The Sadducees (Lk 20:27-20:27)

“Some Sadducees,

Those who say

That there is

No resurrection,

Approached Jesus.

They questioned him.”

 

Προσελθόντες δέ τινες τῶν Σαδδουκαίων, οἱ ἀντιλέγοντες ἀνάστασιν μὴ εἶναι, ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν

 

Luke said that some Sadducees (τινες τῶν Σαδδουκαίων), those who say that there is no resurrection (οἱ ἀντιλέγοντες ἀνάστασιν μὴ εἶναι), approached Jesus (Προσελθόντες δέ).  They questioned him (ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν).  These Sadducees were another Jewish aristocratic group that was tied to the Temple.  However, they did not believe in the bodily resurrection, like the Pharisees did.  They said that there was no resurrection of the dead.  Matthew, chapter 22:23, and Mark, chapter 12:18, are similar to this statement in LukeMark said that some Sadducees came to Jesus (Καὶ ἔρχονται Σαδδουκαῖοι πρὸς αὐτόν).  They said that there was no resurrection of the dead (οἵτινες λέγουσιν ἀνάστασιν μὴ εἶναι).  They too began to question Jesus (καὶ ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν λέγοντες).  Only Matthew had this explicitly happen on the same day (Ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ) as the discussion about the Roman coin.  However, the other two gospel stories have it follow the discussion about the role of Caesar.  Some Sadducees came to Jesus (προσῆλθον αὐτῷ Σαδδουκαῖοι).  They did not believe in the bodily resurrection, since they said that there was no resurrection (λέγοντες μὴ εἶναι ἀνάστασιν).  They too came to Jesus to question him (καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν).  What do think about life after death?

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The withered fig tree (Mk 11:20-11:20)

“In the morning,

As they passed by,

They saw

The fig tree

Withered away

To its roots.”

 

Καὶ παραπορευόμενοι πρωῒ εἶδον τὴν συκῆν ἐξηραμμένην ἐκ ῥιζῶν.

 

This incident about the withered fig tree continued here, where it was a complete whole in Matthew, chapter 21:18-20.  Here in Mark, it was the next day after the curse when they were passing by it in the morning (Καὶ παραπορευόμενοι πρωῒ).  Then they saw the withered or dried up fig tree, even its roots (εἶδον τὴν συκῆν ἐξηραμμένην ἐκ ῥιζῶν).  Rather than immediately the same day, as in Matthew, the result was the same.  The fig tree was dead.

The resurrection (Mt 22:23-22:23)

“That same day,

Some Sadducees

Came to Jesus.

They said that

There is no resurrection.

They asked him a question.”

 

Ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ Σαδδουκαῖοι, λέγοντες μὴ εἶναι ἀνάστασιν, καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν

 

Mark, chapter 12:18, and Luke, chapter 20:27, are almost word for word like this question in Matthew.  Only Matthew had this happen on the same day (Ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ) as the discussion about the Roman coin.  Some Sadducees came to him (προσῆλθον αὐτῷ Σαδδουκαῖοι).  These Sadducees were another Jewish aristocratic group that was tied to the Temple.  However, they did not believe in the bodily resurrection like the Pharisees did, since they said that there was no resurrection (λέγοντες μὴ εἶναι ἀνάστασιν).  They too came to Jesus to question him (καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν).

The Ethiopians (Ezek 30:9-30:9)

“On that day,

Messengers,

Shall go out

From me,

In ships,

To terrify

The unsuspecting Ethiopians.

Anguish

Shall come

Upon them

On the day

Of Egypt’s doom.

It is coming!”

Yahweh was going to send out messengers or angels in ships to terrify the unsuspecting Ethiopians, who were south of Egypt. Anguish would come upon these Ethiopians on the same day that Egypt was being enveloped in doom. This was going to happen, so watch out.

The adultery of the two sisters with their idols (Ezek 23:37-23:39)

“They have committed

Adultery.

Blood is

On their hands.

With their idols,

They have committed

Adultery.

They have even offered up

To them

For food

The children

Whom they had borne

To me.

Moreover

This they have done

To me.

They have defiled

My sanctuary

On the same day.

They have profaned

My Sabbath.

When they had slaughtered

Their children

For their idols,

On the same day,

They came

Into my sanctuary

To profane it.

This is what they did

In my house.”

Yahweh explains to Ezekiel about the adulterous behavior of these two sisters, particularly Jerusalem. They had turned to idol images instead of Yahweh. Thus they have committed adultery. Blood was on their hands because of their idol worship. They had even offered up Israelite children for food for these idols. Not only did they sacrifice their own children, but on the same day they defiled the sanctuary of the Temple and profaned the Sabbath. They had slaughtered their own children for their idols. What kind of adulterous behavior was this?

The Babylonian officials in Jerusalem (Jer 39:3-39:3)

“When Jerusalem was taken,

All the officials

Of the king of Babylon

Came into Jerusalem.

They sat in the middle gate.

There was

Nergal-sharezer,

Samgar-nebo,

Sarsechim the Rabsaris,

Nergal-sharezer the Rabmag,

With all the rest

Of the officers

Of the king of Babylon.”

On this same day that the Babylonian officials took over Jerusalem, they sat at the Middle Gate. Although these officials and generals were not named in 2 Kings, chapter 25, they are mentioned here. Nergal-sharezer was some kind of hero general. There was also someone with the same name that had the title Rabmag that indicates that he was chief of the Assyrian priests. Samgar-nebo may have been the famous cup bearer for the king or the name of some Babylonian deity.   Sarsechim was the Rabsaris, the chief of the eunuchs. These are the only people mentioned, but there were other officials there, after they had conquered the lower part of Jerusalem.

The celebration (2 Macc 10:5-10:9)

“It happened that on the same day on which the sanctuary had been profaned by the foreigners, the purification of the sanctuary took place, that is, on the twenty-fifth day of the same month, which was Chislev. They celebrated it for eight days with rejoicing, in the manner of the festival  of booths. They remembered how not long before, during the feast of booths, they had been wandering in the mountains and caves like wild animals. Therefore bearing ivy-wreathed wands and beautiful branches with also fronds of palm, they offered hymns of thanksgiving to him who had given success to the purifying of his own holy place. They decreed by public edict, ratified by vote, that the whole nation of the Jews should observe these days every year. Such then was the end of King Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes.”

This is very reminiscent of 1 Maccabees, chapter 4. However, the festival of booths was usually in September, but Chislev is December. As they were not able to celebrate it then, they celebrated it here for 8 days. This might be the source of Hanukkah. This took place 2 years to the day that the profanation of the Temple took place. It is the same time frame as the story in Esther. Yet it is reminiscent of the restoration of the Temple of King Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles, chapter 29. Here there is an official decree that is voted upon. This is the first mention of any kind of vote. Previously, questions were answered by lot. Perhaps this is the Greek influence. Nevertheless, this is the end of King Antiochus IV as now they have a restored Temple in Jerusalem to celebrate and remember.