Only the foreigner returned (Lk 17:18-17:18)

“None of them

Returned

To give praise

To God

Except this foreigner.”

 

οὐχ εὑρέθησαν ὑποστρέψαντες δοῦναι δόξαν τῷ Θεῷ εἰ μὴ ὁ ἀλλογενὴς οὗτος;

 

Only Luke has this story about the curing of the ten lepers.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that none of the others could be found (οὐχ εὑρέθησαν) to return (ὑποστρέψαντες) and give glory or praise (δοῦναι δόξαν) to God (τῷ Θεῷ), except this foreigner (εἰ μὴ ὁ ἀλλογενὴς οὗτος).  Luke was the only biblical writer to use this word ἀλλογενὴς, that means of another race or another nation, a foreigner.  Clearly, Luke indicated that Jesus was steeped in racial animosity, since he considered these Samaritans as foreigners, another race of people.  However, Jesus had more compassion for them in the stories of Luke than in the other gospel stories, where they are ignored.  The prophet Elisha in 2 Kings, chapter 5, had also cured a foreign leper, Naaman, the commander of the Aramean army in a fairly complicated story.  Do you have racial animosity towards those not of your culture?

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Yahweh is in charge of the future (Isa 48:3-48:4)

“These former things

I declared long ago.

They went out from my mouth.

I made them known.

Then suddenly I did them.

They came to pass.

Because I know

That you are obstinate.

Your neck is an iron sinew.

Your forehead is brass.”

Second Isaiah has Yahweh say that he had declared a long time ago from his own mouth what was going to happen before it suddenly happened. He wanted the hard headed Israelites to know this. However, these obstinate stiff necked people with iron wills and hard brass foreheads ignored this.

They refuse wisdom (Prov 1:24-1:33)

“I have called.

But you have refused.

I have stretched out my hand.

Yet no one has heeded it.

You have ignored all my counsel.

You would have none of my reproof.

I also will laugh at your calamity.

I will mock you

When panic strikes.

When panic strikes you

Like a storm.

Your calamity comes like a whirlwind.

When distress and anguish comes upon you,

Then they will call upon me.

But I will not answer.

They will seek me diligently.

But they will not find me.

Because they hated knowledge

They did not choose the fear of Yahweh.

They would have none of my counsel.

They despised all my reproof.

Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way.

They shall be sated with their own devices.

Waywardness kills the simple.

The complacency of fools destroys them.

But those who listens to me

Will be secure.

They will live at ease

Without dread of disaster.”

Wisdom continues to speak in the first person singular. Wisdom called but they refused to listen. Wisdom stretched out her hand but no one heeded her. They ignored all her counsel. They would not accept her criticism. Now the tables were turned. When calamity and panic hit them like a storm, she would then laugh and mock them. When they might be in distress and anguish, they might call on wisdom, like they did Yahweh. However, wisdom was not going to answer. They might seek her, but they will not find her. They have chosen not to fear Yahweh so that wisdom will not come to them. They hate knowledge and do not accept her counsel. They despised her criticism so that they will eat the fruit of their way. They are full of their own devices. Waywardness kills the simple. Complacent fools destroy themselves. However, those who listen to wisdom will be secure, at ease, and without any fear of disaster.

The letter of King Antiochus V to the Jewish senate (2 Macc 11:27-11:33)

“To the nation the king’s letter was as follows.

‘King Antiochus,

To the senate of the Jews and to the other Jews,

Greetings!

If you are well,

It is as we desire.

We also are in good health.

Menelaus has informed us

That you wish to return home.

You wish to look after your own affairs.

Therefore those who go home

By the thirtieth day of Xanthicus

Will have our pledge of friendship and full permission.

The Jews will enjoy their own food and laws,

Just as formerly,

None of them shall be molested in any way

For what he may have done in ignorance.

I have also sent Menelaus to encourage you.

Farewell.

The one hundred forty-eighth year,

Xanthicus fifteenth.’”

The king once again, like Lysias, ignored Judas Maccabeus. The letter was addressed to the Jewish Senate and all the Jews. In fact, Menelaus, the high priest, is the real intermediary. The king sent his good will through Menelaus, during the 13th day of the month of Xanthicus, March or April, of 164 BCE. He understood that they wanted to take care of their own affairs. He hoped that they were in good health as he was. They could now enjoy their own food and laws without any bother. They could also return to their own lands in the next 2 weeks. He still held out the possibility of further harassment because they might disobey out of ignorance.