Sending the Twelve: Conduct in Town

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David N. Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton suggest a Hebrew reconstruction of Jesus' instructions about how the twelve apostles were to behave when they entered a town. In this pericope we learn about the giving and receiving of hospitality among Jesus' earliest followers. We also learn what may be wrong about the popular view that shaking the dust from the apostles' feet was a symbolic action meant to signal to Jews who rejected Jesus that they were henceforth to be considered as Gentiles.

Matt. 10:11-15; 11:1; Mark 6:10-13; Luke 9:4-6; 10:5-12

(Huck 58, 63, 109, 139; Aland 99, 105, 142, 177; Crook 105-109, 121, 162, 200-201)[1]

Revised: 22-May-2019

וּלְאֵי זֶה בַּיִת שֶׁתִכָּנְסוּ אִמְרוּ תְּחִילָה שָׁלוֹם לַבַּיִת הַזֶּה וְאִם יֵשׁ שָׁם בֶּן שָׁלוֹם יָנוּחַ עָלָיו שְׁלוֹמְכֶם וְאִם לָאו עֲלֵיכֶם יָשׁוּב וּבְאוֹתוֹ הַבַּיִת שְׁבוּ אוֹכְלִים וְשׁוֹתִים לָהֶם כִּי כְּדַי הַפּוֹעֵל לִשְׂכָרוֹ אַל תֵּצְאוּ מִבַּיִת לְבַיִת וּלְאֵי זוֹ עִיר שֶׁתִכָּנְסוּ וִיקַבְּלוּ אֶתְכֶם רַפְּאוּ אֶת הַחוֹלִים בָּהּ וְאִמְרוּ לָהֶם הִגִּיעָה עֲלֵיכֶם מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם וּלְאֵי זוֹ עִיר שֶׁתִכָּנְסוּ וְלֹא יְקַבְּלוּ אֶתְכֶם צְאוּ מִן הָעִיר הַהִיא וְאֶת הָאָבָק מֵעַל רַגְלֵיכֶם נַעֲרוּ לְעֵדָה בָּהֶם אָמֵן אֲנִי אוֹמֵר לָכֶם נוֹחַ יִהְיֶה לְאֶרֶץ סְדוֹם וַעֲמֹרָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא מֵהָעִיר הַהִיא

“When you enter a house, first say, ‘May this family have peace!’ If a person who is committed to peace is there, the peace you offer will remain with him. But if no such person resides there, the peace you offered will not remain. Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they have to share, for the worker deserves his pay. Don’t hop around from family to family.

“If you enter a town where they receive you, heal the sick who are there and say, ‘God’s redeeming reign is here!’ But if you enter a town where they won’t receive you, leave the town and shake the dust off your feet as a sign that makes them face up to their inhospitable treatment toward strangers. Yes! It will go easier for the land of Sedom and Amorah on the day of reckoning than for a town that fails to show you hospitality.[2]





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Story Placement

Having instructed his emissaries about how they were to conduct themselves on the road, Jesus continued the Sending discourse with instructions about how the apostles were to act when they arrived in a town or village. We believe the Conduct in Town pericope is but one section of a larger literary complex that described the selection of the apostles, their commissioning, their sending out, their successful return, and Jesus’ response to the apostles’ good report. To see an overview of the entire “Mission of the Twelve” complex, click here.

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

Conjectured Stages of Transmission

Conduct in TownThe Synoptic Gospels preserve four versions of the Conduct in Town pericope (Matt. 10:11-15; 11:1; Mark 6:10-13; Luke 9:4-6; 10:5-12).[3] The version in Luke 10:5-12 appears to be based on the Anthology (Anth.), although the author of Luke made some editorial changes to his source. Luke 9:4-6 appears to reflect the First Reconstruction’s (FR’s) abbreviated version of the Anthology’s Conduct in Town pericope. Mark 6:10-13 represents the author of Mark’s reworked version of Luke 9:4-6. The author of Matthew based his version of the Conduct in Town pericope mainly on Mark 6:10-13, but the minor agreements with the version in Luke 9:4-6 and the similarities to Luke 10:5-12—most notably the instructions about greetings (Matt. 10:12; Luke 10:5) and the comparison of the fate of any town that does not accept the apostles to the judgment of Sodom (Matt. 10:15; Luke 10:12)—demonstrate that the author of Matthew also relied on the Anthology.

Crucial Issues

  1. What is the meaning of “son of peace” in Luke 10:6?
  2. What is the significance of the instruction to eat and drink with the people in whose home the apostles were invited to stay (Luke 10:7)?
  3. How are we to interpret the command to “shake the dust from your feet” when a town or village declined to accept Jesus’ apostles?


L79 καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς (Mark 6:10). In the Conduct on the Road pericope, where Matthew and Luke give Jesus’ instructions in direct speech, the author of Mark begins in the third person in Mark 6:8, but slips into direct speech at the end of Mark 6:9.[4] As if to acknowledge the transition, the author of Mark added “And he was saying to them” at the opening of Mark 6:10. The use of ἔλεγεν/ἔλεγον is characteristic of Mark’s editorial style, occurring with a much higher frequency in Mark than in either Luke or Matthew.[5] The construction is also un-Hebraic,[6] and we have accordingly omitted L79 from GR and HR.

L80 εἰς ἣν δ᾿ ἂν (GR). Opposite Mark’s ὅπου ἐὰν, Luke 9:4 and Matt. 10:11 have εἰς ἣν + ἄν, a minor agreement that establishes εἰς ἣν + ἄν as the reading of Anth.[7] The opening phrases of Luke 9:4 and Luke 10:5 are identical apart from the conjunction. Since Matt. 10:11 agrees with Luke 10:5 to use δέ (de, “and,” “but”), we have adopted εἰς ἣν δ᾿ ἂν for GR. This is a fascinating example of how, because of his use of Anth., Matthew’s version of the Conduct in Town pericope often is closer to both of Luke’s versions than to Mark’s. In NT the phrase εἰς ἣν δ᾿ ἂν occurs exclusively in the Conduct in Town pericope (Matt. 10:11; Luke 10:5, 10). The phrase καὶ εἰς ἣν ἂν is likewise confined to this pericope (Luke 9:4; 10:8).

וּלְאֵי זֶה (HR). Since neither εἰς ἣν δ᾿ ἄν nor καὶ εἰς ἣν ἄν occurs in LXX we have searched for models in MH upon which to base our reconstruction. Segal notes that “The interrogative pronoun אֵיזֶה,‎ אֵיזוֹ is used as a demonstrative to specify one out of a number of objects.”[8] The examples Segal cites of this usage include some of the following:

וַחֲכָמִ′ אוֹמְ′ [מברך] עַל אֵי זֶה מֵהֶן שֶׁיִּרְצֶה

The sages say, “He recites a blessing over whichever of them he wants.” (m. Ber. 6:4)

רְ′ יְהוּדָה או′ לְאֵי זֶה רוּחַ שֶׁיִּרְצֶה יֵלֵךְ

Rabbi Yehudah says, “In whatever direction he wants, he may walk.” (m. Eruv. 4:5)

ר′ שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹ′ מְיַיבֵּם לְאֵי זוֹ שֶׁיִּרְצֶה [[א]]וֹ חוֹלֵץ לְאֵי זוֹ שֶׁיִּרְצֶה

Rabbi Shimon says, “He contracts levirite marriage with whichever [sister-in-law] he wishes or performs the rite of halitzah with whichever [sister-in-law] he wishes.” (m. Yev. 2:2; cf. m. Yev. 3:9; 10:9)

אָמַ′ לַלִּיבְלָר כְּתוֹב אֵי זוֹ שֶׁאֶרְצֶה אֲגָרֵשׁ פָּסוּל מִלְּגָרֵשׁ בּוֹ

[If a man] said to a clerk, “Write [a bill of divorce such that it may be used for] whichever [wife] I want to divorce,” it is not valid to use for divorce. (m. Git. 3:1)

ר′ יוֹסֵה אוֹ′ שְׁתֵי נָשִׁים שֶׁלָּקְחוּ קִינֵּיהֶן בְּעֵירוּב אוֹ שֶׁנָּתְנוּ דְמֵי קִינֵיהֶן לַכֹּהֵן לְאֵיזוֹ שֶׁיִּרְצֶה כֹהֵן יַקְרִיב חַטָּאת וּ[[לְ]]אֵיזוֹ שֶׁיְּרְצֶה יַקְרִיב עוֹלָה

Rabbi Yose says, “If two women bought their pairs of doves jointly or if they gave the price of their pairs of doves to the priest, the priest can offer whichever [pair of doves] he wishes for a sin offering and whichever [pair of doves] he wishes for a whole burnt offering.” (m. Kin. 1:4)

As Segal notes, “In the older texts…the…components are still kept separate,”[9] which can be observed in most of the examples of אֵי זֶה from MS Kaufmann cited above. Since the conjectured Hebrew Life of Yeshua would be among the very oldest examples of a MH text, we have written אֵי זֶה as two separate words in HR.

