Herod the tetrarch (Lk 9:7-9:7)

“Now Herod,

The tetrarch ruler,

Heard about all

That had taken place.

He was perplexed,

Because it was said

By some people

That John had been raised

From the dead.”

 

Ἤκουσεν δὲ Ἡρῴδης ὁ τετραάρχης τὰ γινόμενα πάντα, καὶ διηπόρει διὰ τὸ λέγεσθαι ὑπό τινων ὅτι Ἰωάνης ἠγέρθη ἐκ νεκρῶν,

 

Luke said that Herod (δὲ Ἡρῴδης) Antipas, the tetrarch (ὁ τετραάρχης) ruler of Galilee, heard (Ἤκουσεν) about all that had taken place (τὰ γινόμενα πάντα).  He was perplexed (καὶ διηπόρει), because it was said by some people (διὰ τὸ λέγεσθαι ὑπό τινων) that John the Baptist had been raised from the dead (ὅτι Ἰωάνης ἠγέρθη ἐκ νεκρῶν).  This mention of Herod can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:1-3, Mark, chapter 6:14, and here.  The Roman educated Herod, the son of Herod the Great, was the ruler or tetrarch of Galilee and Perea from 4 BCE-39 CE, as a client ruler, part of the Roman Empire.  He had built and named the capital city of Galilee, Tiberias, since the Roman Emperor Tiberius (14-37 CE) was his favorite emperor.  Mark called him a king.  King Herod had heard reports about Jesus, because his name had become well known or famous.  Jesus was a celebrity in Galilee.  Here we have the intersection of the Galilean official of the Roman Empire, Herod, and the famous Galilean preacher and faith healer, Jesus.  Herod, the Roman ruler in Galilee, or those around him, said that Jesus might be the resurrected John the Baptist, since some people believed that righteous people rose from the dead.  Thus, Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead.  How ironic, since Jesus was to rise from the dead.  Herod thought the miraculous powers of John the Baptist were at work in Jesus.  He and his people thought that John might have reincarnated himself in Jesus.  Matthew said that Herod the tetrarch heard reports, news or rumors about Jesus.  Herod had already seized John the Baptist.  John had been complaining that Herod Antipas had married the wife of his half-brother Herod Boethus or Philip, after he had divorced his first wife, who went back to her father and started a war with Herod Antipas.  Thus, Herod Antipas said to his children or servants that he thought that Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead.  Herod knew that he had seized, bound, and, put John in jail.  In fact, he had him killed because of his new wife Herodias, who had been the wife of his brother Philip or Herod Boethus.  Have religious leaders always gotten along with civil political leaders?

Gerasenes (Lk 8:26-8:26)

“Then they arrived

At the country

Of the Gerasenes,

Which is opposite Galilee.”

 

Καὶ κατέπλευσαν εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γερασηνῶν, ἥτις ἐστὶν ἀντιπέρα τῆς Γαλιλαίας.

 

Luke said that Jesus and his disciples sailed down (Καὶ κατέπλευσαν) to the country of the Gerasenes (εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γερασηνῶν), which was opposite Galilee (ἥτις ἐστὶν ἀντιπέρα τῆς Γαλιλαίας).  All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:28, Mark, chapter 5:1, as well as Luke here, have Jesus cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  They went to the country or region of the Gerasenes.  Matthew called it Gadarenes, while Luke called it Gerasenes, like Mark.  This might be one of two different towns on the east bank of the Jordan in the Decapolis territory, a group of 10 cities.  One was called Gadara, about 6 miles away from the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee, near where the Sea of Galilee ran into the Jordan River.  Today, it is in the country of Jordan, known as Umm Qais.  The other Decapolis town was called Gerasa, a town about 40 miles from the Sea of Galilee, which would be more inconsistent with this story.  Nevertheless, this was Gentile territory with only a few Jewish people there.  Jesus had traveled over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee to its southern tip, to one of the 10 cities of the Decapolis territory.  Have you ever traveled to an area where they had different religious beliefs than you?

