“But if we say.
‘Of human origin,
All the people
Will stone us.
They are convinced
Was a prophet.’”
ἐὰν δὲ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων, ὁ λαὸς ἅπας καταλιθάσει ἡμᾶς· πεπεισμένος γάρ ἐστιν Ἰωάνην προφήτην εἶναι.
Luke indicated that the Jerusalem Jewish leaders thought that if they said the baptism of John was of human origin (ἐὰν δὲ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων), all the people would stone them (ὁ λαὸς ἅπας καταλιθάσει ἡμᾶς), because the people were convinced or persuaded (πεπεισμένος) that John was a prophet (γάρ ἐστιν Ἰωάνην προφήτην εἶναι). Once again, this is a unique Luke usage of the term καταλιθάσει, to cast stones, stone down, stone to death, or overwhelm with stones, that is not found elsewhere in the Greek biblical literature. This question about the value of the baptism of John the Baptist can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:26, and Mark, chapter 11:32, almost word for word. Mark said that these Jewish Jerusalem leaders did not want to say that this baptism of John was from human origins, man-made (ἀλλὰ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων). They were afraid of the crowds of people (ἐφοβοῦντο τὸν ὄχλον), since they all regarded John the Baptist as a true prophet (ἅπαντες γὰρ εἶχον τὸν Ἰωάνην ὄντως ὅτι προφήτης ἦν). Matthew indicated that if these leaders said that this baptism of John was from human origins (ἐὰν δὲ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων), they were afraid of the crowds of people (φοβούμεθα τὸν ὄχλον), since they all regarded John the Baptist as a prophet (φοβούμεθα τὸν ὄχλον). There was no mention of being stoned in Mark and Matthew, only in Luke. Nevertheless, these leaders were stuck between a rock and a hard place. Have you ever been unable to answer a question?
Said to him.
‘If they do not listen
And the prophets,
Neither will they
Even if someone
From the dead.’”
εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ Εἰ Μωϋσέως καὶ τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀκούουσιν, οὐδὲ ἐάν τις ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ πεισθήσονται.
This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels. Luke indicated that Jesus concluded that Abraham said to the rich man (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ) that if his brothers had not listened to Moses and the prophets (Εἰ Μωϋσέως καὶ τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀκούουσιν), neither would they be convinced or persuaded (πεισθήσονται), if someone rose from the dead (οὐδὲ ἐάν τις ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ). Abraham was clear. They had the Torah of Moses and the written teachings of the prophets. What else did they need? Thus, they would not be moved to repentance even if a dead man appeared to them. This is of course was an indication of what would happen with Jesus in his resurrection. Would you change your mind if a dead person appeared to you?
When they got
Into the boat,
The wind ceased.
Those in the boat
The Son of God.’”
καὶ ἀναβάντων αὐτῶν εἰς τὸ πλοῖον ἐκόπασεν ὁ ἄνεμος.
οἱ δὲ ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ προσεκύνησαν αὐτῷ λέγοντες Ἀληθῶς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς εἶ.
While both Mark, chapter 6:51, and John, chapter 6:21, have Jesus enter the boat, only Matthew has this revelation about Jesus as the Son of God, no longer just the Son of Man. When Jesus and Peter got into the boat (καὶ ἀναβάντων αὐτῶν εἰς τὸ πλοῖον), the wind stopped or abated (ἐκόπασεν ὁ ἄνεμος). Those in the boat worshiped Jesus (οἱ δὲ ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ προσεκύνησαν αὐτῷ). They said he truly was the Son of God (λέγοντες Ἀληθῶς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς εἶ), no questions asked. This was a clear proclamation by his followers that Jesus was divine, the Son of God. Apparently, the multiplication of the bread and fishes plus the walking on water had finally convinced them that Jesus was more than a mere mortal.
“In the days of Moses,
Joshua proved his loyalty
Son of Jephunneh.
They opposed the congregation.
They restrained the people from sin.
They stilled their wicked grumbling.
These two alone were spared
Out of the six hundred thousand infantry.
They led the people into their inheritance,
The land flowing with milk and honey.
The Lord gave Caleb strength.
This remained with him in his old age.
He went up to the hill country.
His children obtained it
For an inheritance.
Thus all the Israelites might see
How good it is to follow the Lord.”
According to Numbers, chapter 14, Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun were the only two people allowed to live long enough to see the Promise Land, because they were the only two that felt like going into the land of Canaan would not be that difficult. The rest of the 600,000 desert wanderers perished and died in the desert wilderness. Not even Moses and Aaron were allowed to make it into the land of milk and honey. The Israelite people had been grumbling, but only Joshua and Caleb convinced them to carry on. Thus Caleb and his family were given a special place in the high country in the new land that they had conquered. Caleb was the ideal warrior and follower of the Lord who lived to a ripe old age with all his strength intact.
“So from the beginning,
I have been convinced
Of all this.
I have thought this out.
I have left it in writing.
All the works of the Lord
He will supply every need
In its time.
No one can say.
‘This is not as good as that.’
Everything proves good
In its appointed time.
Sing praise with all your heart!
Sing praise with your voice!
Bless the name of the Lord!”
Sirach concludes his hymn. He has been convinced of the power of the Lord all the time. He has thought about it. Now he has written it down here in this work. All the works of the Lord are good. Everything will be provided in its proper time. You cannot say that one thing is not as good as another, because everything is good in its appointed time. Therefore you should sing praises to the Lord with your voice. The name of the Lord is to be blessed.
“The king received Judas Maccabeus. He left Hegemonides as the governor from Ptolemais to Gerar. Then the king went to Ptolemais. The people of Ptolemais were indignant over the treaty. In fact, they were so angry that they wanted to annul its terms. Lysias took the public platform, made the best possible defense. He convinced them, appeased them, gained their good will, and then set out for Antioch. This is how the king’s attack and withdrawal turned out.”
Once again, this is similar to 1 Maccabees, chapter 6. There Lysias convinced the king and the commanders that the peace treaty with the Jews was a good idea. Here he must convince the people of Ptolemais, who did not like the Jews. The Syrian Hegemonides remained the governor of the seacoast area. However, the people of Ptolemais were upset about the treaty with the Jews. Only the eloquent speaking of Lysias convinced and appeased them. Thus with good will, they set out for Antioch. This then is the peace treaty that took place when King Antiochus V and Lysias attacked and then withdrew.