Jesus prays alone (Mt 14:23-14:23)

“After he had dismissed

The crowds,

Jesus went up the mountain

By himself

To pray.

When evening came,

He was there alone.”

 

καὶ ἀπολύσας τοὺς ὄχλους ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος κατ’ ἰδίαν προσεύξασθαι. ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης μόνος ἦν ἐκεῖ.

 

This incident about Jesus praying alone can be found in Mark, chapter 6:46.  After he had dismissed the crowds (καὶ ἀπολύσας τοὺς ὄχλους), Jesus went up the mountain (ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος) by himself (κατ’ ἰδίαν) to pray (προσεύξασθαι).  Thus, when evening came (ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης), he was there alone (μόνος ἦν ἐκεῖ).  Jesus wanted to be alone with his Father to pray.  It is not clear where this mountain was.

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The disciples leave in a boat (Mt 14:22-14:22)

“Immediately,

He made the disciples

Get into the boat.

They went on ahead

To the other side,

While he dismissed

The crowds.”

 

Καὶ εὐθέως ἠνάγκασεν τοὺς μαθητὰς ἐμβῆναι εἰς τὸ πλοῖον καὶ προάγειν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ πέραν, ἕως οὗ ἀπολύσῃ τοὺς ὄχλους.

 

This incident is not found in Luke, but only in Mark, chapter 6:45, and John, chapter 6:16-17.  Mark mentioned Bethsaida and John mentioned Capernaum, but Matthew did not name a place.  Jesus made or urged his disciples to immediately get into the boat (Καὶ εὐθέως ἠνάγκασεν τοὺς μαθητὰς ἐμβῆναι εἰς τὸ πλοῖον) to go ahead of him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (καὶ προάγειν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ πέραν), while he dismissed the crowds (ἕως οὗ ἀπολύσῃ τοὺς ὄχλους.) after the great feeding.  Thus, his disciples went out in this boat without Jesus.  There is no mention of the number of disciples, but it could not have been many considering the size of these fishing boats.

The disciples seek an explanation about a parable (Mt 13:36-13:36)

“Then Jesus left the crowds.

He went into the house.

His disciples approached him.

Saying.

‘Explain to us

The parable of the weeds

In the field.’”

 

Τότε ἀφεὶς τοὺς ὄχλους ἦλθεν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν. Καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ λέγοντες Διασάφησον ἡμῖν τὴν παραβολὴν τῶν ζιζανίων τοῦ ἀγροῦ.

 

Only Matthew has this request for an explanation about the parable of the weeds that was earlier in this chapter, 13:24-30.  Then Jesus, via Matthew, left or dismissed the crowds (Τότε ἀφεὶς τοὺς ὄχλους).  He then went into the house (ἦλθεν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν), without an explanation of whose house it was.  His disciples then approached him (Καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ), asking him to explain the parable of the weeds in the field to them (λέγοντες Διασάφησον ἡμῖν τὴν παραβολὴν τῶν ζιζανίων τοῦ ἀγροῦ).  Thus, the mystery would be revealed to his disciples in private, much like a gnostic elite group.

The plan to kill Ishmael (Jer 40:15-40:16)

“Then Johanan

The son of Kareah,

Spoke secretly

To Gedaliah

At Mizpah.

‘Please let me go!

Let me kill Ishmael,

The son of Nethaniah!

No one else will know.

Why should he

Take your life?

Then all the Judeans

Who are gathered

Around you

Would be scattered.

The remnant of Judah

Would perish.’

But Gedaliah,

The son of Ahikam,

Said to Johanan,

The son of Kareah.

‘Do not do such a thing!

You are telling a lie

About Ishmael.’”

Johanan toke Governor Gedaliah aside and spoke to him secretly. He wanted permission to kill Ishmael before he was able to kill the new governor. He said that no would have to know about it. Why should Governor Gedaliah die? If he died, then all the Judeans gathered at Mizpah would scatter. The small remnant of Judeans there would all die. However, Governor Gedaliah responded to Johanan in no uncertain terms. Johanan was not to kill Ishmael, because this story about the plot to kill him was a lie. Thus Governor Gedaliah dismissed the warning against his life.

