Third brother (Lk 20:31-20:31)

“The third brother

Married her.

In the same way,

All seven brothers

Died childless.”

 

καὶ ὁ τρίτος ἔλαβεν αὐτήν, ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ οἱ ἑπτὰ οὐ κατέλιπον τέκνα καὶ ἀπέθανον.

 

Luke indicated that the Sadducees continued with their story about the 7 brothers.  They said that the third brother married this widow or took her as a wife (καὶ ὁ τρίτος ἔλαβεν αὐτήν).  Then in the same way, all 7 brothers died, leaving her childless (ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ οἱ ἑπτὰ οὐ κατέλιπον τέκνα καὶ ἀπέθανον).  Matthew, chapter 22:26-27, and Mark, chapter 12:21-22, said almost the same thing.  Mark indicated that the third brother did the same as the second brother (καὶ ὁ τρίτος ὡσαύτως).  Thus, the same thing happened to the second and third brothers as happened to the first brother.  They all died childless after marrying the same woman.  The Sadducees said that none of the 7 brothers had any children or offspring (καὶ οἱ ἑπτὰ οὐκ ἀφῆκαν σπέρμα).  Matthew indicated that likewise, the same thing happened to the second and third brother all the way down to the seventh brother (ὁμοίως καὶ ὁ δεύτερος καὶ ὁ τρίτος, ἕως τῶν ἑπτά).  There was a definite pattern here.  Do you think that this woman got to know that family pretty well?

Seven brothers (Lk 20:29-20:29)

“Now there were

Seven brothers.

The first one married.

And died childless.”

 

ἑπτὰ οὖν ἀδελφοὶ ἦσαν· καὶ ὁ πρῶτος λαβὼν γυναῖκα ἀπέθανεν ἄτεκνος·

 

Luke indicated that the Sadducees said that there were 7 brothers (ἑπτὰ οὖν ἀδελφοὶ ἦσαν·).  The first one married or took a wife (καὶ ὁ πρῶτος λαβὼν γυναῖκα), but died childless (ἀπέθανεν ἄτεκνος).  This story about the woman and 7 brothers can be found in Matthew, chapter 22:25, and in Mark, chapter 12:20, almost word for word.  This story was fairly well known.  Mark said that there were 7 brothers (ἑπτὰ ἀδελφοὶ ἦσαν).  The first one married or took a wife (καὶ ὁ πρῶτος ἔλαβεν γυναῖκα).  Then he died (καὶ ἀποθνῄσκων).  He was childless, since he had no seed descendants or offspring (οὐκ ἀφῆκεν σπέρμα).  Matthew said that the first one married (καὶ ὁ πρῶτος γήμας).  Then he died (ἐτελεύτησεν).  He was childless since he had no descendants or offspring (καὶ μὴ ἔχων σπέρμα).  Thus, he left his widowed wife to his brother (ἀφῆκεν τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ).  You can see where this story is going.  Do you know anyone who married his or her dead brother’s or sister’s widow or widower?

Mosaic law of taking a dead man’s wife (Lk 20:28-20:28)

“These Sadducees

Asked him a question.

‘Teacher!’

Moses wrote for us

That if a man’s brother dies,

Leaving a wife childless,

The man shall marry

The widow.

He will raise up children

For his brother.’”

 

λέγοντες Διδάσκαλε, Μωϋσῆς ἔγραψεν ἡμῖν, ἐάν τινος ἀδελφὸς ἀποθάνῃ ἔχων γυναῖκα, καὶ οὗτος ἄτεκνος ᾖ, ἵνα λάβῃ ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ ἐξαναστήσῃ σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke said that these Sadducees asked Jesus a question (λέγοντες), respectfully calling him “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε)!”  They said that Moses wrote for them (Μωϋσῆς ἔγραψεν ἡμῖν) in Deuteronomy, chapter 25:5-10, that if a man’s brother dies (ἐάν τινος ἀδελφὸς ἀποθάνῃ), leaving a wife childless (ἔχων γυναῖκα, καὶ οὗτος ἄτεκνος ᾖ), that man should marry the widow (ἵνα λάβῃ ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν γυναῖκα) to raise up children or seed for his brother (καὶ ἐξαναστήσῃ σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ).  Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use this word ἄτεκνος, that means childless.  Matthew, chapter 22:24, and Mark, chapter 12:19, are almost word for word as here in LukeMark said that these Sadducees addressed Jesus very respectfully as “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε).”  They quoted a Mosaic text that Moses had written for them (Μωϋσῆς ἔγραψεν ἡμῖν),  If a man’s brother should die (ὅτι ἐάν τινος ἀδελφὸς ἀποθάνῃ) leaving behind a wife (καὶ καταλίπῃ γυναῖκα) without any children (καὶ μὴ ἀφῇ τέκνον), his living brother should take his dead brother’s widow as his wife (ἵνα λάβῃ ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν γυναῖκα).  He would then raise up the descendant children or seeds for his brother (καὶ ἐξαναστήσῃ σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ).  Matthew indicated that these Sadducees also addressed Jesus very respectfully as “Teacher” or “Rabbi (λέγοντες Διδάσκαλε).”  They quoted a Mosaic text, as Moses said (Μωϋσῆς εἶπεν).  If a man died without any children (Ἐάν τις ἀποθάνῃ μὴ ἔχων τέκνα), his brother should marry the widow (ἐπιγαμβρεύσει ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ).  He would then raise up the descendants for his brother (καὶ ἀναστήσει σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ).  This levirate law goes back as far as Tamar in Genesis, chapter 38:1-30, with the story of Judah’s 3 sons and Tamar, the original wife of Er.  The brother of the deceased was supposed to marry his brother’s widow if he had no sons.  The widow was not to marry outside her family.  It also assumes that the brother lived close by or in the same house as his brother.  There was no indication of whether the brother was married or not, but this seems to assume a younger brother.  This was an attempt to prolong the heritage and name of a person, which was common in ancient times.  The punishment for the brother’s refusal was an insult, rather than any physical punishment.  Would you marry the wife or husband or your dead brother or sister?

