They try to kill Jesus (Lk 4:29-4:29)

“They got up.

They drove Jesus

Out of town.

They led him

To the ridge

Of the hill

On which their town

Was built.

They wanted

To hurl him

Off the cliff.”

 

καὶ ἀναστάντες ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως, καὶ ἤγαγον αὐτὸν ἕως ὀφρύος τοῦ ὄρους ἐφ’ οὗ ἡ πόλις ᾠκοδόμητο αὐτῶν, ὥστε κατακρημνίσαι αὐτόν·

 

Luke alone said that they acted out their anger.  They got up (καὶ ἀναστάντες) from the synagogue.  They drove Jesus out of town (ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως).  They led him to the top or the ridge of the hill (καὶ ἤγαγον αὐτὸν ἕως ὀφρύος τοῦ ὄρους) on which their town was built (ἐφ’ οὗ ἡ πόλις ᾠκοδόμητο αὐτῶν).  They wanted to hurl him off the cliff (ὥστε κατακρημνίσαι αὐτόν).  One problem is that Nazareth was a flat town with no hills or cliffs.  Some commentators say that they meant to stone him, but the text does not say that.  However, they did not like his teachings about going to non-Jewish people and not doing any miracles in his home town.

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The Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness (Mk 1:12-1:12)

“The Spirit

Immediately drove him out

Into the wilderness.”

 

Καὶ εὐθὺς τὸ Πνεῦμα αὐτὸν ἐκβάλλει εἰς τὴν ἔρημον.

 

Both Matthew, chapter 4:1, and Luke, chapter 4:1, have the Holy Spirit lead Jesus into the desert just like here.  Having just received the Holy Spirit at his baptism with John, this same Holy Spirit immediately drove Jesus out (Καὶ εὐθὺς τὸ Πνεῦμα αὐτὸν ἐκβάλλει) into the wilderness (εἰς τὴν ἔρημον).  The Israelites had been in the wilderness during their exodus from Egypt.  John the Baptist was also preaching and baptizing in the desert wilderness.  The wilderness or the desert was a place of terror, not civilized.  The Holy Spirit and God the Father wanted Jesus to experience the difficulties of this desolate arid land.

Edom had been deceived (Ob 1:5-1:7)

“If thieves

Came to you,

How you would have been

Destroyed!

If plunderers

Came by night,

How you have been

Destroyed!

Would they not steal

Only what they wanted?

If grape-gatherers

Came to you,

Would they not

Leave gleanings?

How Esau has been pillaged!

His treasures have been

Sought out!

All your allies

Have deceived you.

They have driven you

To the border.

Your confederates

Have prevailed

Against you.

Those who ate your bread

Have set a trap

For you.

There is no understanding of it.”

Edom has suffered like as if thieves had come to them at night.  However, these robbers would only take what they wanted.  Unlike grape-gatherers who leave gleanings for the poor, these attackers have pillaged Edom and taken its treasures.  It was their own allies that deceived Edom.  They drove them out of their own country to the border.  Their former friends had prevailed against them.  The very people, who they used to sit down to break bread with, were the ones who set the trap for them.  Who could understand such a thing?

The angel of the Lord and the useless fire (Dan 3:26-3:27)

“But the angel

Of the Lord

Came down

Into the furnace

To be with Azariah,

As well as his companions.

He drove the fiery flame

Out of the furnace.

He made the inside

Of the furnace

Like a moist wind,

That went whistling

Through it.

The fire did not touch

Them at all.

It caused them

No pain,

No distress.”

The angel of the Lord came down into the furnace to be with Azariah and his 2 companions. This angel made the inside of the furnace like a moist wind whistling through the center of the furnace. This drove the flames out of the furnace, so that the fire did not touch any of them. Thus, they were in no pain or distress. Everything was fine with them, since they were not burning.

 

Personal suffering (Lam 3:1-3:3)

Aleph

“I am the one

Who has seen affliction

Under the rod

Of God’s wrath.

He has driven me.

He has brought me

Into darkness

Without any light.

Against me alone

He turns his hand

Again and again

All day long.”

These three short verses, instead of one verse, start with the Hebrew consonant letter Aleph. Each section after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this personal acrostic poem or psalm. Using the first person singular, this author proclaims that he has seen a lot of suffering. He has seen affliction, due to the rod or stick of God’s wrath. God drove him into darkness, without any light. God has turned his hand against him alone, over and over again, all day long. He was in great pain.

Achior explains the Israelite history in Egypt (Jdt 5:10-5:16)

“When a famine spread over the land of Canaan, they went down to Egypt. They lived there as long as they had food. They became so great a multitude that their race could not be counted. So the king of Egypt became hostile to them. He exploited them. He forced them to make bricks. They cried out to their God. Their God afflicted the whole land of Egypt with incurable plagues. So the Egyptians drove them out of their sight. Then God dried up the Red Sea before them. He led them by the way of Sinai and Kadesh-barnea. They drove out all the people of the wilderness. They took up residence in the land of the Amorites. By their might they destroyed all the inhabitants of Heshbon. Then they crossed over the Jordan and took possession of all the hill country. They drove out before them the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Shechemites, and all the Gergesites. They have lived there a long time.”

Achior tells the story of how these Israelites went to Egypt and came back.   Once again, there is no mention of a specific leader like Joseph, Moses, or Joshua. The Israelites were in a famine and went to Egypt, where they became a great race. However, the king of Egypt turned on them and forced them to make bricks. In their struggle, they cried out to their God, who then inflicted the Egyptians with plagues. Then the Egyptians drove them out as their God dried up the Red Sea. They even drove out the people in the wilderness. They took the land of the Amorites around Heshbon. Then they crossed the Jordan and defeated the traditional enemies, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Shechemites, and all the Gergesites. This is the Exodus story with an emphasis on how they got to Egypt and who they wiped out along the way. Apparently, they had lived in Canaan a long time.