‘Peace be to this house!’”
εἰς ἣν δ’ ἂν εἰσέλθητε οἰκίαν, πρῶτον λέγετε Εἰρήνη τῷ οἴκῳ τούτῳ.
Luke said that Jesus told the 70 disciples that whatever house they entered (εἰς ἣν δ’ ἂν εἰσέλθητε οἰκίαν), they were first to say (πρῶτον λέγετε) “Peace be to this house (Εἰρήνη τῷ οἴκῳ τούτῳ)”. The early followers of Jesus were to bring peace not strife, but this was a standard greeting anyway. Matthew, 10:12 had Jesus give these same simple instructions to the 12 apostles. As they went into a house, they were to greet or pay respects to the people in the house. This was only common sense. You had to respect, greet, and bring peace to the people in whose house you entered. How do you greet people?
“On the next day,
When they had come down
From the mountain,
A great crowd
Ἐγένετο δὲ τῇ ἑξῆς ἡμέρᾳ κατελθόντων αὐτῶν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους συνήντησεν αὐτῷ ὄχλος πολύς
Luke said that on the next day (Ἐγένετο δὲ τῇ ἑξῆς ἡμέρᾳ), after the transfiguration, when they had come down from the mountain (κατελθόντων αὐτῶν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους), a great crowd met Jesus (συνήντησεν αὐτῷ ὄχλος πολύς). Mark, chapter 9:14-15, and Matthew, chapter 17:14 are somewhat similar. Jesus came to his disciples and saw a great crowd around them. Mark said that some Scribes were arguing or discussing with them, but there was no indication what they were discussing or arguing about. As Jesus left his small group of disciples, a large crowd came towards him. Mark said that suddenly a large crowd saw Jesus, so that they were amazed or overcome with awe, since he was like a celebrity. They all ran forward to greet him. Have you ever been in a crowd when a celebrity appeared?
“When the whole crowd
They ran forward
To greet him.”
καὶ εὐθὺς πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐξεθαμβήθησαν, καὶ προστρέχοντες ἠσπάζοντο αὐτόν.
As Jesus left his small group of disciples, a large crowd came towards him. This incident is somewhat similar to Matthew, chapter 17:14, and Luke, chapter 9:37, but yet unique to Mark, who said that suddenly a large crowd saw Jesus (καὶ εὐθὺς πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἰδόντες αὐτὸν). They were amazed or overcome with awe (ἐξεθαμβήθησαν) since he was like a celebrity. They all ran forward to greet him (καὶ προστρέχοντες ἠσπάζοντο αὐτόν).
“As you enter
If the house
Let your peace
Come upon it.
But if it is not worthy,
Let your peace
Return to you!”
εἰσερχόμενοι δὲ εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν ἀσπάσασθε αὐτήν
καὶ ἐὰν μὲν ᾖ ἡ οἰκία ἀξία, ἐλθάτω ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν ἐπ’ αὐτήν· ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ᾖ ἀξία, ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐπιστραφήτω.
There are no exact equivalent passages in the other gospels about how to enter into a house. Jesus, via Matthew, had some simple instructions again. As you went into a house (εἰσερχόμενοι δὲ εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν), greet or pay respects to the people in the house (ἀσπάσασθε αὐτήν). If they were worthy people or the house was worthy (καὶ ἐὰν μὲν ᾖ ἡ οἰκία ἀξία), let your peace come upon them (ἐλθάτω ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν ἐπ’ αὐτήν). But if they are not worthy or deserving (μὴ ᾖ ἀξία,), let your peace return or turn back to you (ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐπιστραφήτω). I am not sure how you would get your peace greeting revoked in some way.
“If you love those
Who love you,
What reward do you have?
Do not even the tax collectors
Do the same?
If you greet only
Your brothers and sisters,
What more are you doing
Do not even the gentiles
Do the same?
As your heavenly Father
ἐὰν γὰρ ἀγαπήσητε τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας ὑμᾶς, τίνα μισθὸν ἔχετε; οὐχὶ καὶ οἱ τελῶναι τὸ αὐτὸ ποιοῦσιν;
καὶ ἐὰν ἀσπάσησθε τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς ὑμῶν μόνον, τί περισσὸν ποιεῖτε; οὐχὶ καὶ οἱ ἐθνικοὶ τὸ αὐτὸ ποιοῦσιν;
Ἔσεσθε οὖν ὑμεῖς τέλειοι ὡς ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τέλειός ἐστιν.
