει τὸ φέγγος αὐτῆς, καὶ οἱ ἀστέρες πεσοῦνται ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται.

 

This is exactly the same, almost word for word, in Mark, chapter 13:24-25, with a vague reference to this in Luke, chapter 21:25.  Jesus said that immediately after the sufferings mentioned earlier in those days (Εὐθέως δὲ μετὰ τὴν θλῖψιν τῶν ἡμερῶν ἐκείνων), there would be a cosmic upheaval.  The sun would be darkened (ὁ ἥλιος σκοτισθήσεται).  The moon would not give its light (καὶ ἡ σελήνη οὐ δώσει τὸ φέγγος αὐτῆς).  The stars would fall from the skies (καὶ οἱ ἀστέρες πεσοῦνται ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ).  The powers of the heavens would be shaken or stirred up (καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται) in this time of complete darkness, during this celestial disturbance.  This is fully in line with the great Israelite prophetic tradition of the Day of Yahweh, like Ezekiel, chapter 32:7, Joel, chapter 2:10, Amos, chapter 8:9, and Zephaniah, chapter 1:15

A prophet without honor in his own country (Mt 13:57-13:58)

“They took offense

At Jesus.

But He said to them.

‘Prophets are not without honor

Except in their own country

And in their own house.’

Jesus did not do

Many deeds of powers there,

Because of their unbelief.”

 

καὶ ἐσκανδαλίζοντο ἐν αὐτῷ. ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Οὐκ ἔστιν προφήτης ἄτιμος εἰ μὴ ἐν τῇ πατρίδι καὶ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ.

καὶ οὐκ ἐποίησεν ἐκεῖ δυνάμεις πολλὰς διὰ τὴν ἀπιστίαν αὐτῶν.

 

This saying about no honor for prophets in their hometown can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 6:4-6, and Luke, chapter 4:23-30, but in a more elaborate way.  Matthew said that Jesus had offended them (καὶ ἐσκανδαλίζοντο ἐν αὐτῷ).  However, Jesus said to them (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that prophets are not without honor or not despised (Οὐκ ἔστιν προφήτης ἄτιμος), except in their own country (εἰ μὴ ἐν τῇ πατρίδι) and in their own house (καὶ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ).  Jesus did not do many miracles there (καὶ οὐκ ἐποίησεν ἐκεῖ δυνάμεις πολλὰς), because of their unbelief (διὰ τὴν ἀπιστίαν αὐτῶν.).  It is always more difficult in your own home town.  The Israelite prophets Jeremiah and Amos were also rejected by their own people.

The kings of Judah up to the Babylonian captivity (Mt 1:8-1:11)

“Joram was

The father of Uzziah.

Uzziah was

The father of Jotham.

Jotham was

The father of Ahaz.

Ahaz was

The father of Hezekiah.

Hezekiah was

The father of Manasseh.

Manasseh was

The father of Amos.

Amos was

The father of Josiah.

Josiah was

The father of Jechoniah

And his brothers,

At the time of the deportation

To Babylon.”

 

Ἰωρὰμ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ὀζείαν, Ὀζείας δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωαθάμ, Ἰωαθὰμ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἄχαζ, Ἄχαζ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἐζεκίαν, Ἐζεκίας δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Μανασσῆ, Μανασσῆς δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀμώς, Ἀμὼς δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωσείαν, Ἰωσείας δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰεχονίαν καὶ τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τῆς μετοικεσίας Βαβυλῶνος.

 

The chronology of the Judean kings, as found in 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles, chapter 3, picks up with Amaziah’s son, Azariah (Ὀζείαν) or Uzziah who ruled from about 781-740 BCE.  However, here it says that Joram (Ἰωρὰμ) was his father when Joram was the father of Ahaziah.  Uzziah had a son named Jotham (Ἰωαθάμ) who ruled from about 740-736 BCE.  His son Ahaz (Ἄχαζ) ruled from about 736-716 BCE.  His son Hezekiah (Ἐζεκίαν) ruled from about 716-687 BCE.  His son Manasseh (Μανασσῆ) ruled from about 687-642 BCE.  His son Amon or Amos (Ἀμώς) ruled from about 642-640 BCE.  His son Josiah (Ἰωσείαν) ruled from about 640-609 BCE.  Many of Josiah’s sons would rule Judah.  His son Johanan, Jehoahaz or Shallum ruled for just one year about 609 BCE.  His brother (τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς), Josiah’s son Jehoiakim or Eliakim ruled from 609-598 BCE.  His son Jehoiachin, Coniah or Jeconiah (Ἰεχονίαν) ruled for less than a year about 598 BCE.  Zedekiah or Mattaniah, brother of Jehoiakim and son of Josiah, ruled from about 598-587 BCE until the beginning of the Babylonian captivity (ἐπὶ τῆς μετοικεσίας Βαβυλῶνος).  The Greek text used the term “begat” (ἐγέννησεν) to represent the relationships between these 8 men.  However, it seems perfectly acceptable to simply call them the father instead of saying “fathered them.”

The twelve Minor Prophets

The twelve minor writing prophets have shorter books than the major prophets.  These writing prophets range from the 8th to the 5th century BCE.  These include Hosea from the 8th century BCE, Joel from the 8th -5th century BCE, Amos from the 8th century BCE, Obadiah and Jonah from the 6th century BCE, Micah and Nahum from the 8th century BCE, Habakkuk and Zephaniah from the 7th century BCE, Haggai and Zechariah from the 6th century BCE, and Malachi from the 5th century BCE.  Some of these prophets had an influence on New Testament Christian writers.

The flight from Jerusalem (Zech 14:5-14:5)

“You shall flee

By the valley

Of Yahweh’s mountain.

The valley between the mountains

Shall reach to Azal.

You shall flee,

As you fled

From the earthquake

In the days of King Uzziah

Of Judah.

Then Yahweh,

Your God,

Will come.

All the holy ones

Will be with him.”

The citizens of Jerusalem would flee their town via this valley in the Mount of Olives.  They would reach Azal, probably a small town beside the Mount of Olives.  Apparently, this was the same place where people fled during the reign of King Uzziah of Judah (781-740 BCE).  The Book of Amos in its first chapter mentioned an earthquake that took place at that time sometime around 760-750 BCE.  This must had made a big impact on people, because Zechariah mentioned it some 250 years later.  In the end, Yahweh, their God would come with his holy ones.  Thus, all the fugitives would be with Yahweh.

The bitter wrathful day of Yahweh (Zeph 1:14-1:16)

“The great day of Yahweh

Is near,

Near,

Coming fast.

The sound of

The day of Yahweh

Is bitter.

The warrior

Cries aloud there.

That day will be

A day of wrath,

A day of distress,

A day of anguish,

A day of ruin,

A day of devastation,

A day of darkness,

A day of gloom,

A day of clouds

A day of darkness,

A day of trumpet blast,

A day of battle cry,

Against the fortified cities,

Against the lofty battlements.”

The day of Yahweh was to be a day of wrath and doom, as can be found also in Amos, chapter 5 and Isaiah, chapter 2.  This great day for Yahweh was coming right away, very soon.  This bitter sound was in the air, as the warriors cried out loudly with their battle cry against the fortified cities and their secure fortresses.  This was a day of wrath, distress, anguish, ruin, devastation, darkness, gloom, clouds, and a trumpet blast, certainly not a happy day.  Thus, the natural connection to death formed the inspiration for the medieval funeral hymn, Dies Irae, Latin for the day of wrath.