“These are the days
Of all that is written.”
ὅτι ἡμέραι ἐκδικήσεως αὗταί εἰσιν τοῦ πλησθῆναι πάντα τὰ γεγραμμένα.
Only Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that these were to be the days of vengeance or avengers (τι ἡμέραι ἐκδικήσεως αὗταί εἰσιν), a fulfilment of all that is written (τοῦ πλησθῆναι πάντα τὰ γεγραμμένα). The age of Avengers: End Game has come, right now at your local movie theater. It is interesting to note the similarity of end times and the adventures of the avengers. The days of wrath or Day of Yahweh would come as it was written in the Hebrew scriptures, especially the Old Testament Jewish prophets. Do you know anything about the Avengers?
καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνδρες δύο συνελάλουν αὐτῷ, οἵτινες ἦσαν Μωϋσῆς καὶ Ἡλείας,
Luke said that suddenly, the 3 apostles saw 2 men (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνδρες), Moses (οἵτινες ἦσαν Μωϋσῆς) and Elijah (καὶ Ἡλείας), talking to Jesus (συνελάλουν αὐτῷ). This appearance of Moses and Elijah can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:34, Mark, chapter 9:4, and here in Luke. Mark said that Elijah with Moses, talking with Jesus, appeared to the 3 disciples. Matthew also said that suddenly Moses and Elijah were talking with Jesus in front of the 3 apostles. How did they know what Moses and Elijah looked like? They had never seen them before. They were nearly 1,000 years removed from their existence. Jesus, however, recognized and talked with them, so that is why they might have realized who they were. Thus, Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law of Moses and at the same time the fulfillment of the prophets with Elijah, one of the earliest prophets from the 9th century BCE. Moses and Elijah also represented the ancient righteous people. How would you recognize an ancient historical figure?
“Jesus was the son,
As was thought,
The son of Heli.”
ὢν υἱός, ὡς ἐνομίζετο, Ἰωσὴφ, τοῦ Ἡλεὶ
Luke said that Jesus was the son (ὢν υἱός), as was thought or supposed (ὡς ἐνομίζετο), of Joseph (Ἰωσὴφ,), the son of Heli (τοῦ Ἡλεὶ). Right off the bat, there is a problem with the differences between the genealogies of Matthew and Luke. The end of the genealogy of Matthew, chapter 1:16, is Joseph (Ἰωσὴφ) with his father Jacob (Ἰακὼβ). Perhaps the names of Jacob and Joseph were an attempt to connect Jesus with the great Joseph, the son of Jacob, who brought the sons of Jacob to Egypt. However, compared to the text here in Luke, there is a difference with the father of Joseph, the grandfather of Jesus. Luke called him “the son of Heli,” not “the son of Jacob.” Luke said that Joseph was the so-called father of Jesus. Thus, it might seem simple enough to compare this genealogy of Jesus with the one in Matthew, chapter 1:1-1:17. Both the gospels of Matthew and Luke listed the family tree of Jesus. These genealogies were theological statements with different parent genealogies and different audiences. Matthew, went from Abraham to Jesus, so that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Jewish messianic expectations. The theme of David was important, since Joseph was called the son of David. Matthew explained that there were 3 sections of 14 generations. One section went from the call of Abraham to the accession of David as king. The second grouping went from David to the Babylonian exile. The final section went from the Exile to the coming of the Messiah. The Gospel of Luke genealogy, on the hand, goes from Jesus to Adam to God. Luke’s view was more universal. Jesus could trace his roots back to God. Luke, who had the best Greek, was apparently writing for the gentiles of the Pauline Churches. The Son of God was a more meaningful term. Luke spoke of the Son of Adam, the second Adam, a theme that Paul also used. Jesus had both divine and human origins. This was not difficult for Greeks, since their gods were always having relations with humans in their mythical stories. Thus, there are two different genealogies for Joseph, with only one common person, David. This left Jesus with 2 paternal grandfathers, Jacob and Heli. Matthew listed 52 people, but Luke has 77 ancestors because he went further back in time. It is what it is.
