The division of five (Lk 12:52-12:52)

“From now on,

Five in one household

Will be divided

Three against two,

And two against three.”

 

ἔσονται γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν πέντε ἐν ἑνὶ οἴκῳ διαμεμερισμένοι, τρεῖς ἐπὶ δυσὶν καὶ δύο ἐπὶ τρισίν

 

This is a unique saying of Jesus only found here in Luke.  Jesus said that from now on (ἔσονται γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν), if there are 5 people in a house (πέντε ἐν ἑνὶ οἴκῳ), they would be divided (διαμεμερισμένοι) 3 against 2 (τρεῖς ἐπὶ δυσὶν) and 2 against 3 (καὶ δύο ἐπὶ τρισίν).  There will not be uniformity in households.  The time of division had come.  Do you think that Jesus was a divider?

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Who is the judge? (Lk 12:14-12:14)

“But Jesus said to him.

‘Man!

Who appointed me

To be a judge

Or arbitrator

Over you?’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἄνθρωπε, τίς με κατέστησεν κριτὴν ἢ μεριστὴν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς;

 

Luke uniquely continued this episode with a response from Jesus.  Luke indicated that Jesus responded by calling him “man” (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἄνθρωπε).  Jesus said.  “Who appointed me to be a judge or arbitrator over you (τίς με κατέστησεν κριτὴν ἢ μεριστὴν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς)?”  This is the only time that the word μεριστὴν was used in the biblical literature, meaning someone who divided, partitioned, or arbitrated things.  Luke indicated that Jesus did not want to get involved in these family disputes, as he did not want to judge this family.  However, this did become an occasion for Jesus to talk about wealth.  Is it good to have wealthy parents?

Your judges (Lk 11:19-11:19)

“If I cast out demons

By Beelzebul,

By whom do

Your exorcist sons

Cast them out?

Therefore,

Let them be

Your judges!”

 

εἰ δὲ ἐγὼ ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ ἐκβάλλω τὰ δαιμόνια, οἱ υἱοὶ ὑμῶν ἐν τίνι ἐκβάλλουσιν; διὰ τοῦτο αὐτοὶ ὑμῶν κριταὶ ἔσονται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus turned the questions back on his inquisitors.  If Jesus was casting out demons by Beelzebul (εἰ δὲ ἐγὼ ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ ἐκβάλλω τὰ δαιμόνια), how were their own exorcist sons able to cast out evil spirits (οἱ υἱοὶ ὑμῶν ἐν τίνι ἐκβάλλουσιν)?  Let them be your judges (διὰ τοῦτο αὐτοὶ ὑμῶν κριταὶ ἔσονται).  Matthew, chapter 12:27 noted that if Satan was casting out Satan, then he was divided against himself.  If Jesus was casting out demons by Beelzebul, how were their own sons or other exorcists able to cast out demons?  Therefore, their own sons would be their judges.  Mark did not have this question and the argument about how their own sons or other exorcists were able to cast out demons.  What do you think about exorcism?

Jesus blessed the loaves and fishes (Lk 9:16-9:16)

“Taking

The five loaves

And the two fish,

Jesus looked up

To heaven.

He blessed them.

He broke them.

He gave them

To the disciples

To set before

The crowd.”

 

λαβὼν δὲ τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας, ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς καὶ κατέκλασεν, καὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς παραθεῖναι τῷ ὄχλῳ.

 

Luke said that Jesus took (λαβὼν) the 5 loaves (δὲ τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους) and the 2 fish (καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας).  He looked up to heaven (ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν).  He blessed them (εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς).  He broke them (καὶ κατέκλασεν).  He gave them to his disciples (αὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς) to set before the crowd (παραθεῖναι τῷ ὄχλῳ).  This is the only blessing miracle that is recorded in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:18-19, Mark, chapter 6:41, and John, chapter 6:12, plus here.  The blessing of the bread and the fish was exactly the same in all the synoptic gospels, but merely summarized in John.  This feeding of a large group of people harkens back to the Exodus story, chapter 16:1-36, about the manna and the quails in the wilderness.  Yet the blessing itself has almost a foretaste of the Eucharistic Last Supper of Jesus, when Jesus blessed and broke the bread.  Mark said that Jesus took the 5 loaves and the 2 fish.  He looked up to heaven.  He blessed them.  Then he broke up the loaves of bread into pieces.  He gave the loaves of bread to his disciples.  They, in turn, set the broken pieces of bread or served them to the crowd.  Jesus also divided or shared the 2 fish among them all, something that Luke did not mention explicitly.  Matthew indicated that Jesus told his disciples to bring him the food, the 5 loaves of bread and the 2 fish.  Then he ordered or directed the crowd to sit down on the grass.  He took the 5 loaves and the 2 fish.  He looked up to heaven.  He blessed them.  Then he broke the loaves of bread and the fishes into pieces.  He gave the loaves of bread to his disciples.  They, in turn, gave them to the crowd.  This almost sounds like a large later distribution of Holy Communion.  Have you ever been to a large communion service?

