‘It is written,
A house of prayer.’
But you have made it
A den of robbers.’”
λέγων αὐτοῖς Γέγραπται Καὶ ἔσται ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς· ὑμεῖς δὲ αὐτὸν ἐποιήσατε σπήλαιον λῃστῶν.
Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (λέγων αὐτοῖς) that it was written (Γέγραπται) that my house shall be a house of prayer (Καὶ ἔσται ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς). However, they had made it into a den or hideout of robbers or thieves (ὑμεῖς δὲ αὐτὸν ἐποιήσατε σπήλαιον λῃστῶν). This first citation about the house of prayer is from 3rd Isaiah, chapter 56:7, while the second citation about how they have made his Temple into a den of robbers is from Jeremiah, chapter 7:11. These biblical citations of Jesus in the Temple can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:13, and Mark, chapter 11:17, almost word for word. John, chapter 2:16-17, was slightly different, since he used a citation from Psalm 69:9, where the Psalmist or David had great zeal for the house of Yahweh that he was about to construct. Mark said that Jesus was teaching (καὶ ἐδίδασκεν). He asked them if they knew where it was written in Scripture (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Οὐ γέγραπται) that his house shall be called a house of prayer (ὅτι Ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς κληθήσεται) for all the nations (πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν). Matthew and Luke did not mention all the nations. However, the Temple functionaries were making it into a den or hideout of robbers or bandits (ὑμεῖς δὲ πεποιήκατε αὐτὸν σπήλαιον λῃστῶν). Likewise, Matthew said that Jesus told them that it was written in Scripture (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Γέγραπται) that his house shall be called a house of prayer (Ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς κληθήσεται). However, they were making it into a den or hideout of robbers or bandits (ὑμεῖς δὲ αὐτὸν ποιεῖτε σπήλαιον λῃστῶν). In all cases, Jesus was upset that the Jerusalem Temple house of prayer had been hijacked by a bunch of thieves and robbers. What kind of house of prayer do you pray in?
Do not rejoice
That the spirits
Submit to you!
That your names
Are written in heaven.”
πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε ὅτι τὰ πνεύματα ὑμῖν ὑποτάσσεται, χαίρετε δὲ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν ἐνγέγραπται ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.
Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should not rejoice (πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε) because the various evil spirits submit to them (ὅτι τὰ πνεύματα ὑμῖν ὑποτάσσεται). Rather, they should rejoice (χαίρετε) because their names (δὲ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν) are written or engraved (ἐνγέγραπται) in the heavens (ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς). This was a common Jewish and Mesopotamian idea that you name would be written in heaven as indicated in Psalm 69:28 as listed among the righteous. Do you think that your name is written in heaven?
He filled a sponge
With sour wine.
He put it
On a stick.
He gave it
Let us see
To take him down.’”
δραμὼν δέ τις καὶ γεμίσας σπόγγον ὄξους περιθεὶς καλάμῳ ἐπότιζεν αὐτόν, λέγων Ἄφετε ἴδωμεν εἰ ἔρχεται Ἡλείας καθελεῖν αὐτόν.
This is almost word for word in Mathew, chapter 27:48-49. In Luke, chapter 23:36, there was an indication of a soldier who gave some sour wine to Jesus. In John, chapter 19:28-29, Jesus said that he was thirsty before they gave him this sour wine that was standing nearby. Mark said that someone ran to get a sponge (δραμὼν δέ τις). He filled this sponge with sour wine or vinegar (καὶ γεμίσας σπόγγον ὄξους), a common Roman solder drink. Then he put it on a stick or reed (περιθεὶς καλάμῳ) to give Jesus something to drink (ἐπότιζεν αὐτόν). He said to wait and see if Elijah would come to take Jesus down from the cross (λέγων Ἄφετε ἴδωμεν εἰ ἔρχεται Ἡλείας καθελεῖν αὐτόν). This sour wine or vinegar might have been a reference to Psalm 69:21, where the psalmist complained that they gave him vinegar to drink. This sour wine or vinegar mixed with water might also have been an anesthetic to ease the pain of Jesus. Thus, this action might have been an act of compassion for Jesus hanging on the cross.
One of the bystanders ran.
He got a sponge.
He filled it
With sour wine.
He put it on a stick.
He gave it to him
καὶ εὐθέως δραμὼν εἷς ἐξ αὐτῶν καὶ λαβὼν σπόγγον πλήσας τε ὄξους καὶ περιθεὶς καλάμῳ ἐπότιζεν αὐτόν.
