The angel said not to be afraid (Lk 1:13-1:13)

“But the angel

Said to him.

‘Do not be afraid!

Zechariah!’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ ἄγγελος Μὴ φοβοῦ, Ζαχαρία,

 

Luke then has this oracle of the angel of God, almost like a theophany.  Zechariah got a direct message from God, via this angel.  First, the angel told Zechariah (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ ἄγγελος) not to be afraid (Μὴ φοβοῦ, Ζαχαρία).  That was easier said than done.  This was an attempt to set Zechariah at ease.

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Old Testament scriptural quotation about John (Mt 11:10-11:10)

“This is the one

About whom

It is written.

‘See!

I am sending

My messenger

Ahead of you.

He will prepare

Your way

Before you.’”

 

οὗτός ἐστιν περὶ οὗ γέγραπται Ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἀποστέλλω τὸν ἄγγελόν μου πρὸ προσώπου σου, ὃς κατασκευάσει τὴν ὁδόν σου ἔμπροσθέν σου.

 

This written passage about John (οὗτός ἐστιν περὶ οὗ γέγραπται) is from the prophet Malachi, chapter 3:1, although not explicitly mentioned here.  This saying about John the Baptist can be found word for word in Luke, chapter 7:27.  Thus, this may have been a Q source about John, like many of the other passages about John.  Actually, Mark, chapter 1:2, had part of this saying as the beginning of his gospel when he introduced John.  In Malachi, Yahweh was going to send his messenger or angel before him or his face (Ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἀποστέλλω τὸν ἄγγελόν μου πρὸ προσώπου σου) to prepare the way for him (ὃς κατασκευάσει τὴν ὁδόν σου ἔμπροσθέν σου).  Originally, Yahweh would re-enter into his Temple, because the messenger of the delightful covenant had prepared things for him.  There is no mention of the Temple here.  John was clearly inferior to Jesus, since he was there to prepare the way for Jesus as his messenger, much like an angel of God.

Under what tree did all this take place (Dan 13:54-13:55)

“Now then,

If you really saw

This woman,

Tell me this.

Under what tree

Did you see them

Being intimate

With each other?’

He answered.

‘Under a mastic tree.’

Daniel said.

‘Very well!

This lie

Has cost you

Your head.

The angel of God

Has received

The sentence

From God.

He will immediately cut you

In two.’”

Then Daniel asked this old judge under what tree did Susanna and the young man have this famous intimate embrace. This elder answered that it was under the mastic tree, a small sweet evergreen tree. Daniel immediately responded that this was a lie, without any indication of why he felt this way. Daniel was very forceful in his response to this elder. Daniel told him that he would lose his head. An angel of God was going to deliver a sentence on him, by cutting him into two pieces. This was a Greek play on words, since the Greek word for mastic tree (σχϊνος) was close to the Greek word to cut (σχισει).