Against Capernaum (Mt 11:23-11:24)

“You!

Capernaum!

Will you be exalted

To heaven?

No!

You will be brought down

To Hades.

If the deeds of power

Done in you

Had been done in Sodom,

It would have remained

Until this day.

But I tell you!

On the day of judgment

That it shall be more tolerable

For the land of Sodom

Than for you.”

 

καὶ σύ, Καφαρναούμ, μὴ ἕως οὐρανοῦ ὑψωθήσῃ; ἕως Ἅιδου καταβήσῃ· ὅτι εἰ ἐν Σοδόμοις ἐγενήθησαν αἱ δυνάμεις αἱ γενόμεναι ἐν σοί, ἔμεινεν ἂν μέχρι τῆς σήμερον.

πλὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι γῇ Σοδόμων ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως ἢ σοί.

 

Then Matthew has Jesus take on his own new home town of Capernaum.  Luke, chapter 10:15, has a similar statement, word for word, indicating a possible common Q source.  However, the second verse is unique to Matthew.  Jesus, turned to his home town of Capernaum (καὶ σύ, Καφαρναούμ), as mentioned in chapter 4:13.  He questioned them.  Would they be exalted or raised up to heaven (μὴ ἕως οὐρανοῦ ὑψωθήσῃ)?  No!  In fact, they would be cast down to the unseen world of Hades (ἕως Ἅιδου καταβήσῃ), the traditional Greek word for hell.  If the mighty miracles that were done in Capernaum were done in Sodom (ὅτι εἰ ἐν Σοδόμοις ἐγενήθησαν αἱ δυνάμεις αἱ γενόμεναι ἐν σοί), Sodom might have remained until the present day (ἔμεινεν ἂν μέχρι τῆς σήμερον).  This refers to the story in Genesis, chapter 19:1-29.  Then Jesus gave a solemn pronouncement “I say to you” (πλὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that on the day of judgment (ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως ἢ σοί) it would be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for the people of Capernaum (ὅτι γῇ Σοδόμων ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται).  Thus, Jesus had warned these three towns within 10 miles of each other, because they had not repented despite his many miracles there.

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The death of Ephraim (Hos 13:1-13:1)

“When Ephraim spoke,

There was trembling.

He was exalted

In Israel.

But he incurred guilt

Through Baal.

Thus,

He died.”

People used to tremble when the territory and people of Ephraim spoke. Among the people of the northern kingdom of Israel, Ephraim was exalted. However, Ephraim incurred guilt with their sacrificial altars to Baal. Thus, Ephraim, like Israel, died. This statement assumes the Assyrian capture of the northern kingdom.

The self-exaltation of the king (Dan 11:36-11:37)

“The king

Shall act

As he pleases.

He shall exalt himself.

He shall consider himself

Greater than any god.

He shall speak

Horrendous things

Against the God of gods.

He shall prosper

Until the period of wrath

Is completed.

What is determined

Shall be done.

He shall pay no heed

To the gods

Of his ancestors,

Or to the one beloved

By women.

He shall not pay respect

To any other god.

He shall consider himself

Greater than all.”

Gabriel continued to tell Daniel about King Antiochus IV, who acted as he pleased. He exalted himself. He believed that he was greater than any god. He even spoke horrendous things against the God of gods, the Israelite God. He would continue to prosper, until the time of wrath was completed. This arrogant king did not even pay homage to the gods of his ancestors, or to the gods that women loved. He did not pay respect to any other gods. He seemed to have been intrigued by the Greek gods and wanted to be a god himself. He considered himself greater than any of the other gods.

The unhumble king (Dan 5:22-5:23)

“‘You!

His son!

King Belshazzar!

Have not humbled

Your heart,

Even though

You knew all this!

You have exalted yourself

Against the Lord of heaven!

The vessels

Of his temple

Have been brought in

Before you.

You,

Your lords,

Your wives,

Your concubines,

Have been drinking wine

From them.

You have praised

The gods

Of silver

Of gold,

Of bronze,

Of iron,

Of wood,

Of stone.

They do not

See,

Hear,

Or know.

You have not honored

The God

In whose power

Is your very breath,

To whom belong

All your ways.’”

Daniel then turned to King Belshazzar himself, because he had not humbled his heart, even though he knew all about his father or grandfather. He too exalted himself against the Lord of heaven. He even took the vessels from his holy temple for his feast or party to drink wine with his lords, wives, and concubines. He even praised the false idol gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone who could not see, hear, or know anything. He did not honor the true God, who controls his life and his actions.

Day and night bless God (Dan 3:47-3:48)

“Bless the Lord!

Nights!

Days!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

Light!

Darkness!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!” 

Both the night and the day, the light and darkness blessed the Lord. They sang praises to him and exalted him forever. God controlled the day of light and the night of darkness.

Blessed is God in heaven (Dan 3:32-3:34)

“Blessed are you!

You look

Into the depths

From your throne

On the cherubim!

You are to be praised!

You are highly exalted forever!

Blessed are you

On the throne

Of your kingdom.

You are to be extolled!

You are highly exalted forever!

Blessed are you

In the firmament

Of heaven!

You are to be sung to!

You are to be glorified forever.”

Next, the 3 young men bless God in heaven, who looks down on them from his throne on the cherubim in heaven. God is to be praised and exalted forever, because he sees his kingdom from the firmament of heaven. Thus, everyone should sing to him and glorify him forever.

Blessing God and his name (Dan 3:29-3:31)

“Blessed are you!

O Lord!

God of our ancestors!

You are to be praised!

You are highly exalted forever!

Blessed is

Your glorious,

Holy name!

It is to be highly praised!

It is to be highly exalted forever!

Blessed are you

In the temple

Of your holy glory!

You are to be extolled!

You are to be

Highly glorified forever!”

The 3 men together in the furnace now broke into a prayer or hymn of praise to God. First, they blessed God, the God of their ancestors, who is not called Yahweh. He was to be praised and exalted forever. Next, they blessed his glorious holy name that should also be praised and exalted forever. Finally, they blessed the temple of his glory. God was to be highly glorified forever.