Abraham and Lazarus (Lk 16:23-16:23)

“In Hades,

Where the rich man

Was being tormented,

He looked up.

He saw Abraham

Far away,

With Lazarus

By his side.”

 

καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἅιδῃ ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ, ὑπάρχων ἐν βασάνοις, ὁρᾷ Ἀβραὰμ ἀπὸ μακρόθεν καὶ Λάζαρον ἐν τοῖς κόλποις αὐτοῦ.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the rich man was living in torment (ὑπάρχων ἐν βασάνοις) in Hades (καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἅιδῃ), the Greek name for hell, a permanent place of damnation as opposed to the vague Hebrew afterlife Sheol, the place of the dead.  This rich man looked up or lifted up his eyes (ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ).  He saw Abraham (ὁρᾷ Ἀβραὰμ), far away (ἀπὸ μακρόθεν), with Lazarus in his bosom (καὶ Λάζαρον ἐν τοῖς κόλποις αὐτοῦ).  Both Abraham and Lazarus were together, but far away since there was a clear difference between where the rich man and Lazarus with Abraham were.  Just as in life, there was a difference between the rich man and Lazarus, so too in death.  Do you believe that there will be options in the afterlife?

Terms of peace (Lk 14:32-14:32)

“If he cannot,

Then,

While the other king

Is still far away,

He would send

A delegation,

Asking for

Peace terms.”

 

εἰ δὲ μήγε, ἔτι αὐτοῦ πόρρω ὄντος πρεσβείαν ἀποστείλας ἐρωτᾷ τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his unique story about the king planning a war.  Jesus said that if this king realized that he could not defeat the other king (εἰ δὲ μήγε), then, while this other king was still far away (ἔτι αὐτοῦ πόρρω ὄντος), he would send a delegation (πρεσβείαν ἀποστείλας), asking for peace terms (ἐρωτᾷ τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην).  Make peace instead of war, if you are outmanned and have no realistic hope of success.  Would you rather fight or make peace?

Jesus leaves Jerusalem (Mk 11:19-11:19)

“When evening came.

Jesus

And his disciples

Went out

Of the city.”

 

Καὶ ὅταν ὀψὲ ἐγένετο, ἐξεπορεύοντο ἔξω τῆς πόλεως.

 

This is a unique saying of Mark, but not inconsistent with the other gospel stories.  When evening came (Καὶ ὅταν ὀψὲ ἐγένετο), Jesus and his disciples went out of the city (ἐξεπορεύοντο ἔξω τῆς πόλεως).  Notice that they left Jerusalem at night, probably going to Bethany, which was not far away and where they felt safe.

The open shame of the people (Dan 9:7-9:8)

“O Lord!

Righteousness

Is on your side.

But at this day,

Open shame

Falls on us,

The people

Of Judah,

The inhabitants

Of Jerusalem,

All Israel.

This includes

Those who are near,

As well as those

Who are far away,

In all the lands

To which

You have driven them,

Because of the treachery

That they have committed

Against you.

O Lord!

Open shame

Falls on us,

Our kings,

Our officials,

Our ancestors,

Because we have sinned

Against you.”

Daniel spoke for everybody about their open shame. Righteousness was on the side of the Lord. However, open shame fell on the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and all Israel, since it did not matter whether they were near or far away. Some were in the lands that the Lord had driven them because of their treachery. Thus, this open shame falls on their kings, their officials, and ancestors, because they had all sinned against God.

Against the palace next to the Temple (Ezek 43:8-43:9)

“They placed

Their threshold

By my threshold.

They placed

Their doorposts

Beside my doorposts.

There was only a wall

Between me and them.

They were defiling

My holy name

By their abominations

That they committed.

Therefore,

I have consumed them

In my anger.

Now let them put away

Their idolatry

Let them put

The corpses

Of their kings

Far from me.

Then,

I will reside

Among them

Forever.”

Yahweh seemed to be against the old idea that the palace of King David was close to the Temple. Instead, he seemed to imply that there should be a separation for this new, yet unbuilt, Second Temple. Yahweh seemed upset that the old thresholds and doorposts of the Temple were right beside the royal palace. There was only a wall that separated them from his holy Temple. Thus, they defiled his holy name with all their abominations so close to his Temple, one of the main reasons for the destruction of Jerusalem. He wanted the Israelite kings to put away their idolatrous ways. Their dead bodies were to be far away from the new Temple. If they did this, Yahweh would live among them forever.

The recent bad activities of Jerusalem (Ezek 23:40-23:42)

“They even sent

For men

To come from far away.

A messenger

Was sent.

They came.

You bathed yourself

For them.

You painted your eyes.

You decked yourself

With ornaments.

You sat

On a stately couch.

You had a table

Spread before it.

You had placed

My incense

With my oil

On it.

The sound

Of a raucous multitude

Was around you.

Many of the rabble

Were brought in drunk

From the wilderness.

They put bracelets

On the arms

Of the women.

They put beautiful crowns

Upon their heads.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, seemed to be aiming these remarks at the people of Jerusalem for their recent behavior. She, Jerusalem, had sent messengers to invite men from far away to come to Jerusalem. In order to get ready for them, Jerusalem bathed herself, painted her eyes, and put on her colorful ornaments. She sat on a stately couch with a table before it. She placed Yahweh’s incense and oil on this table. Then one could hear the sound of a loud raucous mob that had gathered around her. Many of these drunkard rabble rousers from the wilderness put bracelets on her arms and beautiful crowns on her head. This seems to be an allusion to an invitation for drunken foreigners to come to Jerusalem to take advantage of her.

The three kinds of deadly punishment (Ezek 6:11-6:12)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Clap your hands!

Stamp your foot!

Say!

Sadly!

Because of all

The vile abominations

Of the house of Israel!

They shall fall

By the sword,

By famine,

By pestilence.

Those far off

Shall die of pestilence.

Those nearby

Shall fall by the sword.

Anyone who is left

Or spared

Shall die of famine.

Thus I will spend

My fury

Upon them.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel to clap his hands and stamp his foot. He was to speak about all the vile abominations of the house of Israel. They were going to suffer death three ways. They would either first fall by the sword. If not killed by the sword, they might die from famine or pestilence. Those far away would die from the pestilence. Those nearby would be killed by the sword. Otherwise, they would die of hunger from the famine. There was no mention of those living in captivity here. Yahweh was determined to show his fury among these Israelites.