The demoniacs call Jesus the Son of God (Mt 8:29-8:29)

“The demoniacs shouted out.

‘What have you to do

With us?

O Son of God!

Have you come here

To torment us

Before the time?’”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ ἔκραξαν λέγοντες Τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί, Υἱὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ; ἦλθες ὧδε πρὸ καιροῦ βασανίσαι ἡμᾶς;

 

All three synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 5:7 and Luke, chapter 8;28, and Matthew here, have these demoniacs speak to Jesus in somewhat similar words.  They cried or shouted out (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἔκραξαν λέγοντες).  They wanted to know why the Son of God (Τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί, Υἱὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ) had come to torment them (ἦλθες ὧδε…βασανίσαι ἡμᾶς), since the time (πρὸ καιροῦ) of the final judgment day had not arrived.  All three gospel writers have the demonic person or persons recognize that Jesus was the Son of God, not just another faith healer.  They maintained that the time of their torment or the end times had not yet arrived.  Thus, the evil spirits were able to recognize Jesus as the Son of God.

The feast of Passover (Ezek 45:21-45:22)

“In the first month,

On the fourteenth day

Of the month,

You shall celebrate

The festival

Of the Passover.

For seven days

Unleavened bread

Shall be eaten.

On that day

The prince shall provide

For himself,

As well as for all the people

Of the land,

A young bull

For a sin offering.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, reiterated the time of Passover celebration, the 14th day of the 1st month. During 7 days, they would eat only unleavened bread, the traditional Passover celebration food. On the day of Passover itself, the prince would offer a young bull for a sin offering for himself and all the people of the land.

The reasons for the scattered Israelites (Ezek 36:16-36:19)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

When the house

Of Israel

Lived

On their own soil,

They defiled it

With their ways,

With their doings.

Their conduct was,

In my sight,

Like the uncleanness

Of a woman

In her menstrual period.

Thus,

I poured out my wrath

Upon them

For the blood

That they had shed

Upon the land.

I poured out my wrath

Upon them

For the idols

With which

They had defiled it.

I scattered them

Among the nations.

They were dispersed

Through the countries.

I judged them

In accordance

With their conduct.

I judged them

In accordance

With their deeds.’”

Once again, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man, but without a specific date. Yahweh said that when the house of Israel lived on their own soil, they defiled it with how they acted. They were unclean, like the uncleanness of the menstrual female, who was considered to be unclean at the time of her period. They had shed blood throughout the land. They had worshipped idols, thus defiling the land. Yahweh then poured out his wrath and scattered them among the various nations. Thus, they were dispersed throughout the different countries. Yahweh judged them according to their conduct and their deeds.

The defilement of the people (Ezek 20:30-20:31)

“Therefore say

To the house of Israel!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Will you defile yourselves

After the manner

Of your ancestors?

Will you go astray

After their detestable things?

When you offer

Your gifts,

You defile yourselves.

When you make

Your children

Pass through the fire,

You defile yourselves

With all your idols

To this day.

Shall I be consulted

By you?

O house of Israel!

As I live,

I will not be consulted

By you.’ Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh wanted Ezekiel to say to the house of Israel that they should not defile themselves like their ancestors. They should not go astray after their detestable idols. When they offered gifts to these idols, they defiled themselves. When they made their children pass through fire, they also defiled themselves with all their idols. They had been doing this even until the time of Ezekiel. Yahweh wanted to know if he should be consulted by those from the wicked house of Israel. Yahweh was clear. He did not want to be consulted by those who had defiled themselves.

The exact number of the second captivity (Jer 52:29-52:29)

“In the eighteenth year

Of King Nebuchadnezzar

He took into exile

From Jerusalem                                                                         

Eight hundred thirty-two persons.”

This appears to be around 587 BCE, about the time that King Zedekiah revolted. However, this seems like a very small number of only 832 people. Maybe this was earlier under King Jehoiachin. However, despite all the talk about exiles, this number would indicate that very few people went into exile.

Jeshua (Sir 49:12-49:12)

“Also there was

Jeshua

Son of Jozadak.

In their days

They built the house.

They raised a temple

Holy to the Lord,

Destined for everlasting glory.”

Jeshua son of Jozadak was also known as Joshua. Jeshua is also the Hebrew name for Jesus. This Jeshua returned with Zerubbabel as the first high priest in Jerusalem after the captivity from about 515-490 BCE. Certainly, he was instrumental in the rebuilding of the 2nd Temple with all its significance. They built this holy Temple that was destined for glory, for it still existed at the time of Sirach. Jeshua or Joshua was mentioned in the books of Ezra, chapter 2, and Zachariah, chapter 6.

The environment (Sir 39:28-39:31)

“There are winds.

They have been created

For vengeance.

In their anger,

They can dislodge mountains.

On the day of reckoning,

They will pour out their strength.

They will calm

The anger of their Maker.

Fire has been created

For vengeance.

Hail has been created

For vengeance.

Famine has been created

For vengeance.

Pestilence has been created

For vengeance.

The following delight in doing his bidding.

The fangs of wild animals,

Scorpions,

Vipers,

And the sword that punishes

The ungodly with destruction.

They are always ready

For his service on earth.

When their time comes,

They never disobey his command.”

Sirach says that the environmental follows the command of the Lord. The winds can dislodge mountains with their strength in order to calm the Lord’s wrath. Fire, hail, famine, and pestilence show the vengeance of the Lord. Wild animal fangs, scorpions, vipers, and swords will punish the ungodly. All these things are ready to obey the command of the Lord here on earth when the time comes for destruction, since they never disobey the Lord.