The virgin Mary (Lk 1:27-1:27)

“The angel Gabriel

Went

To a virgin

Engaged to a man,

Whose name was Joseph,

Of the house of David.

The virgin’s name

Was Mary.”

 

πρὸς παρθένον ἐμνηστευμένην ἀνδρὶ ᾧ ὄνομα Ἰωσὴφ, ἐξ οἴκου Δαυείδ, καὶ τὸ ὄνομα τῆς παρθένου Μαριάμ.

 

Luke has the angel Gabriel appear to Mary, as opposed to Matthew, chapter 1:20, who had an unnamed angel appear to Joseph in a dream.  This angel Gabriel went to a virgin (πρὸς παρθένον), who was engaged (ἐμνηστευμένην) to a man named Joseph (ἀνδρὶ ᾧ ὄνομα Ἰωσὴφ) from the house of David (ἐξ οἴκου Δαυείδ).  The name of this virgin was Mary (καὶ τὸ ὄνομα τῆς παρθένου Μαριάμ).  Thus, both stories from these 2 gospels concur that Mary and Joseph were the parents of Jesus.  Matthew said that Joseph had resolved to get rid of Mary, instead of taking her as his wife until the angel of the Lord appeared to him.  This unnamed angel reassured Joseph that he should not be afraid to take Mary as his wife.  Thus, God, via his angel, was trying to show Joseph that everything would be alright.  Here the emphasis is on Mary, a common name in first century Judaism based on the name of Mariam, the sister of Moses.  Mary was a virgin (παρθένου), someone who did not have sexual relations with the opposite sex, which would have been normal at this time for young girls before they were married.  However, she was engaged or betrothed to Joseph, who had Davidic ancestry.  In other words, the wedding contact had not been signed.  Thus, they were still involved with prenuptial arrangements.

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Jesus walks on water (Mt 14:25-14:27)

“Early in the morning,

Jesus came

Walking toward them,

On the sea.

But when the disciples saw him

Walking on the sea,

They were terrified.

They said.

‘It is a ghost!’

They cried out in fear!

But immediately,

Jesus spoke to them.

He said.

‘Have courage!

It is I!

Do not be afraid!’”

 

τετάρτῃ δὲ φυλακῇ τῆς νυκτὸς ἦλθεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τὴν θάλασσαν.

οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα ἐταράχθησαν λέγοντες ὅτι Φάντασμά ἐστιν, καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ φόβου ἔκραξαν.

εὐθὺς δὲ ἐλάλησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς αὐτοῖς λέγων Θαρσεῖτε, ἐγώ εἰμι· μὴ φοβεῖσθε.

 

This incident about Jesus walking on water can be found in Mark, chapter 6:48-50, and John, chapter 6:19-20, but without some of the details here.  However, in all three stories, the disciples are afraid and the response of Jesus is the same.  Early in the morning or the 4th watch of the night (τετάρτῃ δὲ φυλακῇ τῆς νυκτὸς), Jesus came walking towards them on the sea (ἦλθεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τὴν θάλασσαν).  When the disciples saw him walking on the sea (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα), they were terrified, troubled, or disturbed (ἐταράχθησαν).  They said that it was a ghost or an apparition (λέγοντες ὅτι Φάντασμά ἐστιν).  They cried out in fear (καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ φόβου ἔκραξαν).  But immediately, Jesus reassured them (εὐθὺς δὲ ἐλάλησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς αὐτοῖς).  He told them to have courage and take heart (λέγων Θαρσεῖτε).  He said that he was not a ghost but Jesus himself (ἐγώ εἰμι), so that they did not have to be afraid.  They had nothing to fear (μὴ φοβεῖσθε).  Jesus reassured his disciples, while he walked on the waters of the sea.

Walk in the ways of Yahweh (Zech 3:6-3:7)

“Then the angel of Yahweh

Assured Joshua.

‘Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

If you will walk

In my ways,

If you keep my requirements,

Then you shall rule

My house.

You will have charge

Of my courts.

I will give you

The right of access

Among those who are standing here.’”

Then the angel of Yahweh reassured Joshua, the high priest.  The angel said that Yahweh of hosts had said that he would be in charge of the courts and have access to the Temple courts, if he walked in the ways of Yahweh.  If he kept all his requirements and commandments, he would rule the house of Yahweh, the Temple.  Thus, Joshua was reestablished as the actual high priest of the new Temple, but he would have to follow all of Yahweh’s commands.

The choice (Jer 38:18-38:20)

“‘However,

If you do not surrender

To the officials

Of the king of Babylon,

Then this city

Shall be handed over                                                          

To the Chaldeans.

They shall burn it

With fire.

You yourself

Shall not escape

From their hand.’

King Zedekiah said

To Jeremiah.

‘I am afraid

Of the Judeans

Who have deserted

To the Chaldeans.

I might be handed over

To them.

They would abuse me.’

Jeremiah said.

‘That will not happen.

Just obey

The voice of Yahweh

In what I say to you.

It shall go well

With you.

Your life shall be spared.’”

Jeremiah reminded King Zedekiah that if he did not surrender to the Babylonians, the Chaldeans would capture the city of Jerusalem and burn it. The king would not escape from them either. However, the king was afraid that some of the Judeans had gone over to the Chaldeans. They might want to attack him if he surrendered. Once again, Jeremiah reassured him. He said that Yahweh would not let that happen. Everything would go well with him, if he surrendered. However, if he was captured after a battle, all bets were off.

Sleep (Jer 31:26-31:26)

“Thereupon I awoke.

I looked around.

My sleep

Was pleasant to me.”

In the midst of all these oracles of Yahweh, Jeremiah found time to get some sleep. When he woke up, he looked around. His sleep had been very pleasant. He had been reassured that Israel and Judah would be restored.

The pending crisis in the days to come (Isa 7:17-7:19)

“Yahweh will bring on you,

On your people,

On your ancestral house

Such days

As have not come

Since the day

That Ephraim

Departed from Judah.

Watch for the king of Assyria!

On that day,

Yahweh will whistle for the fly

That is at the sources

Of the streams of Egypt.

He will whistle for the bee

That is in the land of Assyria.

They will all come.

They will settle

In the steep ravines,

In the clefts of the rocks,

On all the thorn bushes,

On all the pastures.”

Isaiah predicts that things will not be good in the near future. Yahweh was going to bring bad things to the Israelites, their people, and their ancestral homes that they had not been seen since Ephraim split with Judah after the death of King Solomon. Yahweh would call out the king of Assyria with his bees to get together with Egypt and its flies to attack Judah. Yahweh, via Isaiah, had just reassured King Ahaz that Ephraim and Syria would fail in their attacks. However, this seems like another more serious attack from a combination of Assyria and Egypt. These attacking bees and flies would settle in the ravines, rocks, thorn bushes, and pastures.