Derision of Jesus (Mt 27:39-27:40)

“Those who passed by

Derided him.

They shook

Their heads.

They said.

‘You who would destroy

The Temple,

And then build it

In three days,

Save yourself!

If you are

The Son of God,

Come down

From the cross.’”

 

Οἱ δὲ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν

καὶ λέγοντες Ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις οἰκοδομῶν, σῶσον σεαυτόν, εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ κατάβηθι ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:29-30.  In Luke, chapter 23:35, the religious leaders were doing the mocking.  However, John did not have anyone making remarks about Jesus.  Matthew said that some passing by people abused and derided Jesus (Οἱ δὲ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν).  They shook their heads at Jesus (κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν).  They reminded Jesus (καὶ λέγοντες) that he had said if the Temple was destroyed (Ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν), he would rebuild it in three days (καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις οἰκοδομῶν).  They told Jesus to save himself (σῶσον σεαυτόν).  If he was the Son of God (εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ), why didn’t he come down from the cross (καὶ κατάβηθι ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ).  The taunting of these people seemed to turn on Jesus’ own words.

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Two witnesses come forward (Mt 26:60-26:61)

“At last,

Two witnesses

Came forward.

They said.

‘This fellow said.

‘I am able

To destroy

The Temple of God,

And to build it

In three days.’”

 

ὕστερον δὲ προσελθόντες δύο

εἶπαν Οὗτος ἔφη Δύναμαι καταλῦσαι τὸν ναὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ διὰ τριῶν ἡμερῶν οἰκοδομῆσαι.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:57-58, but Mark has more details and does not explicitly mention 2 witnesses, but only some witnesses.  There is nothing like this in Luke, chapter 22, and John, chapter 18.  Matthew said that finally 2 witnesses came forward (ὕστερον δὲ προσελθόντες δύο), an important number under Jewish law.  They said that this man had said (εἶπαν Οὗτος ἔφη) that he was able to destroy the Temple of God (Δύναμαι καταλῦσαι τὸν ναὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ) and rebuild it in three days (καὶ διὰ τριῶν ἡμερῶν οἰκοδομῆσαι).  Jesus had mentioned destroying this Temple in chapter 24:2.  He had also spoken about his resurrection in three days in chapters 16:21, 17:23, and 20:19.  There was no indication of when the 2 witnesses said that Jesus had uttered these words.

Against Edom (Mal 1:3-1:5)

“‘But I have hated Esau.

I have made

His hill country

A desolation.

I have made

His heritage

A desert for jackals.’

If Edom says.

‘We are shattered,

But we will rebuild the ruins.’

Yahweh of hosts says.

‘They may build,

But I will tear down,

Until they are called

The wicked country.

Yahweh is angry forever

With those people.’

Your own eyes shall see this.

You shall say.

‘Great is Yahweh,

Beyond the border of Israel!’”

Edom was considered the land where Esau had settled.  Thus, Yahweh hated Edom.  He had made their hill country a desolation.  Their heritage was like a desert of wild jackals.  Even if they wanted to rebuild their ruins, Yahweh would tear it down, because they were a wicked country.  Yahweh was angry with them forever.  Their own eyes had seen that Yahweh was great, even beyond the borders of Israel.

Rebuild the ruined house (Hag 1:3-1:4)

“Then the word of Yahweh

Came

By the prophet Haggai.

‘Is it a time

For you yourselves

To live

In your paneled houses,

While this house

Lies in ruins?’”

Yahweh, via Haggai, asked the question about the right time to rebuild the house of Yahweh, the Temple.  He wanted to know why they were so happy in their own paneled houses when the Temple was still in ruins since 587 BCE.

Restoration of the people of Israel (Am 9:13-9:15)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The time is surely coming

When the one who plows

Shall overtake

The one who reaps.

When the one who treads grapes

Shall overtake

The one who sows the seed.

The mountains shall drip

Sweet wine.

All the hills

Shall flow with it.

I will restore

The fortunes

Of my people Israel.

They shall rebuild

The ruined cities.

They shall

Inhabit them.

They shall

Plant vineyards.

They shall

Drink their wine.

They shall

Make gardens.

They shall

Eat their fruit.

I will plant them

Upon their land.

They shall never again

Be plucked up

Out of the land

That I have given them.’

Says Yahweh

Your God.”

This later oracle of Yahweh assumed that the Israelites had been taken from their land in captivity.  However, in this restoration, those plowing would be greater than those reaping.  Those who treaded the grapes would be more than those sowing the seeds.  There would be abundance and hope all around.  The mountains and hills would drip and flow with abundant sweet wine.  The Israelites would have their fortunes restored, so that they would rebuild their cities and inhabit them.  They would plant vineyards and drink wine.  They would plant gardens with lots of fruit.  These Israelites would be planted on their own land, never to be plucked away again.

The restoration of fortunes (Jer 30:18-30:21)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘I going to restore the fortunes

Of the tents of Jacob.

I have compassion

On their dwellings.

The city shall be rebuilt

Upon its mound.

The citadel shall set on

Its rightful site.

Out of them shall come

Songs of thanksgiving,

With the sound of merrymakers.

I will multiply them.

They shall not be few.

I will make them honored.

They shall not be disdained.

Their children shall be as of old.

Their congregation

Shall be established before me.

I will punish all

Who oppress them.

Their prince

Shall be one of their own.

Their ruler

Shall come from their own midst.

I will make him draw near.

They shall approach me.

Who would otherwise dare

To approach me?’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, says that he will restore the fortunes of the Israelites, the tents of Jacob. He was going to have compassion on their buildings and their cities. Thus, they would rebuild over the original rubble, which was the custom at that time. Then they would be able to come with songs of thanksgiving and voices of merrymakers. The Israelites would flourish. They would become numerous and honored, not disdained. Their children would be like in the good old days. Their congregation would hold Yahweh as special. Thus, anyone who oppressed them, Yahweh would punish. They would have their own princes and rulers from their own groups, not outsiders or foreigners telling them what to do. They would be near and approach Yahweh. Let the good times roll!

Foreigners building Jerusalem (Isa 60:10-60:12)

“Foreigners shall build up your walls.

Their kings shall minister to you.

In my wrath,

I struck you down.

But in my favor,

I have had mercy on you.

Your gates shall always be open.

Day and night,

They shall not be shut.

Thus nations shall bring you

Their wealth.

Their kings will lead in procession.

The nation that will not serve you

Shall perish.

The kingdom that will not serve you

Shall perish.

Those nations

Shall be utterly laid waste.”

Apparently, Jerusalem will be so rich that foreigners will build or rebuild Jerusalem. Kings would minister to them. Just as Yahweh struck down Jerusalem in his anger, so in his favor he had mercy on them. The gates of Jerusalem were to be open all the time, both day and night. Everyone would bring their wealth to Jerusalem with the various kings leading the processions there. However, those nations and kings that were not going to serve Jerusalem would be utterly wiped out and perish. Cooperate or die!