Other women helped (Lk 8:3-8:3)

“Joanna,

The wife of Chuza,

Herod’s steward,

And Susanna,

As well as many others,

Provided for them

Out of their resources.”

 

καὶ Ἰωάνα γυνὴ Χουζᾶ ἐπιτρόπου Ἡρῴδου καὶ Σουσάννα καὶ ἕτεραι πολλαί, αἵτινες διηκόνουν αὐτοῖς ἐκ τῶν ὑπαρχόντων αὐταῖς.

 

Luke also uniquely mentioned Joanna (καὶ Ἰωάνα), the wife of Chuza (γυνὴ Χουζᾶ), Herod’s steward (ἐπιτρόπου Ἡρῴδου), and Susanna (καὶ Σουσάννα).  He also said that many other women (καὶ ἕτεραι πολλαί) provided or ministered for them at table (αἵτινες διηκόνουν αὐτοῖς) out of their means, possessions, or resources (ἐκ τῶν ὑπαρχόντων αὐταῖς).  Joanna shows up again with Mary Magdalene in the resurrection story of Luke, chapter 24:10.  She must have been a woman of means because her husband had an important role at the court of King Herod Antipas of Galilee as his head steward.  The name Susanna only appears here among all the canonical gospels, but a Susanna played a role in the Book of Daniel.  However, there were other women, not explicitly named, who provided for Jesus and his followers with their money or resources.  In other words, there was a small entourage of women who traveled with Jesus, probably providing the food for him and his disciples, since they were not called disciples themselves.  What should be the role of women as followers of Jesus?

Jesus’ fame increases (Lk 7:17-7:17)

“This word

About Jesus

Spread through out

Judea

And all the surrounding country.”

 

καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ λόγος οὗτος ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ περὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ πάσῃ τῇ περιχώρῳ.

 

Thus, it was not unexpected that Luke said that the word or this report about Jesus spread (καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ λόγος οὗτος) throughout Judea (ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ) and all the surrounding country (καὶ πάσῃ τῇ περιχώρῳ), a common comment after most miracles that Jesus performed.  Jesus was in Nain, Galilee when he performed the miracle of raising this anonymous widow’s only son from the dead, yet even Judea knew about it.  This whole incident was unique to Luke and not found among the other gospel writers.  How do you spread the word about Jesus?

The centurion and his slave (Lk 7:2-7:2)

“A centurion there

Had a slave,

Whom he valued highly.

He was ill.

He was close to death.”

 

Ἑκατοντάρχου δέ τινος δοῦλος κακῶς ἔχων ἤμελλεν τελευτᾶν, ὃς ἦν αὐτῷ ἔντιμος.

 

Luke said that a centurion (Ἑκατοντάρχου) had a certain slave (δέ τινος δοῦλος), whom he valued highly (ὃς ἦν αὐτῷ ἔντιμος), who was ill (κακῶς).  He was close to death (ἔχων ἤμελλεν τελευτᾶν).  This story about the sick servant or slave of the centurion can be found in Matthew, chapter 8:5-13.  Meanwhile John, chapter 4:46-54, has the sick person as the son of the centurion and not his slave or servant.  This centurion was a Roman soldier in charge of 100 men, who also may have had more authority, as part of the Roman occupying troops of Galilee.  Have you ever been part of a military operation?

The great crowd on the plain field (Lk 6:17-6:17)

“Jesus came down

With them.

He stood

On a level place,

With a great crowd

Of his disciples

And a great multitude

Of people

From all Judea,

Jerusalem,

And the coast

Of Tyre

And Sidon.”

