Simeon addressed Mary (Lk 2:34-2:34)

“Then Simeon

Blessed them.

He said to Mary,

His mother,

‘This child

Is destined

For the falling

And rising

Of many

In Israel.

He will be a sign

That will be opposed.”

 

καὶ εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς Συμεὼν καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς Μαριὰμ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ Ἰδοὺ οὗτος κεῖται εἰς πτῶσιν καὶ ἀνάστασιν πολλῶν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ καὶ εἰς σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον

 

Luke said that this holy and devout Simeon turned to Mary and her family.  Simeon blessed them (καὶ εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς Συμεὼν), presumably Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.  Was this a priestly blessing?  There was no indication that Simeon was a priest, but only an old devout righteous man, but he could have been a old Levite priest also.  Then he said to Mary (καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς Μαριὰμ), the mother of Jesus (τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ) that this child would be destined for the falling and rising of many in Israel (Ἰδοὺ οὗτος κεῖται εἰς πτῶσιν καὶ ἀνάστασιν πολλῶν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ).  He would be a sign that would be a contraction, as some would oppose him (καὶ εἰς σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον).  Everything would not be smooth sailing for her and this child.  However, this was not as bad as what Matthew, chapter 2:13-18, had Joseph suffer.  There the intention of King Herod was to destroy all the young children in Bethlehem that led him to flee into Egypt.  Luke had none of that here.  Instead, Joseph and Mary are law abiding Jewish parents active in the Jerusalem Temple, where a holy man came and told them how wonderful Jesus was.  There were no Magi here, just shepherds visiting the baby child.  King Herod was not even in the picture here in Luke.

The warning from Pilate’s wife (Mt 27:19-27:19)

“While Pilate was sitting

On the judgment seat,

His wife

Sent word to him.

‘Have nothing to do

With that innocent man.

I have suffered

A great deal

Because of a dream

About him.’”

 

Καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ γυνὴ αὐτοῦ λέγουσα Μηδὲν σοὶ καὶ τῷ δικαίῳ ἐκείνῳ· πολλὰ γὰρ ἔπαθον σήμερον κατ’ ὄναρ δι’ αὐτόν.

 

This warning from Pilate’s wife was not in the other gospel passion narratives, but was unique to Matthew, who said that while Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat or the tribunal chair (Καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος), his wife sent word to him (ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ γυνὴ αὐτοῦ).  She told him to have nothing to do with that innocent or righteous man (λέγουσα Μηδὲν σοὶ καὶ τῷ δικαίῳ ἐκείνῳ).  She said that she had suffered a great deal because of a dream about him (πολλὰ γὰρ ἔπαθον σήμερον κατ’ ὄναρ δι’ αὐτόν).  This concept of a troubling dream is very reminiscent of the dreams of Joseph in chapters 1-2.  Once again, Matthew tried to vindicate the Roman authority, as opposed to the more guilty Jewish leaders.

The possible divorce (Mt 1:19-1:19)

“Her husband,

Joseph,

Was a righteous man.

He was unwilling

To expose her

To public disgrace.

He planned

To dismiss her

Quietly.”

 

Ἰωσὴφ δὲ ὁ ἀνὴρ αὐτῆς, δίκαιος ὢν καὶ μὴ θέλων αὐτὴν δειγματίσαι, ἐβουλήθη λάθρᾳ ἀπολῦσαι αὐτήν.

 

Joseph (Ἰωσὴφ), Mary’s husband (ὁ ἀνὴρ αὐτῆς), was a righteous man (δίκαιος ὢν). Being a just person was an important theme of the Old Testament, so that it appears quite often in Matthew. Joseph did not want (μὴ θέλων) to expose Mary (αὐτὴν δειγματίσαι) to any public disgrace (δειγματίσαι) because of her pregnancy. Thus, he purposed (ἐβουλήθη) to send her away (ἀπολῦσαι αὐτήν), dismiss her, or divorce her quietly (λάθρᾳ). He thought that he was getting damaged goods. However, he wanted to get rid of or divorce Mary quietly without any big to-do.