Depart from me (Mt 25:41-25:41)

“Then the king

Will say to those

At his left hand.

‘You are cursed!

Depart from me!

Enter into the eternal fire

Prepared for the devil

And his angels!’”

 

τότε ἐρεῖ καὶ τοῖς ἐξ εὐωνύμων Πορεύεσθε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ κατηραμένοι εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ αἰώνιον τὸ ἡτοιμασμένον τῷ διαβόλῳ καὶ τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that the king turned to those goats on his left side (τότε ἐρεῖ καὶ τοῖς ἐξ εὐωνύμων).  He wanted these goat people to leave him and go away (Πορεύεσθε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ).  He called them cursed (κατηραμένοι). They were to go into the eternal fire (εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ αἰώνιον) that had been prepared for the devil and his angels (τὸ ἡτοιμασμένον τῷ διαβόλῳ καὶ τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ).  They were to depart from the king and be cursed to join the devil and his angels in the eternal fire that had been prepared for the devil.  Thus, we have the basis for the classic Christian teaching of eternal heaven with God, the Father, Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for the righteous or the eternal fire of hell with the devil and his companions for the evil or wicked people.  This was the final judgment awaiting all people.

You cared for the least of my brothers (Mt 25:40-25:40)

“The king

Will answer them.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

Just as you did it

To one of the least

Of these

Who are members

Of my family,

You did it to me.’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Βασιλεὺς ἐρεῖ αὐτοῖς Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἐφ’ ὅσον ἐποιήσατε ἑνὶ τούτων τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου τῶν ἐλαχίστων, ἐμοὶ ἐποιήσατε.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  The king, not the Son of Man, answered them (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Βασιλεὺς ἐρεῖ αὐτοῖς) with a solemn declaration (Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that if they did it to the least of his brothers (ἐφ’ ὅσον ἐποιήσατε ἑνὶ τούτων τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου τῶν ἐλαχίστων), they did it to him (ἐμοὶ ἐποιήσατε).  Caring for the needy weak brothers of Jesus was also caring for Jesus himself.  They were all part of one big happy family.

The sheep on the right hand (Mt 25:34-25:34)

“Then the king

Will say to those

At his right hand.

‘Come!

You are blessed

By my Father!

Inherit the kingdom!

It has been prepared

For you

From the foundation

Of the world.”

 

τότε ἐρεῖ ὁ Βασιλεὺς τοῖς ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ Δεῦτε οἱ εὐλογημένοι τοῦ Πατρός μου, κληρονομήσατε τὴν ἡτοιμασμένην ὑμῖν βασιλείαν ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  The right side is always the good side.  Jesus said that the king, not the Son of Man, would tell those at his right hand (τότε ἐρεῖ ὁ Βασιλεὺς τοῖς ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ) that they had been blessed by his Father (οἱ εὐλογημένοι τοῦ Πατρός μου).  They would come (Δεῦτε) to inherit the kingdom (κληρονομήσατε…βασιλείαν), since it had been prepared for them (τὴν ἡτοιμασμένην ὑμῖν) from the foundation or inception of the world (ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου).  The righteous right-side sheep would inherit the kingdom of heaven that had been prepared for them since the beginning of time.  This almost sounds like predestination.

Wise faithful slave (Mt 24:45-24:47)

“Who then is the faithful

And wise slave?

His master

Has put him in charge

Over his household.

He was to give

The other slaves

Their allowance

Of food

At the proper time.

Blessed is that slave

Whom his master

Will find at work

When he arrives.

Truly!

I say to you!

He will put that one

In charge

Of all his possessions.”

 

Τίς ἄρα ἐστὶν ὁ πιστὸς δοῦλος καὶ φρόνιμος ὃν κατέστησεν ὁ κύριος ἐπὶ τῆς οἰκετείας αὐτοῦ τοῦ δοῦναι αὐτοῖς τὴν τροφὴν ἐν καιρῷ;

μακάριος ὁ δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος ὃν ἐλθὼν ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ εὑρήσει οὕτως ποιοῦντα·

ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἐπὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς ὑπάρχουσιν αὐτοῦ καταστήσει αὐτόν.

 

There is a similar parable saying about this good slave in Luke, chapter 12:42-44, almost word for word.  Jesus asked who was the faithful and wise slave (Τίς ἄρα ἐστὶν ὁ πιστὸς δοῦλος καὶ φρόνιμος)?  Was he referring to his apostles and disciples?  The master had put this slave in charge over his household slaves (ὃν κατέστησεν ὁ κύριος ἐπὶ τῆς οἰκετείας αὐτοῦ).  He was to give the other slaves their allowance of food at the proper time (τοῦ δοῦναι αὐτοῖς τὴν τροφὴν ἐν καιρῷ).  This slave would be blessed (μακάριος ὁ δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος) if this master came and found him at work (ὃν ἐλθὼν ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ εὑρήσει οὕτως ποιοῦντα).  Then in a solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν), Jesus said that this hard-working wise slave would be put in charge of all the master’s possessions (ὅτι ἐπὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς ὑπάρχουσιν αὐτοῦ καταστήσει αὐτόν).  Do a good job and you will get a promotion.

This generation (Mt 24:34-24:34)

“Truly!

I say to you!

‘This generation

Will not pass away

Until all these things

Have taken place.’”

 

ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ ἡ γενεὰ αὕτη ἕως ἂν πάντα ταῦτα γένηται.

 

This is exactly the same, word for word, in Mark, chapter 13:30, and in Luke, chapter 21:32.  In a solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν), Jesus said that this current generation would not pass away (ὅτι οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ ἡ γενεὰ αὕτη) until all these things had taken place (ἕως ἂν πάντα ταῦτα γένηται).  In other words, Jesus said that his disciples would live to see the end times, something that did not happen.