Judas Maccabeus and Nicanor become friends (2 Macc 14:23-14:25)

“Nicanor stayed on in Jerusalem. He did nothing out of the way, but dismissed the flocks of people that had gathered. He kept Judas Maccabeus always in his presence. He was warmly attached to the man. He urged him to marry and have children. Thus Judas Maccabeus married, settled down, and shared the common life.”

There was no happy ending in 1 Maccabees, chapter 7, between these two men. Here Nicanor stayed in Jerusalem. He just kept people from gathering together. He became good friends with Judas Maccabeus. He even urged him to settle down, get married and have children, which Judas Maccabeus did. This should be that they lived happily ever after, but of course, there is more to come.

King Demetrius II and the growing opposition to him (1 Macc 11:38-11:40)

“When King Demetrius saw that the land was quiet before him since there was no opposition to him, he dismissed all his troops. All of them went to their own houses, except the foreign troops which he had recruited from the islands of the nations. Thus all the troops who had served his predecessors hated him. A certain Trypho had formerly been one of King Alexander’s supporters. He saw that all the troops were grumbling against King Demetrius. So he went to Imalkue the Arab, who was bringing up Antiochus, the young son of Alexander. He insistently urged him to hand Antiochus over to him, to make him king in place of his father. He also reported to Imalkue what King Demetrius had done. He told him of the hatred that the troops of King Demetrius had for him. He stayed there many days.”

King Demetrius II was quite content that he had achieved peace with no opposition. Therefore, he released all his local army troops and sent them hone, probably to save money. However, he kept the foreign troops that he had recruited. Thus there was a little dissension as the former Syrian troops grumbled against King Demetrius II. Now we see Trypho, a former supporter of King Alexander I, trying to get King Alexander’s son Antiochus to become king. Somehow Imalkue an Arab was taking care of him. Trypho tried to get Imalkue to give him Antiochus so that he could make him king of Syria. He stayed many days with Imalkue.

Queen Vashti refuses to come to the party (Esth 1:12-1:20)

“However, Queen Vashti refused to obey King Artaxerxes. She would not come with the eunuchs. This offended the king. He became furious. He said to his friends.

‘This is how Queen Vashti had answered me.

Give therefore your ruling and judgment on this matter.’

This was the king’s procedure to consult the sages who knew the law and custom. Arkesaeus, Sarathaeus, and Malesar were the governors of the Persians and the Medes. They were closest to the king as they sat beside him in the chief seats. They told him what must be done to Queen Vashti for not obeying the order that the king had sent her by the eunuchs. Then Muchaeus said to the king and the princes, as he had reported to them what the queen had said and how she had deified the king.

‘Queen Vashti has insulted not only the king,

But also the king’s governors and officials.

Just as she defiled King Artaxerxes,

So now she defiles the other ladies,

The wives of the Persian and Median governors,

On hearing what she said to the king,

They will likewise dare to insult their husbands.

King Artaxerxes commanded Queen Vashti

To be brought before him,

And she did not come.

If, therefore, it pleases the king,

Let him issue a royal decree,

Inscribed with the laws of the Medes and the Persians,

So that it may not be altered.

Queen Vashti may no longer come

Into the presence of King Artaxerxes.

Let the king give her royal rank to a woman better than she.

Let whatever law the king enacts be proclaimed to his kingdom.

Thus all women will give honor to their husbands,

Rich and poor alike.’”

There is a difference between the Hebrew and the Greek text. In the Hebrew text there are 7 princes of Persia and Media instead of 3 governors as here in the Greek text. The names are completely different. In both texts, Memucan, or as here Muchaeus, has a proposal for the king. However, in the Hebrew text, Memucan was one of the 7 princes. Here this Muchaeus just comes on the scene without any identification. The queen has defiled the king by not obeying. She has set a bad example for the wives of the other princes. He wants her dismissed. It is not clear why the king would want to get rid of his wife for just this one incident. There must have been other things going on.