The kingdoms of the world (Lk 4:5-4:5)

“Then the devil

Led Jesus up.

He showed him,

In an instant,

All the kingdoms

Of the world.”

 

Καὶ ἀναγαγὼν αὐτὸν ἔδειξεν αὐτῷ πάσας τὰς βασιλείας τῆς οἰκουμένης ἐν στιγμῇ χρόνου.

 

This is the 3rd and final temptation in Matthew, chapter 4:8-10, but here in Luke it is the 2nd temptation.  The wording is almost the same, indicating a shared common source, perhaps Q.  Luke said that the devil led Jesus up (Καὶ ἀναγαγὼν αὐτὸν), presumably a high mountain, as in some Orthodox manuscripts and in Matthew.  He then showed him (ἔδειξεν αὐτῷ) in an instant or moment in time (ἐν στιγμῇ χρόνου), all the kingdoms of the world (πάσας τὰς βασιλείας τῆς οἰκουμένης).  Exactly how he did this is difficult to discern.  This time, the devil took Jesus to an exceeding high mountain, where he showed Jesus all the great kingdoms of the world.  Luke was more restrained in his description of the various kingdoms, since he did not mention their splendor and glory, the way that Matthew had.

The Son of Man in glory (Mt 25:31-25:31)

“When the Son of Man

Comes in his glory,

All the angels

Will be with him.

Then he will sit

On the throne

Of his glory.”

 

Ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν τῇ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ καὶ πάντες οἱ ἄγγελοι μετ’ αὐτοῦ, τότε καθίσει ἐπὶ θρόνου δόξης αὐτοῦ·

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  The Son of Man theme was a favorite theme for Matthew as well as the Old Testament prophet Daniel, especially chapter 7:13-14, where it might have been messianic also.  Daniel said that the Son of Man would be given dominion, glory, and kingship over all people, nations, and languages.  Everyone would serve him, since his kingdom would last forever, and never be destroyed.  Jesus said that the Son of Man would come in his glory or splendor (Ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν τῇ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ), with all his angels (καὶ πάντες οἱ ἄγγελοι μετ’ αὐτοῦ), seated on the throne of his glory or splendor (τότε καθίσει ἐπὶ θρόνου δόξης αὐτοῦ).  The Son of Man was a clear reference to the return of Jesus himself.

The third temptation (Mt 4:8-4:9)

“Again,

The devil took Jesus

To a very high mountain.

He showed him

All the kingdoms

Of the world

With all their splendor.

He said to him.

‘All these,

I will give you,

If you will fall down,

And worship me.’”

 

Πάλιν παραλαμβάνει αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλὸν λίαν, καὶ δείκνυσιν αὐτῷ πάσας τὰς βασιλείας τοῦ κόσμου καὶ τὴν δόξαν αὐτῶν,

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ταῦτά σοι πάντα δώσω, ἐὰν πεσὼν προσκυνήσῃς μοι.

 

This 3rd and final temptation was the 2nd temptation in Luke, chapter 4:5-8. The wording is the same, indicating a shared common source, perhaps Q. This time, the devil took Jesus to an exceeding high mountain (Πάλιν παραλαμβάνει αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλὸν λίαν). He then showed him all the great kingdoms of the world with all their splendor and glory (καὶ δείκνυσιν αὐτῷ πάσας τὰς βασιλείας τοῦ κόσμου καὶ τὴν δόξαν αὐτῶν). Then he asked Jesus to worship him. If Jesus fell down and worshipped him (ἐὰν πεσὼν προσκυνήσῃς μοι), the devil would then give all these kingdoms with their glory to him (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ταῦτά σοι πάντα δώσω). Somehow this devil thought that he was in control of all the nations in the world. Perhaps the early followers of Jesus thought that the world outside Jerusalem was under the power of the devil. For many Christians, this seemed like a stupid temptation since God, the Father and his Son, already controlled the world.

The restoration of the king (Dan 4:36-4:36)

“At the time

That my reason returned

To me,

My majesty

Was restored

To me.

My splendor

Was restored

To me,

For the glory

Of my kingdom.

My counselors,

My lords,

Sought me out.

I was re-established

Over my kingdom.

Still more greatness

Was added to me.”

King Nebuchadnezzar, in the first-person singular, remarked that once he was reasonable again, all his majesty and splendor was restored to him and his glorious kingdom. His former counselors and princes sought him out. He was re-established over his great kingdom. He even became greater yet.

The mercenary army at Tyre (Ezek 27:10-27:11)

“Persia,

Lud,

Put,

Were all in your army.

They were

Your mighty warriors.

They hung their shield

With you.

They hung their helmet

With you.

They gave you splendor.

The men of Arvad,

The men of Helech,

Were on your walls

All around.

The men of Gamad

Were at your towers.

They hung their quivers

All around

Your walls.

They made perfect

Your beauty.”

Tyre had a mercenary army with people from Persia, Lydia (Lud), and Libya (Put). These were the mighty warriors of Tyre who hung their shields and helmets in Tyre to give the town more splendor. Within the town, guarding the walls, were the men from the Arvad island and Cilicia (Helech), a coastal town in Asia Minor. Meanwhile, the men of Cappadocia (Gamad) guarded the towers of Tyre. They kept their bow and arrows in the town. Thus the city of Tyre had an international army protecting it, inside and outside, to make it a thing of beauty.

The throne with a human form (Ezek 1:26-1:27)

“Above the dome,

Over their heads,

There was something

Like a throne.

In appearance

It was

Like sapphire.

Seated above

The likeness

Of a throne

Was something

That seemed

Like a human form.

Upward

From what appeared

Like the loins,

I saw something

Like gleaming amber.

This something

Looked like fire

Enclosed all round.

Downward

From what appeared

Like the loins

I saw something

That looked like fire.

There was a splendor

All around.”

Ezekiel saw something like a sapphire throne above the dome over the heads of the living creatures. Apparently, seated above this throne was the likeness of a human form. Christians later referred this to Jesus. Above this human’s loins was something like gleaming amber, like a fire enclosed all round him. Below his loins, Ezekiel also saw fire. There was splendor all around.

Put on the robe of glory (Bar 5:1-5:4)

“Take off the garment

Of your sorrow!

Take off the garment

Of your affliction!

O Jerusalem!

Put on forever

The beauty

Of the glory

From God!

Put on the robe

Of the righteousness

From God!

Put on your head

The diadem

Of the glory

Of the Everlasting One!

God

Will show

Your splendor

Everywhere under heaven!

God

Will give you forever

The name

‘Righteousness peace!

Godly glory!’”

The author of this book told Jerusalem to take off its garments of sorrow and distress. Jerusalem was to put on the beauty of the glorious God, the robe of the righteousness of God. Jerusalem was to wear a diadem crown to show the glory of the Everlasting One. Once again, God is no longer called Yahweh. God was going to show the splendor of this great city to everyone in the world. Now Jerusalem had a new name, “righteous peace and Godly glory”. There would be a great turn around in Jerusalem.