L81 πόλιν ἢ κώμην εἰσέλθητε (Matt. 10:11). Instead of recording two sets of instructions for how the apostles were to conduct themselves—one set pertaining to their behavior in a home and the second set pertaining to their behavior in a town—as in the Lukan and Markan versions of the Conduct in Town pericope, Matthew’s version presents a single set of instructions regarding how the apostles were to behave when they entered a “city or village.” In doing so, the author of Matthew echoed his earlier description of Jesus going through the towns and villages on a teaching and healing mission (Matt. 9:35).[10] We attribute this departure from the Lukan and Markan versions of the Conduct in Town pericope to the author of Matthew’s editorial activity.

L82-83 The command to carefully investigate who in the town is worthy of the apostles’ fellowship is unique to Matthew. Not only does this command harp on the Matthean theme of worthiness, which is so prominent in Matthew’s version of the Sending discourse,[11] it is at odds with Jesus’ practice of eating with tax collectors and sinners (cf., e.g., Matt. 9:10; 11:19; Luke 19:1-9) and with the underlying assumption of the instructions in Matt. 10:13 and Luke 10:6 that the apostles had not previously vetted their host. The command to search out a worthy person is therefore likely to be redactional.[12] Although the practice of seeking out a like-minded stranger upon arrival in a city has parallels in Jewish sources,[13] it appears that Matt. 10:11 is an adaptation introduced by the author of Matthew to reflect circumstances at the time he composed his Gospel.[14] We have already observed that the author of Matthew may have modified the instructions for the Twelve in order to safeguard his community from potential abuses of itinerant teachers.[15] Perhaps the command to search out a worthy host reflects the conditions of itinerant teachers in Matthew’s day who, upon arriving in a new city, would seek out a church, which would then serve as the base of their operations.[16]

L84 κἀκεῖ μείνατε ἕως ἂν ἐξέλθητε (Matt. 10:11). Matthew’s streamlining of the instructions about the apostles’ behavior (see above, Comment to L81) caused him to move the command to stay in one house to an earlier point than its placement in the Lukan and Markan versions of the Conduct in Town pericope (L93-94), with the awkward result that the apostles are told to “stay there” before actually mentioning a house. Having found a worthy person, we would have expected Jesus to say, “Stay with him”; the command to “stay there” is retained from Matthew’s sources.

L85 בַּיִת שֶׁתִכָּנְסוּ (HR). For our decision to reconstruct εἰσέρχεσθαι (eiserchesthai, “to enter”) with נִכְנַס (nichnas, “enter”), see Healing Shimon’s Mother-in-law, Comment to L5. The expected Hebraic word order weighs in favor of οἰκίαν εἰσέλθητε (oikian eiselthēte, “house you may enter”; Luke 9:4) for GR. This may be a case where FR, as preserved in Luke 9, is closer to the Anthology’s original wording than the version of the Conduct in Town pericope in Luke 10, which we believe is based directly on Anth. It appears that the author of Luke edited the version of the Conduct in Town pericope he copied from Anth. more thoroughly than he edited the version he copied from FR.

L86-92 Luke’s FR version of the Conduct in Town pericope (Luke 9:4-6) omits the instructions about greetings, as does Mark. Although he used the Gospel of Mark as his main source, the author of Matthew restored the greeting instructions on the basis of Anth. In this way agreement was achieved between the versions of the Conduct in Town pericope in Matt. 10 and Luke 10.

L86 אִמְרוּ תְּחִילָה (HR). Numerous examples of imperative forms of אָמַר (’āmar, “say”) occur in the Mishnah.[17] For our decision to reconstruct πρῶτος (prōtos, “first”) with תְּחִילָה (teḥilāh, “first”), and the verb + תְּחִילָה construction, see Tower Builder and King Going to War Similes, Comment to L3.

L87 ἀσπάσασθε αὐτήν (Matt. 10:12). In place of “say, ‘Peace to this house,’” (Luke 10:5), Matthew has “greet it.” Matthew’s version is almost certainly an attempt to clarify the Hebrew idiom he found in Anth.[18] By changing “say, ‘Peace…’” to “greet,” the author of Matthew has obscured the connection between the greeting and the explanation about the peace remaining with the host or returning to the apostles.[19] Matthew’s revision also betrays a misunderstanding of his source, since the author of Matthew wrote “greet it [i.e., the house],” whereas the words of the greeting in Luke 10:5 mean “peace to this family.”[20] Matthew’s version of the Conduct on the Road pericope omits the command not to greet anyone on the road (καὶ μηδένα κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἀσπάσησθε; Luke 10:4), but perhaps the author of Matthew decided to retain the verb ἀσπάζεσθαι (aspazesthai, “to greet”) as a replacement for the words of the greeting here in the Conduct in Town pericope.[21]

שָׁלוֹם לַבַּיִת הַזֶּה (HR). The use of שָׁלוֹם (shālōm, “peace”) as a salutation is attested in MT, the Bar-Kochva letters and rabbinic literature.[22] In MT wishes for peace are usually formulated as שָׁלוֹם combined with the preposition -לְ (“peace to…”),[23] and less often as שָׁלוֹם עַל (“peace upon…”).[24] In rabbinic sources, on the other hand, wishes for peace are usually expressed with the phrase שָׁלוֹם עַל.‎[25] For HR we have opted for שָׁלוֹם לַבַּיִת הַזֶּה (“Peace to this house”) because the dative in Greek points to the preposition -לְ. On reconstructing οἶκος (oikos, “house”) as בַּיִת (bayit, “house”), see “Not Everyone Can Be Yeshua’s Disciple,” Comment to L33.

Parallels to the greeting “Peace to this house” include the following:

וַאֲמַרְתֶּם כֹֹּה לֶחָי וְאַתָּה שָׁלוֹם וּבֵיתְךָ שָׁלוֹם וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר לְךָ שָׁלוֹם

“…and say, ‘All hail! To you peace, and to your house peace, and to all you have peace.’” (1 Sam. 25:6)

The verse in 1 Samuel describes David’s instructions about greeting Nabal. This is the only verse in the Hebrew Bible where a greeting of peace is given to a house. “Peace to this house” (εἰρήνη τῷ οἴκῳ τούτῳ) in Luke 10:5 cannot be explained as an attempt to imitate LXX style since this verse is not rendered literally in LXX:

καὶ ἐρεῖτε τάδε Εἰς ὥρας· καὶ σὺ ὑγιαίνων, καὶ ὁ οἶκός σου καὶ πάντα τὰ σὰ ὑγιαίνοντα

“…and you shall say this: ‘To good times; may you be in good health and your house, and all that you have be in good health!’” (1 Kgdms. 25:6; NETS)

The Hebraic idiom in Luke 10:5 is best explained as reflecting a Hebraic source.[26]

Another parallel to the greeting Jesus instructed the apostles to deliver is found in a seventh-century B.C.E. papyrus containing the following sentence:

‏[ש]לח שלוח את שלום ביתך

I hereby send greetings to your house. (papMur 17a, 1)[27]

The blessing of a house with peace is also attested in a comment on Num. 6:26 made by a sage from the end of the Second Temple period:

ר′ חנניה סגן הכהנים אומר וישם לך שלום בביתך

Rabbi Hananiah the prefect of the priests says, “And grant you peace [Num. 6:26] in your house.” (Sifre Num., Naso chpt. 42)

