Only the Father sets up the seating arrangement (Mt 20:23-20:23)

“He said to them.

‘You will indeed drink

My cup.

But to sit

At my right hand

And at my left hand is

Not mine to grant.

It is for those

For whom

It has been prepared

By my Father.’”

 

λέγει αὐτοῖς Τὸ μὲν ποτήριόν μου πίεσθε, τὸ δὲ καθίσαι ἐκ δεξιῶν μου καὶ ἐξ εὐωνύμων οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμὸν τοῦτο δοῦναι, ἀλλ’ οἷς ἡτοίμασται ὑπὸ τοῦ Πατρός μου.

 

There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 10:38-39, but slightly different.  Jesus said to the two sons of Zebedee (λέγει αὐτοῖς), James and John, that they would indeed drink of the suffering cup of Jesus (Τὸ μὲν ποτήριόν μου πίεσθε).  Once again, as in the previous verse, the Greek Orthodox text and the corresponding Mark text had a comment about undergoing a baptism that he was going to suffer (καὶ τὸ βάπτισμα ὃ ἐγὼ βαπτίζομαι βαπτισθήσεσθε).  However, as to sitting at the right hand (τὸ δὲ καθίσαι ἐκ δεξιῶν μου) and the left hand of Jesus (μου καὶ ἐξ εὐωνύμων), he said that he had no control over that (οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμὸν τοῦτο δοῦναι).  All that was prepared by the heavenly Father who made ready for those whom he had chosen (ἀλλ’ οἷς ἡτοίμασται ὑπὸ τοῦ Πατρός μου).  Jesus said that he could not grant this request because he was not the decision maker about heavenly seating arrangements.

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The Lord of the Sabbath (Mt 12:6-12:8)

“I tell you!

Something greater

Than the temple is here.

If you had known

What this means.

‘I desire mercy,

Not sacrifice!’

You would not have

Condemned

The guiltless.

The Son of Man is

Lord of the Sabbath.”

 

λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν ὅτι τοῦ ἱεροῦ μεῖζόν ἐστιν ὧδε.

εἰ δὲ ἐγνώκειτε τί ἐστιν Ἔλεος θέλω καὶ οὐ θυσίαν, οὐκ ἂν κατεδικάσατε τοὺς ἀναιτίους.

κύριος γάρ ἐστιν τοῦ σαββάτου ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

 

Mark, chapter 2:27-28, has a similar saying to this, so that he may be the source of this saying.  Matthew has Jesus begin with a solemn proclamation (λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν).  Something or someone greater than the Temple is here (ὅτι τοῦ ἱεροῦ μεῖζόν ἐστιν ὧδε), a clear reference to Jesus himself.  Too bad, that they did not know what the saying about mercy was all about (εἰ δὲ ἐγνώκειτε τί ἐστιν).  Matthew then used the same citation of Hosea that he had earlier in chapter 9:13.  Jesus explained that he desired mercy (τί ἐστιν Ἔλεος θέλω), and not sacrifices (καὶ οὐ θυσίαν), based on Hosea, chapter 6:6, where the essential message was that Yahweh wanted real faithful love, not mere sacrifices.  Hosea wanted the Israelites to have real knowledge of God, rather than worry about burnt offerings.  Thus, the Pharisees would not have condemned the innocent or guiltless ones (οὐκ ἂν κατεδικάσατε τοὺς ἀναιτίους) since Jesus and his disciples had done nothing wrong.  The Son of Man was the Lord of the Sabbath (κύριος γάρ ἐστιν τοῦ σαββάτου ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  Jesus then could control the Sabbath, not the other way around.  Instead of the Sabbath as a gift to humans, Jesus would reinterpret the laws of the Sabbath as the Lord of the Sabbath.

The third temptation (Mt 4:8-4:9)

“Again,

The devil took Jesus

To a very high mountain.

He showed him

All the kingdoms

Of the world

With all their splendor.

He said to him.

‘All these,

I will give you,

If you will fall down,

And worship me.’”

