(Huck 80; Aland 86; Crook 90)
וַיְהִי אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל־עִיר וּשְׁמָהּ נָעִין וְאֻכְלוּס גָּדוֹל הוֹלֵךְ עִמּוֹ וְכַאֲשֶׁר קָרַב אֶל פֶּתַח הָעִיר וְהִנֵּה מוֹצִיאִים מֵת בֵּן יָחִיד לְאִמּוֹ וְהִיא אַלְמָנָה וְאֻכְלוּס הָעִיר הָיָה עִמָּהּ וַיַּרְא אֹתָהּ הָאָדוֹן וַיְרַחֵם עָלֶיהָ וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ אַל־תִּבְכִּי וַיִּקְרַב וַיִּגַּע בַּמִּטָּה וַיַּעַמְדוּ הַנּוֹשְׂאִים וַיֹּאמֶר נַעַרִי אֲנִי אוֹמֵר לְךָ קוּם וַיֵּשֶׁב הַמֵּת וַיָּחֶל לְדַבֵּר וַיִּתְּנֵהוּ לְאִמּוֹ וַיִּפֹּל פַּחַד עַל כֻּלָּם וַיִּתְּנוּ כָּבוֹד לֵאלֹהִים לֵאמֹר נָבִיא גָּדוֹל קָם בְּקִרְבֵּנוּ וְיי פָּקַד אֶת עַמּוֹ וַיֵּצֵא הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה עָלָיו בְּכָל יְהוּדָה וּבְכָל הַפְּרִיכוֹרִין
Sometime later, Yeshua went to the town of Nain, accompanied by a large crowd of people. As he approached the town’s entrance, he met a funeral procession. The deceased was the only son of a widow, and the residents of the town were with her. When the Lord saw her his heart went out to her.
“Don’t cry,” he said.
Then he went up and touched the bier, and the men who were carrying it halted.
“Young man,” he said, “I command you: Come back to life!”
The dead boy sat up and began to speak, and Yeshua presented him to his mother.
The crowd was awestruck, and they began to praise God: “God has sent the Messiah!”
News of this miracle spread throughout Judea, and even beyond.
|Table of Contents|
We have placed the Widow’s Son in Nain pericope in a section entitled “Teaching and Healing in Judea,” a period early in Jesus’ career. Although an early Judean ministry is not clearly attested in the Synoptic Gospels, there are hints that the pre-synoptic sources behind the canonical Gospels did relate events in Jesus’ life that occurred during an early tour through Judea.
Conjectured Stages of Transmission
Widow’s Son in Nain (Luke 7:11-17) is a unique Lukan pericope. The style of this pericope strongly suggests that Luke copied the Nain story from Anthology (Luke’s Source 1). This passage is so Hebraic that our Greek Reconstruction is nearly identical with the text of Luke. Apparently, Luke copied the story of the Widow’s Son in Nain from Anthology without introducing editorial changes of his own.
- Where did the event described in this pericope take place? In the Galilee or in Judea?
- Since this story appears only in Luke, is it merely Luke’s creation, or does this pericope come from a reliable historical source?
- Is the designation of Jesus as “Lord” a feature of Luke’s editorial style, or was “Lord” a title of address in first-century Jewish culture?
- Did Jesus ignore or abrogate the demands of ritual purity when he raised the widow’s son?
- What is the meaning of “A great prophet has arisen among us”?
- In his telling of the story of the Widow’s Son in Nain, does Luke imitate the story of Elijah’s miracle in 1 Kings 17:8-24, as some scholars suggest?
L1 καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς (Luke 7:11). The grammatical structure subjectless ἐγένετο + time phrase (here: ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς) + finite verb (here: ἐπορεύθη),” which appears in Luke 7:11, is characteristic of “translation Greek.” Buth has shown that these grammatical structures are indicative of a Hebrew—not an Aramaic—vorlage representing the literary Hebrew narrative structure impersonal וַיְהִי + setting + finite verb.
According to Metzger, Luke’s elliptical phrase ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς implies the word χρόνῳ and means “soon afterward.” The use of ἑξῆς is rare in LXX (6xx); its meaning in LXX is “in succession,” however there is no Hebrew antecedent that ἑξῆς translates. The paucity of ἑξῆς in the translation Greek of LXX stands in contrast to its frequent use by Greek authors. In NT, ἑξῆς occurs 5xx, exclusively in Luke and 2 Acts. The likelihood that the word ἑξῆς in Luke 7:11 is a product of Lukan redaction is, therefore, quite strong.
μετὰ τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα (GR). Supposing that Luke’s ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς is redactional, we have reconstructed the reading of Luke’s pre-synoptic source as μετὰ τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα (“after these things”), which is the usual LXX translation of אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה (’aḥar hadevārim hā’ēleh, “after these things”). Note that in Luke 1:65 and 2:19 τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα looks like the translation of הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה.
וַיְהִי אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה (HR). The opening phrase in L1 is difficult to reconstruct in Hebrew. The Hebraic construction, subjectless ἐγένετο + time phrase + finite verb, strongly suggests that the initial words of Luke 7:11 are based on a Hebrew Ur-text. Our reconstruction is based on the supposition that the account of the Widow’s Son in Nain in the conjectured Hebrew Life of Yeshua was modeled on the story of Elijah’s raising of the widow of Zarephath’s son (1 Kgs. 17:17-24), a story that opens with the phrase וַיְהִי אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה. Like the raising of the widow of Zarephath’s son, the Widow’s Son in Nain narrative tells the story of the miraculous restoration of a dead son to a widow through the mediation of a prophet. Not only are the contents of the two narratives similar, but it appears that the Gospel narrative even borrowed wording from the biblical story (see below, Comment to L18) in order to highlight the similarity of the two events.
L2 πόλιν (Luke 7:11). Lindsey commented that Luke’s reference to the village of Nain as a πόλις (polis, “city”) is a Hebraism (LHNS). In LXX πόλις usually translates עִיר (‘ir), which has a range of meaning spanning every size settlement, from “hamlet” to “town” to “city.”
נָעִין (HR). As a toponym, נָעִים (nā‘im) appears once in rabbinic literature:
ד″א יששכר חמור גרם מדבר בארצו, מה חמור זה נמוך מכאן ונמוך מכאן וגבוה באמצע, כך בקעה מכאן ובקעה מכאן והר באמצע, רובץ בין המשפתים אילו שת בקעות, בקעת אכסלו ובקעת יזרעאל, וירא מנוחה כי טוב זו תנעם, ואת הארץ כי נעמה זו נעים.
Some interpret Issachar is a large-boned ass [Gen. 49:14] as alluding to his territory. As an ass is low on either flank and high in the middle, so [does his territory consist of] a plain on either side and a mountain ridge in the middle. Crouching down between the sheepfolds refers to the two plains, the plain of Akeslo and the valley of Jezreel. For he saw a resting-place that it was good alludes to Tinam; And the land that it was pleasant, to Naim. (Gen. Rab. 98:12 [ed. Theodor-Albeck, 3:1263]; trans. Soncino)
This rabbinic tradition clearly refers to a town in the Galilee, where Issachar’s tribal allotment was located, and is identified with the modern Arab village of Nein, located about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) southeast of Nazareth in the vicinity of Mount Tabor.
Since the fourth century C.E., Galilean Nain has been identified as the site where Jesus raised the widow’s son to life (Eusebius, Onom. 104:3). Nevertheless, it is important to ask whether this identification is correct. According to Josephus, another Nain existed in Judea in the first century:
At a village called Nain [Ναΐν (Nain)], he [Shim’on the son of Gioras of Gerash—DNB and JNT] erected a wall and used the place as a fortress to secure his position, taking advantage of the many convenient caves in the gorge known as Pheretae [Φερεταί (Feretai)], widening some and finding others already suitable as storerooms for his plunder. There too he stored the grain he had pillaged, and billeted most of his troops. His object was obvious: he was training his army in preparation for an attack on Jerusalem. (J.W. 4:511-513; Loeb; cf. J.W. 4:517)
Most scholars identify Pheretae with Ein Fara, a spring in the Wadi Kelt, where caves used as hideouts during the First Jewish Revolt and the Bar Kochva Revolt have been discovered. The Nain to which Josephus referred was, therefore, probably located somewhere near the Wadi Kelt in the Judean desert northeast of Jerusalem. Such a location for Judean Nain is reasonable since Shim‘on, who positioned his army in preparation for an attack on Jerusalem, would have wanted to be within striking distance. Again, this points to the western edge of the Judean desert.
The Judean Nain is a good candidate for the location of Jesus’ miracle, since Luke states that the report about Jesus’ miracle spread throughout Judea and the surrounding area (Luke 7:17; L24-26). Scholars have sometimes accused Luke of geographical imprecision, but perhaps a better explanation for Luke’s reference to “Judea” is that Luke preserves an authentic reading from Anth. As Lindsey noted (JRL, 61; TJS, 53), Luke 4:44 alludes to a Judean ministry without, however, describing it. This may be due to the editorial activity of the Anthologizer, who rearranged the order of the stories in the Greek Translation of the Hebrew Life of Yeshua, and may thus have inadvertently obscured Jesus’ Judean ministry.
We have reconstructed with Hebrew נָעִין (nā‘in) to which the Greek spelling points. The final nun ending (instead of mem) was not unusual in the Hebrew spoken and written in the land of Israel in the first century.
L3 καὶ συνεπορεύοντο αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ (Luke 7:11). Lindsey believed that Jesus’ Judean tour took place prior his recruitment of full-time disciples, since the stories that may have belonged to the Judean stage of Jesus’ ministry are characterized by the presence of uncommitted (though often sympathetic) crowds and the conspicuous absence of disciples. In the story of the raising of the widow’s son, however, the evidence points in two directions: the mention of the disciples in Luke 7:11 would seem to indicate that the raising of the widow’s son took place at a later stage in Jesus’ career, but the mention of Judea in Luke 7:17 suggests that the story took place in Judea prior to the recruitment of the disciples. To resolve this contradiction Lindsey suggested that the author of Luke added the mention of the disciples to the story, not realizing that Widow’s Son in Nain took place before Jesus had begun calling and training disciples. Bundy’s observation that “The mention of the disciples ([Luke 7:]11b) may be merely conventional, for they play no part in the story,” supports Lindsey’s suggestion that the author of Luke secondarily inserted the disciples into the raising of the widow’s son story. We have found, moreover, that on at least one other occasion (Luke 10:23), the author of Luke made reference to the disciples even though the disciples were not mentioned in his source. For this reason we have omitted all reference to the disciples in GR and HR.
L4 καὶ ὄχλος πολύς συνεπορεύετο αὐτῷ (Luke 7:11 GR). Our conjecture that the reference to the disciples in Luke 7:11 was added by the author of Luke requires us to suppose that the author of Luke also changed the verb from singular to plural. We suspect that the author of Luke might have slightly altered the word order at this point as well.
וְאֻכְלוּס גָּדוֹל (HR). The noun ὄχλος (ochlos, “crowd”) was in use in Greek at least from the fifth cent. B.C.E. By the tannaic period, Hebrew and Aramaic speakers borrowed ὄχλος as אֻכְלוּס (’uchlūs; plur. אֻכְלוּסִין). Therefore, Lindsey suggested that in the Synoptic Gospels ὄχλος may often represent the Hebrew word אֻכְלוּס (“local inhabitants”). Note the following linguistic parallels:
הרואה אכלסין אומ′ ברוך חכם הרזים לפי שאין פרצופותיהן דומין זה לזה ואין דעתן דומות זו לזו
One who sees a crowd of people says, “Blessed is the Knower of Mysteries, for none of their faces are alike, and not of their opinions are the same.” (t. Ber. 6:2; Vienna MS)
יום הנף שחל להיות בשבת דוחה את השבת בקצירת העומר כיצד הן עושין שלוחי בית דין יוצאין מערב יום טוב נוטלין את הקופות ואת המגלות ומסרנין שם כנגד שלש סאין ומניחין את הקופות ואת המגלות ובאין יום טוב סמוך לחשיכה היו יוצאין ואכלוס גדול היה יוצא עמהן
The day of waving [the ‘omer] which coincides with the Sabbath overrides [the prohibitions of] the Sabbath in respect to the reaping of [barley for] the ‘omer. How did they do it? Agents of the court go forth on the eve of [the afternoon before] the festival [of Passover]. They take baskets and sickles, and they plait there [baskets] for three seahs, and they leave the baskets and the sickles and come home. On the festival near dark they would go forth, and a great mob [אוכלוס גדול] would go forth with them. (t. Men. 10:23; Vienna MS; trans. Neusner)
In narrative sections of the Life of Yeshua we generally favor reconstructing in BH style; however, examples of late Second Temple authors who mimicked BH style frequently show a mixture of MH and BH (e.g., b. Kid. 66a). In this case, אֻכְלוּס appears to be a strong candidate for reconstructing ὄχλος, especially since there is no uniform Hebrew antecedent for the 49 instances of ὄχλος in LXX.
הוֹלֵךְ עִמּוֹ (HR). In LXX the verb συμπορεύεσθαι (sūmporevesthai, “to go with”) is usually the translation of הָלַךְ (hālach, “walk”), and it translates the combination אֵת + הָלַךְ 4xx (Gen. 13:5; 14:24; Josh. 10:24; Prov. 13:20) and the combination עִם + הָלַךְ 4xx (Gen. 18:16; Exod. 33:16; Num. 22:35; Judg. 11:8). Since in MH אֶת (’et) in the sense of “with” became oboslete, we have adopted עִם (‘im, “with”) for HR. Compare our reconstruction of καί συνεπορεύετο αὐτῷ (kai sūneporeveto avtō, “and was going with him”) to the following verse from Genesis:
וַיָּקֻמוּ מִשָּׁם הָאֲנָשִׁים וַיַּשְׁקִפוּ עַל פְּנֵי סְדֹם וְאַבְרָהָם הֹלֵךְ עִמָּם לְשַׁלְּחָם
And the men rose from there and looked upon the face of Sodom, and Abraham goes with them [הֹלֵךְ עִמָּם] to send them off. (Gen. 18:16)
Ἐξαναστάντες δὲ ἐκεῖθεν οἱ ἄνδρες κατέβλεψαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον Σοδομων καὶ Γομορρας, Αβρααμ δὲ συνεπορεύετο μετ᾿ αὐτῶν συμπροπέμπων αὐτούς.
