No home for Jesus (Lk 9:58-9:58)

“Jesus said to him.

‘Foxes have holes.

Birds of the air

Have nests.

But the Son of Man

Has nowhere

To lay his head.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Αἱ ἀλώπεκες φωλεοὺς ἔχουσιν καὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνώσεις, ὁ δὲ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἔχει ποῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν κλίνῃ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus responded to this man (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) who wanted to follow him.  He said to him that foxes have their holes (Αἱ ἀλώπεκες φωλεοὺς ἔχουσιν).  Birds of the air have their nests (καὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνώσεις).  But the Son of Man (ὁ δὲ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) has nowhere to lay his head (οὐκ ἔχει ποῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν κλίνῃ).  He was homeless.  This saying of Jesus is exactly the same in Matthew, chapter 8:20, indicating a possible Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus responded to this Scribe by telling him that he was homeless.  Foxes had foxholes.  Birds of the air had nests.  However, the Son of Man had nowhere to put his head.  The term “Son of Man” expression might be based on the Book of Daniel, chapter 7:13.  This Son of Man was given dominion, glory and kingship over all people, nations, and languages.  Everyone would serve him, since his kingdom would last forever, and never be destroyed.  This has been often interpreted as the coming of the Messiah, the savior.  Jesus and his disciples clearly used this term.  However, in the Book of Ezekiel, Yahweh used this term for Ezekiel.  So that, the “Son of Man” may also mean that Jesus was trying to point out his humanity, like everyone else.  Jesus continued to refer to himself in the 3rd person as the Son of Man.  Here Jesus had less than foxes or birds, since he had no permanent home on earth.  Have you ever been homeless?

The prophet Anna (Lk 2:36-2:36)

“There was a prophet,

Anna,

The daughter of Phanuel,

Of the tribe of Asher.

She was of a great age.

She had lived

With her husband

Seven years

After her marriage.”

 

Καὶ ἦν Ἄννα προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ· αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη ἑπτὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς,

 

Next Luke introduced a female prophet, Anna.  There were some female prophets in the biblical literature like Miriam in Exodus, chapter 15:20, the sister of Aaron and Moses, who was called a prophet like her brother Aaron, the first instance of women worshiping God.  Deborah, in Judges, chapter 4:4, was a married woman prophet from the northern tribe of Ephraim who led troops into battle.  Finally, Huddah in 2 Kings, chapter 22:14-20, was one of the few mentioned female prophets.  The elders in Jerusalem consulted her about what to do with a holy book.  Her response led to the religious revival under King Josiah (640-609 BCE).  Like the other Israelite male and female prophets, Anna interpreted God’s will for his people.  Luke said that there was a prophet Anna (Καὶ ἦν Ἄννα προφῆτις), the daughter of Phanuel (θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ), of the northern tribe of Asher (ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ).  Her father’s name Phanuel was considered to be the fourth of the great archangels with Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel, according to the 3rd century BCE work, the Book of Enoch, but there is no implication here that she was angelic.  Thus, she was not a local Judean, but a northern Galilean Jewish person from Asher.  She was greatly advanced in years (τη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς), since she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage (ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη ἑπτὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς).  She had become a widow.

Bible Model

The Gospel message is an interpretation of Jesus.  Jesus did not write anything.  We have his oral preaching about the Kingdom of God that was written and interpreted by his followers.  Was Jesus just a historical peasant revolutionary?  No, the Jesus of the inspired New Testament is the Pauline Risen Christ.  Paul never met the historical Jesus, Jesus was number one for him.  The biblical language is a confessional language, a love language.  For the early followers of Christianity, as represented in the New Testament, clearly Jesus was unique for them.  They were positive about Jesus.

The anointed prince (Dan 9:25-9:27)

“Know therefore!

Understand!

From the time

That the word

Went out

To restore,

To rebuild

Jerusalem,

Until the time

To the coming

Of an anointed prince,

There shall be seven weeks.

