Had been suffering
From flowing blood
For twelve years.
Although she had spent
All that she had
Could cure her.”
καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος ἀπὸ ἐτῶν δώδεκα, ἥτις οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἀπ’ οὐδενὸς θεραπευθῆναι
This episode about the woman with flowing blood interrupted the story about the synagogue leader and his dying daughter. However, it can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:20, Mark, chapter 5:25, and Luke here. Thus, Mark might be the source. Luke said that a woman had been suffering from flowing blood (καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος) for 12 years (ἀπὸ ἐτῶν δώδεκα). Although she had spent all that she had on physicians (ἰατροῖς προσαναλώσασα ὅλον τὸν βίον), no one could cure her (ἥτις οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἀπ’ οὐδενὸς θεραπευθῆναι). This phrase about spending all her money on physicians was only in the Byzantine text. Mark, like Luke, who probably followed him, said that she had suffered from flowing blood, rather than hemorrhages. All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding. Mark and Luke had a more elaborate story, about her background. Mark said that she had endured or greatly suffered much under many physicians. Thus, she had spent all her money. Instead of helping her get better, she had actually become worse. She was in a desperate situation. Interesting enough, the word that Matthew used for hemorrhages (αἱμορροοῦσα) is only found there, but nowhere else in the biblical literature. Mark and Luke said that she had flowing blood. All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding. Could you suffer something for 12 years?
Said to Jesus.
‘If you are
The Son of God,
Command this stone
A loaf of bread!’”
εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ διάβολος Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, εἰπὲ τῷ λίθῳ τούτῳ ἵνα γένηται ἄρτος.
Once again, this is the same as Matthew, chapter 4:3, nearly word for word. Luke said that this devil spoke to Jesus (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ διάβολος) after he had endured this 40 day fast. Jesus was really hungry at this time. Then this devil taunted Jesus by telling him that if he was truly the son of God (Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ), he could just say the word and make a stone turn into a loaf of bread (εἰπὲ τῷ λίθῳ τούτῳ ἵνα γένηται ἄρτος). Then Jesus could eat this loaf of bread and take away his hunger. This terminology of the “Son of God” indicated a special relationship with God. Matthew called this devil, the tempter.
‘This is what
Has done to me.
He looked on me.
He took away
That I have endured
Among my people.’”
ὅτι Οὕτως μοι πεποίηκεν Κύριος ἐν ἡμέραις αἷς ἐπεῖδεν ἀφελεῖν ὄνειδός μου ἐν ἀνθρώποις.
Luke has this prayer of Elizabeth. She said that the Lord had done this to her (ὅτι Οὕτως μοι πεποίηκεν Κύριος). Many believed that only God could help people get pregnant, since he controlled the opening and closing of the womb, as indicated in Genesis, chapter 16:2, about Sarah and being barren. That was the reason that there were so many pagan fertility gods, rites, and rituals, since giving birth was considered to be some kind of magical or divine action. Also, contemporary political gesturing around reproductive rights has its basis in religious beliefs. Elizabeth said that in those days (ἐν ἡμέραις), the Lord had looked on her (αἷς ἐπεῖδεν), since he took away her disgrace or reproach (ἀφελεῖν ὄνειδός) that she had endured among her people or other men (ἐν ἀνθρώποις). Being barren or sterile was considered a punishment from God. The prime example of a happiness at birth would have been in Genesis, chapter 29:31-30:23, where Rachel finally had a son, Joseph. Elizabeth understood her pregnancy as a personal vindication or reward for her righteousness. She did not seem to understand the wider consequences of her pregnancy.
“There was a woman
Who had been suffering
From flowing blood
For twelve years.
She had endured much
Under many physicians.
She had spent all
That she had.
She was no better,
But rather grew worse.”
Καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος δώδεκα ἔτη,
καὶ πολλὰ παθοῦσα ὑπὸ πολλῶν ἰατρῶν καὶ δαπανήσασα τὰ παρ’ αὐτῆς πάντα, καὶ μηδὲν ὠφεληθεῖσα ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον εἰς τὸ χεῖρον ἐλθοῦσα,
This episode about the woman with hemorrhages interrupted the story about the synagogue leader and his dying daughter. However, it can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:20, and Luke, chapter 8:43, also, so that Mark might be the source. Interesting enough, the word that Matthew used for hemorrhages (αἱμορροοῦσα) was only found there, but nowhere else in the biblical literature. Mark, like Luke, who probably followed him, said that she had suffered from flowing blood (Καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος), rather than hemorrhages. All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding (δώδεκα ἔτη). Mark and Luke had a more elaborate story, about her background. Mark said that she had endured or greatly suffered much under many physicians (καὶ πολλὰ παθοῦσα ὑπὸ πολλῶν ἰατρῶν). Thus, she had spent all her money (καὶ δαπανήσασα τὰ παρ’ αὐτῆς πάντα). Instead of helping her getting better (καὶ μηδὲν ὠφεληθεῖσα), she had actually become worse off (ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον εἰς τὸ χεῖρον ἐλθοῦσα). She was in a desperate situation.
“A disciple is not above
A slave is not above
It is enough
That the disciple is
To be like his teacher.
The slave is
To be like his master.
If they have called
The master of the house
How much more
Will they malign
Those of his household.”
Οὐκ ἔστιν μαθητὴς ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον οὐδὲ δοῦλος ὑπὲρ τὸν κύριον αὐτοῦ.