 

Πάλιν παραλαμβάνει αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλὸν λίαν, καὶ δείκνυσιν αὐτῷ πάσας τὰς βασιλείας τοῦ κόσμου καὶ τὴν δόξαν αὐτῶν,

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ταῦτά σοι πάντα δώσω, ἐὰν πεσὼν προσκυνήσῃς μοι.

 

This 3rd and final temptation was the 2nd temptation in Luke, chapter 4:5-8. The wording is the same, indicating a shared common source, perhaps Q. This time, the devil took Jesus to an exceeding high mountain (Πάλιν παραλαμβάνει αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλὸν λίαν). He then showed him all the great kingdoms of the world with all their splendor and glory (καὶ δείκνυσιν αὐτῷ πάσας τὰς βασιλείας τοῦ κόσμου καὶ τὴν δόξαν αὐτῶν). Then he asked Jesus to worship him. If Jesus fell down and worshipped him (ἐὰν πεσὼν προσκυνήσῃς μοι), the devil would then give all these kingdoms with their glory to him (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ταῦτά σοι πάντα δώσω). Somehow this devil thought that he was in control of all the nations in the world. Perhaps the early followers of Jesus thought that the world outside Jerusalem was under the power of the devil. For many Christians, this seemed like a stupid temptation since God, the Father and his Son, already controlled the world.

Hosea buys a prostitute (Hos 3:2-3: 3)

“So,

I bought her

For fifteen shekels

Of silver,

As well as a homer

Of barley,

With a measure

Of wine.

I said to her.

‘You must dwell

As mine

For many days.

You shall not play

The prostitute.

You shall not have

Intercourse

With a man.

Nor will I have

Intercourse with you.’”

Is Hosea buying back Gomer or another woman? The assumption is that this is Gomer, the original prostitute. He purchased her like a slave. It is not clear who he bought her from. Nevertheless, he paid 15 silver shekels, approximately a little over $3,000.00 for her, as well as some barley and wine. Hosea laid down some conditions for his newly purchased sex slave. She could not be a prostitute. She would not have intercourse with any man, not even himself. This would seem to indicate that women needed to control their sexual urges more than men, which seems unrealistic.

The response of Susanna (Dan 13:22-13:23)

“Susanna groaned.

She said.

‘I am completely trapped.

If I do this,

It will mean death for me.

If I do not do this,

I cannot escape

Your hands.

I choose not to do it.

I will fall

Into your hands,

Rather than to sin

In the sight of the Lord.’”

Susanna groaned, as she felt trapped. If she committed adultery with these two elder judges, she would be killed. If she did not, she would fall into their hands. They would control her life and judge her. The choice was hers. She decided not to have sex with these two old judges. Instead, she was not going to sin in the sight of God. She would rather be judged by humans than God. Of course, this is the great moral tale. Stand up for your beliefs.

The tribe of Asher (Ezek 48:2-48:2)

“Adjoining the territory of Dan,

From the east side

To the west side,

Asher,

Was one portion.”

Although it is not mentioned, the Mediterranean Sea might have been Asher’s western border. Here it seems to be on both sides of Dan. Asher in Joshua, chapter 19, was west of Naphtali and Zebulun, but here it is mentioned before them. The Israelites never had control of the seacoast towns anyway.

The cedar tree goes down into Sheol (Ezek 31:15-31:15)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘On the day

It went down

To Sheol,

I closed the deep

Over it.

I covered it.

I restrained

Its rivers.

It mighty waters

Were checked.

I clothed Lebanon

In gloom

For it.

All the trees

Of the field

Fainted

Because of it.’”

Once again, carrying on the theme that Yahweh was in control of all the trees, Yahweh closed the deep abyss that had given water to this great cedar tree. Yahweh covered over and restrained the deep abyss streams that were now held in check. The cedar tree, like other humans, had gone to Sheol, the shadowy underworld afterlife place. Thus, Lebanon was in gloom and mourning for the lost personified tree. Also, all the other trees of the forest fainted because of this happening.