The prophet of the Most High (Lk 1:76-1:76)

“You!

Child!

Will be called

The prophet

Of the Most High!

You will go

Before the Lord

To prepare

His ways.”

 

Καὶ σὺ δέ, παιδίον, προφήτης Ὑψίστου κληθήσῃ· προπορεύσῃ γὰρ ἐνώπιον Κυρίου ἑτοιμάσαι ὁδοὺς αὐτοῦ,

 

Finally, Zechariah, via Luke in this canticle, turned to his child John.  He said to him (Καὶ σὺ δέ, παιδίον) that he would be called the prophet of the Most High (προφήτης Ὑψίστου κληθήσῃ).  He would go before or precede the Lord (προπορεύσῃ γὰρ ἐνώπιον Κυρίου) to prepare his ways (ἑτοιμάσαι ὁδοὺς αὐτοῦ).  The term Most High was an attempt to translate the Hebrew word for God “Elohim.”  There was no Greek word equivalent for Yahweh, so that the tendency was to use the word “Lord” or “Κυρίου.”  Notice that Jesus was going to be the Son of the Most High, while John was going to be the prophet of the Most High.  John was to prepare the ways for the Lord, as in Isaiah, chapters 40:3 and 57:14.

 

I will go to Galilee (Mk 14:28-14:28)

“But after

I am raised up,

I will go before you

To Galilee.”

 

ἀλλὰ μετὰ τὸ ἐγερθῆναί με προάξω ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν.

 

This is exactly the same, word for word, as in Matthew, chapter 26:32.  Interesting enough, Luke, chapter 24, and John, chapter 20, but not chapter 21, have the post resurrection appearances in Judea not Galilee.  Jesus said here that after he was raised up (ἀλλὰ μετὰ τὸ ἐγερθῆναί), he would go ahead of or precede them in Galilee (με προάξω ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν).  In the gospel of Matthew, Galilee played a predominant role.  Thus, after the resurrection, it did not seem out of place as a post-resurrection reunion site.

Jesus was going to go to Galilee (Mt 26:32-26:32)

“But after I am raised up,

I will go ahead of you

To Galilee.”

 

μετὰ δὲ τὸ ἐγερθῆναί με προάξω ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν.

 

This is exactly the same, word for word, as in Mark, chapter 14:28.  Interesting enough, Luke, chapter 24, and John, chapter 20, but not chapter 21, have the post resurrection appearances in Judea not Galilee.  Jesus said here that after he was raised up (μετὰ δὲ τὸ ἐγερθῆναί), he would go ahead of or precede them in Galilee (με προάξω ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν).  In the gospel of Matthew, Galilee played a predominant role.  Thus, after the resurrection, it does not seem out of place as a post-resurrection reunion site.

The prince of Tyre pretends to be god (Ezek 28:1-28:2)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Say!

To the prince of Tyre!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Your heart

Is proud!

You have said.

‘I am a god!  

I sit

In the seat

Of the gods

In the heart

Of the seas.’

Yet you are

But a mortal!

You are no god!

Even though

You compare

Your mind

With the mind

Of a god.”

A usual, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. He was to tell the prince of Tyre what Yahweh had said. This Tyre prince had a proud heart. He thought that he was a god. He claimed to sit among the gods in the heart of the sea. However, he was just a mere mortal human. He was no god, even though he compared his own mind to that of a god. Was this King Ittobaal II (760-740 BCE), but that would precede the time frame of Ezekiel by over a 100 years.

Trusting friendly neighbors (Sir 22:23-22:26)

“Gain the trust of your neighbor

In his poverty.

Thus you may rejoice with him

In his prosperity.

Stand by him

In time of his distress.

Thus you may share with him

In his inheritance.

One should not always despise

Restricted circumstances.

One should not admire

A rich person who is stupid.

The vapor of the furnace

Precedes the fire.

The smoke of the furnace

Precedes the fire.

Thus insults precede bloodshed.

I am not ashamed

To shelter a friend.

I will not hide from him.

But if harm should come to me

Because of him,

Whoever hears of it

Will beware of him.”

Friendship happens in good times as well as bad times. If you trust your neighbor in his poverty, you can rejoice with him in his prosperity. If you stand by him in his distress, you can share with him in his good times. On the other hand, you should not admire a rich stupid person or despise those in poverty. Where there is a smell and smoke, there surely will be a fire. So too, insults often precede bloodshed. So be careful! Sirach was not ashamed to shelter a friend. However, if any harm came to him because of that friend, this would be a reminder to others to be wary about what his friend had done. Even this friendship is a little shaky, so that you should always be on guard against false friends.