ἀρκετὸν τῷ μαθητῇ ἵνα γένηται ὡς ὁ διδάσκαλος αὐτοῦ, καὶ ὁ δοῦλος ὡς ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ. εἰ τὸν οἰκοδεσπότην Βεελζεβοὺλ ἐπεκάλεσαν, πόσῳ μᾶλλον τοὺς οἰκιακοὺς αὐτοῦ.
Something similar can be found in Luke, chapter 7:40, and in John, 13:16. Obviously, no disciple is greater than his teacher (Οὐκ ἔστιν μαθητὴς ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον). A slave or servant is not greater than his master or lord (οὐδὲ δοῦλος ὑπὲρ τὸν κύριον αὐτοῦ). The student or disciple of the teacher should become like his teacher (ἀρκετὸν τῷ μαθητῇ ἵνα γένηται ὡς ὁ διδάσκαλος αὐτοῦ). The servant or slave should be like his master or lord (καὶ ὁ δοῦλος ὡς ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ). If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul (εἰ τὸν οἰκοδεσπότην Βεελζεβοὺλ ἐπεκάλεσαν), how much more will they malign those of his household (πόσῳ μᾶλλον τοὺς οἰκιακοὺς αὐτοῦ). Thus, the disciples of Jesus should expect some of the same bad treatment that Jesus endured. Just as earlier, Jesus was called the leader of the demons in 9:34. Beelzebul was an ancient Canaanite god known as the “Lord of the flies,” but had become another name for the devil or demons in early Christianity and late Judaism.
“In that day,
God of hosts,
Called for weeping.
He called for mourning.
He called for baldness.
He called for putting on sackcloth.
There was joy.
There was festivity.
They killed oxen.
They slaughtered sheep.
They were eating meat.
They were drinking wine.
‘Let us eat!
Let us drink!
For tomorrow we die!’
Yahweh of hosts
Has revealed himself
In my ears.
Will not be forgiven you
Until you die.’
God of hosts.”
On that day, Yahweh called on his people to weep and mourn. He wanted them to shave their heads and put on sackcloth because of the impending disaster. Instead, the people of Jerusalem decided to have a joyous festival. They killed oxen and sheep for their celebration, as they drank wine and ate meat. Then we have the famous saying that has endured through time. They cried out, “Let us eat and drink because tomorrow we die.” Yahweh of hosts was not pleased at this response. In fact, he told Isaiah explicitly that their iniquity would not be forgiven as long as they lived.
“But your children were not conquered
Even by the fangs of venomous serpents.
Your mercy came to their help.
You healed them.
To remind them of your oracles
They were bitten.
But then they were quickly delivered.
Thus they would not fall into deep forgetfulness.
They would not become unresponsive to your kindness.
Herbs did not cure them.
Poultice did not cure them.
But it was your word,
That heals all people.”
This author continued with the comparison of the Israelites in the wilderness with the deadly serpents the Egyptians endured. In a simplification of the story in Numbers, chapter 21, the children or sons of God (δὲ υἱούς σου) were not conquered by the serpents. God’s mercy came to help them. He healed them. He reminded them of his oracles and words (λογίων σου). Although bitten, they were healed so that they would not fall into a deep forgetfulness. It was not herbs or suave lotions applied to the bite that cured them. It was only the word of the Lord (ὁ σός, Κύριε, λόγος) that healed them.
“O give thanks to Yahweh!
He is good!
His steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of Yahweh say so.
He has redeemed them from trouble.
He has gathered them in from the lands.
He has gathered them from the east.
He has gathered them from the west.
He has gathered them from the north.
He has gathered them from the south.”
Psalm 107 opens the last book of psalms as a thanksgiving psalm with no titles. The psalmist wants to give thanks to Yahweh because he is good and his steadfast love endured forever. This was a very common lovely theme, often repeated. Yahweh has redeemed them from trouble in various lands in every direction, east, west, north, and south. This would seem to indicate a post-exilic psalm since they are all returning from captivity.
“Thus the murderer and blasphemer, having endured more intense suffering, such as he had inflicted on others, came to the end of his life by a most pitiable fate, among the mountains in a strange land. Philip, one of his courtiers, took his body home. Then, fearing the son of Antiochus, he withdrew to Ptolemy Philometor in Egypt.”
King Antiochus IV, despite his kind words in the preceding letter, was perceived to be a murder and blasphemer. He endured justly the most intense suffering because he had inflicted suffering on others. He even died in a strange mountain land at the age of 51. Philip, according to 1 Maccabees, chapter 6, was to be in charge of his young son, now King Antiochus V. However, Lysias, who was in Antioch was helping the 9 year old king rule, according to the same source. Thus Philip went to the king of Egypt, King Ptolemy VI (180-145 BCE), who had been the young king that King Antiochus IV had defeated earlier in his reign.
“Now King Alexander heard of all the promises that King Demetrius had sent to Jonathan. He had heard of the battles that Jonathan and his brothers had fought. He heard of the brave deeds that they had done and of the troubles that they had endured. So he said.
‘Shall we find another such man?
We will make him our friend and ally.’
King Alexander in Ptolemais heard that King Demetrius in Antioch was trying to get Jonathan as his ally against him. They were both cousins vying for the throne of the Seleucid Empire. However, he also had heard of the great brave deeds of Jonathan and his brothers in battle. How they had suffered so much. He said, that it would be hard to find a man like him, so why not make him our friend and ally?