Jerusalem would not respond (Lk 13:34-13:34)

“Jerusalem!

Jerusalem!

The city

That kills

The prophets!

You stone

Those who are sent

To you!

How often

Have I desired

To gather

Your children together

As a hen gathers

Her brood

Under her wings!

But you were not willing!”

 

Ἱερουσαλὴμ Ἱερουσαλήμ, ἡ ἀποκτείνουσα τοὺς προφήτας καὶ λιθοβολοῦσα τοὺς ἀπεσταλμένους πρὸς αὐτήν, ποσάκις ἠθέλησα ἐπισυνάξαι τὰ τέκνα σου ὃν τρόπον ὄρνις τὴν ἑαυτῆς νοσσιὰν ὑπὸ τὰς πτέρυγας, καὶ οὐκ ἠθελήσατε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus picked on Jerusalem (Ἱερουσαλὴμ Ἱερουσαλήμ).  He called it the city that killed its prophets (ἡ ἀποκτείνουσα τοὺς προφήτας).  They had stoned those who were sent to them (καὶ λιθοβολοῦσα τοὺς ἀπεσταλμένους πρὸς αὐτήν).  Jesus, almost speaking as God, said that he had often desired to gather his children together (ποσάκις ἠθέλησα ἐπισυνάξαι τὰ τέκνα σου), like a hen gathered her brood under her wings (ὃν τρόπον ὄρνις τὴν ἑαυτῆς νοσσιὰν ὑπὸ τὰς πτέρυγας).  However, they were not willing (καὶ οὐκ ἠθελήσατε).  Both Luke and Matthew chapter 23:37, have this lament about Jerusalem, almost word for word. so that this may be a Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus addressed Jerusalem (Ἰερουσαλὴμ Ἰερουσαλήμ), saying that it was the city that killed the prophets (ἡ ἀποκτείνουσα τοὺς προφήτας).  They stoned those prophets who were sent to it (καὶ λιθοβολοῦσα τοὺς ἀπεσταλμένους πρὸς αὐτήν).  God, the Father, or Jesus had often desired to gather her children together (ποσάκις ἠθέλησα ἐπισυναγαγεῖν τὰ τέκνα σου), just like a hen gathers her brood of little chicks under her wings (ὃν τρόπον ὄρνις ἐπισυνάγει τὰ νοσσία αὐτῆς ὑπὸ τὰς πτέρυγας).  However, Jerusalem was not willing to do so (καὶ οὐκ ἠθελήσατε).  This idea of a mother hen gathering her chicks under her wings can be found in Psalm 17:8 that spoke about hiding in the shadow of her wings and Psalm 91:4 that once again spoke about being covered with wings.  The exact incidents of the city of Jerusalem killing prophets cannot be clearly attested.  Is there a certain city that you do not like?

O Jerusalem (Mt 23:37-23:37)

“O Jerusalem!

O Jerusalem!

The city

That kills the prophets!

They stone those

Who are sent to it!

How often

Have I desired

To gather

Your children together,

As a hen gathers

Her brood

Under her wings,

But you were not willing!”

 

Ἰερουσαλὴμ Ἰερουσαλήμ, ἡ ἀποκτείνουσα τοὺς προφήτας καὶ λιθοβολοῦσα τοὺς ἀπεσταλμένους πρὸς αὐτήν, ποσάκις ἠθέλησα ἐπισυναγαγεῖν τὰ τέκνα σου, ὃν τρόπον ὄρνις ἐπισυνάγει τὰ νοσσία αὐτῆς ὑπὸ τὰς πτέρυγας, καὶ οὐκ ἠθελήσατε.

