The citation from Isaiah (Lk 4:18-4:19)

“The Spirit of the Lord

Is upon me.

Because

He has anointed me

To bring good news

To the poor.

He has sent me

To proclaim release

To the captives.

He has sent me

To give recovery

Of sight

To the blind.

He has sent me

To let the oppressed

Go free.

He has sent me

To proclaim the year

Of the Lord’s favor.’”

 

Πνεῦμα Κυρίου ἐπ’ ἐμέ, οὗ εἵνεκεν ἔχρισέν με εὐαγγελίσασθαι πτωχοῖς, ἀπέσταλκέν με κηρῦξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν καὶ τυφλοῖς ἀνάβλεψιν, ἀποστεῖλαι τεθραυσμένους ἐν ἀφέσει,

κηρῦξαι ἐνιαυτὸν Κυρίου δεκτόν.

 

This is unique to Luke, who used this citation from Isaiah, chapter 61:1.  Jesus read or said that the Spirit of the Lord was upon him (Πνεῦμα Κυρίου ἐπ’ ἐμέ), because God had anointed him (ὗ εἵνεκεν ἔχρισέν με) to bring good news to the poor or oppressed (εὐαγγελίσασθαι πτωχοῖς).  Some Orthodox texts have the healing of the brokenhearted (συντετριμμένους τὴν καρδίαν) also.  God has sent him (ἀπέσταλκέν με) to proclaim the release to the captives (κηρῦξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν).  He has sent him to give recovery or sight to the blind (καὶ τυφλοῖς ἀνάβλεψιν), although there was no mention of the blind in Isaiah.  He has sent him to let the oppressed go free (ἀποστεῖλαι τεθραυσμένους ἐν ἀφέσει).  He has sent him to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (κηρῦξαι ἐνιαυτὸν Κυρίου δεκτόν), which is exactly the same as Isaiah, chapter 61:2.  The Spirit of Yahweh was upon him, who had been anointed, either like a priestly or a royal anointing.  However, the primary mission was not cultic, but rather social in nature, what we might call social justice.  Having been called by the Spirit and anointed by Yahweh, he was sent out with a simple generic mission.  Bring good news to the oppressed.  This good news concept was later adapted by the early followers of Jesus who talked about the good news of the gospel.  This basic mission included binding up the broken hearted and freeing prisoners.  This servant or prophet was sent out to proclaim a year of Yahweh’s favor.

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The ambassadors of Merodach (Isa 39:1-39:1)

“At that time,

King Merodach-baladan,

Son of Baladan of Babylon,

Sent envoys with letters

Also with a present

To King Hezekiah.

He had heard

That King Hezekiah had been sick.

He had heard

That King Hezekiah had recovered.”

Once again, this is almost word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 20. King Merodach-baladan was the king of Babylon. He was trying to prevent the king of Assyria from taking over his land, so that he wanted to make an alliance with the king of Judah. Thus he sent ambassadors to the King Hezekiah to see how he felt after his illness and recovery. He also sent a letter and a present for King Hezekiah. This seems like a nice gesture.

The high priest Onias prays for the life of Heliodorus (2 Macc 3:31-3:34)

“Some of Heliodorus’ friends quickly begged Onias to call upon the Most High in order to grant life to one who was lying almost at his last breath. The high priest, fearing that the king might get the notion that some foul play had been perpetrated by the Jews with regard to Heliodorus, offered sacrifice for the man’s recovery. While the high priest was making an atonement sacrifice, the same young men appeared again to Heliodorus dressed in the same clothing. They stood and said.

‘Be very grateful to Onias the high priest,

Since for his sake

The Lord has granted you your life.

See that you,

Who have been scourged by heaven,

Report to all people

The majestic power of God.’

Having said this they vanished.”

Some of the friends of Heliodorus begged Onias to call upon God to grant him life as he was nearly on his last breath. The high priest Onias thought that this was a good idea. He did not want the king to think that the Jews had killed Heliodorus with foul play when he merely came to investigate some money problems. He then offered sacrifices for Heliodorus. Then the same 3 men who had appeared when they kicked and wiped Heliodorus to near death appeared again. This time they spoke, unlike last time when they simply acted. They told Heliodorus to be thankful that the high priest Onias had prayed for him. The Lord was going to save his life. In return, Heliodorus was to tell all people about the majestic power of God. When they were finished, they disappeared. Thus the 3 mysterious men reappear to save the life of Heliodorus.

The prayer of thanksgiving (2 Macc 3:29-3:30)

“While he lay prostrate, speechless because of the divine intervention he was deprived of any hope of recovery. They praised the Lord who had acted marvelously for his own place. The temple, which a little while before was full of fear and disturbance, was filled with joy and gladness. The Almighty Lord had appeared.”

While Heliodorus was lying speechless without any hope of recovering, they began to praise the Lord. They thanked the Lord who had acted marvelously in favor of this place, the Temple.   The Temple that had been full of fear was now filled with joy and gladness because the almighty Lord had appeared there to turn back Heliodorus. God had protected his Temple.