The seven brothers and the one wife died (Mk 12:22-12:22)

None of the seven brothers

Left any children.

Last of all,

The woman herself died.”

 

καὶ οἱ ἑπτὰ οὐκ ἀφῆκαν σπέρμα. ἔσχατον πάντων καὶ ἡ γυνὴ ἀπέθανεν.

 

This story about the death of the woman who had married 7 brothers can be found in Matthew, chapter 22:26-27, and in Luke, chapter 20:31-32, but there was no explicit mention of them being childless as in MatthewMark said that none of the 7 brothers had any children or offspring (καὶ οἱ ἑπτὰ οὐκ ἀφῆκαν σπέρμα).  Finally, last of all, this woman widow herself died (ἔσχατον πάντων καὶ ἡ γυνὴ ἀπέθανεν).  This was a nice simple but very improbable story.

Second and third brothers (Mk 12:21-12:21)

“The second brother

Married the widow.

Then he died.

He left no children.

The third brother

Did likewise.”

 

καὶ ὁ δεύτερος ἔλαβεν αὐτήν, καὶ ἀπέθανεν μὴ καταλιπὼν σπέρμα· καὶ ὁ τρίτος ὡσαύτως·

 

This story about the woman who married 7 brothers can be found in Matthew, chapter 22:26, and in Luke, chapter 20:31, almost word for word.  Mark said that the 2nd brother married the widow of the 1st brother or took her as his wife (καὶ ὁ δεύτερος ἔλαβεν αὐτήν).  Then he died (καὶ ἀπέθανεν) with no children or offspring (μὴ καταλιπὼν σπέρμα·), so that the 3rd brother did the same as the 2nd brother (καὶ ὁ τρίτος ὡσαύτως).  Thus, the same thing happened to the 2nd and 3rd brothers as happened to the 1st brother.  They all died childless after marrying the same woman.  There is a pattern here.

Seven brothers (Mk 12:20-12:20)

“There were seven brothers.

The first one married.

When he died,

He left no children.

 

ἑπτὰ ἀδελφοὶ ἦσαν· καὶ ὁ πρῶτος ἔλαβεν γυναῖκα, καὶ ἀποθνῄσκων οὐκ ἀφῆκεν σπέρμα·

 

This story about the woman and 7 brothers can be found in Matthew, chapter 22:25, and in Luke, chapter 20:29, almost word for word.  Thus, this story was fairly well known.  There were 7 brothers (ἑπτὰ ἀδελφοὶ ἦσαν).  The first one married or took a wife (καὶ ὁ πρῶτος ἔλαβεν γυναῖκα).  Then he died (καὶ ἀποθνῄσκων).  He was childless, since he had no seed descendants or offspring (οὐκ ἀφῆκεν σπέρμα).

The vicious request of Jeremiah (Jer 18:21-18:23)

“Therefore give their children

Over to famine!

Hurl them out

To the power of the sword!

Let their wives become childless!

Let their wives become widowed!

May their men meet death

By pestilence!

May their youths be slain

By the sword in battle!

May a cry be heard

From their houses,

When you bring the marauder

Suddenly upon them.

They have dug a pit

To catch me.

They laid snares

For my feet.

Yet you!

Yahweh!

Know all their plotting

To kill me.

Do not forgive their iniquity!

Do not blot out their sin

From your sight!

Let them be tripped up before you!

Deal with them

While you are angry!”

Jeremiah does not hold back his contempt for his adversaries. He is vicious in this lament to Yahweh. First, he wanted their children to die whether by famine or by the sword. He wanted their wives to be childless and widows. He hoped that they might die from a pestilence. He wanted their young men killed in battle. He wanted a marauder to suddenly attack them. They had plotted to catch him and kill him in a pit, as they laid snares for his feet. He told Yahweh not to forgive their iniquity, not to blot out their sins. They should be tripped up. He wanted Yahweh to deal with them while he was angry, so that they would receive a worse sentence. There was no sense of Jeremiah’s mercy or compassion here. He wanted his enemies completely destroyed.