Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Consequences are announced:

Prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem

41: And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it,
42: saying, "Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes.
43: For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side,
44: and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation."

The passage in Luke 19:41-44 is unusual for a number of reasons. Jesus wept but later he told the women of Jerusalem not to weep for him. The prediction is initiated by the phrase “days are coming” which Bock indicates was used by OT prophets to introduce “coming events of great significance.” Only Luke uses this Septuagint expression appearing 17 times in the LXX including four times in Jeremiah. In Jeremiah 7:32-34 the segment ends with “for all the land shall become a waste.” Bock also notes that “All three verbs are future, so Jesus is speaking prophetically: the city will crumple.”

Verses 43 and 44 contains four hapax legomenon: χάραξ a military mound for circumvallation in a siege;

περικυκλώσουσίν to circle around; ἐδαφιοῦσίν to dash to the ground, raze; and ἐπισκοπῆς visitation.

Jeremiah 52:4 is perhaps the closest parallel in the MT:

“And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadrez'zar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and they laid siege to it and built siegeworks against it round about.”

The Septuagint (NETS) has: “And it happened in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month on the tenth of the month, King Nabouchodonosor of Babylon came with all his force against Ierousalem, and they blockaded it and walled it in on four sides all around.”

But there is no Greek verbal allusion to Jeremiah. Luke, having employed four NT hapax legomenon, was not intending to allude to any specific OT passage but rather to convey the sense of the prediction made by Jesus. All we can say is that perhaps Luke used Jeremiah as a source. In Luke 19:28, Luke use Greek word Ἱεροσόλυμα for Jerusalem. This exact form appears three times in Luke. However Jeremiah used the form Ιερουσαλημ for Jerusalem. Luke certainly did not use Matthew or Mark as a source.

There is one other possibility. Both Jeremiah (41:5) and Luke used a form of the Greek word κλαίω to express the weeping that occurred when the prediction of destruction was made. Weeping because they did not obey; but instead violated his covenant. This idea that “they did not obey” appears four times in Jeremiah and also once in 2 Kings and three times in Jeremiah LXX.

No such weeping occurs in Matthew or Mark.

As I researched weeping Jesus, weeping prophet, I recalled that Isaiah 29:2 (MT) states: “Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be moaning and lamentation, and she shall be to me like an Ariel.” In the very next verse, we read: “And I will encamp against you round about, and will besiege you with towers and I will raise siegeworks against you.” Verse 3 in the Septuagint used the Greek word χάρακα which Luke also used in verse 19:43 as a NT hapax legomenon. However, in verse 2 of the Septuagint, there is no “moaning and lamentation.” Is Verse 3 missing Greek verbal allusion?

In verse 44, Luke used the Greek word ἐπισκοπῆς for visitation. In view of this verse: “there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven,” appearing in Lk. 21:11, which we will discuss later, Luke with his use of ἐπισκοπῆς may have been alluding to Sirach 17:18 which states: “Behold, heaven and the highest heaven, the abyss and the earth, will tremble at his visitation. Thus ἐπισκοπῆς anticipates that there will be an announcement that the earth will tremble, that there will be earthquakes.

This is the third part of a mini-series that began with Divorce as an impurity.

This being a work in progress, I plan to return to the controversy sayings of Luke 16 as well as the predictive prophecies relating to Jerusalem. I hope to integrate more of my findings on Lucan hapax legomenon.

Copyrighted 2007


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