Leaves on the trees (Lk 21:30-21:30)

“As soon as the trees

Sprout leaves,

You can see

For yourselves.

You know

That the summer

Is already near.”

 

ὅταν προβάλωσιν ἤδη, βλέποντες ἀφ’ ἑαυτῶν γινώσκετε ὅτι ἤδη ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος ἐστίν·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that as soon as the trees sprout leaves (ὅταν προβάλωσιν ἤδη), they can see and know for themselves (βλέποντες ἀφ’ ἑαυτῶν γινώσκετε) that summer was already near (ὅτι ἤδη ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος ἐστίν).  This was almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 24:32, and Mark, chapter 13:28.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that as soon as the tree’s branches or shoots became tender (ὅταν ἤδη ὁ κλάδος αὐτῆς ἁπαλὸς γένηται), it would put forth its leaves (καὶ ἐκφύῃ τὰ φύλλα).  Then they would know that summer was near (γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος ἐστίν).  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that as soon as the tree’s branches or shoots became tender (ὅταν ἤδη ὁ κλάδος αὐτῆς γένηται ἁπαλὸς), the tree would put forth its leaves (καὶ τὰ φύλλα ἐκφύῃ).  Then they would know that summer was near (γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος).  In other words, the early leaves on a tree indicated that summer was coming.  Let’s hope that summer keeps on coming.  Do you like spring time?

They spread garments (Lk 19:36-19:36)

“As Jesus rode along,

People kept spreading

Their cloaks

On the road.”

 

πορευομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ὑπεστρώννυον τὰ ἱμάτια ἑαυτῶν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ.

 

Luke said that as Jesus rode (πορευομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ) along the road on this colt, people kept spreading their cloaks (ὑπεστρώννυον τὰ ἱμάτια ἑαυτῶν) on the road (ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ).  Once again, the word ὑπεστρώννυον, that means to spread under, was unique to Luke, and not found elsewhere in the Greek biblical literature.  However, both Matthew, chapter 21:8, and Mark, chapter 11:8 were more similar to each other than to Luke.  They added the idea of branches on the road that was not here in LukeMark said that many people (καὶ πολλοὶ) spread out their outer garments, cloaks, or coats on the road (τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτῶν ἔστρωσαν εἰς τὴν ὁδόν).  Meanwhile, others were cutting down leafy branches from the surrounding fields (ἄλλοι δὲ στιβάδας, κόψαντες ἐκ τῶν ἀγρῶν), also spreading out these branches on the road.   Matthew emphasized the large crowds.  He said that a very large crowd of people (ὁ δὲ πλεῖστος ὄχλος) spread out their outer garments or coats on the road (ἔστρωσαν ἑαυτῶν τὰ ἱμάτια ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ,).  Meanwhile, others were cutting down branches from the surrounding trees (ἄλλοι δὲ ἔκοπτον κλάδους ἀπὸ τῶν δένδρων).  They also spread out these branches on the road (καὶ ἐστρώννυον ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ).  This idea of laying garments on the road can be found in 2 Kings, chapter 9:13, to protect the feet of the king.  Clearly, this was an attempt to connect Jesus with the Davidic kingship.  Was Jesus to be the new king of Israel as a son of David?  This event has become the basis for the great Palm Sunday celebration, the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem.  Actually, only John, chapter 12:13, called these palm branches.  Do you like the palms on Palm Sunday?

The parable of the fig tree (Mk 13:28-13:28)

“From the fig tree,

Learn its lesson!

As soon as its branches

Becomes tender,

It puts forth

Its leaves.

Then you know

That summer is near.”

