“Then people came out
What had happened.
When they came to Jesus,
They found the man,
The demons had gone,
At the feet of Jesus.
He was clothed
And in his right mind.
They were afraid.”
ἐξῆλθον δὲ ἰδεῖν τὸ γεγονὸς, καὶ ἦλθον πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν, καὶ εὗρον καθήμενον τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἀφ’ οὗ τὰ δαιμόνια ἐξῆλθεν ἱματισμένον καὶ σωφρονοῦντα παρὰ τοὺς πόδας τοῦ Ἰησοῦ, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν.
Luke said that the people went out to see (ἐξῆλθον δὲ ἰδεῖν) what had happened (τὸ γεγονὸς). When they came to Jesus (καὶ ἦλθον πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν), they found the man (καὶ εὗρον τὸν ἄνθρωπον), from whom all the demons had gone (ἀφ’ οὗ τὰ δαιμόνια ἐξῆλθεν). He was sitting (καθήμενον) at the feet of Jesus (παρὰ τοὺς πόδας τοῦ Ἰησοῦ), as if he were a disciple of Jesus. He was clothed (ἱματισμένον) and in his right mind (καὶ σωφρονοῦντα). They were afraid (καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν). There is something similar in Mark, chapter 5:15, while there is nothing like this in Matthew. Mark said that the people came to Jesus. They saw the demoniac sitting there clothed, and in his right mind or sober minded. This was the very same violent man, whom the legion or thousands of evil spirits had possessed. However, the people were afraid, because of all that happened. Do some stories make you afraid of God?
“They clothed Jesus
In a purple cloak.
Into a crown,
They put it
καὶ ἐνδιδύσκουσιν αὐτὸν πορφύραν καὶ περιτιθέασιν αὐτῷ πλέξαντες ἀκάνθινον στέφανον
This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:28-29, but not in Luke. In John, chapter 19:2-3, there is something similar. Mark said that these Roman soldiers put a scarlet or purple robe on him (καὶ ἐνδιδύσκουσιν αὐτὸν πορφύραν), so that he might have looked like a king in a purple robe. Then they put on Jesus (καὶ περιτιθέασιν αὐτῷ) a crown of twisted thorns (πλέξαντες ἀκάνθινον στέφανον), like a Roman laurel or gold crown. Have you ever taunted anyone?
“The people came
And in his right mind.
The very man
Of evil spirits.
They were afraid.”
καὶ ἔρχονται πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν, καὶ θεωροῦσιν τὸν δαιμονιζόμενον καθήμενον ἱματισμένον καὶ σωφρονοῦντα, τὸν ἐσχηκότα τὸν λεγιῶνα, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν.
There is something similar in Luke, chapter 8:35, while there is nothing like this in Matthew. Mark said that the people came to Jesus (καὶ ἔρχονται πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν). They saw the demoniac sitting there (καὶ θεωροῦσιν τὸν δαιμονιζόμενον καθήμενον), clothed (ἱματισμένον), and in his right mind or sober minded (καὶ σωφρονοῦντα). This was the very violent man, who had the legion or thousands of evil spirits (τὸν ἐσχηκότα τὸν λεγιῶνα). However, they were afraid (καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν), because of all that happened.
“Now John was clothed
With camel’s hair.
A leather belt
Around his waist.
He ate locusts
And wild honey.”
καὶ ἦν ὁ Ἰωάνης ἐνδεδυμένος τρίχας καμήλου καὶ ζώνην δερματίνην περὶ τὴν ὀσφὺν αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔσθων ἀκρίδας καὶ μέλι ἄγριον.
Mark and Matthew, chapter 3:4, are very similar in their descriptions of John the Baptist, almost word for word. Mark said that John was clothed with camel’s hair (καὶ ἦν ὁ Ἰωάνης ἐνδεδυμένος τρίχας καμήλου). John had a leather belt around his waist (καὶ ζώνην δερματίνην περὶ τὴν ὀσφὺν αὐτοῦ). He also ate locusts and wild honey (καὶ ἔσθων ἀκρίδας καὶ μέλι ἄγριον). Matthew had this description before the preceding verses. There was nothing special about this simple dull clothing and a weak sweet vegetarian diet of food. This description is very reminiscent of the description of Elijah in 2 Kings, chapter 1:8, who also wore a garment of hair and a leather belt. Thus, the comparison of John the Baptist with Elijah was only natural.
“Yet I tell you!
In all his glory,
Was not clothed
Like one of these.
But if God clothes
The grass of the field,
Which is alive today,
But tomorrow is thrown
Into the oven,
Will he not much more
You of little faith!’”
λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐδὲ Σολομὼν ἐν πάσῃ τῇ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ περιεβάλετο ὡς ἓν τούτων.
