The call of Elijah (Mt 27:47-27:47)

“When some of the bystanders

Heard Jesus,

They said.

‘This man

Is calling Elijah.’”

 

τινὲς δὲ τῶν ἐκεῖ ἑστηκότων ἀκούσαντες ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἡλείαν φωνεῖ οὗτος.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:35.  However this episode was not in Luke, chapter 23, or John, chapter 19.  Matthew said that some of the bystanders heard the cry of Jesus on the cross (τινὲς δὲ τῶν ἐκεῖ ἑστηκότων ἀκούσαντες).  They said that Jesus was calling for Elijah (ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἡλείαν φωνεῖ οὗτος).  Elijah often came to help the good people who were in need.  The name “Eli jah” was close to “Eli,” so that some people might have mistakenly thought that Jesus was crying for help from the ancient Israelite prophet Elijah.  Elijah was also a forerunner of the messianic times as was the case of John the Baptist.

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The final destruction of Babylon (Jer 51:54-51:57)

“Listen!

A cry from Babylon!

A great crashing

From the land

Of the Chaldeans!

Yahweh is laying

Babylon waste!

Yahweh is stilling

Her loud clamor!

Their waves roar

Like many waters!

The sound of their clamor

Resounds!

A destroyer has come

Against her!

Against Babylon!

Her warriors are taken.

Their bows are broken.

Yahweh is

A God of recompense.

He will repay in full.

‘I will make drunk

Her officials,

Her sage wise men,

Her governors,

Her deputies,

Her warriors.

They shall sleep

A perpetual sleep.

They shall not wake.’

Says the King,

Whose name is

Yahweh of hosts.”

They will hear the cry of Babylon as its destruction takes place. Yahweh will destroy the land of the Chaldeans as he lays waste to Babylon. Loud noises like roaring waters will be heard in Babylon. A destroyer came against Babylon. The warriors were taken. Their bows were broken. Yahweh is a God of rewards. Thus, he will demand a payment in full. He will make all their officials, sages, governors, deputies, and warriors drunk. They will sleep an eternal sleep, so that they will never again wake up. Thus the God king, Yahweh of hosts has spoken. The final destruction of Babylon will take place as he wishes.

 

Oracle about the sentinel watching from Mount Seir (Isa 21:11-21:12)

“The oracle concerning Dumah.

One is calling to me

From Seir.

‘Sentinel!

What of the night?

Sentinel!

What of the night?’

The sentinel says.

‘Morning comes!

Also the night!

If you will inquire,

Inquire!

Come back again.’”

Dumah means silence and may be a symbolic name for Edom. Apparently Isaiah or Yahweh presented an oracle about Edom that was south of Moab, in modern day southern Jordan. The Edomites had been part of the uprising against Assyria. Someone was calling from Seir, a mountainous region in Edom. Once again, it is the lookout, the watchman, or the sentinel who gives the cry. The question is what is happening. Apparently there will there will a night like destruction, not merely once, but twice, and then again. In between, there will be a nice morning.

 

The vision of the attack against Babylon (Isa 21:2-21:5)

“A stern vision

Is told to me.

The betrayer betrays.

The destroyer destroys.

Go up!

O Elam!

Lay siege!

O Media!

All the sighing

She has caused

I bring to an end.

Therefore my loins are

Filled with anguish.

Pangs have seized me,

Like the pangs of a woman in labor.

I am bowed down,

So that I cannot hear.

I am dismayed

So that I cannot see.

My mind reels.

Horror has appalled me.

The twilight I longed for

Has been turned for me

Into trembling.

They prepare the table.

They spread the rugs.

They eat.

They drink.

Rise up!

Commanders!

Oil the shield!”

Isaiah has this stern vision from Yahweh. The betrayer and the destroyer act out together. Elam and Medes, the Persians and the Medes were about to attack Babylon. Since the Israelites were in Babylon, they were afraid but hopeful, like a woman experiencing labor before the birth of a child. Isaiah, in the first person singular, was not quite able to hear or see what was going on. He knew that horror was about to happen. Instead of a happy twilight there was trembling. However, they continued as normal, eating and drinking at tables with rugs. Nevertheless, the cry came to the commanders to rise up and get ready. They had to oil the straps on their shields as they prepared to do battle.

God will judge (Ps 82:6-82:8)

“I say.

‘You are gods.

You are children of the Most High.

All of you are gods.

Nevertheless,

You shall die like mortals.

You will fall like any prince.’

Arise!

O God!

Judge the earth!

All the nations belong to you!”

The temple prophet uses the words of God. He told the various other gods and world leaders that they were gods since they were children of the Most High God. However, they would all die like mortals and other earthly princes. Finally the psalm ends with the cry for God to arise and judge the earth since all nations belonged to God anyway.