And when the men had set out from there, they looked down upon the face of Sodoma and Gomorra, and Abraam was going along with them [συνεπορεύετο μετ᾿ αὐτῶν] as he joined in escorting them. (Gen. 18:16; NETS)
L5 τῇ πύλῃ τῆς πόλεως (Luke 7:12). The noun πύλη (pūlē, “gate”) appears 10xx in NT (Matt. 7:13 [2xx], 14; 16:18; Luke 7:12; Acts 3:10; 9:24; 12:10; 16:13; Heb. 13:12). The word πύλη appears in LXX 297xx and is the translation of שַׁעַר (sha‘ar) 265xx.
With few exceptions, Jewish burial places were located outside the areas of settlement. The impurity generated by a corpse was the most severe of impurities, and therefore graves were kept well away from dwelling places. It is natural, therefore, that the funeral procession for the widow’s son led to a location outside the village.
פֶּתַח הָעִיר (HR). Some scholars have taken Luke’s mention of a gate (πύλη) to imply that Nain was a walled city (cf. Beare, 99). No wall dating to the Second Temple period has yet been identified at the site of Galilean Nain. According to Josephus, Simon the son of Gioras built a wall to fortify the Judean Nain (J.W. 4.511), but this took place during the Jewish revolt against Rome, well after the time of Jesus. We note, however, that Luke’s mention of a gate need not be taken to imply the presence of a city wall. In Greek πύλη can signify “entrance” as well as “gate” (LSJ, 1553-1554), and in LXX we find פֶּתַח (petaḥ, “entrance”) translated with πύλη 8xx and with πυλών 10xx. Note in particular the phrase פֶּתַח הָעִיר (“entrance of the city”; 1 Kgs. 17:10; 1 Chr. 19:9), rendered in LXX as τὸν πυλῶνα τῆς πόλεως, and וַתֵּשֶׁב בְּפֶּתַח עֵינַיִם (“and she sat at the entrance to Enaim”; Gen. 38:14), which LXX translates as καὶ ἐκάθισεν πρὸς ταῖς πύλαις Αιναν. On the basis of these parallels we have reconstructed Luke’s τῇ πύλῃ τῆς πόλεως (Luke 7:12) with פֶּתַח הָעִיר. An alternative reconstruction is שַׁעַר הָעִיר (sha‘ar hā‘ir, “gate of the city”), the most common LXX equivalent of שַׁעַר being πύλη.
L6 ἐξεκομίζετο (Luke 7:12). This is the only occurrence of ἐκκομίζειν in NT. Ἐκκομίζειν is the usual Greek word for describing the action of carrying out a corpse. The verb appears, for example, 7xx in Philo and 7xx in Josephus. However, ἐκκομίζειν does not appear in LXX or in the Pseudepigrapha. Another option in Greek for “carry out” a corpse is ἐκφέρειν.
וְהִנֵּה מוֹצִיאִים מֵת (HR). In MT it is common to find in vav-consecutive contexts sudden exclamations of וְהִנֵּה (vehinēh, “And behold!”) followed by a participial phrase such as we have here in HR. The Hebrew expression for “to remove a corpse for the sake of burial” is לְהוֹצִיא מֵת (lehōtsi’ mēt) (cf. m. Shab. 10:5; b. Ket. 17a). The word in BH and MH for “dead person (masc.)” is מֵת (cf. e.g., Gen. 20:3).
L7 μονογενὴς (Luke 7:12). The word μονογενής appears in the Synoptic Gospels only in Luke (here, and in Luke 8:42 and 9:38), and it is, therefore, sometimes suggested that μονογενής is a Lukan feature. The primary meaning of the term μονογενής is “only born,” in other words, a child without siblings. In the writings of Josephus μονογενής appears 4xx, always in reference to an only child (Ant. 1:222; 2:181; 5:264; 20:20). In LXX, μονογενής appears 9xx, where it always translates the word יָחִיד where there is a Hebrew counterpart (Judg. 11:34; Ps. 22:21; 25:16; 35:17).
בֵּן יָחִיד (HR). The adjective יָחִיד (yāḥid, “only,” “single,” “alone”) appears 12xx in MT, where it usually refers to an only child, but the adjective does have a wider application to anything that is unique (cf. Ps. 22:21; 25:16; 35:17; 68:7). In Judg. 11:34 there is mention of an only daughter in a circumstantial clause (an aside), very much like in Luke 7:12 (L7).
The adjective appears in DSS to describe an only son:
תועצנ[ו והיית]ה לו לבן בכור וחמל עליכה כאיש על יחידו
…you will counsel [him and be] for him a first-born son. He will take pity on you like a man on his only son. (4Q416 2 II, 13 [= 4Q418 8 I, 12]; DSS Study Edition)
In rabbinic literature יָחִיד can mean “only,” “single,” or even “choice” or “select,” or it can refer to an individual (m. Taan. 1:4, 7). A common contrast in the Mishnah is between הַצִּיבּוּר וְהַַיָּחִיד (“the public and the private individual”); however, the phrase בֵּן יָחִיד is extremely rare.
Another option for HR is the loanword מוֹנְגִּינוֹס (mōnginōs, “only child”). Since this loanword from Greek is only attested in relatively late sources and since we prefer to reconstruct narrative in a style closer to BH, we have preferred יָחִיד for HR.
L8 καὶ αὐτὴ ἦν χήρα (Luke 7:12). “And she was a widow” is a Hebraic way of inserting an aside. Black lists καὶ αὐτὴ ἦν χήρα as an example of a circumstantial clause.
With no husband or children to support her, the widow of Nain likely would have suffered hardship. However, Jewish society attempted to protect widows through various means, including the ketubah, establishing the right of a widow to remain in her husband’s house, and extending charity toward widows (Deut. 14:28-29; 26:12; m. Maas. Sh. 5:10).
The ketubah refers to a sum agreed upon at the time of marriage that will be given to the bride from the husband’s estate in the event of the husband’s death or of divorce. Such a provision was necessary because, according to the Torah, a widow did not inherit property from her husband (Num. 27:8-10).
In addition to the protection afforded by the ketubah, the sages also ruled that a widow was to be permitted to remain in her husband’s house if she so desired (m. Ket. 4:12; 11:1; 12:3; t. Ket. 11:5; Gen. Rab. 100:2; b. Ket. 103a). In other words, the heirs of the estate also inherited the obligation to care for the widow until such time as she chose to remarry. This ruling probably reflects even earlier practice, as witnessed, for example, in Judith 8:4; 16:23.
Although some widows chose not to remarry as an expression of piety (e.g., Jdt. 8:4; 16:22; Luke 2:36-38), Jewish culture generally encouraged remarriage. It is impossible to say whether the widow of Nain remained unmarried by choice.
אַלְמָנָה (HR). The noun χήρα (chēra, “widow”) appears 68xx in LXX. In all but two instances it translates אַלְמָנָה (’almānāh, “widow”). אַלְמָנָה appears 55xx in HB, 11xx in DSS and 53xx in the Mishnah.
L9 καὶ ὄχλος τῆς πόλεως ἦν σὺν αὐτῇ (GR). From GR we have omitted the adjective ἱκανός (hikanos, “sufficient”), which modifies ὄχλος in Luke 7:12. Of the 46 instances of ἱκανός in LXX, only 28 occur in books also included in the Hebrew Bible. Where ἱκανός does have a counterpart in the underlying Hebrew text, its most common equivalent is דַּי (day, “enough”), which is not suitable for our reconstruction. We suspect that ἱκανός was added to the description of the funeral procession by the author of Luke, as a small improvement to the Greek style of his source (Anth.).
Joining in the funeral procession is a well-attested Jewish custom. Josephus writes:
The pious rites which it [the Torah] provides for the dead do not consist of costly obsequies or the erection of conspicuous monuments. The funeral ceremony is to be undertaken by the nearest relatives, and all who pass while a burial is proceeding must join the procession and share the mourning of the family. (Ag. Ap. 2:205; Loeb)
The duty to accompany a funeral procession is also mentioned in rabbinic literature (cf., e.g., b. Moed Kat. 24b; b. Ket. 17a; b. Ber. 18a; Avot de-Rabbi Natan, Version A, chpt. 4 [ed. Schechter, 18]; Avot de-Rabbi Natan, Version B, chpt. 8 [ed. Schechter, 22]; Semahot 11:7 [49a]). A baraita states that it is even proper to interrupt Torah study for the sake of a funeral procession: תנו רבנן: מבטלין תלמוד תורה להוצאת המת (b. Ket. 17a).
אֻכְלוּס (HR). On אֻכְלוּס as the Hebrew equivalent of ὄχλος, see Comment to L4 above.
L10 ὁ κύριος (Luke 7:13). This is the first time the author of Luke refers to Jesus as “the Lord” in narration. The question we must consider is whether the references to Jesus as “the Lord” in narration portions of Luke are editorial (that is, added by the author of Luke) or whether they reflect Luke’s sources.
At first glance it appears that Luke introduced the references to Jesus as “Lord” in the narration portions of his Gospel. Many of the narration references to Jesus as “Lord” are in unique Lukan pericopae; there are no Matthean-Lukan agreements against Mark to use “Lord” in narration in Triple Tradition pericopae, and there are no Matthean-Lukan agreements in Double Tradition pericopae to use “Lord” in narration. However, when we examine the Double Tradition pericopae where Luke uses “Lord” in narration, we find that the Matthean versions are often in sections that have undergone heavy redaction. The Matthean version of “Be Ready for the Son of Man’s Coming,” for example, appears in a chapter where Matthew has extensively revised Jesus’ discourse on the destruction and redemption of Jerusalem in order to transform it into an extended discourse on the appearance of the Son of Man. In the Matthean version of Yeshua’s Critique of Pharisees, we also find evidence of Matthew’s secondary activity: Matthew added the Lament over Jerusalem (Matt. 23:37-39) as the conclusion of Yeshua’s Critique of Pharisees in order to tendentiously implicate the Pharisees as those “who kill the prophets.” In these contexts Luke is more likely to preserve the wording of a conjectured pre-synoptic source than the heavily redacted versions in Matthew. This observation also holds true in at least two of the Triple Tradition contexts where Luke uses “Lord” in narration. In Boy Delivered from Demon, Matthew largely follows Mark’s highly dramatized version; however, Matthew uniquely inserts the saying about faith the size of a mustard seed (Matt. 17:20), which is also known to Luke, but presented in an entirely different context (Luke 17:5-6). Here, too, Luke’s Hebraic version of the mustard seed saying is more likely to preserve a reading from a pre-synoptic source than Matthew’s version which has been reworked to fit a new literary context. This is also the case in Yeshua Interrogated in High Priest’s House, where Mark’s influence on Matthew is apparent. It is possible that Luke 22:56-65 preserves a more authentic version of the events of Jesus’ final night in Jerusalem.
From these observations we conclude it is likely that Luke found the title “Lord” applied to Jesus in narration in the pre-synoptic source for this pericope, and that in the story of the Widow’s Son in Nain ὁ κύριος reflects a Hebrew Ur-text that read הָאָדוֹן.
הָאָדוֹן (HR). What could the title הָאָדוֹן (hā’ādōn, “the Lord”) signify in a first-century Jewish context? Montefiore denied that such a title could have been applied to Jesus in a Jewish context: “…pagan parallels or analogies must be called in to account for the use of the word [i.e., κύριος—DNB and JNT] as applied to Jesus.” Nevertheless, we find that in HB numerous persons are referred to as אָדוֹן (’ādōn, “Lord”) or אֲדוֹנִי (’adōni, “my Lord”). Among the individuals addressed as אֲדוֹנִי in HB are: Abraham, Laban, Esau, Joseph and Moses. LXX renders אֲדוֹנִי as κυριός μου or κύριε in these examples. We find the expression אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ over 60xx in MT, which is usually translated as κύριε βασιλεῦ or ὁ κυριός μου ὁ βασιλεὺς in LXX.
In post-biblical Hebrew sources the use of אָדוֹן to refer to humans became rarer, but nevertheless continued. In the first place, the title אָדוֹן continued to be applied to biblical figures when retelling biblical narratives. In the Mishnah אָדוֹן also has a contemporary use, referring to a slave’s master (m. Kid. 1:2) and to an animal’s owner (m. Bek. 1:7). In other rabbinic sources the continued use of אֲדֹנִי as a royal address is attested (t. Sanh. 4:4; Gen. Rab. 61:7). We also find an example of a priest addressed as אדני הכהן in an illustration from daily life in the land of Israel (Gen. Rab. 71:4), and in a description of the days of Joseph in Egypt the sages state: הקציף הקב″ה אדונים על עבדיהם (“The Holy One, blessed be he, incited masters [אדונים] against their servants”; Gen. Rab. 88:3). Thus, the use of אָדוֹן is well attested in post-biblical Hebrew, and there is no reason why the disciples or petitioners could not have addressed Jesus as אֲדוֹנִי. Moreover, anyone addressed in the second person as אֲדוֹנִי would naturally be referred to as הָאָדוֹן in the third person.
