The possessed man (Lk 8:29-8:29)

Jesus had commanded

The unclean spirit

To come out

Of the man.

Many times,

It had seized him.

He was bound

With chains.

He was kept

In shackles.

But he would break

The bonds.

He was driven

By the demon

Into the wild desert.”

 

παρήγγελλεν γὰρ τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ ἐξελθεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. πολλοῖς γὰρ χρόνοις συνηρπάκει αὐτόν, καὶ ἐδεσμεύετο ἁλύσεσιν καὶ πέδαις φυλασσόμενος, καὶ διαρήσσων τὰ δεσμὰ ἠλαύνετο ἀπὸ τοῦ δαιμονίου εἰς τὰς ἐρήμους.

 

Luke said that Jesus had commanded (παρήγγελλεν) the unclean spirit (γὰρ τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ) to come out of this man (ἐξελθεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  Many times (πολλοῖς γὰρ χρόνοις), it had seized him (συνηρπάκει αὐτόν).  Thus, he was bound with chains (καὶ ἐδεσμεύετο ἁλύσεσιν) and kept in foot shackles (καὶ πέδαις φυλασσόμενος).  However, he would break the chains or bonds (καὶ διαρήσσων τὰ δεσμὰ).  He was driven (ἠλαύνετο) by a demon (ἀπὸ τοῦ δαιμονίου) into the wild desert (εἰς τὰς ἐρήμους).  Here in Luke, Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the demoniac.  Mark, chapter 5:8, also indicated that Jesus said to the demoniac that this unclean spirit should come out of this man.  Thus, Jesus spoke directly to the unclean spirit here also.  While Matthew, chapter 8:28, just said that these possessed men were wild people, Mark, chapter 5:4-5, had an elaborate description much like this in LukeMark said that this demoniac had often been bound or restrained with foot shackles and chains.  However, he tore up these chains and shattered his foot shackles into pieces.  No one had the strength to subdue him.  Constantly, all night and day, he was howling or crying among the tombs and on the hills or in the mountains.  He was cutting or bruising himself with stones.  This was not a pretty sight or a happy guy.  Have you ever met a crazy possessed person?

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The wild behavior of the demoniac (Mk 5:4-5:5)

“This demoniac

Had often been restrained

With foot shackles

And chains.

But he tore apart

The chains.

He broke in pieces

The foot shackles.

No one

Had the strength

To subdue him.

All night and day,

He was always howling

Among the tombs

And on the mountains.

He was bruising himself

With stones.”

 

διὰ τὸ αὐτὸν πολλάκις πέδαις καὶ ἁλύσεσιν δεδέσθαι, καὶ διεσπάσθαι ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ τὰς ἁλύσεις καὶ τὰς πέδας συντετρῖφθαι, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἴσχυεν αὐτὸν δαμάσαι·

καὶ διὰ παντὸς νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν καὶ ἐν τοῖς ὄρεσιν ἦν κράζων καὶ κατακόπτων ἑαυτὸν λίθοις.

 

This is a description of this demoniac, while Matthew just said that he was a wild person, but Luke, chapter 8:29, has a description much like this.  Mark said that this demoniac had often been bound or restrained with foot shackles and chains (διὰ τὸ αὐτὸν πολλάκις πέδαις καὶ ἁλύσεσιν δεδέσθαι).  However, he tore in two the chains (καὶ διεσπάσθαι ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ τὰς ἁλύσεις).  He broke or shattered his foot shackles into pieces (καὶ τὰς πέδας συντετρῖφθαι).  No one had the strength to subdue him (καὶ οὐδεὶς ἴσχυεν αὐτὸν δαμάσαι).  Constantly all night and day (καὶ διὰ παντὸς νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας), he was always howling or crying among the tombs and on the hills or mountains (ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν καὶ ἐν τοῖς ὄρεσιν ἦν κράζων).  He was cutting or bruising himself with stones (καὶ κατακόπτων ἑαυτὸν λίθοις).  This was not a pretty sight or a happy guy.

Cyrus the Anointed Messiah Christ (Isa 45:1-45:1)

“Thus says Yahweh

To his anointed,

To Cyrus.

I have grasped his right hand,

To subdue nations before him,

To strip kings of their robes,

To open doors before him.

The gates shall not be closed.”

