“After Jesus had said this,
He went on ahead.
He was going up
Καὶ εἰπὼν ταῦτα ἐπορεύετο ἔμπροσθεν ἀναβαίνων εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα.
Luke said that Jesus had said these things (Καὶ εἰπὼν ταῦτα). He had finished this parable about the slaves and how they used the 10 minas. Then he went on ahead (ἐπορεύετο ἔμπροσθεν) going up to Jerusalem (ἀναβαίνων εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα). This would begin the so-called Passion week narrative. Not only will the 3 synoptic gospel writers but also the Gospel of John describe this passion week. This triumphal entry into Jerusalem will be the highlight of the career of Jesus. For Luke, Jesus had been on a long journey to the holy city that began 10 chapters earlier. His entrance into Jerusalem was like a royal procession that has led to the Roman Catholic practice of Palm Sunday, that is actually based on John, chapter 12:12-13. John said that a great crowd had come to Jerusalem for the Passover festival, so that they took palm tree branches and went out to meet Jesus. Do you like Palm Sunday?
“A friend of mine
From a long journey
At my house.
I have nothing
To set before him.”
ἐπειδὴ φίλος μου παρεγένετο ἐξ ὁδοῦ πρός με καὶ οὐκ ἔχω ὃ παραθήσω αὐτῷ·
Luke uniquely had this parable story about waking up a friend in the middle of the night. Luke indicated that Jesus said that this man went to his neighbor friend and said that his other friend (ἐπειδὴ φίλος μου) had just arrived (παρεγένετο) from a long journey (ἐξ ὁδοῦ) at his house (πρός με), but he said that he had nothing to set before him (καὶ οὐκ ἔχω ὃ παραθήσω αὐτῷ). Tough luck! This certainly was a strange request at midnight. At least this guy had 2 friends, at least for now. One friend just showed up at his house in the middle of the night and the other friend was his close neighbor. One of these 2 friends is not going to be happy. Perhaps, there should have been some planning along the line here. He has nothing to serve his long-lost friend, and assumes that this neighbor friend has something to give him to eat. Do you always have extra food on hand?
“The mind of a fool is
Like a broken jar.
It can hold no knowledge.
When an intelligent person
Hears a wise saying,
He praises it.
He adds to it.
When a fool hears it,
He laughs at it.
He throws it behind his back.
A fool’s chatter is
Like a burden on a journey.
But delight is found
In the speech of the intelligent.
The utterance of a sensible person
Is sought in the assembly.
They ponder his words in their minds.”
Sirach says that the mind of a fool is like a broken jar that cannot hold any knowledge in it. This was the common idea of the mind as an empty jar that knowledge fills up. When an intelligent person hears a wise saying, he or she praises it and adds to it. On the contrary, when the fool hears the same thing, he laughs at it, throwing it behind his back. The fool’s chatter on a long journey is burdensome, but the speech of an intelligent person is delightful. Thus in an assembly, the presentations of a sensible person is often sought after, so that others might ponder his words.
“Judas Maccabeus chose Eupolemus son of John, son of Accos, and Jason son of Eleazar. He sent them to Rome to establish a friendship and an alliance. They wanted to free themselves from their yoke. They saw that the kingdom of the Greeks was completely enslaving Israel. They went to Rome, a very long journey. They entered the senate chamber and spoke as follows.
‘Judas, who is also called Maccabeus,
And his brothers and the people of the Jews
Have sent us to you
To establish an alliance and peace with you,
So that we may be enrolled as your allies and friends.’
The proposal pleased them.”
Judas Maccabeus sent 2 people on this important mission to Rome. One was Eupolemus, the son of John and grandson of Accos, who was part of a priestly family. It is not clear whether this Eupolemus is the Greek Jewish writer of the 2nd century BCE. The other was Jason, the son of Eleazar, who was the brother of Judas. Thus Jason, a Hellenistic name, was the nephew of Judas. They wanted to establish friendship and an alliance with Rome, which was far away. The emphasis on distance meant that they could form an alliance, according to Mosaic Law, with a far away country, but not with their close neighbors. This sounds a little weird. They believed that the Greeks were putting a yoke on them. However, it was very clear that the Syrians from Antioch, the Seleucid dynasty, were causing all their problems by asking the Jews to Hellenize their way of life. Apparently, these 2 Jewish envoys were successful since the idea pleased the Romans.