Indeed, there are examples of הָאָדוֹן used in a generic sense for “a slave’s master” in rabbinic literature, and in a baraita we even find הָאָדוֹן used in narration to describe a specific individual. The baraita (found in b. Taan. 19b-20a) reports how, in the final days of the Second Temple, Nakdimon ben Gurion bought cisterns in Jerusalem from a Gentile ruler to provide water for Jewish pilgrims who came to worship in the Temple. In the course of the narration, the Gentile ruler is twice referred to as הָאָדוֹן. Here is an example of the use of הָאָדוֹן in narration in a story that takes place either during or slightly after the time of Jesus and it involves persons who may have been acquainted with Jesus himself.
As we have seen, in MT, DSS and rabbinic literature אָדוֹן is the title used by a servant for his master. This usage is particularly well suited for the master-disciple relationship. Lindsey observed that in Luke’s Gospel only Jesus’ disciples or individuals who came to seek Jesus’ help address him as “Lord” (Flusser, JOC, 290), while Flusser noted that in Luke only outsiders refer to Jesus as “Rabbi” (Flusser, Jesus, 32). does appear in Luke as a designation for Jesus. In Luke, the title διδασκαλος is applied to Jesus in the following contexts: Luke 8:49 (by a person from Jairus’ house); 22:11 (Jesus refers to himself in 3rd person). Jesus is addressed as διδάσκαλε in the following Lukan passages: Luke 7:40 (by Simon the Pharisee); 9:38 (by the father of a boy with an evil spirit); 10:25 (by a νομικός [Torah expert]); 11:45 (by νομικῶν [Torah experts]); 12:13 (by someone in the crowd); 18:18 (by the “rich young ruler”); 19:39 (by Pharisees); 20:21 (by spies from the chief priests); 20:28 (by Sadducees); 20:39 (by scribes); 21:7 (by disciples?). Thus there appears to be one exception (Luke 21:7) to Flusser’s observation that in Luke only non-disciples refer to Jesus as “rabbi.” However, it is possible that in Luke 21:7 we are to understand that the question came not from one of the disciples, but from a member of the public that had gathered in the Temple to hear Jesus’ teaching. Addressing Jesus as אֲדוֹנִי or referring to him in the third person as הָאָדוֹן may have been distinctive, but anyone who read or listened to the Bible—which was practically everyone in first-century Jewish society—would have understood its (possibly archaic) use. The common association of “Lord” with “King” in HB, which is also attested in rabbinic literature (t. Sanh. 4:2; Gen. Rab. 61:7), might indicate that Jesus adopted the title because of its subtle messianic connotation.
L11 ἐσπλαγχνίσθη (Luke 7:13). The Greek verb σπλαγχνίζειν (splanchnizein) is mainly used as a sacrificial term for eating the inner organs (e.g., heart, lungs, kidneys, liver) of an animal offering (cf. 2 Macc. 6:8). However, in Jewish writings the middle aor. pass. form, ἐσπλαγχνίσθη (esplanchnisthē), took on the meaning “to feel compassion” or “to have mercy.” This usage is typical of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (7xx in T. Zeb.), and is also found in the Testament of Job (T. Job 26:5) and the Testament of Abraham (T. Ab. 12:12, 13 [Recension B]).
This usage is not typical of LXX, however. The single occurrence of a verbal form of this root with the meaning “compassion” appears in Prov. 17:5, where there is no corresponding Hebrew verb. Similarly, the nominal form, σπλάγχνα (splanchna), translates רַחֲמִים (raḥamim, “compassion”) only once (Prov. 12:10). Elsewhere, the LXX equivalent of רַחֲמִים is οἱκτιρμοί or the verb οἰκτίρειν.
Neither is σπλαγχνίζεσθαι found in the writings of Philo or Josephus, who write in a more elevated Greek style than that which is typical of the pseudepigraphical writings. The use of σπλαγχνίζεσθαι, therefore, is indicative of Jewish Greek. Köster concluded that the use of σπλάγχνα and σπλαγχνίζεσθαι for “mercy” or “compassion” “are thus a new translation of the Hebrew words רַחֲמִים ,רִחַם, and רָחוּם” subsequent to the translation of the Septuagint.
According to Marshall, “σπλαγχνίζομαι occurs at [Luke] 10:33; 15:20 (both cases in special source material), but Luke takes over none of the four occurrences in Mk. (Mk. 1:41; 6:34; cf. 8:2; 9:22) and does not use the word in Acts” (Marshall, 285-286). In other words, Marshall has detected what Lindsey referred to as a “Markan pick-up.” Lindsey argued that it was often Mark’s practice to select certain words he found in Luke for use as dramatic synonyms, but Mark would avoid copying such words in the places Luke used them. With respect to σπλαγχνίζεσθαι, we find that it appears 3xx in Luke, always in unique Lukan pericopae copied from Luke’s sources (Luke 7:13 [Widow’s Son in Nain]; 10:33 [Good Samaritan parable]; 15:20 [Prodigal Son parable]). The absence of σπλαγχνίζεσθαι in 2 Acts confirms that the word is not Lukan, but was copied from his sources.
Mark observed Luke’s use of σπλαγχνίζεσθαι in the portions of Luke that he omitted, and used the word 4xx in dramatic elaborations of Lukan pericopae (Mark 1:41 [Healing a Man with Scale Disease]; 6:34 [Feeding 5,000]; 9:22 [Boy Delivered from Demon]) and passages of his own composition (Mark 8:2 [Feeding 4,000]; copied in Matt. 15:32). Consequently, Luke and Mark never agree in the use of σπλαγχνίζεσθαι.
In Triple Tradition contexts, Matthew and Luke agree 2xx against Mark to omit σπλαγχνίζεσθαι (Mark 1:41, parallel to Matt. 8:3 and Luke 5:13 [Healing a Man with Scale Disease]; Mark 9:22 [Boy Delivered from Demon]), confirming that Matthew did not find σπλαγχνίζεσθαι in the source he shared with Luke. In one instance Matthew follows Mark in the use of σπλαγχνίζεσθαι against Luke (Mark 6:34 and Matt. 14:14 against Luke 9:11 [Feeding 5,000]), and in one instance Matthew uses σπλαγχνίζεσθαι against Luke and Mark (Matt. 20:34 against Mark 10:52 and Luke 18:42 [Man Healed of Blindness]).
In one instance, Matthew uses σπλαγχνίζεσθαι in a unique Matthean pericope probably copied from Anth. (Matt. 18:27 [Unforgiving Slave parable]).
Note that Mark’s usage of σπλαγχνίζεσθαι is highly specialized, being applied only to Jesus. Contrast the use in Matthew and Luke where, in addition to Jesus (Luke 7:13; Matt. 20:34), σπλαγχνίζεσθαι describes the king in the Unforgiving Slave parable (Matt. 18:27), the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:33) and the father of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:20). We conclude that Mark’s usage of σπλαγχνίζεσθαι is secondary, but in four instances Matthew and Luke preserve σπλαγχνίζεσθαι as it appeared in pre-synoptic sources based on the Greek translation of a conjectured Hebrew Life of Yeshua (Luke 7:13; 10:33; 15:20; Matt. 18:27).
L12 μὴ κλαῖε (Luke 7:13). The verb κλαίειν (klaiein, “to weep”) appears 138xx in LXX, where it usually translates בָּכָה (bāchāh, “weep”). Note in 1 Sam. 1:8 a linguistic parallel to our Hebrew reconstruction: לָמֶה תִבְכִּי (“why are you crying?”).
L13 καὶ προσελθών (Luke 7:14). The verb προσέρχεσθαι (proserchesthai, “to come toward”) appears 111xx in LXX, where it most often translates (43xx) the root ק-ר-ב. Since in narrative we reconstruct in BH style, we have reconstructed καὶ προσελθὼν with וַיִּקְרַב.
ἥψατο τῆς σοροῦ (Luke 7:14). Whereas σορός usually means “coffin,” in Luke 7:14 σορός clearly refers to a bier on which the body is carried to the tomb. Fitzmyer (259) notes that, “In Hellenistic texts of a later period soros was used for ‘bier’; this may then be the earliest attestation of it in this sense.”
וַיִּגַּע בַּמִּטָּה (HR). The verb ἅπτεσθαι appears over 130xx in LXX, where it usually translates the root נ-ג-ע.
Rabbinic sources mention a coffin (אָרוֹֹן, ’ārōn) as essential for burial, the lack of which is sufficient reason for burial to be delayed (m. Sanh. 6:5; m. Shab. 23:4). However, when a funeral procession is described, the term for the bier is מִטָּה (miṭāh) (e.g., m. Ber. 3:1; m. Moed Kat. 3:8-9; m. Sanh. 2:1, 3; m. Kel. 23:4) and the bearers of the bier are referred to as נוֹשְׂאֵי הַמִּטָּה (nōs’ē hamiṭāh), e.g., in m. Ber. 3:1.
Contact with the bier on which the corpse lay would render the person who touched it ritually impure for seven days. Some commentators suggest that Jesus ignored or transgressed the biblical laws of ritual purity when he touched the bier of the widow’s son. However, this suggestion is misleading. The fact that Jesus willingly contracted ritual impurity does not necessarily imply that he ignored the commandments. Eating holy food or entering the Temple while in a state of ritual impurity would, indeed, be classified as ignoring the purity laws, but Jesus did nothing of the kind by raising the widow’s son. The individuals who carried the bier also willingly became ritually impure, but there is no reason to suspect that they ignored or transgressed biblical requirements either. As long as Jesus adhered to the restrictions incumbent upon ritually impure persons and underwent the necessary purifications, he remained within the bounds of ritual purity even though he had intentionally become impure.
People routinely contracted ritual impurity by choice for a variety of reasons without transgressing the biblical commandments. Burying the dead, having sexual relations, and attempting to rescue endangered persons are three examples of why a person might intentionally contract ritual impurity. To illustrate the third example, the Mishnah states that the Passover lamb is slaughtered on behalf of a person who clears away a ruin in order to rescue the people who may be trapped underneath (m. Pes. 8:6). A person who engages in such a rescue mission takes a risk that he or she will become ritually impure by coming into contact with a corpse buried in the rubble, and in such a state of impurity the rescuer would be forbidden to eat the Passover lamb. Nevertheless, the sages ruled that a lamb should be slaughtered on the rescuer’s behalf in the hope that he or she will not become impure. After all, why should someone who attempted to rescue another human being’s life be excluded from celebrating the redemption from slavery in Egypt simply because there was a chance that he or she might become impure?
To the above scenario, we may compare Jesus’ decision to become impure for the sake of the widow’s son. If it was considered correct, praiseworthy and in keeping with the commandments to risk becoming impure for the sake of saving a life, how much more should it be correct, praiseworthy and in keeping with the commandments for Jesus to become impure, given his own certainty of restoring a life? Rather than claiming that Jesus ignored the demands of ritual purity, an assumption for which there is no basis, it seems that Jesus prioritized the commandments in a manner comparable to the Pharisaic school of Hillel and deemed the duty to save a life more important than the Torah’s other obligations.
L14 ἔστησαν (Luke 7:14). Here, the sense of the Greek verb ἑστάναι (hestanai) is “to stop” rather than its usual meaning “to stand.” This somewhat rare usage of ἑστάναι may reflect an underlying Hebrew text that had the verb עָמַד (‘āmad), which can mean both “stand” and “stop” or “halt.” Compare the use of ἑστάναι in Luke 7:14 with that in Luke 8:44; 18:40 and Acts 8:38.
וַיַּעַמְדוּ (HR). For עָמַד in the sense of “stop” or “halt” compare the following examples:
καὶ ἔστη τοῦ τίκτειν
And she [i.e., Leah—DNB and JNT] stopped bearing [children] (Gen. 29:35; cf. Gen. 30:9)
καὶ ἔστησαν ἐκεῖ
…and it [referring to a cart—DNB and JNT] stopped there. (1 Sam. [1 Kgdms.] 6:14)
וַיַּעַמְדוּ הַמַּיִם הַיֹּרְדִים מִלְמַעְלָה
καὶ ἔστη τὰ ὕδατα τὰ καταβαίνοντα ἄνωθεν
And the waters that flowed down from above stopped…. (Josh. 3:16)
L15 νεανίσκε λέγω σοὶ ἐγέρθητι (GR). We suspect that the author of Luke changed the word order of this phrase slightly, moving the personal pronoun σοί (soi, “to you [sing.]”) ahead of the verb λέγειν (legein, “to say”). The order σοί/ὑμῖν λέγω (“to you I say”) is relatively rare in the Synoptic Gospels, but is more common in Luke than in Matthew or Mark. The more usual order is λέγω σοὶ/ὑμῖν, which is what we have adopted for GR.
L16 καὶ ἐκάθισεν (Luke 7:15). The corpse (ὁ νεκρὸς; ho nekros) sat up. If the verb ἀνακαθίζειν is original, as N-A suppose, it is Lukan, appearing in NT only here and in Acts 9:40 in the story of the raising of Dorcas. However, we have based our reconstruction on Codex Vaticanus, which reads ἐκάθισεν, which we accept as the reading of Anth.
L17 וַיָּחֶל לְדַבֵּר (HR). The LXX uses ἄρχειν (archein, “to begin”) 47xx to translate הֵחֵל (hēḥēl, “begin”). Dalman (27) refers to the combination of ἄρχειν + infinitive as “altogether foreign to the Old Testament” an assertion we find quite puzzling, given the numerous instances in MT where הֵחֵל + infinitive is translated in LXX with ἄρχειν + infinitive. In MH הִתְחִיל (hitḥil, “begin”) came to be used much more frequently than הֵחֵל (see Tower Builder and King Going to War, Comment to L7); however, here we are in a narrative context, where we generally prefer to reconstruct in a BH style.