Where is the Messiah? (Mt 24:25-24:26)

“Take note!

I have told you beforehand!

Thus,

If they say to you.

‘Look!

He is in the wilderness!’

Do not go out!

If they say.

‘Look!

He is in the inner rooms.’

Do not believe it.”

 

ἰδοὺ προείρηκα ὑμῖν

ἐὰν οὖν εἴπωσιν ὑμῖν Ἰδοὺ ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ ἐστίν, μὴ ἐξέλθητε· Ἰδοὺ ἐν τοῖς ταμείοις, μὴ πιστεύσητε

 

This is unique to Matthew, except for the first line that is like Mark, chapter 13:23.  Matthew seemed more concerned about the disciples being led astray.  Jesus warned his disciples, since he was telling them before it happened (ἰδοὺ προείρηκα ὑμῖν).  If someone said that they were to look in the wilderness for the Christ (ἐὰν οὖν εἴπωσιν ὑμῖν Ἰδοὺ ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ ἐστίν), they were not to go out there (μὴ ἐξέλθητε).  If they say that the Messiah was in the inner rooms or secret chambers (Ἰδοὺ ἐν τοῖς ταμείοις), the disciples should not believe it (μὴ πιστεύσητε).  The disciples should be wary of these false messiahs and prophets.

The destruction of the Temple (Mt 24:2-24:2)

“Then Jesus asked them.

‘Do you not

See all these buildings?

Truly!

I say to you!

Not one stone

Will be left here

Upon another.

All will be thrown down.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Οὐ βλέπετε ταῦτα πάντα; ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ ὧδε λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται.

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 13:2, almost word for word, and in Luke, chapter 21:6, but slightly different.  Then Jesus answered them (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς).  He asked them if they had not seen all these buildings (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Οὐ βλέπετε ταῦτα πάντα).  Then in a solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) he told them that not one stone would be left on another stone here at the Temple (οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ ὧδε λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον).  All of the Temple buildings would be torn down or thrown down (ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται).  In fact, in 70 CE, about 40 years after the time of Jesus, the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed by the Romans in their war with Israel.  Threats against the Jerusalem Temple had been common among the prophets in the Old Testament, especially before the Exile in the 6th century BCE.

Coming soon (Mt 23:36-23:36)

“Truly!

I say to you!

‘All this will come

Upon this generation.’”

 

ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἥξει ταῦτα πάντα ἐπὶ τὴν γενεὰν ταύτην.

 

This is a saying unique to Matthew.  Jesus said to these Pharisees and Scribes with a solemn pronouncement (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that all these things would happen to this generation (ἥξει ταῦτα πάντα ἐπὶ τὴν γενεὰν ταύτην), right away, before any of them died.

The tombs of the prophets (Mt 23:29-23:30)

“Woe to you!

Scribes!

Woe to you!

Pharisees!

Hypocrites!

You build the tombs

Of the prophets.

You decorate the graves

Of the righteous.

You say.

‘If we had lived

In the days

Of our ancestors,

We would not have taken part

With them

In shedding the blood

Of the prophets.’”

 

Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί, ὅτι οἰκοδομεῖτε τοὺς τάφους τῶν προφητῶν καὶ κοσμεῖτε τὰ μνημεῖα τῶν δικαίων,

καὶ λέγετε Εἰ ἤμεθα ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν, οὐκ ἂν ἤμεθα αὐτῶν κοινωνοὶ ἐν τῷ αἵματι τῶν προφητῶν.

 

There is something similar in Luke, chapter 11:47-48.  Jesus continued to curse the Pharisees and the Scribes, much like earlier in verses 13, 14, 15, 25, and 27.  The first part of this diatribe is exactly the same as those earlier verses.  Woe to you (Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν)!  Scribes (γραμματεῖς)!  Woe to you!  Pharisees (καὶ Φαρισαῖοι)!  Hypocrites (ὑποκριταί)!  This time it was how they and their ancestors had treated the prophets of Israel.  They built the tombs of the prophets (ὅτι οἰκοδομεῖτε τοὺς τάφους τῶν προφητῶν) and decorated the graves or tombs of the righteous (καὶ κοσμεῖτε τὰ μνημεῖα τῶν δικαίων).  These Pharisees said that if they had lived in the days of their ancestors or fathers (καὶ λέγετε Εἰ ἤμεθα ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν), they would not have participated in the shedding of the blood of these prophets (οὐκ ἂν ἤμεθα αὐτῶν κοινωνοὶ ἐν τῷ αἵματι τῶν προφητῶν).  The problem is that there were not that many prophets murdered.

Swear by the altar or the gift (Mt 23:18-23:18)

“You say.

‘Whoever swears

By the altar,

Is bound by nothing.

But whoever swears

By the gift

That is on the altar,

Is bound

By the oath.’”

 

καί Ὃς ἂν ὀμόσῃ ἐν τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ, οὐδέν ἐστιν· ὃς δ’ ἂν ὀμόσῃ ἐν τῷ δώρῳ τῷ ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ, ὀφείλει.

 

This unique diatribe against the Scribes and Pharisees continued in Matthew alone with the same idea and phrases that were expressed in verse 16.  These Pharisees and Scribes say that whoever swears by the altar (καί Ὃς ἂν ὀμόσῃ ἐν τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ) was not bound by anything, because it was considered as nothing (οὐδέν ἐστιν).  However, anyone who swears by the gift that is on the altar (ὃς δ’ ἂν ὀμόσῃ ἐν τῷ δώρῳ τῷ ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ) was bound by his oath (ὀφείλει).  In other words, the only thing that they were bound to fulfill was the gift on the altar that they were contributing, not other vows or promises.  This goes back to the question of whether you should swear to do anything or not, as posed earlier in this work in chapter 5:33-37.