“Now when Jesus returned,
They were all
Ἐν δὲ τῷ ὑποστρέφειν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπεδέξατο αὐτὸν ὁ ὄχλος· ἦσαν γὰρ πάντες προσδοκῶντες αὐτόν.
Luke continued to follow Mark. When Jesus returned (Ἐν δὲ τῷ ὑποστρέφειν τὸν Ἰησοῦν), the crowd welcomed him (ἀπεδέξατο αὐτὸν ὁ ὄχλος). They were all waiting for him (ἦσαν γὰρ πάντες προσδοκῶντες αὐτόν). There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 5:21. Mark said that Jesus crossed to the other side of the sea in a boat. There, a great crowd gathered around him near the seashore. Jesus had returned to familiar ground in the Jewish area around the western side of the Sea of Galilee. Do you like to return to familiar territory?
Had crossed again
In the boat
To the other side,
A great crowd
Gathered around him.
He was by the sea.”
Καὶ διαπεράσαντος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ πάλιν εἰς τὸ πέραν συνήχθη ὄχλος πολὺς ἐπ’ αὐτόν, καὶ ἦν παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν.
There is something similar to this in Luke, chapter 8:40. Mark said that Jesus crossed to the other side of the sea in a boat (Καὶ διαπεράσαντος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ πάλιν εἰς τὸ πέραν). There, a great crowd gathered around him (συνήχθη ὄχλος πολὺς ἐπ’ αὐτόν) near the seashore (καὶ ἦν παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν). Jesus had returned to familiar ground in the Jewish area around the western side of the Sea of Galilee.
Into a boat,
To his own town.”
Καὶ ἐμβὰς εἰς πλοῖον διεπέρασεν, καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς τὴν ἰδίαν πόλιν.
There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 2:1. Both here and there, there is an indication that Capernaum has become the home of Jesus. He went back into the boat (Καὶ ἐμβὰς εἰς πλοῖον) and sailed across (διεπέρασεν) the Sea of Galilee, although this sea is not explicitly mentioned. He then came to his own home town (καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς τὴν ἰδίαν πόλιν) on the northwest side of the sea. There is no indication of whose boat they were traveling in. Perhaps it was the boat of one of his disciples since they were fishermen.
“The elements changed places with one another.
As on a harp
The notes vary the nature of the rhythm,
While each note remains the same.
This may be clearly inferred
From the sight of what took place.
The land animals were transformed into water creatures.
The creatures that swim moved over to the land.
Fire even in water retained its normal power.
Water forgot its fire-quenching nature.
On the contrary,
Flames failed to consume
The flesh of perishable creatures
That walked among them.
Nor did they melt the crystalline,
Quick melting kind of heavenly food.”
Now we see what happened in the desert on the way to the Promised Land. Nature was turned upside down. Somehow the rhythm of life had changed. Just like notes on a harp, there was a new sound. The land animals became water creatures, while the water creatures moved to the land. What is this author talking about? Probably this is a reference to some cattle that might have crossed the Red Sea. The water frogs, however, were on land. Water did not quench fire as the fire blazed even in water. The use of water and fire at various times on this journey points to their unique powers. Finally the manna from heaven did not melt. Most of this can be found in chapter 16 of this book.
“Through the very things
By which their enemies were punished,
They received benefit in their need.
Instead of the fountain
Of an ever-flowing river
Stirred up with blood,
Defiled with blood,
You gave them abundant water unexpectedly.
Instead of a rebuke for the decree
To kill the infants,
You gave them abundant water unexpectedly.
They showed by their thirst at that time
How you punished their enemies.”
We have here a reflection on the role of water. Just as water punished the Egyptians, it saved the Israelites in the wilderness. Water destroyed the Egyptians as they crossed the Red Sea that was stirred up and defiled with blood. Their infants were killed. However, the Israelites received water (ὕδωρ) unexpectedly. In their thirst, they saw how their enemies had been punished.
“Then they crossed the Jordan River into the large plain before Beth-shan. Judas Maccabeus kept rallying the laggards. He was encouraging the people all the way until he came to the land of Judah. So they went up to Mount Zion with gladness and joy. They offered burnt offerings, because they returned in safety. Not one of them had fallen.”
Eventually, they crossed the Jordan River into the plain of Beth-shan, about 18 miles south of the Sea of Galilee. Judas Maccabeus kept encouraging the slow movers along the way. When they finally arrived at Jerusalem, they were filled with gladness and joy. The offered a burnt offerings for their safety. Almost incredulously, this author notes that no one on his side had fallen in all these military encounters.
“Judas Maccabeus and his brother Jonathan crossed the Jordan River. They made a three days journey into the wilderness. They encountered the Nabateans, who met them peaceably. They told them all that had happened to their kindred in Gilead.
‘Many of them have been shut up in Bozrah and Bosor,
In Alema and Chaspho, Maked and Carnaim,
All these cities were strong and large.
Some have been shut up in the other cities of Gilead.
The enemy is getting ready to attack the strongholds tomorrow.
They want to take and destroy all these men in one day.’”
Judas Maccabeus and his brother Jonathan with 5,000 troops crossed the Jordan River and went 3 days into the wilderness before they met the Nabateans, a peaceful group. These Nabateans were an Arab Semitic group that may have its roots in an Ishmaelite tribe. They will become stronger as time goes on. However, here they seem to be with the Jewish people talking about how the Jewish people have held in the major cities of Bozrah, Bosor, Alema, Chaspho, Maked, and Carnaim. Bozrah was a city in Edom, while Bosor, Alema, Chaspho, Maked, and Carnaim are only mentioned here and difficult to identify. The Nabateans said that some unidentified enemy was going to destroy them tomorrow, that is right away.