They began to rejoice (Lk 19:37-19:37)

“As Jesus was now approaching

The path

Down from

The Mount of Olives,

The whole multitude

Of the disciples

Began

To praise God joyfully

With a loud voice

For all the deeds

Of power

That they had seen.”

 

ἐγγίζοντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἤδη πρὸς τῇ καταβάσει τοῦ ὄρους τῶν Ἐλαιῶν ἤρξαντο ἅπαν τὸ πλῆθος τῶν μαθητῶν χαίροντες αἰνεῖν τὸν Θεὸν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ περὶ πασῶν ὧν εἶδον δυνάμεων,

 

Luke said that as Jesus was now approaching the path descending down (ἐγγίζοντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἤδη πρὸς τῇ καταβάσει) from the Mount of Olives (τοῦ ὄρους τῶν Ἐλαιῶν), the whole multitude of the disciples began (ἤρξαντο ἅπαν τὸ πλῆθος τῶν μαθητῶν) to praise God joyfully (χαίροντες αἰνεῖν τὸν Θεὸν) with a loud voice (φωνῇ μεγάλῃ) for all the deeds of power that they had seen (περὶ πασῶν ὧν εἶδον δυνάμεων).  This is a unique use of the word, καταβάσει that means descent.  Luke was the only writer who said that it was this descent of the Mount of Olives where all this took place.  He also mentioned that only his disciples who was praising Jesus for all that he had done.  Both Matthew, chapter 21:9, and Mark, chapter 11:8-9, are very similar but with slight differences.  Mark said that the crowds or the people were in front of (οἱ προάγοντες) and behind Jesus (καὶ οἱ ἀκολουθοῦντες).  They were all shouting out (ἔκραζον).  Matthew said that the crowds were in front of him and behind him (οἱ δὲ ὄχλοι οἱ προάγοντες αὐτὸν καὶ οἱ ἀκολουθοῦντες), as they were all shouting out (ἔκραζον).  John, chapter 12:13, on the other hand, simply said that they were shouting out.  Have you ever been in a crowd that was shouting out things?

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The people prayed outside the sanctuary (Lk 1:10-1:10)

“Now at the hour

Of the incense offering

The whole assembly

Of the people

Was praying outside.”

 

καὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ προσευχόμενον ἔξω τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ θυμιάματος.

 

Luke said that at the hour or time of the incense offering (τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ θυμιάματος), the whole assembly or the multitude of the people (αὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ) was praying outside (προσευχόμενον ἔξω).  This time or hour of the incense offering was also known as the hour of prayer.  Twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon, one of the chosen priests went to the incense altar in front of the holy of holies.  The rest of the assembly stayed outside praying.  Thus, there was a break between the people and the priests outside and the one chosen priest offering the incense in the inner sanctuary.  However, both were engaged in daily prayer.

The ruah spirit comes to the bones (Ezek 37:9-37:10)

“Then Yahweh

Said to me.

‘Prophesy to the spirit!

Prophesy!

Son of man!

Say to the spirit!

Thus says Yahweh God!

Come!

From the four winds!

O spirit!

Breathe

Upon these slain ones

That they may live!’

I prophesied

As he commanded me.

The spirit

Came into them,

They lived.

They stood

On their feet,

A vast multitude.”

Yahweh told Ezekiel to prophesize to the spirit. He was to tell the spirit, ruah, to come from the four winds, ruah, and breathe, ruah, on these dead fleshy dry bones. Thus, they might live. Ezekiel, as usual, did what Yahweh had asked him to do. Then the Spirit of Yahweh, ruah, came to these dried-out bones. All these dead bones got a new life. This great multitude of former dry bones stood on their feet. Mission accomplished.

False presumption (Sir 5:4-5:7)

“Do not say.

‘I sinned.

Yet what has happened to me?’

The Lord is slow to anger.

Do not be so confident of forgiveness.

Thus you add sin to sin.

Do not say.

‘His mercy is great.

He will forgive the multitude of my sins.’

Both mercy and wrath are with him.

His anger rests on sinners.

Do not delay

To turn back to the Lord.

Do not postpone it from day to day.

Suddenly the wrath of the Lord

Will come upon you.

At the time of punishment,

You will perish.”

