The people against Jesus (Lk 20:20-20:20)

“Thus,

They watched Jesus.

They sent spies,

Who pretended

To be righteous themselves.

They tried

To trap him.

Thus,

They might hand him over

To the jurisdiction

And authority

Of the governor.”

 

Καὶ παρατηρήσαντες ἀπέστειλαν ἐνκαθέτους ὑποκρινομένους ἑαυτοὺς δικαίους εἶναι, ἵνα ἐπιλάβωνται αὐτοῦ λόγου, ὥστε παραδοῦναι αὐτὸν τῇ ἀρχῇ καὶ τῇ ἐξουσίᾳ τοῦ ἡγεμόνος 

 

Luke said that the chief priests and the Scribes were watching Jesus very closely (Καὶ παρατηρήσαντες).  They sent spies (ἀπέστειλαν ἐνκαθέτους).  Luke used the word ἐνκαθέτους, that means hired to lie in wait, lying in wait, or a spy, as the only time this word appeared in all the Greek biblical literature.  They pretended to be honest righteous men themselves (ὑποκρινομένους ἑαυτοὺς δικαίους εἶναι).  Luke has another unique usage of the word ὑποκρινομένους that means to reply, to answer on a stage, to pretend, or act the part.  They were trying to trap or catch Jesus with his own words (ἵνα ἐπιλάβωνται αὐτοῦ λόγου).  Thus, they might be able to hand him over (ὥστε παραδοῦναι αὐτὸν) to the rule or jurisdiction (τῇ ἀρχῇ) and authority of the Roman client governor (καὶ τῇ ἐξουσίᾳ τοῦ ἡγεμόνος).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:15-16, and in Mark, chapter 12:13.  Mark said that the Pharisees sent some of their own people to Jesus (Καὶ ἀποστέλλουσιν πρὸς αὐτόν τινας τῶν Φαρισαίων).  The Pharisees were always testing or tempting Jesus and his disciples, but they were not mentioned in Luke.  They also sent along some Herodians (καὶ τῶν Ἡρῳδιανῶν), who were the followers or political supporters of King Herod Antipas, the Roman client tetrarch king of Galilee, the one who had John the Baptist beheaded.  Both these groups were out to trap Jesus or catch him by using his own words against him (ἵνα αὐτὸν ἀγρεύσωσιν λόγῳ).  Matthew said that the Pharisees went away (Τότε πορευθέντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι) for a while, but they plotted or gathered together (συμβούλιον ἔλαβον) to entrap or entangle Jesus in what he had said (ὅπως αὐτὸν παγιδεύσωσιν ἐν λόγῳ).  These Pharisees sent their own disciples to Jesus (καὶ ἀποστέλλουσιν αὐτῷ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτῶν), along with some Herodians (μετὰ τῶν Ἡρῳδιανῶν), just like Mark had mentioned.  They were out to trick or trap Jesus.  Have you ever tried to trap anyone?

They try to trap Jesus (Mk 12:13-12:13)

“They sent

To Jesus,

Some Pharisees

And some Herodians,

To trap him

In what he said.”

 

Καὶ ἀποστέλλουσιν πρὸς αὐτόν τινας τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ τῶν Ἡρῳδιανῶν ἵνα αὐτὸν ἀγρεύσωσιν λόγῳ

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:15-16, and in Luke, chapter 20:20, as the Pharisees plotted to entrap or entangle Jesus in what he had said.  Mark said that the Pharisees sent some of their own people to Jesus (Καὶ ἀποστέλλουσιν πρὸς αὐτόν τινας τῶν Φαρισαίων).  The Pharisees were a political party, a social movement, and a religious school of thought that followed the Law of Moses, but with a number of oral traditions.  They had they own expert explanations of Jewish law that sometimes appeared to be hypocritical or arrogant, with a form of Judaism that extended beyond the Temple.  They were always testing or tempting Jesus and his disciples.  They also sent along some Herodians (καὶ τῶν Ἡρῳδιανῶν).  Who are these people?  They were the followers or political supporters of King Herod Antipas, the Roman client tetrarch king of Galilee, the one who had John the Baptist beheaded.  Both these groups were out to trap Jesus or catch him by using his own words against him (ἵνα αὐτὸν ἀγρεύσωσιν λόγῳ).