 

καὶ καταβὰς μετ’ αὐτῶν ἔστη ἐπὶ τόπου πεδινοῦ, καὶ ὄχλος πολὺς μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ, καὶ πλῆθος πολὺ τοῦ λαοῦ ἀπὸ πάσης τῆς Ἰουδαίας καὶ Ἱερουσαλὴμ καὶ τῆς παραλίου Τύρου καὶ Σιδῶνος,

 

Luke said that Jesus came down from the mountain with his new apostles (καὶ καταβὰς μετ’ αὐτῶν).  He stood on a level place (ἔστη ἐπὶ τόπου πεδινοῦ), with a great crowd of his disciples (καὶ ὄχλος πολὺς μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ).  There was a lot of people (καὶ πλῆθος πολὺ τοῦ λαοῦ) from all Judea (ἀπὸ πάσης τῆς Ἰουδαίας), Jerusalem (καὶ Ἱερουσαλὴμ), and the coast of Tyre and Sidon (καὶ τῆς παραλίου Τύρου καὶ Σιδῶνος).  Clearly, Jesus had become very popular, but there was no mention of anybody from Galilee.  Mark, chapter 3:7-8, said that Jesus left with his disciples to go to the Sea of Galilee, where, a great big crowd from Galilee and Judea that followed him.  People from everywhere were coming to listen to Jesus.  Jesus was no longer a local Galilean hero.  Mark said that people came to him in great numbers from Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan and also from the regions around Tyre and Sidon.  Obviously, Jerusalem would be interested in Jesus.  Idumea was south of Judah and part of the old country of Edom.  The other side of the Jordan would have been the old territories of Manasseh, Gad, and Reuben.  Tyre and Sidon were the coastal towns of the Phoenicians in the old Asher territory.  These would have been mostly Jewish people of Israelite heritage.  Matthew, chapter 4:24-25, said that the fame of Jesus had spread all over Syria, so that huge crowds followed Jesus in Galilee.  Also, the people from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from the east bank of the Jordan River were all following Jesus.

Pharisees come to Jesus (Lk 5:17-5:17)

“One day,

While Jesus

Was teaching,

Pharisees

And teachers of the law

Were sitting nearby.

They had come

From every village

Of Galilee,

Judea,

And Jerusalem.

The power

Of the Lord

Was with Jesus

To heal.”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμερῶν καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν διδάσκων, καὶ ἦσαν καθήμενοι Φαρισαῖοι καὶ νομοδιδάσκαλοι οἳ ἦσαν ἐληλυθότες ἐκ πάσης κώμης τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ Ἰουδαίας καὶ Ἱερουσαλήμ· καὶ δύναμις Κυρίου ἦν εἰς τὸ ἰᾶσθαι αὐτόν.

 

Luke said that one day (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμερῶν), while Jesus was teaching (καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν διδάσκων), Pharisees (Φαρισαῖοι) and teachers of the law (καὶ νομοδιδάσκαλοι), perhaps Scribes, were sitting nearby (καὶ ἦσαν καθήμενοι).  Apparently, they had come (οἳ ἦσαν ἐληλυθότες) from every village of Galilee (ἐκ πάσης κώμης τῆς Γαλιλαίας), Judea (καὶ Ἰουδαίας), and Jerusalem (καὶ Ἱερουσαλήμ).  This was a large gathering of Pharisees.  On that day, the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal people (καὶ δύναμις Κυρίου ἦν εἰς τὸ ἰᾶσθαι αὐτόν).  Matthew, chapter 9:1, had Jesus return to his home in Capernaum, after a boat trip on the Sea of Galilee.  Mark, chapter 2:1, said that when Jesus returned to Capernaum, after some days on the road, people heard that he was at home in his house.  Thus, Capernaum, according to Matthew, had become his own home town, while Mark mentioned that he was in his house or home in Capernaum.  Luke did not explicitly mention Capernaum.  However, neither Mark or Matthew mentioned any gathering of Pharisees and Scribes, like Luke did here.

Go fishing (Lk 5:4-5:4)

“When Jesus

Had finished speaking,

He said to Simon.

‘Put out into

The deep water!

Let down your nets

For a catch!’”

 

ὡς δὲ ἐπαύσατο λαλῶν, εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν Σίμωνα Ἐπανάγαγε εἰς τὸ βάθος, καὶ χαλάσατε τὰ δίκτυα ὑμῶν εἰς ἄγραν.