For sixty-two weeks,

It shall be built again

With streets,

With a moat,

But in a troubled time.”

Once again, there is the problem of weeks and years. Clearly the text says weeks. Many have interpreted as years, 7 weeks as 7 times 7 or 49 years, and 62 weeks as 7 times 62 or 434 years. It would take a period of time to rebuild Jerusalem. That was clear and everyone knew and understood that. Who then is this new anointed prince? Is this a messianic expectation? From the time of the announcement of the rebuilding of Jerusalem, it would take 7 weeks (or 49 years) before this new anointed prince would take over. Was this a reference to the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the captivity or the 2nd century BCE Greek takeover of the Temple? Finally, it would take 62 weeks (434 years) to rebuild the city with streets and a moat. However, even this time would be troubled. There are more questions than answers here.

The son of man (Dan 7:13-7:14)

“As I watched

In the night visions,

I saw one,

Like a son of man,

Coming with the clouds

Of heaven.

He came

To the Ancient One.

He was presented

Before him.

To him,

Was given dominion,

Glory,

Kingship.

All people,

All nations,

All languages

Should serve him.

His dominion is

An everlasting dominion.

It shall not pass away.

His kingdom is one

That shall never be destroyed.”

Daniel also saw in his night visions, something like the son of man coming from heaven. This son of man went to the Ancient One and presented himself to God. However, he was given dominion, glory and kingship over all people, nations, and languages. Everyone would serve him, since his kingdom would last forever, and never be destroyed. This had been often interpreted as the coming of the Messiah, the savior. The usage of the term ‘son of man’ may be a reference to Jesus, since he and his disciples used this term. However, in the Book of Ezekiel, Yahweh used this term for Ezekiel. Here it may also mean a symbol of faithful Jews or the archangel Michael, although he might not be a son of man.

Daniel sees the king (Dan 4:8-4:9)

“At last Daniel

Came in

Before me.

He was named

Belteshazzar,

After the name

Of my god.

He was endowed

With a spirit

Of the holy gods.

I told him the dream.

‘O Belteshazzar!

Chief of the magicians!

I know

That you are endowed

With a spirit

Of the holy gods!

No mystery

Is too difficult

For you.

Hear!

This is the dream

That I saw.

Tell me

Its interpretation.’”

Finally, Daniel came in to see the king. As with his companions, King Nebuchadnezzar had given Daniel a Babylonian name, Belteshazzar, based on the name of his Babylonian god, Bel. The king realized that Daniel, like Joseph with the Egyptian Pharaoh, had special spiritual powers. After all, in chapter 2, Daniel knew and interpreted his dream. The king called Daniel the chief of the magicians. He thought that no mystery would be too difficult for Daniel, because of the special divine powers that he had. Thus, the king was not afraid to tell Daniel, or Belteshazzar, his dream or ask for an interpretation.

The bronze man (Ezek 40:3-40:4)

“When he brought me there,

A man was there.

His appearance shone

Like bronze.

He had a linen cord

With a measuring reed

In his hand.

He was standing

In the gateway.

The man said to me.

‘Son of man!

Look closely!

Listen attentively!

Set your mind

Upon all

That I shall show you.

You were brought here

In order

That I might show it

To you.

Declare all

That you see

To the house of Israel!’”

Who was this bronze man? He was not a comic book superhero, but a man that appeared to be bronze. Was he a deeply tanned man? Was he an angel of God? Was he God himself? Many have interpreted him as an angel or messenger as in other later Second Temple literature. Genesis, chapter 18, has similar appearances of men who were either angels of God or God himself. Anyway, this bronze man greeted Ezekiel at the gateway. He had in his hand a linen cord to measure short distances and a measuring reed to measure long distances. Then this man also called Ezekiel the son of man, just like Yahweh had. This bronze man told him to look closely and listen attentively. He was to keep his mind focused on what this guy was going to show him. After Ezekiel had seen this, he was then to tell the house of Israel about it. For the next few chapters, this bronze man will be the guide who measured the Temple for Ezekiel.