Herod the tetrarch (Lk 9:7-9:7)

“Now Herod,

The tetrarch ruler,

Heard about all

That had taken place.

He was perplexed,

Because it was said

By some people

That John had been raised

From the dead.”

 

Ἤκουσεν δὲ Ἡρῴδης ὁ τετραάρχης τὰ γινόμενα πάντα, καὶ διηπόρει διὰ τὸ λέγεσθαι ὑπό τινων ὅτι Ἰωάνης ἠγέρθη ἐκ νεκρῶν,

 

Luke said that Herod (δὲ Ἡρῴδης) Antipas, the tetrarch (ὁ τετραάρχης) ruler of Galilee, heard (Ἤκουσεν) about all that had taken place (τὰ γινόμενα πάντα).  He was perplexed (καὶ διηπόρει), because it was said by some people (διὰ τὸ λέγεσθαι ὑπό τινων) that John the Baptist had been raised from the dead (ὅτι Ἰωάνης ἠγέρθη ἐκ νεκρῶν).  This mention of Herod can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:1-3, Mark, chapter 6:14, and here.  The Roman educated Herod, the son of Herod the Great, was the ruler or tetrarch of Galilee and Perea from 4 BCE-39 CE, as a client ruler, part of the Roman Empire.  He had built and named the capital city of Galilee, Tiberias, since the Roman Emperor Tiberius (14-37 CE) was his favorite emperor.  Mark called him a king.  King Herod had heard reports about Jesus, because his name had become well known or famous.  Jesus was a celebrity in Galilee.  Here we have the intersection of the Galilean official of the Roman Empire, Herod, and the famous Galilean preacher and faith healer, Jesus.  Herod, the Roman ruler in Galilee, or those around him, said that Jesus might be the resurrected John the Baptist, since some people believed that righteous people rose from the dead.  Thus, Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead.  How ironic, since Jesus was to rise from the dead.  Herod thought the miraculous powers of John the Baptist were at work in Jesus.  He and his people thought that John might have reincarnated himself in Jesus.  Matthew said that Herod the tetrarch heard reports, news or rumors about Jesus.  Herod had already seized John the Baptist.  John had been complaining that Herod Antipas had married the wife of his half-brother Herod Boethus or Philip, after he had divorced his first wife, who went back to her father and started a war with Herod Antipas.  Thus, Herod Antipas said to his children or servants that he thought that Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead.  Herod knew that he had seized, bound, and, put John in jail.  In fact, he had him killed because of his new wife Herodias, who had been the wife of his brother Philip or Herod Boethus.  Have religious leaders always gotten along with civil political leaders?

The demoniac does not want Jesus to torment him (Lk 8:28-8:28)

“When he saw Jesus,

The demoniac cried out.

He fell down

Before him.

He shouted

At the top of his voice,

‘What have you

To do with me?

Jesus!

Son of the Most-High God!

I beg you!

Do not torment me!’”

 

ἰδὼν δὲ τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀνακράξας προσέπεσεν αὐτῷ καὶ φωνῇ μεγάλῃ εἶπεν Τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί, Ἰησοῦ Υἱὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ Ὑψίστου; δέομαί σου, μή με βασανίσῃς.

 

Luke said that when this possessed man saw Jesus (ἰδὼν δὲ τὸν Ἰησοῦν), he cried out (ἀνακράξας).  He fell down before him (προσέπεσεν αὐτῷ).  He shouted at the top of his loud voice (καὶ φωνῇ μεγάλῃ εἶπεν).  He wanted to know what Jesus had to do with him (Τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί).  He called Jesus (Ἰησοῦ) the Son of the Most-High God (Υἱὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ Ὑψίστου).  He begged Jesus (δέομαί σου) not to torment him (μή με βασανίσῃς).  All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:29, Mark, chapter 5:6-7, and Luke here, have this demoniac speak to Jesus in somewhat similar words.  Matthew had 2 demoniacs, but Mark and Luke had only one, and are closer to each other in this incident.  Mark said that when this demoniac saw Jesus from a distance, he bowed down before him and worshipped him.  He cried or shouted out with a loud voice.  He wanted to know why Jesus had anything to do with him.  Then he called Jesus, the Son of God the Most-High.  He asked, swearing by God, that Jesus not torment him.  Matthew had these 2 demoniacs speak to Jesus in somewhat similar words.  They cried or shouted out.  They wanted to know why the Son of God had come to torment them, since the time of the final judgment day had not yet arrived.  All three gospel writers have the demonic person or persons recognize that Jesus was the Son of God, not just another faith healer.  They maintained that the time of their torment or the end times had not yet arrived.  Thus, these evil spirits were able to recognize Jesus as the Son of God, just as they had earlier in Mark.  Can evil people speak the truth at times?

