Widow’s Son in Nain

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In Widow’s Son in Nain, David Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton ask "Which Nain was the town where Jesus raised the widow’s son?" and "What is the meaning of the people's exclamation that a prophet had arisen among them?" The possibility of a Judean ministry early in Jesus’ career and of the messianic connotations of the Widow’s Son in Nain story are discussed in detail in this segment of the Life of Yeshua commentary.

Luke 7:11-17

(Huck 80; Aland 86; Crook 90)[1]

Revised: 19 May 2022

וַיְהִי אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל עִיר וּשְׁמָהּ נָעִין וְאֻכְלוּס גָּדוֹל הוֹלֵךְ עִמּוֹ וְכַאֲשֶׁר נִגַּשׁ אֶל פֶּתַח הָעִיר וְהִנֵּה מוֹצִיאִים מֵת בֵּן יָחִיד לְאִמּוֹ וְהִיא אַלְמָנָה וְאֻכְלוּס הָעִיר 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 וַיְכַבְּדוּ אֶת שָׁמַיִם לֵאמֹר נָבִיא גָּדוֹל קָם בְּתוֹכֵנוּ וּפָקַד שָׁמַיִם אֶת עַמּוֹ וַיֵּצֵא הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה בְּכָל יְהוּדָה

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 us the prophet we’ve been waiting for!” News of this miracle spread throughout Yehudah.[2]






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Story Placement

We have placed the Widow’s Son in Nain pericope in a section entitled “Teaching and Healing in Yehudah,” 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.

Click here to view the Map of the Conjectured Hebrew Life of Yeshua. __________________________________________________________________

Conjectured Stages of Transmission

Anth-LukeWidow’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).[3] 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.

Crucial Issues

  1. Where did the event described in this pericope take place? In the Galilee or in Judea?
  2. Since this story appears only in Luke, is it merely Luke’s creation, or does this pericope come from a reliable historical source?
  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?
  4. Did Jesus ignore or abrogate the demands of ritual purity when he raised the widow’s son?
  5. What is the meaning of “A great prophet has arisen among us”?
  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?


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.”[4] 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.[5]

According to Metzger, Luke’s elliptical phrase ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς implies the word χρόνῳ and means “soon afterward.”[6] The use of ἑξῆς is rare in LXX (6xx);[7] 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.[8] In NT, ἑξῆς occurs 5xx, exclusively in Luke and 2 Acts.[9] The likelihood that the word ἑξῆς in Luke 7:11 is a product of Lukan redaction is, therefore, quite strong.

μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους (GR). Supposing that Luke’s ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς is redactional,[10] we have reconstructed the reading of Luke’s pre-synoptic source as μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους (meta tous logous toutous, “after these things”). Although μετὰ τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα (meta ta hrēmata tavta, “after these things”)is the usual LXX translation of אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה (’aḥar hadevārim hā’ēleh, “after these things”),[11] the presence of λόγος (logos, “word,” “thing”) in L24 suggests that the Greek translator of the Hebrew Life of Yeshua probably would have translated דָּבָר (dāvār, “word,” “thing”) in both places (L1 and L24). Note that in Esth. 2:1 the LXX translators rendered אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה as μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους.

וַיְהִי אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה (HR). Luke’s opening phrase in L1 is difficult to reconstruct in Hebrew. Nevertheless, 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.

In LXX the verb γίνεσθαι (ginesthai, “to be”) usually occurs as the translation of הָיָה (hāyāh, “be”),[12] and the LXX translators rendered the majority of instances of הָיָה as γίνεσθαι.[13]

In a survey of all the instances of μετά (meta) + accusative in Genesis (LXX) we found that most instances occur as the translation of אַחַר (’aḥar, “after,” “behind”).[14] We also found that the LXX translators rendered most instances of אַחַר in Genesis as μετά + accusative.[15]

On reconstructing λόγος (logos, “word,” “thing”) דָּבָר (dāvār, “word, “thing”), see below, Comment to L24.

L2 ἐπορεύθη εἰς πόλιν καὶ ὄνομα αὐτῇ Ναῒν (GR). We suspect that the author of Luke made a slight alteration to the wording of Anth. by changing καὶ ὄνομα αὐτῇ Ναΐν (“and its name [was] Nain”) to καλουμένην Ναΐν. The author of Luke’s editorial intervention seems likely here because participial forms of καλεῖν (kalein, “to call”) are rare in naming formulae in LXX, and never occur in books corresponding to MT except where the participial form of καλεῖν lacks a counterpart in the underlying Hebrew text.[16] Moreover, using participial forms of καλεῖν in naming formulae is unique to Luke among the Synoptic Gospels, but since it is also found in Acts is all the more likely to be a sign of Lukan redaction.[17]

In LXX καὶ ὄνομα αὐτῷ/αὐτῇ (“and his/her name”) is a common naming formula, serving as the translation of -שֵׁם + וְ + pronominal suffix (e.g., וּשְׁמָהּ).[18] We have, accordingly adopted καὶ ὄνομα αὐτῇ in place of Luke’s καλουμένην for GR. Our only reservation regarding our reconstruction is the fact that the naming formulae καὶ ὄνομα αὐτῷ/αὐτῇ and -שֵׁם + וְ + pronominal suffix occur in LXX and MT only with respect to persons, not places. But since there is no grammatical reason why καὶ ὄνομα αὐτῷ/αὐτῇ or -שֵׁם + וְ + pronominal suffix could not refer to places, it is likely that the non-attestation of these formulae in LXX and MT with respect to toponyms is simply a fluke. Another option for GR, however, might be καὶ τὸ ὄνομα τῆς πόλεως Ναΐν (“and the name of the city [was] Nain”), but this reconstruction requires us to assume an even greater editorial intervention on the part of the author of Luke.

וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל עִיר וּשְׁמָהּ נָעִין (HR). In LXX the vast majority of instances of πορεύεσθαι (porevesthai, “to go”) occur as the translation of הָלַךְ (hālach, “walk”).[19] Similarly we find that although הָלַךְ was rendered in LXX with a great variety of Greek verbs, πορεύεσθαι was dominant.[20] There can be little uncertainty, therefore, regarding our selection of הָלַךְ for HR.

Also regarding the reconstruction of πόλις with עִיר there can be little doubt. As we noted above, most instances of πόλις in LXX are the translation of עִיר, and conversely עִיר was translated as πόλις in all but a few cases.[21] Lindsey commented that Luke’s reference to the village of Nain as a πόλις (polis, “city”) is a Hebraism.[22] In LXX πόλις usually translates עִיר (‘ir),[23] which has a range of meaning spanning every size settlement, from “hamlet” to “town” to “city.”[24]

We noted above that καὶ ὄνομα αὐτῷ/αὐτῇ (“and his/her name”) is the usual translation of -שֵׁם + וְ + pronominal suffix in LXX. Had we adopted καὶ τὸ ὄνομα τῆς πόλεως ἦν Ναΐν for GR our Hebrew reconstruction would have been וְשֵׁם הָעִיר נָעִין (“and the name of the city [was] Nain”).

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 שתי 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.[25]

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:[26]

At a village called Nain [Ναΐν],[27] 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], 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)

The waters of the Perat spring flow through Wadi Kelt on their way towards Jericho. The caves along this canyon could have provided shelter to the brigands of Shimon Bar Giora's of whom the historian Josephus writes. Photograph by Todd Bolen. Photo © BiblePlaces.com

The waters of the Perat spring flow through Wadi Kelt on their way towards Jericho. The caves along this canyon could have provided shelter to the brigands of Shim’on Bar Giora of whom the historian Josephus writes. Photograph by Todd Bolen. Photo © BiblePlaces.com

Most scholars identify Pheretae with Ein Fara,[28] a spring in the Wadi Kelt,[29] where caves used as hideouts during the First Jewish Revolt and the Bar Kochva Revolt have been discovered.[30] The Nain to which Josephus referred was, therefore, probably located somewhere near the Wadi Kelt in the Judean desert northeast of Jerusalem.[31] 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.[32]

Tell al-Qurein, the possible site of the Nain mentioned by Josephus, and perhaps, also, the location of the Nain in the Gospel of Luke. Photo: Jeffrey Magnuson. © JerusalemPerspective.com.

Tell al-Qurein, the possible site of the Nain mentioned by Josephus, and perhaps also the location of the Nain in the Gospel of Luke. Photo: Jeffrey Magnuson. © JerusalemPerspective.com.

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.[33] 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.[34] An additional allusion to an early Judean ministry of Jesus might be found in Luke 23:5.

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.[35]

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.[36] 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,”[37] 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.[38] For this reason we have omitted all reference to the disciples in GR and HR.

British survey map of Palestine (1944) with possible site of Nain circled

L4 καὶ ὄχλος πολύς συνεπορεύετο αὐτῷ (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).[39] Therefore, Lindsey suggested that in the Synoptic Gospels ὄχλος may often represent the Hebrew word אֻכְלוּס (“local inhabitants”).[40] Note the following linguistic parallels:

הרואה את אכלסין אומ′ ברוך חכם הרזים לפי שאין פרצופותיהן דומין זה לזה ואין דעתן דומות זו לזו בן זומא כשראה אוכלסין בהר הבית או′ ברוך מי שברא את אלו לשמשני

One who sees crowds [אֻכְלֻסִין] [of people] says, “Blessed is the Knower of Mysteries, for none of their faces are alike, and not of their opinions are the same.” Ben Zoma, when he saw crowds [אוּכְלֻסִין] on the Temple Mount, said “Blessed is the One who created these to serve me.” (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 [אֻכְלוּס גָּדוֹל] 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).[41] 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”),[42] 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,[43] 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 וְכַאֲשֶׁר נִגַּשׁ אֶל פֶּתַח הָעִיר (HR). In LXX the verb ἐγγίζειν (engizein, “to approach,” “to come near”) translates קָרַב (qārav, “approach” “come near”) and the root נ-ג-שׁ with about equal frequency.[44] We have chosen to reconstruct ἐγγίζειν with נִגַּשׁ (nigash, “approach,” “come near”)[45] because in L13 we believe קָרַב is a better fit for reconstructing προσέρχεσθαι (proserchesthai, “to approach,” “to come near”), for reasons we will discuss below in Comment to L13.

A Magdala street blocked with column drums, perhaps part of Josephus’ defensive preparations for the Roman assault. Photo courtesy of Joshua N. Tilton.

