The example of David (Lk 6:4-6:4)

“David entered

The house of God.

He took

The bread of the Presence.

He ate it.

This was not lawful

For anyone,

But the priests

To eat.

He also gave some

To his companions.’”

 

ὡς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως λαβὼν ἔφαγεν καὶ ἔδωκεν τοῖς μετ’ αὐτοῦ, οὓς οὐκ ἔξεστιν φαγεῖν εἰ μὴ μόνους τοὺς ἱερεῖς;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that David entered the house of God (ὡς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Θεοῦ).  He took (λαβὼν) the show bread of the Presence (καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως) and ate it (ἔφαγεν).  He also gave some to his companions (καὶ ἔδωκεν τοῖς μετ’ αὐτοῦ).  However, this was not lawful for them to eat it (οὓς οὐκ ἔξεστιν φαγεῖν), since it was only for the priests (εἰ μὴ μόνους τοὺς ἱερεῖς).  Matthew, chapter 12:4, and Mark, chapter 2:26, are similar to Luke, so that perhaps Mark may be the origin of this saying of Jesus.  Jesus cited the example of David in 1 Samuel, chapter 21:1-6.  Luke did not mention some of the incorrect details about the high priest that were in Mark and Matthew.  In 1 Samuel, David went to the Levite town of Nob, not the house of God as mentioned here.  There Ahimelech was the high priest, not Abiathar as Mark and Matthew indicated.  David said that he was hungry and needed bread for himself and his men.  However, they only had consecrated holy bread for the sacrifices, not common bread.  This showbread, the bread of the Presence, was 12 loaves or cakes of bread that was replaced weekly in the holy place in the Temple that symbolized communion with God.  Either he took it or the priest then gave him the holy bread anyway.  He and his companions ate the bread of the Presence or sacred Levite bread.  However, it was not lawful for them to eat it, because only the Levite priests were allowed to eat this sacred bread.  Thus, Jesus used this example of David to answer the Pharisees, although there are some discrepancies in this story about David.

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What did David do? (Lk 6:3-6:3)

“Jesus answered.

‘Have you not read

What David did

When he

And his companions

Were hungry?”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς πρὸς αὐτοὺς εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς Οὐδὲ τοῦτο ἀνέγνωτε ὃ ἐποίησεν Δαυεὶδ ὁπότε ἐπείνασεν αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ ὄντες;

 

Luke said that Jesus answered the Pharisees (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς πρὸς αὐτοὺς).  He asked them (εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς) if they had not read (Οὐδὲ τοῦτο ἀνέγνωτε) what David did (ὃ ἐποίησεν Δαυεὶδ) when (ὁπότε) he and his companions with him (αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ ὄντες) were hungry (ἐπείνασεν).  Matthew, chapter 12:3, and Mark, chapter 2:25, are similar to Luke, so that perhaps Mark may be the origin of this saying of Jesus.  Jesus asked that the Pharisees if they had read the unnamed book of Samuel.  The assumption would be that since they were followers of the Law that they could read.  The reference was to 1 Samuel, chapter 21:1-6.

David and the holy bread (Mk 2:25-2:26)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Have you never read

What David did

When he with his companions

Were hungry,

In need of food.

He entered

The house of God,

When Abiathar

Was high priest.

He ate the bread

Of the Presence,

Which it is not lawful,

For anyone but the priests to eat.

He gave some

To his companions.’”

 

καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· Οὐδέποτε ἀνέγνωτε τί ἐποίησεν Δαυείδ, ὅτε χρείαν ἔσχεν καὶ ἐπείνασεν αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ;

πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐπὶ Ἀβιαθὰρ ἀρχιερέως καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγεν, οὓς οὐκ ἔξεστιν φαγεῖν εἰ μὴ τοὺς ἱερεῖς, καὶ ἔδωκεν καὶ τοῖς σὺν αὐτῷ οὖσιν;

 