Yet another example of the importance of peace in the home is found in a saying of Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel, also from the end of the Second Temple period:

רבי שמעון בן גמליאל אומר כל המשים שלום בתוך ביתו מעלה עליו הכתוב כאלו משים שלום בישראל על כל אחד ואחד וכל המטיל קנאה ותחרות בתוך ביתו כאלו מטיל קנאה ותחרות בישראל לפי שכל אחד ואחד מלך בתוך ביתו שנאמר להיות כל איש שורר בביתו

Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel says, “Everyone who establishes peace in his house, Scripture attributes it to him as though he established peace among everyone in Israel. But everyone who establishes zeal [or ‘jealousy’—DNB and JNT] and strife in his house, it is as if he established zeal [or ‘jealousy’—DNB and JNT] and strife in Israel, for everyone is a king in his house, as it says, Let every man be ruler in his house [Esth. 1:22].” (Avot de-Rabbi Natan, Version A, 28:3 [ed. Schechter, 85])

Shimon ben Gamliel’s saying is not an illustration of a greeting, but it may afford us a deeper understanding of the cultural context in which peace in the home was considered to be of such great importance. How we understand Shimon ben Gamliel’s comment depends on the meaning of קִנְאָה (qin’āh, “zeal,” “jealousy”) in his saying. Did he refer to general feelings of jealousy and a quarrelsome temperament, or did he intend a more specific meaning? The latter possibility should be considered, given Shimon ben Gamliel’s political career as an opponent of zeal ideology. According to Josephus, Shimon ben Gamliel opposed the Zealots in Jerusalem during the revolt against Rome (J.W. 4:158-161). Perhaps Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel’s above-quoted saying is best understood, therefore, as polemic against zeal ideology. Strife in the home over whether to support the aims of zealous revolutionaries or whether to attempt to live in peace under imperial rule may provide an important clue for understanding the prominent place given to peace in Jesus’ instructions to his apostles (see below, Comment to L88).

L88 καὶ ἐὰν μὲν ᾖ ἡ οἰκία ἀξία (Matt. 10:13). The parallel with Luke 10:6 shows that the author of Matthew copied καὶ ἐὰν…ᾖ (kai ean…ē, “And if…may be”) from Anth., but he changed the wording of his source, which referred to a “son of peace” (as in Luke), to “And if indeed the house is worthy….”[28] This adaptation is the combined result of the author of Matthew’s emphasis on worthiness (see above, Comment to L87) and his misapprehension that it was literally the house, rather than the family, that the apostles addressed. We have accordingly adopted Luke’s Hebraic-looking “son of peace” in GR and HR.

וְאִם יֵשׁ שָׁם בֶּן שָׁלוֹם (HR). In a survey of all the instances of אִם (’im, “if”) in the Book of Genesis and its equivalents in LXX, we found that ἐάν (ean, “if”) was a common translation of אִם, although εἰ (ei, “if”) was a somewhat more frequent equivalent of אִם.[29] In any case, our survey of all the instances of אִם in Genesis and its equivalents in LXX demonstrates that reconstructing ἐάν with אִם stands on a firm foundation.

In MH conditional sentences do not require an imperfect verb (e.g., יִהְיֶה) when the condition is unfulfilled but capable of fulfillment in the present or future.[30] Despite the presence of a subjunctive form of the verb “to be” in Matt. 10:13 and Luke 10:6, and therefore the strong likelihood that this was the reading of Anth., the subjunctive verb was probably supplied by the Greek translator of the conjectured Hebrew Life of Yeshua. In the Mishnah, אִם + imperfect of הָיָה occurs only 3xx (m. Shab. 9:3; m. Avot 2:8 [2xx]), and one of these (m. Shab. 9:3) is a Scripture quotation. By contrast, the combination אִם יֵשׁ occurs over 170xx in the Mishnah.

Although there are some parallels to the figurative use of υἱός in non-Jewish Greek sources,[31] these occur primarily as honorary titles conferred by a polis or some other official entity.[32] Since Luke’s υἱὸς εἰρήνης (hūios eirēnēs, “son of peace”) does not appear to be normal Greek, some scholars have described it as a “Septuagintism,”[33] in other words an attempt by the author of Luke (or his source) to imitate LXX style. However, the phrase “son of peace” never occurs in LXX nor does it appear anywhere else in ancient Jewish sources.[34] What might be the meaning of “son of peace” in Jesus’ instructions to the Twelve?

One possibility that can be ruled out is that “son of peace” refers to someone who was already a disciple of Jesus. Jesus’ disciples were required to leave their homes and families and abandon their professions and property in order to itinerate with Jesus.[35] Therefore, someone who was already a disciple would not be home to show the apostles hospitality.[36] Moreover, the underlying assumption of Jesus’ instructions is that the apostles were to seek hospitality from strangers.[37] People who were already Jesus’ followers, on the other hand, would likely be known to the apostles.[38]

Perhaps the most fruitful approach is to examine the term “son of peace” in relation to Jesus’ other sayings about peace. In the Matthean form of the Beatitudes Jesus links peacemaking with sonship (Matt. 5:9), although he does not use the term “son of peace.”[39] Menahem Kister has drawn attention to the striking correspondence between the peacemaking beatitude and Jesus’ teaching on love for enemies:

Matthew 5:9 Matthew 5:44-48
μακάριοι οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί, ὅτι αὐτοὶ υἱοὶ θεοῦ κληθήσονται ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν…ὅπως γένησθε υἱοὶ τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς, ὅτι τὸν ἥλιον αὐτοῦ ἀνατέλλει ἐπὶ πονηροὺς καὶ ἀγαθοὺς καὶ βρέχει ἐπὶ δικαίους καὶ ἀδίκους…. ἔσεσθε οὖν ὑμεῖς τέλειοι ὡς ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τέλειός ἐστιν.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God. Love your enemies…so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust…. You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The parallelism between “sons of God” and “sons of your heavenly Father” is self-evident, and the similarity between the concepts of peacemaking and loving one’s enemies might be granted, but the organic connection between these two passages becomes unmistakable when viewed from a Hebraic perspective, for it is likely that the Hebrew word behind τέλειος (teleios, “perfect,” “complete”) was שָׁלֵם (shālēm, “whole,” “complete”).[40] In other words, Jesus’ instructions about loving one’s enemies may play on different senses of the Hebrew root שׁ-ל-מ. Playing on the different senses of שׁ-ל-מ is known from other ancient Jewish sources. Compare, for example, the following rabbinic homily on Deut. 27:6:

הרי הוא או′ אבנים שלמות תבנה את מזבח יי אלהיך אבנים שמטילות שלום והלא דברים קל וחומר ומה אם אבנים שאינן לא רואות ולא שומעות ולא מדברות על שמטילות שלום בין ישראל לאביהם שבשמים אמ′ המקום יהיו שלימות לפני בני תורה שהן שלום בעולם על אחת כמה וכמה שיהיו שלימים לפני המקום

Behold, it says, [From] whole stones [אבנים שלמות; avānim shelēmōt] you shall build the altar of the LORD your God [Deut. 27:6], that is, stones that establish peace [שלום; shālōm]. And is it not a matter of kal vahomer? If the Omnipresent One said of the stones of the altar—which neither see nor hear nor speak—“Let them be perfect [שלימות; shelēmōt] before me,” simply because they establish peace between Israel and their Father in heaven, how much more in the case of the Sons of Torah[41] who are peace in the world that they should be perfect [שלימים; shelēmim] before the Omnipresent One? (t. Bab. Kam. 7:7; Vienna MS; cf. Semaḥot 8:16)

The ancient Israelite temple in Arad had an altar built with unhewn stones, shown here (cube-saped object in lower right). Image courtesy of Joshua N. Tilton.

The ancient Israelite temple in Arad had an altar built with unhewn stones, shown here (cube-shaped platform in lower right). Image courtesy of Joshua N. Tilton.