The noun πύλη (pūlē, “gate”) is usually the translation of שַׁעַר (sha‘ar, “gate”) in LXX. However reconstructing with שַׁעַר would seem to imply that Nain was a walled city,[46] whereas according to Josephus, the Judean village of Nain was not fortified until the Jewish revolt against Rome (J.W. 4.511), well after the time of Jesus.[47] Neither have walls dating to the Second Temple period been identified at the site of Galilean Nain. Due to the lack of evidence of walls at either the Judean or the Galilean villages of Nain, we have chosen to reconstruct πύλη with פֶּתַח (petaḥ, “entrance”). In Greek πύλη can signify “entrance” as well as “gate,”[48] and in LXX we find פֶּתַח translated with πύλη 8xx[49] and with πυλών (pulōn, “gate”) 10xx.[50] 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 translated as καὶ ἐκάθισεν πρὸς ταῖς πύλαις Αιναν.[51] Reconstructing πύλη with פֶּתַח avoids the implication that Nain was a walled city.

On reconstructing πόλις (“city”) with עִיר (“city”), see above, Comment to L2.

L6 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.[52] The LXX translators rendered הִנֵּה as ἰδού far more often than with any other interjection.[53] Likewise, we find that the overwhelming majority of the instances of ἰδού (idou, “behold”) in LXX occur as the translation of הִנֵּה (hinēh, “behold”).[54] Had we been reconstructing in a Mishnaic-style of Hebrew we would have adopted הֲרֵי (harē, “behold”) for HR, but since we prefer to reconstruct narrative in a biblicizing style, הִנֵּה is the best option.

Reconstructing ἐκκομίζειν (ekkomizein, “to carry out”), poses a bit of a challenge, since although it is the usual Greek verb for the carrying out of a corpse,[55] ἐκκομίζειν never appears in LXX and occurs only this once in NT. The Hebrew expression for “to remove a corpse for the sake of burial” is לְהוֹצִיא מֵת (lehōtsi’ mēt)[56] and this is the expression we have adopted for HR.

The word in BH and MH for “dead person (masc.)” is מֵת (cf. e.g., Gen. 20:3).

With few exceptions,[57] Jewish burial places were located outside the areas of settlement.[58] 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.

L7 בֵּן יָחִיד לְאִמּוֹ (HR). The word μονογενής (monogenēs) appears in the Synoptic Gospels only in Luke (here, and in Luke 8:42 and 9:38), for which reason it is sometimes suggested that μονογενής belongs to the list of special Lukan vocabulary.[59] We, on the other hand, attribute Luke’s uses of μονογενής to his sources. The primary meaning of the term μονογενής is “only born,” in other words, a child without siblings.[60] 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, whenever μονογενής occurs as the translation of a Hebrew term, that term is always the adjective יָחִיד (yāḥid, “only,” “single,” “alone”).[61] In MT יָחִיד is usually used to describe an only child, but the adjective could also be applied anything that is unique (cf. Ps. 22:21; 25:16; 35:17; 68:7).

In DSS יָחִיד is used 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 [יחידו]. (4Q416 2 II, 13 [= 4Q418 8 I, 12]; DSS Study Edition)

In rabbinic literature יָחִיד can mean “only,” “single,” or even “choice” or “select,”[62] or it can refer to an individual (m. Taan. 1:4, 7). A common contrast in the Mishnah is between הַצִּיבּוּר וְהַיָּחִיד (“the public and the private individual”); however, the phrase בֵּן יָחִיד (bēn yāḥid, “only son”) is quite rare in rabbinic sources. Two examples of בֵּן יָחִיד in MH are offered below:

קח נא את בנך את יחידך את יצחק והלא בידוע שהוא בנו יחידו

Take your son, your only one, …Isaac [Gen. 22:2]. And was it not known that he was his only son [בנו יחידו]? (Sifre Deut. §313 [ed. Finkelstein, 355])

אמ′ ר′ שמעון בן יוחי למלך שהיה לו בן יחידי

Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai said, “[It may be compared] to a king who had an only son [בן יחידי]….” (Lev. Rab. 2:5 [ed. Marguiles, 1:43])

Another option for HR is the loanword מוֹנְגִּינוֹס (mōnginōs, “only child”).[63] 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.

In LXX μήτηρ (mētēr, “mother”) occurs almost exclusively as the translation of אֵם.‎[64] Likewise, אֵם was translated with μήτηρ far more often than with any other Greek term.[65] Thus, there can be hardly any doubt regarding our reconstruction of μήτηρ in Widow’s Son in Nain.

L8 וְהִיא אַלְמָנָה (HR). From our Hebrew reconstruction we have omitted an equivalent to ἦν (ēn, “[she] was”) such as הָיְתָה (hāytāh, “she was”), a “to be” verb being superfluous in Hebrew. In a survey of the seventy-six instances of the verb εἶναι (einai, “to be”) that occur in the first eleven chapters of Genesis (LXX), we found that twenty-seven occurred where there was no “to be” verb in the underlying Hebrew text.[66] The following examples are comparable to our reconstruction in L8:

הֲשֹׁמֵר אָחִי אָנֹכִי

[Am] I my brother’s keeper? (Gen. 4:9)

μὴ φύλαξ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ μού εἰμι ἐγώ

Surely I am not the keeper of my brother? (Gen. 4:9)

הֵמָּה הַגִּבֹּרִים אֲשֶׁר מֵעוֹלָם אַנְשֵׁי הַשֵּׁם

They [were] the mighty ones who were from of old, persons of renown. (Gen. 6:4)

ἐκεῖνοι ἦσαν οἱ γίγαντες οἱ ἀπ᾿ αἰῶνος, οἱ ἄνθρωποι οἱ ὀνομαστοί

These were the giants from of old, the persons of renown. (Gen. 6:4)

שְׁלֹשָׁה אֵלֶּה בְּנֵי־נֹחַ

These three [were] sons of Noah. (Gen. 9:19)

τρεῖς οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ υἱοὶ Νωε

These three are the sons of Noah. (Gen. 9:19)

In all but two instances the noun χήρα (chēra, “widow”) occurs in LXX as the translation of אַלְמָנָה (’almānāh, “widow”).[67] Similarlyת we find that the LXX translators rendered nearly every instance of אַלְמָנָה as χήρα.[68]

With no husband or children to support her, the widow of Nain likely would have suffered hardship.[69] 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.[70] 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.[71]

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”),[72] 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.). In support of this conclusion we note that ἱκανός occurs with a much higher frequency in the Gospel of Luke than in the Gospels of Mark or Matthew,[73] and that whenever the author of Luke used ἱκανός as an adjective of quantity (“large,” “long,” “many”) as opposed to quality (“worthy,” “sufficient”) he did so without the agreement of either Mark or Matthew.[74] Moreover, the expression ὄχλος ἱκανός occurs 0xx in Matthew, 1x in Mark (Mark 10:46), but 3xx in the writings of Luke (Luke 7:12; Acts 11:24, 26).

וְאֻכְלוּס הָעִיר עִמָּהּ (HR). On אֻכְלוּס (“crowd”) as the Hebrew equivalent of ὄχλος (“crowd”), see Comment to L4 above.

On reconstructing πόλις (“city”) with עִיר (“city”), see above, Comment to L2.

On omitting an equivalent to εἶναι (“to be”) in HR, see above, Comment to L8.

Joining in the funeral procession is a well-attested Jewish custom. According to Josephus,

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)[75]

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

Our rabbis taught [in a baraita]: They suspend Torah study in order to bring out the dead. (b. Ket. 17a).[76]

L10 καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὴν ὁ κύριος (Luke 7:13). On καί + participle + aorist (e.g., καί ἰδὼν…ἐσπλαγχνίσθη [“and seeing…he had compassion”]; L10-11) as the translation equivalent of vav-consecutive + vav-consecutive, see Return of the Twelve, Comment to L1.

In LXX ἰδεῖν (idein, “to see”) is the translation of several different Hebrew verbs, but none so often as רָאָה (rā’āh, “see”).[77] Likewise, although רָאָה is rendered with a variety of Greek verbs in LXX, ἰδεῖν is by far its most common translation.[78] Therefore, there can be little doubt as to our reconstruction of ἰδεῖν here in L10.

Luke 7:13 is the first time in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus is referred to as “the Lord” in the voice of the narrator.[79] The question we must consider is whether Luke’s references to Jesus as “the Lord” in the narrator’s voice are redactional (that is, added by the author of Luke) or whether they reflect Luke’s sources.

At first glance it may appear that the author of Luke was responsible for adding references to Jesus as “the Lord” in the voice of the narrator, since many of these references to Jesus as “the Lord” occur in unique Lukan pericopae.[80] Moreover, there are no Lukan-Matthean agreements against Mark to use “the Lord” in the narrator’s voice in Triple Tradition (TT) pericopae, nor are there any Lukan-Matthean agreements in Double Tradition (DT) pericopae to use “the Lord” in the voice of the narrator.[81] Nevertheless, when we examine the DT pericopae wherein Luke uses “the Lord” in the voice of the narrator, we find that the Matthean versions are often in sections that have undergone heavy redaction.[82] In each of these contexts, therefore, Luke’s Gospel is more likely to have preserved the wording of Anth. than the heavily redacted versions in Matthew. This observation also holds true in at least two of the three TT contexts where Luke uses “the Lord” in the voice of the narrator.[83] From these observations we conclude it is likely that the author of Luke found the title ὁ κύριος (“the Lord”) applied to Jesus by the narrator in the pre-synoptic source (i.e., Anth.) from which he copied the Widow’s Son in Nain pericope.[84]

הָאָדוֹן (HR). What could the title הָאָדוֹן (hā’ādōn, “the Lord”) have signified 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.”[85] Nevertheless, we find that numerous persons are referred to as אָדוֹן (’ādōn, “Lord”)[86] or אֲדוֹנִי (’adōni, “my Lord”) in the Hebrew Scriptures.[87] Among the individuals addressed as אֲדוֹנִי in MT are: Abraham,[88] Laban,[89] Esau,[90] Joseph[91] and Moses.[92] 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 certainly continued.[93] In the first place, the title אָדוֹן continued to be applied to biblical figures when retelling biblical narratives.[94] But the Mishnah proves that אָדוֹן was also in 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 [ed. Theodor-Albeck, 2:667-668]). We also find examples of professional persons addressed as אֲדֹנִי: a doctor is addressed as אֲדוֹנִי הָרוֹפֵא (adōni hārōfē’, “my lord, the doctor”; y. Ber. 5:2 [38b]),[95] a priest is addressed as אֲדֹנִי הַכֹּהֵן (adōni hakohēn, “my lord, the priest”; Gen. Rab. 71:4),[96] and a rabbi is addressed as אֲדוֹנִי מוֹרִי (adōni mōri, “my lord, my teacher”; Kallah §21).[97] These examples describe every day interactions and therefore probably reflect colloquial speech. 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.[98] Moreover, anyone addressed in the second person as אֲדוֹנִי would naturally be referred to as הָאָדוֹן in the third person.[99]

Indeed, there are examples of הָאָדוֹן used in a generic sense for “a slave’s master” in rabbinic literature,[100] 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.[101]

As we have seen, in MT, DSS and rabbinic literature אָדוֹן is the title used by a servant for his master.[102] This usage is particularly well suited for the master-disciple relationship.[103] Addressing Jesus as אֲדוֹנִי or referring to him in the third person as הָאָדוֹן may have distinguished Jesus and his disciples from the Pharisees and proto-rabbinic sages and their followers, but no first-century speaker of Hebrew would have been confused by its use. The common association of “Lord” with “King” in Scripture, which is also attested in rabbinic literature (t. Sanh. 4:4; Gen. Rab. 61:7), might support the hypothesis that Jesus adopted the title because of its subtle messianic connotation.[104]

L11 ἐσπλαγχνίσθη ἐπ᾿ αὐτῇ (Luke 7:13). 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.”[105] In other words, Marshall has detected what Lindsey referred to as a “Markan pick-up.” Lindsey argued that it was often the author of Mark’s practice to select certain words he found in Luke for use as dramatic synonyms, but the author of Mark would avoid copying such words in the places Luke used them.[106] With respect to σπλαγχνίζεσθαι (splanchnizesthai, “to feel compassion”), 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]).[107] The absence of σπλαγχνίζεσθαι in 2 Acts confirms that the word is not Lukan, but was copied from his sources.[108]

Mark observed Luke’s use of σπλαγχνίζεσθαι in the portions of Luke that he omitted, and used this verb 4xx in dramatic elaborations of Lukan pericopae (Mark 1:41 [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 [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).

