No stones untouched (Lk 21:5-21:6)

“Jesus said.

‘As for these things

That you see,

The days will come

When not one stone

Will be left upon another.

All will be thrown down.’”

 

εἶπεν Ταῦτα ἃ θεωρεῖτε, ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι ἐν αἷς οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος ἐπὶ λίθῳ ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said (εἶπεν) that these things that they saw or were looking at (Ταῦτα ἃ θεωρεῖτε,) would be different in the days to come (ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι).  Not one stone would be left upon another (ἐν αἷς οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος ἐπὶ λίθῳ ὃς οὐ).  All would be thrown down (καταλυθήσεται).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:2, almost word for word, with Mark, chapter 13:2.  Mark said that Jesus asked this disciple (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) if he saw all these great buildings (Βλέπεις ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς)?  Jesus told him that not one stone would be left on another stone of the Temple buildings (οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον).  All of the Temple buildings would be torn down, thrown down, or destroyed (ὃς οὐ μὴ καταλυθῇ).  Matthew said that 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), that was not in Luke or Mark, 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, within 40 years after the time of Jesus, the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed by the Romans in their war with Israel.  However, threats against the Jerusalem Temple had been common among the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures, especially before the Exile in the 7th and 6th century BCE.  Have you ever seen a church or temple destroyed?

Bad things ahead (Lk 19:44-19:44)

“They will crush you

To the ground,

You

And your children

Within you.

They will not leave

Within you

One stone

Upon another.

You did not recognize

The time of your visitation

From God.”                                                                

 

καὶ ἐδαφιοῦσίν σε καὶ τὰ τέκνα σου ἐν σοί, καὶ οὐκ ἀφήσουσιν λίθον ἐπὶ λίθον ἐν σοί, ἀνθ’ ὧν οὐκ ἔγνως τὸν καιρὸν τῆς ἐπισκοπῆς σου.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the enemies would crush Jerusalem to the ground (καὶ ἐδαφιοῦσίν σε).  Luke was the only one among all the Greek biblical writers to use this word ἐδαφιοῦσίν, that means to raze, dash to the ground, or level with the ground.  Jesus used the second personal singular, when he said that the city along with their children or inhabitants (καὶ τὰ τέκνα σου ἐν σοί) would be destroyed.  Their enemies would not leave one stone upon another in that city (καὶ οὐκ ἀφήσουσιν λίθον ἐπὶ λίθον ἐν σοί), because the people of Jerusalem had not recognized the time of the visitation from God (ἀνθ’ ὧν οὐκ ἔγνως τὸν καιρὸν τῆς ἐπισκοπῆς σου), Jesus himself.  In predicting the future fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE, Jesus projected many of the same warnings that the Israelite and Judean prophets had proclaimed before the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BCE.  The people of Jerusalem had failed to recognize what was happening around them.  Are you aware of your situation in the city that you live?

Jerusalem would not respond (Lk 13:34-13:34)

“Jerusalem!

Jerusalem!

The city

That kills

The prophets!

You stone

Those who are sent

To you!

How often

Have I desired

To gather

Your children together

As a hen gathers

Her brood

Under her wings!

But you were not willing!”

 

Ἱερουσαλὴμ Ἱερουσαλήμ, ἡ ἀποκτείνουσα τοὺς προφήτας καὶ λιθοβολοῦσα τοὺς ἀπεσταλμένους πρὸς αὐτήν, ποσάκις ἠθέλησα ἐπισυνάξαι τὰ τέκνα σου ὃν τρόπον ὄρνις τὴν ἑαυτῆς νοσσιὰν ὑπὸ τὰς πτέρυγας, καὶ οὐκ ἠθελήσατε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus picked on Jerusalem (Ἱερουσαλὴμ Ἱερουσαλήμ).  He called it the city that killed its prophets (ἡ ἀποκτείνουσα τοὺς προφήτας).  They had stoned those who were sent to them (καὶ λιθοβολοῦσα τοὺς ἀπεσταλμένους πρὸς αὐτήν).  Jesus, almost speaking as God, said that he had often desired to gather his children together (ποσάκις ἠθέλησα ἐπισυνάξαι τὰ τέκνα σου), like a hen gathered her brood under her wings (ὃν τρόπον ὄρνις τὴν ἑαυτῆς νοσσιὰν ὑπὸ τὰς πτέρυγας).  However, they were not willing (καὶ οὐκ ἠθελήσατε).  Both Luke and Matthew chapter 23:37, have this lament about Jerusalem, almost word for word. so that this may be a Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus addressed Jerusalem (Ἰερουσαλὴμ Ἰερουσαλήμ), saying that it was the city that killed the prophets (ἡ ἀποκτείνουσα τοὺς προφήτας).  They stoned those prophets who were sent to it (καὶ λιθοβολοῦσα τοὺς ἀπεσταλμένους πρὸς αὐτήν).  God, the Father, or Jesus had often desired to gather her children together (ποσάκις ἠθέλησα ἐπισυναγαγεῖν τὰ τέκνα σου), just like a hen gathers her brood of little chicks under her wings (ὃν τρόπον ὄρνις ἐπισυνάγει τὰ νοσσία αὐτῆς ὑπὸ τὰς πτέρυγας).  However, Jerusalem was not willing to do so (καὶ οὐκ ἠθελήσατε).  This idea of a mother hen gathering her chicks under her wings can be found in Psalm 17:8 that spoke about hiding in the shadow of her wings and Psalm 91:4 that once again spoke about being covered with wings.  The exact incidents of the city of Jerusalem killing prophets cannot be clearly attested.  Is there a certain city that you do not like?

