Judah and Perez (Lk 3:33-3:33)

“The son of Amminadab,

The son of Admin,

The son of Arni,

The son of Hezron,

The son of Perez,

The son of Judah.”

 

τοῦ Ἀμιναδὰβ τοῦ Ἀδμεὶν τοῦ Ἀρνεὶ τοῦ Ἐσρὼμ τοῦ Φαρὲς τοῦ Ἰούδα

 

The two genealogies of Matthew and Luke are almost the same from Judah to Amminadab.  Luke listed them as Nahshon, the son of Amminadab (τοῦ Ἀμιναδὰβ), the son of Admin (τοῦ Ἀδμεὶν), the son of Arni (τοῦ Ἀρνεὶ), the son of Hezron (τοῦ Ἐσρὼμ), the son of Perez (τοῦ Φαρὲς), the son of Judah (τοῦ Ἰούδα).  Clearly, Judah had become the dominant tribe by the time of Jesus.  The story of the children for Judah is a very interesting tale as portrayed in Genesis, chapter 38.  Judah married a Canaanite woman named Bathshuah in Adullam.  They had three sons, Er, Onan, and Shelah.  Then the story got more complicated.  Judah found a lady named Tamar to be a wife for his first-born wicked son Er, whom Yahweh put to death.  Then Judah sent Onan, his second son, to produce children for his brother from Tamar, Er’s wife.  However, Onan spilled his semen on the ground, so that he would not have any children.  Thus, Yahweh put him to death also.  Judah then told Tamar to live as a widow in her father’s house, until his youngest son Shelah was older and able to marry her.  Tamar, in the meantime, saw that Shelah had grown up, but was not being offered in marriage to her.  She decided to throw off her widow garments, put a veil on, and sit on the road from Adullam to Timnah.  Now Judah, whose wife Bathshuah had died, was on this same road and thought that she was a prostitute, because her face was covered.  He gave her his signature ring and the cord as a pledge that he would pay her later for her sexual favors.  They had sex and she conceived by him.  Three months later, Judah found out that his daughter-in-law Tamar was pregnant as a result of prostitution.  He wanted her immediately burned, but she told Judah that the owner of a ring and cord made her pregnant.  Judah admitted that she was right.  Tamar then had twins from this pregnancy, Perez and Zerah, who disputed about who was the first out of the womb.  Interesting enough, the line of Judah would have died out without this prostitute episode.  Thus, the sacred lineage of Judah goes through a father-in-law having paid sex with his daughter-in-law, Tamar, who was a Canaanite.  According to Genesis, chapter 46:12, Perez, the son of Judah, had 2 sons, Hezron and Hamul. who went with Jacob to Egypt.  From 1 Chronicles, chapter 2:9-17, we learn about the linage of Hezron.  He had 3 sons, Jerahmeel, Aram, and Chelubai.  This Aram, Arni, or Ram was the father of Aminadab or Amminadab.  Luke added an Admin who is not found elsewhere or maybe another name for Ram.  Amminadab had a daughter, Elisheba, who married Aaron, the brother of Moses, in Exodus, chapter 6:23.  Amminadab was the father of Nahshon, the brother-in-law of Aaron and Moses.

The Jewish high priests (Lk 3:2-3:2)

“The high-priest

Was Annas

And Caiaphas.”

 

ἐπὶ ἀρχιερέως Ἄννα καὶ Καϊάφα,

 

Luke further set the historical background, as he indicated that there were two Jewish high priests (ἐπὶ ἀρχιερέως) Annas (Ἄννα) and Caiaphas (καὶ Καϊάφα).  The role of the Jewish high priest in Jerusalem was determined by the Roman authorities.  Annas had been the high priest from 6-15 CE, before he was deposed.  His sons took over, but eventually Caiaphas, his son in law, became the high priest from 18-36 CE, the correct timeframe for the activities of John and Jesus.  Annas had some prestige, connection, or power over Caiaphas as the former high priest and father in law.

They led Jesus to a Jewish assembly (Mk 14:53-14:53)

“They took Jesus

To the high priest.

All the chief priests,

The elders,

And the Scribes

Were assembled.”

 

Καὶ ἀπήγαγον τὸν Ἰησοῦν πρὸς τὸν ἀρχιερέα, καὶ συνέρχονται πάντες οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:57, but there is no mention of the house of Caiaphas here as there was in Matthew.  In Luke, chapter 22:54, Jesus was simply brought to the high priest’s house, which would have been Caiaphas.  In John, chapter 18:13-14, they brought Jesus to the house of the father-in-law of Caiaphas, Annas, who had been the high priest of Jerusalem from 6-15 CE, before he was removed by the Romans at the age of 36, even though he lived to the age of 61.  Thus, he had a lot of influence on things.  John remarked that Caiaphas had said it was better for one person to die for the people.  Caiaphas was the high priest from 18-36 CE since he had married the daughter of Annas.  Mark simply said that they took Jesus to the high priest (Καὶ ἀπήγαγον τὸν Ἰησοῦν πρὸς τὸν ἀρχιερέα), without mentioning his name or saying it was his house.  Apparently, the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς), the elder presbyters (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι), and the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς) had all gathered or assembled there (καὶ συνέρχονται πάντες).  Was this an official meeting of the Jerusalem Sanhedrin?  Probably not, because these official meetings could not be held during the festival days or during the Passover.  On the other hand, some kind of informal meeting was possible.  However, there was no mention of any Pharisees or Sadducees being there either.

