Good news (Lk 2:10-2:10)

“But the angel

Said to them.

‘Do not be afraid!

See!

I am bringing you

Good news

Of great joy

For all the people.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ ἄγγελος Μὴ φοβεῖσθε· ἰδοὺ γὰρ εὐαγγελίζομαι ὑμῖν χαρὰν μεγάλην, ἥτις ἔσται παντὶ τῷ λαῷ,

 

Luke said that the unnamed angel tried to reassure these shepherds not to be fearful.  This angel said to them (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ ἄγγελος) that they should not be afraid (Μὴ φοβεῖσθε).  He said that they should see or realize that he was bringing them good news or the gospel news like a Roman proclamation (ἰδοὺ γὰρ εὐαγγελίζομαι ὑμῖν) of great joy (χαρὰν μεγάλην) that would be for all the people (ἥτις ἔσται παντὶ τῷ λαῷ).  The angel said that he had some good news for them and their fellow Israelites.

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The dream of Joseph (Mt 1:20-1:20)

“But just when he resolved

To do this,

An angel of the Lord

Appeared to him

In a dream.

Saying.

‘Joseph!

Son of David!

Do not be afraid

To take Mary

As your wife.

The child conceived

In her is

From the Holy Spirit.”

 

ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐνθυμηθέντος ἰδοὺ ἄγγελος Κυρίου κατ’ ὄναρ ἐφάνη αὐτῷ λέγων Ἰωσὴφ υἱὸς Δαυείδ, μὴ φοβηθῇς παραλαβεῖν Μαρίαν τὴν γυναῖκά σου, τὸ γὰρ ἐν αὐτῇ γεννηθὲν ἐκ Πνεύματός ἐστιν Ἁγίου·

 

Joseph had resolved (αὐτοῦ ἐνθυμηθέντος) to put away Mary, instead of taking her as his wife. Then an angel of the Lord (ἄγγελος Κυρίου) appeared to him in a dream (ὄναρ ἐφάνη αὐτῷ). This is somewhat reminiscent of Joseph in Egypt, who interpreted dreams, but said that only God could tell them what they meant in Genesis, chapters 40-41. The various Israelite prophets often got their oracle messages in dreams. Notice that it is an angel of the Lord, “Κυρίου.” There will be no mention of Yahweh in the New Testament, since the Greek Old Testament had translated “Yahweh” into “Lord.” However, the sense was that this was God, the Father, the God of the Old Testament. Angels were the messengers of God, especially in the Book of Tobit, chapter 5, where the angel Raphael appeared to him. This angel goes unnamed here, not like the angel Gabriel of Luke, chapter 1. This angel told Joseph, the son of David, not to be afraid (μὴ φοβηθῇς) to take Mary (παραλαβεῖν Μαρίαν) as his wife (τὴν γυναῖκά σου). He had nothing to be worried about. Thus, God, via his angel, was trying to reassure Joseph that everything would be alright. This angel then told Joseph that the child that had been conceived in her (ἐν αὐτῇ γεννηθὲν) was from the Holy Spirit (ἐκ Πνεύματός ἐστιν Ἁγίου). In a somewhat awkward phrasing, this text said the conception was from a Spirit that is holy rather than a Holy Spirit as earlier in this text. This shows a developing sense of the divine Holy Spirit.

Haggai said that Yahweh was with them (Hag 1:13-1:13)

“Then Haggai,

The messenger of Yahweh,

Spoke to the people

With Yahweh’s message,

Saying.

‘I am with you,

Says Yahweh.’”

The prophet Haggai, who was a messenger from Yahweh, spoke to the assembled people of Jerusalem to reassure them that Yahweh was with them.  This reassurance or presence of Yahweh was his main message.

Assurances to Judah (Nah 1:12-1:13)

To Judah

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘Though they are

At full strength,

Although they are

Many,

They will be cut off.

They will pass away.

Even though I have afflicted you,

I will afflict you no more.

Now I will break off

His yoke

From you.

I will snap

The bonds

That bind you.’”

In a classical prophetic phrase, “thus says Yahweh,” Nahum issued this oracle of Yahweh to Judah to reassure them.  Although their enemies were strong and many, Yahweh was not going to cut the people of Judah off.  This affliction was going to pass, because Yahweh was not going to afflict them anymore.  Instead, he was going to break their yoke from around their necks.  He was going to snap the bonds that had bound them.

King Zedekiah will spare Jeremiah (Jer 38:15-38:16)

“Jeremiah said

To King Zedekiah.

‘If I tell you,

You will put me

To death.

Will you not?

If I give you advice,

You will not listen to me!’

Then King Zedekiah

Swore an oath

In secret

To Jeremiah.

‘As Yahweh lives!

He gave us our lives!

I will not put you

To death.

I will not hand you over

To these men

Who seek your life.’”

Jeremiah was cautious with King Zedekiah. He was afraid that he would be put to death. So Jeremiah told the king that if he told him anything, the king would kill him anyway. If he gave him any advice, the king was not going to listen to him, no matter what. However, the king tried to reassure Jeremiah. He swore to the living God Yahweh that he was not going to kill him or turn him over to those who wanted to kill him.

The future glory of Israel despite its past (Isa 49:7-49:7)

“Thus says Yahweh!

The Redeemer of Israel!

His Holy One!

He says to one deeply despised,

One abhorred by the nations,

The slave of rulers.

‘Kings shall see.

Kings shall stand up.

Princes shall prostrate themselves.

They will do this

Because of Yahweh.

He is faithful.

The Holy One of Israel

Has chosen you.’”

Second Isaiah continues to use a variety of names for Yahweh, the Lord, like the Redeemer and the Holy One of Israel. Yahweh was trying to reassure Israel that despite being deeply despised by other countries, abhorred by many nations, and the slaves of rulers, there would be a turnabout. Kings would see them and stand up for them. Princes would bow down before them. They are going to do this because Yahweh, the faithful holy one, has chosen them.