Once again Matthew and Luke, chapter 6:32-34, are almost the same, perhaps a slightly different use of the Q source. If you only loved those who loved you (ἐὰν γὰρ ἀγαπήσητε τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας ὑμᾶς), what kind of reward would you get (τίνα μισθὸν ἔχετε)? Even the Roman tax collectors (οὐχὶ καὶ οἱ τελῶναι τὸ αὐτὸ ποιοῦσιν) love those who love them. If you only just greet your brothers (καὶ ἐὰν ἀσπάσησθε τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς ὑμῶν μόνον), the members of your own family, what is the big deal or so extraordinary (τί περισσὸν ποιεῖτε)? Even the gentiles or non-Jewish people (οἱ ἐθνικοὶ), since almost all the followers of Jesus were Jewish, did that (οὐχὶ καὶ οἱ ἐθνικοὶ τὸ αὐτὸ ποιοῦσιν). If they wanted to be perfect (Ἔσεσθε οὖν ὑμεῖς τέλειοι), like their heavenly Father (ὡς ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τέλειός ἐστιν), they had to love and greet everyone. Only Matthew has this emphasis on perfection, completeness, or maturity (τέλειός).
“In the seventh month,
The son of Nethaniah,
The son of Elishama,
Of the royal family,
One of the chief officers
Of the king,
Came with ten men
The son of Ahikam,
They ate bread together
There at Mizpah.”
Next Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah and grandson of Elishama, who was a royal family member, came to Mizpah in the seventh month that may have been the feast of Tents. Ishmael was an officer of the king also. He came with 10 men to greet Governor Gedaliah. They even ate a meal together at Mizpah. Thus this seems like everything was okay. Ishmael was mad either because he was passed over by not being named governor or he was mad at the Babylonians for taking his king, King Zedekiah.
“Why was no one there,
When I came?
When I called,
Why did no one answer me?
Is my hand shortened,
So that it cannot redeem?
Have I no power to deliver?
By my rebuke,
I dry up the sea.
I make the rivers a desert.
Their fish stink
For lack of water.
They die of thirst.
I clothe the heavens
I make sackcloth their covering.”
Second Isaiah continues with this rebuke of Yahweh. Why was no one there to greet him when he came? Why was no one listening to him when he called? Is he no longer capable of redeeming them? Has he lost his power? After all, he dries up the seas and turns the rivers into deserts. Their fish would stink and die because of a lack of water. He could command the heavens to turn black and put on sackcloth.
“If in bitterness of soul,
Some should curse you,
Their Creator will hear their prayer.
Endear yourself to the congregation.
Bow your head low to the great.
Give a hearing to the poor.
Return their greeting politely.
Rescue the oppressed from the oppressor.
Do not be hesitant in giving a verdict.
Be like a father to orphans.
Be like a husband to their mother.
You will then be like a son of the Most High.
He will love you more than does your mother.”
Now it may happen, that someone who is bitter might curse you. Let the Creator God judge you. Fit into your community. Bow your head to the people in charge. Listen to the poor. Greet them politely. Rescue those who are being abused. Do not be afraid to make a judgment. Be like a father to orphans and a husband to widows. If you do these things, you will be like a son of the Most High God. God, the Creator, will love you more than your mother does. This is a strong demand for a civil society.
“Then Anna ran to her son. She threw her arms around him.
‘Now that I have seen you,
I am ready to die.’
She wept. Then Tobit got up. He came stumbling out through the courtyard door. Tobias went up to him, with the gall of the fish in his hand. Holding him firmly, he blew into eyes, saying.
‘Take courage, father!’
With this he applied the medicine to his eyes. It made them smart. Next, with both his hands he peeled off the white films from the corners of his eyes. Then Tobit saw his son. He threw his arms around him.
‘I see you, my son,
The light of my eyes!’”
Tobias’ mother ran to her son and threw her arms around him. She wept and said that she could die now because she had finally seen him. Tobit tried to go to greet him, but he stumbled. Then Tobias went to greet him with the fish gall in his hand. He held his father tightly as he blew into his eyes and applied the fish gall medicine that smarted. Then the white films from the corners of his eyes were peeled off. Tobit could see his son, the light of his life. The healing of the eyes had taken place just as Raphael had said it would.