Jesus goes to Galilee (Lk 4:14-4:14)

“Then Jesus,

Filled with

The power

Of the Spirit,

Returned to Galilee.

A report

About him

Spread through

All the surrounding

Countryside.”

 

Καὶ ὑπέστρεψεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ Πνεύματος εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν· καὶ φήμη ἐξῆλθεν καθ’ ὅλης τῆς περιχώρου περὶ αὐτοῦ.

 

There is no doubt that Jesus taught in Galilee, since this was his home base.  Much like Matthew, chapter 4:12, and Mark, chapter 1:14, after his temptations, Luke had Jesus return to Galilee.  However, Luke had no mention of the arrest of John, since he had already mentioned that earlier in chapter 3:19-20.  John had Jesus also go back to Galilee in chapter 4:3.  Luke said that Jesus was filled with the power of the Spirit (ἐν τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ Πνεύματος), a favorite and unique statement by Luke.  He said that Jesus returned to Galilee (Καὶ ὑπέστρεψεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς…εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν).  Matthew had Jesus going to Galilee, just like his father Joseph had done years earlier.  He used a citation from Isaiah to explain why Jesus was in Galilee.  Galilee was about 80 miles north of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea area, originally part of the Israelite tribal territories of Issachar, Zebulun, Naphtali, and Asher, the northern tribes.  Mark said that Jesus went into Galilee preaching the gospel or good news about God, while the message of Matthew was about the good news of the kingdom of heaven.  Luke said that a report (καὶ φήμη) about Jesus (περὶ αὐτοῦ) spread throughout or over (ἐξῆλθεν) all the surrounding countryside (καθ’ ὅλης τῆς περιχώρου), but there was no indication in Luke what the message of Jesus was.  Clearly, Jesus was active in Galilee.

John was arrested (Mk 1:14-1:14)

“After John was arrested,

Jesus came

Into Galilee,

Preaching

The gospel of God.”

 

Καὶ μετὰ τὸ παραδοθῆναι τὸν Ἰωάνην ἦλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Θεοῦ

 

The beginning of the ministry of Jesus in Galilee can be found in all 4 gospel stories, Matthew, chapter 4:12, which is very close to Mark here.  Luke, chapter 4:14, has no mention of the arrest of John the Baptist’s arrest, while John 4:1-3 said that there was a comparison between Jesus and John the Baptist.  In all cases, it took place after the temptations of Jesus, except for John who had no mention of any temptations for Jesus.  Mark said that now that John had been arrested or handed over (Καὶ μετὰ τὸ παραδοθῆναι τὸν Ἰωάνην), Jesus went into Galilee (ἦλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν), preaching the gospel or good news about God. (κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Jesus knew that that John the Baptist had been arrested, without any clear indication why.  Although this text does not mention him by name, Herod Antipas, the son of King Herod, was in charge of Galilee from 4 BCE-39 CE.  He was the one who arrested John.   This might have been a warning sign to Jesus to get away from the Jordan River area.  However, Jesus went back to Galilee, about 80 miles north of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea area.  This area was originally part of the Israelite tribal territories of Issachar, Zebulun, Naphtali, and Asher.  Matthew, chapter 4:14-16 used a citation from Isaiah, chapter 9:1-5, to explain why Jesus was in Galilee.  Jesus was preaching about the good news or gospel of God, not as Matthew portrayed Jesus as teaching about the kingdom of heaven.

The three gates on the south side (Ezek 48:33-48:33)

“On the south side,

It shall be  

Four thousand five hundred cubits

By measure.

The three gates are

The gate of Simeon,

The gate of Issachar,

The gate of Zebulun.”

On the south side, three lesser known tribes had gates. Simeon had very few people, while Issachar and Zebulun were small northern territories.

The tribe of Zebulun (Ezek 48:26-48:26)

“Adjoining the territory

Of Issachar,

From the east side

To the west side,

Zebulun shall have

One portion.”

Originally, in Joshua, chapter 19, Zebulun had a small territory near Issachar and Naphtali. Here it is mentioned as next to Issachar, but somehow it is considered with these other southern tribes. There is no doubt that it was a small tribe.

The Passover lamb (2 Chr 30:15-30:20)

“They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed. They sanctified themselves. They brought burnt offerings into the house of Yahweh. They took their accustomed posts according to the Law of Moses, the man of God. The priests dashed the blood that they received from the hands of the Levites. For there were many in the assembly who had not sanctified themselves. Therefore the Levites had to slaughter the Passover lamb for everyone who was not clean, to make it holy to Yahweh. A multitude of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than as prescribed. But King Hezekiah prayed for them, saying.