Jesus blessed and broke the bread (Mk 6:41-6:41)

“Taking

The five loaves

And the two fish,

Jesus looked up to heaven.

He blessed

And broke

The loaves.

He gave them

To his disciples

To set

Before the people.

He divided

The two fish

Among them all.”

 

καὶ λαβὼν τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εὐλόγησεν καὶ κατέκλασεν τοὺς ἄρτους καὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἵνα παρατιθῶσιν αὐτοῖς, καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας ἐμέρισεν πᾶσιν.

 

This is the only blessing miracle that is recorded in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:19, Luke, chapter 9:16, and John, chapter 6:12, plus here.  The blessing of the bread and the fish is exactly the same in the synoptic gospels, but merely summarized in John.  This feeding of a large group of people harkens back to the Exodus story, chapter 16:1-36, about the manna and the quails in the wilderness.  Yet the blessing itself has almost a foretaste of the Eucharistic Last Supper of Jesus, when he blessed and broke the bread.  Mark said that Jesus took (καὶ λαβὼν) the 5 loaves (τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους) and the 2 fish (καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας).  He looked up to heaven (ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν).  He blessed them (εὐλόγησεν).  Then he broke up the loaves of bread into pieces (καὶ κατέκλασεν τοὺς ἄρτους).  He gave the loaves of bread to his disciples (καὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς).  They, in turn, set the broken pieces of bread or served them to the crowd (ἵνα παρατιθῶσιν αὐτοῖς).  Jesus also divided or shared the 2 fish among them all (καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας ἐμέρισεν πᾶσιν).  This almost sounds like a large later distribution of Holy Communion.

Satan will come to an end (Mk 3:26-3:26)

“If Satan

Has risen up

Against himself,

He is divided.

He cannot stand.

But his end

Has come.”

 

καὶ εἰ ὁ Σατανᾶς ἀνέστη ἐφ’ ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἐμερίσθη, οὐ δύναται στῆναι ἀλλὰ τέλος ἔχει.

 

There are similar statements to this in Matthew, chapter 12:26, and Luke, chapter 11:18.  Mark said that if Satan has risen up against himself (καὶ εἰ ὁ Σατανᾶς ἀνέστη ἐφ’ ἑαυτὸν), he was divided (καὶ ἐμερίσθη).  He would not be able to last   or stand (οὐ δύναται στῆναι) because the end of Satan has come (ἀλλὰ τέλος ἔχει).  Mark did not have the argument about how their own sons or other exorcists were able to cast out demons.  All in all, this was a very strong argument against Jesus and Beelzebul working together.

The house divided (Mk 3:24-3:25)

“If a kingdom

Is divided

Against itself,

That kingdom will not

Be able to stand.

If a house is divided

Against itself,

That house will not be able

To stand.”

 

καὶ ἐὰν βασιλεία ἐφ’ ἑαυτὴν μερισθῇ, οὐ δύναται σταθῆναι ἡ βασιλεία ἐκείνη·

καὶ ἐὰν οἰκία ἐφ’ ἑαυτὴν μερισθῇ, οὐ δυνήσεται ἡ οἰκία ἐκείνη στῆναι.

 

There are similar statements to this in Matthew, chapter 12:25, and Luke, chapter 11:17.  Mark indicated that Jesus responded to the Scribes with his house divided remarks.  Jesus said to them that if a kingdom was divided against itself (καὶ ἐὰν βασιλεία ἐφ’ ἑαυτὴν μερισθῇ), that kingdom would not be able to stand (οὐ δύναται σταθῆναι ἡ βασιλεία ἐκείνη).  If a house was divided against itself (καὶ ἐὰν οἰκία ἐφ’ ἑαυτὴν μερισθῇ), that house would not be able to stand or endure (οὐ δυνήσεται ἡ οἰκία ἐκείνη στῆναι).  This was one of President Abraham Lincoln’s (1809-1865) favorite biblical passages about slavery.