Surrounded on every side (Lk 19:43-19:43)

“Indeed,

The days

Will come upon you,

When your enemies

Will set up ramparts

Around you.

They will hem you in

On every side.”

 

ὅτι ἥξουσιν ἡμέραι ἐπὶ σὲ καὶ παρεμβαλοῦσιν οἱ ἐχθροί σου χάρακά σοι καὶ περικυκλώσουσίν σε καὶ συνέξουσίν σε πάντοθεν,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus remarked that bad days were coming to Jerusalem (ὅτι ἥξουσιν ἡμέραι ἐπὶ σὲ).  Jesus said that it would come to them when their enemies would put up a barricade against them (καὶ παρεμβαλοῦσιν οἱ ἐχθροί σου χάρακά σοι).  They would surround them (καὶ περικυκλώσουσίν σε) so that they would be hemmed in on every side (καὶ συνέξουσίν σε πάντοθεν).  This is the only Greek biblical use of the word περικυκλώσουσίν that means to hem them in on every side, encircle, surround, or encompass.  Jesus was using the words and images of the ancient Israelite prophets against Jerusalem.  Isaiah, chapter 29:1-3, called Jerusalem Ariel, a symbolic name for Jerusalem and its altar.  Isaiah, warned Jerusalem about what was going to happen to it.  Yahweh was going to encamp against it and set up siege works against it.  They would be able to speak only from below the earth and the dust.  Their voices would be reduced to a whisper, like a ghost in the middle of this dust pile.  Jeremiah, chapter 6:6-8, warned Jerusalem that its enemies were going to cut down trees in order to make a ramp siege against Jerusalem, because this city needed to be punished.  There was nothing but oppression and wickedness within her.  Jerusalem was a place of violence and destruction with sickness and wounded people all around.  Yahweh was going to turn away in disgust against Jerusalem. Thus, it would become a desolate uninhabited land, if it did not heed his warning.  Ezekiel, chapter 4:1-3, also condemned Jerusalem with Ezekiel’s symbolic action.  A voice told Ezekiel to be an expert model Lego builder of the siege of Jerusalem.  Ezekiel, the son of man, was to take a brick and portray the city of Jerusalem.  He was to put the siege works with a siege wall against this city.  He was to put a ramp and camps against this city with battering rams all around it.  Then he was to take an iron plate and make an iron wall between himself and the city, looking at it.  Thus, there was a state of siege, a sign for the house of Israel.  Ezekiel was part of the exiles from 598 BCE before the taking of Jerusalem and the second captivity in 587 BCE.  Of course, here this was allusion to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE by the Roman soldiers putting down a revolution in Judea.  Luke would have known about this at the time of his writing.  Have you ever seen a city destroyed?

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The eagles will be gathered (Lk 17:37-17:37)

“Then they asked Jesus.

‘Where?

Lord!’

He said to them,

‘Where the corpse is,

There the vultures

Will gather.’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθέντες λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Ποῦ, Κύριε; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ὅπου τὸ σῶμα, ἐκεῖ καὶ οἱ ἀετοὶ ἐπισυναχθήσονται.

 

Luke indicated that they asked Jesus (καὶ ἀποκριθέντες λέγουσιν αὐτῷ), addressing him as Lord (Κύριε), where was this going to happen (Ποῦ)?  Jesus said to them (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that where the body or the corpse was (Ὅπου τὸ σῶμα), there the vultures would gather (ἐκεῖ καὶ οἱ ἀετοὶ ἐπισυναχθήσονται).  This was something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:28, perhaps indicating a Q source.  However, this saying was after the comment about the Son of Man coming like lightning.  Jesus, via Matthew, said that wherever the corpse was (ὅπου ἐὰν ᾖ τὸ πτῶμα), there the vultures would gather (ἐκεῖ συναχθήσονται οἱ ἀετοί).  The vultures or eagles were a reference to the Roman soldiers with their eagle symbols.  Thus, Luke ended the remarks of Jesus about the end times.  Are you comfortable talking about the end of the world?

The Son of Man will be like lightning (Lk 17:24-17:24)

“As the lightning

Flashes

And lights up

The sky

From one side

To the other,

So will the Son of man

Be in his day.”

 

ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ ἀστραπὴ ἀστράπτουσα ἐκ τῆς ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανὸν εἰς τὴν ὑπ’ οὐρανὸν λάμπει, οὕτως ἔσται ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that as the lightning flashes (ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ ἀστραπὴ ἀστράπτουσα) and lights up the sky (ἐκ τῆς ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανὸν) from one side of the sky to the other (εἰς τὴν ὑπ’ οὐρανὸν λάμπει), so will the Son of man be (οὕτως ἔσται ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) in his day (ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ αὐτοῦ).  Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use the word ἀστράπτουσα that means to lighten and flash forth.  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:27, indicating a Q source, about the Son of Man coming like lightening, but in a more succinct way.  In Matthew, Jesus said that as the lightning came from the east (ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ ἀστραπὴ ἐξέρχεται ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν) but flashed or shined in the west (καὶ φαίνεται ἕως δυσμῶν), so the Parousia or the second coming of the Son of Man would happen (οὕτως ἔσται ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  Wherever the corpse was (ὅπου ἐὰν ᾖ τὸ πτῶμα), there the vultures gathered (ἐκεῖ συναχθήσονται οἱ ἀετοί).  The Son of Man was a clear reference to Jesus in his return, the Parousia, who would return like a flash of lightening.  The vultures or eagles were a reference to the Roman soldiers with their eagle symbols.  There was nothing about the corpses and the eagles or vultures here in Luke, just the lightning flash.  However, later in this chapter, verse 37, there was a mention of the corpses and these vultures.  Are you afraid of lightning?