“The chief priests
And the Scribes
For a way
To arrest Jesus
To kill him.”
καὶ ἐζήτουν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς πῶς αὐτὸν ἐν δόλῳ κρατήσαντες ἀποκτείνωσιν.
There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 26:2, where Jesus predicted to his disciples that he would be handed over and crucified, as well as in chapter 26:4, where the chief priests and the elders, not the Scribes, wanted to kill Jesus. In Luke, chapter 22:2, it was the chief priests and the Scribes as here in Mark. For Mark, this was the fulfillment of Psalm 10:8, where they sat in ambush to murder the innocent one. Mark said that these chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) and the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς) were looking (καὶ ἐζήτουν) for a way to deceitfully or secretly seize Jesus (πῶς αὐτὸν ἐν δόλῳ κρατήσαντες). They wanted to kill him (ἀποκτείνωσιν).
They were talking
καὶ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς Ἡλείας σὺν Μωϋσεῖ, καὶ ἦσαν συνλαλοῦντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ.
This appearance of Moses and Elijah can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:34, Luke, chapter 9:30, and here in Mark, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts. Mark said that there appeared to the 3 disciples (καὶ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς) Elijah (Ἡλείας) with Moses (σὺν Μωϋσεῖ). These two were talking with Jesus (καὶ ἦσαν συνλαλοῦντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ). How did they know what Moses and Elijah looked like? They had never seen them before. They were nearly 1,000 years removed from their existence. Jesus, however, recognized and talked with them, so that is why they might have realized who they were. Thus, Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law of Moses and at the same time the fulfillment of the prophets with Elijah, one of the earliest prophets from the 9th century BCE.
There appeared to them
They were talking
καὶ ἰδοὺ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς Μωϋσῆς καὶ Ἡλείας συνλαλοῦντες μετ’ αὐτοῦ.
This appearance of Moses and Elijah can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 9:4, Luke, chapter 9:30, and here in Matthew, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts. Suddenly (καὶ ἰδοὺ), there appeared to the 3 disciples (ὤφθη αὐτοῖς) Moses (Μωϋσῆς) and Elijah (καὶ Ἡλείας), who were talking with Jesus (συνλαλοῦντες μετ’ αὐτοῦ). How did they know what Moses and Elijah looked like? They had never seen them before. They were nearly 1,000 years removed from their existence. Jesus, however, recognized and talked with them, so that is why they might have realized who they were. Thus, Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law of Moses and at the same time the fulfillment of the prophets with Elijah, one of the earliest prophets from the 9th century BCE.
Came to him.
They brought with them
And many others.
They put them
At his feet.
Jesus healed them.
The crowd was amazed
When they saw
The mute speaking,
The maimed whole,
The lame walking,
And the blind seeing.
The God of Israel.”
καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοὶ ἔχοντες μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν χωλούς, κυλλούς, τυφλούς, κωφούς, καὶ ἑτέρους πολλούς, καὶ ἔριψαν αὐτοὺς παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ· καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτούς·
ὥστε τὸν ὄχλον θαυμάσαι βλέποντας κωφοὺς λαλοῦντας κυλλοὺς ὑγιεῖς καὶ χωλοὺς περιπατοῦντας καὶ τυφλοὺς βλέποντας· καὶ ἐδόξασαν τὸν Θεὸν Ἰσραήλ.
This seems to be unique to Matthew, with his emphasis on the great crowds of people and mass healings. In chapter 8:17, He had talked about these healing actions as a fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, but here this prophet is not mentioned. As usual, great crowds came out to see Jesus (καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοὶ). They brought with them (ἔχοντες μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν) the lame (χωλούς), the maimed (κυλλούς), the blind (τυφλούς), the mute (κωφούς), and many other sick people (, καὶ ἑτέρους πολλούς). They were all placed at the feet of Jesus (καὶ ἔριψαν αὐτοὺς παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ). Then he healed them (καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτούς), so that the crowd was amazed or marveled at what they saw (ὥστε τὸν ὄχλον θαυμάσαι βλέποντας). The mute people were able to speak (κωφοὺς λαλοῦντας). The maimed people were made sound or whole (κυλλοὺς ὑγιεῖς). The lame people were able to walk (καὶ χωλοὺς περιπατοῦντας). The blind people were able to see (καὶ τυφλοὺς βλέποντας). They all praised or honored the God of Israel (καὶ ἐδόξασαν τὸν Θεὸν Ἰσραήλ), and not Jesus.
