Who is the Lord for David? (Mt 22:43-22:45)

“Jesus said to them.

‘How is it then

That David,

Inspired by the Spirit,

Calls him Lord?

Saying.

‘The Lord said

To my Lord.

‘Sit at my right hand,

Until I put your enemies

Under your feet.’

If David thus calls him Lord,

How can he be his son?’”

 

λέγει αὐτοῖς Πῶς οὖν Δαυεὶδ ἐν Πνεύματι καλεῖ αὐτὸν Κύριον λέγω

Εἶπεν Κύριος τῷ Κυρίῳ μου Κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου ἕως ἂν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποκάτω τῶν ποδῶν σου;

εἰ οὖν Δαυεὶδ καλεῖ αὐτὸν Κύριον, πῶς υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ἐστιν;

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 12:35-37, and Luke, chapter 20:41-44, almost word for word.  Jesus said to these Pharisees (λέγει αὐτοῖς).  What did David mean when, inspired by the Spirit, he called the future Messiah, a son of David, “Lord” (Πῶς οὖν Δαυεὶδ ἐν Πνεύματι καλεῖ αὐτὸν Κύριον λέγω).  Jesus then cited Psalm 110:1, where David said that the Lord said to his Lord to sit at his right hand (Εἶπεν Κύριος τῷ Κυρίῳ μου Κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου).  He should sit there until he put all his enemies under his feet (ἕως ἂν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποκάτω τῶν ποδῶν σου).  Jesus then posed the big question.  How can David call the Messiah Lord (εἰ οὖν Δαυεὶδ καλεῖ αὐτὸν Κύριον) if he is the son of David (πῶς υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ἐστιν)?  This is a trick question.  Why would David call his future son or descendant his own Lord, master, or greater than him?  The response was that Jesus, the Son of Man, and descendant of David, was greater than David.  Peter repeated this citation of Psalm 110 in his preaching in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2:34-35, also.

Better maimed than eternal fire (Mt 18:8-18:8)

“If your hand

Or your foot

Causes you to sin

Or stumble,

Cut it off!

Throw it away!

It is better for you

To enter life maimed

Or lame

Than to have

Two hands

Or two feet

But thrown

Into the eternal fire.”

 

Εἰ δὲ ἡ χείρ σου ἢ ὁ πούς σου σκανδαλίζει σε, ἔκκοψον αὐτὸν καὶ βάλε ἀπὸ σοῦ· καλόν σοί ἐστιν εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν ζωὴν κυλλὸν ἢ χωλόν, ἢ δύο χεῖρας ἢ δύο πόδας ἔχοντα βληθῆναι εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ αἰώνιον.

 

This saying about better to be maimed than sin can also be found in Mark, chapter 9:43-45, with some minor changes.  Matthew also has something similar in chapter 5:30.  In a rather harsh statement, Jesus said that if your hand (Εἰ δὲ ἡ χείρ σου) or your foot (ἢ ὁ πούς σου) causes you to stumble or sin (σκανδαλίζει σε), cut them off (ἔκκοψον αὐτὸν)!  Throw them away (καὶ βάλε ἀπὸ σοῦ·)!  It would be better for you to enter life maimed or lame (καλόν σοί ἐστιν εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν ζωὴν κυλλὸν ἢ χωλόν) than to have two hands (ἢ δύο χεῖρας) or two feet (ἢ δύο πόδας) but thrown into the eternal fire (ἔχοντα βληθῆναι εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ αἰώνιον).  Whatever, the temptation, stumbling block, or snare is, get rid of it, even if it is one of your hands or feet.

Why do they not wash their hands before eating? (Mt 15:2-15:2)

“They said.

‘Why do your disciples

Break the tradition

Of the elders?

They do not wash

Their hands

Before they eat.’”

 

Διὰ τί οἱ μαθηταί σου παραβαίνουσιν τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν πρεσβυτέρων; οὐ γὰρ νίπτονται τὰς χεῖρας ὅταν ἄρτον ἐσθίωσιν.

 

There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 7:2-5 and Luke chapter 11:39.  These Pharisees wanted to know why the disciples of Jesus (Διὰ τί οἱ μαθηταί σου) did not wash their hands before they ate bread (οὐ γὰρ νίπτονται τὰς χεῖρας ὅταν ἄρτον ἐσθίωσιν).  They said that this action was a transgression or violation against the tradition of the elders (παραβαίνουσιν τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν πρεσβυτέρων).  Originally, this practice of washing hands before eating was what the Levites did in the Temple to practice ritual purity as indicated in Exodus, chapter 30:17-21.  Yahweh had told Moses that there should be a bronze basin with a bronze stand for washing.  Thus, Aaron and his sons should wash their hands and feet when they went into the meeting tent or the altar.  The penalty for not washing your hands and feet was death under this perpetual ordinance.  However, the Pharisaic oral tradition, or the tradition of the elders, had extended this practice to individual homes.

The first beast (Dan 7:4-7:4)

“The first beast was

Like a lion.

It had eagles’ wings.

Then,

As I watched,

Its wings were

Plucked off.

It was lifted up

From the ground.

It was made

To stand on two feet,

Like a human.

A human mind

Was given to it.”

At first glance, this first beast might be just like a lion. However, Daniel described it as a lion with eagle wings that were plucked off. Somehow, it was lifted from the ground and stood on 2 feet. Then a human mind was inserted into this beast. So, we end up with a two-legged lion with plucked eagle feather wings and a human mind. That really sounds like a monstrosity. This lion-like monster may be a reference to Babylon.