εἰ δὲ τὸν χόρτον τοῦ ἀγροῦ σήμερον ὄντα καὶ αὔριον εἰς κλίβανον βαλλόμενον ὁ Θεὸς οὕτως ἀμφιέννυσιν, οὐ πολλῷ μᾶλλον ὑμᾶς, ὀλιγόπιστοι;
Once again, Luke, chapter 12:27-28, has a similar Jesus saying, almost word for word, indicating a common Q source. Matthew has Jesus utter his solemn saying (λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν) that King Solomon in all his glory (ὅτι οὐδὲ Σολομὼν ἐν πάσῃ τῇ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ) did not have better looking clothing than these field flowers (περιεβάλετο ὡς ἓν τούτων). In 1 Kings, chapter 10:1-5, the Queen of Sheba remarked about the wonderful clothes of King Solomon and his palace. God, and not the Father, clothes the field grass that is here today (εἰ δὲ τὸν χόρτον τοῦ ἀγροῦ σήμερον ὄντα) and gone tomorrow by being thrown into the furnace or oven (καὶ αὔριον εἰς κλίβανον βαλλόμενον). This use of “κλίβανον,” oven or furnace, is unique to Matthew and Luke here. Would God, not the Father, not take care of their clothing needs (ὁ Θεὸς οὕτως ἀμφιέννυσιν, οὐ πολλῷ μᾶλλον)? Obviously, they were men of little faith (ὀλιγόπιστοι). This word about little faith was a favorite term for Matthew, since he used it 5 times more, with only the Luke parallel here the only other usage in the New Testament.
“Then I bathed you
I washed off
The blood from you.
I anointed you
I clothed you also
With embroidered cloth.
I gave you sandals
Of fine leather.
I bound you
In fine linen.
I covered you
With a rich fabric.”
Yahweh continued to take care of this young girl Jerusalem. He gave her a bath. He washed off her blood. He anointed her with fine oil. He clothed her with hand crafted clothes. He gave her leather sandals for her feet. He gave her linen and rich fabric clothes to wear. She seemed to get only the best available items and care.
“I will greatly rejoice
My whole being shall exult
In my God.
He has clothed me
With the garments of salvation.
He has covered me
With the robe of righteousness.
Like a bridegroom who decks himself
With a garland.
Like a bride who adorns herself
With her jewels.
As the earth brings forth its shoots,
As a garden causes
What is sown in it
To spring up,
So Yahweh God
Will cause righteousness
To spring up before all the nations.
He will cause praise
To spring up before all the nations.”
This author now turns around and rejoices in Yahweh. His whole being and existence exults in God. He has been clothed with the garments of salvation. He wears a robe of righteousness. He is like a groom who wears a flower garland or a bride with all her jewels. He is like the shoots that grow from the ground or like a garden breaking out with flower sprouts. Thus Yahweh, our God, will cause righteousness and praise to spring up among all the various countries.
Go to your resting place,
You and the Ark of your might.
Let your priests be clothed with righteousness.
Let your faithful shout for joy.
For your servant David’s sake
Do not turn away
The face of your anointed one.”
The psalmist wanted Yahweh to rise up and go to his resting place. He wanted Yahweh and the Ark of the Covenant to go to Jerusalem. He wanted the priests to be clothed with righteousness and the faithful people to shout for joy. He wanted David, Yahweh’s servant and anointed one, not to be turned away. The trip of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem can be found in 2 Samuel, chapter 6.
Save me according to your steadfast love!
Let them know that this is your hand.
You have done it!
Let them curse!
But you will bless!
Let my assailants be put to shame!
May your servant be glad!
May my accusers be clothed with dishonor!
May they be wrapped in their own shame as in a mantle!
With my mouth
I will give great thanks to Yahweh.
I will praise him
In the midst of the throng!
He stands at the right hand of the needy.
He wants to save them
From those who would condemn them to death.”
David turned the tables as this psalm ends. He wanted Yahweh to help him because of his steadfast love. He wanted Yahweh to show his hand. He wanted Yahweh to curse his enemies, not him. He wanted the blessing of Yahweh. He wanted his accusers clothed in shame, while he was to be happy. He was going to give great praise to Yahweh in a large gathering. Yahweh was going to stand at the right hand of the needy. Thus he was going to save them from those who wanted to condemn them to death.
“He did not remember to show kindness.
He pursued the poor and needy.
He pursued the brokenhearted to their death.
He loved to curse.
Let curses come on him!
He did not like blessing.
May it be far from him!
He clothed himself with cursing as his coat.
May it soak into his body like water!
May it soak into his bones like oil!
May it be like a garment that he wraps around himself!
May it be like a belt with that he wears everyday!”
This is one of the few descriptions of David that is not favorable. It was an attempt to portray David as some others saw him. Apparently David did not show kindness. He pursued the poor, the needy, and brokenhearted to their death. He loved to curse so that curses should come back on him. He did not like blessings as he clothed himself in cursing. Thus the wish was for him to soak his body like water and his bones like oil. He should wear these garments and belts every day. Somehow he was to wear something like a scarlet letter of disapproval so that all could see it.