This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:36. In Luke, chapter 23:36, there was an indication of a soldier who gave some sour wine to Jesus. In John, chapter 19:28-29, Jesus said that he was thirsty before they gave him this sour wine that was standing nearby. Matthew said that soon one of the bystanders ran to get a sponge (καὶ εὐθέως δραμὼν εἷς ἐξ αὐτῶν καὶ λαβὼν σπόγγον). He filled it with sour wine or vinegar (πλήσας τε ὄξους). Then he put it on a stick or reed (καὶ περιθεὶς καλάμῳ) to give Jesus something to drink (ἐπότιζεν αὐτόν). This sour wine or vinegar might have been a reference to Psalm 69:21, where the psalmist complained that they gave him vinegar to drink. This common Roman soldier drink of sour wine or vinegar mixed with water might also have been an anesthetic to ease the pain. Thus, this action might have been an act of compassion for Jesus hanging on the cross.
To the choirmaster, according to Lilies, a testimony of Asaph, a psalm
O shepherd of Israel!
You lead Joseph like a flock!
You are enthroned upon the cherubim!
Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh!
Stir up your might!
Come to save us!”
Psalm 80 is another choral psalm of Asaph, a transcriber or author of psalms at the time of David and Solomon, a Temple singer at the time of Solomon during the transport of the Ark of the Covenant. This psalm is set to the tune of the lilies, much like Psalm 45 and Psalm 69. This is an attempt of the northern tribes of Israel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh to have God come to their aid. Notice the importance of Joseph here. Remember that those northern Israel tribes were sent to captivity before the people in Jerusalem and Judah. This psalmist wanted the shepherd of Israel to listen and shine before the northern tribes. The God of Israel sat on the cherubim in the holy of holies. He wanted God to stir up his might and thus save them from their captivity.
“Let heaven and earth praise him!
Let the seas praise him!
Let everything that moves in them praise him!
God will save Zion!
God will rebuild the cities of Judah!
His servants shall live there!
His servants shall possess it!
The children of his servants
Shall inherit it!
Those who love his name
Shall live in it.”
This long psalm ends with a great praise for God who will save the Israelites. Heaven and earth shall praise God. The seas and everything that lives in the seas shall praise God. God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah, another post-exilic theme. The servants of God will possess and remain in Zion. Those who love the name of God shall live in the land.
“I will praise the name of God with a song!
I will magnify him with thanksgiving!
This will please Yahweh
More than an ox.
This will please Yahweh
More than a bull with horns and hoofs.
Let the oppressed see it!
Let them be glad!
You who seek God,
Let your hearts revive!
Yahweh hears the needy.
Yahweh does not despise his own that are in bonds.”
David was going to praise the name of God with a song. He felt that his song would magnify this thanksgiving praise. This will please Yahweh more than the sacrifices of oxen and bulls. This might be a post-exilic composition. Those who were oppressed should see the glory of God. They should be happy so that their hearts would be revived. Yahweh hears the cries of the needy and does not despise them.
“Let their own table be a trap for them!
Let their own table be a snare for their allies!
Let their eyes be darkened,
So that they cannot see!
Make their loins tremble continually!
Pour out your indignation upon them!
Let our burning anger overtake them!
May their camp be desolation!
Let no one live in their tents!
They persecute those
Whom you have struck down.
They persecute those
Whom you have wounded.
They attack still more.
Add guilt to their guilt!
May they have no acquittal from you!
Let them be blotted out of the book of the living!
Let them not be enrolled among the righteous!
But I am lowly.
I am in pain.
Let your salvation!
Protect me high!”
These are a series of curses or wishes against the enemies of David. His enemies’ tables should be a trap or snare to them and their friends. He wanted them to lose their sight and to tremble all the time. God’s indignation and anger should be upon them. Their camp should be desolate so that they could not live in their tents. They had persecuted and attacked those who had been wounded. Their guilt pilled on guilt. They should not be acquitted. They should be blotted out of the book of the living. They should not be listed among the righteous. They should die. Then there is the cry of David to protect him and bring him salvation.
The insults that I receive.
My foes are all known to you.
Insults have broken my heart.
I am in despair.
I looked for pity,
But there was none.
I look for comforters,
But I found none.
They gave me poison for food.
For my thirst
They gave me vinegar to drink.”
David goes on to let God know his situation. He begins by reminding him that God knows all the things that were happening to him and who was doing it. God knew about the insults, the shame, and the dishonor. He had a broken heart and was in despair. There was no one to pity him or comfort him. Instead they gave him poison to eat and vinegar to drink. He was in bad shape. Obviously he was not in jail, but somehow persecuted.
Your steadfast love is good.
According to your abundant mercy,
Turn to me!
Do not hide your face from your servant!
I am in distress!
Make haste to answer me!
Draw near to me!
Set me free
Because of my enemies!”
Now there is a change in tone. No longer is David waiting for a response. Now he wanted an answer right away. He pleaded to the goodness of God, his love for him, and his great mercy. He was in distress. He did not want God to hide his face from him. He wanted a hasty response. He wanted God close to him. He wanted God to see him so that he could be freed from his enemies. He wanted to be redeemed.