The healings (Lk 4:40-4:40)

“As the sun

Was setting,

All those who had

Any person

Who was sick

With various kinds

Of diseases,

Brought them

To Jesus.

He laid his hands

On each of them.

He cured them.”

 

Δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου ἅπαντες ὅσοι εἶχον ἀσθενοῦντας νόσοις ποικίλαις ἤγαγον αὐτοὺς πρὸς αὐτόν· ὁ δὲ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ αὐτῶν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιτιθεὶς ἐθεράπευεν αὐτούς.

 

Luke said that as the sun was setting (Δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου), all those who had any person who was sick with various kinds of diseases (ἅπαντες ὅσοι εἶχον ἀσθενοῦντας νόσοις ποικίλαις) brought them to Jesus. (ἤγαγον αὐτοὺς πρὸς αὐτόν).  This would not have been the Sabbath, because the sun had set on the Sabbath.  Jesus laid his hands on each of them (ὁ δὲ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ αὐτῶν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιτιθεὶς) and so he cured them (ἐθεράπευεν αὐτούς).  Luke concentrated on the sick people, emphasized healing.  There are similar generic statements about healing sick and chasing out demons in Mark, chapter 1:32-33, and Matthew, chapter 8:16.  Matthew emphasized the casting out of demons.  Jesus cast out these demons with merely a word.  At the same time, he also healed all the sick people around there, without indicating how this was done.  Apparently, during biblical times, there were a lot of people who were possessed by the devil.  Mark was the only one to mention that the whole city gathered at his door.  Mark said that they brought to him all who had a sickness or were possessed with demons.  Jesus was also a daring faith healer, since many saw the connection between both sickness and demonic evil spirit possession.

King Herod heard about Jesus (Mk 6:14-6:14)

“King Herod

Had heard

That Jesus’ name

Had become known.

Some were saying.

‘John the baptizer

Has been raised

From the dead.

For this reason,

These powers are

At work

In him.’”

 

Καὶ ἤκουσεν ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἡρῴδης, φανερὸν γὰρ ἐγένετο τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἰωάνης ὁ Βαπτίζων ἐγήγερται ἐκ νεκρῶν, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἐνεργοῦσιν αἱ δυνάμεις ἐν αὐτῷ.

 

This mention of Herod can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:1, Luke, chapter 9:7, and here.  The Roman educated Herod, was the ruler or tetrarch of Galilee and Perea from 4 BCE-39 CE, as a client ruler, part of the Roman Empire.  This Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great.  He had built and named the capital city of Galilee, Tiberias, since the Roman Emperor Tiberius (14-37 CE) was his favorite emperor.  Mark called him a king.  King Herod had heard reports (Καὶ ἤκουσεν ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἡρῴδης) about Jesus, because his name had become well known or famous (φανερὸν γὰρ ἐγένετο τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ).  Jesus was a celebrity in Galilee.  Here we have the intersection of the Galilean official of the Roman Empire, Herod, and the famous Galilean preacher and faith healer, Jesus.  Herod, the Roman ruler in Galilee, or those around him said (καὶ ἔλεγον) that Jesus might be the resurrected John the Baptist, since some people believed that righteous people rose from the dead.  Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead (ὅτι Ἰωάνης ὁ Βαπτίζων ἐγήγερται ἐκ νεκρῶν).  How ironic, since Jesus was to rise from the dead.  Herod thought the miraculous powers of John the Baptist were at work in Jesus (καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἐνεργοῦσιν αἱ δυνάμεις ἐν αὐτῷ).  He and his people thought that John might have reincarnated himself in Jesus,

The man with the unclean spirit worships Jesus (Mk 5:6-5:7)

“When this demoniac

Saw Jesus

From a distance,

He ran

And bowed down

Before him.