In the above translation we have rendered שָׁלֵם as “perfect” in order to emphasize the similarity of this midrash to Jesus’ saying in Matt. 5:48, but the homily itself plays with two meanings of שָׁלֵם, namely, “whole” and “at peace” or “friendly.” The point of the rabbinic homily is that the Sons of Torah (i.e., disciples of the sages) are to make peace between Israel and their Father in heaven. The point of Jesus’ homily in Matt. 5:44-48 is slightly different: Jesus’ disciples are to emulate God’s friendliness by being peaceable in the world, loving their enemies, showing mercy, and offering forgiveness (cf. Luke 6:35). Nevertheless, the similarities are quite impressive; both Jesus’ teaching on love for enemies and the rabbinic homily on whole stones emphasize the fatherhood of God and draw the conclusion that disciples are to be שָׁלֵם/τέλειος. One wonders whether some form of the rabbinic homily was already in circulation in the time of Jesus and whether Jesus exploited the similarity of the Hebrew words for “son” (בֵּן; bēn) and “stone” (אֶבֶן; ’even) to coin the term “son of peace” (בֶּן שָׁלוֹם; ben shālōm).[42]

That the homily on whole stones did circulate at the end of the Second Temple period, and was modified in order to suit the views and opinions of the sage who refashioned it, is suggested by an alternate version of the homily reported in the name of Yohanan ben Zakkai:

רבן יוחנן בן זכאי אומר הרי הוא אומר אבנים שלמות תבנה אבנים שמטילות שלום והרי דברים קל וחומר ומה אם אבני המזבח שאינן לא רואות ולא שומעות ולא מדברות על שהן מטילות שלום בין ישראל לאביהם שבשמים אמר הקב″ה לא תניף עליהם ברזל המטיל שלום בין איש לאיש בין איש לאשתו בין עיר לעיר בין אומה לאומה בין משפחה למשפחה בין ממשלה לממשלה על אחת כמה וכמה שלא תבואהו פורענות

Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai says, “Behold, it says, [From] whole stones [אבנים שלמות; avānim shelēmōt] you shall build [the altar] [Deut. 27:6]. That is, stones that establish peace [שלום; shālōm]. And it is a matter of kal vahomer: if the Holy One, blessed be he, said, Raise no iron against them [Deut. 27:5] of the stones of the altar—which neither see nor hear nor speak—simply because they establish peace between Israel and their Father in heaven, how much more in the case of a human being who establishes peace between one person and another, or a man and his wife, between one city and another, or one people and another, between two families, or between two governments, that for such a man no retribution should come to him?” (Mechilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, BaḤodesh chpt. 11 [ed. Lauterbach, 2:352-353]; cf. Sifra, Kedoshim chpt. 10 [ed. Weiss, 92d])

In this version of the homily, Yohanan ben Zakkai is critical of those who “raise iron” (i.e., wield weapons) against people who advocate peace. Peacemakers, he argues, should be treated with the same dignity as the whole stones of the altar. It seems likely that Yohanan ben Zakkai’s version of the homily was directed against the Sicarii and other adherents of zeal ideology who, according to Josephus, persecuted those who opposed war with Rome (cf., e.g., J.W. 2:254-257; 7:254-255).[43] Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai’s homily could be paraphrased as, “If God forbids violence toward a whole stone (אֶבֶן שְׁלֵמָה) of the altar, how much more so toward a son of peace (בֶּן שָׁלוֹם)?”

This coin, struck in 71 C.E., depicts the inevitable result of revolt against Rome. The emperor Vespasian stands with his foot on his helmet victorious over Judea, represented by a woman in mourning seated beneath a palm tree. The Latin inscription reads IVDAEA CAPTA ("Judea Captive"). Image courtesy of the Classical Numismatic Group.

This coin, struck in 71 C.E., depicts the inevitable result of revolt against Rome. Emperor Vespasian stands with his foot on his helmet, victorious over Judea who is represented by a woman in mourning seated beneath a palm tree. The Latin inscription reads IVDAEA CAPTA (“Judea Captive”). Image courtesy of the Classical Numismatic Group.

Perhaps Jesus’ use of “son of peace” in Luke 10:6 is an expression of his anti-militant worldview.[44] The mission of the apostles was to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven, God’s redeeming reign over Israel, which would result in the restoration of the twelve tribes and the vindication of Israel in the presence of all its enemies.[45] The healing of “every disease and sickness” (Matt. 10:1; cf. Luke 9:1) was a sign that the curse of exile was being lifted,[46] and the driving out of demons spelled the doom of idolatrous empires that kept Israel under their thumb.[47] An important aspect of Jesus’ message, however, was that redemption would not come about through violent insurgency, as the militant Jewish nationalists believed. According to Jesus, acts of mercy and compassion, forgiveness, and loving one’s enemies would be the catalyst for redemption.[48]

Jesus evidently regarded armed resistance against the Roman Empire to be a hopeless endeavor. War against Rome would only lead to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.[49] A kingdom of flesh and blood could not throw off the yoke of the empire. Only by following Jesus’ way of peace could catastrophe be averted and the redemption of Israel through the Kingdom of Heaven take place. That is why Jesus wept over Jerusalem:

Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace [τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην]! But now they are hid from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation. (Luke 19:42-44; RSV)[50]

Upon his final pilgrimage to Jerusalem Jesus knew that the things that made for peace—his own teachings about the Kingdom of Heaven—had not been accepted by the majority of his fellow countrymen. But earlier, at the sending of the Twelve, there was still time and hope that his message would be embraced. It seems that a central purpose of the apostles’ mission was to garner support for Jesus’ way of peace as an alternative to the destructive—and ultimately doomed—path of the militant Jewish nationalists.[51]

If Jesus’ anti-militant message is the proper context for interpreting the term “son of peace” in Luke 10:6, then the greeting in Luke 10:5 takes on a deeper significance: “Peace to this house” was more than an ordinary salutation, it was rather the preamble to the apostles’ entire message. The peace the apostles spoke of when they entered a house would remain with the family so long as a son of peace—someone receptive to Jesus’ message of peace—was there. If there was not a son of peace—no one who accepted Jesus’ message—then it was all too likely that zeal and strife would be established in that home (cf. Avot de-Rabbi Natan, Version A, 28:3 [ed. Schechter, 85]; cited above in Comment to L87).

L89 ἐπαναπαήσεται ἐπ᾿ αὐτὸν ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν (GR). According to Luke, the apostles’ blessing of peace will rest upon a son of peace. Only a son of peace would be willing to accept the full implications of the apostles’ greeting, namely, that peacemaking and love for one’s enemies are the only means by which Israel’s redemption will be achieved.

Matthew’s version continues to make reference to the house. Matthew’s version, stated as an imperative, also makes the determination of whether the apostles’ blessing will remain depend not upon the disposition of the recipient, but on the apostles’ scrutiny of the worthiness of the home. These editorial changes reflect the author of Matthew’s interests and concerns.[52]

The verb ἐπαναπαύεσθαι (epanapavesthai, “to rest”) occurs 11xx in LXX,[53] where it translates the verb נָח (nāḥ, “rest”) 4xx.[54] In each of those four instances the subject of the verb is always the Holy Spirit.

L90 וְאִם לָאו (HR). Luke’s more succinct formula (εἰ δὲ μή γε) is probably closer to the conjectured Hebrew Ur-text than Matthew’s more detailed version (Matt. 10:13; L90-91). In Hebrew, the opposite of a condition that has already been articulated can simply be expressed with וְאִם לָאו (“And if not…”), without restating a complete conditional sentence.[55] On the reconstruction of εἰ δὲ μή γε with וְאִם לָאו see Tower Builder and King Going to War Similes, Comment to L18.

L92 ἐφ᾿ ὑμᾶς ἀνακάμψει (GR). Luke’s version, in which the outcome depends on the disposition of the members of the household, is to be preferred. By making the sentence a command, the author of Matthew transferred to the apostles the responsibility of recalling the peace.

