“After Jesus had said this,
He went on ahead.
He was going up
Καὶ εἰπὼν ταῦτα ἐπορεύετο ἔμπροσθεν ἀναβαίνων εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα.
Luke said that Jesus had said these things (Καὶ εἰπὼν ταῦτα). He had finished this parable about the slaves and how they used the 10 minas. Then he went on ahead (ἐπορεύετο ἔμπροσθεν) going up to Jerusalem (ἀναβαίνων εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα). This would begin the so-called Passion week narrative. Not only will the 3 synoptic gospel writers but also the Gospel of John describe this passion week. This triumphal entry into Jerusalem will be the highlight of the career of Jesus. For Luke, Jesus had been on a long journey to the holy city that began 10 chapters earlier. His entrance into Jerusalem was like a royal procession that has led to the Roman Catholic practice of Palm Sunday, that is actually based on John, chapter 12:12-13. John said that a great crowd had come to Jerusalem for the Passover festival, so that they took palm tree branches and went out to meet Jesus. Do you like Palm Sunday?
“Then the devil
He placed him
On the pinnacle
Of the Temple.
He said to him.
‘If you are
The Son of God,
Throw yourself down
Ἤγαγεν δὲ αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ καὶ ἔστησεν ἐπὶ τὸ πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ, καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, βάλε σεαυτὸν ἐντεῦθεν κάτω·
There is a difference between Matthew, chapter 4:5 and Luke here, since Luke has this temptation as the last temptation, not the second one. However, the wording is nearly the same, indicating a shared common source. Luke said that the devil took or led Jesus to Jerusalem (Ἤγαγεν δὲ αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ). He placed or set him on the pinnacle of the Temple (καὶ ἔστησεν ἐπὶ τὸ πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ). He said to Jesus (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ). If he was the Son of God (Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ), he could throw or cast himself down from there (βάλε σεαυτὸν ἐντεῦθεν κάτω). This devil took Jesus to the holy city of Jerusalem, where he placed Jesus on the top of the Temple. Once again, the devil said that if Jesus was truly the Son of God, he could throw himself down because God would provide for him.
“After his resurrection,
They came out
Of the tombs.
The holy city.
To many people.”
καὶ ἐξελθόντες ἐκ τῶν μνημείων μετὰ τὴν ἔγερσιν αὐτοῦ εἰσῆλθον εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν καὶ ἐνεφανίσθησαν πολλοῖς.
Once again, this is unique to Matthew, since the other 3 gospels do not mention any appearance of holy dead people in Jerusalem. Matthew clearly said that after the resurrection of Jesus (μετὰ τὴν ἔγερσιν αὐτοῦ), these holy righteous ones came out of their tombs (καὶ ἐξελθόντες ἐκ τῶν μνημείων). They entered the holy city (εἰσῆλθον εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν) of Jerusalem, where they appeared to many people (καὶ ἐνεφανίσθησαν πολλοῖς). Thus, the general resurrection of the dead at the end times had already occurred.
“Then the devil took Jesus
To the holy city.
He placed him
On the pinnacle
Of the temple.
He said to him.
If you are the Son of God,
Throw yourself down.
It is written.
‘He will command his angels
‘On their hands,
They will bear you up,
So that you will not dash
Against a stone.’”
Τότε παραλαμβάνει αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν, καὶ ἔστησεν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ,
καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, βάλε σεαυτὸν κάτω· γέγραπται γὰρ ὅτι Τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ ἐντελεῖται περὶ σοῦ καὶ ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε, μή ποτε προσκόψῃς πρὸς λίθον τὸν πόδα σου.
There is a difference between Matthew and Luke, chapter 4:5-11, since Luke has this temptation as the last temptation, not the second one. However, the wording is the same indicating a shared common source, perhaps Q. Interesting enough, the devil or the tempter cited Psalm 91:11-12, so that even the devil can quote scripture. This devil took Jesus to the holy city (Τότε παραλαμβάνει αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν), which was Jerusalem. The devil placed Jesus on the top of the Temple (καὶ ἔστησεν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ). Once again, the devil said that if Jesus was truly the Son of God (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ), he could throw himself down (βάλε σεαυτὸν κάτω). Then God’s angels would catch him (γέγραπται γὰρ ὅτι Τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ). The devil, citing Psalm 91:11-12, said that God would command these angels to protect him (ἐντελεῖται περὶ σοῦ). They could catch him in their hands (καὶ ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε), as if angels had hands. Thus, their feet would never touch a stone (καὶ ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε). Yahweh, in this original psalm was going to send his angels to protect the good ones, so that they would never stub their feet on any stones.
“Harness the steeds
To the chariots!
Inhabitants of Lachish!
It was here that
The beginning of sin came
To the daughter of Zion.
Were found in you.”
