Put your swords away (Mt 26:52-26:54)

“Then Jesus said

To him.

‘Put your sword back

Into its place.

All who take

The sword

Will perish

By the sword.

Do you think

That I cannot appeal

To my Father?

He will at once

Send me

More than

Twelve legions

Of angels.

But how then

Should the scriptures

Be fulfilled?

It must happen

In this way.’”

 

τότε λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ἀπόστρεψον τὴν μάχαιράν σου εἰς τὸν τόπον αὐτῆς· πάντες γὰρ οἱ λαβόντες μάχαιραν ἐν μαχαίρῃ ἀπολοῦνται.

ἢ δοκεῖς ὅτι οὐ δύναμαι παρακαλέσαι τὸν Πατέρα μου, καὶ παραστήσει μοι ἄρτι πλείω δώδεκα λεγιῶνας ἀγγέλων;

πῶς οὖν πληρωθῶσιν αἱ γραφαὶ ὅτι οὕτως δεῖ γενέσθαι;

 

This is unique to Matthew, among the synoptic gospelsHowever,  John, chapter 18:11, had Jesus tell Peter to put his sword away also.  Matthew recounted that Jesus said to the swordsman (τότε λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) to put his sword away or put it back in the place where it belonged (Ἀπόστρεψον τὴν μάχαιράν σου εἰς τὸν τόπον αὐτῆς).  Then he said that all those who take up the sword (πάντες γὰρ οἱ λαβόντες μάχαιραν) would perish by the sword (ἐν μαχαίρῃ ἀπολοῦνται).  Live by the sword!  Die by the sword!  He reminded them that he could appeal to his Father (ἢ δοκεῖς ὅτι οὐ δύναμαι παρακαλέσαι τὸν Πατέρα μου) to send him more than 12 legions of angels (καὶ παραστήσει μοι ἄρτι πλείω δώδεκα λεγιῶνας ἀγγέλων).  Instead, these things had to happen this way to fulfill the scriptures (πῶς οὖν πληρωθῶσιν αἱ γραφαὶ ὅτι οὕτως δεῖ γενέσθαι).  There was no indication of what exact scriptures needed to be fulfilled.  Jesus maintained that he had heavenly or spiritual powers that could save him.  A legion was about 6,000 men, so that would mean about 72,000 angels could come to fight for Jesus.  However, based on the Father’s plan, this suffering was the way it was going to go.

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Explanation of the parable of the lost sheep (Mt 18:14-18:14)

“Thus,

It is not the will

Of my Father in heaven

That one of these little ones

Should be lost.”

 

οὕτως οὐκ ἔστιν θέλημα ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς ἵνα ἀπόληται ἓν τῶν μικρῶν τούτων.

 

This explanation of the lost sheep parable can also be found in Luke, chapter 15:7, with some minor changes, as Luke has this lost sheep as a repentant sinner.  Jesus explained that it was not the will of his heavenly Father (οὕτως οὐκ ἔστιν θέλημα ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς) that these little ones should be lost or perish (ἵνα ἀπόληται ἓν τῶν μικρῶν τούτων).  Thus, this was the simple straightforward explanation.  The heavenly Father did not want to lose anyone, just like the good shepherd did not want to lose one of his lost sheep.

The sailors pray to Yahweh (Jon 1:13-1:14)

“Nevertheless,

The sailors

Rowed hard

To bring the ship

Back to land,

But they could not.

The sea grew more

And more stormy

Against them.

Then they cried out

To Yahweh.

‘O Yahweh!

Please!

Do not let us perish

On account

Of this man’s life!

Do not make us guilty

Of innocent blood!

O Yahweh!

You have done

As it pleased you.’”

The sailors tried to row their ship to land, but they were not successful, since the sea storm grew worse.  Then, they cried out in a prayer to Yahweh.  They did not want to perish because of one man.  Neither did they want to become guilty by spilling innocent blood.  They finally ended their prayer to Yahweh with “your will be done.”  They seem to have accepted the God of Jonah, Yahweh, as their last resort.  Thus, the reluctant Jonah has converted his fellow shipmates to worship Yahweh, the God of Israel.

Against the Philistines (Am 1:6-1:8)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘For three transgressions

Of Gaza,

And for four,

I will not revoke

The punishment.

Because they carried

Into exile

Entire communities,

To hand them over

To Edom.

So,

I will send a fire

On the wall of Gaza.

It shall devour

Its strongholds.

I will cut off

The inhabitants

From Ashdod.

I will cut off

The one who holds

The scepter

From Ashkelon.

I will turn my hand

Against Ekron.

The remnant

Of the Philistines

Shall perish.’

Says Yahweh

God.”

The Philistines had 5 major cities along the Mediterranean coast, west of Judah. The only city not mentioned here was Gath that had been wiped out by the Syrian King Hazael. Otherwise, Yahweh was going to punish the other 4 cities. Gaza was cited as the worst, since the numbering iniquities were about 3 and 4 things, just like the numerical Proverbs, chapter 30. Yahweh was not going to revoke his punishment against them. They were involved in the slave trade with Edom that sent whole communities into exile. Although fire would come to Gaza, Yahweh reminded them that Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Ekron would also suffer. All the remaining Philistines would perish or die. This was clearly an oracle of Yahweh.

The destruction of Samaria (Hos 10:7-10:8)

“Samaria’s king

Shall perish,

Like a twig

On the face

Of the waters.

The high places of Aven,

The sin of Israel,

Shall be destroyed.

Thorn

With thistle

Shall grow up

On their altars.

They shall say

To the mountains.

‘Cover us!’

They shall say

To the hills.

‘Fall upon us!’”

The king of Samaria, the northern king of Israel, would perish like a twig floating on water. The idol high places at Beth-aven, near Bethel, would be destroyed. These idol worship places were the real sin of Israel. Thorns and thistles would grow on these false idol altars. The people and these altars would cry to have the mountains and the hills fall on them and cover them up. There would be great destruction in northern Israel, especially around the various idol worship altars and shrines.

The sword of the king of Babylon (Ezek 32:11-32:12)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘The sword

Of the king

Of Babylon

Shall come

Against you.

I will cause

Your hordes

To fall

By the swords

Of the mighty ones,

All of them,

The most terrible

Among the nations.

They shall bring

To ruin

The pride of Egypt.

All its hordes

Shall perish.’”

Yahweh God, via Ezekiel, pointed out that the sword of the king of Babylon was going to come against Egypt and its people. Many would fall by the swords of these mighty Babylonian warriors, the most terrible and terrifying among the nations. They would bring ruin to the pride of Egypt. A multitude of its people shall perish.

The destruction of the Ammonites (Ezek 25:6-25:7)

“Thus says Yahweh God.

‘You have clapped

Your hands.

You have stamped

Your feet.

You have rejoiced

With all the malice

Within you

Against the land of Israel.

Therefore,

I have stretched out

My hand

Against you.

I will hand you over

As plunder

To the nations.

I will cut you off

From the people.

I will make you

Perish

Out of the countries.

I will destroy you.

Then you will know

That I am Yahweh.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that the Ammonites had maliciously clapped their hands and stamped their feet in rejoicing over the bad situation of Israel. Thus Yahweh was going to stretch out his hand against these Ammonites. He was going to make them plunder for the various nations, since they would be cut you off from all the other countries. They were going to perish because Yahweh was going to destroy them. Thus they would finally realize that Yahweh was God. Unlike Jeremiah, there was no mention of a future restoration for Ammon.