The prophet dies in Jerusalem (Lk 13:33-13:33)

“Yet today,

Tomorrow,

And the next day,

I must proceed

On my way.

Because it is impossible

For a prophet

To be killed

Outside of Jerusalem.”

 

πλὴν δεῖ με σήμερον καὶ αὔριον καὶ τῇ ἐχομένῃ πορεύεσθαι, ὅτι οὐκ ἐνδέχεται προφήτην ἀπολέσθαι ἔξω Ἱερουσαλήμ.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that today (σήμερον), tomorrow (καὶ αὔριον), and the next following day (καὶ τῇ ἐχομένῃ), he would proceed on his way (πλὴν δεῖ με…πορεύεσθαι), because it is not possible (ὅτι οὐκ ἐνδέχεται) for a prophet (προφήτην) to be killed (ἀπολέσθαι) outside of Jerusalem (ἔξω Ἱερουσαλήμ).  Notice that Jesus used the term “prophet (προφήτην)” to refer to himself, not the “Son of Man” as he often did.   He had to die in Jerusalem because it was set in stone.  In fact, many prophets had died outside of Jerusalem.  Do you have a favorite place to die?

They try to kill Jesus (Lk 4:29-4:29)

“They got up.

They drove Jesus

Out of town.

They led him

To the ridge

Of the hill

On which their town

Was built.

They wanted

To hurl him

Off the cliff.”

 

καὶ ἀναστάντες ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως, καὶ ἤγαγον αὐτὸν ἕως ὀφρύος τοῦ ὄρους ἐφ’ οὗ ἡ πόλις ᾠκοδόμητο αὐτῶν, ὥστε κατακρημνίσαι αὐτόν·

 

Luke alone said that they acted out their anger.  They got up (καὶ ἀναστάντες) from the synagogue.  They drove Jesus out of town (ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως).  They led him to the top or the ridge of the hill (καὶ ἤγαγον αὐτὸν ἕως ὀφρύος τοῦ ὄρους) on which their town was built (ἐφ’ οὗ ἡ πόλις ᾠκοδόμητο αὐτῶν).  They wanted to hurl him off the cliff (ὥστε κατακρημνίσαι αὐτόν).  One problem is that Nazareth was a flat town with no hills or cliffs.  Some commentators say that they meant to stone him, but the text does not say that.  However, they did not like his teachings about going to non-Jewish people and not doing any miracles in his home town.

Joseph puts the body of Jesus in a tomb (Mk 15:46-15:46)

“Then Joseph bought

A linen cloth.

He took the body down.

He wrapped it

In the linen cloth.

He laid it

In a tomb

That had been hewn

Out of the rock.

He then rolled

A stone

Against the door

Of the tomb.”

 

καὶ ἀγοράσας σινδόνα καθελὼν αὐτὸν ἐνείλησεν τῇ σινδόνι καὶ κατέθηκεν αὐτὸν ἐν μνήματι ὃ ἦν λελατομημένον ἐκ πέτρας, καὶ προσεκύλισεν λίθον ἐπὶ τὴν θύραν τοῦ μνημείου.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:59-60, and Luke, chapter 23:53, almost word for word.  John, chapter 19:38-41 introduced Nicodemus into this burial ritual.  Mark said that Joseph brought a clean linen cloth (καὶ ἀγοράσας σινδόνα).  He took the body down from the cross (καθελὼν αὐτὸν).  These biblical texts do not explain if he needed help with this task.  Then he wrapped the body in the linen cloth (ἐνείλησεν τῇ σινδόνι).  Finally, he laid Jesus’ body in his own new tomb (καὶ κατέθηκεν αὐτὸν ἐν μνήματι), that he had carved or hewn in a rock (ὃ ἦν λελατομημένον ἐκ πέτρας).  He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb (καὶ προσεκύλισεν λίθον ἐπὶ τὴν θύραν τοῦ μνημείου).  This seemed like a private one-person burial ritual.

The Temple will be thrown down (Mk 13:2-13:2)

“Then Jesus

Asked him.

‘Do you see

These great buildings?

Not one stone here

Will be left

Upon another.

All will be thrown down.’”

 

καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Βλέπεις ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς; οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον ὃς οὐ μὴ καταλυθῇ.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:2, almost word for word, and in Luke, chapter 21:6, but slightly different.  Mark said that Jesus asked this disciple (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) if he saw all these great buildings (Βλέπεις ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς)?  There is no solemn proclamation here, as in Matthew.  However, Jesus told him that not one stone would be left on another stone at the Temple (οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον).  All of the Temple buildings would be torn down, thrown down, or destroyed (ὃς οὐ μὴ καταλυθῇ).  In fact, in 70 CE, less than 40 years after the time of Jesus, the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed by the Romans in their war with Israel.  However, threats against the original Jerusalem Temple had been common among the prophets in the Old Testament, especially before the Exile in the 7th and 6th century BCE.