“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.
What had been spoken
Through the prophet Isaiah
Might be fulfilled.
‘The land of Zebulun,
The land of Naphtali,
On the road by the sea,
Across the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles!
Who sat in darkness
Have seen a great light.
Light has dawned
For those who sat
In the region,
In the shadow of death.’”
ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος
Γῆ Ζαβουλὼν καὶ γῆ Νεφθαλείμ, ὁδὸν θαλάσσης, πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου, Γαλιλαία τῶν ἐθνῶν,
ὁ λαὸς ὁ καθήμενος ἐν σκοτίᾳ φῶς εἶδεν μέγα, καὶ τοῖς καθημένοις ἐν χώρᾳ καὶ σκιᾷ θανάτου φῶς ἀνέτειλεν αὐτοῖς.
Matthew was unique in using this citation from Isaiah, chapter 9:1-5, where Isaiah was describing a defeat of the northern territories of Zebulun and Naphtali (Γῆ Ζαβουλὼν καὶ γῆ Νεφθαλείμ), near the Syrian border in the 8th century BCE. They were on the road near the sea, across the Jordan (ὁδὸν θαλάσσης, πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου). Thus, this area became known as the Galilee of the gentles or the other nations or non-Jewish people (Γαλιλαία τῶν ἐθνῶν). Matthew used Isaiah, even though at the time of Jesus, there were a lot of Jewish people in Galilee. Using Isaiah, Matthew said that these people were sitting in darkness (ὁ λαὸς ὁ καθήμενος ἐν σκοτίᾳ), but the good news was that a great light would come to them (φῶς εἶδεν μέγα) to shine on their darkness. This dawning light (φῶς ἀνέτειλεν αὐτοῖς) would save those who were sitting in the shadowy land of death (καὶ τοῖς καθημένοις ἐν χώρᾳ καὶ σκιᾷ θανάτου). Matthew saw that this as a fulfillment of the prophetic words of Isaiah (ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος). This saying from Isaiah preceded his saying about a child being born.
“Then a group of scribes appeared in a body before Alcimus and Bacchides to ask for just terms. The Hasideans were first among the sons of Israel to seek peace from them. They said.
‘A priest of the line of Aaron has come with an army.
He will not harm us.’
Alcimus spoke peaceable words to them. He swore this oath to them.
‘We will not seek to injure you or your friends.’
So they trusted him. However, Bacchides seized sixty of them. He killed them in one day, in accordance with the word which was written.
‘The flesh of your faithful ones and their blood,
They poured out all around Jerusalem.
There was none to bury them.’
Then the fear and dread of them fell upon all the people. They said.
‘There is no truth or justice in them,
They have violated the agreement and the oath that they swore.’”
The Hasideans may be the same group of warriors mentioned in chapter 2 of this book that joined with Judas’ father Mattathias. However, here they are portrayed as a group of ascetic scribes who were willing to live under Syrian rule as long as they were permitted to keep the Mosaic Law. These Hasideans may have developed into the group of Essenes in the 1st century CE. They saw Alcimus and recognized him as a descendent of Aaron, so that they did not fear him. Alcimus even swore under oath that he would not injure them. However, Bacchides took 60 of them and killed them. Somehow this was the fulfillment of a written word. The word is not the Mosaic Law, but from Psalm 79, which maybe from this same time period. This is part of a lament that the blood of the bodies was on the streets as unburied victims. Now, everybody became fearful, because this group with Bacchides and Alcimus could not be trusted. They had broken their word or oath, by killing 60 of these peaceable men.