 

There is something similar to this in John, chapter 21.  However, there it was a post-resurrection apparition to Simon and the other apostles near the Sea of Tiberias or Galilee, like here.  However, nothing like this can be found in Mark and MatthewLuke said that when Jesus had finished speaking (ὡς δὲ ἐπαύσατο λαλῶν), he told Simon (εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν Σίμωνα) to go out into the deep water (Ἐπανάγαγε εἰς τὸ βάθος) of the Sea of Galilee.  He wanted them to let their nets into the water to catch some fish (καὶ χαλάσατε τὰ δίκτυα ὑμῶν εἰς ἄγραν).  Jesus wanted them to go fishing.

Jesus goes to Judea (Lk 4:44-4:44)

“Thus,

Jesus continued proclaiming

His message

In the synagogues

Of Judea.”

 

καὶ ἦν κηρύσσων εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς τῆς Ἰουδαίας.

 

Luke said that Jesus continued to proclaim or preach (καὶ ἦν κηρύσσων) his message in the synagogues of Judea (εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς τῆς Ἰουδαίας).  Mark, chapter 1:39, had something similar, but Mark said that it was Galilee and not Judea.  Mark also said that Jesus was casting out demons.  He seemed very intent on emphasizing that Jesus was casting out demons along with his undefined preaching.  Matthew, chapter 4:23, was also somewhat similar, since Matthew implied that Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues.  The synagogue was a new developing Jewish gathering place that might mean a group or assembly of Jewish people rather than a building, since some places may not have been able to afford a building.  Matthew said that Jesus was proclaiming the good news or the gospel about the kingdom, without saying whether it was the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, or even an earthly kingdom.  What did Luke mean here by saying Jesus was in the synagogues of Judea, when the other two synoptics clearly stated that it was in Galilee?  Actually, later in this work, Luke had Jesus go to Jerusalem.

Simon’s house (Lk 4:38-4:38)

“Jesus left

The synagogue.

He entered

Simon’s house.

Now Simon’s mother-in-law

Was suffering

From a high fever.

They asked him

About her.”

 

Ἀναστὰς δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς συναγωγῆς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Σίμωνος. πενθερὰ δὲ τοῦ Σίμωνος ἦν συνεχομένη πυρετῷ μεγάλῳ, καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν περὶ αὐτῆς.

 

Luke said that Jesus left the synagogue (Ἀναστὰς δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς συναγωγῆς) in Capernaum.  He then entered Simon’s house (εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Σίμωνος) that was probably in Capernaum also.  Simon’s mother-in-law (πενθερὰ δὲ τοῦ Σίμωνος) was suffering from a high fever (ἦν συνεχομένη πυρετῷ μεγάλῳ).  They asked or appealed to Jesus about her (καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν περὶ αὐτῆς).  Matthew, chapter 8:14, and Mark, chapter 1:29-30, both have something similar, as well.  Mark said that as soon as Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon and Andrew, his brother, nor just Simon’s house.  Thus, this may have been a family residence.  Matthew said clearly it was Peter’s house, using his Greek name that Jesus gave him.  Only Mark mentioned James and John being there also.  In Luke and Mark, Jesus was leaving the synagogue, so that this would be the second healing on the Sabbath.  However, Matthew had them coming here after curing the centurion’s servant.  Anyway, Jesus and his disciples were in a place that Simon or Peter stayed or lived in Capernaum.  This residence of Simon may have become the headquarters for Jesus’ ministry in Galilee.  In Matthew, Jesus saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed sick with a fever, so that no one had to tell him about it, as in Mark and Luke.  In all three gospel stories, she was sick with a fever, lying in bed.  There is no indication of what kind of illness this was or whether it was chronic or severe.  No one explained why Peter’s mother-in-law was living in this house.  Was this a permanent arrangement?  There were no indications of where Simon’s wife was, even if she was there, since there was no mention whatsoever of Peter’s wife in any of these stories.