עֲלֵיכֶם יָשׁוּב (HR). The verb ἀνακάμπτειν (anakamptein, “to return”) occurs 18xx in LXX,[56] where, with but a single exception, it always translates שָׁב (shāv, “return”) if there is an underlying Hebrew text in MT.[57] In MH הֵשִׁיב שָׁלוֹם (hēshiv shālōm) means “return a greeting.” For example:

וּבַפְּרָקִים שׁוֹאֵל מִפְּנֵי הַכָּבוֹד וּמֵשִׁיב וּבָאֶמְצָע שׁוֹאֵל מִפְּנֵי הַיִּרְאָה וּמֵשִׁיב דִּבְרֵי רְ′ מֵאִיר ר′ יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵ′ בָּאֶמְצַע שׁוֹאֵל מִפְּנֵי הַיִּרְאָה וּמֵשִׁיב מִפְּנֵי הַכָּבוֹד וּבַפְּרָקִים שׁוֹאֵל מִפְּנֵי הַכָּבוֹד וּמֵשִׁיב שָׁלוֹם לְכָל הָאָדָם

Between sections [of the Shema] he may greet [a person] out of respect and return a greeting, but in the middle [of recitation] he may greet [a person only] out of fear [of him] and return his greeting, so says Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yehudah says, “In the middle [of recitation] he may greet [a person only] out of fear and return a greeting out of respect, and between sections [of the Shema] he may greet out of respect and return a greeting [וּמֵשִׁיב שָׁלוֹם] to anyone.” (m. Ber. 2:1)[58]

It appears that in his instructions to the apostles Jesus played on the two meanings of שָׁלוֹם: “peace” and “salutation.” Whereas in a context of issuing a greeting one might have expected to read about returning a salutation, Jesus spoke about the blessing of peace returning to the apostles.

Examples of the verb שָׁב combined with the preposition עַל are found in Gen. 29:3; 40:13; Exod. 15:19; Num. 33:7; 2 Sam. 16:8; 1 Kgs. 17:22; Jer. 16:15; Mal. 3:24; Prov. 26:11; Eccl. 12:7.

L93 ἐν αὐτῇ δὲ τῇ οἰκίᾳ (Luke 10:7). Scholars have noted the awkwardness of Luke’s phrase. We might have expected Luke to write ἐν ἐκείνῃ δὲ τῇ οἰκίᾳ (“And in that house”), but what are we to make of ἐν αὐτῇ δὲ τῇ οἰκίᾳ (“And in it the house”)? Similar constructions, such as ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ (“in that very hour”),[59] ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ καιρῷ (“in that very time”)[60] and ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ (“in that very day”),[61] are found elsewhere in Luke,[62] but always as expressions of time. In LXX analogous constructions are found only in the book of Esther, where ἐν αὐταῖς ταῖς ἡμέραις is the translation of בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם (“in those days”; Esth. 1:2) and ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ is the translation of בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא (“on that day”; Esth. 8:1; 9:11). We have reconstructed Luke’s phrase as וּבְאוֹתוֹ הַבַּיִת (“And in the same house”), which is slightly closer to the Greek text than reconstructing L93 as וּבַבַּיִת הַהוּא (“And in that house”). In MT we do not find examples of the preposition -אֶת + בְּ + suffix, but such examples do occur in the Mishnah, for example: בְּאוֹתָהּ הָעִיר (“in the same city”; m. Eruv. 8:5; m. Ket. 7:8; m. Ned. 5:4, 5); בְּאוֹתָהּ שַׁבָּת (“on the same Sabbath”; m. Eruv. 9:3); בְּאוֹתוֹ הַמִּשְׁמָר (“in the same priestly course”; m. Taan. 4:2); בְּאוֹתָהּ הָאָרֶץ (“in the same land”; m. Ket. 13:10); בְּאוֹתוֹ הַמָּקוֹם (“in the same place”; m. Kid. 3:3); בְּאוֹתָהּ הַשָׂדֶה (“in the same field”; m. Bab. Kam. 6:2); etc. If a Greek translator encountered the phrase וּבְאוֹתוֹ הַבַּיִת in his Hebrew source, ἐν αὐτῇ δὲ τῇ οἰκίᾳ is probably the most literal translation he could have achieved. We would then understand Jesus’ instructions to mean, “Stay in that same house where you offered a greeting of peace, etc.”

L94 שְׁבוּ (HR). In LXX μένειν (menein, “to remain”) is usually the translation of עָמַד (‘āmad, “stand”) or קָם (qām, “stand”).[63] There are, however, four instances in LXX where μένειν is the translation of יָשַׁב (yāshav, “sit,” “dwell”).[64] Since in the context of Luke 10:7 neither עָמַד nor קָם are a suitable reconstruction, we have opted for an imperative of יָשַׁב for HR.[65]

L95-96 אוֹכְלִים וְשׁוֹתִים לָהֶם (HR). The pairing of אָכַל (’āchal, “eat”) and שָׁתָה (shātāh, “drink”) is typical in Hebrew.[66] In NT the pairing of ἐσθίειν (esthiein, “to eat”) and πίνειν (pinein, “to drink”) is concentrated in the Synoptic Gospels (17xx) and in 1 Corinthians (7xx).[67]

Luke 10:7 reads, ἔσθοντες καὶ πείνοντες τὰ παρ᾿ αὐτῶν (“eating and drinking what is from them”). In LXX παρά + αὐτός (gen.) is usually the translation of מֵאֵת + suffix (where אֵת is the preposition “with,” not a dir. obj. marker), for instance:

וְזֹאת הַתְּרוּמָה אֲשֶׁר תִּקְחוּ מֵאִתָּם

καὶ αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἀπαρχή, ἣν λήμψεσθε παρ᾿ αὐτῶν

And this is the offering that you will receive from them…. (Exod. 25:3)

קַח מֵאִתָּם וְהָיוּ לַעֲבֹד אֶת עֲבֹדַת אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד

Λαβὲ παρ᾿ αὐτῶν, καὶ ἔσονται πρὸς τὰ ἔργα τὰ λειτουργικὰ τῆς σκηνῆς τοῦ μαρτυρίου

Receive from them and they will be for the worship of the divine service in the Tent of Meeting. (Num. 7:5)

אֹכֶל תִּשְׁבְּרוּ מֵאִתָּם בַּכֶּסֶף וַאֲכַלְתֶּם וְגַם מַיִם תִּכְרוּ מֵאִתָּם בַּכֶּסֶף וּשְׁתִיתֶם

βρώματα ἀργυρίου ἀγοράσατε παρ᾿ αὐτῶν καὶ φάγεσθε καὶ ὕδωρ μέτρῳ λήμψεσθε παρ᾿ αὐτῶν ἀργυρίου καὶ πίεσθε

Buy food from them with silver so that you can eat, and likewise trade with them for water with silver so that you can drink. (Deut. 2:6)[68]

Examples of מֵאֵת + suffix are also found in DSS, for example:

ואיש ברבים ילך רכיל לשלח הואה מאתם ולוא ישוב עוד

And a man who goes as a talebearer against the Many: he shall be sent out from them and may never return. (1QS VII, 16-17)

לכה המלחמה ומאתכה הגבורה ולוא לנו

The battle is yours, the power is from you and is not ours. (1QM XI, 4-5)

ומאתך דרך כול חי

And from you is the path of every living thing. (1QHa VII, 25)

We have decided against reconstructing with מֵאֵת + suffix, however, since, apart from biblical quotations, this construction does not occur in tannaic sources, which we believe are closest to the Hebrew spoken by Jesus. Therefore, we have reconstructed τά παρ᾿ αὐτῶν as לָהֶם, in which case we would understand Jesus’ instructions to mean, “eating and drinking what is theirs.” Compare the following examples from rabbinic literature:

מוּרְחֲק אֲנִי מִמָּךְ שֶׁאֵנִי אוֹכֵל לָךְ

May I be distanced from you if I eat what is yours! (m. Ned. 1:1)

הָאוֹמֵר קוֹרְבַּן עוֹלָה וּמִנְחָה חַטָּאת תּוֹדָה וּשְׁלָמִים שֶׁאֵנִי אוֹכַל לָךְ אָסוּר

The one who says, “[Let it be] a whole burnt offering…” or “…a grain offering…” or “…a sin offering…” or “…a thank offering…” or “…a peace offering if I eat what is yours!”—[the vow] is binding. (m. Ned. 1:4)

