The fulfillment of the prophesy of Isaiah (Mt 12:17-12:17)

“This was to fulfill

What was spoken

Through the prophet Isaiah.”

 

ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἡσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος

 

There is no question that this citation from Second Isaiah, chapter 42-1-4, was unique to Matthew.  He was a strong believer that these sayings of the Old Testament or Hebrew scriptures were fulfilled with Jesus (ἵνα πληρωθῇ) and his healings.  Matthew explicitly mentions that the prophet Isaiah had spoken these words (τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἡσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος).

Fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah (Mt 8:17-8:17)

“This was to fulfill

What was spoken

Through the prophet Isaiah.

‘He took our infirmities.

He bore our diseases.’”

 

ὅπως πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος Αὐτὸς τὰς ἀσθενείας ἡμῶν ἔλαβεν καὶ τὰς νόσους ἐβάστασεν.

 

Once again, this citation of Deutero-Isaiah, chapter 53:4, is unique to Matthew, who said that Jesus was the fulfillment of the spoken prophecy of the prophet Isaiah (ὅπως πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος).  He would take on our infirmities (Αὐτὸς τὰς ἀσθενείας ἡμῶν ἔλαβεν).  He would bear our diseases (καὶ τὰς νόσους ἐβάστασεν).  However, there was no mention of his healing others or casting out demons in this original citation from Isaiah.  According to Second Isaiah, this suffering servant Messiah would become a scapegoat for all of us since he would bear our infirmities and diseases.  He would suffer our illness.  God would strike and afflict him.  He would be wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our sins.  His punishment would make us whole.  His bruises would heal us.  This was Matthew’s attempt to show that Jesus was the expected Messiah.  However, the original text did not have the Messiah healing people, but rather suffering like the rest of us.

False witness (Mt 5:33-5:33)

“Again,

You have heard

That it was said

To your ancient ancestors.

‘You shall not swear falsely!

But carry out

The vows

You have made

To the Lord.’”

 

Πάλιν ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη τοῖς ἀρχαίοις Οὐκ ἐπιορκήσεις, ἀποδώσεις δὲ τῷ Κυρίῳ τοὺς ὅρκους σου.

 

Jesus, via Matthew, expounded on another of the Ten Commandments, bearing false witness or lying, as expressed in Exodus, chapter 20:7.  Apparently, this was unique to Matthew.  They had all heard what was said to their ancestors (Πάλιν ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη τοῖς ἀρχαίοις).  They were not to swear falsely or lie (Οὐκ ἐπιορκήσεις).  Then Matthew added that they also should do or perform the vows that they swore to do to the Lord (ἀποδώσεις δὲ τῷ Κυρίῳ τοὺς ὅρκους σου), as indicated in Deuteronomy, chapter 23:21-23.  They should be careful about what they vow.  They should fulfill these vows quickly, since they were free to vow to the Lord God, Yahweh, or not.  However, when they did, they should make sure that they did what they said that they were going to do.

The law and the prophets (Mt 5:17-5:17)

“Do not think

That I have come

To abolish

The law

Or the prophets!

I have come

Not to abolish them,

But to fulfil them.”

 

Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον ἢ τοὺς προφήτας· οὐκ ἦλθον καταλῦσαι ἀλλὰ πληρῶσαι·

 

There is a similar statement in Luke, chapter 16:17, but without the same force. Once again, Matthew has Jesus address his disciples. He told them not to think that he had come to abolish the law and the prophets (Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον ἢ τοὺς προφήτας). This reference to the law (τὸν νόμον) was to the Torah, the first 5 books of the Bible. The allusion to the prophets (τοὺς προφήτας) meant all the writings about the prophets, plus the works contained in the so-called historical works, basically the Old Testament or Hebrew scriptures. Quite the opposite, Jesus said that he had come to fulfill them (ἀλλὰ πληρῶσαι), not to abolish the law and the prophets. (οὐκ ἦλθον καταλῦσαι).

Jesus wants to be baptized (Mt 3:15-3:15)

“But Jesus answered him.

‘Let it be so now.

It is proper for us

In this way

For us

To fulfill

All righteousness.’

Then he consented.”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἄφες ἄρτι·οὕτως γὰρ πρέπον ἐστὶν ἡμῖν πληρῶσαι πᾶσαν δικαιοσύνην. τότε ἀφίησιν αὐτόν.

 

Why did Jesus need to be baptized, since he was not a sinner?  Some of the early Christians were not pleased about this baptismal action, since it seemed to show that John was more important.  Jesus responded to John (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ).  He wanted his baptism by John to be done now (Ἄφες ἄρτι·οὕτως), because it was a proper and a fitting thing to do (γὰρ πρέπον ἐστὶν ἡμῖν).  The purpose of this baptismal action was to show that Jesus was obedient to the divine will as a complete righteous person (πληρῶσαι πᾶσαν δικαιοσύνην).  Jesus had come to proclaim his higher ethical judgment of righteousness.  He was willing to submit to the baptism of John.  John the Baptist no longer hesitated, as he agreed to baptize Jesus (τότε ἀφίησιν αὐτόν).  There was no discussion like this in Mark, chapter 1:9 and Luke, chapter 3:21, just Jesus being baptized.

 

Yahweh saves Jonah (Jon 2:9-2:9)Yahweh saves Jonah (Jon 2:9-2:9)

But I,

With the voice

Of thanksgiving,

Will sacrifice

To you.

What I have vowed,

I will pay.

Deliverance

Belongs to Yahweh!”

Yahweh is the only one who can save anyone.  Jonah vowed to offer sacrifices with a thanksgiving voice.  Jonah was going to fulfill his vows to Yahweh.  Thus, Yahweh alone saved Jonah.

Yahweh speaks (Ezek 38:17-38:17)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Are you he

Of whom I spoke

In former days?

My servants,

The prophets of Israel,

In those days,

Prophesied for years

That I would bring you

Against them.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, asked the question whether the attack of Gog would fulfill a prophesy of the old prophets of Israel. These former prophets often spoke of an attack on Israel. There already had been the Assyrian attack on Samaria and the Babylonian attack on Jerusalem. Was this attack different? In both the other cases, the Israelites lost.