Matthew, chapter 12:25-26, and Luke, chapter 6:3-4, are similar to Mark, so that perhaps Mark is the origin of this saying of Jesus.  Jesus responded to the Pharisees by citing the example of David in 1 Samuel, chapter 21:1-6.  David went to the Levite town of Nob, not the house of God mentioned here.  There Ahimelech was the high priest, not Abiathar as indicated here.  David said that he needed bread for himself and his men.  Ahimelech responded that he only had consecrated holy bread for the sacrifices, not common bread.  That bread was for the Levites, but the priest then gave him the holy bread anyway.  Jesus said to the Pharisees (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς).  He wanted to know if they had read the unnamed book of Samuel (Οὐδέποτε ἀνέγνωτε).  That was when David and his companions were hungry (τί ἐποίησεν Δαυεὶδ ὅτε χρείαν ἔσχεν καὶ ἐπείνασεν αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ).  He entered the house of God (πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Θεοῦ) when Abiathar was the high priest (ἐπὶ Ἀβιαθὰρ ἀρχιερέως).  He ate the bread of the Presence or sacred Levite bread (καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγον).  However, it was not lawful for him to eat it (οὓς οὐκ ἔξεστιν φαγεῖν).  Only the Levite priests were allowed to eat this sacred bread (εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῖς).  He even gave some of this holy bread to his companions who were with him (καὶ ἔδωκεν καὶ τοῖς σὺν αὐτῷ οὖσιν).  The bread of the Presence were 12 loaves of bread in the holy place in the Temple that symbolized communion with God.  Thus, Jesus used the example of David to answer the Pharisees, although there are some discrepancies in this story about David.

Daniel sees the king (Dan 4:8-4:9)

“At last Daniel

Came in

Before me.

He was named

Belteshazzar,

After the name

Of my god.

He was endowed

With a spirit

Of the holy gods.

I told him the dream.

‘O Belteshazzar!

Chief of the magicians!

I know

That you are endowed

With a spirit

Of the holy gods!

No mystery

Is too difficult

For you.

Hear!

This is the dream

That I saw.

Tell me

Its interpretation.’”

Finally, Daniel came in to see the king. As with his companions, King Nebuchadnezzar had given Daniel a Babylonian name, Belteshazzar, based on the name of his Babylonian god, Bel. The king realized that Daniel, like Joseph with the Egyptian Pharaoh, had special spiritual powers. After all, in chapter 2, Daniel knew and interpreted his dream. The king called Daniel the chief of the magicians. He thought that no mystery would be too difficult for Daniel, because of the special divine powers that he had. Thus, the king was not afraid to tell Daniel, or Belteshazzar, his dream or ask for an interpretation.

This decree included Daniel (Dan 2:13-2:13)

“The decree was issued.

The wise men

Were about to be executed.

They looked for Daniel

With his companions,

To execute them.”

Guess what! The king’s decree was issued. All the wise men in Babylon were to be executed. Daniel and his companions were part of this royal court of the wise men of Babylon, so that they too would be killed.

Judas Maccabeus and the nomads (2 Macc 12:10-12:12)

“When they had gone more than a mile from there, on their march against Timothy, at least five thousand Arabs with five hundred cavalry attacked them. After a hard fight Judas Maccabeus and his companions, with God’s help, were victorious. The defeated nomads begged Judas Maccabeus to grant them pledges of friendship, promising to give livestock. They promised to help his people in all other ways. Judas Maccabeus, realizing that they might indeed be useful in many ways, agreed to make peace with them. After receiving his pledges, they went back to their tents.”

This episode is not linked with the preceding episodes on the coast because this takes place on the east side of the Jordan River. This is more about the battles with Timothy, even though it says that they were only a mile away. In fact, it is fairly similar to 1 Maccabees, chapter 5.   5,000 Arabs and 500 cavalry attacked Judas Maccabeus and his troops. With God’s help he was victorious. However, the defeated nomads wanted to make friends with Judas Maccabeus. They promised to give him livestock and be helpful in other ways. Judas Maccabeus realized that they might be useful. Thus he made peace with them. This is one of the few stories where the defeated people begged for peace and Judas Maccabeus agreed to it. Otherwise, he normally just wiped them out.