וְאֵילּוּ מוּתָּרִין חוּלִּין שֶׁאוֹכַל לָךְ

And these [vows] are not binding: “[Let it be like] hulin if I eat what is yours!” (m. Ned. 2:1)

קָורְבָּן לֹא אוֹכַל לָךְ וְקָורְבָּן שֶׁאוֹכַל לָךְ לֹא קָורְבָּן לֹא אוֹכַל לָךְ מוּתָּר שְׁבוּעָה לֹא אוֹכַל לָךְ שְׁבוּעָה {שבועה} שֶׁאוֹכַל לָךְ לֹא שְׁבוּעָה לֹא אוֹכַל לָךְ אָסוּר

[If one says:] “An offering if I do not eat what is yours!” or “An offering if I eat what is yours!” or “Not an offering if I do not eat what is yours!” [the vow] is not binding. [If one says:] “By an oath I will not eat what is yours!” or “By an oath I will eat what is yours!” or “Not by an oath I will not eat what is yours!”—[the vow] is binding. (m. Ned. 2:2)

וכן היה בן זומא אומר אורח טוב מה הוא אומר זכור בעל הבית לטוב כמה מיני יינות הביא לפנינו כמה מיני חתיכות הביא לפנינו כמה מיני גלוסקאות הביא לפנינו כל שעשה לא עשה אלא בשבילי אבל אורח רע מה הוא אומר וכי מה אכלתי לו פת אחת אכלתי לו חתיכה אחת אכלתי לו כוס אחד שתיתי לו כל מה שעשה לא עשה אלא בשביל אשתו ובניו

And thus Ben Zoma used to say: “A good guest, what does he say? ‘May the master of the house be remembered for good! How many kinds of wine has he set before us! How many kinds of meats has he set before us! How many kinds of cakes has he set before us! All that he did was for my sole benefit!’ But a bad guest, what does he say? ‘And indeed what have I eaten of his [מה אכלתי לו]? I ate one piece of his [bread], and one slice of his [meat], and I drank one cup of his [wine]. All that he did was only for his wife and his children.’” (t. Ber. 6[7]:5; Zuckermandel)[69]

Ben Zoma’s comment not only supplies a linguistic parallel, it also provides a context in which to understand Jesus’ instructions. The apostles were to eat and drink what their hosts provided with gratitude and humility. They were to be good guests in accordance with the accepted standards of etiquette surrounding ancient hospitality.[70] The apostles were forbidden to make special requests or to demand something other than what had been served.

Being good guests was essential because itinerant sages and their disciples relied heavily on the hospitality of others. This reliance on hospitality is attested in sayings such as “Let your house be a meeting place for the sages” (m. Avot 1:4) and the comments on this saying in Avot de-Rabbi Natan, Version A, 6:1 (ed. Schechter, 27); Avot de-Rabbi Natan, Version B, chpt. 11 (ed. Schechter, 27-28). We also find evidence of the itinerant lifestyle of some of the sages and their consequent reliance on hospitality in the application of the phrase עֲנִיִּים מְרוּדִים (aniyim merūdim, “homeless poor”; Isa. 58:7) to the sages and their disciples in Avot de-Rabbi Natan, Version B, chpt. 14 (ed. Schechter, 34).[71]

Jesus’ instructions about receiving hospitality must also be understood in relation to the practices of the Essenes as described in the Dead Sea Scrolls. From statements in their writings it is clear that the Essenes regarded the wealth of outsiders as morally and spiritually tainted:

לוא יוכל מהונם כול ולוא ישתה ולוא יקח מידם כול מאומה אשר לוא במחיר כאשר כתוב חדלו לכם מן האדם אשר נשמה באפו כיא במה נחשב הואה כיא כול אשר לוא נחשבו בבריתו להבדיל אותם ואת כול אשר להם. ולוא ישען איש הקודש על כול מעשי הבל כיא הבל כול אשר לוא ידעו את בריתו וכול מנאצי דברו ישמיד מתבל וכול מעשיהם לנדה לפניו וטמא בכול הונם

[A member of the Community] may not eat from any of their possessions or drink or receive anything from their hand except by payment, as it is written: Keep yourselves away from the man whose breath is in his nostrils, for of what account is he? [Isa. 2:22]. For all those who are not accounted in his covenant will be separated, they and all that is theirs. And the man of holiness must not depend on any of the works of futility, for all those who do not know his covenant are futile and all who reject his word will be wiped from the earth and all their works are like menstrual impurity before him and impure in all their wealth. (1QS V, 16-20)[72]

Because they viewed the wealth of outsiders as impure, the Essenes maintained a strict economic separation from non-sectarians:

אל יתערב הונם עם הון אנשי הרמיה אשר לוא הזכו דרכם להבדל מעול וללכת בתמים דרך

Do not mix their [i.e., the sectarians’—DNB and JNT][73] wealth with the wealth of the men of deceit who have not purified their way to become separate from iniquity and to walk in perfection of way. (1QS IX, 8-9)[74]

Jesus, who freely associated with sinners, eating and drinking with tax collectors (Matt. 9:10-11; Luke 7:34; 15:2) in order to call them to repentance (Luke 5:32; cf. Matt. 9:13 // Mark 2:17), rejected the Essene practice of economic separation.[75] Unlike the Essenes, who separated themselves from the majority (4QMMTd 14-21 I, 7), Jesus expected his apostles to have fellowship with “outsiders” in order to gather into God’s Kingdom as many as possible.[76] Far from refusing to accept food or drink from “outsiders” without returning its price (1QS V, 17), Jesus regarded the food and drink his apostles received as their rightful wage (Matt. 10:10; Luke 10:7; see below, Comment to L97).

An internal community of goods was the corollary to the Essenes’ external economic separation. Upon entering the sectarian covenant, new members placed their property at the disposal of the community (1QS VI, 19; Jos., J.W. 2:122). Josephus noted that when the Essenes traveled from place to place they had no need to carry equipment for their journey:

On the arrival of any of the sect from elsewhere, all the resources of the community are put at their disposal, just as if they were their own; and they enter the houses of men whom they have never seen before as though they were their most intimate friends. (J.W. 2:124; Loeb)

Jesus’ prohibition against the apostles taking equipment for the road (Luke 9:3; 10:4) bears an outward resemblance to Josephus’ description of the Essenes, but the ideological underpinnings of the Essene practice and Jesus’ instructions are diametrically opposed. Whereas the Essenes maintained a closed community of goods which supported their radical separation from outsiders, Jesus’ demand that the apostles go unequipped forced them to have fellowship with “outsiders.” This contrived contact created an opportunity for mutuality and reciprocity: the hosts shared their homes and their meals with the apostles, and in exchange the apostles shared with the hosts Jesus’ message of peace.

L97 ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τοῦ μισθοῦ αὐτοῦ (GR). In light of the contrast with Essene practice discussed above (Comment to L95-96), Luke’s placement of “the worker is worthy” saying seems preferable to Matthew’s.[77] Jesus’ insistence that the apostles accept the hospitality of “outsiders” as their rightful wage is to be understood as a conscious rejection of the Essene concept of “the wealth of unrighteousness.”[78] It was the author of Matthew who made “the worker is worthy” saying a conclusion to the list of items the apostles were forbidden (in Matthew’s version) to acquire.[79]

Not only is Luke’s placement of “the worker is worthy” saying to be preferred, but his wording, according to which a worker deserves a wage, is also preferable to Matthew’s version.[80] “Food” does not fit the actual saying, since it is a wage that workers earn.[81] The author of Matthew secondarily worked the application of the saying into the saying itself in order to emphasize that “food” is all that apostles are permitted to acquire in the course of their itinerary.[82] As we have discussed elsewhere (see above, Comment to L82-83), these editorial changes may be a reaction to the abuses of itinerant teachers who posed problems for Matthew’s community.[83]

