The people prayed outside the sanctuary (Lk 1:10-1:10)

“Now at the hour

Of the incense offering

The whole assembly

Of the people

Was praying outside.”

 

καὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ προσευχόμενον ἔξω τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ θυμιάματος.

 

Luke said that at the hour or time of the incense offering (τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ θυμιάματος), the whole assembly or the multitude of the people (αὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ) was praying outside (προσευχόμενον ἔξω).  This time or hour of the incense offering was also known as the hour of prayer.  Twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon, one of the chosen priests went to the incense altar in front of the holy of holies.  The rest of the assembly stayed outside praying.  Thus, there was a break between the people and the priests outside and the one chosen priest offering the incense in the inner sanctuary.  However, both were engaged in daily prayer.

Jesus was hungry (Mt 21:18-21:18)

“In the morning,

When Jesus returned

To the city,

He was hungry.”

 

Πρωῒ δὲ ἐπαναγαγὼν εἰς τὴν πόλιν ἐπείνασεν.

 

This story about Jesus being hungry in the morning can be found in Mark, chapter 11:12, almost word for word.  In the morning (Πρωῒ δὲ), when Jesus returned from Bethany to the city of Jerusalem (ἐπαναγαγὼν εἰς τὴν πόλιν), he was hungry (ἐπείνασεν).  This simple statement starts an interesting story, but also shows an interesting human trait of Jesus.  Like many other humans, he was hungry in the morning.

Hire people (Mt 20:1-20:1)

“The kingdom of heaven is

Like a landowner

Who went out

Early in the morning

To hire laborers

For his vineyard.”

 

Ὁμοία γάρ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ἀνθρώπῳ οἰκοδεσπότῃ, ὅστις ἐξῆλθεν ἅμα πρωῒ μισθώσασθαι ἐργάτας εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα αὐτοῦ.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew.  Jesus, via Matthew, explained that the kingdom of heaven was like (Ὁμοία γάρ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν) a wealthy vineyard owner, the man who owned and was in charge of his land (ἀνθρώπῳ οἰκοδεσπότῃ).  He needed his grapes picked at the harvest time.  He would hire day laborers or daily workers to do this difficult work.  He went out early in the morning (ὅστις ἐξῆλθεν ἅμα πρω), probably around 6 AM.  He wanted to hire some daily grape picker field laborers (μισθώσασθαι ἐργάτας) to work on his land in his vineyard (εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα αὐτοῦ).  This vineyard would have been a symbol of the prophets working in the vineyard of Israel.

Jesus walks on water (Mt 14:25-14:27)

“Early in the morning,

Jesus came

Walking toward them,

On the sea.

But when the disciples saw him

Walking on the sea,

They were terrified.

They said.

‘It is a ghost!’

They cried out in fear!

But immediately,

Jesus spoke to them.

He said.

‘Have courage!

It is I!

Do not be afraid!’”

 

τετάρτῃ δὲ φυλακῇ τῆς νυκτὸς ἦλθεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τὴν θάλασσαν.

οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα ἐταράχθησαν λέγοντες ὅτι Φάντασμά ἐστιν, καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ φόβου ἔκραξαν.

εὐθὺς δὲ ἐλάλησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς αὐτοῖς λέγων Θαρσεῖτε, ἐγώ εἰμι· μὴ φοβεῖσθε.

 

This incident about Jesus walking on water can be found in Mark, chapter 6:48-50, and John, chapter 6:19-20, but without some of the details here.  However, in all three stories, the disciples are afraid and the response of Jesus is the same.  Early in the morning or the 4th watch of the night (τετάρτῃ δὲ φυλακῇ τῆς νυκτὸς), Jesus came walking towards them on the sea (ἦλθεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τὴν θάλασσαν).  When the disciples saw him walking on the sea (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα), they were terrified, troubled, or disturbed (ἐταράχθησαν).  They said that it was a ghost or an apparition (λέγοντες ὅτι Φάντασμά ἐστιν).  They cried out in fear (καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ φόβου ἔκραξαν).  But immediately, Jesus reassured them (εὐθὺς δὲ ἐλάλησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς αὐτοῖς).  He told them to have courage and take heart (λέγων Θαρσεῖτε).  He said that he was not a ghost but Jesus himself (ἐγώ εἰμι), so that they did not have to be afraid.  They had nothing to fear (μὴ φοβεῖσθε).  Jesus reassured his disciples, while he walked on the waters of the sea.

Woe to the wicked (Mic 2:1-2:2)

“Woe to those

Who devise wickedness!

Woe to those

Who devise evil deeds

On their beds!

When the morning dawns,

They perform them,

Because it is

In their power.

They covet fields.

They seize them.

They covet houses.

They take them away.

They oppress

The householder

With his house.

They oppress

People

With their inheritance.”

Yahweh, via Micah, warned about the evil wicked people, who were devising evil deeds from their beds.  Then when they got up in the morning, they put their thoughts into action, because of their power.  If they wanted a field or a house, they would seize the field and the house.  By taking them away, they were oppressing the one who owned the house, his household, and the house itself, the people with their inheritance.

The mouth of Ezekiel (Ezek 33:22-33:22)

“Now the hand of Yahweh

Had been upon me

The evening

Before the fugitive came.

Yahweh had opened

My mouth

By the time

The fugitive came

To me

In the morning.

So,

My mouth

Was opened.

I was no longer

Unable to speak.”

Interesting enough, the hand of Yahweh had been on Ezekiel the night before the fugitive from Jerusalem came to him. Yahweh had opened his mouth by the time that this fugitive got to Ezekiel in the morning. Thus, like in chapter 24, Ezekiel’s mouth was open so that he was able to speak clearly. Apparently, he had not been able to speak for a few days.

Jeremiah curses the day he was born (Jer 20:14-20:18)

“Cursed be the day

On which I was born!

The day

When my mother bore me,

Let it not be blessed!

Cursed be the man

Who brought the news to my father!

‘A child is born to you,

A son.’

This made him very glad.

Let that man be

Like the cities

That Yahweh overthrew without pity!

Let him hear a cry in the morning!

Let him hear an alarm at noon!

Because he did not kill me

In the womb.

Thus my mother would have been

My grave.

Her womb would be forever great.

Why did I come forth

From the womb?

To see toil?

To see sorrow?

Why do I spend my days in shame?”

It is an unusual idea to curse one’s own existence. The only comparable thought would have been in Job, chapter 3, where he cursed the day he was conceived and the day he was born. This is a lament about the personal problems in the life of the prophet Jeremiah. He wanted the day of his birth not to be a celebration or blessing, but a cursed day. He even wanted the man who told his father about the birth of his son to be cursed also. Jeremiah wanted that man to be like Yahweh’s destroyed cities. He wanted him to hear cries in the morning and at noon. They should have killed him in the womb so that his mother’s womb would have been his grave. This is an interesting thought for many anti-abortionists. Jeremiah wondered why he had come forth from the womb only to have a life of toils and sorrow, filled with shame. This is a very depressing idea, much like the poor depressed Job.