Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Friday, July 06, 2007

the great one

Although the Prophet Micah condemned the entire establishment, in Micah 7:3 he directed his accusation to an individual designated “the great one utters the evil desire of the soul.” The cultic setting and the concerns regarding conditional access into the sanctuary expressed in the defense to the covenant lawsuit strongly suggest to me that “the great one” is the head of the temple establishment.

It is more likely that Luke used the Book of Micah as a model and source if this Book was directed to a person in charge of the temple establishment. Recall that this author believes that most excellent Theophilus was the High Priest and head of the temple establishment from 37 to 41 C.E. Thus the Book of Micah by Micah, prophet of the poor and oppressed and critic of the establishment could have influenced Luke in the presentation of material addressed to Theophilus the High Priest. Admittedly, Micah may merely be another source utilized by Luke because of its sacerdotal concerns.

In Weeping Jesus it was noted that the bold you in Luke 19:44 is in the singular suggesting that a portion of the verse, “because you did not know the time of your visitation," was directed to most excellent Theophilus, the addressee of the Gospel of Luke. “The great one” of Micah MT is emphatically singular. The “your” as in “your watchmen, your visitation” in Micah 7:4 is masculine singular apparently addressed to “the great one.”

Of additional interest, Micah MT 7:4 includes the Hebrew words for visitation and also perplexity. The Micah LXX does not include either the Greek words for visitation or perplexity, the reason for which is unclear. It may mean that Luke had access to the MT since ἀπορίᾳ is a Lucan hapax (perplexity; Lk 21:25) and ἐπισκοπή appears once each in Luke, Acts, 1 Timothy and 1 Peter but frequently in the LXX.

Jesus, as an astute Jewish prophet and Luke as a sophisticated theological writer, purposefully relied on ancient biblical texts. The question we address in this instance is which texts: MT or LXX and which book in the MT or LXX?

Copyrighted 2007


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