They left their homes (Lk 18:28-18:28)

“Then Peter said.

‘Look!

We have left

Our homes

And followed you.’”

 

Εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Πέτρος Ἰδοὺ ἡμεῖς ἀφέντες τὰ ἴδια ἠκολουθήσαμέν σοι.

 

Luke indicated that Peter said to Jesus (Εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Πέτρος), that they had left their homes and possessions (Ἰδοὺ ἡμεῖς ἀφέντες τὰ ἴδια) and followed him (ἠκολουθήσαμέν σοι).  This saying by the pragmatic leader of the disciples showed that Peter was concerned about himself and his fellow disciples.  What was in it for them?  Something similar can be found in Mark, chapter 10:26, and Matthew, chapter 19:27, but slightly different.  Mark said that Peter began to complain to Jesus (Ἤρξατο λέγειν ὁ Πέτρος αὐτῷ).  He said that he and the other disciples had left everything that they had (Ἰδοὺ ἡμεῖς ἀφήκαμεν πάντα).  They were willing to follow Jesus (καὶ ἠκολουθήκαμέν σοι), but what was going to be their reward?  In Matthew, Peter responded or complained to Jesus also like in Mark (Τότε ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Πέτρος εἶπεν αὐτῷ).  He said that he and the other disciples had left everything that they had (Ἰδοὺ ἡμεῖς ἀφήκαμεν πάντα), including their families.  They were willing to follow Jesus (καὶ ἠκολουθήσαμέν σοι), but what was going to be their reward (τί ἄρα ἔσται ἡμῖν).  Would they be left empty-handed?  Are you worried about your life if you followed Jesus?

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Family members will be divided (Lk 12:53-12:53)

“They will be divided!

Father against son!

Son against father!

Mother against daughter!

Daughter against mother!

Mother-in-law

Against her daughter-in-law!

Daughter-in-law

Against her mother-in-law!”

 

διαμερισθήσονται, πατὴρ ἐπὶ υἱῷ καὶ υἱὸς ἐπὶ πατρί, μήτηρ ἐπὶ θυγατέρα καὶ θυγάτηρ ἐπὶ τὴν μητέρα, πενθερὰ ἐπὶ τὴν νύμφην αὐτῆς καὶ νύμφη ἐπὶ τὴν πενθεράν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that there would be divisions within families.  They would be divided (διαμερισθήσονται) father against son (πατὴρ ἐπὶ υἱῷ) and son against father (καὶ υἱὸς ἐπὶ πατρί).  They would be divided mother against daughter (μήτηρ ἐπὶ θυγατέρα) and daughter against mother (καὶ θυγάτηρ ἐπὶ τὴν μητέρα).  A mother-in-law would be against her daughter-in-law (πενθερὰ ἐπὶ τὴν νύμφην αὐτῆς) and vice versa, the daughter-in-law would be against her mother-in-law (καὶ νύμφη ἐπὶ τὴν πενθεράν).  This verse is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:35, indicating a Q source.  However, it is also similar to what Jesus, via Matthew, had said in chapter 10:21, and Mark, chapter 13:12, as well as much like the Old Testament prophet Micah, chapter 7:6, where this prophet warned that they should not trust anyone in their own family.  Jesus may be the disrupter in their own family, not the peacemaker.  Jesus said that he came to set a man against his father (ἦλθον γὰρ διχάσαι ἄνθρωπον κατὰ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ), a daughter against her mother (καὶ θυγατέρα κατὰ τῆς μητρὸς αὐτῆς), and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law (καὶ νύμφην κατὰ τῆς πενθερᾶς αὐτῆς).  Thus, the most ferocious enemies will be members of their own household (καὶ ἐχθροὶ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οἱ οἰκιακοὶ αὐτοῦ).  People always look outside for enemies, but sometimes they may be right beside them in their own family.  Do you have divisions in your own family?

The circumcision of Jesus (Lk 2:21-2:21)

“After eight days

Had passed,

It was time

To circumcise

The child.

He was called

Jesus.

This was the name

Given to him

By the angel

Before he was conceived

In the womb.”

 

Καὶ ὅτε ἐπλήσθησαν ἡμέραι ὀκτὼ τοῦ περιτεμεῖν αὐτόν, καὶ ἐκλήθη τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦς, τὸ κληθὲν ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀγγέλου πρὸ τοῦ συλλημφθῆναι αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ.