Jesus goes before Caiaphas the high priest (Mt 26:57-26:57)

“Those

Who had arrested Jesus

Took him

To Caiaphas,

The high priest.

There

The Scribes

And the elders

Had gathered.”

 

Οἱ δὲ κρατήσαντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπήγαγον πρὸς Καϊάφαν τὸν ἀρχιερέα, ὅπου οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι συνήχθησα

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:53, but Caiaphas was not mentioned there.  In Luke, chapter 22:54, Jesus was simply brought to the high priest’s house, while in John, chapter 18:13-14, they brought Jesus to the house of the father-in-law of Caiaphas, Annas, who had been a high priest. from 6-15 CE, before he was removed by the Romans at the age of 36, even though he lived to the age of 61.  Thus, he had a lot of influence on things.  John remarked that Caiaphas had said it was better for one person to die for the people.  Caiaphas was the high priest from 18-36 CE since he had married the daughter of Annas.  Matthew said that those who had seized, arrested, or captured Jesus (Οἱ δὲ κρατήσαντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν) took him to the house of Caiaphas, the high priest (ἀπήγαγον πρὸς Καϊάφαν τὸν ἀρχιερέα).  Apparently, the Scribes and the elder presbyters had gathered or assembled there (ὅπου οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι συνήχθησα).  Was this an official meeting of the Jerusalem Sanhedrin?  Probably not, because these official meetings could not be held during the festival days or during the Passover.  On the other hand, some kind of informal meeting was possible.  However, there was no mention of the Pharisees and the Sadducees being there either.

The death of the prophet Uriah (Jer 26:21-26:23)

“When King Jehoiakim,

With all his warriors,

With all his officials,

Heard his words,

The king sought

To put him to death.

When Uriah heard this,

He was afraid.

He fled.

He escaped to Egypt.

Then King Jehoiakim sent

Elnathan,

The son of Achbor,

With other men with him,

To Egypt.

They took Uriah

From Egypt.

They brought him

To King Jehoiakim.

He struck him down

With the sword.

They threw his dead body

Into the burial place

Of the common people.”

King Jehoiakim or King Eliakim (609-598 BCE), the same king as when Jeremiah was prophesying, heard about the prophecies of Uriah. He had an immediate reaction as he with his warriors and officials wanted to kill Uriah for his prophecy about the demise of Judah and Jerusalem. This prophet Uriah then fled to Egypt. However, the king of Egypt had put King Jehoiakim on the throne. Elnathan, the son of Achbor, may have been the father-in-law of the king of Judah. Achbor had helped King Josiah in his religious reforms. Thus when he showed up with some men in Egypt, they were able to bring him back to the king of Judah. There they killed Uriah with a sword. Then they threw his dead body in the common burial place. Uriah did not have a happy ending. He was one of the few prophets to be killed.

King Ptolemy VI of Egypt visits Syria (1 Macc 11:1-11:3)

“Then the king of Egypt gathered great forces, like the sand by the seashore, and many ships. He tried to get possession of Alexander’s kingdom by trickery. He wanted to add it to his own kingdom. He set out for Syria with peaceable words. The people of the towns opened their gates to him. They went to meet him, because King Alexander had commanded them to meet him, since he was King Alexander’s father-in-law. However, when King Ptolemy entered the towns he stationed forces as a garrison in each town.”

King Ptolemy VI of Egypt, father-in-law to King Alexander I of Syria, went to visit Syria. He had a great army like the sand by the sea. He wanted to add Syria to his own kingdom, although he seemed to come in peace. His daughter was the wife of King Alexander I. Every town opened their gates to King Ptolemy VI because the Syrian king told them to do that. However, then the Egyptian king would leave a garrison of troops in each town.

The response of King Ptolemy (1 Macc 10:55-10:56)

“King Ptolemy replied and said.

‘Happy was the day

On which you returned to the land of your ancestors.

You took your seat on the throne of their kingdom.

Now I will do for you as you wrote,

But meet me at Ptolemais,

So that we may see one another.

I will become your father-in-law,

As you have said.’”

This request from King Alexander I pleased the Egyptian King Ptolemy VI. He was happy to see Alexander there and would love to be his father-in-law. However, he wanted to stop by and see him at Ptolemais before everything was settled.