Leave the city (Lk 21:21-21:21)

“Then those in Judea

Must flee

To the mountains.

Those inside the city

Must leave it.

Those out in the country

Must not enter the city.”

 

τότε οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ φευγέτωσαν εἰς τὰ ὄρη, καὶ οἱ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῆς ἐκχωρείτωσαν, καὶ οἱ ἐν ταῖς χώραις μὴ εἰσερχέσθωσαν εἰς αὐτήν,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that those in Judea (τότε οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ) should flee to the mountains (φευγέτωσαν εἰς τὰ ὄρη).  Those people inside the city (καὶ οἱ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῆς) ought to leave it (ἐκχωρείτωσαν).  Once again, this a unique term of Luke, ἐκχωρείτωσαν that means to depart, withdraw, go out, or flee.  Also, those out in the country (καὶ οἱ ἐν ταῖς χώραις), should not enter the city (μὴ εἰσερχέσθωσαν εἰς αὐτήν).  This is exactly the same, word for word in Mark, chapter 13:14, and in Matthew, chapter 24:16, except that Luke added this idea about not coming into the city.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that those people in Judea (τότε οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ) should flee or escape to the mountains or the hills (φευγέτωσαν εἰς τὰ ὄρη).  Matthew was exactly the same.  Jesus said that those people in Judea (τότε οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ) should flee or escape to the mountains or the hills (φευγέτωσαν εἰς τὰ ὄρη).  Head to the hills!  Maybe this is a reference to the Jewish revolt in 66-70 CE, when many Jews fled Judea as the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed.  They were to get out of Dodge, leave the city of Jerusalem.  Have you ever had to flee from some place?

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They asked Jesus to leave (Lk 8:37-8:37)

“Then all the people

In the surrounding country

Of the Gerasenes

Asked Jesus

To depart from them.

They were seized

With great fear.

Thus,

Jesus got into his boat

And returned.”

 

καὶ ἠρώτησεν αὐτὸν ἅπαν τὸ πλῆθος τῆς περιχώρου τῶν Γερασηνῶν ἀπελθεῖν ἀπ’ αὐτῶν, ὅτι φόβῳ μεγάλῳ συνείχοντο· αὐτὸς δὲ ἐμβὰς εἰς πλοῖον ὑπέστρεψεν.

 

Luke said that all the people in the surrounding country of the Gerasenes (ἅπαν τὸ πλῆθος τῆς περιχώρου τῶν Γερασηνῶν) asked Jesus (καὶ ἠρώτησεν αὐτὸν) to depart from them (ἀπελθεῖν ἀπ’ αὐτῶν).  They were seized with great fear (ὅτι φόβῳ μεγάλῳ συνείχοντο).  Thus, Jesus got into his boat (αὐτὸς δὲ ἐμβὰς εἰς πλοῖον) and returned (ὑπέστρεψεν) to the other side.  All 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew chapter 8:34, Mark, chapter 5:17, and Luke here, said that the people in this east bank area of the Sea of Galilee begged Jesus to leave their neighborhood, with slight nuances in each story.  Mark simply said that the people began to implore Jesus to leave their region.  Matthew had the people in the Gadarenes area ask Jesus to leave their neighborhood.  The whole town went out to meet Jesus.  They then begged him to leave their area.  Not in my neighborhood, as economics was more important than any miraculous events.  Jesus was too disruptive to their way of life.  Does Jesus disrupt your life?

Evildoers (Mt 7:22-7:23)

“On that day,

Many will say to me.

‘Lord!

Lord!

Did we not prophesy

In your name?

Did we not cast out demons

In your name?

Did we not do many marvelous works

In your name?’

Then I will declare

To them.

‘I never knew you!

Go away from me!

You evildoers!’”