וַיְרַחֵם עָלֶיהָ (HR). 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.),[109] 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.[110] Therefore, despite the lack of LXX corroboration, we think רִחַם (riḥam, “show compassion”) is the best option for HR.

Since the verb רִחַם takes the preposition עַל (‘al, “upon”), this is the preposition we have used in HR as the equivalent of ἐπί (epi, “upon”). In any case, in LXX ἐπί typically represents עַל.[111]

L12 וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ אַל תִּבְכִּי (HR). In LXX the vast majority of instances of εἰπεῖν (eipein “to say”) occur as the translation of אָמַר (’āmar, “say”).[112] Likewise, the LXX translators usually rendered אָמַר either as or εἰπεῖν or λέγειν (legein, “to say”).[113] Consequently, אָמַר is the obvious choice for HR.

The verb κλαίειν (klaiein, “to weep”) usually occurs in LXX as the translation of בָּכָה (bāchāh, “weep”).[114] We also find that the LXX translators rendered most instances of בָּכָה as κλαίειν.[115] Note in 1 Sam. 1:8 a linguistic parallel to our Hebrew reconstruction: לָמֶה תִבְכִּי (“why are you crying?”).

L13 וַיִּקְרַב וַיִּגַּע בַּמִּטָּה (HR). In L5 we reconstructed ἐγγίζειν with נָגַשׁ (“approach,” “come near”). Since a different Greek verb for “approach,” προσέρχεσθαι (proserchesthai) is used here in L13, it seems appropriate to select a verb other than נָגַשׁ for HR. In LXX προσέρχεσθαι occurs as the translation of קָרַב (qārav, “approach”) more than any other Hebrew verb,[116] and we also find that קָרַב was translated more often as προσέρχεσθαι than any other verb, although ἐγγίζειν (“to approach”) is a close second.[117] These facts make קָרַב a good candidate for HR. Further support for קָרַב is found in the verbal parallel to our reconstruction in the following verse:

וַתִּקְרַב אֶסְתֵּר וַתִּגַּע בְּרֹאשׁ הַשַּׁרְבִיט

And Esther approached and she touched the top of the scepter. (Esth. 5:2)

The verse from Esther has the same combination of קָרַב and נָגַע as in our reconstruction.

The verb נָגַע (nāga‘, “touch”) is rendered ἅπτεσθαι (haptesthai, “to touch”) more than any other Greek verb.[118] And most instances of ἅπτεσθαι in LXX are the translation of נָגַע.‎[119] Thus, there can be little doubt regarding our selection of נָגַע for HR.

Touching the bier on which the corpse lay would render the person who touched it ritually impure for seven days.[120] Some commentators suggest that Jesus ignored or transgressed the biblical laws of ritual purity when he touched the bier of the widow’s son.[121] 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.[122] 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.[123]

Biblical commentators regularly fail to understand that the Torah does not forbid people from becoming ritually impure. Becoming ritually impure was an inevitable eventuality of daily life. 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 cases in which a person might intentionally and legitimately 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).[124] 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?[125]

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?[126] 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.[127]

Regarding the reconstruction of σορός (soros), we note that when rabbinic sources describe funeral processions the term for the bier is מִטָּה (miṭāh)[128] and the bearers of the bier are referred to as נוֹשְׂאֵי הַמִּטָּה (nōs’ē hamiṭāh).[129] Although σορός usually means “coffin,”[130] in Luke 7:14 σορός clearly refers to a bier on which the body is carried to the tomb rather than the receptacle in which the body was laid to rest.[131] Fitzmyer noted, however, that in post-NT sources σορός came to be used for “bier.” It appears, therefore, that Luke 7:14 is an early attestation of this later uses of σορός[132]

L14 οἱ δὲ βαστάζοντες 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.”[133] Compare the use of ἑστάναι in Luke 7:14 with that in Luke 8:44; 18:40 and Acts 8:38.

וַיַּעַמְדוּ הַנּוֹשְׂאִים (HR). In LXX the verb ἑστάναι (hestanai, “to stand”) occurs as the translation of עָמַד (‘āmad, “stand”) more often than any other verb, although it is not uncommon for ἑστάναι to occur as the translation of קָם (qām, “stand,” “rise”).[134] Likewise, although the LXX translators rendered עָמַד with a great variety of verbs, they translated עָמַד as ἑστάναι far more often than any other verb.[135]

For עָמַד in the sense of “stop” or “halt” compare the following examples:

הִמָּלֵט עַל־נַפְשֶׁךָ אַל תַּבִּיט אַחֲרֶיךָ וְאַל תַּעֲמֹד בְּכָל הַכִּכָּר

Flee for your life! Do not look behind you! Do not stop [תַּעֲמֹד] anywhere in the valley! (Gen. 19:17)

σῴζων σῷζε τὴν σεαυτοῦ ψυχήν· μὴ περιβλέψῃς εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω μηδὲ στῇς ἐν πάσῃ τῇ περιχώρῳ

Save you own life! Do not look around behind. Neither stop [στῇς] anywhere in the surrounding region. (Gen. 19:17)

וַתַּעֲמֹד מִלֶּדֶת

καὶ ἔστη τοῦ τίκτειν

And she [i.e., Leah—DNB and JNT] stopped bearing [children] (Gen. 29:35; cf. Gen. 30:9)

וַתַּעֲמֹד שָׁם

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)

On reconstructing βαστάζειν (bastazein, “carry,” “bear”) with נָשָׂא (nāsā’, “lift,” “carry”), see Sending the Twelve: Conduct on the Road, Comment to L63.

L15 καὶ εἶπεν 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 σοὶ/ὑμῖν λέγω (“to you I say”) is relatively rare in the Synoptic Gospels, but is more common in Luke than in Matthew or Mark.[136] The more usual order is λέγω σοί/ὑμῖν, which is what we have adopted for GR.

וַיֹּאמֶר נַעַרִי אֲנִי אוֹמֵר לְךָ קוּם (HR). In LXX νεανίσκος (neaniskos, “youth,” “young man”) is usually the translation of either בָּחוּר (bāḥūr, “young man”) or נַעַר (na‘ar, “youth,” “servant”).[137] Likewise, we find that נַעַר was frequently rendered νεανίσκος in LXX, although παιδάριον and παιδίον, both meaning “child” or “servant,” were even more common translations of נַעַר, and παῖς (pais, “child,” “servant”) was not far behind νεανίσκος.[138]

In LXX the vast majority of instances of λέγειν (legein, “to say”) occur as the translation of אָמַר (’āmar, “say”).[139] Likewise, the LXX translators usually rendered אָמַר either as λέγειν or εἰπεῖν (eipein “to say”).[140] Consequently, אָמַר is the obvious choice for HR.

The most common Hebrew verb behind ἐγείρειν (egeirein, “to arise”) in LXX is קָם (qām, “arise”).[141]

L16 καὶ ἐκάθισεν ὁ νεκρὸς (GR). The corpse 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.[142]

וַיֵּשֶׁב הַמֵּת (HR). In LXX καθίζειν (kathizein, “to sit”) occurs as the translation of יָשַׁב (yāshav, “sit”) far more often than any other Hebrew verb,[143] and while יָשַׁב is rendered with a variety of Greek verbs in LXX, καθίζειν is among the most common.[144] Thus, there can be little doubt regarding the reconstruction of καθίζειν with יָשַׁב. Similarly, the reconstruction of νεκρός (nekros, “dead,” substantive: “corpse”) with מֵת (mēt) is solid. In LXX there are only a few exceptions where νεκρός is the translation of something other than the qal participle of מ-ו-ת,‎[145] which when used adjectivally means “dead,” and when used as a substantive means “corpse.”

L17 וַיָּחֶל לְדַבֵּר (HR). In LXX the verb ἄρχειν (archein, “to begin”) frequently occurs as the translation of הֵחֵל (hēḥēl, “begin”).[146] We also find that the LXX translators rendered הֵחֵל more often with ἄρχειν than any other Greek verb.[147]

Dalman’s reference to the combination of ἄρχειν + infinitive as “altogether foreign to the Old Testament,”[148] is puzzling, given the numerous instances in MT where הֵחֵל + infinitive is translated in LXX with ἄρχειν + infinitive.[149] In MH הִתְחִיל (hitḥil, “begin”) came to be used much more frequently than הֵחֵל (see Tower Builder and King Going to War, Comment to L8); however, here we are in a narrative context, where we generally prefer to reconstruct in a BH style.[150]

There can be little doubt in our reconstruction of λαλεῖν (lalein, “to speak”) with דִּבֵּר (dibēr, “speak”). In LXX the vast majority of the instances of the verb λαλεῖν occur as the translation of דִּבֵּר (dibēr, “speak”).[151] Likewise, the LXX translators rendered דִּבֵּר far more frequently with λαλεῖν than with any other alternative.[152]

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). Our Hebrew reconstruction is identical to the wording in 1 Kgs. 17:23. In LXX διδόναι (didonai, “to give”) occurs as the translation of several different Hebrew verbs, but the vast majority of instances occur as the equivalent of נָתַן (nātan, “give”).[153] Likewise, the LXX translators rendered נָתַן with various Greek verbs, but διδόναι was far and away its most common translation.[154] On reconstructing μήτηρ with אֵם, see above, Comment to L7.