‘The good Yahweh pardon all

Who set their hearts to seek God,

Yahweh the God of their ancestors,

Even though not in accordance

With the sanctuary’s rules of cleanness.’

Yahweh heard King Hezekiah. He healed the people.”

They celebrated the Passover on the 14th day of the 2nd month instead of the 1st month. There were problems with such a large collection of people. There were not enough priests so that Levites had to help out. Some of the northern tribe people were not purified and therefore unclean. King Hezekiah prayed that God would forgive those who were unclean. He was asking for a dispensation for those who came to the Passover unclean. Yahweh heard his voice. He healed his people.

Various tribal leaders (1 Chr 27:16-27:22)

“Over the tribes of Israel,

For the Reubenites Eliezer son of Zichri was chief officer.

For the Simeonites, Shephatiah son of Maacah was chief officer.

For Levi, Hashabiah son of Kemuel was chief officer.

For Aaron, Zadok was chief officer.

For Judah, Elihu, one of David’s brothers was chief officer.

For Issachar, Omri son of Michael was chief officer.

For Zebulun, Ishmaiah son of Obadiah was chief officer.

For Naphtali, Jeremoth son of Azriel was chief officer.

For the Ephraimites, Hoshea son of Azaziah was chief officer.

For the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joel son of Pedaiah was chief officer.

For the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo son of Zechariah was chief officer.

For Benjamin, Jaasiel son of Abner was chief officer.

For Dan, Azarel son of Jeroham was chief officer.

These were the leaders of the tribes of Israel.”

Notice first, that there is no leader for Gad or Asher. Aaron also had a separate leader. Although there are 10 different people with the name of (1) Eliezer, this son of Zichri is only mentioned here. Even though there are 7 different people with the name of (2) Shephatiah, this son of Maacah is only mentioned here. This (3) Hashabiah son of Kemuel may be the same as the Levite mentioned earlier in this book, but there were a lot of Levites with this name. (4) Zadok was the high priest. (5) Elihu was not really a blood brother of King David. There were 3 others with the name of (6) Omri, but this Omri was not a king. (7) Ishmaiah son of Obadiah may have been one of the “Thirty” warriors of David. (8) Jeremoth son of Azriel may have been one of the warriors mentioned in chapter 25. There were 3 other people with the name of Hoshea, including a king, but not this (9) Hoshea son of Azaziah. Although Joel was a popular name of over 14 people, including a prophet, this (10) Joel son of Pedaiah only appears here. 6 different biblical people have the name of Iddo, but this (11) Iddo son of Zechariah only appears here. There is only 1 other Jaasiel besides this (12) Jaasiel son of Abner. This (13) Azarel son of Jeroham may be the same one mentioned in chapter 25.

 

The sons of the gatekeeper Obed-edom (1 Chr 26:4-26:8)

“Obed-edom had sons, Shemaiah the first-born, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, Sachar the fourth, Nethanel the fifth, Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, and Peullethai the eighth. God blessed him. To his son Shemaiah were sons born who exercised authority in their ancestral houses. They were men of great ability. The sons of Shemaiah were Othni, Rephael, Obed, and Elzabad, whose brothers were able men, Elihu and Semachiah. All these were the sons of Obed-edom with their sons and brothers. They were able men qualified for the service, sixty-two of Obed-edom.”

Obed-edom was the same man who had the Ark of the Covenant at his house before it came to Jerusalem in chapter 15. This is why it seems correct to say that he was a gatekeeper. He had 8 sons. Then his first-born son Shemaiah had 6 sons. There were 25 people with the name of (1) Shemaiah. There were 2 other people with the name of (2) Jehozabad. There are 3 other people with the name of (3) Joah. There was 1 other (4) Sachar. There were 9 other people with the name of (5) Nethanel. (6) Ammiel was the same name as the father of Bathsheba. There was only 1 other biblical person with the name of (7) Issachar, who was the son of Jacob. Thus he was one of the 12 tribes of Israel. This was the only mention of (8) Peullethai. As for Shemaiah’s son, this is the only mention of (1) Othni, (2) Rephael, and (6) Semachiah. There 4 others with the name of (3) Obed. There was 1 other (4) Elzabad. There were 4 other people with the name of (5) Elihu, the most famous in Job. All the sons and brothers of Obed-edom were gatekeepers, who amounted to about 62 men.