Did all that (Lk 18:21-18:21)

“He replied.

‘I have kept

All these

Since my youth.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ταῦτα πάντα ἐφύλαξα ἐκ νεότητος.

 

Luke indicated that this ruler replied (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that he had kept all these commandments (Ταῦτα πάντα ἐφύλαξα) since his youth (ἐκ νεότητος).  This comment can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:20, and Matthew, chapter 19:20, but slightly different, with Luke closer to Mark, who indicated that this man responded to Jesus (ὁ δὲ ἔφη αὐτῷ).  Once again, he called Jesus “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε).”  He said that he had kept or observed all these commandments (ταῦτα πάντα ἐφυλαξάμην) from his youth (ἐκ νεότητός μου).  In Matthew, this person was identified as a young man, who responded to Jesus (λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ νεανίσκος).  He said that he had kept or observed all these commandments (Ταῦτα πάντα ἐφύλαξα).  Mark and Luke added “from his youth,” but in Matthew he was still a young man.  What was he still lacking (τί ἔτι ὑστερῶ)?  This seems like a very forthright righteous person who was trying to do the best that he could.  Have you been a faithful commandment follower since your youth?

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No problem there (Mt 19:20-19:20)

“The young man

Said to Jesus.

‘I have kept all these commandments.

What do I still lack?’”

 

λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ νεανίσκος Ταῦτα πάντα ἐφύλαξα· τί ἔτι ὑστερῶ;

 

This comment by the young man can be found in Mark, chapter 10:20, and Luke, chapter 18:21, but slightly different.  This person is identified here as a young man, who responded to Jesus (λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ νεανίσκος).  He said that he had kept or observed all these commandments (Ταῦτα πάντα ἐφύλαξα).  Mark and Luke added “from his youth”, but here he was a young man.  What was he still lacking (τί ἔτι ὑστερῶ)?  This seems like a very forthright righteous person who was trying to do the best that he could.

The Queen of Sheba (Mt 12:42-12:42)

“The Queen of the South

Will rise up

At the judgment

With this generation.

She will condemn it.

Because she came

From the ends of the earth

To listen

To the wisdom of Solomon.

See!

Something greater

Than Solomon is here.”

 

βασίλισσα νότου ἐγερθήσεται ἐν τῇ κρίσει μετὰ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης καὶ κατακρινεῖ αὐτήν· ὅτι ἦλθεν ἐκ τῶν περάτων τῆς γῆς ἀκοῦσαι τὴν σοφίαν Σολομῶνος, καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Σολομῶνος ὧδε.

 

This saying about the Queen of Sheba can also be found in Luke, chapter 11:31, so that perhaps this is a Q source.  However, in Luke, it preceded the comments about the men of Nineveh.  Why was this unnamed Queen of Sheba able to give a judgment on this generation?  She was not even Jewish.  However, she visited King Solomon in 1 Kings, chapter 10:1-13, with the same story repeated in 2 Chronicles, chapter 9:1-12.  This mythical mysterious woman came from Sheba, but no one knows exactly where that was or her specific name.  She might have been from around the gold mines at Ophir, wherever that might be.  This might explain her wealth in spices, gold, and precious stones.  Anyway, King Solomon answered all her questions with great wisdom.  She observed all his wisdom, plus his house, his food, his clothing, and his servants.  She praised King Solomon, the son of King David, because his wisdom exceeded what she had anticipated and his prosperity exceeded her expectations.  Here she is called the Queen of the South (βασίλισσα νότου).  She would rise up at the judgment time against this generation (ἐγερθήσεται ἐν τῇ κρίσει μετὰ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης).  Just like the men of Nineveh, she would condemn them (καὶ κατακρινοῦσιν αὐτήν).  She had come from the ends of the earth (ὅτι ἦλθεν ἐκ τῶν περάτων τῆς γῆς) to hear the wisdom of Solomon (ἀκοῦσαι τὴν σοφίαν Σολομῶνος).  Now, Matthew reminded them that something or someone greater than King Solomon was there among them (καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Σολομῶνος ὧδε), Jesus himself.

The questions of the Magi (Mt 2:2-2:2)

“The Magi asked.

‘Where is the child

Who has been born

King of the Jews?

We have observed

His star

At its rising

In the east.

We have come

To pay him homage.’”

 

λέγοντες Ποῦ ἐστιν ὁ τεχθεὶς βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων; εἴδομεν γὰρ αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀστέρα ἐν τῇ ἀνατολῇ καὶ ἤλθομεν προσκυνῆσαι αὐτῷ.

 

These magi, because it was more than one, wanted to know where the new born child was (Ποῦ ἐστιν ὁ τεχθεὶς) who was going to be the King of the Jews (βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων).  They had observed his star rising in the east (εἴδομεν γὰρ αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀστέρα ἐν τῇ ἀνατολῇ).  They had come to pay homage or worship this new king (ἤλθομεν προσκυνῆσαι αὐτῷ).  These seem like legitimate questions from these eastern magi for King Herod.  They might have assumed that this new king would be the child of the current king, since King Herod had the title of King of the Jews.  As astrologers, they had seen this special star in the east.  They were outsiders, not Jewish, so that their insertion into this story indicated a universal appeal to the infant Jesus, who was to be ruler of the Jews.

The ten-day test (Dan 1:14-1:16)

“Thus,

The guard agreed

To this proposal.

He tested them

For ten days.

At the end of ten days,

It was observed

That they appeared better,

As well as fatter,

Than all the young men

Who had been eating

The royal rations.

Thus,

The guard continued

To withdraw

Their royal rations.

He took away

Their wine

That they were to drink.

Instead,

He gave them vegetables.”

The guard agreed to Daniel’s request for 10 days. Then after 10 days, he observed that they were fatter and in better shape than the other young men who had been eating and drinking the royal food and wine. Thus, the guard continued to give them only vegetables instead of the rich royal food and wine.

The right time (Eccl 8:6-8:9)

“Every matter has its time,

Every matter has its way,

Even though the troubles of mortals

Lie heavy upon them.

Indeed they do not know

What is to be.

Who can tell him

How it will be?

No one has power over the wind,

To restrain the wind.

No one has power over the day of death.

There is no discharge from the battle.

Wickedness does not deliver

Those who practice it.

All this I observed.

I applied my mind to all

That is done

Under the sun.

One person exercises authority over another

To the other’s hurt.”

You have to know the right time and the correct way to do things. Those with wisdom will be able to do these things. No knows how to stop the wind or the day of their death. You cannot be excused from the battle. Wickedness has its own reward. Qoheleth knows all about these things because he observed them. He saw how one person exercised authority over another that caused harm. That is our way of life under the sun.

Judas Maccabeus prepares for battle (2 Macc 15:20-15:21)

“When all were now looking forward to the coming issue, the enemy was already close at hand with their army drawn up for battle. The elephants were strategically stationed. The cavalry were deployed on the flanks. Judas Maccabeus, observed the masses that were in front of him. He saw the varied supply of arms and the savagery of the elephants. He then stretched out his hands toward heaven. He called upon the Lord who works wonders. He knew that it is not by arms, but as the Lord decides, that he would gain the victory for those who deserve it.”

Judas Maccabeus knew that the enemy was close at hand. They were ready for the battle with elephants, cavalry, and all the infantry in front of him. Then he stretched out his hands to heaven. He knew that he would not win this battle with superior weapons that he did not have. He knew that the victory would come from the Lord, who would work wonders to give victory to the ones who deserved it.