The queen of the South (Lk 11:31-11:31)

“The queen of the South

Will rise

At the judgment

Against the people

Of this generation.

She will condemn them.

Because she came

From the ends of the earth

To listen to

The wisdom of Solomon.

See!

Someone greater

Than Solomon

Is here.”

 

βασίλισσα νότου ἐγερθήσεται ἐν τῇ κρίσει μετὰ τῶν ἀνδρῶν τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης καὶ κατακρινεῖ αὐτούς· ὅτι ἦλθεν ἐκ τῶν περάτων τῆς γῆς ἀκοῦσαι τὴν σοφίαν Σολομῶνος, καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Σολομῶνος ὧδε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the queen of the South (βασίλισσα νότου) would rise (ἐγερθήσεται) at the judgment time (ἐν τῇ κρίσει) against the men or people of this generation.  She will condemn them (καὶ κατακρινεῖ αὐτούς), because she came from the ends of the earth (ὅτι ἦλθεν ἐκ τῶν περάτων τῆς γῆς) to listen to the wisdom of Solomon (ἀκοῦσαι τὴν σοφίαν Σολομῶνος).  However, someone greater than Solomon is here (καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Σολομῶνος ὧδε).  This saying about the Queen of Sheba can also be found in Matthew, chapter 12:42, so that perhaps this is a Q source.  However, in Luke here, it preceded the comments about the men of Nineveh, while it was the reverse in Matthew.  Why was this unnamed Queen of Sheba able to give a judgment on this generation?  She was not even Jewish.  However, she visited King Solomon in 1 Kings, chapter 10:1-13, with the same story repeated in 2 Chronicles, chapter 9:1-12.  This mythical mysterious woman came from Sheba, but no one knows exactly where that was or her specific name.  She might have been from around the gold mines at Ophir, wherever that might be.  This might explain her wealth in spices, gold, and precious stones.  Anyway, King Solomon answered all her questions with great wisdom.  She observed all his wisdom, plus his house, his food, his clothing, and his servants.  She praised King Solomon, the son of King David, because his wisdom exceeded what she had anticipated and his prosperity exceeded her expectations.  Matthew and Luke both called her the Queen of the South (βασίλισσα νότου).  Matthew also said that she would rise up at the judgment time against this generation and condemn them.  She had come from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon.  Now, Matthew reminded them that someone greater than King Solomon was there among them, Jesus himself.  Do you recognize greatness when you see it?

They led Jesus to a Jewish assembly (Mk 14:53-14:53)

“They took Jesus

To the high priest.

All the chief priests,

The elders,

And the Scribes

Were assembled.”

 

Καὶ ἀπήγαγον τὸν Ἰησοῦν πρὸς τὸν ἀρχιερέα, καὶ συνέρχονται πάντες οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:57, but there is no mention of the house of Caiaphas here as there was in Matthew.  In Luke, chapter 22:54, Jesus was simply brought to the high priest’s house, which would have been Caiaphas.  In John, chapter 18:13-14, they brought Jesus to the house of the father-in-law of Caiaphas, Annas, who had been the high priest of Jerusalem from 6-15 CE, before he was removed by the Romans at the age of 36, even though he lived to the age of 61.  Thus, he had a lot of influence on things.  John remarked that Caiaphas had said it was better for one person to die for the people.  Caiaphas was the high priest from 18-36 CE since he had married the daughter of Annas.  Mark simply said that they took Jesus to the high priest (Καὶ ἀπήγαγον τὸν Ἰησοῦν πρὸς τὸν ἀρχιερέα), without mentioning his name or saying it was his house.  Apparently, the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς), the elder presbyters (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι), and the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς) had all gathered or assembled there (καὶ συνέρχονται πάντες).  Was this an official meeting of the Jerusalem Sanhedrin?  Probably not, because these official meetings could not be held during the festival days or during the Passover.  On the other hand, some kind of informal meeting was possible.  However, there was no mention of any Pharisees or Sadducees being there either.

Be on watch (Mk 13:34-13:34)

“The end times

Is like a man

Going on a journey.

When he leaves home,

He puts his slaves

In charge,

Each with

Their own work tasks.

He commands

The doorkeeper

To be on the watch.”

 

ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἀπόδημος ἀφεὶς τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ καὶ δοὺς τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐξουσίαν, ἑκάστῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ, καὶ τῷ θυρωρῷ ἐνετείλατο ἵνα γρηγορῇ.