כִּי כְּדַי הַפּוֹעֵל לִשְׂכָרוֹ (HR). In LXX the adjective ἄξιος (axios, “worthy”) occurs 40xx, but only 11xx in books included in MT, and only 8xx where it translates a word in the underlying Hebrew text. The adjective מָלֵא (mālē’, “full”) is translated with ἄξιος 3xx,[84] the verb שָׁוָה (shāvāh, “be like,” “be comparable”) is translated with ἄξιος 4xx,[85] and the remaining instance is the translation of בֵּן (bēn, “son”; Deut. 25:2). None of these options are suitable for HR. Delitzsch translated ἄξιος as רָאוּי (rā’ūy) in Matt. 10:10 and Luke 10:7; however, רָאוּי usually means “suitable” or “qualified” rather than “deserving.”[86] We have therefore chosen to reconstruct ἄξιος with כְּדַי (kedai, “worthy,” “deserving”), a usage unknown in BH, but well attested in rabbinic sources, for example:

אֵין הָעוֹלָם כּוּלּוֹ כְּדַיי כְּיוֹם שֵׁנִיתְּנָה שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים לְיִשְׂרָאֵל שְׁכֹּל הַכְּתוּבִים קוֹדֶשׁ וְשִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים קוֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים

The entire world is not as worthy as the day when Song of Songs was given to Israel, for all the Writings are holy, but the Song of Songs is holy of holies. (m. Yad. 3:5)

נבוכדנצר אמ′ אין באי העולם כדי לדור ביניהם

Nebuchadnezzar said, “The inhabitants of the world are not worthy that I should dwell among them.” (t. Sot. 3:19; Vienna MS)

רבי נחמיה אומר…כל המקבל עליו מצוה אחת באמנה כדאי הוא שתשרה עליו רוח הקדש

Rabbi Nehemiah says, “…everyone who accepts one commandment in faith is worthy to have the Holy Spirit dwell upon him.” (Mechilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, Beshalah chpt. 7 [ed. Lauterbach, 1:167])

אפילו איני כדיי אתם עיקמו עלי את הדרך

Even though I am not worthy, divert your course toward me. (Gen. Rab. 50:4 [ed. Theodor-Albeck, 2:520])

Alternative options for “worthy” in HR include זָכָה (zāchāh) and כָּשֵׁר (kāshēr).[87]

On reconstructing ἐργάτης (ergatēs, “worker”) with פּוֹעֵל (pō‘ēl, “worker”), see “The Harvest is Plentiful” and “A Flock Among Wolves”, Comment to L43.

In LXX μισθός (misthos, “wage”) usually occurs as the translation of שָׂכָר (sāchār, “wage”).[88] Likewise, the LXX translators rendered most instances of שָׂכָר with μισθός.[89]

L98 μὴ ἐξέρχεσθε ἐξ οἰκίας εἰς οἰκίαν (GR). In Luke 10:7 we encounter the negative imperative μὴ μεταβαίνετε (mē metabainete, “Do not depart”). We suspect that the author of Luke introduced μεταβαίνειν as an improvement to his text. In LXX μεταβαίνειν occurs exclusively in books originally composed in Greek.[90] In the parallels to Luke 10:7 we find the verb ἐξέρχεσθαι (exerchesthai, “to go out”; Matt. 10:11; Mark 6:10; Luke 9:4; L99), and it is possible that Luke’s FR version of the Conduct in Town pericope (Luke 9:4) preserves the verb found in Anth.

אַל תֵּצְאוּ מִבַּיִת לְבַיִת (HR). In LXX ἐξέρχεσθαι is the translation of יָצָא (yātzā’, “go out”) over 500xx, far more than any other Hebrew verb.[91] Likewise no other Greek verb was used more often than ἐξέρχεσθαι to translate יָצָא.‎[92] There can be little doubt, therefore, that יָצָא is the best option for HR.

The phrase ἐξ οἰκίας εἰς οἰκίαν (“out of a house into a house”) is found only once in LXX:

ἐπὶ μικρῷ καὶ μεγάλῳ εὐδοκίαν ἔχε καὶ ὀνειδισμὸν παροικίας οὐ μὴ ἀκούσῃς ζωὴ πονηρὰ ἐξ οἰκίας εἰς οἰκίαν καὶ οὗ παροικήσεις οὐκ ἀνοίξεις στόμα

With little or much have contentment, and you will never hear reproach for being a sojourner. It is a miserable life going from house to house, and where you will be a sojourner, you shall not open your mouth. (Sir. 29:23-24; NETS)

Unfortunately, the Hebrew underlying this verse has not been preserved in any ancient manuscript.

In rabbinic literature, although not in earlier Hebrew sources, we find the phrase מִבַּיִת לְבַיִת (mibayit levayit, “from house to house”), which is an exact equivalent of ἐξ οἰκίας εἰς οἰκίαν:

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהִיא מְקַשָּׁה לֵילֵד וְהוֹצִיאוּהָ מִבַּיִת לְבַיִת הָרִאשׁוֹן טָמֵא בְסָפֵק וְהַשֵּׁינִי וַודַּיִי

A woman who has difficulty in giving birth so that they took her out from house to house [and gives birth to a stillborn baby], the first [house] is [treated as] impure because of doubt, and the second is certainly [impure]. (m. Ohol. 7:4)[93]

המוציא כזית בשר מבית לבית ומחבורה לחבורה בשעת אכילה הרי זה חייב

The one who takes an olive’s bulk of meat from house to house or from one company to another at the time of eating, behold he is liable…. (t. Pes. 6:11; Vienna MS; cf. t. Mak. 4:1)

In the above examples a more idiomatic translation of “from house to house” would be “from one house to another.”

Jesus forbade the apostles to move from one house to another in the same village. The apostles were neither to “upgrade” their accommodations by moving to the home of another (possibly more wealthy) family, which would be insulting to their original host, nor appear to fleece all the families in the village by staying with each of them. Instead, the apostles were to honor the host family that first offered them hospitality by staying with them until their work in that village reached its completion.

L100 וּלְאֵי זוֹ עִיר שֶׁתִכָּנְסוּ (HR). On the reconstruction of εἰς ἣν ἂν with וּלְאֵי זוֹ, see above, Comment to L80.

In LXX εἰσέρχεσθαι (eiserchesthai, “to enter”) + πόλις (polis, “city”) is usually the translation of בָּא (bā’, “come,” “arrive,” “enter”) + עִיר (‘ir, “city”).[94] In the Mishnah, however, the verb נִכְנַס (nichnas, “enter”) replaced בָּא, including in the phrase “enter a city.”[95]

L101 וִיקַבְּלוּ אֶתְכֶם (HR). In Hebrew it is common to express an idea, which in Greek (or English) would be expressed as a passive, in the third person plural.[96] For example, “and you are received” would be more natural in Greek (and English) than “and they receive you.” The impersonal “they receive you” may reflect a literal translation of a Hebrew source.

In LXX the verb δέχεσθαι (dechesthai, “to receive”)[97] often translates לָקַח (lāqaḥ, “take,” “receive”);[98] however, in books composed in late Biblical Hebrew, δέχεσθαι sometimes translates the verb קִבֵּל (qibēl, “receive,” “accept”).[99] We have used קִבֵּל for HR since this agrees with MH style, which we prefer when reconstructing direct speech.[100]

L102 ἐσθίετε τὰ παρατιθέμενα ὑμῖν (Luke 10:8). In LXX παρατιθέναι (paratithenai, “to set before”) is sometimes the translation of שָׂם לִפְנֵי (sām lifnē, “set before,” “serve”).[101] We have omitted the injunction to “eat what is set before you” from GR and HR, in part because it seems redundant (cf. Luke 10:7; L95-96), and in part because the command more properly belongs to instructions about conduct in private homes than conduct in public places. This command may have been inserted here by the author of Luke.[102]

It is possible that the author of Luke conformed the instruction to “eat what is set before you” to Paul’s teaching about believing Gentiles eating with Gentile non-believers.[103] According to Paul,

If one of the non-believers invites you and you want to go, eat everything that is served to you [πᾶν τὸ παρατιθέμενον ὑμῖν ἐσθίετε] without questioning because of consciousness.[104] (1 Cor. 10:27)

The similarity between 1 Cor. 10:27 and Luke 10:8 is unmistakable. Paul’s statement has nothing to do with the laws of kashrut, which do not pertain to Gentiles, but with the issue of foods tainted by idolatry.[105] In essence, Paul recommended that if the non-believing host did not treat the food like an idol offering, neither should a believing Gentile. Perhaps the author of Luke, who wrote for a Gentile audience, inserted this Pauline language in order to make Jesus’ instructions in the Conduct in Town pericope more directly applicable to situations his readers were likely to encounter.