 

Both Luke, chapter 13:34, and Matthew here have this lament about Jerusalem, word for word the same, so that this may be a Q source.  Jesus addressed Jerusalem (Ἰερουσαλὴμ Ἰερουσαλήμ), saying that it was the city that killed the prophets (ἡ ἀποκτείνουσα τοὺς προφήτας).  They stoned those prophets who were sent to it (καὶ λιθοβολοῦσα τοὺς ἀπεσταλμένους πρὸς αὐτήν).  God, the Father, or Jesus had often desired to gather her children together (ποσάκις ἠθέλησα ἐπισυναγαγεῖν τὰ τέκνα σου), just like a hen gathers her brood of little chicks under her wings (ὃν τρόπον ὄρνις ἐπισυνάγει τὰ νοσσία αὐτῆς ὑπὸ τὰς πτέρυγας).  However, Jerusalem was not willing to do so (καὶ οὐκ ἠθελήσατε).  This idea of a mother hen gathering her chicks under her wings can be found in Psalm 17:8 that spoke about hiding in the shadow of her wings and Psalm 91:4 that once again spoke about being covered with wings.  The exact incidents of the city of Jerusalem killing prophets are not clear.

The righteous will survive (Ps 17:15-17:15)

“As for me,

I shall behold your face in righteousness.

When I awake,

I shall be satisfied.

I will behold your likeness.”

This psalm ends with the happy thought that the righteous will survive. I will survive. The morning waking is a great divine moment. The night belonged to the evil doers. The morning was the time of God, of Yahweh. In the morning the righteous ones would wake up because they could behold the likeness of Yahweh.

Yahweh must help (Ps 17:13-17:14)

“Rise up!

Yahweh!

Confront them!

Overthrow them!

By your sword

Deliver my life from the wicked!

Deliver me from mortals!

By your hand!

Yahweh!

Deliver me from those mortals

Whose portion in life is in this world!

May their bellies be filled

With what you have stored up for them!

May their children have more than enough!

May they leave something over to their little ones.”

It was not good enough to pray to Yahweh, the psalmist wanted action. He wanted Yahweh to rise up and fight on his behalf. He wanted Yahweh to confront and overthrow them. He wanted his life protected from the wicked with a sword. He wanted Yahweh to deliver him from the hands of mortals. On top of that he wanted Yahweh to fill their bellies with what Yahweh had stored up for them. Not only his enemies, but their children and their little ones should be filled with the terrible things that Yahweh had in store for them.

Protection from my enemies (Ps 17:7-17:12)

“From my adversaries

Who are at your right hand!

Guard me as the apple of your eye!

Hide me in the shadow of your wings!

Hide me from the wicked who despoil me!

Hide me from my deadly enemies who surround me!

They close their hearts to pity.

With their mouths

They speak arrogantly.

They track me down.

Now they surround me!

They want to cast me to the ground.

They are like a lion eager to tear.

They are like a young lion lurking in ambush.”

Now the psalmist is explicit. He wanted to be the apple of God’s eye. He wanted to be hidden in the shadow of his wings. He wanted protection from the wicked and deadly enemies who surrounded him. The enemies had no pity as they were arrogant. They had tracked him down and surrounded him. They were about to leap at him like a young lion lurking in an ambush.

The prayer to Yahweh (Ps 17:6-17:7)

“I am there.

I call upon you.

You answer me!

O God!

Incline your ear to me!

Hear my words!

Wondrously show your steadfast love!

O savior of those who seek refuge!”

The psalmist calls to God to answer him. He wanted God to turn his ear toward him. This is a common theme of God listening with his ear. He wanted God to hear his words. He wanted God to show his love. He wanted protection from his adversaries. He was seeking love and refuge in God.

The prayer of the innocent (Ps 17:3-17:5)

“If you try my heart,

If you visit me by night,

If you test me,

You will find no wickedness in me.

My mouth does not transgress.

As for what others do,

By the word of your lips,

I have avoided the ways of the violent.

My steps have held fast to your paths.

My feet have not slipped.”

David, or the psalmist, proclaims his innocence. His heart is true. Even if you were to visit him at night or test him, no one would find wickedness in him. His mouth does not transgress, even when others do. He has avoided violent ways and held to the path of Yahweh. His feet have not slipped.