Five cities (Lk 19:19-19:19)

“The nobleman

Said to the second slave.

‘You!

Rule over five cities!’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ καὶ τούτῳ Καὶ σὺ ἐπάνω γίνου πέντε πόλεων.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said the nobleman told the second slave (ἶπεν δὲ καὶ τούτῳ) that he was going to rule over 5 cities (Καὶ σὺ ἐπάνω γίνου πέντε πόλεων).  Since this second trader slave had done well, he was put in charge of 5 cities.  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 25:23, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus said that this master said to this second diligent trader slave (ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ) that he done a good job (Εὖ).  He was a good trustworthy slave (δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ).  As he had been trustworthy or faithful in a few things (ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός), this master was going to put him in charge or appoint him over many things (ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω), without being specific.  This second slave was to enter into the joy of his master or lord (εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου).  Notice that the Greek wording in Matthew, was exactly the same, word for word, as it was for the first slave with the 5 talents.  They both belonged in the same category as good trustworthy faithful slaves.  Meanwhile, Luke was giving both these slave earthly responsibilities, being in charge of 5 and 10 cities.  What is the best reward you ever got?

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The people did not like the nobleman (Lk 19:14-19:14)

“But the citizens

Of his country

Hated this nobleman.

They sent

A delegation

After him.

They said.

‘We do not want

This man

To rule over us.’”

 

οἱ δὲ πολῖται αὐτοῦ ἐμίσουν αὐτόν, καὶ ἀπέστειλαν πρεσβείαν ὀπίσω αὐτοῦ λέγοντες Οὐ θέλομεν τοῦτον βασιλεῦσαι ἐφ’ ἡμᾶς.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said the citizens of this country hated or detested this nobleman (οἱ δὲ πολῖται αὐτοῦ ἐμίσουν αὐτόν), without any indication of how they formed this opinion.  They sent a delegation after him (καὶ ἀπέστειλαν πρεσβείαν ὀπίσω αὐτοῦ) to go to that distant country to tell the authorities there that they did not want this man to rule over them (λέγοντες Οὐ θέλομεν τοῦτον βασιλεῦσαι ἐφ’ ἡμᾶς).  Once again, Luke used a word that only appears here among all the Greek biblical writings, πρεσβείαν that means seniority, embassy, a delegation, or eldership.  There was nothing like this in Matthew.  Some of the people living there did not want to have this nobleman as their ruler, so they may have sent a delegation to the Roman Emperor with this message.  Have you ever signed a petition or went to a local government meeting to complain about something?

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 gathering of the lame people (Mic 4:6-4:7)

“Yahweh says.

‘In that day,

I will assemble the lame.

I will gather

Those who have been driven away.

I will gather

Those whom I have afflicted.

The lame,

I will make the remnant.

Those who were cast off,

I will make a strong nation.

Yahweh will reign over them

In Mount Zion,

Now and forever.”

In some future day, Yahweh, via Micah, was going to assemble the lame and the afflicted.  This also included those who had been driven away.  He was going to make the lame a remnant of the good people.  He was going to make them all a strong nation, where Yahweh would rule over them from Mount Zion, both now and forever.

The Israelites will possess the neighboring lands (Ob 1:19-1:21)

“Those of the Negeb

Shall possess

Mount Esau.

Those of the Shephelah,

The land of the Philistines,

Shall possess

The land of Ephraim

With the land of Samaria.

Benjamin

Shall possess Gilead.

The exiles

Of the Israelites

Who are in Halah,

Shall possess

Phoenicia

As far as Zarephath.

The exiles of Jerusalem

Who are in Sepharad

Shall possess

The towns

Of the Negeb.

Those who have been saved

Shall go up

To Mount Zion

To rule Mount Esau.

The kingdom

Shall be Yahweh’s.”

This short chapter and book ends and a new larger Israel, as their long standing enemy neighbors will no longer exist.  Israel shall rule them.  The area of the Negeb was the arid southern land that would change from the land of Edom or Mount Esau into Israel.  Israel was going to possess the Shephelah, the western area along the Mediterranean coast where the Philistines lived.  They were also going to have the land of Samaria and the territory of Ephraim, north of Judah.  The territory of Benjamin would include land on the east side of the Jordan River, the Gilead.  The exiled Israelites in Halah in the upper Mesopotamia region and those in the Phoenician town of Zarephath, as well as the exiles in Asia Minor in Shephard would all return to live in the arid southern Negeb region.  All the saved Israelites would return to Mount Zion, as Mount Esau and all of Edom would go away and be under the Israelites.

The restoration of a smaller Egypt (Ezek 29:13-29:16)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘At the end of forty years,

I will gather

The Egyptians

From the people

Among whom

They were scattered.

I will restore

The fortunes of Egypt.

I will bring them back

To the land of Pathros,

The land of their origin.

There they shall be

A lowly kingdom.

It shall be the lowliest

Of the kingdoms.

It shall never again

Exalt itself

Above the nations.

I will make them

So small

That they will never again

Rule over the nations.

The Egyptians shall never again

Be the reliance

Of the house of Israel.

They will recall

Their iniquity,

When they turned

To them

For aid.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh God!’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel that at end of forty years, he would gather the Egyptians from wherever they were scattered. He was going to restore the fortunes of Egypt. He was going to bring them back to Pathros, the southern part of Egypt near Thebes, where they originally came from. However, this would be a low kingdom that would not exalt itself among the various nations. They would be so small that they would never again rule over other countries. Israel would not rely on Egypt again. They would recall their iniquity when they turned to them for aid. They would all know that Yahweh was God.

The repentance in the exile (Bar 2:32-2:35)

“‘The Israelites

Will praise me

In the land

Of their exile.

They will remember

My name.

They will turn

From their stubbornness.

They will turn

From their wicked deeds.

They will remember

The ways of their ancestors,

Who sinned

Before the Lord.

I will bring them again

Into the land

That I swore

To give to their ancestors,

To Abraham,

To Isaac,

To Jacob.

They will rule

Over it.

I will increase them.

They will not be diminished.

I will make

An everlasting covenant

With them

To be their God.

They shall be my people.

I will never again

Remove

My people Israel

From the land

That I have given them.’”

Baruch recounts what Yahweh via Moses said to the people about their repentance during the exile. The Israelites would praise him in their exile country as they would remember the name of Yahweh. They would turn from their stubbornness and wicked deeds. They would remember how their ancestors had sinned. Yahweh was going to again bring them into the land that he promised to their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There they would rule in this land as they increased, not diminished, with an everlasting covenant. He would be their God. They would be his people.  He would never again remove them from the land that he had given them. We will see how that works out.