L18 καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτὸν τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ (Luke 7:15). Jesus’ restoration of the resurrected son to his mother is a dramatic scene and reminiscent of the biblical story in which Elijah raises the son of the widow in Zarephath (1 Kgs. 17:7-24). Even the phrase “and he gave him to his mother” is identical to the one in the story of Elijah and the widow (3 Kgdms. 17:23).
וַיִּתְּּנֵהוּ לְאִמּוֹ (HR). The Hebrew reconstruction is identical to the wording in 1 Kgs. 17:23.
L19 ἔλαβεν δὲ φόβος πάντας (Luke 7:16). The combination λαμβάνειν + φόβος appears to be a Greek idiom. However, its single occurrence in NT, its absence in Philo and its single occurrence in Josephus suggest that the combination was somewhat unusual.
וַיִּפֹּל פַּחַד עַל (HR). Φόβος (fobos, “fear”) appears in LXX nearly 200xx, where it translates יִרְאָה 36xx, פַּחַד 35xx and אֵימָה 11xx. For each of these Hebrew words φόβος is its most common LXX equivalent. In Hebrew “fear” (אֵימָה ,פַּחַד) is said to “fall” upon a person, but nowhere in HB do we find either פַּחַד or אֵימָה in combination with the roots א-ח-ז or ל-ק-ח.
In DSS פַּחַד appears 30xx, and although it does not appear in the Mishnah, פַּחַד does appear elsewhere in rabbinic literature (b. Git. 70a; b. Bab. Bat. 10a; Esth. Rab. to 4:6; Yalk. Exod. 181). יִרְאָה appears 11xx in DSS and 10xx in the Mishnah. אֵימָה appears 8xx in DSS, always in combination with פַּחַד, and 1x in the Mishnah (m. Sanh. 2:5). We have chosen to reconstruct the Hebrew with וַיִּפֹּל פַּחַד עַל.
L20 וַיִּתְּנוּ כָּבוֹד לֵאלֹהִים (HR). We have chosen to reconstruct the Hebrew as וַיִּתְּנוּ כָּבוֹד לֵאלֹהִים. Compare Ps. 115:1; Jer. 13:16; Mal. 2:2.
L21 לֵאמֹר (HR). Since Luke 7:16 is narrative we have chosen to reconstruct λέγοντες (legontes, “saying”) with לֵאמֹר (lē’mor, “to say”), which is in the style of BH, rather than as לוֹמַר (lōmar, “to say”), which is in the style of MH.
The word ὅτι in L21 and L23 is recitative, in other words, it introduces direct discourse. There is therefore no need for a Hebrew equivalent of ὅτι (e.g., כִּי or -שֶׁ) in the reconstruction.
L22 προφήτης μέγας ἠγέρθη ἐν ἡμῖν (Luke 7:16). In response to the raising of the widow’s son, the people of Nain exclaimed that “a great prophet was raised among us.” The expression ἠγέρθη ἐν ἡμῖν (“was raised in us”) is idiomatic Hebrew for “has appeared to us.” To express the same idea in first-cent. Greek, a writer would normally have used the verb ἐπιφαίνειν (or φαίνειν) in its passive form, and the dative of the recipient, that is, προφήτης ἐπεφάνη ἡμῖν.
It is likely that the people’s exclamation echoed the words of Moses in Deuteronomy:
The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren—him you shall heed…. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not give heed to my words which he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. (Deut. 18:15, 18-19; RSV)
Moses’ statement may originally have referred to his successor, Joshua. However, one does not read that Joshua was a prophet like Moses, but rather, “Since then no prophet has arisen in Israel like Moses…no one has ever shown the mighty power and performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel” (Deut. 34:10, 12). These verses convinced some ancient interpreters that the “prophet like Moses” was not Joshua, nor any of the prophets who came afterward, but was an eschatological figure who would appear at the end of days.
The eschatological character of the “prophet like Moses” is linked to the widespread belief that prophecy in Israel had ceased. As articulated by the Sages:
משמתו נביאים הראשונים חגי זכריה ומלאכי פסקה רוח הקודש מישראל
Since the early prophets Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi died, the Holy Spirit ceased from Israel. (t. Sot. 13:3; Vienna MS)
The return of the prophetic office with the appearance of the “prophet like Moses” was therefore regarded as an eschatological event that would herald the messianic age of redemption.
The earliest attestation of the eschatological character of the “prophet like Moses” is found in 1 Maccabees. There we read that the Jews appointed Simon the Maccabee to be “their leader and high priest forever until a trustworthy prophet would arise” (1 Macc. 14:41). Evidently, those who appointed Simon to rule “forever” did not consider the appearance of the eschatological prophet to be imminent. The Hasmoneans would hardly have welcomed the arrangement otherwise. Although 1 Macc. 4:46 does not explicitly state that the prophet who will arise will be a prophet “like Moses,” he is referred to as a “trustworthy prophet,” an allusion to the LORD’s statement that Moses “is trusted throughout my house” (Num. 12:7).
Members of the Dead Sea sect also looked forward to the appearance of an eschatological prophet:
They should not depart from any counsel of the law in order to walk in complete stubbornness of their heart, but instead shall be ruled by the first directives which the men of the community began to be taught until the prophet comes, and the Messiahs of Aaron and Israel. (1QS IX, 9-11; DSS Study Edition)
Philo of Alexandria was likewise acquainted with the Jewish expectation that a prophet like Moses would someday arise. Alluding to Deut. 18:15, Philo writes:
…he [Moses—DNB and JNT] tells them that if they do not swerve from piety they will not be denied the full knowledge of the future. A prophet possessed by God will suddenly appear and give prophetic oracles. Nothing of what he says will be his own, for…when he speaks [he—DNB and JNT] but serves as the channel for the insistent words of Another’s prompting. (Spec. Leg. 1:64-65; Loeb)
Further evidence for the ancient Jewish expectation of an eschatological prophet like Moses is found in the New Testament. For instance, one sees from sermons recorded in the Book of Acts that the earliest disciples proclaimed Jesus to be the fulfillment of Deut. 18:15.
Flusser identified yet another reference to the eschatological prophet in the Oracles of Hystaspes as preserved in Lactantius’ Divinae Institutiones:
When the close of the time draws nigh, a great prophet [magnus propheta] shall be sent from God to turn men to the knowledge of God, and he shall receive the power of doing wonderful things. Whenever men shall not hear him, he will shut up the heaven, and cause it to withhold its rains; he will turn water into blood, and torment them with thirst and hunger; and if anyone shall endeavour to injure him, fire shall come forth out of his mouth and shall burn up that man. By these prodigies and powers he shall turn many to the worship of God. (Divin. Inst. 7.17:1-2)
As Notley noted, an allusion to Deut. 18:15 is probably intended by the words, “Whenever men shall not hear him….” The description of the eschatological prophet like Moses in Hystaspes is particularly significant for our discussion because magnus propheta is an exact parallel to προφήτης μέγας in Luke 7:16.
Certain Jewish sources identified the eschatological prophet with Elijah on the basis of the following statement in Malachi:
“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.” (Mal. 4:4-6; RSV)
The description of the great prophet in Hystaspes seems to reflect the identification of the eschatological prophet with Elijah. Like Elijah, the prophet in Hystaspes has the power to withhold rain (cf. 1 Kgs. 17:1) and to burn up his enemies with fire (2 Kgs. 1:10-14). And like the description in Malachi, the great prophet in Hystaspes will turn people’s hearts back to God.
The story of the Widow’s Son in Nain also seems to be influenced by the identification of the great prophet with Elijah (see Comment to L18). Nevertheless, the Elijah motif should not overshadow allusion to the prophet like Moses in the people’s response, for it seems that the Elijah motif depends on the prophet like Moses allusion, not vice versa.
We note, moreover, that Luke’s allusion to Deut. 18:15 and 18:18 does not rely on the LXX version of these two verses: Luke employs a different verb (ἠγέρθη) than LXX (ἀναστῆναι). Note also that Luke uses Hebrew word order (προφήτης μέγας, “prophet big”; and ἐν ἡμῖν, “in you [plur.]”). It is unlikely that a Greek author could look at LXX and produce a Greek text that is more Hebraic than LXX, and also rabbinically sophisticated. A better explanation of these Hebraic features is that Luke copied a source that ultimately depended on a Hebrew text.
We conclude that when the people of Nain exclaimed that a great prophet had arisen among them, they believed that the messianic age of redemption had suddenly dawned.
L23 ἐπεσκέψατο (Luke 7:16). According to Lindsey, “the word ‘visited’…is used often in the Tanach for divine operation in saving or delivering or judging the people of Israel” (LHNS to Luke 7:16). Beyer wrote that in normal Greek usage ἐπισκέπτεσθαι generally means “to look upon, to consider, to have regard for something or someone.” It can also mean “to examine, to reflect on, submit to investigation.” When applied to Greek deities, ἐπισκέπτεσθαι means “to care for” or “to watch over” in a general sense, but does not imply any specific act of intervention.
In LXX, when applied to God’s activity, ἐπισκέπτεσθαι usually refers to divine intervention, either for punishment (e.g., Exod. 32:34; Ps. 58:6; Zech. 10:3) or for deliverance (e.g., Gen. 21:1; 50:24; Exod. 4:31; Ruth 1:6).
Perhaps, as Danker suggested, Luke intended for the crowd’s reaction to echo the words of the Benedictus (Luke 1:67-79), since the verb ἐπισκέπτεσθαι appears there twice (Luke 1:68, 78).
וְיי פָּקַד אֶת עַמּוֹ (HR). Ἐπισκέπτεσθαι appears 164xx in LXX, where it usually translates the Hebrew root פ-ק-ד.
In DSS פקד, when used in the sense of divine visitation, usually has a negative connotation. However there are examples of its use in a positive sense, for example:
[זכ]רו יהוה ברצונו ויפקדהו להראות בטוב [בח]יריו
The LORD [remem]bered him in his favor and visited him to make him see the good [of] his [chos]en ones. (4Q380 1 I, 9-11)
In the Damascus Document there is a striking parallel to the exclamation of the inhabitants of Nain that a prophet had been raised and that God had visited his people:
פקדם…ויקם להם מורה צדק להדריכם בדרך לבו
…he [i.e., God—DNB and JNT] visited them…and raised for them a Righteous Teacher, in order to lead them in the way of his heart. (CD A I, 7-11)
This passage in the Damascus Document refers to the founding of the Dead Sea sect. Note that the result of God’s visitation is the advent of the Teacher of Righteousness. This text provides a linguistic, and perhaps also an ideological, parallel to the people’s response to Jesus miracle recorded in Luke 7:16.
Bivin suggests that the two exclamations of the crowd, “A great prophet has arisen among us” and “God has visited his people,” form two halves of a synonymous parallelism. If Bivin’s suggestion is correct, then both exclamations have the same thrust: that God has inaugurated the messianic era of redemption.
L24-25 καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ λόγος οὗτος ἐν (Luke 7:17). On reconstructing ἐξέρχεσθαι (exerchestai, “to go out”) with יָצָא (yātzā’, “go out”), see Sending the Twelve: Conduct in Town, Comment to L98. Luke’s phrase ἐξῆλθεν…ἐν (exēlthen en) is a Hebraism, reflecting the construction -יָצָא בְּ (yātzā’ be–).
L25 ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ (Luke 7:17). Many scholars have dismissed Luke’s geographical notice as a “lack of familiarity with Palestinian realities,” on the assumption that Jesus’ miracle occurred in the Galilee. Perhaps it is better to take this statement as supporting evidence that the widow and her son lived in the Judean village of Nain (see above, Comment to L2). As already noted, Luke hints elsewhere that Jesus had a Judean ministry early in his career (Luke 4:44).
בְּכָל יְהוּדָה (HR). Note the linguistic parallel in Jer. 7:2, translated in LXX as πᾶσα ἡ Ιουδαία.
L26 καὶ πάσῃ τῇ περιχώρῳ (Luke 7:17). According to BDAG (808), περίχωρος can refer to the inhabitants of a region, in which case we could understand Luke to mean that the news about Jesus spread about “in all Judea, and among all its inhabitants.” Alternatively, this could be another example of hendiadys. Our reconstruction assumes the latter interpretation, i.e., “in all the district of Judea.” Περίχωρος appears 9xx in NT and 22xx in LXX; it does not appear in the writings of Philo or Josephus.
וּבְכָל הַפְּרִיכוֹרִין (HR). In LXX, περίχωρος translates כִּכָּר 8xx and פֶּלֶךְ 7xx (always in Neh.). We have reconstructed Luke’s phrase καὶ πάσῃ τῇ περιχώρῳ with the loanword פְּרִיכוֹרִין. An example of the loanword פְּרִיכוֹרִין appears in the following midrash:
יעקב אמר למשה: אני גדול ממך, שנפגשתי עם המלאך ונצחתי אותו. אמר לו משה: אתה נפגשת עם המלאך בפריכורין שלך, ואני עולה אצלן בפירבורין שלהן והן צתיראין ממני
Jacob said to Moses: ‘I am greater than you, for I wrestled with the angel and prevailed over him.’ Whereupon Moses replied: ‘You wrestled with the angel in your own territory [on earth], but I went up to them [the angels] into their territory, and they were afraid of me.’ (Deut. Rab. 11:3; Soncino)
The Widow’s Son in Nain, a pericope unique to Luke’s Gospel, is an excellent example of the author of Luke’s careful treatment of his sources. With the possible exception of the phrase ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς in L1, the reference to the disciples in L3, and slight changes of word order in L4 and L15, the author of Luke appears to have copied this pericope word for word from Anth. (Luke’s Source 1). This conservative approach to his sources caused the author of Luke to preserve important Hebraisms in his text (e.g., referring to the village of Nain as a “city” in L2; and the non-Septuagintal allusion to Deut. 18:15 in L22). It also preserved evidence of Jesus’ Judean ministry hinted at elsewhere in the Gospels.
