Zechariah blessed God (Lk 1:64-1:64)

“Immediately,

His mouth

Was opened.

His tongue

Was free

To talk.

He was speaking,

Blessing God.”

 

ἀνεῴχθη δὲ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ παραχρῆμα καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐλάλει εὐλογῶν τὸν Θεόν

 

Luke indicated that as soon as Zechariah wrote on the tablet that the name of the child should be John, immediately his mouth was opened (ἀνεῴχθη δὲ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ παραχρῆμα).  His tongue was free to talk (καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα αὐτοῦ).  He spoke, blessing God (καὶ ἐλάλει εὐλογῶν τὸν Θεόν).  Once he had written the name of John, Zechariah was no longer mute.  He immediately praised or blessed God, because any hint of his doubts had disappeared.

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Zechariah cannot speak (Lk 1:22-1:22)

“When he did come out,

Zechariah

Could not speak

To them.

They realized

That he had seen

A vision

In the sanctuary.

He kept motioning

To them.

However,

He remained

Unable to speak.”

 

ἐξελθὼν δὲ οὐκ ἐδύνατο λαλῆσαι αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν ὅτι ὀπτασίαν ἑώρακεν ἐν τῷ ναῷ· καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν διανεύων αὐτοῖς, καὶ διέμενεν κωφός.

 

Luke indicated that the people praying in the Temple, outside the sanctuary, were surprised when Zechariah finally came out (ἐξελθὼν δὲ) of the sanctuary.  They saw that Zechariah could not speak to them (οὐκ ἐδύνατο λαλῆσαι αὐτοῖς) or give his blessing.  They realized or recognized (καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν) that he had seen a vision or had a supernatural experience (ὅτι ὀπτασίαν ἑώρακεν) while he was in the sanctuary (ἐν τῷ ναῷ).  Zechariah kept motioning or making signs to them (καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν διανεύων αὐτοῖς).  However, he could not communicate with them, since he was unable to speak as he remained mute (καὶ διέμενεν κωφός).

Jesus commands the unclean spirit (Mk 9:25-9:25)

“When Jesus saw

That a crowd

Came running together,

He rebuked

The unclean spirit.

He said to it.

‘You spirit

That keeps this boy

From speaking

And hearing!

I command you!

Come out of him!

Never enter him again!’”

 

ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἐπισυντρέχει ὄχλος, ἐπετίμησεν τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ λέγων αὐτῷ Τὸ ἄλαλον καὶ κωφὸν πνεῦμα, ἐγὼ ἐπιτάσσω σοι, ἔξελθε ἐξ αὐτοῦ καὶ μηκέτι εἰσέλθῃς εἰς αὐτόν.

 

This is unique to Mark.  When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together (ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἐπισυντρέχει ὄχλος), he rebuked the unclean spirit (ἐπετίμησεν τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ).  He spoke directly to this evil spirit (λέγων αὐτῷ) as he commanded, in the first person singular, this unclean spirit (ἐγὼ ἐπιτάσσω σοι), in the second person “you”.  This evil spirit had kept this boy from speaking and hearing.  This mute and deaf spirit (Τὸ ἄλαλον καὶ κωφὸν πνεῦμα,), was to come out of him (ἔξελθε ἐξ αὐτοῦ), never again to enter him (καὶ μηκέτι εἰσέλθῃς εἰς αὐτόν).  Jesus then got rid of the unclean spirit that was in this boy in a public act in front of a crowd.

They were astonished (Mk 7:37-7:37)

“They were astonished

Beyond measure.

They said.

‘He has done everything well.

He even makes

The deaf

To hear.

He makes

The mute

Speak.’”

 

καὶ ὑπερπερισσῶς ἐξεπλήσσοντο λέγοντες Καλῶς πάντα πεποίηκεν, καὶ τοὺς κωφοὺς ποιεῖ ἀκούειν καὶ ἀλάλους λαλεῖν.

 

This unique saying of Mark ends with everyone being astonished or amazed.  Mark said that they were astonished beyond measure (καὶ ὑπερπερισσῶς ἐξεπλήσσοντο λέγοντες).  They said that Jesus had done everything well (Καλῶς πάντα πεποίηκεν).  He made both the deaf hear (καὶ τοὺς κωφοὺς ποιεῖ ἀκούειν) and the mute speak (καὶ τοὺς κωφοὺς ποιεῖ ἀκούειν).  This was great praise for Jesus.

Jesus cures the man with a speech impediment (Mk 7:34-7:35)

“Then looking up

To heaven,

Jesus sighed deeply.

He said to him.

