Bad things ahead (Lk 19:44-19:44)

“They will crush you

To the ground,

You

And your children

Within you.

They will not leave

Within you

One stone

Upon another.

You did not recognize

The time of your visitation

From God.”                                                                

 

καὶ ἐδαφιοῦσίν σε καὶ τὰ τέκνα σου ἐν σοί, καὶ οὐκ ἀφήσουσιν λίθον ἐπὶ λίθον ἐν σοί, ἀνθ’ ὧν οὐκ ἔγνως τὸν καιρὸν τῆς ἐπισκοπῆς σου.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the enemies would crush Jerusalem to the ground (καὶ ἐδαφιοῦσίν σε).  Luke was the only one among all the Greek biblical writers to use this word ἐδαφιοῦσίν, that means to raze, dash to the ground, or level with the ground.  Jesus used the second personal singular, when he said that the city along with their children or inhabitants (καὶ τὰ τέκνα σου ἐν σοί) would be destroyed.  Their enemies would not leave one stone upon another in that city (καὶ οὐκ ἀφήσουσιν λίθον ἐπὶ λίθον ἐν σοί), because the people of Jerusalem had not recognized the time of the visitation from God (ἀνθ’ ὧν οὐκ ἔγνως τὸν καιρὸν τῆς ἐπισκοπῆς σου), Jesus himself.  In predicting the future fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE, Jesus projected many of the same warnings that the Israelite and Judean prophets had proclaimed before the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BCE.  The people of Jerusalem had failed to recognize what was happening around them.  Are you aware of your situation in the city that you live?

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The lepers at the time of Elisha (Lk 4:27-4:27)

“There were also many lepers

In Israel

At the time

Of the prophet Elisha.

None of them

Was cleansed,

Except Naaman,

The Syrian.”

 

καὶ πολλοὶ λεπροὶ ἦσαν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ ἐπὶ Ἑλισαίου τοῦ προφήτου, καὶ οὐδεὶς αὐτῶν ἐκαθαρίσθη εἰ μὴ Ναιμὰν ὁ Σύρος.

 

Luke then cited another unique story about the prophet Elisha, the prophet who followed Elijah in the 9th century BCE.  He too was well known for his exploits in the first 13 chapters of 2 Kings.  This episode was about Naaman, the commander of the Aramean army, who suffered from some kind of leprosy.  Naaman asked his king if he could go get a cure from a prophet he had heard about.  Elisha told the king to send Naaman to him so that he could cure him.  He told Naaman to wash himself 7 times in the Jordan River.  This made Naaman very upset.  Finally, he went and immersed himself 7 times in the Jordan River.  Thus, he was cured of his leprosy, as found in 2 Kings, 5:1-14.  Luke said that there were also many lepers (καὶ πολλοὶ λεπροὶ ἦσαν) in Israel (ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ) at the time of the prophet Elisha (ἐπὶ Ἑλισαίου τοῦ προφήτου).  None of them were cleansed (καὶ οὐδεὶς αὐτῶν ἐκαθαρίσθη), except Naaman, the Syrian (εἰ μὴ Ναιμὰν ὁ Σύρος).  Syrian and Aramean are almost the same.  The key idea was that someone other than an Israelite was cured.

The future of Jesus (Mt 16:21-16:21)

“From that time on,

Jesus Christ began

To show

His disciples

That he must go

To Jerusalem.

He would undergo

Great suffering

At the hands

Of the elders,

The chief priests,

And the Scribes.

He would be killed.

However,

On the third day

Be raised up.”

 

Ἀπὸ τότε ἤρξατο Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς δεικνύειν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ ὅτι δεῖ αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἀπελθεῖν καὶ πολλὰ παθεῖν ἀπὸ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων καὶ ἀρχιερέων καὶ γραμματέων καὶ ἀποκτανθῆναι καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ ἐγερθῆναι.

