This is my son (Lk 9:35-9:35)

“A voice came

From the cloud,

Saying.

‘This is my Son!

My Chosen one!

Listen to him!’”

 

καὶ φωνὴ ἐγένετο ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης λέγουσα Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱός μου ὁ ἐκλελεγμένος, αὐτοῦ ἀκούετε.

 

Luke said that a voice came from the cloud (καὶ φωνὴ ἐγένετο ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης) that said (λέγουσα) that this is my Son (Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱός μου), my Chosen one (ὁ ἐκλελεγμένος).  Listen to him (αὐτοῦ ἀκούετε)!  This voice from the cloud can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:5, Mark, chapter 9:7, and here in Luke, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Mark said that there was a voice from the cloud that said Jesus was his Son, the beloved one.  There was nothing about being pleased or chosen here.  However, there is the further admonition to listen to him.  The wording of the voice from the cloud sounds almost exactly like the voice from heaven in Mark, chapter 1:11, after the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.  Instead of from heaven there, the voice comes from a cloud here.  This voice did not address Jesus personally.  However, the idea of a heavenly voice or a voice from a cloud had a very strong tradition in the Jewish writings of the Hebrew Bible, especially among the prophets and Moses.  The Baptism of Jesus, like the transfiguration here, has become the starting point for any theological reflection about early Christian Christology.  In Matthew, this voice from the cloud said that Jesus was his most beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased.  However, there was the further admonition to listen to him as in LukeMatthew, like Mark, has a clear connection between the Baptism of Jesus and his transfiguration.  Both times, the Father as the voice from heaven, or in the clouds, pronounced that Jesus was his beloved Son in whom he was well pleased.  Are you pleased with Jesus?

This is my beloved Son (Mk 9:7-9:7)

“Then a cloud

Overshadowed them.

There came

A voice

From the cloud.

‘This is my beloved Son!

Listen to him!’”

 

καὶ ἐγένετο νεφέλη ἐπισκιάζουσα αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἐγένετο φωνὴ ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἀκούετε αὐτοῦ.

 

This voice from the cloud can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:5, Luke, chapter 9:34-35, and here in Mark, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  The wording of the voice from the cloud sounds almost exactly like the voice from heaven in chapter 1:11, after the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.  Instead of from heaven there, the voice comes from a cloud here.  This voice did not address Jesus personally.  However, the idea of a heavenly voice or a voice from a cloud had a very strong tradition in the Jewish writings of the Hebrew Bible, especially among the prophets and Moses.  The Baptism of Jesus, like the transfiguration here, has become the starting point for any theological reflection about early Christian Christology.  Mark said that a cloud overshadowed them (καὶ ἐγένετο νεφέλη ἐπισκιάζουσα αὐτοῖς).  Then there was a voice from the cloud (καὶ ἐγένετο φωνὴ ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης) that said Jesus was his Son, the beloved one (Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός).  There was nothing about being pleased by him here.  However, there is the further admonition to listen to him (ἀκούετε αὐτοῦ).  Mark has a clear connection between the Baptism of Jesus and his transfiguration.  Both times, the Father as the voice from heaven or the cloud pronounced that Jesus was his beloved Son.

Medieval approach to the Bible

The Vulgate Bible (382-384 CE) was the inspired true word of God in an incomprehensible Latin, the language of the educated people.  The biblical texts appeared in scarce manuscript form in the Middle Ages.  Few people had access to read the Bible, because most were illiterate.  Most people were content to glean the Bible stories from paintings, stain glass windows, passion plays, and preaching.  There was never any question as to its interpretation since the educated Church leaders, who had studied the Bible, pronounced what the correct traditional understanding of the Bible was.

Do not be like your ancestors (Zech 1:4-1:6)

“Do not be like your ancestors!

The former prophets

Cried out

Against them.

Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘Return from your evil ways!

Return from your evil deeds!

But they did not hear.

They did not heed me.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Your ancestors,

Where are they?

The prophets,

Do they live forever?

But my words,

My statutes,

That I commanded

My servants,

The prophets,

Did they not overtake

Your ancestors?

Thus,

They repented.

They said.

‘Yahweh of hosts

Has dealt with us

According to our ways,

According to our deeds,

Just as he planned to do.’”

Yahweh, via Zechariah, wanted the people of Israel not to be like their ancestors.  They should return from their evil ways and deeds.  Their ancestors had not listened to the former prophets proclaiming the word of Yahweh.  What happened to their ancestors?  Neither they nor these prophets would live forever.  However, the statutes and commands of Yahweh as pronounced by his servants, the prophets, overtook them.  They repented and agreed that Yahweh had treated them fairly according to their ways and deeds.

The boiling rusted pot (Ezek 24:9-24:11)

“Therefore

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Woe to the bloody city!

I will even make

The pile great!

Heap up the logs!

Kindle the fire!

Boil the meat well!

Mix in the spices!

Let the bones

Be burned!

Stand it empty

Upon the coals!

Thus it may become hot.

Its copper will glow.

Its filth

Will melt in it.

Its rust

Will be consumed.’”

Once again Yahweh, via Ezekiel, pronounced a curse against the bloody city of Jerusalem. Yahweh was going to pile up logs and kindle a fire. He wanted to boil the meat with lots of spices. He wanted this meal so well cooked that even the bones would be burned. He wanted this pot to stand empty on the hot coals until its copper glowed. He had hoped that the filth would melt out of this pot. That way, all the rust would be consumed and gone, since this burning pot was Jerusalem.

Do not go to Egypt (Jer 42:19-42:22)

“Yahweh has said to you.

‘O remnant of Judah!

Do not go to Egypt!’

Be well aware

That I have warned you

Today!

You have made

A fatal mistake!

You yourselves sent me

To Yahweh your God.

Saying.

‘Pray for us

To Yahweh our God!

Whatever Yahweh our God

Says

Tell us!

We will do it.’

So I have told you

Today

But you have not obeyed

The voice

Of Yahweh your God

In anything

That he sent me to tell you.

Be well aware

That you shall die

By the sword,

By famine,

By pestilence

In the place

Where you desire to go,

Where you desire to live.’”

Not only is Yahweh upset, but so is Jeremiah. Yahweh had told Jeremiah what he wanted. This remnant of Judah had gone to Jeremiah to find out God’s will. Now that Jeremiah has pronounced Yahweh’s will, they did not like it. Yahweh’s response was simple. Do not go to Egypt! If they would go, they would make a fatal mistake. Jeremiah has warned them. They had, in fact, asked Jeremiah to intercede with Yahweh, so that they might know what to do. They said that they would do whatever Yahweh wanted. After Jeremiah came back with the words of Yahweh, they would not accept it, since they did not like the response. Suddenly, it was a different situation. Now they wanted to disobey by going to Egypt. Thus as Jeremiah so often remarked, they would die by the famous sword, famine, or pestilence in the land that they desired to go to live, Egypt. There was no ambiguity here.

The continual failure to listen to Jeremiah (Jer 37:2-37:2)

“But neither he,

Nor his servants,

Nor the people of the land

Listened to

The words of Yahweh

That he spoke

Through the prophet

Jeremiah.”

As usual, King Zedekiah with his servants and the people of Judah did not listen to the words of Yahweh as pronounced via the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah was clearly Yahweh’s prophet or mouthpiece to the people of Judah and its king.