Mosaic law of taking a dead man’s wife (Lk 20:28-20:28)

“These Sadducees

Asked him a question.

‘Teacher!’

Moses wrote for us

That if a man’s brother dies,

Leaving a wife childless,

The man shall marry

The widow.

He will raise up children

For his brother.’”

 

λέγοντες Διδάσκαλε, Μωϋσῆς ἔγραψεν ἡμῖν, ἐάν τινος ἀδελφὸς ἀποθάνῃ ἔχων γυναῖκα, καὶ οὗτος ἄτεκνος ᾖ, ἵνα λάβῃ ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ ἐξαναστήσῃ σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke said that these Sadducees asked Jesus a question (λέγοντες), respectfully calling him “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε)!”  They said that Moses wrote for them (Μωϋσῆς ἔγραψεν ἡμῖν) in Deuteronomy, chapter 25:5-10, that if a man’s brother dies (ἐάν τινος ἀδελφὸς ἀποθάνῃ), leaving a wife childless (ἔχων γυναῖκα, καὶ οὗτος ἄτεκνος ᾖ), that man should marry the widow (ἵνα λάβῃ ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν γυναῖκα) to raise up children or seed for his brother (καὶ ἐξαναστήσῃ σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ).  Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use this word ἄτεκνος, that means childless.  Matthew, chapter 22:24, and Mark, chapter 12:19, are almost word for word as here in LukeMark said that these Sadducees addressed Jesus very respectfully as “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε).”  They quoted a Mosaic text that Moses had written for them (Μωϋσῆς ἔγραψεν ἡμῖν),  If a man’s brother should die (ὅτι ἐάν τινος ἀδελφὸς ἀποθάνῃ) leaving behind a wife (καὶ καταλίπῃ γυναῖκα) without any children (καὶ μὴ ἀφῇ τέκνον), his living brother should take his dead brother’s widow as his wife (ἵνα λάβῃ ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν γυναῖκα).  He would then raise up the descendant children or seeds for his brother (καὶ ἐξαναστήσῃ σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ).  Matthew indicated that these Sadducees also addressed Jesus very respectfully as “Teacher” or “Rabbi (λέγοντες Διδάσκαλε).”  They quoted a Mosaic text, as Moses said (Μωϋσῆς εἶπεν).  If a man died without any children (Ἐάν τις ἀποθάνῃ μὴ ἔχων τέκνα), his brother should marry the widow (ἐπιγαμβρεύσει ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ).  He would then raise up the descendants for his brother (καὶ ἀναστήσει σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ).  This levirate law goes back as far as Tamar in Genesis, chapter 38:1-30, with the story of Judah’s 3 sons and Tamar, the original wife of Er.  The brother of the deceased was supposed to marry his brother’s widow if he had no sons.  The widow was not to marry outside her family.  It also assumes that the brother lived close by or in the same house as his brother.  There was no indication of whether the brother was married or not, but this seems to assume a younger brother.  This was an attempt to prolong the heritage and name of a person, which was common in ancient times.  The punishment for the brother’s refusal was an insult, rather than any physical punishment.  Would you marry the wife or husband or your dead brother or sister?

Jesus’ face changes (Lk 9:29-9:29)

“While Jesus

Was praying,

The appearance

Of his face

Changed.

His clothes

Became dazzling white.”

 

καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ προσεύχεσθαι αὐτὸν τὸ εἶδος τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ ἕτερον καὶ ὁ ἱματισμὸς αὐτοῦ λευκὸς ἐξαστράπτων.