L19 ἔλαβεν δὲ φόβος πάντας (Luke 7:16). The combination λαμβάνειν + φόβος appears to be a Greek idiom.[155] 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 כֻּלָּם (HR). In Hebrew “fear” (אֵימָה, יִרְאָה ,פַּחַד) is said to “fall” upon a person,[156] but nowhere in MT do we find פַּחַד, יִרְאָה‎ or אֵימָה in combination with the roots א-ח-ז (“seize”) or ל-ק-ח (“take”), which might be expected as equivalent to λαμβάνειν (lambanein, “to take”). We have therefore reconstructed Luke’s λαμβάνειν with נָפַל (nāfal, “fall”).

In LXX the noun φόβος (fobos, “fear”) appears nearly 200xx, where it translates with the highest frequency יִרְאָה‎ (yir’āh, “fear”) and פַּחַד‎ (paḥad, “fear”) about equally often, and אֵימָה‎ (’ēmāh, “fear”) somewhat less frequently.[157] For each of these Hebrew words φόβος is its most common LXX equivalent.[158] We have adopted פַּחַד‎ for HR for two reasons: First פַּחַד‎ appears to have been more common than אֵימָה‎ in Mishnaic Hebrew,[159] and might, therefore, have been more likely to spring to the mind of the author of the Hebrew Life of Yeshua. Second פַּחַד‎ was commonly said to “fall” on people while instances of יִרְאָה‎ + נָפַל are rare (the only instance we have found is cited below).

When πᾶς (pas, “all,” “every”) occurs as the translation of a Hebrew word in LXX, that word is nearly always כָּל (kol, “all,” “every”).[160] This fact, in combination with the fact that the vast majority of instances of כָּל in MT were rendered with πᾶς in LXX,[161] supports our reconstruction of πᾶς in Luke 7:16 with כָּל.

Compare our reconstruction in L19 to the following rabbinic retelling of the story of the binding of Isaac:

ויאמר יצחק אל אברהם אביו ויאמר אבי ויאמר הנני בני ויאמר הנה האש והעצים ואיה השה לעולה, באותה שעה נפל פחד ויראה גדולה על יצחק שלא ראה בידו כלום להתקרב והרגיש בדבר במה שעתיד להיות בקש לומר איה השה לעולה,

And Isaac said to Abraham his father and he said, “My father?” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Here is the fire and the wood, but were is the lamb for the offering?” [Gen. 22:7]. In that hour dread and great fear fell [נָפַל פַּחַד וְיִרְאָה גְדוֹלָה] upon Isaac, for he did not see in his [father’s—DNB and JNT] hand anything to offer, and he sensed what was about to be. He sought to say, “Where is the lamb for the offering?” (Midrash Tanhuma, Vayera’ §23 [Warsaw, 30a])

L20 וַיְכַבְּדוּ אֶת שָׁמַיִם (HR). The verb δοξἀζειν (doxazein, “to glorify,” “to honor”) occurs in LXX as the translation of כִּבֵּד (kibēd, “honor”) numerous times.[162] Compare our reconstruction to the following exhortation in Proverbs:

כַּבֵּד אֶת יי מֵהוֹנֶךָ

Honor the LORD with your wealth. (Prov. 3:9)

We have opted to reconstruct θεός (theos, “God”) with שָׁמַיִם (shāmayim, “Heaven”) on the supposition that the Greek translator of the Hebrew Life of Yeshua frequently translated שָׁמַיִם as θεός when it was clear to him that former was a substitute for the divine name.

L21 λέγοντες (GR). Luke’s conjunction ὅτι (hoti, “that,” “because”) in L21 and L23 is recitative, in other words, it introduces direct discourse.[163] Since Hebrew has no need for an equivalent to ὅτι (e.g., כִּי or -שֶׁ) to introduce speech,[164] we suspect that ὅτι in L21 and L23 was added at the Greek stage of transmission, probably by the author of Luke himself. This suspicion is confirmed by the rarity of λέγων/λέγοντες ὅτι in LXX and the general lack of agreement among the synoptic evangelists to write λέγων/λέγοντες ὅτι.[165] For these reasons we have omitted ὅτι from GR in L21 and L23.

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.[166]

L22 προφήτης μέγας ἠγέρθη ἐν ἡμῖν (Luke 7:16). Notice Luke’s Hebraic word order, with the placement of the adjective (“big”) after the noun (“prophet”).[167]

נָבִיא גָּדוֹל קָם בְּקִרְבֵּנוּ (HR). In LXX the noun προφήτης (profētēs, “prophet”) sometimes translates חֹזֶה (ḥōzeh, “visionary”) or רֹאֶה (ro’eh, “seer”), but in most cases it is the translation of נָבִיא (nāvi’, “prophet”).[168] Likewise נָבִיא was almost always translated as προφήτης in LXX.[169] So too we find that in LXX most instances of the adjective μέγας (megas, “big”) occur as the translation of גָּדוֹל (gādōl, “big”),[170] and the LXX translators rendered most instances of גָּדוֹל as μέγας.[171] Therefore there can be little doubt regarding our choice of נָבִיא גָּדוֹל for HR.

The expression ἠγέρθη ἐν ἡμῖν (“was raised in us”) looks like a literal rendition of a Hebrew idiom meaning “has appeared to us.” To express the same idea in first-century 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.[172] On reconstructing ἐγείρειν as קָם, see above, Comment to L15.

Initially we considered reconstructing ἐν ἡμῖν (en hēmin, “in us”) as בְּתוֹכֵנוּ (betōchēnū, “inside us,” “among us”) since in MH the construction בְּתוֹךְ + pronominal suffix is quite common, whereas בְּקֶרֶב + pronominal suffix occurs only once in the Mishnah (m. Shab. 9:4). Despite our usual preference for reconstructing direct speech in a Mishnaic style of Hebrew, however, we have adopted בְּקִרְבֵּנוּ (beqirbēnu, “in our midst”) for HR because we believe that it is likely that the people’s exclamation echoed the words of Moses in Deuteronomy:[173]

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you [מִקִּרְבְּךָ], from your brethren—him you shall heed…. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among [מִקֶּרֶב] 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.[174] As articulated by the Sages:

משמתו נביאים הראשונים חגי זכריה ומלאכי פסקה רוח הקודש מישראל

Since the early prophets[175] 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.[176]

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).[177] 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.[178] Although 1 Macc. 14:41 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).[179]

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)[180]

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.[181]

Flusser identified yet another reference to the eschatological prophet in the Oracles of Hystaspes as preserved in Lactantius’ Divinae Institutiones:[182]

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)[183]

As Notley noted, an allusion to Deut. 18:19 (“But the man who will not listen to my words, which he [i.e., the prophet] will speak in my name…”) is probably intended by the words, “Whenever men shall not hear him….” in Hystaspes’ description of the “great prophet.”[184] The identification of the eschatological prophet in Hystaspes as the prophet like Moses is also supported by the prophet’s miraculous transformation of water into blood, since in Scripture only Moses is said to have performed this miraculous feat (Exod. 7:14ff).[185] The identification of Hystaspes’ eschatological prophet as the prophet like Moses is particularly significant for our understanding of the Widow’s Son in Nain story, since magnus propheta is an exact parallel to προφήτης μέγας in Luke 7:16.

In Hystaspes’ description of the eschatological prophet we find a blending of Mosaic and Elijianic motifs: withholding rain and consuming one’s enemies with fire are attributed to the prophet Elijah (cf. 1 Kgs. 17:1 [rain]; 2 Kgs. 1:10-14 [fire]).[186] Also like Elijah, the great prophet in Hystaspes will turn people’s hearts back to God (cf. Mal. 3:24 [ET 4:6]). It is possible that some ancient Jewish interpreters regarded Elijah as the eschatological prophet like Moses,[187] but since in the description of Mal. 3:1-4 the Elijah figure performs a distinctly priestly function it is likely that Elijah’s role was originally conceived as that of a priestly messiah rather than eschatological prophet.[188]

In any case, in the Widow’s Son in Nain story we find a similar blending of Mosaic and Elijianic motifs to that which we encounter in Hystaspes. Whereas in Luke 7:15 we find echoes of Elijah narratives (see above, Comment to L18), in the people’s response (Luke 7:16) we encounter echoes of the expectation of an eschatological prophet like Moses.[189] The presence of both Elijianic and Mosaic motifs in the Widow’s Son in Nain story should be recognized and each ought to be given equal weight.[190] The interplay of these two eschatological themes in the Widow’s Son in Nain story strongly suggests that the implicit message of this story is that Jesus’ raising of the dead caused the people of Nain to recognize that the messianic age of redemption had suddenly dawned upon them.[191]

Finally, note that Luke’s allusion to Deut. 18:15ff. does not rely on the LXX version of these verses: Luke employs a different verb (ἠγέρθη) than LXX (ἀναστῆναι). We have also noted that Luke displays Hebrew word order (προφήτης μέγας, “prophet big”; and ἐν ἡμῖν, “in you [plur.]”). It is unlikely that a non-Jewish writer such as the author of Luke could have looked at LXX and produced a Greek text that is simultaneously more Hebraic than LXX, and that betrays intimate knowledge of ancient Jewish eschatological expectations. A better explanation of these Hebraic and Jewish features is that the author of Luke relied on a source that ultimately depended on a Hebrew text.

L23 וּפָקַד שָׁמַיִם אֶת עַמּוֹ (HR). In LXX the verb ἐπισκέπτειν (episkeptein) usually translates the Hebrew verb פָּקַד (paqad).[192] Likewise, although the LXX translators rendered פָּקַד in a great variety of ways, ἐπισκέπτειν was its most common translation.[193] According to Beyer, in normal Greek usage ἐπισκέπτειν generally means “to look upon,” “to consider,” or “to have regard for something or someone.” The verb can also mean “to examine,” “to reflect upon,” or “to submit to investigation.” When applied to Greek deities, ἐπισκέπτειν means “to care for” or “to watch over” in a general sense, but does not imply any specific act of divine intervention.[194] When the LXX translators applied the verb ἐπισκέπτειν to God’s activity, however, it usually did refer to direct divine intervention, either as punishment (e.g., Exod. 32:34; Ps. 58[59]:6; Zech. 10:3) or deliverance (e.g., Gen. 21:1; 50:24; Exod. 4:31; Ruth 1:6).[195]

In DSS פָּקַד, 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.[196] 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.[197] If Bivin’s suggestion is correct, then both exclamations have the same thrust: that God has inaugurated the messianic era of redemption.

On reconstructing θεός with שָׁמַיִם, see above, Comment to L20. Our reconstruction presupposes that neither Jesus nor his contemporaries would have uttered the divine name in ordinary speech.

