The angel Gabriel (Lk 1:19-1:19)

“The angel

Replied.

‘I am Gabriel!

I stand

In the presence

Of God.

I have been sent

To speak to you.

I bring you

This good news.’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἐγώ εἰμι Γαβριὴλ ὁ παρεστηκὼς ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ ἀπεστάλην λαλῆσαι πρὸς σὲ καὶ εὐαγγελίσασθαί σοι ταῦτα·

 

Luke said that this angel pulled rank.  He replied to Zechariah (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he was the Angel Gabriel (Ἐγώ εἰμι Γαβριὴλ), who stood in the presence of God (ὁ παρεστηκὼς ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ), probably around the heavenly throne.  He had been sent to speak to Zechariah (καὶ ἀπεστάλην λαλῆσαι πρὸς σὲ), since he brought him these good tiding, this good news (καὶ εὐαγγελίσασθαί σοι ταῦτα), using the Greek word for gospel εὐαγγελίσασθαί.  Who then was this Angel Gabriel?  He was considered an archangel, or a higher angel than the others, maybe one of the top 7 angels.  He appeared to Daniel, chapters 8 and 9, where he explained the visions to Daniel.  He appeared twice in this gospel of Luke, here to Zechariah and later to Mary, chapter 1:28, both in this infancy narrative.

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Great tribulation (Mk 13:19-13:19)

“In those days,

There will be suffering,

Such as has not been

From the beginning

Of the creation

That God created

Until now,

And never will be.”

 

ἔσονται γὰρ αἱ ἡμέραι ἐκεῖναι θλῖψις, οἵα οὐ γέγονεν τοιαύτη ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως ἣν ἔκτισεν ὁ Θεὸς ἕως τοῦ νῦν καὶ οὐ μὴ γένηται.

 

There is something similar, almost word for word, in Matthew, chapter 24:21, but not in Luke.  This wording has a hint of Daniel, chapter 12:1 and Joel, chapter 2:2, who talked about the Day of Yahweh.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that at the end times, in those days (ἔσονται γὰρ αἱ ἡμέραι), there will be such suffering or tribulation (ἐκεῖναι θλῖψις) that no one has ever seen anything like it since the beginning of the world that God created until now (οἵα οὐ γέγονεν τοιαύτη ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως ἣν ἔκτισεν ὁ Θεὸς ἕως τοῦ νῦν).  In fact, there never will be any kind of suffering like this at any time (καὶ οὐ μὴ γένηται).  This was going to be bad, nothing like it had ever happened before.  This would be the unique end times.

 

The great tribulation (Mt 24:21-24:21)

“At that time,

There will be great suffering!

That has not been

From the beginning

Of the world

Until now!

No!

And never will be!”

 

ἔσται γὰρ τότε θλῖψις μεγάλη, οἵα οὐ γέγονεν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς κόσμου ἕως τοῦ νῦν οὐδ’ οὐ μὴ γένηται.

 

There is something similar, almost word for word, in Mark, chapter 13:19, but not in Luke.  This wording has a hint of Daniel, chapter 12:1 and Joel, chapter 2:2, who talked about the Day of Yahweh.  Jesus said that at the end times, there will be such great suffering or tribulation (ἔσται γὰρ τότε θλῖψις μεγάλη) that no one has ever seen anything like it since the beginning of the world until now (οἵα οὐ γέγονεν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς κόσμου ἕως τοῦ νῦν).  In fact, there never will be any kind of suffering like this at any time (οὐδ’ οὐ μὴ γένηται).  This was going to be bad, nothing like it before now or after now, except the end times themselves.

 

Title (Hab 1:1-1:1)

“The oracle

That the prophet Habakkuk

Saw.”

We know very little about Habakkuk, since there is no indication of his father or the place that he was from.  His name appears in the Daniel story about Bell and the Dragon, chapter 14.  Probably he was a prophet during the time of the Babylonian captivity in the 6th century BCE.

Daniel is safe (Dan 14:40-14:42)

“On the seventh day,

The king came

To mourn

For Daniel.

When he came

To the den,

He looked in.

There sat Daniel.

The king shouted

With a loud voice.

‘You are great!

O Lord!

God of Daniel!

There is no other

Besides you!’

Then he pulled

Daniel out.

He threw into the den

Those who had attempted

His destruction.

They were instantly eaten

Before his eyes.”

Thus, ends the great story of Daniel. On the 7th day, the king came to mourn the death of Daniel. Instead, he was surprised to see Daniel sitting in the den of lions. Then the king shouted out his praise for the God of Daniel, the Lord. There were no other gods like him. Next, he pulled Daniel out of the den. Finally, he threw those who had attempted the destruction of Daniel into the lion’s den. The lions immediately ate these men right before the eyes of the king.

The prophet Habakkuk visits Daniel (Dan 14:37-14:39)

“Then Habakkuk shouted.

‘Daniel!

Daniel!

Take the food

That God has sent you.’

Daniel said.

‘You have remembered me!

O God!

You have not forsaken

Those who love you!’

So,

Daniel got up.

He ate.

The angel of God

Immediately returned Habakkuk

To his own place.”

When Habakkuk landed on top of the den, he cried out to Daniel. He told Daniel that God had sent him with a dinner. Daniel praised God for not forgetting him. Then he got up and ate the dinner. Finally, the angel of God returned Habakkuk to his own home. At least, Daniel had a good dinner for one of his 6 days in the den. Habakkuk was also back home again.

The angel takes Habakkuk to Babylon (Dan 14:35-14:36)

“Habakkuk said.

‘Sir!

I have never seen Babylon.

I know nothing

About the den.’

Then the angel

Of the Lord

Took him

By the crown

Of his head.

He carried him

By his hair,

With the speed

Of the wind.

He set him down

In Babylon,

Right over the den.”

This prophet Habakkuk rightly said that he knew nothing about Babylon or any lion’s den. He had no idea of where he was to go. The angel of the Lord had a quick answer. He took Habakkuk by the hair on the crown of his head. He carried him away with the speed of the wind to Babylon, right over the lion’s den where Daniel was. That was a simple solution to a big transportation problem.