Results of This Research
1. Where did the event described in this pericope take place? In the Galilee or in Judea? The Galilean Nain is so well known that it is usually assumed that this Nain was the site of Jesus’ miracle. However, a plain reading of Luke’s account suggests that the Nain where Jesus raised the widow’s son was in Judea (Luke 7:17). There is good reason to suppose that in the Hebrew Life of Yeshua there was a whole series of stories that described a Judean ministry early in Jesus’ career. When the Anthology broke apart the original sequence of stories preserved in the Greek Translation of the Hebrew Life of Yeshua, the Judean setting of those stories was lost or obscured. Nevertheless, hints of Jesus’ Judean ministry remain (cf. Luke 4:44), and the story of the raising of the widow’s son likely preserves an accurate geographical detail.
2. Since this story appears only in Luke, is it merely Luke’s creation, or does this pericope come from a reliable historical source? Working from the assumption that the Widow’s Son in Nain is a Lukan creation, many scholars have interpreted the story allegorically. Others have maintained that this pericope shows strong influence of Hellenistic miracle stories. Are these interpretations justified?
Allegory: Montefiore noted Loisy’s allegorical interpretation of the raising of the widow’s son:
The afflicted widow represents the daughter of Zion, Jerusalem, threatened with the loss of Israel, her only son, and in fact losing him, to regain him miraculously by the power of Jesus. Thanks to him, the promises of God are not empty, and the mother who had wept for her dead son can see him again living. (Montefiore, TSG, 2:425)
An allegorical interpretation of this story is not completely without warrant: In 4 Ezra the seer has a vision of a woman whose only son is dead (4 Ezra 9:38-10:27). After speaking to the woman who is mourning for her son in the fields outside the city, she suddenly transforms into a city. The vision is allegorical, an angel explains to Ezra that the woman stands for Zion (4 Ezra 10:44) and the death of her son represents the destruction of the Temple (10:48).
The vision in 4 Ezra shows that such allegorization is not impossible. However, the story of the Widow’s Son in Nain is not described as a vision, nor does Luke treat it allegorically. The highly Hebraic character of this account indicates that the story comes from the first of Luke’s sources (Anth.), which presented the story as a real event in Jesus’ ministry. An allegorical approach to the raising of the widow’s son should, therefore, be rejected.
Hellenistic Models: Other scholars, supposing the story of the widow’s son to be a Lukan creation, emphasize the Hellenistic elements of Luke’s account. Usually these scholars cite the story recorded in Apuleius’ Florida 19:2-6, in which the physican Asclepiades meets a funeral procession outside a city. His curiosity aroused, Asclepiades inspects the body being carried out for burial and discovers that the man was not actually dead. In this story, however, the restoration of the man was not welcome news to the man’s family, who stood to gain from his death by inheriting his wealth. Also in contrast to the story in Luke, the dead man’s revival was accomplished by ordinary means (the administration of drugs), not by supernatural power.
A story concerning Apollonius of Tyana, a first-century C.E. philosopher, is a closer parallel to the raising of the widow’s son in Nain:
Here too is a miracle [θαῦμα] which Apollonius worked: A girl had died just in the hour of her marriage, and the bridegroom was following her bier lamenting as was natural, his marriage left unfulfilled, and the whole of Rome was mourning with him, for the maiden belonged to a consular family. Apollonius then witnessing their grief, said: “Put down the bier [τὴν κλίνην], for I will stay the tears that you are shedding for this maiden.” And withal he asked what was her name. The crowd accordingly thought that he was about to deliver such an oration as is commonly delivered…but he did nothing of the kind, but merely touching her and whispering in secret some spell over her, at once woke up the maiden from her seeming death; and the girl spoke out loud, and returned to her father’s house…. And the relations of the maiden wanted to present him with the sum of 150,000 sesterces, but he said that he would freely present the money to the young lady by way of a dowry. Now whether he detected some spark of life in her, which those who were nursing her had not noticed—for it is said that although it was raining at the time, a vapour went up from her face—or whether life was really extinct, and he restored it by the warmth of his touch, is a mysterious problem which neither I myself nor those who were present could decide. (Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 4:45; Loeb)
Boring-Berger-Colpe (205) mention the following points of similarity with the account of the raising of the widow’s son in Nain:
- Setting of the story is outside the city.
- Miracle worker meets a funeral procession.
- Emphasis on the importance of the deceased to the bereaved.
- The miracle is performed in public view (in contrast to the miracles in 1 Kgs. 17:17-24; 2 Kgs. 4:18-37; and Mark 5:21-43 and parallels).
- Stopping the procession and setting down the bier are given dramatic prominence.
- The miracle worker addresses the deceased.
- Restoration of the deceased to the family is portrayed.
Notwithstanding these points of similarity, there are also significant differences. Jesus does not murmur a spell, but commands the dead man to rise. And despite his reference to the resuscitation of the bride as a miracle, Philostratus’ evaluation of the event is not unequivocal: perhaps the bride only seemed to be dead.
Discussing these Hellenistic parallels, Kazen writes:
Meeting a funeral procession could be seen as a motif, belonging to the common traits of miracle stories in Antiquity. This is only natural, however, since funeral processions should have been common and normal experiences for inhabitants in any village or town. As for the other parallels between the above-mentioned stories, they are not as evident. The motif of the seemingly dead person who is saved in the last minute from being buried alive, is found in modern times too, but is not present in the Lukan tradition. The Apollonius story, which provides the only real parallel, was given its present form more than a century after the Lukan narrative, although Apollonius himself belonged to the first century. Philostratus’ sources and their value have been much debated, and it is by no means evident in which direction influence (if any) should be imagined between Luke and Philostratus’ source…. There is simply not evidence enough to claim that the Lukan tradition is shaped on a particularly Hellenistic type of miraculous resuscitation.
As noted in the discussion on allegorical interpretation, Luke’s account has many features indicative of an originally Hebrew narrative that argue against the supposition that the raising of the widow’s son is Luke’s own literary invention based on Hellenistic models. This is not to deny that Luke’s source was undoubtedly influenced by the broader Hellenistic environment in which it was written. Certain themes and patterns of storytelling were likely shared throughout the Greco-Roman world. Nevertheless, the specifically Jewish and Hebraic character of the story cannot be overlooked.
3. Is the designation of Jesus as “Lord” a feature of Luke’s editorial style, or was “Lord” a title of address in first-century Jewish culture? Although Luke is alone in referring to Jesus as “the Lord” in narration, it is likely that this usage reflects Luke’s sources. We have seen that אֲדוֹנִי was a known and used form of address in the late Second Temple period. There is no reason to assume, therefore, that Luke’s references to “the Lord” in narration are editorial. If Jesus was addressed as אֲדוֹנִי, he would, naturally, have been referred to as הָאָדוֹן in the third person. Luke’s reading ὁ κύριος appears to preserve this Hebraic usage.
4. Did Jesus ignore or abrogate the demands of ritual purity when he raised the widow’s son? Despite oft-repeated claims that Jesus ignored or abrogated the laws of ritual purity when he touched the bier of the widow’s son, there is no reason to suppose that Jesus violated the commandments when he contracted ritual impurity in order to raise the widow’s son. There can be no doubt that Jesus did become impure, but assuming that Jesus underwent the required process of purification and refrained from entering the Temple or eating holy food during his period of impurity, Jesus acted well within the Torah’s requirements. Apart from the high priest, there is no commandment forbidding persons from becoming impure on behalf of the dead. To the contrary, burying the dead was considered a religious obligation. Still other religious obligations took precedence over the demands of ritual purity, including the commandment to “be fruitful and multiply” and the duty to save a life. Jesus seems to be an early proponent of this duty, and his halachic stance evidently reflects his understanding of the character of God as one who prefers mercy over sacrifice.
5. What is the meaning of “A great prophet has arisen among us”? The promise that God would raise up a prophet like Moses (Deut. 18:15) became an eschatological hope when prophecy ceased while the promise had not yet been fulfilled. The eschatological prophet came to be regarded as a harbinger of the messianic era of redemption. One source even ascribes the title “great prophet” to this eschatological figure, the same title the inhabitants of Nain ascribed to Jesus. When the villagers of Nain witnessed Jesus’ miracle and exclaimed that “A great prophet has arisen among us,” they were expressing their belief that the messianic age had dawned. Elsewhere in the New Testament we find that some early Christians identified Jesus as the prophet like Moses (cf. Acts 3:21-22). Certain traditions identified the eschatological prophet with Elijah. Even in the passage in Acts where Jesus is explicitly identified as the promised prophet like Moses, we find the influence of the eschatological prophet’s identification as Elijah. This identification probably explains why the story of the raising of the widow’s son contains many elements reminiscent of the story of Elijah’s raising a dead boy to life.
6. In his telling of the story of the Widow’s Son in Nain, does Luke imitate the story of Elijah’s miracle in 1 Kings 17:8-24, as some scholars suggest? As already noted, there are several points of similarity between the story of the widow’s son in Nain and the story of Elijah’s raising of the widow’s son: Elijah met the widow at the gate of the city (1 Kgs. 17:10); no other children besides the widow’s son are mentioned; Elijah restored life to the dead child; and Luke even appears to quote a phrase from the LXX version of the story (compare the identical καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτὸν τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ [“and he gave him to his mother”; 3 Kgdms. 17:23] with καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτὸν τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ [“and he gave him to his mother”; Luke 7:15; L18]).
However, there are significant differences. Although Elijah met the widow at the city gate, the widow’s son was not dead, and there was no funeral procession. When the boy died sometime later, Elijah raised him to life in private, without witnesses (1 Kgs. 17:19). And Elijah did not address the child, but cried out to the LORD (1 Kgs. 17:21).
While there may be intentional echoes of the Elijah narrative in Luke’s account of the raising of the widow’s son, these are not proof, as some have claimed, that the story is merely legendary or a Lukan creation. All stories, whether factual or fictional, are told in ways that highlight certain aspects and suppress others in order to give form and focus to the account, to give structure to the narrative, and to convey meaning. As discussed above, the echoes of the Elijah narrative are likely due to the identification of the “great” prophet like Moses with Elijah in Jewish tradition.
The story of the raising of the widow’s son in Nain attests to the Jewish eschatological hopes current toward the end of the Second Temple period. It may also preserve an authentic recollection of a Judean ministry early in Jesus’ career. The story highlights Jesus’ compassion for fellow humans in distress, which in turn reflects Jesus’ understanding of God’s character. Far from ignoring or transgressing the commandments pertaining to ritual purity, Jesus correctly prioritized the Torah’s requirements in accordance with God’s attribute of mercy, which is surely the essence of Judaism.