He shouted

At the top of his voice.

‘What have you to do

With me?

Jesus!

Son of the Most High God!

I adjure you

By God!

Do not torment me!’”

 

καὶ ἰδὼν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπὸ μακρόθεν ἔδραμεν καὶ προσεκύνησεν αὐτόν,

καὶ κράξας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ λέγει Τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί, Ἰησοῦ Υἱὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ Ὑψίστου; ὁρκίζω σε τὸν Θεόν, μή με βασανίσῃς.

 

All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:29 and Luke, chapter 8;28, and Mark here, have this demoniac speak to Jesus in somewhat similar words.  Matthew had 2 demoniacs, but Mark and Luke had only one and are closer to each other in this incident.  Mark said that when this demoniac saw Jesus from a distance (καὶ ἰδὼν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπὸ μακρόθεν), he bowed down before him and worshipped him (καὶ προσεκύνησεν αὐτόν).  He cried or shouted out with a loud voice (καὶ κράξας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ).  He wanted to know why Jesus had anything to do with him (λέγει Τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί).  Then he called Jesus, the Son of God the Most High (Ἰησοῦ Υἱὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ Ὑψίστου).  He asked, swearing by God, that Jesus not torment them (ὁρκίζω σε τὸν Θεόν, μή με βασανίσῃς).  All three gospel writers have the demonic person or persons recognize that Jesus was the Son of God, not just another faith healer.  Thus, the evil spirits were able to recognize Jesus as the Son of God, as earlier in Mark, chapter 1:23 and 3:11.

First narrative

This first narrative began with the baptism of Jesus and his preaching about the kingdom of heaven.  Once again, there are five sections.  First there was the preaching of John the Baptist with his message of repentance.  Matthew made a comparison of the prophet Isaiah with John, including a description of John.  People went to John at the Jordan River where he baptized people.  John was against the Pharisees and the Sadducees, since he felt that the children of Abraham should not be presumptuous.  However, there was a powerful one yet to come when the chaff would burn.

The second section was about the baptism of Jesus, as he came to John.  However, John did not want to baptize Jesus, but Jesus insisted.  At the baptism of Jesus, a voice declared that Jesus was the beloved son, as the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended on Jesus.  Thus, John the Baptist and Jesus remain linked together.

The third section was about the temptations of Jesus in the desert.  Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights.  Then Jesus had his first temptation with his response.  After the second and third temptations and responses of Jesus, the devil left.

The fourth section had Jesus return to Galilee after the arrest of John the Baptist.  He went to Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee.  Like the prophet Isaiah and John the Baptist, Jesus taught a call for repentance.

The fifth and final section was the call of the first four disciples.  The first two brother fishermen called were Simon and Andrew, who became his first two disciples.  Then he called James and John, the sons of Zebedee.  Then Jesus taught and healed in Galilee, where he was a faith healer with great crowds.

 

Summary of the activity of Jesus (Mt 9:35-9:35)

“Jesus went about

All the towns

And villages.

He was teaching

In their synagogues.

He was proclaiming

The good news

Of the kingdom.

He was healing

Every disease

And every sickness.”

 

Καὶ περιῆγεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὰς πόλεις πάσας καὶ τὰς κώμας, διδάσκων ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν καὶ κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας καὶ θεραπεύων πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν μαλακίαν.

 

This summary statement seems to be unique to Matthew, but not inconsistent with the other gospel stories.  This is basically the same as in chapter 4:23-24.  However, there is no mention of Galilee here as in chapter 4.  Instead Jesus was going through all the towns and villages (Καὶ περιῆγεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὰς πόλεις πάσας καὶ τὰς κώμας,) without restricting it only to Galilee.  Otherwise, it is almost word for word like the earlier statement.  Jesus was teaching in their synagogues (διδάσκων ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν).  However, synagogue might mean a group or assembly of Jewish people rather than a building, since some places may not have been able to afford a building.  Matthew said that Jesus was proclaiming the good news or the gospel about the kingdom (καὶ κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας), without saying whether it was the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, or even an earthly kingdom.  Jesus was like a faith healer, healing all diseases and curing people of all their sicknesses and illnesses (καὶ θεραπεύων πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν μαλακίαν).  In other words, he was this itinerant preacher healing people.