‘Ephphatha!’

That is,

‘Be opened!’

His ears

Were opened.

His tongue’s impediment

Was released

Immediately.

He spoke plainly.”

 

καὶ ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἐστέναξεν, καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ἐφφαθά, ὅ ἐστιν Διανοίχθητι.

καὶ ἠνοίγησαν αὐτοῦ αἱ ἀκοαί, καὶ εὐθὺς ἐλύθη ὁ δεσμὸς τῆς γλώσσης αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐλάλει ὀρθῶς.

 

This physical healing is unique to Mark, who said that Jesus looked up to heaven (καὶ ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν), and sighed deeply (ἐστέναξεν).  Jesus said to the deaf and mute man (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ), “Ephphatha (Ἐφφαθά,)!”  This means “Be opened (ὅ ἐστιν Διανοίχθητι)!”  Then this man’s ears were opened (καὶ ἠνοίγησαν αὐτοῦ αἱ ἀκοαί).  The impediment on his tongue was released immediately (καὶ εὐθὺς ἐλύθη ὁ δεσμὸς τῆς γλώσσης αὐτοῦ).  He spoke plainly (καὶ ἐλάλει ὀρθῶς).  Jesus had cured this man with an Aramaic saying, once again indicating the Aramaic base of this gospel.  However, Mark was quick to explain what the meaning of this word was to his Greek audience.

Healing the crowds of people (Mt 15:30-15:31)

“Great crowds

Came to him.

They brought with them

The lame,

The maimed,

The blind,

The mute,

And many others.

They put them

At his feet.

Jesus healed them.

Thus,

The crowd was amazed

When they saw

The mute speaking,

The maimed whole,

The lame walking,

And the blind seeing.

They praised

The God of Israel.”

 

καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοὶ ἔχοντες μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν χωλούς, κυλλούς, τυφλούς, κωφούς, καὶ ἑτέρους πολλούς, καὶ ἔριψαν αὐτοὺς παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ· καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτούς·

ὥστε τὸν ὄχλον θαυμάσαι βλέποντας κωφοὺς λαλοῦντας κυλλοὺς ὑγιεῖς καὶ χωλοὺς περιπατοῦντας καὶ τυφλοὺς βλέποντας· καὶ ἐδόξασαν τὸν Θεὸν Ἰσραήλ.

 

This seems to be unique to Matthew, with his emphasis on the great crowds of people and mass healings.  In chapter 8:17, He had talked about these healing actions as a fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, but here this prophet is not mentioned.  As usual, great crowds came out to see Jesus (καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοὶ).  They brought with them (ἔχοντες μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν) the lame (χωλούς), the maimed (κυλλούς), the blind (τυφλούς), the mute (κωφούς), and many other sick people (, καὶ ἑτέρους πολλούς).  They were all placed at the feet of Jesus (καὶ ἔριψαν αὐτοὺς παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ).  Then he healed them (καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτούς), so that the crowd was amazed or marveled at what they saw (ὥστε τὸν ὄχλον θαυμάσαι βλέποντας).  The mute people were able to speak (κωφοὺς λαλοῦντας).  The maimed people were made sound or whole (κυλλοὺς ὑγιεῖς).  The lame people were able to walk (καὶ χωλοὺς περιπατοῦντας).  The blind people were able to see (καὶ τυφλοὺς βλέποντας).  They all praised or honored the God of Israel (καὶ ἐδόξασαν τὸν Θεὸν Ἰσραήλ), and not Jesus.

The Exodus from Egypt (Wis 10:17-10:21)

“She gave to holy people

The reward of their labors.

She guided them

Along a marvelous way.

She became a shelter to them by day.

She became a starry flame

Through the night.

She brought them over the Red Sea.

She led them through deep waters.

But she drowned their enemies.

She cast them up

From the depth of the sea.

Therefore the righteous plundered the ungodly.

They sang hymns!

O Lord!

To your holy name!

They praised with one accord

Your defending hand.

Wisdom opened the mouths

Of those who were mute.

Wisdom made the tongues

Of infants speak clearly.”

This explanation of the exodus from Egypt is based on the stories from Exodus, chapters 13-15. Once again, it is wisdom that is leading the way. Day and night, wisdom provided shelter and starlight. She had brought them over the Red Sea, so that their enemies had drowned, but they were safe. Then they plundered the Egyptian soldiers. After that they sang hymns (ὕμνησαν) to the holy name of the Lord (Κύριε, τὸ ὄνομα τὸ ἅγιόν σου). Wisdom (ἡ σοφία) opened the mouths of the mute. She made infants speak clearly.