-  For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.’“ ↩
-  This translation is a dynamic rendition of our reconstruction of the conjectured Hebrew source that stands behind the Greek of the Synoptic Gospels. It is not a translation of the Greek text of a canonical source. ↩
-  Notice the all-pervading parataxis, that is, the “and…and…and” syntax, in this pericope. The particle δέ, the typical Greek connector of clauses, appears 3xx in the 7 verses of this pericope (L5, L14, L19). However, these three instances of δέ do not necessarily indicate the hand of a Greek editor, but merely typical translation Greek style. Compare, for example, the frequency of δέ in LXX. The book of Genesis contains δέ 855xx in its 1,531 verses, or about one δέ for every 1.8 verses (c. 40 hits per 1,000 words), about the same frequency as in the seven verses of the Widow’s Son in Nain pericope. Notice, too, the beautiful Hebraic parallelism: “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” (L22-23; Luke 7:16). ↩
-  This structure (subjectless ἐγένετο + time phrase + finite verb) appears 22xx in Luke, 5xx in Matthew and 2xx in Mark. Note the nearly identical structure (subjectless ἐγένετο + time phrase + καί + finite verb) found in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 1x; Luke 11x). Both constructions are Septuagintal equivalents of the biblical וַיְהִי (vayehi, “and it was”) structure. See David N. Bivin, “Hebraisms in the New Testament.” ↩
-  Randall Buth, “Distinguishing Hebrew from Aramaic in Semitized Greek Texts, with an Application for the Gospels and Pseudepigrapha” (JS2, 247-319, esp. 263-276); Randall Buth and Brian Kvasnica, “Temple Authorities and Tithe Evasion: The Linguistic Background and Impact of the Parable of the Vineyard, the Tenants and the Son” (JS1, 268-273, Critical Note 5). ↩
-  See Metzger, 142. ↩
-  The LXX instances of ἑξῆς are: Exod. 10:1; Deut. 2:34; 3:6; Judg. 20:48; 2 Macc. 7:8; 3 Macc. 1:9. ↩
-  In the writings of Philo, for example, ἑξῆς appears 121xx; and in the writings of Josephus, 43xx. ↩
-  The NT instances of ἑξῆς appear in Luke 7:11; 9:37; Acts 21:1; 25:17; 27:18. The five instances of καθεξῆς in NT are also confined to Luke-Acts: Luke 1:3; 8:1; Acts 3:24; 11:4; 18:23. ↩
-  The phrase אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה appears 9xx in HB in the following locations: Gen. 15:1; 22:1; 39:7; 40:1; 1 Kgs. 17:17; 21:1; Esth. 2:1; 3:1; Ezra 7:1 (cf. אַחַר הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה in 1 Kgs. 13:33). In LXX, אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה is translated as μετὰ [δὲ] τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα 5xx (Gen. 15:1; 22:1; 39:7; 40:1; 2 Esd. 7:1); once as καὶ μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους (Esth. 2:1); and twice as μετὰ [δὲ] ταῦτα (3 Kgdms. 17:17; Esth. 3:1). LXX did not translate אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה in 1 Kgs. 21:1. ↩
-  On the Hebraic use of πόλις to refer to a town or village, see Robert L. Lindsey, “The Major Importance of the ‘Minor’ Agreements,” under the subheading “A Hebraic Usage of Πολίς in the Synoptic Gospels.” ↩
-  See David C. Pellett, “Nain,” in The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible: An Illustrated Encyclopedia (ed. George A. Buttrick; Nashville: Abingdon, 1962), 3:500. ↩
-  In 1974 Anson F. Rainey suggested in a personal conversation with Robert L. Lindsey that the Judean Nain could be the location of Jesus’ miraculous raising to life of the widow’s son. ↩
-  A variant in some mss. of J.W. reads Ἀΐν (Ain). ↩
-  “Ein Fara” and “Pheretae” might reflect the Hebrew name פְּרָת (Perāt), possibly the Perath of Jeremiah 13:4-7. ↩
-  Wadi Kelt (sometimes spelled Qilt) stretches for some 10 miles (16 km) across the Judean Desert from a point 6 miles (9.6 km) northeast of Jerusalem to its outlet near Jericho. ↩
-  See Joseph Patrich, “The Cave-Encampment of Simeon bar Giora in the Ravine Called Pheretae” (מחנה המערות של שמעון בר גיורא בערוץ הנקרא פרתאי), Ninth World Congress of Jewish Studies, B.1 (Jerusalem, 1986), 21‑26 (Hebrew); idem, “‘Ein-Fara,” in Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 1:236-237. ↩
-  Pace Plummer and Marshall, who identified the Nain mentioned by Josephus as a village east of the Jordan (Plummer, 198; Marshall, 284). Cf. Vermes, who writes, “The only Nain…known to Josephus is a place lying somewhere in southern Judea, not far from the Idumean border, which is too distant to be relevant here” (Vermes, 32 n. 16). ↩
-  See David N. Bivin, “Jesus in Judea.” ↩
-  Cf. Edwin A. Abbot, The Fourfold Gospel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1914), 2:211. ↩
-  On the rearrangement of the stories in the Hebrew Life of Yeshua, see David N. Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton, “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.'” ↩
-  In HB, for instance, we find the name שַׁלּוּם spelled שַׁלּוּן (Neh. 3:15). In first-century inscriptions we find, e.g., variant spellings of the woman’s name Shalom: שלום (see Rahmani, Inscriptions 13, 23, 24, etc.) and שלון (Inscriptions 27, 73, 700, etc.). Kutscher notes examples of this phenomenon in Mishnaic Hebrew, such as אָדָן and אָדָם, and the Galilean place name מֵרוֹן and מֵרוֹם (Eduard Yechezkel Kutscher, A History of the Hebrew Language [ed. Raphael Kutscher; Jerusalem and Leiden: Magnes Press and Brill, 1982], 121-122). ↩
-  The Map of the Conjectured Hebrew Life of Yeshua shows the pericopae Lindsey assigned to the Judean ↩
-  See Bundy, 198. ↩
-  On the reference to the disciples in Luke 10:23, see Blessedness of the Twelve, Comment to L1. ↩
-  Examples of אֻכְלוּס are found in: t. Ber. 6:5(2) (cf. y. Ber. 9:1 [63b]; b. Ber. 58a); t. Pes. 4:12(15) (cf. b. Pes. 64b); t. Mak. 2:3(3:8) (cf. y. Mak. 2:6 [6b]; b. Mak. 10a); t. Men. 10:6(23); y. Dem. 4:1 [17b]; Gen. Rab. 5:7. For additional references, see Rudolf Meyer, “ὄχλος,” TDNT 5:582-590, esp. 585-586. ↩
-  See Lindsey, JRL, 61. ↩
-  See Healing of Shimon’s Mother-in-Law, Comment to L5. ↩
-  See Hatch-Redpath, 2:1305-1306. ↩
-  See Segal, 131 §300. ↩
-  The Lukan parallel to the three occurrences of πύλη in Matt. 7:13-14 is one instance of “narrow door” in Luke 13:24. ↩
-  Matthew’s “gates of Hades” (Matt. 16:18) has no parallel in Mark and Luke’s parallel accounts. ↩
-  Exceptions include royal dignitaries and the tombs of prophets located within the walls of Jerusalem (cf. t. Bab. Bat. 1:7). These were ancient burial sites from the period of the monarchy, but even in that period this practice was criticized in some priestly circles (Ezek. 43:7-9; cf. Kaufmann Kohler, “Burial,” JE, 3:437). In the Second Temple period the tombs of royal family members (e.g., the tombs of the Hasmonean monarchs and the tomb of queen Helena of Adiabene) were located outside the walls of the city. (For a discussion of queen Helena’s tomb, see R. Steven Notley and Jeffrey P. García, “Queen Helena’s Jerusalem Palace—In a Parking Lot?” Biblical Archaeology Review 40.3 : 28-39, 62, 64-65.) Herod, king of Judea, was buried away from Jerusalem at the Herodium outside Bethlehem (J.W. 1:673; Ant. 17:199). (On the discovery of Herod’s tomb, see Ehud Netzer, “The Tomb Complex at Herodium,” in Herod the Great: The King’s Final Journey [ed. Silvia Rozenberg and David Mevorah; Jerusalem: Israel Museum, 2013], 241-255.) ↩
-  On the location of Jewish burial grounds outside settled areas, see 11QTa [11Q19] XLVIII, 11-13; m. Bab. Bat. 2:9. Cf. Amy-Jill Levine, JANT, 115. ↩
-  It is therefore unlikely that Josephus’ mention of a wall at Judean Nain can confirm our identification of Judean Nain as the setting of Jesus’ miracle described in Luke 7:11-17. While it is possible that Simon merely reinforced a wall that already existed in the time of Jesus, Josephus gives no indication that this was the case. According to Notley (private communication), Josephus’ mention of a wall at the site of Judean Nain may refer to hastily erected fortifications, not necessarily a wall in the traditional sense. At the site of Magdala (Taricheae), for example, a city Josephus claims to have fortified (Life 188), archaeologists have failed to uncover a typical wall (Rainey-Notley, 355), but they have discovered makeshift barriers at the ends of streets that may be the “fortifications” to which Josephus referred. On recent discoveries at Magdala, see R. Steven Notley, “Genesis Rabbah 98,17—‘And Why Is It Called Gennosar?’ Recent Discoveries at Magdala and Jewish Life on the Plain of Gennosar in the Early Roman Period,” in Talmuda de-Eretz Israel: Archaeology and the Rabbis in Late Antique Palestine (ed. Steven Fine and Aaron Koller; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2014), 141-157. ↩
-  The eight instances where פֶּתַח is rendered πύλη are: Gen. 38:14; Num. 3:26; Ps. 23:7, 9; Prov. 1:21 (פִתְחֵי שְׁעָרִים); Jer. 50:9; Ezek. 40:13 (2xx). ↩
-  The ten instances where פֶּתַח is rendered πυλών are: Gen. 43:19; 3 Kgdms. 6:8, 33; 14:27; 17:10; Ezek. 33:30; 41:2 (2xx); 1 Chr. 19:9; 2 Chr. 12:10. ↩
-  The phrase פֶּתַח הָעִיר also appears in the following rabbinic texts: m. Sanh. 2:1 (cf. y. Sanh. 2:1 [10a]; y. Hor. 3:3 [17a]; b. Sanh. 19a); Sifra, Emor 2:5; Midrash Bereshit 69:14(19) to Gen. 28:19 (cf. 81:7 to Gen. 35:6); Pirkei de Rabbi Eliezer chpt. 32. ↩
-  See Fitzmyer, 658. ↩
-  Note especially the linguistic parallel in J.W. 5:567:
Μαννέος…διὰ μιᾶς ἔλεγεν ἐκκεκομίσθαι πύλης…μυριάδας ἕνδεκα νεκρῶν ἐπὶ πεντακισχιλίοις ὀκτακοσίοις ὀγδοήκοντα….
Mannaios…said that there were carried out through a single gate…115,880 corpses….
-  Cf. Acts 5:10: “When the young men came in they found her dead, and carrying [her] out [ἐξενέγκαντες; act. aor. ptc. of ἐκφέρειν] they buried [her] beside her husband.” ↩
-  Examples of וְהִנֵּה + participial phrase in vav-consecutive contexts are found inter alia in Gen. 15:12; 18:2; 24:15, 30, 63; 26:8; 28:12-13; 29:2, 6; 33:1; 37:15, 25; 41:5-6; Exod. 2:5, 13; 3:2; 4:6; 14:10; Num. 23:6; Josh. 5:13. ↩
-  See J. Vernon Bartlet, “The Sources of St. Luke’s Gospel,” in Studies in the Synoptic Problem (ed. William Sanday; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1911), 323. Luke 8:42 and Luke 9:38 appear in TT stories, with close parallels in Matthew and Mark, but their versions omit μονογενής. ↩
-  See F. Büchsel, “μονογενής,” TDNT 4:737-741, esp. 738. ↩
-  The term μονογενής appears in Judg. 11:34; Tob. 3:15; 6:11; 8:17; Ps. 21:21; 24:16; 34:17; Wis. 7:22; Odes Sol. 18:4. ↩
-  See Jastrow, 574. ↩
-  A rare example of בֵּן יָחִיד is found in Lev. Rab. 2:5 [ed. Marguiles, 1:43]. ↩
-  Se Jastrow, 744. ↩
-  Black, 83. On p. 81 Black writes: “One of the commonest of Semitic subordinate clauses, characteristic of both Hebrew and Aramaic, is the so-called Circumstantial Clause, by which circumstances are described which are attendant on and necessary to the understanding of the action of the main verb, but subordinate to it. It is introduced in both Hebrew and Aramaic by Waw followed by a noun or pronoun and verb, in that order….” ↩
-  See J. Gordon Harris, “Old Age,” in ABD, 5:10-12. ↩
-  Safrai notes: “This right is made explicit in a marriage contract published in DJD 11, no. 21, and is apparently also a basic assumption of other marriage contracts discovered in the caves of the Judean desert” (Shmuel Safrai, “Home and Family” [Safrai-Stern, 2:787 n. 6]). ↩
-  For more detailed discussions of widowhood in ancient Jewish society, see Shmuel Safrai, “Home and Family” (Safrai-Stern, 2:728-792, esp. 787-789), Tal Ilan, Jewish Women In Greco-Roman Palestine (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1996), 147-151. ↩
-  The two exceptions where χήρα translates a word other than אַלְמָנָה are: 2 Kgdms. 20:3, אַלְמְנוּת (’almenūt, “widowhood”); Isa. 49:21, גַּלְמוּדָה (galmūdāh, “barren”). ↩
-  See Hatch-Redpath, 1:683-684. ↩
-  Commenting on this passage, Thackeray cites Ben Sira: “Do not fail those who weep, but mourn with those who mourn” (Sir. 7:34). Cf. Paul’s instructions, “Rejoice with those who are rejoicing. Weep with those who are weeping” (Rom. 12:15). ↩
-  See Safrai-Stern, 2:778. ↩
-  See Fitzmyer, 1:659. Fitzmyer (1:202-203) also notes: “Whereas the absolute use of kyrios is found only once in the Marcan Gospel ([Mark] 11:3), the frequency of its use in the Lucan narratives, where the evangelist himself is speaking, is to be noted: Luke 7:13, 19; 10:1, 39, 41; 11:39; 12:42a; 13:15; 17:5, 6; 18:6; 19:8a, 31, 34; (20:44); 22:61bis; 24:3, 34.” Cf. Marshall, 285. ↩
-  The unique Lukan pericopae in which Jesus is referred to as “Lord” in narration are: Luke 7:13 (Widow’s Son in Nain); 10:39, 41 (Miryam and Marta); 13:15 (Healing a Woman with Spirit of Infirmity); 18:6 (Persistent Widow parable); 19:8 (Zakkai the Toll Collector); 22:61 (2xx; Yeshua Interrogated in High Priest’s House). The final reference in this list (Luke 22:61) appears in a Triple Tradition pericope, however, Luke 22:61a is unique to Luke. ↩
-  The Double Tradition pericopae where Luke uses “Lord” in narration are: Yohanan the Immerser’s Question (cf. Luke 7:19; Matt. 11:3); Yeshua’s Critique of Pharisees (cf. Luke 11:39; Matt. 23:1-36); “Be Ready for the Son of Man’s Coming” (cf. Luke 12:42; Matt. 24:45). ↩
-  See the discussion in Robert L. Lindsey, “From Luke to Mark to Matthew: A Discussion of the Sources of Markan ‘Pick-ups’ and the Use of a Basic Non-canonical Source by All the Synoptists,” under the subheading “An Examination of the Editorial Activity of the First Reconstructor,” Comments to L15; L84-86. ↩
-  See Flusser, Jesus, 244. ↩
-  The Triple Tradition pericopae where “Lord” appears in narration are: Sending the Twelve: Commissioning (cf. Luke 10:1; Matt. 9:35-10:16; Mark 3:13-19; 6:6b-13); Boy Delivered from Demon (cf. Luke 17:5-6; Matt. 17:20); Yeshua Interrogated in High Priest’s House (Luke 22:61; no Matthean or Markan parallel). ↩
-  Pace Werner Foerster, “κύριος,” TDNT 3:1039-1095, esp. 1094. According to Young and Flusser: “A careful study of the parallel texts indicates that this [i.e., the use of “Lord” in Luke’s Gospel—DNB and JNT] is not a redactional tendency of Luke’s gospel but rather is derived from the better sources used by the evangelists” (Flusser, JOC, 290 n. 24). In this quotation Young and Flusser refer to sources known to all three synoptic writers. In our terminology this equals Anth. See also, David Flusser, “Hillel and Jesus: Two Ways of Self-Awareness,” in Hillel and Jesus: Comparative Studies of Two Major Religious Leaders (ed. James H. Charlesworth and Loren L. Johns; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1997), 71-107, esp. 102. ↩
-  See Montefiore, 425. ↩
-  Joseph is called אָדוֹן in Ps. 105:21; and אָדוֹן refers to the king twice in Jeremiah (Jer. 22:18; 34:5). ↩
-  According to Eissfeldt, “In the OT, ‘adhon is used in reference to an earthly lord over 300 times and to a divine lord about 30 times, if we leave ‘adhonai out of consideration.” See Otto Eissfeldt, “אָדוֹן,” in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (ed. G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringgeren; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974), 59-72; quotation on p. 61. ↩
-  Sarah refers to Abraham as אֲדוֹנִי in Gen. 18:12; the inhabitants of Hebron address Abraham as אֲדוֹנִי in Gen. 23:6, 11, 15; and Abraham’s servant refers to Abraham as אֲדוֹנִי in Gen. 24:12, 27, 36, 37, 39, 42, 44, 48, 49. ↩
-  Rachel addresses Laban as אֲדוֹנִי in Gen. 31:35. ↩
-  Jacob refers to Esau as אֲדוֹנִי in Gen. 32:5, 19; 33:8, 13, 14, 15. ↩
-  Joseph’s brothers address him as אֲדוֹנִי in Gen. 42:10; 43:20; 44:18, 24; and Egyptians address Joseph as אֲדוֹנִי in Gen. 44:5; 47:25. ↩
-  Aaron addresses Moses as אֲדוֹנִי in Exod. 32:22; Num. 12:11. ↩
-  Thus in 4Q221 7 I, 3, אשת אדונו (“the wife of his [i.e., Joseph’s] lord”) refers to Potiphar’s wife. Examples from rabbinic sources include t. Sot. 12:5; Gen Rab. 48:18; 75:11; 93:6. According to the pseudepigraphical Assumption of Moses, Joshua addressed Moses as domine (Latin for “lord” = אֲדֹנִי; As. Mos. 11:4, 9, 19). ↩
-  Dalman (324-331) cited many of these references in a discussion entitled “‘The Lord’ as a Designation of Jesus.” ↩
-  See Vermes’ discussion of “The Title ‘Lord'” in the Synoptic Gospels: Geza Vermes, The Changing Faces of Jesus (New York: Viking Compass, 2001), 198-202. ↩
-  For the generic use of הָאָדוֹן in rabbinic literature, note the following examples:
וְהַנּירְצַע נִיקְנֵה בִירְצִיעָה וְקוֹנֶה אֶת עַצְמוֹ בַיּוֹבֶל וּבְמִיתַת הָאָדוֹן.
