Jesus goes to Galilee (Lk 4:14-4:14)

“Then Jesus,

Filled with

The power

Of the Spirit,

Returned to Galilee.

A report

About him

Spread through

All the surrounding

Countryside.”

 

Καὶ ὑπέστρεψεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ Πνεύματος εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν· καὶ φήμη ἐξῆλθεν καθ’ ὅλης τῆς περιχώρου περὶ αὐτοῦ.

 

There is no doubt that Jesus taught in Galilee, since this was his home base.  Much like Matthew, chapter 4:12, and Mark, chapter 1:14, after his temptations, Luke had Jesus return to Galilee.  However, Luke had no mention of the arrest of John, since he had already mentioned that earlier in chapter 3:19-20.  John had Jesus also go back to Galilee in chapter 4:3.  Luke said that Jesus was filled with the power of the Spirit (ἐν τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ Πνεύματος), a favorite and unique statement by Luke.  He said that Jesus returned to Galilee (Καὶ ὑπέστρεψεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς…εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν).  Matthew had Jesus going to Galilee, just like his father Joseph had done years earlier.  He used a citation from Isaiah to explain why Jesus was in Galilee.  Galilee was about 80 miles north of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea area, originally part of the Israelite tribal territories of Issachar, Zebulun, Naphtali, and Asher, the northern tribes.  Mark said that Jesus went into Galilee preaching the gospel or good news about God, while the message of Matthew was about the good news of the kingdom of heaven.  Luke said that a report (καὶ φήμη) about Jesus (περὶ αὐτοῦ) spread throughout or over (ἐξῆλθεν) all the surrounding countryside (καθ’ ὅλης τῆς περιχώρου), but there was no indication in Luke what the message of Jesus was.  Clearly, Jesus was active in Galilee.

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John and Herod (Lk 3:19-3:20)

“John had rebuked

Herod,

The tetrarch ruler,

Because of Herodias,

His brother’s wife.

John also rebuked

Herod

For all the other evil things

That he had done.

Herod added

To all these evil things,

When he locked up

John in prison.”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἡρῴδης ὁ τετραάρχης, ἐλεγχόμενος ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ περὶ Ἡρῳδιάδος τῆς γυναικὸς τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ καὶ περὶ πάντων ὧν ἐποίησεν πονηρῶν ὁ Ἡρῴδης,

προσέθηκεν καὶ τοῦτο ἐπὶ πᾶσιν, κατέκλεισεν τὸν Ἰωάνην ἐν φυλακῇ

 

Both Mark, chapter 6:14-17, and Matthew, chapter 14:1-5, have the imprisonment of John much later in their works, while Luke has it right here at the beginning of his gospel story.  Luke said that John had rebuked Herod Antipas, the tetrarch (ὁ δὲ Ἡρῴδης ὁ τετραάρχης, ἐλεγχόμενος ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ) of Galilee because of Herodias (περὶ Ἡρῳδιάδος), his brother’s wife (τῆς γυναικὸς τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ) and all the other evil things that Herod had done (καὶ περὶ πάντων ὧν ἐποίησεν πονηρῶν ὁ Ἡρῴδης,).  Herod added to all these evil things (προσέθηκεν καὶ τοῦτο ἐπὶ πᾶσιν), when he locked up John in prison (κατέκλεισεν τὸν Ἰωάνην ἐν φυλακῇ).  The Roman educated Herod, was the ruler or tetrarch of Galilee and Perea from 4 BCE-39 CE, as a client region, in the Roman Empire.  This Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great.  He had built the capital city of Galilee Tiberias, since he was a favorite of the Roman Emperor Tiberius (14-37 CE).  Herod, the Roman ruler in Galilee seized John the Baptist and put him in jail.  John had been complaining that Herod Antipas had married the wife of his half-brother Philip, after he had divorced his first wife.  His first wife went back to her father and started a war with Herod Antipas.  Herod’s new wife was called Herodias.  John had called him out for this marriage with Herodias, his brother’s recently divorced wife.  John had told Herod that it was not lawful for him to have her as his wife.  Thus, Herod had John arrested and sent to prison.

