Luke continued with the response of Jesus with a solemn pronouncement (καὶ ἐρεῖ λέγων ὑμῖν) that he did not know where they came from (Οὐκ οἶδα πόθεν ἐστέ). They were to go away from him (ἀπόστητε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ), since they were all evildoers, workers of evil (πάντες ἐργάται ἀδικίας). This verse is somewhat similar to Matthew, chapter 7:23, from the Sermon on the Mount, perhaps a Q source. Jesus was going to declare to them that he never knew them, because they were evildoers. Just as David had told the evildoers to depart in Psalm 6:13, Jesus wanted these evildoers to leave him alone. Who were these evil doers? They seem like friendly disciples of Jesus. What evil had they done to make them unworthy on the final judgment day? The answer was not clear. Would you consider yourself an evil doer?
This verse is somewhat similar to Luke, chapter 13:26-27. Matthew has Jesus say that on that day (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ), the judgment day, many would say to him (πολλοὶ ἐροῦσίν μοι), Lord! Lord (Κύριε Κύριε)! Did we not prophesize in your name (οὐ τῷ σῷ ὀνόματι ἐπροφητεύσαμεν)? Did we not cast out demons in your name (καὶ τῷ σῷ ὀνόματι δαιμόνια ἐξεβάλομεν)? Did we not do many great marvelous works in your name (καὶ τῷ σῷ ὀνόματι δυνάμεις πολλὰς ἐποιήσαμεν)? Then Jesus was going to declare to them (καὶ τότε ὁμολογήσω αὐτοῖς) that he never knew them (καὶ τότε ὁμολογήσω αὐτοῖς), because they were evildoers. Just as David had told the evildoers to depart in Psalm 6:13, Jesus wanted these evildoers (οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι τὴν ἀνομίαν) to leave him alone (ἀποχωρεῖτε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ). Who are these evil doers? They seem like disciples of Jesus, since they prophesized, cast out demons, and did marvelous works in the name of Jesus. What evil had they done to make them unworthy on the final judgment day? This text is not clear.
To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone into Bathsheba
“Have mercy on me!
According to your steadfast love,
According to your abundant mercy,
Blot out my transgressions!
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity!
Cleanse me from my sin!”
Psalm 51 is the great penitential psalm when David was confronted by the prophet Nathan for his sexual encounter with Bathsheba in 2 Samuel, chapters 11 and 12. Eventually, David and Bathsheba were punished with the death of their first born. David wanted God’s mercy because of God’s steadfast love. This psalm is like Psalm 6 as a lament that is addressed to God directly. David wanted his transgressions blotted out. He wanted his iniquities washed away. He wanted to be cleansed from his sin. He wanted everything back to normal.
Finally David can say to the evildoers, be gone. Yahweh has heard his weeping, his prayers, and supplications. Yahweh has accepted his prayers. Now his enemies were ashamed because they were struck with terror. They were turning back and being put to flight in shame.
David is weary with all his moaning. Every night his bed is full of tears. He drenches his couch in the day with tears. His eyes are wasting away because of grief. He was growing weak because of his enemies.
David wanted Yahweh to save his life. He wanted to be delivered from death because of the steadfast love of Yahweh. He pointed out that in death there is no remembering Yahweh. In Sheol, the dark place of after death no one could praise Yahweh because they were separated from God. There was not a concept of eternal life with God, just the banishment to Sheol, the underworld.
“To the choirmaster leader with stringed instruments, according to the Sheminith, a psalm of David.
Do not rebuke me in your anger!
Do not discipline me in your wrath!
Be gracious to me!
I am languishing.
My bones are shaking with terror.
My soul also is struck with terror.
But you Yahweh!
How long will this last?”
This Psalm 6 is a psalm for healing or a penitential psalm. Once again, there is a note to the choirmaster or leader about stringed instruments. It also is a psalm of David without any particular designation of any event in his life. However, there is this note about Sheminith, the Hebrew word for 8th so that it may mean this psalm should be sung in an 8th key or octave, perhaps the lowest male note. This would fit with the concept of this penitential lament. This is addressed to Yahweh directly. David did not want to be rebuked or disciplined by Yahweh because he was angry. He wanted Yahweh to be gracious to him. Both his body and soul were struck with terror. He wanted to know how long this was going to last.