 

πολλοὶ ἐροῦσίν μοι ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ Κύριε, οὐ τῷ σῷ ὀνόματι ἐπροφητεύσαμεν, καὶ τῷ σῷ ὀνόματι δαιμόνια ἐξεβάλομεν, καὶ τῷ σῷ ὀνόματι δυνάμεις πολλὰς ἐποιήσαμεν;

καὶ τότε ὁμολογήσω αὐτοῖς ὅτι Οὐδέποτε ἔγνων ὑμᾶς· ἀποχωρεῖτε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι τὴν ἀνομίαν

 

This verse is somewhat similar to Luke, chapter 13:26-27.  Matthew has Jesus say that on that day (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ), the judgment day, many would say to him (πολλοὶ ἐροῦσίν μοι), Lord! Lord (Κύριε Κύριε)!  Did we not prophesize in your name (οὐ τῷ σῷ ὀνόματι ἐπροφητεύσαμεν)?  Did we not cast out demons in your name (καὶ τῷ σῷ ὀνόματι δαιμόνια ἐξεβάλομεν)?  Did we not do many great marvelous works in your name (καὶ τῷ σῷ ὀνόματι δυνάμεις πολλὰς ἐποιήσαμεν)?  Then Jesus was going to declare to them (καὶ τότε ὁμολογήσω αὐτοῖς) that he never knew them (καὶ τότε ὁμολογήσω αὐτοῖς), because they were evildoers.  Just as David had told the evildoers to depart in Psalm 6:13, Jesus wanted these evildoers (οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι τὴν ἀνομίαν) to leave him alone (ἀποχωρεῖτε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ).  Who are these evil doers?  They seem like disciples of Jesus, since they prophesized, cast out demons, and did marvelous works in the name of Jesus.  What evil had they done to make them unworthy on the final judgment day?  This text is not clear.

Leaving Babylon (Isa 52:11-52:12)

“Depart!

Depart!

Go out from there!

Touch no unclean thing!

Go out from the midst of it!

Purify yourselves!

You who carry

The vessels of Yahweh!

You shall not go out in haste.

You shall not go in flight.

Yahweh will go before you.

The God of Israel

Will be your rear guard.”

Second Isaiah wants the Israelites to depart from Babylon. However, they were not to touch any unclean things. They were to purify themselves, especially if they were going to carry the sacred vessels of Yahweh. They were not to leave in a hurry or flee Babylon. Yahweh would be before them, and at the same time, the God of Israel would be their rear guard.

Prayer of impending death (Isa 38:10-38:11)

“I said.

In the noontide of my days,

I must depart.

I am consigned

To the gates of Sheol

For the rest of my years.

I said.

I shall not see Yahweh

In the land of the living.

I shall look upon mortals no more

Among the inhabitants of the world.”

Second Isaiah has King Hezekiah pray about his impending death. He said that he was only in the noon time of his days, middle aged. However, he had to depart to Sheol, the underworld afterlife for the rest of his life. He was not going to see Yahweh in the land of the living. He was not going to see any mortals on this inhabited earth.

Gain knowledge (Sir 16:24-16:25)

“Listen to me!

My child!

Acquire knowledge!

Pay close attention to my words!

I will impart disciple precisely.

I will declare knowledge accurately.”

Sirach wants you to pay close attention to what he is saying. He wants to depart precise discipline and accurate knowledge. Thus you, his children, will acquire knowledge, but you must listen to him.

Trust the Lord (Sir 2:1-2:6)

“My child!

When you come to serve the Lord,

Prepare yourself for testing!

Set your heart right!

Be steadfast!

Do not be impetuous

In time of calamity!

Cling to him!

Do not depart!

Thus your last days may be prosperous.

Accept whatever befalls you!

In times of humiliation,

Be patient!

Gold is tested in the fire.

Those found acceptable

Are tested in the furnace of humiliation.

Trust in him.

He will help you

Make your ways straight.

Hope in him!”

Here we have a series of admonitions about trusting God. If you want to serve the Lord, you will be tested. You need a good heart. You need to be steadfast. You cannot be hasty in times of trouble. You must cling to the Lord and not depart from him. Then you will have prosperous last days. Accept whatever happens to you. Be patient in times of humiliation. Just as gold is tested in a fire, so are you tested in the furnace of humiliation. You must trust in the Lord. He will help you. You have to make straight your ways. Hope in God! Keep hope alive!