Second Isaiah calls Cyrus the anointed one, in Hebrew the Messiah, or in Greek the Christ. This is the only reference of an anointed person or a messiah who was not an Israelite. Cyrus, the King of Persia from 559-530 BCE, more than two centuries after the lifetime of Isaiah, was really a favorite of both Yahweh and the author of Second Isaiah. Cyrus the Great created the largest empire in the world with present day Iran the last vestige of that empire as he took over many countries. Second Isaiah continually insisted that Yahweh was behind Cyrus as he is clearly the anointed one of Yahweh. Yahweh has grasped his right hand, so that he could subdue various nations. Yahweh would help Cyrus strip kings of their robes. He would open doors for him, since no gates would be closed to Cyrus.

Thanksgiving prayer (Isa 25:1-25:5)

“O Yahweh!

You are my God!

I will exalt you!

I will praise your name!

You have done wonderful things,

Plans formed of old,

Faithful and sure.

You have made the city a heap.

The fortified city has become a ruin.

The palace of aliens

Is a city no more.

It will never be rebuilt.

Therefore strong people

Will glorify you.

Cities of ruthless nations

Will fear you.

You have been a refuge

To the poor,

To the needy in their distress.

You have been a shelter

From the rainstorm.

You have been a shade

From the heat.

The blast of the ruthless was

Like a winter rainstorm.

The noise of aliens was

Like heat in a dry place.

You subdued the heat

With the shade of clouds.                                                        

The song of the ruthless was stilled.”

Isaiah gives thanks and praise to Yahweh because he has done wonderful faithful and sure things from of old as there are echoes of the acrostic Psalm 145. Then there is a turn to an unnamed ruined fortified city, where the palace of the aliens or foreigners was destroyed, never to be rebuilt again. There is no indication where this city was. Some people will glorify Yahweh, while other ruthless people will fear him. Yahweh has been a refuge to the poor and the needy in their time of distress. Yahweh was their shelter against the ruthless winter rainstorm and a shade in the hot sunny days against the noise of the aliens or foreigners. Yahweh was able to subdue the heat with his shady clouds. He was able to still the song of the ruthless. Thus Yahweh was their protector against the rain and the heat of ruthless people.

Help good people (Sir 12:1-12:7)

“If you do good,

Know to whom you do it.

You will be thanked

For your good deeds.

Do good to the devout.

You will be repaid.

If not by them,

Certainly by the Most High.

No good comes to the one

Who persists in evil.

No good comes to the one

Who does not give alms.

Give to the devout.

But do not help the sinner.

Do good to the humble.

But do not give to the ungodly.

Hold back their bread.

Do not give it to them.

By means of it,

They might subdue you.

Then you will receive

Twice as much evil

For all the good

You have done to them.

The Most High also hates sinners.

He will inflict punishment

On the ungodly.

Give to the one who is good.

But do not help the sinner.”

Sirach warns that you should help the good people, but not the ungodly or the sinners. You should know who you are helping. They will thank you for what you are doing. If you help the devout, they will repay you. Even if they don’t, the Most High God will repay you. The persistent evil doers are compared to those who do not give alms. You should help the devout, but not the sinners. Help the humble, but not the ungodly. Don’t give bread to the sinners and the ungodly, because they might subdue you. You might end up with twice as much evil for all the good that you did. The Most High God does not like sinners so he will punish them. Simply put, give to the good people and not the sinners.

Prayer before the battle (Ps 144:1-144:2)

A psalm of David

“Blessed be Yahweh!

My rock!

He trains my hands for war.

He trains my fingers for battle.

My rock!

My fortress!

My stronghold!

My deliverer!

My shield!

I take refuge in him.

He subdues the peoples under me.”

Psalm 144 is a psalm of David as he prepared for a battle in a war. Yahweh was to be blessed because he was the rock of David. He trained his hands and fingers for war and its battles. Yahweh was his fortress, his stronghold, his deliverer, his shield, and his refuge. Yahweh would subdue the various people for David.

First campaign of Lysias (1 Macc 4:26-4:29)

“Those of the foreigners who escaped went and reported to Lysias all that had happened. When he heard it, he was perplexed and discouraged. Things had not happened to Israel as he had intended. They had not turned out as the king had commanded him. But the next year he mustered sixty thousand picked infantrymen and five thousand cavalry to subdue them. They came into Idumea and encamped at Beth-zur. Judas met them with ten thousand men.”

When those who had escaped from this battle of Emmaus went to see Lysias, he was upset. He was perplexed and discouraged because things had not turned out the way he wanted them to go. He had not succeeded in following the king’s orders. Thus he waited a year and went out with a force of 60,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry to subdue the Israelites. He camped in Idumea at Beth-zur, about 18 miles south of Jerusalem near Hebron. This time, Judas has 10,000 men instead of just 3,000 like against Gorgias. There was no indication of whether or not Gorgias had survived the last battle.