My messenger (Lk 7:27-7:27)

“This is the one

About whom

It is written.

‘See!

I am sending

My messenger

Ahead of you.

He will prepare

Your way

Before you.’”

 

οὗτός ἐστιν περὶ οὗ γέγραπται Ἰδοὺ ἀποστέλλω τὸν ἄγγελόν μου πρὸ προσώπου σου, ὃς κατασκευάσει τὴν ὁδόν σου ἔμπροσθέν σου.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus saw a special role for John the Baptist.  He said that John was the one about whom Malachi, the prophet, chapter 3:1, had written (οὗτός ἐστιν περὶ οὗ γέγραπται), without mentioning the prophet’s name.  Malachi had said that he was sending his messenger ahead of him or before his face (δοὺ ἀποστέλλω τὸν ἄγγελόν μου πρὸ προσώπου σου) to prepare the way before him (ὃς κατασκευάσει τὴν ὁδόν σου ἔμπροσθέν σου).  This Scripture written passage about the role of John was from the prophet Malachi, although not explicitly mentioned here.  This saying about John the Baptist can be found word for word in Matthew, chapter 11:10.  Thus, this may have been a Q source about John, like many of the other passages about John.  Actually, Mark, chapter 1:2, had part of this saying as the beginning of his gospel when he introduced John.  In Malachi, Yahweh was going to send his messenger or angel before him or his face to prepare the way for him.  Originally, Yahweh would re-enter into his Temple, because the messenger of the delightful covenant had prepared things for him.  There is no mention of the Temple here.  John was clearly inferior to Jesus, since he was there to prepare the way for Jesus as his messenger, much like an angel of God.  Who prepared the way to Jesus for you?

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Rejoice! (Lk 6:23-6:23)

“Rejoice in that day!

Leap for joy!

Surely!

Your reward

Is great

In heaven!

That is what

Their ancestors

Did to the prophets.”

 

χάρητε ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ καὶ σκιρτήσατε· ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολὺς ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ· κατὰ αὐτὰ γὰρ ἐποίουν τοῖς προφήταις οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should rejoice that day (χάρητε ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ).  They were to leap for joy (καὶ σκιρτήσατε) because their reward would be great in heaven (ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολὺς ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ), This persecution is precisely what (κατὰ αὐτὰ) their ancestors (οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν) had done to the ancient prophets (γὰρ ἐποίουν τοῖς προφήταις).  This passage is very similar to Matthew, chapter 6:11, so this may be from the Q source.  Matthew also indicated that Jesus told them to rejoice and be glad because there would be a future great reward for them in heaven.  In a certain sense, they were a continuation of the Old Testament persecuted prophets who had gone before them.  This saying was like a pep talk.

The priest’s chambers (Ezek 46:19-46:19)

“Then he brought me

Through the entrance,

That was at the side

Of the gate,

To the north row

Of the holy chambers

For the priests.

There I saw

A place

At the extreme western end

Of them.”

This passage seems to belong earlier when the bronze man was leading Ezekiel all over the place. Here, this bronze man brought Ezekiel to the northern gate, facing west to the holy chambers for the priests. He could see all the priest chambers on the west side.

Rachel laments her children (Jer 31:15-31:17)

“Thus says Yahweh.       

‘A voice is heard in Ramah.

There is lamentation.

There is bitter weeping.

Rachel is weeping

For her children.

She refuses to be comforted

For her children.

Because they are no more.’

Thus says Yahweh.

‘Keep your voice

From weeping!

Keep your eyes

From tears!

There is a reward

For your work.’

Says Yahweh.

‘They shall come back

From the land of the enemy.

There is hope for your future.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Your children shall come back

To their own country.’”

Jeremiah seems to have a dialogue with Rachel, the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, and Yahweh. Rachel has been dead and buried for a long time at Ramah, during the time of Jacob as in Genesis, chapter 35. However, there the resting place was called Bethlehem. Here it is Ramah, someplace in Benjamin that makes more sense. The prophet Samuel may have lived in this place as in 1 Samuel, chapter 25. However, here Rachel is lamenting from her grave. She is weeping bitterly for her lost children. She refuses to be comforted because they too are dead and gone. This passage had an influence on the later Gospel of Matthew, chapter 2, where he used this saying to apply to the innocent children killed by Herod. However, Yahweh tells her to stop weeping and dry her tears, because she was going to be rewarded. The descendants of her children were going to come back to their country from the land of their enemies. Thus the northern tribes would be restored.

The past and future Exodus (Jer 23:7-23:8)

“Says Yahweh.

‘Therefore the days are surely coming,

When it shall no longer be said.

‘As Yahweh lives!

He brought the people of Israel

Up out of the land of Egypt.’

But they will say.

‘As Yahweh lives!

He brought out,

He led the offspring

Of the house of Israel

Out of the north,

Out of all the lands,

Where he had driven them.’

Then they shall live

In their own land.”

This is almost a word for word duplication from chapter 16 about the past and future Exodus. Instead of people talking about the Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land as they had, now they will talk about returning to the Promised Land after the Exile. Thus, this passage assumes that the Exile will happen and come to an end. It is the living God, Yahweh, who brought them out of Egypt. So too, he will bring them back from the northern area and the other countries where they would have been driven into. They will once again have their own Promised Land, like their ancestors, to live in. In other words, there will be new Exodus.

The past and future Exodus (Jer 16:14-16:15)

“Says Yahweh.

‘Therefore the days are surely coming,

When it shall no longer be said.

‘As Yahweh lives!

He brought the people of Israel

Up out of the land of Egypt.’

But they will say.

‘As Yahweh lives!

He brought the people of Israel

Up out of the north area,

Out of all the lands

Where he had driven them.’

I will bring them back

To their own land

That I gave to their ancestors.”

Instead of people talking about the Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land as they had, now they will talk about returning to the Promised Land after the Exile. Thus this passage assumes that the Exile will happen and come to an end. It is the living God, Yahweh, who brought them out of Egypt, so too, he will bring them back from the northern area and the other countries where they would have been driven into. They will once again have the Promised Land of their ancestors. In other words, there will be new Exodus.

A child is born (Isa 9:6-9:7)

“A child has been born for us.

A son has been given to us.

Authority rests upon his shoulders.

He is named.

‘Wonderful Counselor!

Mighty God!

Everlasting Father!

Prince of Peace!’

His authority will grow continually.

There shall be endless peace

For the throne of David.

There shall be endless peace

For his kingdom.

He will establish it

With justice.

He will uphold it

With righteousness

From this time onward forever more.

The zeal of Yahweh of hosts

Will do this.”

This passage has often been used by Christians to indicate the birth of a messianic male king, the child Jesus. Many of these titles have been applied to Jesus the Christ, wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, and prince of peace. However, Isaiah is probably speaking about a new male king for Israel from the throne of David who would bring endless peace. He speaks in the present tense and may be referring to King Hezekiah. This new kingdom of established justice and upheld righteousness would continue forever. The zeal of Yahweh was going to do this for his people.