 

Ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς συκῆς μάθετε τὴν παραβολήν· ὅταν ἤδη ὁ κλάδος αὐτῆς ἁπαλὸς γένηται καὶ ἐκφύῃ τὰ φύλλα, γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος ἐστίν

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 24:32, and similar in Luke, chapter 21:29-30.  Mark indicated that Jesus said they were to learn a lesson or parable (μάθετε τὴν παραβολήν) about the fig tree (Ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς συκῆς).  As soon as its branches or shoots became tender (ὅταν ἤδη ὁ κλάδος αὐτῆς ἁπαλὸς γένηται), it would put forth its leaves (καὶ ἐκφύῃ τὰ φύλλα).  Then you would know that summer was near (γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος ἐστίν).  In other words, the early leaves on a tree indicated that summer was coming.  Let’s hope that summer keeps coming.

The fiery day to come (Mal 4:1-4:1)

“‘See!

The day is coming,

Burning

Like an oven.

All the arrogant

Will be stubble.

All evildoers

Will be stubble.

The day that comes

Shall burn them up.’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

Thus,

It will leave them

Neither root

Nor branch.”

The day of Yahweh would be a fiery hot day.  The wicked ones would burn up as if they were in an oven.  All the arrogant and evildoers would be like stubble for the fire that would burn all of them up.  Yahweh of hosts was going to leave these wicked people without roots or branches.  Thus, the idea that God will come with fire has its biblical origins here.

The interpretation of the two olive trees (Zech 4:11-4:14)

“Then I said to him.

‘What are these two olive trees

On the right,

And on the left,

Of the lampstand?’

A second time

I said to him.

‘What are these two branches

Of the olive trees,

That pour out

The oil

Through the two golden pipes?’

He said to me.

‘Do you not know

What these are?’

I said.

‘No!

My lord.’

Then he said.

‘These are the two anointed ones

Who stand by Yahweh

Of the whole earth.’”

Once again, Zechariah asked the angel for an explanation about the 2 olive trees that were on the left and the right side of the lampstand.  In fact, he asked twice.  The second time he wanted to know why the 2 olive tree branches were pouring out oil through 2 golden pipes.  This time, the angel responded that these were the 2 anointed ones who stood by Yahweh for the whole earth to see.  Perhaps this was an indication about the high priest Joshua and Governor Zerubbabel.

A comparison to the trees in the Garden of Eden (Ezek 31:8-31:9)

“The cedars

In the garden of God

Could not rival it.

The fir trees

Could not equal

Its boughs.

The plane trees were

As nothing

Compared

With its branches.

No tree

In the garden of God

Was like it

In beauty.

I made it beautiful

With its mass

Of its branches.

All the trees of Eden

Envied it.

All the trees envied it

That were

In the garden of God.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, compared this great cedar to the cedars in the Garden of Eden from Genesis, chapters 2-3. This is much like chapter 28 of this work with the comparison between the precious stones of Tyre and the Garden of Eden. Here the Garden of Eden is called the garden of God. The cedars from this garden of God could not rival this great cedar. The fir trees of the garden of God were not equal to this cedar either. All the branches of common trees were as nothing compared to this great cedar tree. In fact, no tree in the garden of God was like it in its beauty and branches. All the trees from the Garden of Eden, the garden of God, envied this great cedar. Yahweh had made this beautiful cedar tree.

The transplanted vine (Ezek 19:12-19:14)

“But the vine

Was plucked up

In fury.

It was cast down

To the ground.

The east wind

Dried it up.

Its fruit

Was stripped off.

Its strong stem

Was withered.

The fire

Consumed it.

Now it was transplanted

Into the wilderness,

Into a dry,

Thirsty land.

The fire has gone out

From its stem.

It has consumed

Its branches.

It has consumed

Its fruit.

Thus there remains

In it

No strong stem.

There is no scepter

For ruling.

This is a lamentation.

It is used

As a lamentation.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel continued this allegory. The good mother vine was plucked up in anger. It was cast down to the ground. The east wind dried it up. Its fruit was stripped off. The strong stem was withered. Fire consumed it. Then they transplanted it into the wilderness, the desert, a dry thirsty land. A fire consumed its stem, branches, and fruit. There no longer was a strong stem for a ruling scepter. This is a reference that Judah no longer had a ruler. Thus this was a useful lamentation.