 

Luke said that while Jesus was praying (καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ προσεύχεσθαι αὐτὸν), the appearance of his face changed or altered (τὸ εἶδος τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ ἕτερον).  Also, his clothes became dazzling white (καὶ ὁ ἱματισμὸς αὐτοῦ λευκὸς ἐξαστράπτων).  This description of the face and clothing of Jesus can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:2, Mark, chapter 9:3, and here in Luke, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Mark said that Jesus was transfigured in front of the 3 apostles.  There was a metamorphosis, as the appearance of Jesus changed right before their very eyes.  There was no mention of the face of Jesus changing, as in Matthew and Luke.  However, Mark indicated that Jesus’ clothes or garments became a dazzling white, so white that not even any cleaner on earth could bleach them any whiter.  Matthew also said that Jesus was transfigured in front of the 3 apostles.  He said that Jesus’ face was shining like the sun, just like what happened to Moses, in Exodus, chapter 34:35.  There the face of Moses was so bright that he had to put a veil on after talking to Yahweh, before he could talk to Aaron, his brother.  Jesus’ clothes or garments also became a dazzling white, like a bright light or white snow.  Suddenly, the human Jesus seemed more brightly divine.  White and light were good, while black and darkness were bad.  What is the whitest white that you have seen?

The top six apostles (Lk 6:14-6:14)

“They were

Simon,

Whom he named Peter,

And his brother

Andrew,

James,

John,

Philip,

And Bartholomew.”

 

Σίμωνα, ὃν καὶ ὠνόμασεν, Πέτρον καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ, καὶ Ἰάκωβον καὶ Ἰωάνην, καὶ Φίλιππον καὶ Βαρθολομαῖον,

 

Luke then gave a list of these 12 apostles.  The first six named were Simon (Σίμωνα), whom he renamed Peter (ὃν καὶ ὠνόμασεν, Πέτρον), his brother Andrew (καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ), as well as James (καὶ Ἰάκωβον), John (καὶ Ἰωάνην), Philip (καὶ Φίλιππον), and Bartholomew (καὶ Βαρθολομαῖον).  This section about the names of the 12 apostles is similar to Mark, chapter 3:16-19 and Matthew, chapter 10:2-4.  This list can also be compared to the list in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 1:13.  There are some discrepancies with these names.  First on all the lists was Simon.  Luke said that Jesus named him Peter, not merely known as Peter.  Next Luke had Andrew, the brother of Peter, but he never mentioned him in the call of the first disciples in chapter 5:1-11.  Next were the 2 brothers James and John, who were mentioned earlier.  James was always listed first.  However, they were not called the sons of Zebedee, as they were in the other gospel stories.  Mark had a longer explanation about them, calling them the sons of thunder.  Clearly, these 4 apostles were considered the most important with Peter at the top of this group, while James played an important role also.  The role of Andrew, the brother of Peter, was more ambiguous.  They are no longer called the 12 disciples (δώδεκα μαθητὰς) but the 12 apostles (δὲ δώδεκα ἀποστόλων).  They had changed from being mere followers (μαθητὰς) to now being sent out as apostles (ἀποστόλων).  Matthew had already mentioned, the call of the first 4 disciples in chapter 4:18-22.  Now they became the first 4 named apostles.  Philip and Bartholomew came next as 5 and 6 in all the lists of the apostles, without any other information about them.

They follow Jesus (Lk 5:11-5:11)

“When they had brought

Their boats

To land,

They left everything.

They followed Jesus.”

 

καὶ καταγαγόντες τὰ πλοῖα ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν, ἀφέντες πάντα ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ.

 

Luke has a simple statement compared to Mark and Matthew.  He said that when these fishermen had brought their boats to land (καὶ καταγαγόντες τὰ πλοῖα ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν), they left everything (ἀφέντες πάντα).  They followed Jesus (ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ).  This is like Mark, chapter 1:19-20, or Matthew, chapter 4:19-20.  There Jesus said to them to come and follow after him, since he was going to make them fishers of human people.  They immediately left their nets and followed or accompanied Jesus, like an Israelite prophetic call, since Jesus had spoken directly to these two men.  He issued an invitation that seemed like a command at the same time.  They followed after Jesus, no matter what.  Like the Hebrew prophets, their response was immediate, without any hesitation.  They left their fishing nets, as both Simon Peter and Andrew, his brother, became disciples of Jesus.  The other two brothers, James and John left both their boat and also their father Zebedee.  However, in Luke, there was no mention of Andrew, the brother of Simon, or any direct formal call to these fishermen.  The results were the same.  There were either 3 or 4 new full disciples of Jesus.

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.