 

This parable is similar to Matthew, chapter 25:14 and to Luke, chapter 19:12-27, where the story is about the power of a nobleman with 10 slaves, but the basic concept is the same.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that the end times would be like a man going on a journey (ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἀπόδημος).  He left his house (ἀφεὶς τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ).  He gave his slaves the authority (καὶ δοὺς τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐξουσίαν) to perform their own individual tasks (ἑκάστῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ).  He commanded a doorkeeper to stand watch over this whole situation (καὶ τῷ θυρωρῷ ἐνετείλατο ἵνα γρηγορῇ).

Big crowds (Mk 3:20-3:20)

“Then Jesus went home.

The crowd came together again.

Thus,

They could not even eat.”

 

Καὶ ἔρχεται εἰς οἶκον· καὶ συνέρχεται πάλιν ὁ ὄχλος, ὥστε μὴ δύνασθαι αὐτοὺς μηδὲ ἄρτον φαγεῖν.

 

Like Matthew, Mark put a lot of emphasis on the crowds that surrounded Jesus.  However, this short statement was unique to Mark, who said that Jesus went home or to his house (Καὶ ἔρχεται εἰς οἶκον), probably referring to Capernaum or Nazareth.  The crowds once again pressed against him or gathered around him (καὶ συνέρχεται πάλιν ὁ ὄχλος).  It was so bad, that they were not able to even eat their bread meals (ὥστε μὴ δύνασθαι αὐτοὺς μηδὲ ἄρτον φαγεῖν).

Jesus was in a crowded place (Mk 2:2-2:2)

“So many people

Gathered around

So that there was

No longer room

For them,

Not even in front of the door.

He was preaching

The word to them.”

 

καὶ συνήχθησαν πολλοὶ, ὥστε μηκέτι χωρεῖν μηδὲ τὰ πρὸς τὴν θύραν, καὶ ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον.

 

This is unique to Mark, but not unusual.  Mark said that so many people gathered around his house (καὶ συνήχθησαν πολλοὶ) that there was no longer room or space for them there (ὥστε μηκέτι χωρεῖν), not even in front of the door (μηδὲ τὰ πρὸς τὴν θύραν).  He was preaching the word to them (καὶ ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον).  Once again, there was not a specific message here in Mark, just the word in general.

Jesus returned to his home in Capernaum (Mk 2:1-2:1)

“When Jesus returned

To Capernaum,

After some days.

It was reported

That he was at home.”

 

Καὶ εἰσελθὼν πάλιν εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ δι’ ἡμερῶν ἠκούσθη ὅτι ἐν οἴκῳ ἐστίν.

 

Matthew, chapter 9:1, has something similar where Jesus returned to his home in Capernaum, but Matthew had Jesus return from a boat trip on the Sea of Galilee.  Both here and there, there was an indication that Capernaum has become the home of Jesus.  Mark said here that when Jesus returned to Capernaum again (Καὶ εἰσελθὼν πάλιν εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ), after some days on the road (δι’ ἡμερῶν), it was reported or people heard that he was at home in his house (ἠκούσθη ὅτι ἐν οἴκῳ ἐστίν).  Thus, Capernaum, according to Matthew, had become his own home town (εἰς τὴν ἰδίαν πόλιν).  Mark mentions that he was in his house or home (ἐν οἴκῳ) that was in Capernaum.

Ten bridesmaids (Mt 25:1-25:1)

“The kingdom of heaven

Will be like this.

Ten bridesmaids

Took their lamps.

They went to meet

The bridegroom.”

 

Τότε ὁμοιωθήσεται ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν δέκα παρθένοις, αἵτινες λαβοῦσαι τὰς λαμπάδας ἑαυτῶν ἐξῆλθον εἰς ὑπάντησιν τοῦ νυμφίου

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is something similar in Luke, chapter 12:35-36, about having lamps lit.  Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven would be like (ότε ὁμοιωθήσεται ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν)10 bridesmaids, virgins, or unmarried maidens (δέκα παρθένοις) having lamps with them (αἵτινες λαβοῦσαι τὰς λαμπάδας ἑαυτῶν).  They were waiting to go out to meet the bridegroom (ἐξῆλθον εἰς ὑπάντησιν τοῦ νυμφίου).  The custom at that time was to have these virgin bridesmaids or unmarried maidens accompany the bridegroom from his house to the house of the bride before they would go to the wedding place.  Thus, these bridesmaid virgins would act as an escort in a procession to the bride’s house and then to the wedding banquet place.