In LXX the noun λαός (laos, “people”) usually occurs as the translation of עַם (‘am, “people”),[198] and the LXX translators typically rendered עַם as λαός.[199] Schwartz noted that ancient Jewish writers typically used the noun λαός in the singular to denote Israel, while they used the plural noun ἔθνη (ethnē, “peoples”) to refer to non-Jewish peoples.[200] This distinction more or less corresponded to the use of גּוֹי (gōy, “Gentile”) for non-Jewish peoples and the tendency to reserve עַם for the people of Israel. The use of λαός in Widow’s Son in Nain represents insider language, indicative of a Jewish perspective.

L24 וַיֵּצֵא הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה (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.

In the vast majority of instances in LXX the noun λόγος (logos, “word,” “reason”) occurs as the translation of דָּבָר (dāvār, “word,” “thing”).[201] No Greek word was used to translate דָּבָר more often than λόγος.[202]

Examples of יָצָא דָבָר (yātzā’ dāvar, “a word went out”) occur in Gen. 24:50; Esth. 1:17, 19; Dan. 9:23.

L25 ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ (GR). Many scholars have dismissed Luke’s geographical notice as a “lack of familiarity with Palestinian realities,”[203] on the assumption that the raising of the widow’s son occurred in the Galilee.[204] 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).

From GR we have omitted the phrase περὶ αὐτοῦ (peri avtou, “concerning him”), which is out of Hebrew word order and could have been supplied by the author of Luke in order to focus readers’ attention on Jesus.

בְּכָל יְהוּדָה (HR). Luke’s phrase ἐξῆλθεν…ἐν (exēlthen en; L24-25) is a Hebraism, reflecting the construction -יָצָא בְּ (yātzā’ be).[205]

The LXX translators usually rendered כָּל (kol, “all”) as πᾶς (pas, “all”), but ὅλος (holos, “all”) is its second most common translation.[206] In LXX the adjective ὅλος almost always represents כָּל.‎[207]

The toponym Ἰουδαία (Ioudaia, “Judea”) occurs already in LXX as the equivalent of יְהוּדָה (yehūdāh, “Judah”).[208] Note the linguistic parallel to our reconstruction in Jer. 7:2: שִׁמְעוּ דְבַר יי כָּל יְהוּדָה (“Hear the word of the Lord, all Judah”). LXX rendered כָּל יְהוּדָה in Jer. 7:2 as πᾶσα ἡ Ιουδαία.

L26 καὶ πάσῃ τῇ περιχώρῳ (Luke 7:17). We have omitted the final phrase of Luke’s version of the pericope from GR because the noun περίχωρος (perichōros, “surrounding region”) is somewhat difficult to revert to Hebrew in the present context,[209] and because the author of Luke seems to have had a tendency to add this noun when editing his sources.[210] It may be that the author of Luke added the phrase “and all the surrounding region” because he sensed that the reference to Judea was out of place, being under the impression that Nain was located in the Galilee.

Redaction Analysis[211]

Widow’s Son in Nain
Luke Anthology
126 Total
to Anth.:
109 Total
Taken Over
in Luke:
to Anth.:
86.51 % of Anth.
in Luke:
Click here for details.

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. While the author of Luke did make several changes to the wording of his source these were mostly stylistic or explanatory in nature and hardly effected the basic meaning of the pericope. The biggest change the author of Luke made to his source (Anth.) was to add a reference to Jesus’ disciples in L3. This had to do with the chronological placement of the pericope in Luke’s Gospel, for he included the story at a point in his Gospel when Jesus had already begun to gather disciples. The author of Luke’s addition of “and in all the surrounding territory” in L26 has to do with the geographical context of his Gospel, for he included this story in a section describing Jesus’ activities in the Galilee. Evidently he was unaware that “in all Judea” was a signal that the Nain referred to in this story was the Judaen Nain. In Anth. this story was probably found in a collection of narratives that mostly took place in the Galilee, so the author of Luke naturally assumed that this story had taken place in the Galilee, too. But the reference to Judea in a story that ostensibly took place in the Galilee sounded strange to the author of Luke, so he added “and in all the surrounding territory” to clear up the confusion.

His 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[212] 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.[213] 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:

  1. Setting of the story is outside the city.
  2. Miracle worker meets a funeral procession.
  3. Emphasis on the importance of the deceased to the bereaved.
  4. 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).
  5. Stopping the procession and setting down the bier are given dramatic prominence.
  6. The miracle worker addresses the deceased.
  7. Restoration of the deceased to the family is portrayed.[214]

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.[215]

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).

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?[216] 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]).[217]

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 are 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 Elijianic and Mosaic motifs in the Widow’s Son in Nain story are meant to convey that the messianic era of redemption had finally dawned upon Israel.


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.


Wilhelm Kotarbiński, Resurrection of the Son of the Widow of Nain, oil on canvas (1879). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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  • [1] For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.’
  • [2] 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.
  • [3] 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).
  • [4] 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.”
  • [5] 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, “Critical Notes on the VTS” (JS1, 259-317), esp. 268-273 (Critical Note 5).
  • [6] See Metzger, 142.
  • [7] 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.
  • [8] In the writings of Philo, for example, ἑξῆς appears 121xx; and in the writings of Josephus, 43xx.
  • [9] 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.
  • [10] See LHNS, 64 §80.
  • [11] The phrase אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה appears 9xx in MT 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.
  • [12] See Hatch-Redpath, 1:256-267 (γίγνεσθαι).
  • [13] See Dos Santos, 48.
  • [14] In Genesis (LXX) μετά + accusative occurs in Gen. 4:3; 5:4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 26, 30; 6:4; 7:10; 8:3, 6; 9:9, 28; 10:1, 18, 32; 11:10, 11, 13 (2xx), 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25; 13:14; 14:17; 15:1, 14; 16:3; 17:7 (2xx), 8, 9, 10, 19; 18:5, 19; 22:1, 6, 20, 23:19; 24:36, 55; 25:11, 26; 26:18; 27:1, 30; 28:4; 30:21; 32:21; 33:7; 35:12; 38:24, 30; 39:5, 7; 40:1; 41:1, 3, 6, 30, 31; 45:15; 48:1, 4, 6. In Gen 5:4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 26, 30; 6:4; 9:9, 28; 10:1, 18, 32; 11:10, 11, 13 (1st instance), 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25; 13:14; 14:17; 15:1, 14; 17:7 (2xx), 8, 9, 10, 19; 18:5, 19; 22:1, 20, 23:19; 24:36, 55; 25:11, 26; 26:18; 30:21; 32:21; 33:7; 35:12; 38:30; 39:7; 40:1; 41:6, 30, 31; 45:15; 48:1, 4, 6 μετά + accusative occurs as the translation of אַחַר.
  • [15] In Genesis אַחַר occurs in Gen. 5:4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 26, 30; 6:4; 9:9, 28; 10:1, 18, 32; 11:10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25; 13:14; 14:7; 15:1, 14; 16:13; 17:7 (2xx), 8, 9, 10, 19; 18:5, 10, 12, 19; 19:6, 17, 26; 22:1, 13, 20; 23:19; 24:5, 8, 36, 39, 55, 61, 67; 25:11, 26; 26:18; 30:21; 31:23, 36; 32:19, 20, 21 (2xx); 33:7; 35:5, 12; 37:17; 38:30; 39:7; 40:1; 41:3, 6, 19, 23, 27, 30, 31, 39; 44:4; 45:15, 30; 46:30; 48:1, 4, 6; 50:14. The LXX translators rendered אַחַר as μετά + accusative in Gen 5:4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 26, 30; 6:4; 9:9, 28; 10:1, 18, 32; 11:10, 11, 13 (1st instance), 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25; 13:14; 14:17; 15:1, 14; 17:7 (2xx), 8, 9, 10, 19; 18:5, 19; 22:1, 20, 23:19; 24:36, 55; 25:11, 26; 26:18; 30:21; 32:21; 33:7; 35:12; 38:30; 39:7; 40:1; 41:6, 30, 31; 45:15; 48:1, 4, 6.
  • [16] Participial forms of καλεῖν (καλούμενος, etc.) in naming formulae are found in Josh. 5:3 (no Hebrew equivalent); 1 Macc. 2:3, 4, 5; 3:1; 11:7; 12:31, 37; 16:15; 2 Macc. 10:12; and in a Greek addition to Job 42:17.
  • [17] See Choosing the Twelve, Comment to L39.
  • [18] See Call of Levi, Comment to L11. Less frequently in LXX the formula ᾧ/ᾗ ὄνομα + personal name serves as the translation of -שֵׁם + וְ + pronominal suffix (cf. Gen. 16:1; 22:24; 24:29; 25:1; 38:1, 2, 6; Josh. 2:1).
  • [19] See Hatch-Redpath, 1:1189-1194.
  • [20] See Dos Santos, 48-49.
  • [21] See Dos Santos, 154.
  • [22] 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.”
  • [23] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:1174-1180.
  • [24] It is likely that Josephus’ inconsistent use of πόλις in his writings is at least partly due to Hebrew interference. See Zeev Safrai, “The Description of the Land of Israel in Josephus’ Works,” in Josephus, the Bible and History (ed. Louis H. Feldman and Gohei Hata; Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989), 295-324, esp.320.
  • [25] 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.
  • [26] 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. See LHNS, 64 §80.
  • [27] A variant in some mss. of J.W. reads Ἀΐν (Ain).
  • [28] “Ein Fara” and “Pheretae” might reflect the Hebrew name פְּרָת (Perāt), possibly the Perath of Jeremiah 13:4-7.
  • [29] 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.
  • [30] 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.
  • [31] Pace Plummer (Luke, 198) and Marshall (284), who identified the Nain mentioned by Josephus as a village east of the Jordan. According to Vermes (Authentic, 32 n. 16), “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.”
  • [32] See David N. Bivin, “Jesus in Judea.”
  • [33] Cf. Edwin A. Abbot, The Fourfold Gospel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1914), 2:211.
  • [34] 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.’”
  • [35] For instance, we find the name שַׁלּוּם spelled שַׁלּוּן in 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).
  • [36] The Map of the Conjectured Hebrew Life of Yeshua shows the pericopae Lindsey assigned to the Judean
  • [37] See Bundy, 198.
  • [38] On the reference to the disciples in Luke 10:23, see Blessedness of the Twelve, Comment to L1.
  • [39] Examples of אֻכְלוּס are found in: t. Ber. 6:2 (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.
  • [40] See Lindsey, JRL, 61.
  • [41] See Healing Shimon’s Mother-in-Law, Comment to L5.
  • [42] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:1305-1306.
  • [43] See Segal, 131 §300.
  • [44] See Hatch-Redpath, 1:362-363.
  • [45] Note that the root נ-ג-שׁ in the qal and the nif‘al stems has the same meaning. Although imperfect qal forms of נ-ג-שׁ occur, perfect forms of נ-ג-שׁ occur in the nif‘al stem.
  • [46] Cf. Beare, Earliest, 99 §80.
  • [47] The fortification of Judean Nain, which Josephus described, took place under the direction ofSimon the son of Gioras. 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 barriers, 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.
  • [48] See LSJ, 1553-1554.
  • [49] The eight instances where פֶּתַח is rendered πύλη are: Gen. 38:14; Num. 3:26; Ps. 23[24]:7, 9; Prov. 1:21 (פִתְחֵי שְׁעָרִים); Jer. 50[43]:9; Ezek. 40:13 (2xx).
  • [50] 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.
  • [51] 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[6] to Gen. 35:6); Pirkei de Rabbi Eliezer chpt. 32.
  • [52] 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.
  • [53] See Dos Santos, 49-50.
  • [54] See Hatch-Redpath, 1:673-678.
  • [55] See Fitzmyer, 1:658. The verb ἐκκομίζειν appears, for example, 7xx in Philo and 7xx in Josephus. 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….

