Tombs opened (Mt 27:52-27:52)

“The tombs also

Were opened.

Many bodies

Of the saints,

Who had fallen asleep.

Were raised.”

 

καὶ τὰ μνημεῖα ἀνεῴχθησαν καὶ πολλὰ σώματα τῶν κεκοιμημένων ἁγίων ἠγέρθησαν·

 

This is unique to Matthew, since the other 3 gospels do not mention anything about tombs, bodies, or saints being raised.  However, Matthew clearly said that the tombs were also opened (καὶ τὰ μνημεῖα ἀνεῴχθησαν), so that many bodies of the holy saints, who had fallen asleep (καὶ πολλὰ σώματα τῶν κεκοιμημένων ἁγίων), arose or were raised up (ἠγέρθησαν).  It was the general Jewish expectation that at the end times, the Day of Yahweh, that the dead would rise, especially among the Pharisees.  The holy ones or saints were the righteous ones who had died before Jesus.

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The holy angels speak (Dan 8:13-8:14)

“Then I heard

A holy one speaking.

Another holy one

Said to the one

That spoke.

‘For how long

Is this vision

Concerning

The regular burnt offering

Continue?

This transgression

Makes desolate

The sanctuary.

How long will

The sanctuary

With the host

Be trampled?’

He answered.

‘For two thousand three hundred

Evenings and mornings.

Then the sanctuary

Shall be restored

To its rightful state.’”

Here Daniel has a conversation between 2 holy ones, probably a reference to angels. One holy one or angel wanted to know how long the lack of the regular burnt offerings at the sanctuary would continue. The transgression of the sanctuary meant that the it and the people who worked there, the hosts, the priests, were trampled under. The response of the other angel was an exact time, 2,300 evenings and mornings, that turns out to be 1,150 days or about 3 ½ years. It was about 3 years that the sanctuary was defiled until 164 BCE.

 

The interpretation of the four great beasts (Dan 7:16-7:18)

“I approached

One of the attendants

To ask him

The truth

Concerning all this.

So,

He said

That he would disclose

To me.

The interpretation

Of the matter.

‘As for these four great beasts,

Four kings

Shall arise

Out of the earth.

But the holy ones

Of the Most High God

Shall receive the kingdom.

They shall possess

The kingdom forever,

Forever and ever.’”

In a strange way, Daniel approached one of the people in his dream or vision to ask for an interpretation of his dream. In fact, it seems to be just one of the attendants standing around there. Daniel wanted to know the truth and the interpretation about these 4 beasts. Then, this attendant told him that the 4 beasts were 4 kings that rose up and ruled. However, the holy ones of the Most High God got possession of the kingdom. They were then going to have possession of this kingdom forever. It was not clear whether the other 4 kings had ruled this same kingdom or other kingdoms.

The decision is final (Dan 4:17-4:17)

“‘This sentence is

Rendered by decree

Of the watchers.

The decision

Is given

By order

Of the holy ones.

All who live

May know

That the Most High

Is sovereign

Over the kingdoms

Of mortals.

He gives it

To whom he will.

He sets over it

The lowliest

Of human beings.’”

The holy watcher or angel explained that this decree and sentence was final, because it was given by order of the watchers or holy ones, who live with the Most High God. God was over all mortal kingdoms. He can give and take away human kingdoms. He sets kings up. He sometimes takes the lowliest of humans to be kings.

The response of the unjust (Wis 5:3-5:8)

“They will say.

‘These are persons

Whom we once held in derision.

We made them a byword of reproach.

We were fools!

We thought that their lives were madness.

Their end was without honor.

Why have they been numbered

Among the children of God?

Why is their lot among the saints?

So it was we

Who strayed from the way of truth.

The light of righteousness did not shine on us.

The sun did not rise upon us.

We took our fill of the paths of lawlessness.

We took our fill of the paths of destruction.

We journeyed through trackless deserts.

But the way of the Lord

We have not known.

What has our arrogance profited us?

What good has our boasted wealth brought us?’”

The unjust laid out their complaint. They said that they derided and reproached these people. They thought that their lives were madness and without honor. It turns out that they are the fools, because the righteous are numbered among the sons or children of God (υἱοῖς Θεοῦ), the holy ones (ἁγίοις), not them. The unjust suddenly realized that they had strayed from the truth (ἀληθείας). The light of righteousness and the sun were not going to shine on them. They had followed the path of lawlessness and destruction through trackless deserts. They did not know the way of the Lord (ὁδὸν Κυρίου). Their arrogance and wealth became useless.

Praise Yahweh (Ps 89:5-89:7)

“Let the heavens praise your wonders!

Yahweh!

Your faithfulness is in the assembly of the holy ones.

Who in the skies can be compared to Yahweh?

Who among the heavenly beings is like Yahweh?

Yahweh is a God feared in the council of the holy ones.

Yahweh is great and terrible.

He is above all that is around him.”

The heavens should praise the wonders of Yahweh. His faithfulness can be seen in the assembly of the holy ones. There seems to be some kind of divine heavenly council of the holy ones. Perhaps this is a projection of the assembly of the Temple councils of holy men here on earth. Obviously, no one could compare with Yahweh. He was feared by all. He was great and terrible at the same time above all that surrounded him.