Depart from me (Mt 25:41-25:41)

“Then the king

Will say to those

At his left hand.

‘You are cursed!

Depart from me!

Enter into the eternal fire

Prepared for the devil

And his angels!’”

 

τότε ἐρεῖ καὶ τοῖς ἐξ εὐωνύμων Πορεύεσθε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ κατηραμένοι εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ αἰώνιον τὸ ἡτοιμασμένον τῷ διαβόλῳ καὶ τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that the king turned to those goats on his left side (τότε ἐρεῖ καὶ τοῖς ἐξ εὐωνύμων).  He wanted these goat people to leave him and go away (Πορεύεσθε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ).  He called them cursed (κατηραμένοι). They were to go into the eternal fire (εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ αἰώνιον) that had been prepared for the devil and his angels (τὸ ἡτοιμασμένον τῷ διαβόλῳ καὶ τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ).  They were to depart from the king and be cursed to join the devil and his angels in the eternal fire that had been prepared for the devil.  Thus, we have the basis for the classic Christian teaching of eternal heaven with God, the Father, Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for the righteous or the eternal fire of hell with the devil and his companions for the evil or wicked people.  This was the final judgment awaiting all people.

The time frame (Dan 12:6-12:7)

“One of them said

To the man

Clothed in linen,

Who was upstream.

‘How long shall it be

Until the end

Of these wonders?’

The man clothed in linen,

Who was upstream,

Raised his right hand.

Then he raised

His left hand

Toward heaven.

I heard him swear,

By the one who lives forever,

That it would be for a time,

Two times,

Then half a time.

When the shattering

Of the power

Of the holy people

Comes to an end,

All these things

Would be accomplished.”

One of these two new men spoke to the man in the linen clothing, who had been upstream for some time.  This man wanted to know how long it would be until the end of all these wonders.  Thus, the man with the linen clothing upstream raised his right and then his left hand to heaven.  He swore, by the God who lives forever, that it would 3 ½ times, 1 time, 2 times, and ½ time.  Does this mean 3 ½ years?  Perhaps, this is a reference to the time between the desecration of the Temple by King Antiochus IV and its restoration around 165 BCE.  There then would be the shattering of the power of the holy people, when all these things would be accomplished.

 

The fall of Gog (Ezek 39:3-39:5)

“‘I will strike

Your bow

From your left hand.

I will make

Your arrows

Drop out

Of your right hand.

You shall fall

Upon the mountains

Of Israel.

You!

All your troops!

The people

That are with you!

I will give you

To the birds

Of prey

Of every sort.

I will give you

To the wild animals

To be devoured.

You shall fall

In the open field.

I have spoken.’

Says Yahweh God!”

Suddenly, after enticing Gog to attack the Israelite mountains, Yahweh struck back at him. Yahweh was going to knock the bow out of his left hand and, at the same time, he was going to have him drop the arrows from his right hand. Gog and his army were then going to fall in the mountains of Israel. Not just Gog, but all his troops and all the people with them would be given over to the birds of prey and the wild animals to be devoured in the open fields. There should be no doubt, because Yahweh God has spoken.

The embrace (Song 8:3-8:3)

Female lover

“O that

His left hand was under my head!

His right hand embraced me!”

Here is an exact repetition, word for word, of the same verse that was in chapter 2. This female lover wants her lover to put his left hand under her head at the same time that his right hand embraces her. This young female lover still yearns for the embrace of her beloved.