    Another option in Greek for “carry out” a corpse is ἐκφέρειν. 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.”

  • [56] Cf., e.g., 11QTa [11Q19] XLIX, 11-12; m. Shab. 10:5; b. Ket. 17a.
  • [57] Exceptions include royal dignitaries and the tombs of prophets located within the walls of Jerusalem (cf. t. Bab. Bat. 1:7[11]). 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 [2014]: 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.)
  • [58] 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.
  • [59] 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.
  • [60] See F. Büchsel, “μονογενής,” TDNT 4:737-741, esp. 738.
  • [61] In LXX μονογενής is the translation of יָחִיד in Judg. 11:34; Ps. 22:21; 25:16; 35:17.
  • [62] See Jastrow, 574.
  • [63] See Jastrow, 744.
  • [64] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:924-925.
  • [65] See Dos Santos, 12.
  • [66] The LXX translators supplied εἶναι in Gen. 1:7, 29 (1st instance); 2:5, 11, 12; 3:3, 6, 9; 4:9 (2xx), 22; 6:4 (2nd instance), 17 (2xx); 7:15, 19, 22, 23; 8:1, 9, 17; 9:12, 15 (1st instance) 16 (2nd instance), 17, 19; 11:4. The verb εἶναι occurs as the translation of הָיָה in Gen. 1:2, 6, 14, 15, 29 (2nd instance); 2:18, 24, 25; 3:1, 5; 4:2, 8, 10, 14 (2xx), 17, 20, 21; 5:32; 6:3 (2nd instance), 4 (1st instance), 9, 19, 21; 9:2, 3 (2nd instance), 11, 13, 14, 15 (2nd instance), 16 (1st instance), 18 (1st instance), 25, 26, 10:8, 9; 11:1, 3, 30. In Gen. 3:7, 10, 11, 19, 6:2, 3 (1st instance); 9:3 (1st instance), 18 (2nd instance) εἶναι occurs as the equivalent of a Hebrew pronoun. In Gen. 6:12 εἶναι occurs as the equivalent of הִנֵּה (hinēh, “behold”) and in Gen. 7:6 εἶναι occurs as the equivalent of בֵּן (bēn, “son”) in the Hebrew idiom for stating a person’s age.
  • [67] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:1468. 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”). The noun אַלְמָנָה appears 55xx in MT, 11xx in DSS and 53xx in the Mishnah.
  • [68] See Dos Santos, 11.
  • [69] See J. Gordon Harris, “Old Age,” in ABD, 5:10-12.
  • [70] 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]).
  • [71] 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.
  • [72] See Hatch-Redpath, 1:683-684.
  • [73] See Moulton-Geden, 485.
  • [74] Cf. Cadbury, Style, 196; Buth and Kvasnica, “Critical Notes on the VTS,” 280 (Critical Note 10). The following table shows all the instances in Luke where ἱκανός is used as an adjective of quantity and the parallels in Matthew and Mark (if any):

    Luke 7:12 U

    Luke 8:27 TT (cf. Matt. 8:28; Mark 5:2)

    Luke 8:32 TT (cf. Matt. 8:30; Mark 5:11)

    Luke 20:9 TT (cf. Matt. 21:33; Mark 12:1)

    Luke 23:8 U

    Luke 23:9 U

    Key: TT = pericope has parallels in all three Synoptic Gospels; U = verse unique to a particular Gospel

  • [75] 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).
  • [76] See Safrai-Stern, 2:778.
  • [77] See Hatch-Redpath, 1:669-673.
  • [78] See Dos Santos, 188.
  • [79] See Fitzmyer, 1:659. Fitzmyer (1:202-203) also noted, “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.
  • [80] 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 (Daughter of Abraham); 18:6 (Persistent Widow); 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 TT pericope, however, Luke 22:61a is unique to Luke.
  • [81] The DT pericopae where Luke uses “the Lord” in the narrator’s voice are Yohanan the Immerser’s Question (Luke 7:19; cf. Matt. 11:3); Yeshua’s Critique of the Pharisees (Luke 11:39; cf. Matt. 23:1-36); “Be Ready for the Son of Man’s Coming” (Luke 12:42; cf. Matt. 24:45).
  • [82] 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. 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.

    In the Matthean version of Yeshua’s Critique of the Pharisees, we also find evidence of Matthew’s redactional activity: the author of Matthew inserted the abusive term “brood of vipers” (Matt. 23:33), which he took from the preaching of John the Baptist (Matt. 3:7 // Luke 3:7), and he 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.” On the transfer of John the Baptist’s words to Jesus and Jesus’ words to John the Baptist in the Gospel of Matthew, see John P. Meier, “John the Baptist in Matthew’s Gospel,” Journal of Biblical Literature 99.3 (1980): 383-405, esp. 388-390. Cf. David Flusser, “Two Anti-Jewish Montages in Matthew,” (Flusser, JOC, 552-560, esp. 553). On the author of Matthew’s tendentious desire to implicate the Pharisees, see Flusser, Jesus, 244.

    Likewise, in Yohanan the Immerser’s Question it appears that the author of Matthew radically abbreviated the pericope at the point where the narrator’s reference to Jesus as “the Lord” appears in the Lukan parallel (see Yohanan the Immerser’s Question, Comment to L1-13).

  • [83] The TT pericopae where “the Lord” appears in the voice of the narrator are: Sending the Twelve: Commissioning (Luke 10:1; cf. 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).

    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.

  • [84] Pace Werner Foerster, “κύριος,” TDNT 3:1039-1095, esp. 1094. Young and Flusser concluded that, “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.” See Brad Young and David Flusser, “Messianic Blesings in Jewish and Christian Tests,” (Flusser, JOC, 280-300, esp. 290 n. 24). 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.

    Young and Flusser also noted that Lindsey pointed out that in Luke’s Gospel only Jesus’ disciples or individuals who came to seek Jesus’ help address him as “Lord” (see Young and Flusser, “Messianic Blesings in Jewish and Christian Tests,” 290, 300) while Flusser added that in Luke only outsiders (i.e., non-disciples) refer to Jesus as “Rabbi” (see Flusser, Jesus, 32. Cf. Dalman, 327; Günther Bornkamm, “End-expectation and Church in Matthew,” in Tradition and Interpretation in Matthew [ed. Günther Bornkamm, Gerhard Barth and Heinz Joachim Held; trans. Percy Scott; London: SMC Press, 1963], 41). Flusser’s statement requires some modification, since the address ῥαββί (rabbi, “Rabbi!”; var. ῥαββεί [rabbei]) never appears in Luke. Nevertheless, we do find the address διδάσκαλε (didaskale, “Teacher!”)—the Greek equivalent of רַבִּי (rabi, “Rabbi!”; see Preparations for Eating Passover Lamb, Comment to L36)—in Luke’s Gospel: 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 claim that in Luke only non-disciples refer to Jesus as “Rabbi” (= διδάσκαλε). However, it is possible that in Luke 21:7 we are to understand that the question came not from one of Jesus’ disciples, but from a member of the public that had gathered in the Temple to hear Jesus’ teaching (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).

    Returning to Lindsey’s observation that in Luke only disciples and people in need address Jesus as “Lord,” we find κύριε as a vocative address to Jesus 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). An epithet for Jesus unique to the Gospel of Luke is ἐπιστάτης (epistatēs, “commander,” “president”). This title only occurs in the vocative form, ἐπιστάτα (epistata, “Commander!”), and, like κύριε is found only on the lips of disciples (Luke 5:5; 8:24, 45; 9:33, 49) or the ten men afflicted with scale disease (Luke 17:13). This mirroring of the use of ἐπιστάτα and κύριε raises the question whether the use of ἐπιστάτα could be an indicator of Lukan redaction, or whether it might be an indication of the editorial work of FR.

  • [85] See Montefiore, TSG, 2:425.
  • [86] Joseph is called אָדוֹן in Ps. 105:21; and אָדוֹן refers to the king twice in Jeremiah (Jer. 22:18; 34:5).
  • [87] 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 (15 vols.; ed. G. Johannes Botterweck et al.; trans. John T. Willis et al.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974-2006), 1:59-72; quotation on p. 61.
  • [88] 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.
  • [89] Rachel addresses Laban as אֲדוֹנִי in Gen. 31:35.
  • [90] Jacob refers to Esau as אֲדוֹנִי in Gen. 32:5, 19; 33:8, 13, 14, 15.
  • [91] 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.
  • [92] Aaron addresses Moses as אֲדוֹנִי in Exod. 32:22; Num. 12:11.
  • [93] Dalman (324-331) cited many of the references we mention in a discussion entitled “‘The Lord’ as a Designation of Jesus.”
  • [94] Thus in 4Q221 7 I, 3, אשת אדונו (“the wife of his [i.e., Joseph’s] lord”) refers to Potiphar’s wife. Likewise, in a rabbinic 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). Similarly, the title אָדוֹן is used by the sages in a rabbinic discussion about Elijah and Elisha (t. Sot. 12:5). According to the pseudepigraphical Assumption of Moses, Joshua addressed Moses as domine (Latin for “lord” = אֲדֹנִי; As. Mos. 11:4, 9, 19).
  • [95] A doctor is addressed as אֲדֹנִי in the following parable:

    אמר רבי יודה בן פזי לאחד שגנב נרתיקו של רופא עם כשהוא יוצא נפצע בנו חזר אצלו אמר לו אדוני הרופא רפא את בני אמר לו לך והחזר את הנרתק שכל מיני רפואות נתונין בו ואני מרפא את בנך

    Rabbi Yudah ben Pazi said, “[It may be compared] to one who stole a doctor’s medical bag. As he [i.e., the thief—DNB and JNT] was going out his son was wounded. He [i.e., the thief—DNB and JNT] returned to him [i.e., to the doctor—DNB and JNT]. He said to him, “My lord [אֲדוֹנִי], the doctor, heal my son!” He [i.e., the doctor—DNB and JNT] said to him, “Go and return the medical bag, for all kinds of healing remedies are contained therein. Only then can I heal your son.” (y. Ber. 5:2 [38b]; cf. y. Taan. 1:1 [1b])