He built a synagogue (Lk 7:5-7:5)

“This centurion loves

Our people.

He built us

Our synagogue.”

 

ἀγαπᾷ γὰρ τὸ ἔθνος ἡμῶν καὶ τὴν συναγωγὴν αὐτὸς ᾠκοδόμησεν ἡμῖν.

 

Luke uniquely said that these Jewish elders continued praising this centurion, who loved the Jewish people, their people (ἀγαπᾷ γὰρ τὸ ἔθνος ἡμῶν).  He had built a synagogue for them (καὶ τὴν συναγωγὴν αὐτὸς ᾠκοδόμησεν ἡμῖν).  There were many instances of Roman soldiers adopting the religious practices of the people where they were staying.  However, building a synagogue seems a bit much.  It may have led to better community relations.  Although he was not Jewish, this centurion had been very favorable to the Jewish people by helping them build a new synagogue.  There was no mention of this synagogue in the Matthew story about the centurion.  Would you be favorable to a religion not your own?

Why does he not come down from the cross? (Mk 15:32-15:32

“‘Let the Messiah Christ!

The King of Israel!

Come down

From the cross now!

Thus,

We may see

And we may believe.’

Those who were crucified

With him

Also taunted him.”

 

ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ Βασιλεὺς Ἰσραὴλ καταβάτω νῦν ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ, ἵνα ἴδωμεν καὶ πιστεύσωμεν. καὶ οἱ συνεσταυρωμένοι σὺν αὐτῷ ὠνείδιζον αὐτόν.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:42-44.  In Luke, chapter 23:35-37, there is only a mention of leaders and Roman soldiers, without any specific indication of which leaders, while there is nothing similar in John.  Mark said that the taunting continued.  They said if Jesus was the Messiah Christ (ὁ Χριστὸς), the King of Israel (ὁ Βασιλεὺς Ἰσραὴλ), let him come down or descend from the cross now (καταβάτω νῦν ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ).  Then they would see (ἵνα ἴδωμεν) and believe (καὶ πιστεύσωμεν).  Mark also said that the bandits or robbers, who were crucified with Jesus (καὶ οἱ συνεσταυρωμένοι σὺν αὐτῷ), also taunted or insulted him in the same way as the others had done (ὠνείδιζον αὐτόν).  These robbers were just as bad as the Jewish leaders, Roman soldiers, and the others passing by.  However, Luke, chapter 23:39-43, had an extended conversation between Jesus and these two bandits.  One of the two thieves or bandits told Jesus to save himself and them also, but the other thief or robber said that they deserved to die.  Only Luke had this story about the good and the bad thief.  Here in Matthew and Mark, both of the bandits being crucified with Jesus taunted him.  There was nothing about these thieves at all in John.  When someone is down, do you taunt them?  Would you have been among these people taunting Jesus?

 

They divided his garments (Mk 15:24-15:24)

“They crucified him.

They divided

His clothes

Among themselves.

They cast lots

To decide

What each should take.”

 

καὶ σταυροῦσιν αὐτὸν, καὶ διαμερίζονται τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ, βάλλοντες κλῆρον ἐπ’ αὐτὰ τίς τί ἄρῃ.

 

The first verse is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:35.  Luke, chapter 23:34, mentioned the dividing of Jesus’ garments by chance.  John, chapter 19:23-25, has a longer detailed description about the division of the garments of JesusThe first cinemascope movie in 1953 was called the “The Robe,” based on a 1942 novel with the same name that got its inspiration from this biblical passage.  Mark said that they crucified Jesus (καὶ σταυροῦσιν αὐτὸν).  Then they divided his garments or clothes among themselves (καὶ διαμερίζονται τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ), by casting lots for them (βάλλοντες κλῆρον ἐπ’ αὐτὰ).  That is how they decided what each person would take for themselves (τίς τί ἄρῃ), which was a common practice among the Roman soldiers.

They mocked Jesus (Mk 15:19-15:19)

“They struck

His head

With a reed.

They spat

Upon him.

They knelt down

In homage to him.”

 

καὶ ἔτυπτον αὐτοῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν καλάμῳ καὶ ἐνέπτυον αὐτῷ, καὶ τιθέντες τὰ γόνατα προσεκύνουν αὐτῷ.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:30, but not in Luke.  In John, chapter 19:3, there is something similar.  Mark said that these Roman soldiers kept striking him on the head (καὶ ἔτυπτον αὐτοῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν) with a reed or stick (καλάμῳ).  Then they spat on Jesus (καὶ ἐνέπτυον αὐτῷ).  Finally, these Roman soldiers bent their knees (καὶ τιθέντες τὰ γόνατα) and knelt before him (προσεκύνουν αὐτῷ as they were mockingly paying homage to this pretended king of the Jews.