Summary of the activity of Jesus (Mt 9:35-9:35)

“Jesus went about

All the towns

And villages.

He was teaching

In their synagogues.

He was proclaiming

The good news

Of the kingdom.

He was healing

Every disease

And every sickness.”

 

Καὶ περιῆγεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὰς πόλεις πάσας καὶ τὰς κώμας, διδάσκων ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν καὶ κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας καὶ θεραπεύων πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν μαλακίαν.

 

This summary statement seems to be unique to Matthew, but not inconsistent with the other gospel stories.  This is basically the same as in chapter 4:23-24.  However, there is no mention of Galilee here as in chapter 4.  Instead Jesus was going through all the towns and villages (Καὶ περιῆγεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὰς πόλεις πάσας καὶ τὰς κώμας,) without restricting it only to Galilee.  Otherwise, it is almost word for word like the earlier statement.  Jesus was teaching in their synagogues (διδάσκων ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν).  However, synagogue might mean a group or assembly of Jewish people rather than a building, since some places may not have been able to afford a building.  Matthew said that Jesus was proclaiming the good news or the gospel about the kingdom (καὶ κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας), without saying whether it was the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, or even an earthly kingdom.  Jesus was like a faith healer, healing all diseases and curing people of all their sicknesses and illnesses (καὶ θεραπεύων πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν μαλακίαν).  In other words, he was this itinerant preacher healing people.

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The end of Moab (Jer 48:40-48:42)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘Look!

He shall swoop down

Like an eagle.

He will spread his wings

Against Moab.

The towns shall be taken.

The strongholds seized.

The heart

Of the warriors

Of Moab,

On that day,

Shall be

Like the heart

Of a woman in labor.

Moab shall be destroyed

As a people.

Because he magnified himself

Against Yahweh.’”

Yahweh describes how King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was going to sweep down like a wing spread eagle upon Moab. All the towns and fortresses would be seized. The Moabite warriors, on that day, would have the heart of a pregnant woman. They would just want it over. Moab was going to be destroyed. The once proud Moabites had magnified their value against Yahweh. They were going to pay for it.

Desolate Moab towns (Jer 48:34-48:34)

“Heshbon cries out.

Elealeh cries out.

As far as Jahaz,

They utter their voice,

From Zoar

To Horonaim,

To Eglath-shelishiyah.

Even the waters of Nimrim

Have become desolate.”

This continues with the same ideas as in Isaiah, chapter 15. Everybody was crying out from the towns of Heshbon and Elealeh, in the Israelite Reuben territory, upper Moab. This crying could be heard 25 miles away north in Jahaz, a Levitical city near Gilead that was given to Gad in Joshua, chapter 21. These Moabite fugitives fled south to the tip of the Dead Sea near Zoar, which is on the southeast end of the Dead Sea. They also fled to the surrounding towns of Eglath-shelishiyah and Horonaim, near the ascent of the Luhith hills, in southern Moab near Zoar. The cries of the Moabites could be heard everywhere. The waters of Nimrim were desolate with nothing growing beside it. Only Jeremiah and Isaiah make any reference to these waters of Nimrim.

Jeremiah stays in Judah (Jer 40:5-40:6)

“‘If you remain,

Then return to Gedaliah,

The son of Ahikam,

The son of Shaphan.

The king of Babylon

Has appointed him governor

Of the towns of Judah.

Stay with him

Among the people!

Or go wherever

You think it right to go.’

So the captain of the guard

Gave him an allowance

Of food

With a present.

He let him go.

Then Jeremiah went

To Gedaliah,

The son of Ahikam,

At Mizpah.

He stayed with him

Among the people

Who were left in the land.”

Nebuzaradan, the captain of the troops, told Jeremiah that if he stayed in Judah that he would be better off with Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam. The King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah the governor for the towns of Judah, since there was no longer a king. As mentioned in the previous chapter, Gedaliah’s father and grandfather, Ahikam and Shaphan had been loyal to the various prophets. Shaphan went back to the days of King Josiah (640-609 BCE) and his religious reform. Ahikam had protected Jeremiah during the reign of King Jehoiakim (609-598 BCE) as in chapter 26 of this book. His brother Gemariah had helped Jeremiah in chapter 36. Thus Ahikam’s son Gedaliah seemed like the right person to protect Jeremiah. Still Jeremiah was free to go wherever he wanted. The captain of the troops gave Jeremiah some food and a present, maybe some money. Jeremiah then went to Gedaliah, who was at Mizpah, about 6 miles north of Jerusalem, in the Benjamin territory. Thus Jeremiah stayed with all these people who were left in Israel. These were either the so-called poor people or collaborators with the Babylon king and his emissaries.

The restoration of shepherds and flocks (Jer 33:12-33:13)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘In this place

That is a waste,

Without human beings

Or animals,

In all of its towns,

There shall again

Be pastures

For shepherds

Resting their flocks.

In the towns of the hill country,

Of the Shephelah,

Of the Negeb,

In the land of Benjamin,

In the places around Jerusalem,

In the towns of Judah,

Flocks shall again pass

Under the hands

Of the one

Who counts them.’

Says Yahweh.”

Despite the wasteland that did not have humans or animals in any of its towns, there would be once again pastures for shepherds to bring their flocks. As in the preceding chapter, this restoration would take place in the hill country of Judah, in the towns of the Shephelah, the old Dan territory next to Benjamin, in the Negeb, the semi arid land southeast of Jerusalem near the Dead Sea, in the Benjamin territory, around the city of Jerusalem, and in the towns of Judah. Flocks and shepherds would once again pass by with a shepherd counting them. However, there was no mention of the northern territory from the old northern Israelite kingdom and its tribes.

Future restoration (Jer 33:6-33:9)

“I going to bring

Recovery

With healing.

I will heal them.

I will reveal to them

Abundance of prosperity

With security.

I will restore

The fortunes of Judah,

The fortunes of Israel.

I will rebuild them

As they were at first.

I will cleanse them

From all the guilt

Of their sin

Against me.

I will forgive

All the guilt

Of their sin

With their rebellion

Against me.

This city shall be to me

A name of joy,

A praise,

As well as a glory

Before all the nations

Of the earth.

They shall hear

Of all the good

That I do for them.

They shall fear.

They shall tremble

Because of all the good,

As well as all the prosperity

I provide for it.”

Yahweh was going to heal Israel and Judah. He was going to help the city of Jerusalem to recover. They would have an abundance of prosperity and security in Jerusalem. Both the fortunes of the towns in Judah and among the northern Israelites would be rebuilt for them like it used to be. Yahweh was going to cleanse them from the guilt of all their sins against him. He was going to forgive their rebellion against him. Jerusalem would become a name of joy, praise, and glory for the whole world to see. Everyone would know about Jerusalem and the good that Yahweh had done for them. In fact, they would tremble and fear at all the good prosperity that he had provided for them. There were great days ahead.

Jerusalem and Judah (Jer 25:18-25:18)

“I went to Jerusalem.

I went to

The towns of Judah,

Its kings,

Its officials,

To make them

A desolation,

A waste,

An object of hissing,

An object of cursing,

As they are today.”

Jeremiah was obviously sent to Jerusalem and the towns of Judah with their kings and officials. There is no mention of how many towns in Judah, but usually that is a euphemism for its leaders. They were going to be laid waste like a desolation. They would become the object of hissing and cursing just as they are today. This seems to imply that the exile was actually taking place at this time.