Here are some more directives about false presumption. Do not say that you have sinned and nothing has happened to you. Remember that the Lord is slow to anger. You should not be overconfident of his forgiveness because you are only adding to your sinful state. Do not say that he is merciful and therefore he will forgive a multitude of sins. He has both mercy and anger, especially towards sinners. Do not delay your return to the Lord. Do not put it off because the wrath of the Lord will come upon you suddenly. You may perish as a punishment.

Difference between Egypt and Israel (Wis 16:1-16:4)

“Therefore those people were deservedly punished

Through such creatures.

They were tormented by a multitude of animals.

Instead of this punishment,

You allowed kindness to your people.

You prepared quails to eat.

This was a delicacy to satisfy

The desire of their appetite.

Thus those people,

When they desired food,

Might lose the least remnant of their appetite.

Thus the odious creatures were sent to them.

Meanwhile your people,

After suffering want a short time,

Might partake of delicacies.

It was necessary

That upon those oppressors

Inescapable want should come.

At the same time

To these others,

It was merely shown

How their enemies were being tormented.”

These last few chapters will continue the parallels between Egypt and Israel, without explicitly mentioning them by name. The Egyptians are referred to as “those people or oppressors (οἱ ἐχθροὶ),” while the Israelites are called “your people (τὸν λαόν σου).” Those people were punished (ἐβασανίζοντο) with a multitude of animals. Odious creatures were sent to them. On the other hand, God showed kindness to his people. He sent quails for them to eat as in Numbers, chapter 11. Thus the Israelites had delicacies, while the Egyptians lost their appetite in their torments.

Divine punishment towards Egypt (Wis 11:15-11:20)

“In return for their foolish thoughts,

In return for their wicked thoughts,

Which led them astray

To worship irrational serpents,

To worship worthless animals,

You sent upon them

A multitude of irrational creatures

To punish them.

Thus they might learn

That one is punished

By the very things

By which one sins.

Your all-powerful hand,

Which created the world out of formless matter,

Did not lack the means to send upon them

A multitude of bears,

Or bold lions,

Or newly created unknown beasts full of rage,

Or such as breathe out fiery breath,

Or belch forth a thick pall of smoke,

Or flash terrible sparks from their eyes.

Not only could the harm they did destroy people,

But the mere sight of them could kill by fright.

Even apart from these,

People could fall at a single breath

When pursued by justice.

They could be scattered by the breath of your power.

But you have arranged all things by measure.

You have arranged all things by number.

You have arranged all things by weight.”

The divine plague punishments could have been much worse for the Egyptians in Exodus, chapters 9-11. In fact, this author implies that God was mild with his punishments because the Egyptians had foolish and wicked thoughts that led them to worship serpents and animals. God very kindly sent them only irrational creatures like frogs, mosquitoes, flies, and gnats to punish them. He could have sent them a multitude of bears or bold lions. He might have sent them unknown beasts full of rage that would breathe out fire and belch out smoke, with flashing terrible sparks in their eyes that could have killed them with fright. God could have made them fall with a single breath or scattered them through the world, but he carefully arranged all this according to his measure, number, and weight.

The Jewish defeat at the battle of Beth-zechariah (1 Macc 6:40-6:47)

“Now a part of the king’s army was spread out on the high hills. Some troops were on the plain. They advanced steadily and in good order. All heard the noise made by their multitude. All heard the marching of the multitude and the clanking of their arms. Everyone trembled for the army was very large and strong. But Judas and his army advanced to the battle. Six hundred of the king’s army fell. Eleazar, called Avaran, saw that one of the beasts was equipped with royal armor. It was taller than all the others. He supposed that the king was on it. So he gave his life to save his people and win for himself an everlasting name. He courageously ran into the midst of the phalanx to reach it. He killed men right and left. They parted before him on both sides. He got under the elephant. He stabbed it from beneath and killed it. However, it fell to the ground upon him and he died. When the Jews saw the royal might and the fierce attack of the forces, they turned away in flight.”

The king’s army was in the hills and on the plains. They marched in a steady good order. They made a great noise by marching with their clanking arms. Everyone was afraid of this large and strong army. However, Judas and his men attacked the king’s men and killed 600 of them. Then Eleazar, the brothr of Judas, decided to attack the elephant who he thought was carrying the king because of the royal armor. He set out to kill people as they got out of his way. He went under the elephant and then stabbed it. However, the elephant fell on him as it died and crushed him to death. Now when the Jews saw this and the fierce attack of the king’s men, they fled.