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.

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Do not despise the little ones (Mt 18:10-18:10)

“Take care!

Do not despise

One of these little ones!

I tell you!

In heaven,

Their angels

Continually see the face

Of my Father in heaven.”

 

Ὁρᾶτε μὴ καταφρονήσητε ἑνὸς τῶν μικρῶν τούτων· λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτῶν ἐν οὐρανοῖς διὰ παντὸς βλέπουσι τὸ πρόσωπον τοῦ Πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς.

 

This is a unique saying about not scorning the little ones that is only found here in Matthew.  Jesus said that they should be careful or see not to despise, scorn, or disregard any one of these little ones (Ὁρᾶτε μὴ καταφρονήσητε ἑνὸς τῶν μικρῶν τούτων).  In a solemn proclamation, “I tell you” (λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν), he said that the angels of the little ones in heaven (ὅτι οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτῶν ἐν οὐρανοῖς) always or continually see the face of his heavenly Father (διὰ παντὸς βλέπουσι τὸ πρόσωπον τοῦ Πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς).  This obviously is an allusion to the concept of guardian angels, especially for the little ones.

The great convocation (Joel 3:11-3:12)

“Come quickly!

All you nations!

All around!

Gather yourselves there!

Bring down your warriors!

O Yahweh!

Let the nations

Rouse themselves!

Let them come up

To the valley of Jehoshaphat!

There,

I will sit to judge

All the neighboring nations!”

Joel seems to call the nations and countries to gather at the Valley of Jehoshaphat. He even wanted Yahweh to send his heavenly warriors, the angels. Yahweh was going to sit in judgment against all the neighbors of Israel.

All those with God bless the Lord (Dan 3:35-3:39)

“Bless the Lord!

All you works

Of the Lord!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

You heavens!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

You angels of the Lord!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

All you waters

Above the heaven!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

All you powers

Of the Lord!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!” 

Now the chant turns to a praise from all the works of the Lord. The heavens, the angels, the heavenly waters, and all the powers of the Lord are to bless the Lord. They were to sing praise to him and exalt him forever. The angels and the powers of the Lord were with him in heaven. The heavenly waters were somehow separated from the earthly waters in their cosmology.

Cosmic praise of Yahweh (Ps 148:1-148:6)

“Praise Yahweh!

Praise Yahweh from the heavens!

Praise Yahweh in the heights!

Praise him!

All his angels!

Praise him!

His entire host!

Praise him!

Sun and moon!

Praise him,

All you shining stars!

Praise him!

You highest heavens!

Praise him!

You waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of Yahweh!

He commanded.

Thus they were created.

He established them forever and ever.

He fixed their bounds.

They cannot be passed.”

Psalm 148 is another “praise Yahweh” psalm, another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” This time all created things are to praise Yahweh, not just Israelites or other humans. Everything and everyone was to praise Yahweh. In particular the highest heavens are to praise Yahweh. All the angels and hosts of armies of Yahweh were to praise him. The sun, the moon, and the stars in the skies were to praise Yahweh. The highest heavens with the water that was to fall on the earth were to praise Yahweh. This is truly a cosmic praise of Yahweh. However, all theses heavenly angels and sky were created at the command of Yahweh. He established them forever with a certain boundary that they cannot pass.

Hymn to blessed Yahweh (Ps 103:19-103:22)

“Yahweh has established

His throne in the heavens.

His kingdom rules over all.

Bless Yahweh!

O you his angels!

You mighty ones who do his bidding!

You are obedient to his spoken word!

Bless Yahweh!

All his hosts!

His ministers that do his will!

Bless Yahweh!

All his works!

In all places of his dominion!

Bless Yahweh!

O my soul!”

This psalm ends with a rousing hymn of blessing to Yahweh. Yahweh is the king who rules over all from heaven. Thus all the angels who do his bidding and hear his word are to bless Yahweh. Everything that exists should bless Yahweh. David’s soul should bless Yahweh.

God with his council (Ps 82:1-82:2)

A psalm of Asaph

“God has taken his place in the divine council.

In the midst of the gods he holds judgment.

‘How long will you judge unjustly?

How long will you show partiality to the wicked?’”

Selah

Psalm 82 is simply one in the series of psalms of Asaph, the Temple singer. The ancient Near East believed that the world was ruled by a series of gods, which was also the Greek and Roman concepts of divinity. Here God sits with his council, sometimes referred to as the angels. Speaking in God’s name was the Temple priest or prophet. God’s judgment questions were clear. Why were they judging unjustly? Why were they partial to the wicked ones? This section ends once again with the musical meditative interlude pause of Selah.