The fiery flames (Dan 3:23-3:25)

“Now the king’s servants,

Who threw them in,

Kept stoking

The furnace

With naphtha,

Pitch,

Tow,

Brushwood.

The flames

Poured out

Above the furnace,

Forty-nine cubits.

The flames

Spread out.

They burned

Those Chaldeans

Who were caught

Near the furnace.”

Originally, the king’s servants who threw the 3 men into the furnace had died because of the flames. Either they were still alive or there were other servants to keep the fire in the furnace going. Here those same servants or other servants were also burned because the flames were 49 cubits or over 75 feet high. They were adding naphtha, pitch, tow, and brushwood to the fire. Naphtha and pitch were like peat coal or a flammable tar base. Tow and brushwood were woods that easily burned.

The gold statue (Dan 3:1-3:1)

“King Nebuchadnezzar

Made a golden statue.

Its height was sixty cubits.

Its width was six cubits.

He set it up

On the plain of Dura,

In the province of Babylon.”

King Nebuchadnezzar decided to make a large golden statue of himself. This golden statue was very tall, 60 cubits or about 90 feet tall, 30 yards high, disproportionally high, since the width was a mere 6 cubits or 9 feet wide or 3 yards wide. Perhaps, this height included the pedestal. He put this statue on the plain of Dura, some unknown place close to the city of Babylon. It is not clear how soon after the events in chapter 2, that this took place. In the king’s dream, Daniel had described him as the golden head. However, the Septuagint mentions the 18th year of his rule, or about 587 BCE, around the time of the siege of Jerusalem.

The divided mixed kingdom (Dan 2:41-2:43)

“As you saw

The feet

With the toes,

Partly of potter’s clay,

Partly of iron,

It shall be a divided kingdom.

Some of the strength

Of iron

Shall be in it,

Just as you saw

The iron mixed

With the clay.

As the toes

Of the feet were

Partly iron,

Partly clay,

Thus,

The kingdom shall be

Partly strong,

Partly brittle.

As you saw the iron

Mixed with clay,

Thus,

They will mix

With one another

In marriage.

But they will not

Hold together,

Just as iron

Does not mix

With clay.”

This appears to be a veiled reference to the future Greek iron kingdom with its problems between the different ruling parties of the Seleucids (312-63 BCE) and the Ptolemies (305-30 BCE). They each inherited parts of the Greek empire of Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE). They tried to join together through marriage, but that failed. Daniel here used the example of the feet made of iron and clay, the strength of the iron mixed with the weak clay. However, as the toes and feet became weak, so too this kingdom would be partly strong and partly brittle. Even a marriage could not hold it together, because iron and clay simply do not mix.

The open land use in the city (Ezek 48:17-48:20)

“The city shall have

Open land.

It shall be

On the north side,

Two hundred fifty cubits,

On the south side,

Two hundred fifty cubits,

On the east side

Two hundred fifty cubits,

On the west side

Two hundred fifty cubits.

The remainder of the length

Alongside the holy portion

Shall be

Ten thousand cubits

To the east,

Ten thousand cubits

To the west.

It shall be alongside

The holy portion.

Its produce shall be

Food for the workers

Of the city.

The workers of the city,

From all the tribes of Israel,

Shall cultivate it.

The whole portion

That you shall set apart

Shall be

Twenty-five thousand cubits square.

That is

The holy portion together

With the property of the city.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, had plans for the area around the holy land with the Temple in it. The city would have 250 cubits of open space land on each side of the property, about 400 feet on the east, west, north, and south sides. The remainder of the land alongside the holy portion would be 10,000 cubits or about 16,000 feet on both the east and west side for producing food for the city workers. These city workers, from all the different tribes of Israel, would cultivate and farm this land. The total amount of land set aside for the holy portion and the city land around it would be 25,000 cubits square or about 40,000 square feet.

The city land around the Temple (Ezek 48:15-48:16)

“The remainder,

Five thousand cubits

In width,

Twenty-five thousand

In length,

Shall be

For ordinary use

For the city.

Dwellings

With open country

Shall be

In the middle

Of the city.

These shall be

Its dimensions.

The north side shall be

Four thousand five hundred cubits.

The south side shall be

Four thousand five hundred cubits.

The east side shall be

Four thousand five hundred cubits.

The west side shall be

Four thousand five hundred cubits.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel wanted 5,000 by 25,000 cubits made available for the ordinary use of the city, for its buildings and open spaces. This would be all around the holy portion of this land, on the east, west, north, and south sides. Each side area would be an area of 4,500 cubits, about 7,500 feet set aside for city itself.

The flowing water leads to a river (Ezek 47:3-47:5)

“Going on eastward,

With a cord in his hand,

The man measured

One thousand cubits.

Then he led me

Through the water.

It was ankle-deep.

Again,

He measured

One thousand cubits.

He led me

Through the water.

It was knee-deep.

Again,

He measured

One thousand cubits.

He led me

Through the water.

It was up to the waist.

Again,

He measured

One thousand cubits.

It was a river

That I could not cross.

The water had risen.

It was deep enough

To swim in,

A river

That could not be crossed.”

The bronze man took a cord and started to measure the flowing water from the Temple. For the first 1,000 cubits or 1,500 feet, or a little over a quarter mile, the water was only ankle-deep. He then led Ezekiel across this small stream. However, the next measured 1,000 cubits or quarter mile, the water was knee high. Once again, he led Ezekiel across this knee-high water. After the 3rd measurement of 1,000 cubits or over a quarter mile, the water was waist high. Ezekiel then waded through this waist-high water. Finally, after another 1,000 cubits or another quarter mile, it was a mighty river that Ezekiel could not cross, except by swimming, because it was so deep. Thus, there was a river, a little over a mile from the eastern gate of the Temple.