The holy child (Lk 2:23-2:23)

“As it is written

In the law

Of the Lord.

‘Every firstborn male

Shall be designated

As holy

To the Lord.”

 

καθὼς γέγραπται ἐν νόμῳ Κυρίου ὅτι Πᾶν ἄρσεν διανοῖγον μήτραν ἅγιον τῷ Κυρίῳ κληθήσεται,

 

Luke further elaborated about the written Law of the Lord (καθὼς γέγραπται ἐν νόμῳ Κυρίου).  In a paraphrase of Exodus, chapter 13:2, he said that every male born or opening the womb (ὅτι Πᾶν ἄρσεν διανοῖγον μήτραν) shall be designated or called holy to the Lord (ἅγιον τῷ Κυρίῳ κληθήσεται).  It no longer is the Law of Moses, but the Law of the Lord God.  Notice that Luke did not say first born, but just male.  This presentation of the male child is similar to Hannah presenting Samuel in 1 Samuel, chapter 1:24-27.  Hannah brought her young son Samuel to the Temple of Yahweh at Shiloh.  There they saw the prophet Eli.  Thus, she gave or lent Samuel to Yahweh and the prophet Eli.  Luke made sure to point out that Elizabeth, Zechariah, Joseph, and Mary were all very good law-abiding Jewish parents.

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The remembrance (Zech 6:14-6:14)

“The crown

Shall be in the care

Of Heldai,

Tobijah,

Jedaiah,

With Josiah,

The son of Zephaniah,

As a memorial

In the Temple of Yahweh.”

Those returning captives mentioned earlier, Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Josiah were to take care of this crown.  It would be in the Temple of Yahweh as a reminder or memorial of their former captivity.

Jeremiah meets the prophet Hananiah (Jer 28:1-28:1)

“In that same year,

At the beginning

Of the reign

Of King Zedekiah

Of Judah,

In the fifth month

Of the fourth year,

Hananiah,

The son of Azzur,

From Gibeon,

Spoke to me

In the house of Yahweh,

In the presence

Of the priests

With all the people.”

Once again we have an exact time frame for this confrontation with Hananiah. This meeting of Jeremiah and Hananiah took place at the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah or King Mattaniah (598-587 BCE), the son of King Josiah (640-609 BCE) who was installed by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (605-562 BCE) at the age of 21. Hananiah was a prophet from Gibeon, north of Jerusalem in the Benjamin territory, whose father was Azzur. Thus this meeting between Jeremiah and Hananiah in the Temple of Yahweh took place around 594 BCE, during the 4th year of the reign of King Zedekiah in the presence of the priests and all the people, as much as that was possible. Like the preceding chapter, this is a different numbered chapter in the Greek translation of the Septuagint, chapter 35, not 28 as here.

The role of the Temple (Jer 7:3-7:4)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

The God of Israel!

Amend your ways!

Amend your doings!

Let me dwell with you

In this place.

Do not trust

In these deceptive words.

‘This is the temple of Yahweh!

The temple of Yahweh!

The temple of Yahweh.’”

The first part of this pericope sounds like the many other times that Yahweh had spoken to his people. He was the God of Israel with his hosts. The Temple visitors were to amend their ways and what they were doing. Yahweh wanted to dwell with them in his Temple. However, the second verse is a little strange. Yahweh told Jeremiah not to trust the deceptive words about the Temple of Yahweh. In fact, the statement is mentioned 3 times, “Temple of Yahweh”. Was this a reminder to enter the Temple 3 times a day? Was this against the false prophets who told them not to worry, since as long as they had the Temple everything would be fine? Is it a rebuke to those who just loved the majesty and beauty of the Temple? This triple cry about the Temple of Yahweh as deceptive words is not really clear.