Moses and Elijah (Lk 9:30-9:30)

“Suddenly,

They saw

Two men.

Moses

And Elijah

Were talking

To Jesus.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνδρες δύο συνελάλουν αὐτῷ, οἵτινες ἦσαν Μωϋσῆς καὶ Ἡλείας,

 

Luke said that suddenly, the 3 apostles saw 2 men (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνδρες), Moses (οἵτινες ἦσαν Μωϋσῆς) and Elijah (καὶ Ἡλείας), talking to Jesus (συνελάλουν αὐτῷ).  This appearance of Moses and Elijah can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:34, Mark, chapter 9:4, and here in Luke.  Mark said that Elijah with Moses, talking with Jesus, appeared to the 3 disciples.  Matthew also said that suddenly Moses and Elijah were talking with Jesus in front of the 3 apostles.  How did they know what Moses and Elijah looked like?  They had never seen them before.  They were nearly 1,000 years removed from their existence.  Jesus, however, recognized and talked with them, so that is why they might have realized who they were.  Thus, Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law of Moses and at the same time the fulfillment of the prophets with Elijah, one of the earliest prophets from the 9th century BCE.  Moses and Elijah also represented the ancient righteous people.  How would you recognize an ancient historical figure?

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Elijah and Moses (Mk 9:4-9:4)

“There appeared

To them

Elijah

With Moses.

They were talking

With Jesus.”

 

καὶ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς Ἡλείας σὺν Μωϋσεῖ, καὶ ἦσαν συνλαλοῦντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ.

 

This appearance of Moses and Elijah can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:34, Luke, chapter 9:30, and here in Mark, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Mark said that there appeared to the 3 disciples (καὶ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς) Elijah (Ἡλείας) with Moses (σὺν Μωϋσεῖ).  These two were talking with Jesus (καὶ ἦσαν συνλαλοῦντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ).  How did they know what Moses and Elijah looked like?  They had never seen them before.  They were nearly 1,000 years removed from their existence.  Jesus, however, recognized and talked with them, so that is why they might have realized who they were.  Thus, Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law of Moses and at the same time the fulfillment of the prophets with Elijah, one of the earliest prophets from the 9th century BCE.

The explanation of the allegory of the cedar tree (Ezek 31:18-31:18)

“Which among the trees

Of Eden

Was like you

In glory,

Or in greatness?

Now you shall be

Brought down

With the trees

Of Eden

To the world below.

You shall lie

Among the uncircumcised.

You shall lie

With those who were killed

By the sword.

‘This is Pharaoh

With his entire hoard.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh God revealed the meaning of the big cedar tree. There is very little suspense, since it is Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and the multitude of his people with him. The other trees were those kings and people associated with Egypt that relied on him for their existence. Once again, there was a comparison of this great cedar tree with the trees from the Garden of Eden. Which was more glorious or great? The great cedar tree would be brought down with the trees from the Garden of Eden to the world below. Thus, they would lie down with the uncircumcised and those killed by the sword.

Orphans and widows (Lam 5:3-5:4)

“We have become

Orphans!

We are fatherless!

Our mothers are

Like widows!

We must pay

For the water

We drink!

The wood

We get

Must be bought.”

Assuming the first person plural, this author laments the situation of him and his friends left in Jerusalem. They have become orphans, without fathers. Their mothers have become widows. They have to pay for the water and the wood for their existence. Life is tough.

The attacks on Israel (Jer 50:17-50:17)

“Israel is

A hunted sheep.

It was driven away

By lions.

First,

The king of Assyria

Devoured it.

Now at the end,

King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon

Has gnawed its bones.”

The Israelite hunted sheep were driven away by lions. The king of Assyria attacked the northern kingdom of Israel, as it came to an end in 724 BCE. Then the king of Babylon in 587 gnawed at their bones, since the kingdom was not in existence at that time. Thus both the lions of Assyria and Babylon have scattered the sheep of Israel within a couple hundred years.

The sudden birth of a nation (Isa 66:7-66:9)

“‘Before she was in labor,

She gave birth.

Before her pain came upon her,

She delivered a son.

Who has heard of such a thing?

Who has seen such things?

Shall a land be born in one day?

Shall a nation be delivered in one moment?

Yet as soon as Zion was in labor

She delivered her children.

Shall I open the womb?

Shall I not deliver?’

Says Yahweh.

‘Shall I,

The one who delivers,

Shut the womb?’

Says your God.”

The birth or rebirth of Jerusalem will be miraculous. It will be like a woman who gives birth to a son before she has labor pains. Has anyone heard or seen such a thing? Can a country or nation come into existence in a moment? Yet Zion will deliver her children. Who would open her womb? Who would try to shut her womb? Yahweh, the great deliverer, will not shut the womb, but deliver Jerusalem and Israel in a new birth.

Rejoice in Yahweh (Isa 61:10-61:11)

“I will greatly rejoice

In Yahweh.

My whole being shall exult

In my God.

He has clothed me

With the garments of salvation.

He has covered me

With the robe of righteousness.

I am

Like a bridegroom who decks himself

With a garland.

I am

Like a bride who adorns herself

With her jewels.

As the earth brings forth its shoots,

As a garden causes

What is sown in it

To spring up,

So Yahweh God

Will cause righteousness

To spring up before all the nations.

He will cause praise

To spring up before all the nations.”

This author now turns around and rejoices in Yahweh. His whole being and existence exults in God. He has been clothed with the garments of salvation. He wears a robe of righteousness. He is like a groom who wears a flower garland or a bride with all her jewels. He is like the shoots that grow from the ground or like a garden breaking out with flower sprouts. Thus Yahweh, our God, will cause righteousness and praise to spring up among all the various countries.