The fall of Jerusalem (Lk 21:24-21:24)

“They will fall

By the edge

Of the sword.

They will be

Taken away

As captives

Among all the gentile nations.

Jerusalem

Will be trampled on

By the gentiles,

Until the time

Of the gentiles

Was fulfilled.”

 

καὶ πεσοῦνται στόματι μαχαίρης καὶ αἰχμαλωτισθήσονται εἰς τὰ ἔθνη πάντα, καὶ Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἔσται πατουμένη ὑπὸ ἐθνῶν, ἄχρι οὗ πληρωθῶσιν καιροὶ ἐθνῶν.

 

Only Luke has this unique saying of Jesus.  Jesus said that these people would fall by the edge of their swords (καὶ πεσοῦνται στόματι μαχαίρης).  They would be taken away as captives among all the gentile nations (καὶ αἰχμαλωτισθήσονται εἰς τὰ ἔθνη πάντα).  Jerusalem would be trampled on by the gentiles (καὶ Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἔσται πατουμένη ὑπὸ ἐθνῶν), until the time of the gentiles was completed (ἄχρι οὗ πληρωθῶσιν καιροὶ ἐθνῶν).  Falling by the edge of the sword meant death.  It is not clear what is meant by this time of the gentiles.  Perhaps this was when the foreign armies, the Roman army invaded and overwhelmed Jerusalem in 70 CE.  Luke seemed to tie the end times to the fall of Jerusalem.  What do you think the end of the world will be like?

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The seeds on the path (Lk 8:5-8:5)

“A sower

Went out

To sow his seeds.

As he sowed,

Some fell

On the path.

They were trampled on.

The birds

Of the air

Ate them up.”

 

Ἐξῆλθεν ὁ σπείρων τοῦ σπεῖραι τὸν σπόρον αὐτοῦ. καὶ ἐν τῷ σπείρειν αὐτὸν ὃ μὲν ἔπεσεν παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν, καὶ κατεπατήθη, καὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατέφαγεν αὐτό.

 

This sower parable can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:4, and Mark, chapter 4:4, and here in Luke, with Matthew closer to Mark.  Thus, Mark might be the source of this parable.  This first section was about the unsuccessful seeds.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that a sower or farmer went out to sow his seeds (Ἐξῆλθεν ὁ σπείρων τοῦ σπεῖραι τὸν σπόρον αὐτοῦ).  As he sowed (καὶ ἐν τῷ σπείρειν αὐτὸν), some seeds fell on the path or road (ὃ μὲν ἔπεσεν παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν).  They were trampled on (καὶ κατεπατήθη).  Then the birds of the air ate them up (αὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατέφαγεν αὐτό).  Mark wanted everyone to listen as he said that they should see that this farmer went out to sow his seeds.  Matthew and Mark said that the first group of seeds fell on the walking path, so that the birds devoured them.  They did not mention that these seeds were trampled on.  Thus, this first group of seeds were unsuccessful for this farmer.  Does it matter how you plant seeds?

The satirical questions to the king (Isa 14:16-14:19)

“Those who see you

Will stare at you.

They will ponder over you.

‘Is this the man

Who made the earth tremble?

Is this the man

Who shook kingdoms?

Is this the man

Who made the world

Like a desert?

Is this the man

Who overthrew its cities?

Is this the man

Who would not let his prisoners go home?’

All the kings of the nations

Lie in glory,

Each in their own tomb.

But you are cast out.

You are away from your grave,

Like loathsome carrion.

You are clothed with the dead,

Those pierced by the sword.

You go down to the stones of the Pit,

Like a corpse trampled underfoot.”

Isaiah then has his companions ask this king a series of satirical questions. They were staring at this king as they thought about him. He had made the earth tremble. He had shook up kingdoms. He had made the world a desert. He had overthrown cities. He had never let prisoners go. But look at him now! Is this the same man? Most kings are buried in their own tombs. However, he was cast out of his grave so that he became rotten flesh for birds to eat. He was pierced by the sword so that he was not in a grave, but in a pit, so that his corpse was trampled on as people walked by.