Judah and Perez (Lk 3:33-3:33)

“The son of Amminadab,

The son of Admin,

The son of Arni,

The son of Hezron,

The son of Perez,

The son of Judah.”

 

τοῦ Ἀμιναδὰβ τοῦ Ἀδμεὶν τοῦ Ἀρνεὶ τοῦ Ἐσρὼμ τοῦ Φαρὲς τοῦ Ἰούδα

 

The two genealogies of Matthew and Luke are almost the same from Judah to Amminadab.  Luke listed them as Nahshon, the son of Amminadab (τοῦ Ἀμιναδὰβ), the son of Admin (τοῦ Ἀδμεὶν), the son of Arni (τοῦ Ἀρνεὶ), the son of Hezron (τοῦ Ἐσρὼμ), the son of Perez (τοῦ Φαρὲς), the son of Judah (τοῦ Ἰούδα).  Clearly, Judah had become the dominant tribe by the time of Jesus.  The story of the children for Judah is a very interesting tale as portrayed in Genesis, chapter 38.  Judah married a Canaanite woman named Bathshuah in Adullam.  They had three sons, Er, Onan, and Shelah.  Then the story got more complicated.  Judah found a lady named Tamar to be a wife for his first-born wicked son Er, whom Yahweh put to death.  Then Judah sent Onan, his second son, to produce children for his brother from Tamar, Er’s wife.  However, Onan spilled his semen on the ground, so that he would not have any children.  Thus, Yahweh put him to death also.  Judah then told Tamar to live as a widow in her father’s house, until his youngest son Shelah was older and able to marry her.  Tamar, in the meantime, saw that Shelah had grown up, but was not being offered in marriage to her.  She decided to throw off her widow garments, put a veil on, and sit on the road from Adullam to Timnah.  Now Judah, whose wife Bathshuah had died, was on this same road and thought that she was a prostitute, because her face was covered.  He gave her his signature ring and the cord as a pledge that he would pay her later for her sexual favors.  They had sex and she conceived by him.  Three months later, Judah found out that his daughter-in-law Tamar was pregnant as a result of prostitution.  He wanted her immediately burned, but she told Judah that the owner of a ring and cord made her pregnant.  Judah admitted that she was right.  Tamar then had twins from this pregnancy, Perez and Zerah, who disputed about who was the first out of the womb.  Interesting enough, the line of Judah would have died out without this prostitute episode.  Thus, the sacred lineage of Judah goes through a father-in-law having paid sex with his daughter-in-law, Tamar, who was a Canaanite.  According to Genesis, chapter 46:12, Perez, the son of Judah, had 2 sons, Hezron and Hamul. who went with Jacob to Egypt.  From 1 Chronicles, chapter 2:9-17, we learn about the linage of Hezron.  He had 3 sons, Jerahmeel, Aram, and Chelubai.  This Aram, Arni, or Ram was the father of Aminadab or Amminadab.  Luke added an Admin who is not found elsewhere or maybe another name for Ram.  Amminadab had a daughter, Elisheba, who married Aaron, the brother of Moses, in Exodus, chapter 6:23.  Amminadab was the father of Nahshon, the brother-in-law of Aaron and Moses.

First there was Peter (Mk 3:16-3:16)

“Thus,

Jesus appointed

The Twelve.

There was Simon

Whom he named Peter.”

 

καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὺς δώδεκα, καὶ ἐπέθηκεν ὄνομα τῷ Σίμωνι Πέτρον·

 

This section about the names of the 12 apostles is similar to Mathew, chapter 10:2-4 and Luke, chapter 6:13-16.  This list can also be compared to the list in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 1:13.  Mark said that Jesus appointed these 12 disciples as apostles (καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὺς δώδεκα).  First of all, there was Simon, known as Peter (καὶ ἐπέθηκεν ὄνομα τῷ Σίμωνι Πέτρον).  Mark indicated that Simon’s name of Peter came from Jesus.  It is interesting that his brother Andrew was not listed here as in in the other listings in Matthew and Luke, since his calling was linked with his brother Simon in Mark, chapter 1:16-17.  Instead, he was listed with the other apostles later.  Why did Andrew not make the cut with his brother Simon here?