…and the pierced slave [cf. Exod. 21:5] is obtained through piercing, and he obtains his freedom through the jubilee or the death of his master [הָאָדוֹן, lit., “the lord”]. (m. Kid. 1:2)
רבי אומר בא וראה שאין העולם אלא חמשים שנה שנא′ ועבדו לעולם עד היובל. הא כיצד הגיע היובל יצא מת האדון יצא:
Rabbi [Yehudah ha-Nasi—DNB and JNT] says: Come and see then that “for ever” here cannot mean more than fifty years. It is said: “And he shall serve him for ever,” that is, up to the jubilee year. How so? When the jubilee arrives he goes out free. If his master [הָאָדוֹן, lit., “the lord”] dies sooner, he also goes free. (Mechilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, Nezkin chpt. 2 [ed. Lauterbach, 2:366])
Additional examples can be found in the dictum of Resh Lakish discussed in b. Kid. 16a and b. Bab. Metz. 12b. ↩
-  Flusser believed that Nakdimon ben Gurion should be identified with the Nicodemus known from the Gospel of John (Flusser, Jesus, 148). See also David Flusser, “Gamaliel and Nicodemus”; Ze’ev Safrai, “The Role of the Jerusalem Elite in National Leadership in the Late Second Temple Era,” in The Centrality of Jerusalem: Historical Perspectives (ed. M. Poorthuis and Ch. Safrai; Kampen, the Netherlands: Kok Pharos, 1996), 65-72, esp. 70; and idem, “Nakdimon b. Guryon: A Galilean Aristocrat in Jersualem,” in The Beginnings of Christianity: A Collection of Articles (ed. Jack Pastor and Menachem Mor; Jerusalem: Yad Ben-Zvi, 2005), 297-314. ↩
-  Cf., e.g., Ps. 12:4; Exod. 21:5; 4Q221 7 I, 3; Gen. Rab. 88:3. ↩
-  See Preparations for Eating Passover Lamb, Comment to L4-5. ↩
-  Cf. Dalman, 327. In Luke, Jesus is addressed as κύριε in the following contexts: Luke 5:8 (by Simon Peter); 5:12 (by a man with scale disease); 6:46 (2xx; Jesus: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’?”); 7:6 (by friends of centurion); 9:54 (by James and John); 9:59 (by a prospective disciple); 9:61 (by another prospective disciple); 10:17 (by the seventy-two returning disciples); 10:40 (by Martha); 11:1 (by disciples); 12:41 (by Peter); 13:23 (by an anonymous questioner); 17:37 (by disciples?); 18:41 (by a blind man); 19:8 (by Zacchaeus); 22:33 (by Peter); 22:38 (by disciples); 22:49 (by disciples). ↩
-  Although the term ᾽ραββεί never appears in Luke, διδάσκαλος/διδάσκαλε, the Greek equivalent of רַבִּי,[ref]See Preparations for Eating Passover Lamb, Comment to L36. ↩
-  See Robert L. Lindsey, “From Luke to Mark to Matthew: A Discussion of the Sources of Markan ‘Pick-ups’ and the Use of a Basic Non-canonical Source by All the Synoptists,” under the subheading “An Examination of the Editorial Activity of the First Reconstructor,” Comment to L3. ↩
-  The term “messiah” refers either to the anointed priest (i.e., the high priest) or king. ↩
-  T. Zeb. 4:2; 6:4; 7:1, 2; 8:1, 3, 4. According to Köster, “Considering the usage of Test. XII as a whole, we find that σπλάγχνα, σπλαγχνίζομαι, and εὔσπλαγχνος have completely replaced the LXX words οἱκτιρμοί, οἰκτίρω, and οἱκτίρμων.” See Helmut Köster, “σπλάγχνον κτλ.,” TDNT 7:548-599, esp. 552. ↩
-  Köster, “σπλάγχνον κτλ.,” TDNT 7:552. ↩
-  See Robert L. Lindsey, “Introduction to A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark,” under the subheading “Sources of the Markan Pick-ups.” ↩
-  The nominal form σπλάγχνον (always in the plur. form σπλάγχνα in NT, and almost always in Greek literature since the time of Homer) appears once in Luke 1:78, but is not found elsewhere in the Synoptic Gospels. In NT σπλάγχνα appears 11xx (Luke 1:78; Acts 1:18; 2 Cor. 6:12; 7:15; Phil. 1:8; 2:1; Col. 3:12; Phlm. 7, 12, 20; 1 John 3:17). ↩
-  Cf. Marshall, 286. ↩
-  Of its 8 occurrences in Ben Sira, two appear where Hebrew fragments have been preserved. In both of these instances, the Hebrew root parallel to προσέρχεσθαι is ק-ר-ב (Sir. 6:19; 9:13). ↩
-  In LXX σορός translates אָרוֹֹן (’ārōn, “coffin”) at Gen. 50:26 and גָּדִישׁ (gādish, “tomb”) at Job 21:32. Σορός appears 2xx in the writings of Philo (Migr. 16, 23) and 2xx in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (T. Reub. 7:2; T. Levi 19:5). In each instance the meaning is “coffin.” ↩
-  According to Marshall (286), “A closed coffin is impossible in view of 7:15,” because the son sat up in response to Jesus’ command. ↩
-  See Hatch-Redpath, 1:150-151. ↩
-  Cf. m. Ohol. 1:2; Kazen, 177. ↩
-  See, e.g., Marshall’s comment that “Jesus ignores ritual uncleanness of the dead body (Nu. 19:11, 16) in approaching the bier and touching it…” (Marshall, 286); and Green, “simply by touching the bier Jesus has again [sic.] crossed the boundaries of ritual purity (cf. 5:12-14)” (J. Green, 292). ↩
-  Rabbinic halachah does not attempt to limit the number of people who contract corpse impurity by carrying a bier. To the contrary, the Mishnah mentions “those who bear the bier and they that relieve them, and they that relieve these” (m. Ber. 3:1)—in other words, there could be up to three teams of bier bearers in a funeral procession. Since each team presumably included at least four bearers (one for each corner of the bier), the Mishnah envisions a minimum of twelve bearers who intentionally contract corpse impurity. Evidently, the rabbis were more concerned with the honor due to the deceased than about people becoming impure. ↩
-  For an introduction to the concept of ritual impurity, see Joshua N. Tilton, “A Goy’s Guide to Ritual Purity.” ↩
-  The scenario of rescuing persons trapped in a collapsed building gave its name to the rabbinic concept of piqūaḥ nefesh (lit., “digging out a soul”), the principle that the duty to save a life trumps other biblical commandments such as observance of the Sabbath day’s rest. ↩
-  Note that this ruling pertains to the period when the Temple was still standing, when lambs were still slaughtered at Passover. After the Temple was destroyed, the issue of whether or not a lamb should be slaughtered on behalf of one who might or might not become impure was moot. ↩
-  There is no hint of criticism for Jesus’ action in Luke’s narrative. ↩
-  N. T. Wright seems to advance the bizarre theory that Jesus was immune to the rules of ritual impurity: “Jesus’ touching of the dead and raising them to life should certainly have brought him uncleanness, but in fact had the effect of restoring them.” See N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996), 192. Does this mean that Wright thinks that Jesus did not (could not?) become impure? As an Israelite “born of a woman, born under the Law” (Gal. 4:4), Jesus was certainly susceptible to ritual impurity just like any other Jew. Compare the rabbinic discussion of the case of the Shunammite woman’s son whom Elisha raised from the dead:
אמרו, בנה שלש⟨ונמית⟩ משמת כל שהיה עימו בבית היה טמא טומאת שבעה, וכש⟨חיה⟩ היה טהור לקודש. חזרו ונגעו בו וטימוהו. הרי זה או′: מטמיך לא טימוני, אתה טמאתני.