The plot to arrest Jesus (Mt 26:4-26:5)

“They conspired

To arrest Jesus

Secretly.

They plotted

To kill him.

But they said.

‘Not during the festival!

There may be a riot

Among the people.’”

 

καὶ συνεβουλεύσαντο ἵνα τὸν Ἰησοῦν δόλῳ κρατήσωσιν καὶ ἀποκτείνωσιν·

ἔλεγον δέ Μὴ ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ, ἵνα μὴ θόρυβος γένηται ἐν τῷ λαῷ.

 

This is almost word for word to Mark, chapter 14:1-2, and somewhat similar to Luke, chapter 22:2.  Matthew said that these elders and priests conspired or plotted (καὶ συνεβουλεύσαντο) to arrest Jesus (ἵνα τὸν Ἰησοῦν κρατήσωσιν) and kill him (καὶ ἀποκτείνωσιν·) by some secret deceitful trick (δόλῳ).  However, they did not want to do it during the Passover festival (ἔλεγον δέ Μὴ ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ).  They were afraid that there might be a disturbing riot among the people (ἵνα μὴ θόρυβος γένηται ἐν τῷ λαῷ).  What made them change their minds?

Pharisees try to trick Jesus (Mt 22:15-22:15)

“Then the Pharisees

Went away.

They plotted

To entrap Jesus

In what he had said.”

 

Τότε πορευθέντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι συμβούλιον ἔλαβον ὅπως αὐτὸν παγιδεύσωσιν ἐν λόγῳ.

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 12:13, and in Luke, chapter 20:20.  Then the Pharisees went away (Τότε πορευθέντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι).  However, they plotted or gathered together (συμβούλιον ἔλαβον) to entrap or entangle Jesus in what he had said (ὅπως αὐτὸν παγιδεύσωσιν ἐν λόγῳ).  They were out to get him by using his own words against him.

 

The alliance of the kings of the north and the south (Dan 11:6-11:6)

“After some years,

They shall make an alliance.

The daughter

Of the king of the south

Shall come to

The king of the north

To ratify the agreement.

But she shall not retain

Her power.

Her offspring

Shall not endure.

She shall be given up.

She,

Her attendants,

Her child,

The one who supported her

Will all die.”

The sons of Ptolemy and Seleucus made an alliance. Apparently, this took place around 250 BCE when Ptolemy II (283-246 BCE) gave his daughter Bernice to Antiochus II (261-246 BCE) to be his wife. However, the first wife of Antiochus II, Laodice, plotted against her. She then killed Bernice, her child and everyone with her. Thus, this treaty did not last long.

The vicious request of Jeremiah (Jer 18:21-18:23)

“Therefore give their children

Over to famine!

Hurl them out

To the power of the sword!

Let their wives become childless!

Let their wives become widowed!

May their men meet death

By pestilence!

May their youths be slain

By the sword in battle!

May a cry be heard

From their houses,

When you bring the marauder

Suddenly upon them.

They have dug a pit

To catch me.

They laid snares

For my feet.

Yet you!

Yahweh!

Know all their plotting

To kill me.

Do not forgive their iniquity!

Do not blot out their sin

From your sight!

Let them be tripped up before you!

Deal with them

While you are angry!”

Jeremiah does not hold back his contempt for his adversaries. He is vicious in this lament to Yahweh. First, he wanted their children to die whether by famine or by the sword. He wanted their wives to be childless and widows. He hoped that they might die from a pestilence. He wanted their young men killed in battle. He wanted a marauder to suddenly attack them. They had plotted to catch him and kill him in a pit, as they laid snares for his feet. He told Yahweh not to forgive their iniquity, not to blot out their sins. They should be tripped up. He wanted Yahweh to deal with them while he was angry, so that they would receive a worse sentence. There was no sense of Jeremiah’s mercy or compassion here. He wanted his enemies completely destroyed.

Jeremiah’s prayerful response (Jer 11:20-11:20)

“But you!

Yahweh of hosts!

You judge righteously

Those who try the heart,

Those who try the mind.

Let me see

Your retribution upon them!

I have committed my cause

To you.”

This prayerful response of Jeremiah is addressed to Yahweh. He knew that Yahweh judged righteously the hearts and the minds of all people. Thus Jeremiah wanted retribution to come to those who had plotted against him. However, he was committing his cause to Yahweh, to let him do as he pleased.