Lachish was the most famous and well know city of the Shephelah low land area of Israel. Lachish was the 2nd most important city in Judah, but not a holy city like Jerusalem. This might indicate that these other towns were close to Lachish in the same area. The people of Lachish were to get their horses and chariots ready, because they were the cause of the sin and the beginning of the transgressions for Zion and Israel. The Assyrians had captured this city in 701 BCE.
With the violence
Done to your brother Jacob
Means that shame
Shall cover you!
You shall be cut off forever!
On the day
That you stood aside,
On the day
Carried off his wealth,
On the day
Entered his gates,
On the day
That they cast lots
You too were
Like one of them.”
For all the violence and slaughter that was done to Edom’s brother Jacob, shame would come upon the Edomites. They would be cut off forever. In other words, these Edomites were as guilty as the strangers who attacked Jerusalem. On that day of attack on the holy city, when the foreigners and strangers entered the gates of Jerusalem and took their wealth, the Edomites were like the attackers who were casting lots for Jerusalem. They were just like these invaders in their complicity. They did nothing to help the people of Jerusalem and Judah.
“Yahweh has chosen Zion.
He has desired it for his habitation.
‘This is my resting place forever.
Here I will reside.
I have desired it.
I will abundantly bless its provisions.
I will satisfy its poor with bread.
I will clothe its priests with salvation.
Its faithful will shout for joy.
There I will cause a horn to sprout up for David.
I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one.
I will clothe his enemies with shame.
But upon him,
His crown will gleam.’”
This psalm ends with Yahweh’s promise to remain at Zion, Jerusalem. Yahweh has chosen Zion for his dwelling place. He was going to rest there at his new residence. He desired to live there. He was going to provide for the poor people there with provisions and bread. The priests would be provided with saving clothes, while the faithful would be full of joyful shouts. David would have his horn of plenty full. He would have a lamp for the anointed one, David. His enemies would be clothed in shame, while David’s crown would gleam. Thus the combination of the Ark of the Covenant, the covenant with David, and Jerusalem as the holy city are all combined into one thought here at the conclusion of this psalm.
You are enthroned forever.
Your name endures to all generations.
You wilt rise up.
You will have compassion on Zion.
It is time to favor it.
The appointed time has come.
Your servants hold its stones dear.
Have pity on its dust.
The nations will fear the name of Yahweh.
All the kings of the earth fear your glory.
Yahweh will build up Zion.
He will appear in his glory.
He will regard the prayer of the destitute.
He will not despise their prayer.”
There is this beautiful hymn to Yahweh, who is enthroned as king forever. His name will endure through all generations. He will rise up and have compassion on Zion, his holy city and temple. The appointed time has come. His servants hold its stones holy. Yahweh should have pity on its dust. All the countries and kings would fear the name and glory of Yahweh. Yahweh would rebuild Zion and appear in all his glory. He has regard for the prayer of the destitute and will not despise their prayers.
“What Judas Maccabeus saw was this. Onias, who had been high priest, was a noble and good man of modest bearing and gentle manner. He spoke fittingly. He had been trained from childhood in all that belongs to excellence. He was praying with outstretched hands for the whole body of the Jews. Then in the same fashion another appeared, distinguished by his gray hair and dignity. He had a marvelous majesty and authority. Onias spoke, saying.
‘This is a man who loves the family of Israel.
He prays much for the people and the holy city.
He is Jeremiah, the prophet of God.’
Jeremiah stretched out his right hand. He gave to Judas Maccabeus a golden sword. As he gave it he addressed him thus.
‘Take this holy sword,
As a gift from God,
With which you will strike down your adversaries.’”
Judas Maccabeus revealed his dream about the noble and good Onias who had been the Jerusalem high priest in the 3rd century BCE. In fact, there were other high priests with the same name related to him. This high priest Onias was a modest and a gentle person, who had been trained since childhood in excellence. He prayed with outstretched hands for the Jews. However, right beside Onias was a distinguished dignified gray haired man. In fact, Onias introduced him as Jeremiah the great prophet of God who loved Israel and prayed for its people and its holy city. Then Jeremiah, this great prophet, extended his hand to Judas Maccabeus to give him a holy golden sword so that he could strike down his adversaries. This was taken as a sign that Judas would be successful.
“While the holy city was inhabited in unbroken peace, the laws were strictly observed. This was due to the piety of the high priest Onias and his hatred of wickedness. It came about that the kings themselves honored the place and glorified the temple with the finest presents. Even King Seleucus of Asia defrayed from his own revenues all the expenses connected with the service of the sacrifices.”
This author reminds us of the good old days when things were peaceful in Jerusalem. The Mosaic laws were strictly observed because the good pious high priest, Onias III was in charge from 199-175 BCE. He hated wickedness. In fact, the Seleucid dynasty of kings honored this Second Jerusalem Temple with many presents, especially the Asian King Seleucus IV (186-175 BCE). Everything was wonderful because this king sent money to defray the expenses of the Temple in Jerusalem. 175 BCE seems to be the turning point here. Before that, everyone was happy.