Jesus at Bethany (Mt 26:6-26:6)

“Jesus was

In Bethany,

At the house of Simon

The leper.”

 

Τοῦ δὲ Ἰησοῦ γενομένου ἐν Βηθανίᾳ ἐν οἰκίᾳ Σίμωνος τοῦ λεπροῦ,

 

This is almost word for word to Mark, chapter 14:3, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:1, where Jesus was in Bethany, but at the house of Lazarus and his two sisters, Martha and Mary.  Matthew said that Jesus was in Bethany (Τοῦ δὲ Ἰησοῦ γενομένου ἐν Βηθανίᾳ), a town about a mile and a half east of Jerusalem.  He was in the house of Simon the leper (Τοῦ δὲ Ἰησοῦ γενομένου ἐν Βηθανίᾳ).  The identity of this Simon the leper is unknown.  However, it could have been someone whom Jesus had cured from leprosy, who became his disciple.  The people of Bethany may have favored Jesus because of the Lazarus event.  In fact, in chapter 21:17, Jesus had stayed overnight in Bethany.  There was also a story of a woman anointing Jesus in Luke, chapter 7:36-50, but within a different context.

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The king goes to the lions’ den the next morning (Dan 6:19-6:20)

“Then at daybreak,

The king got up.

He hurried

To the den of lions.

When he came near

The den,

Where Daniel was,

He cried out anxiously

To Daniel.

‘O Daniel!

Servant of the living God!

Has your God,

Whom you faithfully serve,

Been able

To deliver you

From the lions?’”

The next morning, the king got up at the crack of dawn. He hurried to the to the lions’ den, where Daniel was. He then cried out to Daniel, as he called him the servant of the living God. He wanted to know if his God, whom he faithfully served, had saved him from the lions overnight. This story of Daniel in the lions’ den was probably based on a classic Babylonian folk-tale. However, the overlay of the God of Daniel was unique.

Tobias sends Raphael to get the money (Tob 9:1-9:6)

“Then Tobias called Raphael and said to him.

‘Brother Azariah,

Take four servants and two camels with you!

Travel to Rages!

Go to the home of Gabael!

Give him the bond!

Get the money!

Then bring him with you to the wedding celebration.

You know that my father must be counting the days.

If I delay even one day I upset him.

You are a witness to the oath that Raguel has sworn.

I cannot violate his oath.’  

So Raphael with the four servants and two camels went to Rages in Media. He stayed with Gabael. Raphael gave him the bond. He informed him that Tobit’s son Tobias had married, so that he was inviting him to the marriage celebration. So Gabael got up and counted out to him the money bags, with their seals intact. They loaded them on the camels. In the morning they both got up early and came to the wedding celebration. When they came into Raguel’s house, they found Tobias reclining at table. He sprang up and greeted Gabael, who wept and blessed them.”

The time between Ecbatana and Reges was about 11 days one way. It would have been difficult to get him back for the wedding celebration. I do not understand why Tobias did not send Raphael back to Nineveh to get his parents to come to the wedding celebration. Where did Raphael get the 4 servants since he and Tobias were alone? Probably Raguel gave them to him with the camels. Anyway, the trip was very quick. Raphael stayed overnight and then set out the next day. Gabael gave the money to Raphael after counting it out. He accepted the invitation to the wedding. Gabael wept when he saw and greeted Tobias.