  • [96] A priest is addressed as אֲדֹנִי in the following parable:

    ר′ ברכיה בשם ר′ לוי לכהן שירד לגורן נתן לו אחד כור שלמעשר ולא החזיק לו טובה ונתן לו אחד קומץ שלחולין והחזיק לו טובה אמר לו אדני הכהן אני נתתי לך כור ולא החזקתה לי טובה וזה נתן לך קומץ והחזקתה לו טובה אמר לו אתה מחלקי נתת לי אבל זה נתן לי משלו

    Rabbi Berechiah said in the name of Rabbi Levi, “[It may be compared] to a priest who went down to the threshing floor. One person gave him a kor from his tithe, but he [i.e., the priest—DNB and JNT] did not receive it kindly. And one person gave him a handful of non-sacred grain and he did receive it kindly. He [i.e., the first person—DNB and JNT] said to him, “My Lord [אֲדֹנִי], the priest, I gave you a kor and you did not receive it kindly, but this one only gave you a handful and you received it kindly!” He [i.e., the priest—DNB and JNT] said to him, “From my own portion [i.e., the tithe due to priests—DNB and JNT] you gave to me, but this one gave to me from what is his own.” (Gen. Rab. 71:4 [ed. Theodor-Albeck, 2:826-827])

  • [97] Rabbi Tarfon was addressed as אֲדוֹנִי in the following story:

    מעשה בר′ טרפון שהיה אוכל קציעות מפרדס שלו, בא עריס שלו ומצאו, הכהו מכה רבה, ולא אמר לו שאני ר′ טרפון, עד שעמד אותו אריס והכירו, כיון שהכירו קרע בגדיו ותלש בשערו, והיה צועק ובוכה, ומתנפל לפני רגליו, אמר לו אדוני מורי מחול לי

    An anecdote concerning Rabbi Tarfon, who was eating figs in his garden. His tenant came and found him, and beat him severely, but he did not say to him, “I am Rabbi Tarfon!” until that tenant stopped and recognized him. As soon as he recognized him he tore his clothes and pulled out his hair and was crying and weeping, and prostrating himself before his feet he said to him, “My Lord [אֲדוֹנִי], my teacher, forgive me!” (Kallah §21 [ed. Higger, 159-160])

  • [98] See the discussion in Geza Vermes, The Changing Faces of Jesus (New York: Viking Compass, 2001), 198-202.
  • [99] Examples of the disciples referring to Jesus as “the Lord” in the third person occur in Luke 19:34 (cf. Matt. 21:3; Mark 11:3; Luke 19:31) and Luke 24:34.
  • [100] 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 עולם אלא חמשים שנה שנאמר ועבדו לעולם עד שנת 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, [Exod. 21:6] 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.

  • [101] 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, “Character Profiles: 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.
  • [102] Cf., e.g., Ps. 12:4; Exod. 21:5; 4Q221 7 I, 3; m. Kid. 1:2.
  • [103] See Preparations for Eating Passover Lamb, Comment to L4-5.
  • [104] The term “messiah” (lit. “anointed one”) refers either to the high priest or to the king.
  • [105] See Marshall, 285-286.
  • [106] See Robert L. Lindsey, “Introduction to A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark,” under the subheading “Sources of the Markan Pick-ups.”
  • [107] 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).
  • [108] Cf. Marshall, 286.
  • [109] 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 κ.τ.λ.,” TDNT 7:548-599, esp. 552.
  • [110] Köster, “σπλάγχνον κ.τ.λ.,” TDNT 7:552.
  • [111] A survey of all the instances of ἐπί in Genesis (266xx) reveals that it occurs more often as the translation of עַל (approx. 150xx) than of any other Hebrew preposition. By comparison, in Genesis ἐπί occurs as the translation of -בְּ (be, “in”) around 50xx and as the translation of אֶל (’el, “to,” “toward”) nearly 20xx. In LXX Genesis ἐπί occurs as the translation of עַל in Gen. 1:11, 15, 17, 20, 26, 28, 30; 2:5 (2nd instance), 21; 3:14; 6:1, 12, 17 (1st instance); 7:3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 18, 19, 21 (2xx), 23, 24; 8:1, 4, 9, 17 (1st instance), 19; 9:2 (2xx; 1st and 2nd instances), 14, 16, 17, 23; 11:4, 8, 9; 14:15; 15:11; 16:7 (2xx); 17:3, 17; 18:16, 19; 19:23, 24, 28 (2xx); 20:9 (2xx); 21:14; 22:2, 9 (2nd instance); 24:13, 15, 18, 22, 30 (3xx), 42 (2nd instance), 43, 45 (1st instance), 61; 26:10; 27:12, 13, 16 (2xx), 40; 28:13 (2xx), 18; 29:2 (2xx), 3; 30:3, 37; 31:10, 12, 17, 46, 50; 32:12, 33; 33:1, 4, 13; 34:27, 30; 35:5, 14 (2xx), 20; 37:8; 38:12, 21, 28, 30; 39:4, 5 (2nd instance); 40:2 (3xx), 13, 16, 19, 21; 41:1, 13, 33, 34, 40 (2xx), 41, 42, 43 (2nd instance), 56; 42:26, 36; 43:16, 19; 44:1 (1st instance), 4, 13; 45:14 (2xx), 15; 46:4, 29; 47:26, 31; 48:2, 6, 14 (2xx), 17 (2xx), 18; 49:17 (2xx), 26 (2xx); 50:1 (2xx), 23. In LXX Genesis ἐπί occurs as the translation of -בְּ in Gen. 1:22; 2:5 (1st instance); 4:12, 14; 6:4, 5, 6, 17 (2nd instance); 7:22; 8:17 (2nd instance), 20; 9:2 (2xx; 3rd and 4th instances), 7; 10:8, 32; 12:8, 10 (2xx); 16:12 (2xx); 17:13; 19:31; 21:33; 22:19 (2xx); 26:1, 22, 23; 28:12; 34:21; 37:27, 34; 39:5 (1st instance); 41:31, 43 (1st instance), 44; 43:1; 44:1 (2nd instance), 12; 45:7; 46:5; 47:27 (2xx); 48:16; 49:1, 8. In LXX Genesis ἐπί occurs as the translation of אֶל in Gen. 4:4 (2xx), 5 (2xx), 8; 14:3, 7; 22:3, 9 (1st instance), 12; 24:20, 29, 42 (1st instance); 37:29; 39:7; 42:21; 43:30; 49:33.
  • [112] See Hatch-Redpath, 1:384-401.
  • [113] See Dos Santos, 13.
  • [114] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:766.
  • [115] See Dos Santos, 26.
  • [116] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:1213-1214. 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).
  • [117] See Dos Santos, 185.
  • [118] See Dos Santos, 128.
  • [119] See Hatch-Redpath, 1:150-151.
  • [120] Cf. m. Ohol. 1:2; Kazen, 177.
  • [121] See, e.g., Marshall’s comment (286) that “Jesus ignores ritual uncleanness of the dead body (Nu. 19:11, 16) in approaching the bier and touching it,” and cf. J. Green (292): “simply by touching the bier Jesus has…crossed the boundaries of ritual purity.”
  • [122] 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.
  • [123] For an introduction to the concept of ritual impurity, see Joshua N. Tilton, “A Goy’s Guide to Ritual Purity.”
  • [124] 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.
  • [125] 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.
  • [126] There is no hint of criticism for Jesus’ action in Luke’s narrative.
  • [127] 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 [2010]: 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.

  • [128] For examples of מִטָּה in the sense of “bier,” cf., m. Ber. 3:1; m. Moed Kat. 3:8-9; m. Sanh. 2:1, 3; m. Kel. 23:4.
  • [129] See m. Ber. 3:1 for an example of נוֹשְׂאֵי הַמִּטָּה.
  • [130] 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.”
  • [131] As Marshall (286) noted, “A closed coffin is impossible in view of 7:15,” because the son sat up in response to Jesus’ command.
  • [132] See Fitzmyer, 1:259.
  • [133] See Robert L. Lindsey, “The Major Importance of the “Minor” Agreements,” under the subheading “A Written Hebrew Source Behind the Synoptic Gospels?”
  • [134] See Hatch-Redpath, 1:689-692 (ἱστάναι).
  • [135] See Dos Santos, 156.
  • [136] In the Synoptic Gospels we find σοὶ/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 σοὶ/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 σοὶ/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 σοὶ/ὑμῖν λέγω is an indication of redactional activity on the part of the authors of the Synoptic Gospels.

  • [137] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:940-941.
  • [138] See Dos Santos, 134.
  • [139] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:863-872.
  • [140] See Dos Santos, 13.
  • [141] See Hatch-Redpath, 1:364.
  • [142] On the rationale for basing the LOY reconstructions on a single NT manuscript, see the “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction’,” under the subheading “Codex Vaticanus or an Eclectic Text?”
  • [143] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:701-702.
  • [144] See Dos Santos, 87.
  • [145] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:941.
  • [146] See Hatch-Redpath, 1:163. In LXX ἄρχειν occurs as 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[25]:29; Ezek. 9:6 (2xx).
  • [147] See Dos Santos, 64.
  • [148] See Dalman, 27.
  • [149] 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).
  • [150] For more on ἄρχειν + infinitive and הֵחֵל + infinitive, see Buth and Kvasnica, “Critical Notes on the VTS,” 261-268 (Critical Note 4).
  • [151] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:841-846.
  • [152] See Dos Santos, 40.
  • [153] See Hatch-Redpath, 1:317-327.
  • [154] See Dos Santos, 138.
  • [155] 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.
  • [156] We find examples of נָפַל פַּחַד עַל‎ (nāfal paḥad ‘al, “fear fell upon”) in Exod. 15:16; 1 Sam. 11:7; Ps. 105:38; Job 13:11; Esth. 8:17; 9:2, 3). Examples of נָפְלָה אֵימָה עַל‎ (nāflāh ’ēmāh ‘al, “fear fell upon”) are found in Exod. 15:16; Josh. 2:9; Ps. 55:5. There are no instances of נָפְלָה יִרְאָה עַל‎ nāflāh yir’āh ‘al, “fear fell upon”) in MT.
  • [157] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:1435-1436.
  • [158] See Dos Santos, 8 (אֵימָה‎), 85 (יִרְאָה‎), 166 (פַּחַד‎).
  • [159] For instances of פַּחַד see Sifra, BeHuqotai, perek 7 (ed. Weiss, 112b); b. Git. 70a; b. Bab. Bat. 10a; Esth. Rab. 8:5 (ed. Tabory-Atzmon, 159); Yalk. Exod. §181. The single instance of אֵימָה in the Mishnah (m. Sanh. 2:5) belongs to a Scripture quotation.
  • [160] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:1073-1102.
  • [161] See Dos Santos, 91.
  • [162] In LXX in δοξἀζειν translates כִּבֵּד in Judg. 9:9; 13:17; 1 Kgdms. 2:29, 30 (2xx); 15:30; 10:3; 1 Chr. 19:3; Ps. 14:4; 49:15, 23; 85:9, 12; 90:15; Mal. 1:6; Isa. 43:23; Lam. 1:8.
  • [163] 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, Luke, 200; Fitzmyer, 1:659.
  • [164] According to Segal (205 §424), “The use of -שֶׁ [in MH—DNB and JNT] to introduce direct narration is rare and doubtful.”
  • [165] See Return to the Galil, Comment to L16.
  • [166] Cf. Return of the Twelve, Comment to L8.
  • [167] See R. Steven Notley, “Non-Septuagintal Hebraisms in the Third Gospel: An Inconvenient Truth” (JS2, 320-346, esp. 338).
  • [168] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:1232-1233
  • [169] See Dos Santos, 127.
  • [170] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:902-907.
  • [171] See Dos Santos, 34.
  • [172] 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, Jos., Ant. 5:277; 8:240, 268.
  • [173] Pace Nolland, Luke, 325.
  • [174] 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).
  • [175] Zuckermandel’s text, based on the Erfurt MS, reads משמת חגי זכריה ומלאכי נביאים האחרונים (“Since Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, the later prophets, died….”).
  • [176] According to Flusser, “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.” See David Flusser, “Jewish Messianism Reflected in the Early Church” (Flusser, JSTP2, 272; cf. 273).
  • [177] 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.
  • [178] 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.
  • [179] See Notley, “The Kingdom of Heaven Forcefully Advances,” 287-288.
  • [180] 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)

