Great fear (Lk 21:26-21:26)

“People will faint

From fear

And expectations

About what was coming

Upon the world.

The powers

Of the heavens

Will be shaken.”

 

ἀποψυχόντων ἀνθρώπων ἀπὸ φόβου καὶ προσδοκίας τῶν ἐπερχομένων τῇ οἰκουμένῃ· αἱ γὰρ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται.

 

Luke had a section of this warning from Jesus that was unique, yet the last phrase was similar to the other synoptics.  Jesus said that people would faint (ἀποψυχόντων ἀνθρώπων) from fear (ἀπὸ φόβου) and expectations (καὶ προσδοκίας) over what was coming upon the world (τῶν ἐπερχομένων τῇ οἰκουμένῃ).  Luke was the only one to use this Greek term ἀποψυχόντων, meaning to leave off breathing, fainting, breathing out of life, dying, or dismayed.  The powers of the heavens would be shaken (γὰρ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται).  Thus, this last phrase is like Mark, chapter 13:25, and Matthew, chapter 24:29, who were word for word the same.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that the powers of the heavens would be shaken or stirred up (καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις αἱ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς σαλευθήσονται), while Matthew said precisely the same thing.  The powers of the heavens would be shaken or stirred up (καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται).  They were going to experience big time problems, in this time of complete darkness, during this celestial disturbance.  Do you worry about the sky above you?

Jesus has compassion on the crowds (Mt 15:32-15:32)

“Then Jesus called

His disciples to him.

He said.

‘I have compassion

For the crowd.

They have been with me

Now three days.

They have nothing to eat.

I do not want

To send them away hungry.

Otherwise,

They might faint

On the way.’”

 

Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ εἶπεν Σπλαγχνίζομαι ἐπὶ τὸν ὄχλον, ὅτι ἤδη ἡμέραι τρεῖς προσμένουσίν μοι καὶ οὐκ ἔχουσιν τί φάγωσιν· καὶ ἀπολῦσαι αὐτοὺς νήστεις οὐ θέλω, μή ποτε ἐκλυθῶσιν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ.

 

Mark, chapter 8:1-3, has a similar statement about compassion.  This is much like the earlier feeding of the 5,000 in Matthew, 14:15-16 that can be found in all 4 gospels.   Once again, there is a discussion between Jesus and his disciples.  He called his disciples to him (Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ).  He told them that he had compassion on the crowd (εἶπεν Σπλαγχνίζομαι ἐπὶ τὸν ὄχλον), since they had been with him for 3 days (ὅτι ἤδη ἡμέραι τρεῖς προσμένουσίν μοι), without anything to eat (καὶ οὐκ ἔχουσιν τί φάγωσιν).  He did not want to send them away hungry (καὶ ἀπολῦσαι αὐτοὺς νήστεις οὐ θέλω), because they might faint on their way home (μή ποτε ἐκλυθῶσιν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ).  Jesus was seriously concerned about the wellbeing of this large crowd of people who had been with him for a couple of days.

Description of the servant of Yahweh (Matt 12:19-12:21)

“He will not quarrel.

He will not cry aloud.

They will not hear his voice

In the streets.

He will not break

A bruised reed.

He will not quench

A smoldering wick,

Until he brings justice to victory.

In his name,

The gentiles will hope.”

 

οὐκ ἐρίσει οὐδὲ κραυγάσει, οὐδὲ ἀκούσει τις ἐν ταῖς πλατείαις τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ.

κάλαμον συντετριμμένον οὐ κατεάξει καὶ λίνον τυφόμενον οὐ σβέσει, ἕως ἂν ἐκβάλῃ εἰς νῖκος τὴν κρίσιν.

καὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ ἔθνη ἐλπιοῦσιν.

 

Second Isaiah, chapter 42:2-4, described this servant of Yahweh.  He would not cry nor lift up his voice in the streets.  He would not break the bruised reeds nor put out a dimly burning wick on a candle.  In other words, he would be a very quiet person.  However, he would fight for justice.  He would not be faint or crushed, until he has established justice on the whole earth.  Matthew clearly applied this description to Jesus since Jesus would not quarrel or be contentious (οὐκ ἐρίσει).  Jesus would not cry out or shout (οὐδὲ κραυγάσει).  They would not hear Jesus’ voice in the streets (οὐδὲ ἀκούσει τις ἐν ταῖς πλατείαις τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ).  Jesus would not break a bruised reed into pieces (κάλαμον συντετριμμένον οὐ κατεάξει).  Jesus would not quench a smoldering wick on a candle (καὶ λίνον τυφόμενον οὐ σβέσει).  Jesus would bring justice to victory (ἕως ἂν ἐκβάλῃ εἰς νῖκος τὴν κρίσιν).  In the name of Jesus (καὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ), the gentile nations would hope (ἔθνη ἐλπιοῦσιν).  There was no doubt in the mind of Matthew that Jesus was the servant of Yahweh from Isaiah.

The sun beats on Jonah (Jon 4:7-4:8)

“But when dawn came up,

The next day,

God appointed a worm

That attacked the bush.

Thus,

It withered.

When the sun rose,

God prepared

A sultry east wind.

The sun beat down

On the head of Jonah,

So that he was faint.

He asked

That he might die.

He said.

‘It is better for me

To die

Than to live.’”

Jonah still had the same death wish that he had expressed earlier.  When dawn came up, God sent a worm to attack Jonah’s shade bush, so that the bush withered.  In addition to that, God sent a sultry east wind, so that the sun beat down on Jonah’s head.  He then became faint.  As earlier in this chapter, Jonah thought that it was better that he died rather sit in the beating hot sun.  Obviously, Jonah was not a very strong individual.

They will faint from the lack of the word of Yahweh (Am 8:13-8:14)

“In that day,

The beautiful young women

With the young men

Shall faint for thirst.

Those who swear

By Ashimah

Of Samaria,

Will say,

‘As your god lives,

O Dan!’

‘As the way of Beer-sheba

Lives.’

They shall fall,

But never rise again.”

Amos reminded them that on the day of Yahweh, the good looking young men and women would faint from thirst.  Their hope from their local gods would be useless, whether it was Ashimah in Samaria, the far northern territory of Dan or the far southern place of Beer-sheba.  They would all fall, never to rise again.

Moaning (Ezek 21:6-21:7)

“Moan therefore!

Son of man!

Moan!

With a breaking heart!

Moan

With a bitter grief

Before their eyes!

When they say to you,

‘Why do you moan?’

You shall say.

‘Because of the news

That has come.

Every heart

Will melt.

All hands

Will be feeble.

Every spirit

Will faint.

All knees

Will turn to water.

See!

It comes!

It will be fulfilled,’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh told Ezekiel that he should moan or sigh with a broken heart and bitter grief before the other people. When they would then ask him why he was moaning, he should tell about the news that he had received. If they had heard the same news, they too would be moaning and sighing. Every heart would melt. All their hands would be feeble. Every spirit would be faint. Everyone’s knees would turn to water. Yahweh clearly said that this was going to happen.

The devastating fire in Zion (Lam 1:13-1:13)

Mem

“From on high.

He sent fire.

It went deep

Into my bones.

He spread

A net

For my feet.

He turned me back.

He has left me

Stunned.

I am faint

All day long.”

Yahweh sent a fire into the bones of the people of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is no longer a simple city, but a personification of the devastation. Yahweh spread a net for their feet. He turned them back so that they were stunned and faint all day long. This was a very personal lament from the city itself. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Mem. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.