“Now large crowds
He turned to them.”
Συνεπορεύοντο δὲ αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοί, καὶ στραφεὶς
Luke uniquely indicated that that there were great large crowds traveling with Jesus (Συνεπορεύοντο δὲ αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοί). He was no longer going to places where crowds gathered. They were traveling with him now. He turned to them (καὶ στραφεὶς). He was about to talk to them about the cost of being a disciple of Jesus. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), the German Lutheran theologian wrote the Cost of Discipleship (1937), outlining the problems of being a Christian in Nazi Germany, when he argued against cheap grace, the easy way out. Do you go along with the crowd?
At the table.
When they were
I say to you!
One of you
Will betray me.
He is one
Of those eating
καὶ ἀνακειμένων αὐτῶν καὶ ἐσθιόντων ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με, ὁ ἐσθίων μετ’ ἐμοῦ.
This is similar, almost word for word, to Matthew, chapter 26:20-21, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 13:21, but this verse is not found in Luke. First, they all took their places reclining at the table (καὶ ἀνακειμένων αὐτῶν). Did this mean that Peter, James, John, and Andrew had preferential seating? While they were eating (καὶ ἐσθιόντων), Jesus gave a solemn declaration or proclamation (εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν). He said that one of his 12 leading apostles would betray him (ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με). Differing from Matthew, Mark indicated that Jesus said that the betrayer was one of those eating with him at this very table with him (ὁ ἐσθίων μετ’ ἐμοῦ). This seems like a strange time to bring this up. However, Jesus was clear, he knew what was going to happen. This may harken back to Psalm 49:9 where David complained that even some friend, whom he trusted and broke bread with, had lifted his heel against him. Thus, this prophecy would be fulfilled when one of his beloved trusted 12 apostles betrayed him.
“The word came
For all the Judeans
Living in the land
As well as in the land of Pathros.”
Jeremiah received an oracle that was to be addressed to all the Judeans living in Egypt. No longer was this a small group of the remnant led by Johanan at Tahpanhes, but this was addressed to all the other Judeans living in different cities and places in Egypt. How did these Judeans get there? How big were these Israelite colonies? Were they left over from Exodus times? Were they also recent immigrants? The remnant group with Jeremiah and Baruch at Tahpanhes had just arrived. Were there other Judeans before they arrived in that town? Migdol was an island in the Nile River, east of Tahpanhes. Memphis was the ancient capital of lower Egypt, in the Nile River delta area. Pathros was also in the southern part of Egypt where Judean colonies might have been. As these places are mentioned, the assumption is that there must have been some other Judeans there. At least the author of this work knew something about them. Like the preceding chapter, this section has a different numbered chapter in the Greek translation of the Septuagint, chapters 51, not chapter 44 as here.
“‘I will restore your fortunes.
I will gather you
From all the nations,
From all the places,
Where I have driven you.’
‘I will bring you back
To the place
I sent you into exile.’”
Yahweh is very clear in this letter of Jeremiah that he will restore their fortunes. He will gather them up from all the countries and places that he has driven them into. He was going to bring them back to the exiled places where they started from.
“On that day,
Their strong cities will be
Like the deserted places of the Hivites,
Like the deserted places of the Amorites.
They deserted them
Because of the children of Israel.
Now there will be desolation.”
On this day of destruction, the strong cities of the north would be deserted like the former places of the Hivites and the Amorites. The Hivites were one of the northern tribes that lived in Canaan, supposedly the Semitic descendants of Ham, the son of Noah. The Amorites were southern Canaanites, before Judah took over. However, the Amorites were more spread out into Mesopotamia and into Syria. Within the biblical literature Amorites and Canaanites are sometimes interchangeable. Anyway, after the takeover of Canaan at the time of Joshua, their cities were deserted because the children of Israel left them in ruins. The same thing was now going to happen to the northern Israelites.
“Have you commanded the morning
Since your days began?
Have you caused the dawn to know its place?
Have you caused the dawn to take hold of the skirts of the earth?
Have you caused the wicked to be shaken out of it?
It is changed like clay under the seal.
It is dyed like a garment.
Light is withheld from the wicked.
Their uplifted arm is broken.”
Yahweh wanted to know if Job was in charge of making days begin. Obviously he was not. Somehow the morning sun put the wicked in their places. The morning sun changed the clay and dyed it like a garment. The wicked somehow were in darkness. Their arms would be broken if they lifted them to Yahweh.