 

Jesus began to talk about his future suffering that can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 8:31, Luke, chapter 9:22, and here, almost word for word.  Notice that Matthew and the other synoptics do not blame the Pharisees or the Sadducees for the suffering and death of Jesus.  There also was no mention of Roman authorities.  Matthew disliked Jerusalem and everything and everybody attached to it.  For the first time he used the full name of Jesus Christ (Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς).  From that time on (Ἀπὸ τότε), after Jesus had set up Peter in charge, Jesus Christ began to show or let his disciples know (ἤρξατο Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς δεικνύειν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ) that he had to go to Jerusalem (ὅτι δεῖ αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἀπελθεῖν).  There he would undergo great suffering (καὶ πολλὰ παθεῖν) from the Israelite Jerusalem elders or presbyters (ἀπὸ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων), the chief priests (καὶ ἀρχιερέων), and the Scribes (καὶ γραμματέων).  Eventually, he would be killed (καὶ ἀποκτανθῆναι), but he would be raised up on the 3rd day (καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ ἐγερθῆναι).

Against the shepherds of Israel (Ezek 34:1-34:2)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man! 

Prophesy

Against the shepherds

Of Israel!

Prophesy!

Say to them!

Say to the shepherds!

Thus says Yahweh God!

Ah!

Shepherds of Israel!

You have been feeding

Yourselves!

Should not shepherds

Feed the sheep?’”

As usual, Yahweh told Ezekiel, the son of man, to prophesy. However, this time it is not against a country, but against the shepherds or leaders of Israel. The idea of the leader as shepherd was an ancient Middle Eastern concept that the early Christians also used with Jesus Christ as the good shepherd. These Israelite shepherds or leaders were not feeding their sheep. Instead, they were only feeding themselves.

Like a funeral (Bar 6:31-6:32)

“In these temples

Of false gods,

The priests sit

With their clothes

Torn.

Their heads

Are shaved.

Their beards

Are shaved.

Their heads

Are uncovered.

They howl.

They shout

Before their gods

As some do

At a funeral banquet.”

The priests of these false idol gods sit in the temples with their clothes torn, as if in mourning. They have their heads and beards shaven with nothing to cover their heads. The Israelite and Judean priests always covered their heads, and they normally did not shave their beards. These priests of the false gods, on the other hand, howled and shouted before the images of their gods. They acted like they were at a funeral meal for their dying gods.

Desolate Moab towns (Jer 48:34-48:34)

“Heshbon cries out.

Elealeh cries out.

As far as Jahaz,

They utter their voice,

From Zoar

To Horonaim,

To Eglath-shelishiyah.

Even the waters of Nimrim

Have become desolate.”

This continues with the same ideas as in Isaiah, chapter 15. Everybody was crying out from the towns of Heshbon and Elealeh, in the Israelite Reuben territory, upper Moab. This crying could be heard 25 miles away north in Jahaz, a Levitical city near Gilead that was given to Gad in Joshua, chapter 21. These Moabite fugitives fled south to the tip of the Dead Sea near Zoar, which is on the southeast end of the Dead Sea. They also fled to the surrounding towns of Eglath-shelishiyah and Horonaim, near the ascent of the Luhith hills, in southern Moab near Zoar. The cries of the Moabites could be heard everywhere. The waters of Nimrim were desolate with nothing growing beside it. Only Jeremiah and Isaiah make any reference to these waters of Nimrim.

Against corrupt leaders (Isa 56:9-56:12)

“All you wild animals!

All you wild animals in the forest!

Come to devour!

Israel’s sentinels are blind.

They are all without knowledge.

They are all silent dogs.

They cannot bark.

They are dreaming.

They are lying down.

They love to slumber.

The dogs have a mighty appetite.

They never have enough.

The shepherds also have no understanding.

They have all turned to their own way.

They have turned to their own gain,

One and all.

‘Come!’

They say.

‘Let us get wine!

Let us fill ourselves with strong drink!

Tomorrow will be like today!

It will be great beyond measure.’”

Third Isaiah has a diatribe against the Israelite corrupt leaders. They are like wild animals that have come to devour the people. The sentinels or watchmen of Israel are the blind prophets who seem to have no knowledge of anything. These so-called prophets are like silent dogs that do not bark. All they do is lay around dreaming in their sleep, but they have a mighty appetite. The shepherds are the rulers who have no understanding of anything. All they care about is their own gains. All they want to do is sit around and drink strong wine. Their motto is that things will be greater tomorrow, so do not worry about today. These are the corrupt leaders of Israel.