 

Just as Luke had the circumcision and naming of John, so too he has the circumcision and naming of Jesus, his cousin.  Like John, it takes place on the 8th day after the birth in chapter 1:59.  So too, just like John, chapter 1:63, Jesus got his name at his circumcision.  Luke said that after eight days had been completed (Καὶ ὅτε ἐπλήσθησαν ἡμέραι ὀκτὼ), it was time to circumcise the child (τοῦ περιτεμεῖν αὐτόν).  He was called Jesus (καὶ ἐκλήθη τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦς), the name given to him by the angel Gabriel (τὸ κληθὲν ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀγγέλου) before Mary conceived him in the womb (πρὸ τοῦ συλλημφθῆναι αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ) in chapter 1:31.  Luke continued these parallel stories of John and Jesus.  Both families clearly followed all the Jewish laws and customs about circumcision and naming a child, but John and Jesus were nevertheless special children.

Drought for the failure to worship (Zech 14:17-14:17)

“If any of the families

Of the earth

Do not go up to Jerusalem

To worship the king,

Yahweh of hosts,

There will be no rain

Upon them.”

If any of these families or countries do not go to Jerusalem to worship Yahweh of the hosts, the king, at the festival of booths, they will suffer the punishment of no rain or a drought.

Don’t blame the women (Jer 44:19-44:19)

“The women said.

‘Indeed,

We will go on

Making offerings

To the queen of heaven.

We will pour out libations

To her.

Do you think

That we made cakes

For her,

With her image,

Without our husbands

Being involved?

Do you think

That we poured out libations

To her

Without our husbands

Being involved?’”

This is one of the few times that women as a group speak. Mostly, it is the men or groups of men who speak. These women complained that their husbands were complicit in this worship of the “Queen of heaven.” Entire families were involved in this goddess worship as indicated in chapter 7 of this work. The children gathered the wood. The men used it to build altars to worship this goddess. The women kneaded the dough and baked cakes with the image of this “Queen of heaven.” None of this would have been possible without their husbands being involved. Women worshiped this fertility goddess because of the importance of bearing children. In fact, quite often the most important role for women was precisely giving birth to a child, since most women desired to have children. Thus, this fertility goddess worship of a “Queen of heaven” was quite common in most ancient societies, even among the Israelites, as can be seen here. This “Queen of heaven” was not a foretelling of the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus, but rather a nod to the Canaanite female fertility goddess, Astarte, the wife of Baal.

The good future of Israel (Jer 33:23-33:26)

“The word of Yahweh

came to Jeremiah.

‘Have you not observed

How these people say?

‘The two families

That Yahweh chose

Have been rejected

By him.’

They hold my people

In such contempt

That they no longer

Regard them as a nation.’

Thus says Yahweh.

‘Only if I had not established

My covenant

With day and night,

With the ordinances

Of heaven and earth,

Would I reject

The offspring

Of Jacob,

Or my servant David.

Then I would not choose

Any of his descendants

As rulers

Over the offspring

Of Abraham,

Isaac,

Or Jacob.

I will restore their fortunes.

I will have mercy upon them.’”

Yahweh once again uttered an oracle to Jeremiah. People were saying that Yahweh had rejected the two families that he had chosen, Judah and Israel. Thus these people held his people in contempt. They did not consider them to be a nation or a country. Yahweh responded that as long as there was a day and a night, as well as heaven and earth, he would not reject the offspring of David. He has chosen them to be the rulers of the descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was going to restore their fortunes and have mercy on them.

Dreams of death (Wis 18:17-18:19)

“Then at once

Apparitions in dreadful dreams

Greatly troubled them.

Unexpected fears assailed them.

One here

Another there,

They were hurled down half dead.

They were made known why they were dying.

The dreams that disturbed them

Forewarned them of this.

Thus they might not perish

Without knowing Why they suffered.”

Apparently, this section is not really tied to the Exodus story, but does concern the problem of death. It is not clear what this refers to since most of the first-born killed were infants and not capable of knowing why they were perishing. However, it could have been the first-born grown children of some families whose first-born would have been older and thus capable of understanding what was happening. Anyway, dreadful or fearful (φόβοι) dreams or apparitions (φαντασίαι) definitely troubled these people before they were hurled half dead. They knew why they were dying because they had been warned. They knew why they were suffering.