The structure and summary content of Matthew

The Gospel of Matthew, has five blocks of narratives, perhaps as a parallel to the first five books of the Old Testament, the Torah or the Pentateuch.  The story of Jesus moved from Galilee to Jerusalem with the post-resurrection appearance in Galilee the culmination of the whole story.

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Daniel’s dream (Dan 7:1-7:1)

“In the first year

Of King Belshazzar,

King of Babylon,

Daniel

Had a dream.

He had visions

In his head

As he lay in his bed.

Then he wrote down

The dream.”

The second half of this book has a series of visions by Daniel. This is one of Daniel’s own dreams, even though there have many other dreams mentioned already. This dream seemed parallel to the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar in chapter 2. This took place during the first year of King Belshazzar. That would put this dream around 554 BCE, the first year that this king was the viceroy with his father, King Nabonidus (556-539 BCE). Strangely enough, there is hardly any mention of King Nabonidus, the father of King Belshazzar, in this Book of Daniel. This time, Daniel had this vision at night as was laying in his bed. The difference, of course, is that he wrote the dream down.

The place for the prince (Ezek 48:21-48:22)

“What remains on both sides

Of the holy portion

With the property

Of the city

Shall belong

To the prince.

This extends from

The twenty-five thousand cubits

Of the holy portion

To the east border,

This extends westward from

The twenty-five thousand cubits

To the west border.

It shall be

Parallel to the tribal portions.

It shall belong

To the prince.

The holy portion

With the sanctuary

Of the temple was

In the middle of it.

The property of the Levites,

With the property of the city,

Shall be in the middle

Of what belongs to the prince.

The portion of the prince

Shall lie between

The territory of Judah and

The territory of Benjamin.”

Now suddenly, Yahweh, via Ezekiel has a place for the prince, or the new leader, on the outskirts of the property already explained in great detail. This princely territory would extend on the east border to the end of the 25,000 cubits border and on the west side to its 25,000 cubits border of the holy portion.  Somehow it would be parallel to the tribal portions. The prince would own this land, even though the sanctuary of the Temple, the Levite property, and the city open fields were in the middle of this territory. This holy portion was to lie between the territory of Judah and Benjamin, on the north side of Judah.

Job prays to Yahweh (Job 1:20-1:21)

“Then Job arose. He tore his robe. He shaved his head. He fell upon the ground. He worshiped. He said.

‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb.

Naked shall I return.

Yahweh gave.

Yahweh has taken away.

Blessed be the name of Yahweh.’”

Job tore his clothes and shaved his head, as these actions were the rituals of mourning.  He fell on the ground and prayed to Yahweh, even though he was not an Israelite. As an upright man in this story, he would have worshipped Yahweh, if he knew about him. Nevertheless, the author of this work has him refer to God as Yahweh. He came into the world naked and so he would leave this earth without anything. He seemed to make a parallel between his mother’s womb and mother earth, where he came from and where he is going. Thus the earth was both womb and tomb. Yahweh gave him wealth and now Yahweh has taken it away. Blessed be Yahweh, with or without wealth. This is the great wisdom thought, that wealth was not that important. However wisdom was important.