Would Elijah save Jesus? (Mt 27:49-27:49)

“But the others said.

‘Wait!

Let us see

Whether Elijah

Will come to save him.’”

 

οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ εἶπαν Ἄφες ἴδωμεν εἰ ἔρχεται Ἡλείας σώσων αὐτόν.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:36.  There was nothing about Elijah in Luke, chapter 23, and in John, chapter 19.  Matthew said that some of the other bystanders (οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ εἶπαν) wanted to wait and see whether Elijah would come to save Jesus (Ἄφες ἴδωμεν εἰ ἔρχεται Ἡλείας σώσων αὐτόν).  Other ancient manuscripts have the additional symbolic phrase that can be found in John, 19:34 that happened after Jesus had died.  This verse read “Another soldier took a spear and pierced his side.  Then out came water and blood (ἄλλος δὲ λαβὼν λόγχην ἔνυξεν αὐτοῦ τὴν πλευράν, καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὕδωρ καὶ αἷμα).”

 

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The battle power of Yahweh (Hab 3:14-3:15)

“You pierced

With their own arrows

The head of his warriors.

They came

Like a whirlwind

To scatter us.

They gloated

As if ready

To devour the poor,

Who were in hiding.

You trampled

The sea

With your horses,

Churning the mighty waters.”

Yahweh pierced the heads of the enemy warriors with their own arrows.  They came like a storm to scatter Yahweh’s people.  They were gloating, as if they were about to devour poor hidden people.  However, Yahweh trampled the sea with his horses turning up the mighty waters against them.

The powerful intervention of God (Isa 51:9-51:11)

“Awake!

Awake!

Put on strength!

O arm of Yahweh!

Awake!

As in days of old!

The generations of long ago!

Did you not cut Rahab in pieces?

Did you not pierce the dragon?

Did you not dry up the sea?

Did you not dry up the waters of the great deep?

Did you not make the depths of the sea

In a way for the redeemed to cross over?

The ransomed of Yahweh shall return.

They will come to Zion with singing.

Everlasting joy shall be upon their heads.

They shall obtain joy.

They shall obtain gladness.

Sorrow shall flee away.

Sighing shall flee away.”

Second Isaiah has a plea for the arm of Yahweh to act again as he had done in Egypt at the time of the Exodus. He had cut up Rahab, the sea monster name for Egypt. He had pierced the dragon in mythological terms. He dried up the waters, so that the redeemed of Israel could cross over. These same ransomed people will now come to Zion singing with joy. They will be joyful and glad and not sorrowful or sighing. Yahweh will intervene again on their behalf.

The satirical questions to the king (Isa 14:16-14:19)

“Those who see you

Will stare at you.

They will ponder over you.

‘Is this the man

Who made the earth tremble?

Is this the man

Who shook kingdoms?

Is this the man

Who made the world

Like a desert?

Is this the man

Who overthrew its cities?

Is this the man

Who would not let his prisoners go home?’

All the kings of the nations

Lie in glory,

Each in their own tomb.

But you are cast out.

You are away from your grave,

Like loathsome carrion.

You are clothed with the dead,

Those pierced by the sword.

You go down to the stones of the Pit,

Like a corpse trampled underfoot.”

Isaiah then has his companions ask this king a series of satirical questions. They were staring at this king as they thought about him. He had made the earth tremble. He had shook up kingdoms. He had made the world a desert. He had overthrown cities. He had never let prisoners go. But look at him now! Is this the same man? Most kings are buried in their own tombs. However, he was cast out of his grave so that he became rotten flesh for birds to eat. He was pierced by the sword so that he was not in a grave, but in a pit, so that his corpse was trampled on as people walked by.

David wants protection (Ps 109:20-108:25)

“May this be the reward of my accusers

From Yahweh.

This is the reward for those who speak evil against my life!

O God!

Yahweh!

You act on my behalf for your name’s sake!

Because your steadfast love is good,

Deliver me!

I am poor and needy.

My heart is pierced within me.

I am gone,

Like a shadow at evening.

I am shaken off like a locust.

My knees are weak through fasting.

My body has become gaunt.

I am an object of scorn to my accusers.

When they see me,

They shake their heads.”

Now David turns to Yahweh to be saved from these evil people who were talking about him. He wanted Yahweh to act on his behalf for his name’s sake. He relied on the steadfast love of Yahweh to deliver him from this terrible situation. David admitted that he was poor and needy. His heart was pierced. He had become like an evening shadow. He had been tossed away like a locust. His knees were weak from fasting. His body had become gaunt. He had become the object of scorn to his accusers. When they saw him, they would shake their heads in dismay.

The battle at Carnaim with Timothy (2 Macc 12:17-12:23)

“When they had gone ninety-five miles from there, they came to Charax, to the Jews who are called Toubiani. They did not find Timothy in that region, for he had by then left there without accomplishing anything. Although in one place, he had left a very strong garrison. Dositheus and Sosipater, who were the captains under Judas Maccabeus, marched out. They destroyed those whom Timothy had left in the stronghold, more than ten thousand men. However, Judas Maccabeus arranged his army in divisions as he set men in command of these divisions. He hastened after Timothy, who had with him one hundred twenty thousand infantry and two thousand five hundred cavalry. When Timothy learned of the approach of Judas Maccabeus, he sent off the women and the children with the baggage to a place called Carnaim that was hard to besiege. It was difficult to access because of the narrowness of all its approaches. But when Judas Maccabeus’ first division appeared, terror and fear came over the enemy at the manifestation to them of him, who sees all things. They rushed headlong in every direction, so that often they were injured by their own men and pierced by the points of their own swords. Judas Maccabeus pressed the pursuit with the utmost vigor. He put the sinners to the sword. He destroyed as many as thirty thousand men.”

Once again, this is similar to the battles in Gilead in 1 Maccabees, chapter 5. Charax might be present day Kuwait. Apparently they were looking for the elusive Timothy, who had already died in chapter 10 of this book. Dositheus and Sosipater were the captains of Judas Maccabeus on the east side of the Jordan River. They had already destroyed 10,000 of Timothy’s men. However, he had an enormous amount of troops, 125,000 infantry and 2,500 cavalry. Yet he was afraid of Judas Maccabeus. He sent all the women and children with the baggage to Carnaim, because it would be difficult to besiege that place due to its narrow approaches. As usual, the men of Judas Maccabeus pressed after the men of Timothy. Those men were so afraid of the God of Judas Maccabeus and his men that they ran in every which way so that they injured their own troops with their own swords. Nevertheless, Judas Maccabeus and his troops killed 30,000 men. These numbers are enormous here.