The Sages said: When the son of the Sh⟨unammite woman⟩ died, anything that was with him in the house contracted seven-day impurity, and when he ⟨came to life⟩ he was pure to the degree of eating sacrifices. [However, the objects which had been previously in the house with him when he was dead] and [now, following his revival] touched him a second time, defiled him. It is as if he [the boy] says [to these objects]: What made you impure did not render me impure; it was you who made me impure. (Sifre Zuta 15:11; text and translation cited according to Vered Noam, “Ritual Impurity in Tannaitic Literature: Two Opposing Perspectives,” Journal of Ancient Judaism 1.1 : 89-90)
According to this rabbinic tradition, everything in the house, including Elisha himself, was rendered ritually impure by the boy’s corpse. Thus, this text demonstrates that Wright’s scenarios (either Jesus becoming impure, or restoring the widow’s son to life) are false alternatives. ↩
-  See Robert L. Lindsey, “The Major Importance of the “Minor” Agreements” under the subheading, “A Written Hebrew Source Behind the Synoptic Gospels?” ↩
-  In the Synoptic Gospels we find σοί/ὑμῖν λέγω in the following verses:
- Matt. 16:18 (no parallel)
- Mark 2:11 (= Luke 5:24)
- Mark 5:41 (cf. Matt. 9:25 [–]; Luke 8:54 [–])
- Mark 13:37 (no parallel)
- Luke 5:24 (= Mark 2:11)
- Luke 6:27 (cf. Matt. 5:44 ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν)
- Luke 7:14 (no parallel)
- Luke 11:9 (cf. Matt. 7:7 [–])
- Luke 16:9 (no parallel)
- Luke 23:43 (no parallel)
The list shows that there is only one agreement in the Synoptic Gospels to use the order σοί/ὑμῖν λέγω (Mark 2:11; Luke 5:24), which can be explained as Mark’s copying from Luke. The other two examples in Mark are certainly redactional, as we see from the Lukan-Matthean agreement against Mark 5:42, and the unparalleled instance in Mark 13:37. The only instance of σοί/ὑμῖν λέγω in Matthew occurs in a verse that is likely to be of Matthean composition as it is unparalleled in the other Synoptic Gospels and since it mentions the Church, which is never mentioned in the Synoptic Gospels except in Matthew. Of the two instances of ὑμῖν λέγω in Lukan DT pericopae, the first has the more Hebraic word order λέγω ὑμῖν in its Matthean parallel (Luke 6:27 // Matt. 5:44), while in the second example the Matthean parallel omits “I say to you” altogether (Luke 11:9; Matt. 7:7). Thus it is likely that the order σοί/ὑμῖν λέγω is an indication of redactional activity on the part of the authors of the Synoptic Gospels. ↩
-  On the rationale for basing our reconstruction on a single NT manuscript, see David N. Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton, “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction’,” under the subheading “Codex Vaticanus or an Eclectic Text?” ↩
-  Ἄρχειν is the translation of הֵחֵל in Gen. 6:1; 9:20; 10:8; 11:6; 41:54; 44:12; Num. 17:11; Deut. 2:31; 3:24; 16:9 (2xx); Josh. 3:7; Judg. 10:18; 13:5, 25; 16:19, 22; 20:31, 39, 40; 1 Kgdms. 3:2, 12; 14:35; 22:15; 4 Kgdms. 10:32; 15:37; 1 Chr. 1:10; 27:24; 2 Chr. 3:1, 2; 20:22; 29:17, 27 (2xx); 31:7, 10, 21; 34:3 (2xx); 2 Esd. 3:6, 8; 14:1; Esth. 6:13; Jonah 3:4; Jer. 32:29; Ezek. 9:6 (2xx). ↩
-  Examples of הֵחֵל + infinitive in MT include Gen. 6:1 (הֵחֵל הָאָדָם לָרֹב = ἤρξαντο οἱ ἄνθρωποι πολλοὶ γίνεσθαι); Gen. 10:8 (הֵחֵל לִהְיוֹת = ἤρξατο εἶναι; cf. 1 Chr. 1:10); Gen. 11:6 (הַחִלָּם לַעֲשׂוֹת = ἤρξαντο ποιῆσαι); Gen. 41:54 (וַתְּחִלֶּינָה…לָבוֹא = καὶ ἤρξαντο…ἔρχεσθαι; cf. Jonah 3:4 וַיָּחֶל…לָבוֹא = καὶ ἤρξατο…εἰσελθεῖν); Deut. 2:25 (אָחֵל תֵּת = ἐνάρχου δοῦναι; cf. Deut. 2:31 הַחִלֹּתִי תֵּת = ἦργμαι παραδοῦναι); Deut. 2:31 (הָחֵל רָשׁ לָרֶשֶׁת = ἔναρξαι κληρονομῆσαι); Deut. 3:24 (הַחִלּוֹתָ לְהַרְאוֹת = ἤρξω δεῖξαι); Deut. 16:9 (תָּחֵל לִסְפֹּר = ἄρξῃ ἐξαριθμῆσαι); Josh. 3:7 (אָחֵל גַּדֶּלְךָ = ἄρχομαι ὑψῶσαί); Judg. 10:18 (יָחֵל לְהִלָּחֵם = ἄρξηται παρατάξασθαι); Judg. 13:5 (יָחֵל לְהוֹשִׁיעַ = ἄρξεται τοῦ σῶσαι); Judg. 13:25 (וַתָּחֶל…לְפַעֲמוֹ = καὶ ἤρξατο…συνεκπορεύεσθαι αὐτῷ); Judg. 16:19 (וַתָּחֶל לְעַנּוֹתוֹ = καὶ ἤρξατο ταπεινῶσαι αὐτόν); Judg. 16:22 (וַיָּחֶל…לְצַמֵּחַ = καὶ ἤρξατο…βλαστάνειν); Judg. 20:31 (וַיָּחֵלּוּ לְהַכּוֹת = καὶ ἤρξαντο πατάσσειν; cf. Judg. 20:39 הֵחֵל לְהַכּוֹת = ἤρξατο πατάσσειν); Judg. 20:40 (הֵחֵלָּה לַעֲלוֹת = ἤρξατο ἀναβαίνειν); 1 Sam. 14:35 (הֵחֵל לִבְנוֹת = ἤρξατο…οἰκοδομῆσαι; cf. 2 Chr. 3:1, 2); 1 Sam. 22:15 (הַחִלֹּתִי לִשְׁאוֹל = ἦργμαι ἐρωτᾶν); 2 Kgs. 10:32 (הֵחֵל…לְקַצּוֹת = ἤρξατο…συγκόπτειν); 2 Kgs. 15:37 (הֵחֵל…לְהַשְׁלִיחַ = ἤρξατο…ἐξαποστέλλειν); Jer. 25:29 (אָֽנֹכִי מֵחֵל לְהָרַע = ἐγὼ ἄρχομαι κακῶσαι); Esth. 6:13 (הַחִלּוֹתָ לִנְפֹּל = ἦρξαι ταπεινοῦσθαι); Esth. 9:23 (הֵחֵלּוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת; no equivalent in LXX); Ezra 3:6 (הֵחֵלּוּ לְהַעֲלוֹת = ἤρξαντο ἀναφέρειν); Neh. 4:1 (הֵחֵלּוּ…לְהִסָּתֵם = ἤρξαντο…ἀναφράσσεσθαι); 1 Chr. 27:24 (הֵחֵל לִמְנוֹת = ἤρξατο ἀριθμεῖν); 2 Chr. 29:17 (וַיָּחֵלּוּ…לְקַדֵּשׁ = καὶ ἤρξαντο…ἁγνίσαι); 2 Chr. 31:7 (הֵחֵלּוּ…לְיִסּוֹד = ἤρξαντο…θεμελιοῦσθαι); 2 Chr. 31:10 (מֵהָחֵל…לָבִיא = ἐξ οὗ ἦρκται…φέρεσθαι); 2 Chr. 34:3 (הֵחֵל לִדְרוֹשׁ = ἤρξατο τοῦ ζητῆσαι; הֵחֵל לְטַהֵר = ἤρξατο τοῦ καθαρίσαι). ↩
-  For more on ἄρχειν + infinitive and הֵחֵל + infinitive, see Randall Buth and Brian Kvasnica, “Critical Notes on the VTS” (JS1, 261-268). ↩
-  We find λαμβάνειν in combination with φόβος in Isa. 10:29; Ep. Jer. [Baruch 6:]4; 1 Enoch 1:5; 13:3; Letter of Aristeas 189; Jos., Life 148. ↩
-  We find examples of נָפַל פַּחַד עַל in Exod. 15:16; 1 Sam. 11:7; Ps. 105:38; Job 13:11; Esth. 8:17; 9:2, 3). Examples of נָפַל אֵימָה עַל are found in Exod. 15:16; Josh. 2:9; Ps. 55:5. ↩
-  See Henry J. Cadbury, “Lexical Notes on Luke-Acts IV. On Direct Quotation, With Some Uses of Ὅτι and Εἰ,” Journal of Biblical Literature 48.3 (1929): 412-425, esp. 418. Cf. Plummer, 200; Fitzmyer, 659. ↩
-  Cf. ἐπεφάνη γὰρ ἡ χάρις τοῦ θεοῦ σωτήριος πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις (Titus 2:11: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men”; NIV). Cf. also, Josephus, Ant. 5:277; 8:240, 268. ↩
-  Pace Nolland, Luke, 325. ↩
-  The belief that prophecy had ceased is already attested in 1 Maccabees 9:27 (ca. end of first cent. B.C.E.; the Hebrew original has been lost), and this belief appears to have been accepted by Josephus and also by the members of the Dead Sea sect. Although Josephus claimed to possess divine foreknowledge and likewise attributed prophetic-like qualities to the Essenes, Josephus refrains from adopting the title of prophet for himself or using it for others. The same is true for members of the Dead Sea sect, who nowhere apply the title of prophet to any of their members (cf. Sandt-Flusser, 357-360). ↩
-  Zuckermandel’s text, based on the Erfurt MS, reads משמת חגי זכריה ומלאכי נביאים האחרונים (“Since Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, the later prophets, died….”). ↩
-  Flusser writes: “The belief in an eschatological prophet is itself based on the recognition that prophecy has ceased and that only such a figure can restore it” (David Flusser, “Jewish Messianism Reflected in the Early Church” [Flusser, JSTP2, 272; cf. 273]). ↩
-  Cf. 1 Macc. 4:46 where a decision regarding the stones of the desecrated altar is deferred “until there should come a prophet to tell what to do with them” (RSV). On this verse Notley writes: “The involvement of the prophet in deciding a halakhic question suggests a prophet-like-Moses was envisioned.” See R. Steven Notley, “The Kingdom of Heaven Forcefully Advances,” in The Interpretation of Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity: Studies in Language and Tradition (ed. Craig A. Evans; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000), 287. Cf. Flusser, JSTP2, 271. ↩
-  1 Maccabees is a pro-Hasmonean history that sought to legitimate the foundation of the Hasmonean dynasty. Establishing their right to reign until the appearance of a trustworthy prophet had the effect of legitimizing the Hasmonean rule into perpetuity. See Flusser, JSTP2, 273-274. ↩
-  See Notley, “The Kingdom of Heaven Forcefully Advances,” 287-288. ↩
-  Cf. the striking parallel in 4QTest where the appearance of the prophet appears to depend on the people’s obedience, just as it does in Philo:
And the LORD spoke to Moses saying: “You have heard the sound of the words of this people that they spoke to you. They did well in all they said. If only it would be granted that they would have this heart to fear me and to keep all my commandments all the days, in order that it may be well with them and with their children forever, I would raise up a prophet for them from among their brethren like you and I would place my words in his mouth and he would say to them all that I command him. And the man who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name—I will require a reckoning from him.” (4Q175 [4QTest] I, 1-8)
-  Both Peter (Acts 3:22) and Stephen (Acts 7:37) quote Deut. 18:15 and relate it to Jesus. Cf. John 7:40. ↩
-  Justin Martyr (ca. 150 C.E.) referred to the Oracles of Hystaspes (1 Apol. 44:12). Flusser aruged that Hystaspes was a Jewish work composed in Greek (Flusser, JOC, 393) in the first century B.C.E. or first century C.E., and that Lactantius’ Divinae Institutiones VII, chapters 16-17 and 18, 1-3a and chapter 19 are mainly an epitome of the Jewish Oracles of Hystaspes (Lactantius wrote Divin. Inst. ca. 305-310 C.E.). See David Flusser, “Hystaspes and John of Patmos” (Flusser, JOC, 390-453). ↩
-  Translation according to William Fletcher, The Works of Lactantius, vol. 1 (Ante-Nicene Christian Library 21; ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1871). ↩
-  Notley, “The Kingdom of Heaven Forcefully Advances,” 288 n. 38. ↩
-  See David Flusser, “Judaism in the Second Temple Period” (Flusser, JSTP2, 34). ↩
-  On ancient Jewish traditions related to Elijah, see Joshua N. Tilton, “Elijah Prays About Rain.” ↩
-  It is possible that Peter’s sermon in Acts 3 is also influenced by the identification of the eschatological prophet like Moses with Elijah. In Acts 3:21 Peter states that Jesus must remain in heaven until all things are restored, echoing the LXX wording of Malachi 3:23 [Heb. Mal. 3:24]. ↩
-  Pace Fitzmyer (660), who writes: “The primary reference is surely to a prophet like Elijah…but it is difficult to exclude the further connotations.” ↩
-  On the Hebraic word order Luke exhibits here, see R. Steven Notley, “Non-Septuagintal Hebraisms in the Third Gospel: An Inconvenient Truth” (JS2, 338). ↩
-  Gill (7:569) reached this conclusion already in the late 1700s. See also Flusser, JOC, 419; Notley, “The Kingdom of Heaven Forcefully Advances,” 288-289. ↩
-  Hermann W. Beyer, “ἐπισκέπτομαι,” TDNT 2:599-605, esp. 600. ↩
-  See Beyer, “ἐπισκέπτομαι,” TDNT 2:602. Gill (7:569) noted that: “The Arabic version adds, ‘for good’. For God sometimes visits for evil…. The Ethiopic version renders it, ‘and God hath mercy on his people’; and the Persic version, ‘God hath looked upon his people, and hath taken care of them.'” With their clarifying statements, these versions demonstrate that divine “visitation” could be ambiguous. ↩
-  Frederick W. Danker, “Benedictus,” in ABD, 1:669. ↩
-  Does this text allude to a prophet like Moses? The phrase ויקם להם מורה צדק resembles the wording of Deut. 18:15: נָבִיא…יָקִים לְךָ יי אֱלֹהֶיךָ. It is also possible that “lead them in the way of his heart” is an allusion to Elijah’s role as described in Malachi 4:6: “he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” (RSV). ↩
-  David N. Bivin, “Semitic Background to the Nain Story.” Cf. Friedrich’s comment that, “The two clauses ὅτι προφήτης μέγας ἠγέρθη ἐν ἡμῖν and ὅτι ἐπεσκέψατο ὁ θεὸς τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ (Lk. 7:16) supplement one another.” See Gerhard Friedrich, “προφήτης,” TDNT 6:781-861, esp. 846. ↩
-  See Plummer, 201. ↩
-  So Vermes, 32. ↩
-  Beare (99) suggested that Luke 7:17 is an editorial bridge that Luke added to the story in order to explain how from prison John the Baptist heard about Jesus’ deeds, for “otherwise we should expect to read ‘in all Galilee’, rather than ‘in all Judaea and the country round about.'” Beare seems to accept the common assumption that John was imprisoned in Machaerus to the east of the Jordan. Against this assumption, see David Flusser, “A New Portrait of Salome,” under the subheading “The Place of John’s Execution.” ↩
-  Περίχωρος occurs 2xx in Matthew, 1x in Mark, 5xx in Luke and 1x in 1 Acts. ↩
-  On פְּרִיכוֹרִין, see Jastrow, 1226. This reconstruction was first proposed by Abbott in 1914. See Edwin A. Abbott, The Fourfold Gospel (5 vols.; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1913-1917), 2:208. ↩
-  We have accepted Jastrow’s emendation פירבורין to פריכורין (Jastrow, 1226). ↩
-  The word אִפַּרְכְיָא, derived from περίχορα (plur. of περίχωρος), also appears in rabbinic literature (cf., e.g., b. Taan. 19b; Esth. Rab. 1:14; Ruth Rab. 1:5; Midr. Ps. 2:3; 21:3; Midr. Ruth 1:22). ↩
-  Alfred Loisy, Les Évangiles Synoptiques (Ceffonds: Près Montier-en-Der, 1907), 2:655. ↩
-  See, e.g., Rudolf Bultmann, Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1931), 230. Cf. Beare, 99. ↩
-  Cf. the similar list in Craig A. Evans, Luke (NIBC; Vol. 3; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990), 115. ↩
-  Kazen, 174-176; cf. Knox, 1:42. ↩
-  Among such scholars are Beare, 99; Sanders-Davies, 346 n. 4; Luke Timothy Johnson, “Prophet: The New Testament,” in ABD, 4:408-412. ↩
-  Cf. Beare, 99; Kazen, 176. ↩