Kill my enemies (Lk 19:27-19:27)

“But as for these enemies

Of mine,

Who did not want me

To be king

Over them,

Bring them here!

Slaughter them

In my presence!”

 

πλὴν τοὺς ἐχθρούς μου τούτους τοὺς μὴ θελήσαντάς με βασιλεῦσαι ἐπ’ αὐτοὺς ἀγάγετε ὧδε καὶ κατασφάξατε αὐτοὺς ἔμπροσθέν μου.

 

Luke uniquely has this comment of Jesus about the nobleman talking about his enemies (πλὴν τοὺς ἐχθρούς μου τούτους) who did not want him to be their king (τοὺς μὴ θελήσαντάς με βασιλεῦσαι ἐπ’ αὐτοὺς).  He wanted them brought to him (ἀγάγετε ὧδε) so that they could kill them in his presence (καὶ κατασφάξατε αὐτοὺς ἔμπροσθέν μου).  Once again, there is a unique word in Luke, κατασφάξατε, meaning to kill off, slaughter, or slay, that is not found in any of the other Greek biblical literature.  This will be a bloodbath.  This concludes the comments that were in verse 14, earlier in this chapter.  There was nothing about this killing in Matthew, only the weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Perhaps Luke combined two stories here.  Do you punish people who do not like you?

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The end of the false prophetesses (Ezek 13:22-13:23)

“Because you have disheartened

The righteous falsely,

Although I have not

Disheartened them.

You have encouraged

The wicked

Not to turn from

Their wicked ways.

You have encouraged

The wicked

Not to save their lives.

Therefore you shall no longer

See false visions.

You shall no longer

Practice divination.

I will save my people

From your hand.

Then you will know

That I am Yahweh.”

Ezekiel concludes this little section on the false prophetesses with Yahweh condemning them. Strangely enough, it is not a death sentence. He merely chastised them for disheartening the righteous ones falsely. These prophetesses had not encouraged the wicked to turn away from their wicked ways. They made no attempt to save the lives of the wicked ones. Their punishment was rather simple. They would no longer have any visions or be allowed to practice divination. By the way, who would stop them? Yahweh would save his people from them. Once again, they would know that he was Yahweh, the God of Israel.

The return of the exiles (Bar 5:5-5:9)

“Arise!

O Jerusalem!

Stand upon the height!

Look toward the east! See your children

Gathered from the west,

Gathered from the east, At the word

Of the Holy One! They are rejoicing

That God has remembered them. They went out from you

On foot.

They were led away

By their enemies.

But God will bring them

Back to you.

They will be carried in glory

As on a royal throne.

God has ordered

That every high mountain

With the everlasting hills

Will be made low.

The valleys will be filled up

To make level ground.

Thus Israel may walk safely

In the glory of God.

The woods

With every fragrant tree

Have shaded Israel

At God’s command.

God will lead Israel with joy,

In the light of his glory,

With the mercy,

With the righteousness

That comes from him.”

This author concludes this book of Baruch with a call to Jerusalem to arise and stand tall. They were to look to the east to see their children, both from the east and west, returning and rejoicing because God had remembered them. They went out on foot, led away by their captive enemies. However, they would return as if carried in glory on a throne. Every high mountain and hill would be leveled, while the valleys would fill up, to make a level ground so that they could walk safely in the glory of God. The fragrant trees of the woods would shade them. God would lead them with the joy and the light of his glory that comes from his mercy and righteousness.

The joyful new Exodus (Isa 55:12-55:13)

“You shall go out in joy!

You shall be led back in peace!

The mountains before you

Shall burst into song.

The hills before you

Shall break out into singing.

All the trees of the field

Shall clap their hands.

Instead of the thorn bushes,

The cypress tree shall come up.

Instead of the briar patch,

The myrtle tree shall come up.

It shall be a memorial to Yahweh.

It shall be an everlasting sign

That you shall not be cut off.”

Second Isaiah concludes this section by talking about a happy return to Jerusalem. The Israelites will return in joy and peace because the singing mountains and hills are alive with the sound of music. The trees of the field will clap with their branches, as if they were hands. Instead of thorn bushes and briar patches, cypress and myrtle trees will grow. This will be a memorial to Yahweh as an everlasting sign that they will never be cut off from Yahweh again.

Yahweh and Judah (Isa 48:1-48:2)

“Hear this!

O house of Jacob!

You are called

By the name of Israel.

You came forth

From the loins of Judah.

You swear by the name of Yahweh.

You confess the God of Israel.

But not in truth or right.

They call themselves

After the holy city.

They lean on the God of Israel.

Yahweh of hosts is his name.”

This chapter concludes the first section or first chant of Second Isaiah. Second Isaiah has this continual call to listen. This is directed at the house of Jacob, the Israelites, who come from Judah, a clear distinction about the house of Judah compared to all the other tribes. They swear by the name of Yahweh. They confess him as the God of Israel, but not truly or rightly in good faith. They seem to call themselves after their holy city. They lean on the God of Israel, Yahweh, and his army.

Powerful providence (Isa 40:27-40:31)

“Why do you say?

O Jacob!

Speak!

O Israel!

‘My way is hidden from Yahweh.

My right is disregarded by my God!’

Have you not known?

Have you not heard?

Yahweh is the everlasting God.

He is the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint.

He does not grow weary.

His understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the faint.

He strengthens the powerless.

Even youths will faint.

They will be weary.

Young men shall fall exhausted.

But those who wait for Yahweh

Shall renew their strength.

They shall mount up

With wings

Like eagles.

They shall run.

They shall not be weary.

They shall walk.

They shall not faint.”

This chapter concludes with a shout out to the great providence of God. Do not be concerned that God does not know about you. Yahweh is an everlasting God, the creator of everything. Although he is unsearchable, he does not grow faint or weary in his understanding of you. He gives power to the faint. He strengthens the powerless. Even if some young people grow faint, weary, and exhausted, anyone who waits for Yahweh will find renewed strength. They will fly with wings like they were eagles. They will run and not be weary. They will walk and not be faint. They just need to trust Yahweh, their God.

Enjoy your work (Eccl 3:22-3:22)

“So I saw that there is nothing better

Than that all should enjoy their work.

That is their lot.

Who can bring them to see

What will be after them?”

Qoheleth concludes this chapter on death with the idea that you should enjoy your work. This is sometimes forgotten today. He maintains that this is your fate in life. You have no idea what will come after you, so why not enjoy what you are doing today.