  • [181] Both Peter (Acts 3:22) and Stephen (Acts 7:37) quote Deut. 18:15 and relate it to Jesus. Cf. John 7:40.
  • [182] 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 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).
  • [183] 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).
  • [184] Notley, “The Kingdom of Heaven Forcefully Advances,” 288 n. 38.
  • [185] See Flusser, “Hystaspes and John of Patmos,” 422. Werman, on the other hand, cites the story of Elisha and the kings of Israel, Judah and Edom who fought against the king of Moab (2 Kgs. 3) in which the Moabites are tricked into believing that the water near the Israelite camp was blood (2 Kgs. 3:22). See Cana Werman, “A Messiah in Heaven? A Re-Evaluation of Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic Traditions,” in Text, Thought, and Practice in Qumran and Early Christianity (ed. Ruth A. Clements and Daniel R. Schwartz; Leiden: Brill, 2009). In this story, however, the illusion is ascribed to natural causes—the sun shining on the water—not to a miracle performed by Elisha.
  • [186] On ancient Jewish traditions related to Elijah, see Joshua N. Tilton, “Elijah Prays About Rain.”
  • [187] See David Flusser, “Judaism in the Second Temple Period” (Flusser, JSTP2, 6-43, esp. 34).
  • [188] Some ancient Jewish and early Christian sources regard Elijah as a priest. See Ginzberg, 2:996 n. 3. Nevertheless, a blending of the two roles (eschatological prophet and priestly messiah) may already be operative in Mal. 3:23 [ET 4:5], which refers to “Elijah the prophet.” On Elijah as the priestly Messiah, see John C. Poirier, “The Endtime Return of Elijah and Moses at Qumran,” Dead Sea Discoveries 10.2 (2003): 221-242, esp. 227-236; idem, “Jesus and Elijah in Luke 4:16-30.”
  • [189] Peter’s sermon in Acts 3 also demonstrates a blending of prophet like Moses and Elijah traditions. 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] (cf. Sir. 48:10). While in Acts 3:22 Peter refers to the promise of the prophet like Moses.
  • [190] Pace Fitzmyer (1:660), who wrote: “The primary reference is surely to a prophet like Elijah…but it is difficult to exclude the further connotations.”
  • [191] Gill (7:569) reached this conclusion already in the late 1700s. See also Flusser, “Hystaspes and John of Patmos,” 419; idem, “Jesus and Judaism: Jewish Perspectives,” in Eusebius, Christianity, and Judaism (ed. Harold W. Attridge and Gohei Hata; Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1992), 80-109, esp. 109 n. 95; Notley, “The Kingdom of Heaven Forcefully Advances,” 288-289.
  • [192] See Hatch-Redpath, 1:527-528.
  • [193] See Dos Santos, 170.
  • [194] Hermann W. Beyer, “ἐπισκέπτομαι,” TDNT 2:599-605, esp. 600.
  • [195] See Beyer, “ἐπισκέπτομαι,” TDNT 2:602.
  • [196] 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).
  • [197] 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.
  • [198] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:853-862.
  • [199] See Dos Santos, 156.
  • [200] See Daniel R. Schwartz, “Mattathias’ Final Speech (1 Maccabees 2): From Religious Zeal to Simonide Propaganda,” in ‘Go Out and Study the Land’ (Judges 18:2): Archaeological, Historical and Textual Studies in Honor of Hanan Eshel (ed. Aren M. Maeir, Jodi Magness, and Lawrence H. Schiffman; Leiden: Brill, 2012), 213-223, esp. 220.
  • [201] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:881-887.
  • [202] See Dos Santos, 40.
  • [203] So Vermes, Authentic, 32.
  • [204] Beare (Earliest, 99 §80) 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.”
  • [205] See Plummer, Luke, 201.
  • [206] See Dos Santos, 91.
  • [207] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:989-990.
  • [208] See Hatch-Redpath, 3:85.
  • [209] In LXX, the noun περίχωρος (perichōros, “surrounding region”) translates כִּכָּר (kikār, “valley”) 8xx and פֶּלֶךְ (pelech, “district”) 7xx (always in Neh.). See Hatch-Redpath, . Neither term suits HR in Widow’s Son in Nain: כִּכָּר makes no sense, because the events did not take place in a valley; פֶּלֶךְ would have been an outdated term. Abbott (Fourfold, 2:208) suggested that περίχωρος represented the Hebrew noun פְּרִיכוֹרִין (perichōrin), but this loanword from Greek is only attested in late rabbinic sources. On פְּרִיכוֹרִין, see Jastrow, 1226.
  • [210] The noun περίχωρος occurs 2xx in Matthew (Matt. 3:5; 14:35); 1x in Mark (Mark 1:28); 5xx in Luke (Luke 3:3; 4:14, 37; 7:17; 8:37) and 1x in Acts (Acts 14:6). See Moulton-Geden, 800. There are only two instances of synoptic agreement on the use of the term περίχωρος; once in Matt. 3:5 ≈ Luke 3:3 (cf. Mark 1:4, 5) (see A Voice Crying, Comment to L32-33 and Comment to L73-74) and once in Mark 1:28 ∥ Luke 4:37. Except for the references to the Jordan Valley (Matt. 3:5 ≈ Luke 3:3) we believe all the instances of περίχωρος in the Synoptic Gospels originated with Lukan redaction.
  • [211]
    Widow’s Son in Nain
    Luke’s Version Anthology’s Wording (Reconstructed)
    καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς ἐπορεύθη εἰς πόλιν καλουμένην Ναῒν καὶ συνεπορεύοντο αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ ὄχλος πολύς ὡς δὲ ἤγγισεν τῇ πύλῃ τῆς πόλεως καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐξεκομίζετο τεθνηκὼς μονογενὴς υἱὸς τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτὴ ἦν χήρα καὶ ὄχλος τῆς πόλεως ἱκανὸς ἦν σὺν αὐτῇ καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὴν ὁ κύριος ἐσπλαγχνίσθη ἐπ᾿ αὐτῇ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ μὴ κλαῖε καὶ προσελθὼν ἥψατο τῆς σοροῦ οἱ δὲ βαστάζοντες ἔστησαν καὶ εἶπεν νεανίσκε σοὶ λέγω ἐγέρθητι καὶ ἐκάθισεν ὁ νεκρὸς καὶ ἤρξατο λαλεῖν καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτὸν τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ ἔλαβεν δὲ φόβος πάντας καὶ ἐδόξαζον τὸν θεὸν λέγοντες ὅτι προφήτης μέγας ἠγέρθη ἐν ἡμῖν καὶ ὅτι ἐπεσκέψατο ὁ θεὸς τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ λόγος οὗτος ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ περὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ πάσῃ τῇ περιχώρῳ καὶ ἐγένετο μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους ἐπορεύθη εἰς πόλιν καὶ ὄνομα αὐτῇ Ναῒν καὶ ὄχλος πολύς συνεπορεύετο αὐτῷ ὡς δὲ ἤγγισεν τῇ πύλῃ τῆς πόλεως καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐξεκομίζετο τεθνηκὼς μονογενὴς υἱὸς τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτὴ ἦν χήρα καὶ ὄχλος τῆς πόλεως ἦν σὺν αὐτῇ καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὴν ὁ κύριος ἐσπλαγχνίσθη ἐπ᾿ αὐτῇ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ μὴ κλαῖε καὶ προσελθὼν ἥψατο τῆς σοροῦ οἱ δὲ βαστάζοντες ἔστησαν καὶ εἶπεν νεανίσκε λέγω σοὶ ἐγέρθητι καὶ ἐκάθισεν ὁ νεκρὸς καὶ ἤρξατο λαλεῖν καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτὸν τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ ἔλαβεν δὲ φόβος πάντας καὶ ἐδόξαζον τὸν θεὸν λέγοντες προφήτης μέγας ἠγέρθη ἐν ἡμῖν καὶ ἐπεσκέψατο ὁ θεὸς τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ λόγος οὗτος ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ
    Total Words: 126 Total Words: 116
    Total Words Identical to Anth.: 109 Total Words Taken Over in Luke: 111
    Percentage Identical to Anth.: 86.51% Percentage of Anth. Represented in Luke: 93.97%

  • [212] Alfred Loisy, Les Évangiles Synoptiques (Ceffonds: Près Montier-en-Der, 1907), 2:655.
  • [213] See, e.g., Rudolf Bultmann, Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1931), 230. Cf. Beare, 99.
  • [214] Cf. the similar list in Craig A. Evans, Luke (NIBC; Vol. 3; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990), 115.
  • [215] Kazen, 174-176; cf. Knox, 1:42.
  • [216] Among such scholars are Beare, 99; E. P. Sanders and Margaret Davies, Studying the Synoptic Gospels (London: SCM Press and Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1989), 346 n. 4; Luke Timothy Johnson, “Prophet: The New Testament,” in ABD, 4:408-412.
  • [217] Cf. Beare, 99; Kazen, 176.

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  • David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew…
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    Joshua N. Tilton studied at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, where he earned a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies (2002). Joshua continued his studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, where he obtained a Master of Divinity degree in 2005. After seminary…
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