Jesus reprimands his disciples for their lack of faith (Mt 16:8-16:8)

“Becoming aware of it,

Jesus said.

‘You of little faith!

Why are you talking

Among yourselves

About not having

Any bread?’”

 

γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Τί διαλογίζεσθε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς, ὀλιγόπιστοι, ὅτι ἄρτους οὐκ ἔχετε;

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 8:17, where the reprimand is much sharper.  Jesus became aware of their discussions (γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  He reprimanded them by calling them men of little faith (ὀλιγόπιστοι).  This word “ὀλιγόπιστοι” was a favorite of Matthew, since 5 of the 6 times it appears in the New Testament literature, Matthew used it.  Why were they worried, talking, or debating among themselves (εἶπεν Τί διαλογίζεσθε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς) about not having any bread (ἄρτους οὐκ ἔχετε)?  The disciples were missing the point about Jesus, since he would provide nourishment for them.

Herod and Jesus (Mt 14:1-14:1)

“At that time,

Herod the tetrarch

Heard reports

About Jesus.”

 

Ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ καιρῷ ἤκουσεν Ἡρῴδης ὁ τετραάρχης τὴν ἀκοὴν Ἰησοῦ,

 

This mention of Herod can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 6:14, and 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 part of the Roman Empire.  This Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great.  He built the capital city of Galilee Tiberias, as he was a favorite of the Roman Emperor Tiberius (14-37 CE.).  Mathew has his traditional transition phrase, “At that time (Ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ καιρῷ).”  Herod the tetrarch heard reports, news or rumors about Jesus (ἤκουσεν Ἡρῴδης ὁ τετραάρχης τὴν ἀκοὴν Ἰησοῦ).  Thus, we have the intersection of the Galilean official of the Roman Empire, Herod, and Jesus.

God had revealed the answer to Daniel (Dan 2:28-2:28)

“But there is a God in heaven

Who reveals mysteries.

He has disclosed

To King Nebuchadnezzar

What will happen

At the end of days.

Your dream

With the visions

Of your head

Came

As you lay in bed.”

Daniel seemed to be a favorite of the God in heaven. Daniel received many of these visions with interpretations about the end of days, the end times, the end of the world. Only God could reveal this mystery to Daniel. This same God had revealed to King Nebuchadnezzar what was going to happen, as he was laying in his bed. Thus, Daniel made the king feel important.

The new king (Jer 37:1-37:1)

“King Zedekiah,

The son of King Josiah,

Whom King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon

Made king

In the land of Judah,

Succeeded King Coniah,

The son of King Jehoiakim.”          

This is a clear statement that the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (605-562 BCE) put King Zedekiah on the throne of David in Judah in 598 BCE. The Babylonian king got rid of King Coniah or King Jehoiachin, who was the son of King Jehoiakim (609-598 BCE), who had just died. There is no doubt that King Zedekiah or King Mattaniah (598-587 BCE), the son of King Josiah (640-609 BCE) and brother of King Jehoiakim, was the favorite of the Babylonian king. Like the preceding chapter, this is a different numbered chapter in the Greek translation of the Septuagint, chapter 44, not chapter 37 as here.

Cyrus the Anointed Messiah Christ (Isa 45:1-45:1)

“Thus says Yahweh

To his anointed,

To Cyrus.

I have grasped his right hand,

To subdue nations before him,

To strip kings of their robes,

To open doors before him.

The gates shall not be closed.”

Second Isaiah calls Cyrus the anointed one, in Hebrew the Messiah, or in Greek the Christ. This is the only reference of an anointed person or a messiah who was not an Israelite. Cyrus, the King of Persia from 559-530 BCE, more than two centuries after the lifetime of Isaiah, was really a favorite of both Yahweh and the author of Second Isaiah. Cyrus the Great created the largest empire in the world with present day Iran the last vestige of that empire as he took over many countries. Second Isaiah continually insisted that Yahweh was behind Cyrus as he is clearly the anointed one of Yahweh. Yahweh has grasped his right hand, so that he could subdue various nations. Yahweh would help Cyrus strip kings of their robes. He would open doors for him, since no gates would be closed to Cyrus.