Jesus at prayer (Lk 6:12-6:12)

“Now during those days,

Jesus went out

To the mountain

To pray.

He spent the night

In prayer

To God.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις ἐξελθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι, καὶ ἦν διανυκτερεύων ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke said that during those days (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις), Jesus went out to the mountain to pray (ἐξελθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι).  He spent the night (καὶ ἦν διανυκτερεύων) in prayer to God (ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Mark, chapter 3:13, also said that Jesus went up a mountain, much like Moses.  Going to a mountain was a way of getting closer to God in the high heavens.  Here Luke emphasized the prayerful solitary preparation of Jesus before his decision about the 12 apostles, as he spent the night praying to God.  This also brings up the separation between Jesus and God,the Father.

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Jesus goes to Bethany (Mt 21:17-21:17)

“Jesus left them.

He went out of the city.

He went to Bethany.

He spent the night there.”

 

Καὶ καταλιπὼν αὐτοὺς ἐξῆλθεν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως εἰς Βηθανίαν, καὶ ηὐλίσθη ἐκεῖ.

 

Mark, chapter 11:11, also talked about Jesus going to Bethany.  Jesus left the chief priests and the Scribes (Καὶ καταλιπὼν αὐτοὺς).  He went out of the city of Jerusalem (ἐξῆλθεν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως).  Thus, he went to Bethany (εἰς Βηθανίαν), where he spent the night (καὶ ηὐλίσθη ἐκεῖ).  This would make sense, as it was about a mile and a half east of Jerusalem.  This was the same city of Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha.  However, Matthew never mentioned Mary, Martha, or Lazarus.

The locusts are everywhere (Joel 2:6-2:9)

“Before them,

People are in anguish.

All faces grow pale.

Like warriors,

They charge.

Like soldiers,

They scale the wall.

Each keeps

To his own course.

They do not swerve

From their paths.

They do not jostle

One another.

Each keeps

To his own track.

They burst

Through the weapons

They are not halted.

They leap upon the city.

They run upon the walls.

They climb up

Into the houses.

They enter

Through the windows,

Like a thief.”

Joel continued his description of the swarm of locusts as they attacked the city and the people in it. The people there were in aguish, as their faces turned pale. These grasshoppers charged like warriors. They scaled the walls like soldiers. These locusts stayed in formation, not wandering around. They did not try to push each other around. They were able to go straight through any barriers or weapons. They leapt into the city on its walls and in its houses. These locusts came through the windows, like a thief in the night. This plague of grasshoppers was really strong and powerful in their destruction.

The king leaves the food for Bel (Dan 14:14-14:15)

“After they had gone out,

The king set out

The food for Bel.

Then Daniel ordered

His servants

To bring ashes.

They scattered them

Throughout the whole temple,

In the presence

Of the king alone.

Then they went out.

He shut the door.

He sealed it

With the king’s signet.

Then they departed.

During the night,

The priests came,

As usual,

With their wives,

With their children.

They ate everything.

They drank everything.”

After the priests of the Bel temple had left, the king put out the food for the idol god Bel. Then Daniel ordered that the king’s servants scatter ashes throughout the whole temple, in the presence of the king alone. Then, they went out, shut the door, and then sealed it with the king’s insignia. After that, they left. During the night, as usual, the Bel priests came with their wives and children. They entered through the secret entrance to the temple, so that they were able to eat and drink everything in there.

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.

False worship (Isa 65:3-65:5)

“A people provoke me

To my face continually.

They sacrifice in gardens.

They offer incense on bricks.

They sit inside tombs.

They spend the night in secret places.

They eat swine’s flesh.

They have broth of abominable things

In their vessels.

They say.

‘Keep to yourself.

Do not come near me.

I am too holy for you.’

These are a smoke

In my nostrils.

They are a fire

That burns all the day.”

These Israelites were practicing false worship right in front of Yahweh, instead of the true Yahweh worship. They were sacrificing in the gardens in some sort of a nature cult. They burned incense on bricks that was both a pagan and Israelite practice. Sitting inside tombs was an attempt to consult with the dead. If they spent the night in a secret place they were trying to conjure up a vision. Obviously eating pork was forbidden to the Israelites. Others drank some kind of terrible abominable broth. Some even wanted to keep Yahweh away because they were already part of some unknown rite or cult that made them holy. They were like smoke in Yahweh’s nose. They were like a continually burning fire. They really bothered Yahweh with their false worship practices.

The sentinel announces the attack (Isa 21: 6-21:10)

“Thus Yahweh said to me.

‘Go!

Post a lookout!

Let him announce

What he sees!

When he sees riders,

Horsemen in pairs,

Riders on donkeys,

Riders on camels,

Let him listen diligently,

Very diligently!’

Then the watcher cried out.

‘Upon a watchtower

I stand!

O Lord!

Continually by day!

At my post

I am stationed

Throughout the night.

Look!

There they come

Riders,

Horsemen in pairs!’

Then he responded.

‘Fallen!

Fallen is Babylon!

He has shattered on the ground

All the images of her gods!’

O my threshed one!

O my winnowed one!

What I have heard

From Yahweh of hosts,

The God of Israel,

I announce to you.”

Isaiah continues with what Yahweh had said to him. Yahweh wanted a lookout posted so that he could announce what he saw coming. This lookout person was to watch for riders on horses, camels, and donkeys as well as listen very carefully. He was to stand there during the day and the night. Then he saw the riders coming, as Babylon had fallen with all its gods shattered on the ground. This is what Isaiah had heard from Yahweh in his vision, as he announced this to all. The sentinel watchtower man was a main theme of the later 20th century Jehovah’s Witnesses with their Watchtower magazine.