“Both the Pharisees
And the Scribes
‘This Jesus fellow
He eats with them.’”
καὶ διεγόγγυζον οἵ τε Φαρισαῖοι καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς λέγοντες ὅτι Οὗτος ἁμαρτωλοὺς προσδέχεται καὶ συνεσθίει αὐτοῖς
Luke uniquely talked about Jesus and his coziness with sinners that upset the Pharisees and the Scribes. Luke said that both the Pharisees (οἵ τε Φαρισαῖοι) and the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς) were grumbling (καὶ διεγόγγυζον), saying (λέγοντες), that this fellow, Jesus, welcomes sinners (ὅτι Οὗτος ἁμαρτωλοὺς προσδέχεται) and eats with them (καὶ συνεσθίει αὐτοῖς). Eating with sinners and tax collectors was a form of fellowship. Perhaps the Pharisees and Scribes were correct in indicating that Jesus was approving their lifestyle. He was giving tacit acceptance to these sinners and their deeds, scandalizing the people of Israel. Listening to sinners was one thing. Eating with them was another thing. Would you welcome and eat with a public sinner?
And their Scribes
To Jesus’ disciples.
‘Why do you eat
With tax collectors
καὶ ἐγόγγυζον οἱ Φαρισαῖοι καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς αὐτῶν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ λέγοντες Διὰ τί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίετε καὶ πίνετε;
Luke said that the Pharisees and their Scribes were complaining or grumbling (καὶ ἐγόγγυζον οἱ Φαρισαῖοι καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς αὐτῶν) to Jesus’ disciples (πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ). They wondered (λέγοντες) why they were with Jesus eating and drinking (ἐσθίετε καὶ πίνετε) with tax collectors and sinners (Διὰ τί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν). Mark, chapter 2:16, and Matthew, chapter 9:11, are similar to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this incident. In Matthew, it was only the Pharisees and not the Scribes who are complaining. Mark and Luke have both these Pharisees and their Scribes grumble about this dinner party. They saw that Jesus and his disciples was eating and drinking with these sinners and tax collectors. Then they asked the disciples of Jesus, and not Jesus himself, why was Jesus eating with these tax collectors and sinners? These Pharisees were a political party, a social movement, and a religious school of thought that became the basis for later Rabbinic Judaism. They had they own expert explanations of Jewish law that sometimes appeared to be hypocritical or arrogant, with the letter of the law above its spirit. They had a form of Judaism that extended beyond the Temple. The Pharisees in the New Testament engaged in conflicts with Jesus and his disciples, as here. However, Paul the Apostle may have been a Pharisee before his conversion. Maybe Jesus and some of his followers were Pharisees, so that these arguments with the Pharisees may have been internal arguments. Or is this portrait of the Pharisees in the New Testament a caricature, since the late first century Christians were fighting with the emerging Rabbinic Pharisees? Their position towards the Scribes was a mixed bag. These Scribes were religious experts who determined the traditions to be followed, as professional copiers of manuscript documents, although they had a wider role in Jewish society.
“In the days of Moses,
Joshua proved his loyalty
Son of Jephunneh.
They opposed the congregation.
They restrained the people from sin.
They stilled their wicked grumbling.
These two alone were spared
Out of the six hundred thousand infantry.
They led the people into their inheritance,
The land flowing with milk and honey.
The Lord gave Caleb strength.
This remained with him in his old age.
He went up to the hill country.
His children obtained it
For an inheritance.
Thus all the Israelites might see
How good it is to follow the Lord.”
According to Numbers, chapter 14, Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun were the only two people allowed to live long enough to see the Promise Land, because they were the only two that felt like going into the land of Canaan would not be that difficult. The rest of the 600,000 desert wanderers perished and died in the desert wilderness. Not even Moses and Aaron were allowed to make it into the land of milk and honey. The Israelite people had been grumbling, but only Joshua and Caleb convinced them to carry on. Thus Caleb and his family were given a special place in the high country in the new land that they had conquered. Caleb was the ideal warrior and follower of the Lord who lived to a ripe old age with all his strength intact.
“When King Demetrius saw that the land was quiet before him since there was no opposition to him, he dismissed all his troops. All of them went to their own houses, except the foreign troops which he had recruited from the islands of the nations. Thus all the troops who had served his predecessors hated him. A certain Trypho had formerly been one of King Alexander’s supporters. He saw that all the troops were grumbling against King Demetrius. So he went to Imalkue the Arab, who was bringing up Antiochus, the young son of Alexander. He insistently urged him to hand Antiochus over to him, to make him king in place of his father. He also reported to Imalkue what King Demetrius had done. He told him of the hatred that the troops of King Demetrius had for him. He stayed there many days.”
King Demetrius II was quite content that he had achieved peace with no opposition. Therefore, he released all his local army troops and sent them hone, probably to save money. However, he kept the foreign troops that he had recruited. Thus there was a little dissension as the former Syrian troops grumbled against King Demetrius II. Now we see Trypho, a former supporter of King Alexander I, trying to get King Alexander’s son Antiochus to become king. Somehow Imalkue an Arab was taking care of him. Trypho tried to get Imalkue to give him Antiochus so that he could make him king of Syria. He stayed many days with Imalkue.