L103 θεραπεύετε τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ ἀσθενεῖς (GR). The command to heal the sick in Luke 10:9 is paralleled in Matt. 10:8. Matthew’s command to heal is likely an expanded paraphrase of the Anthology’s equivalent to Luke 10:9.[106] Since we omitted the injunction to “eat what is set before you” in L102 from GR and HR, we have also omitted καί (kai, “and”) here in L103.

רַפְּאוּ אֶת הַחוֹלִים בָּהּ (HR). On reconstructing θεραπεύειν (therapevein, “to treat,” “to heal”) with רִפֵּא (ripē’, “heal”), see Sending the Twelve: Commissioning, Comment to L22-23. In LXX the adjective ἀσθενής (asthenēs, “sick,” “weak”) is relatively rare and there is no standard word in the underlying Hebrew text that it translates.[107] For HR we have chosen חוֹלִים (ḥōlim), which in rabbinic literature can be used as a generic term for sick people (cf., e.g., m. Ber. 5:5; m. Ter. 11:10).

L104 וְאִמְרוּ לָהֶם (HR). On the imperative of אָמַר see above, Comment to L86.

L105 ἤγγικεν ἐφ᾿ ὑμᾶς ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν (GR). Matthew’s parallel to Luke 10:9 has changed the order from “heal…proclaim” to “proclaim…heal” (Matt. 10:7-8). Although we regard Luke’s order as more original,[108] we regard Matthew’s ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν (hē basileia tōn ouranōn, “the Kingdom of Heaven”) to be the wording of Anth.[109] Luke consistently changed “Kingdom of Heaven” to “Kingdom of God” for the sake of his non-Jewish Greek readers who might not have grasped the meaning of the Hebrew idiom.[110]

הִגִּיעָה עֲלֵיכֶם מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם (HR). The most common roots that are translated with ἐγγίζειν (engizein, “to draw near,” “to approach”) in LXX are ק-ר-ב and נ-ג-שׁ, however we have decided to reconstruct ἐγγίζειν in L105 as הִגִּיעַ (higia‘, “arrive”) due to the following considerations:[111]

  1.  While the Gospels usually report Jesus’ message as ἤγγικεν…ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν/τοῦ θεοῦ (“The Kingdom of Heaven/God has come near”; Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 10:7; Mark 1:15; Luke 10:9, 11), we also find ἔφθασεν…ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ (“The Kingdom of God has arrived”) on one occasion (Matt. 12:28 // Luke 11:20).
  2. It seems likely to us that Jesus’ message about the Kingdom of Heaven was consistent and that the verbs ἐγγίζειν and φθάνειν (fthanein, “to arrive”) are simply variant renderings of the same Hebrew verb.
  3. In LXX הִגִּיעַ is translated with φθάνειν 7xx[112] and ἐγγίζειν 3xx.[113]

An example of הִגִּיעַ combined with the preposition עַל is found in the following expression:

עַל קַן צִיפּוֹר יַגִּיעוּ רַחֲמֶיךָ

Your compassion reaches [or, extends as far as] a bird’s nest. (m. Meg. 4:9; cf. m. Ber. 5:3)

An alternative for HR would be to reconstruct ἐγγίζειν with קָרַב (qārav, “approach,” “be near”). Sometimes the meaning of ק-ר-ב can be “to be present.” For instance, Moses encouraged the Israelites, saying:

כִּי הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם לֹא־נִפְלֵאת הִוא מִמְּךָ וְלֹא רְחֹקָה הִוא…כִּי־קָרוֹב אֵלֶיךָ הַדָּבָר מְאֹד בְּפִיךָ וּבִלְבָבְךָ לַעֲשׂתוֹ

This command that I command you with today is not too wonderful for you, neither is it far away…for the word is very near [קָרוֹב] to you: it is in your mouth and in your heart to do it. (Deut. 30:11, 14)

In this example קָרוֹב (qārōv, “near”) has the force of “here,” since according to Moses the word is already in the Israelites’ mouths and within their hearts. Whichever reconstruction we adopt, we would understand the apostles’ declaration to mean that the Kingdom of Heaven has become a present reality, which was visible through the miraculous healings they had been granted the authority to perform.[114]

On reconstructing the phrase ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν (hē basileia tōn ouranōn, “the Kingdom of Heaven”) as מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם (malchūt shāmayim, “Kingdom of Heaven”), see Not Everyone Can Be Yeshua’s Disciple, Comment to L39.

L106 καὶ ὃς ἂν τόπος (Mark 6:11). Matthew 10:14 and Luke 9:5 agree against Mark to omit the word τόπος (topos, “place”). Mark never uses the word πόλις (polis, “city”) anywhere in the Sending discourse, whereas Matthew’s version of the Conduct in Town pericope and both of Luke’s versions discuss the non-acceptance of the apostles in “cities” or, more properly speaking, “towns” (Matt. 10:14; Luke 9:5; 10:10). In both of these respects Matthew and Luke more accurately reflect the wording of Anth. than does Mark.[115]

L107 καὶ μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς (GR). Only Matthew omits the verb δέχεσθαι (dechesthai, “to receive”). Both of Luke’s versions have μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς (“they may not receive you”). By changing the verb to the third person singular, the author of Mark eliminated Luke’s Hebraic third person plural as a substitute for the passive form (on which, see above, Comment to L101).

L108 μηδὲ ἀκούσωσιν ὑμῶν (Mark 6:11). Having changed the verb to a third person singular in the previous line, the author of Mark now adds a third person plural verb, ἀκούσωσιν (akousōsin, “they might hear”). Perhaps Mark picked up the idea of “hearing” from Luke’s version of the Apostle and Sender saying: “The one who hears you hears me” (Luke 10:16; cf. Matt. 10:40), which occurs in a section of the Sending discourse that Mark omitted.[116] The author of Matthew evidently preferred Mark’s language of “hearing” so much that he eliminated “may not accept you” in L107 and expanded “hear you” into “hear your words.”

L109 ἐκπορευόμενοι ἐκεῖθεν (Mark 6:11). Matthew and Luke agree against Mark to use ἐξέρχεσθαι (exerchesthai, “to go out”; Matt. 10:14; Luke 9:5) instead of Mark’s ἐκπορεύεσθαι (ekporevesthai, “to go out”). Matthew and Luke also agree to omit Mark’s ἐκεῖθεν (ekeithen, “from there”). In addition, there is a Lukan-Matthean agreement against Mark to include τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης (“that city”).

ἐξερχόμενοι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης (GR). Without Matthew we might have assumed that the version in Luke 10:10-11, in which the disciples go out into the streets and address the inhabitants of the town, is closer to Anth. The Lukan-Matthean agreements against Mark in L109, however, demonstrate that in Luke 10:10-11 the author of Luke edited his source, and consequently Luke’s FR version of the Conduct in Town pericope preserves the wording of Anth.

The editorial activity in Luke 10:10-11 creates an address the apostles are to deliver if they are not accepted in a city, an address that parallels the message they are to proclaim in a city where they are accepted. Evidently the author of Luke wanted to convey the notion that the coming of the Kingdom did not depend on whether or not the apostles were accepted (see below, Comment to L114). This Lukan innovation is a development away from the original concepts of the Kingdom of Heaven: on the one hand, as the human acceptance of God’s reign (hence the identification of receiving the Kingdom of Heaven with the recitation of the Shema in rabbinic literature), and on the other hand, as a divine activity in which God rescues his people (hence the appeal to miraculous healings as proof of this divine activity).

We further note that πλατεῖα (plateia, “street,” “square”; Luke 10:10) is rare in LXX, occuring only 3xx (Esth. 6:9, 11; Tob. 13:17).[117]

The author of Matthew, who conflated the instructions about the apostles’ conduct in homes with the instructions about their conduct in town (see above, Comment to L81), added τῆς οἰκίας (“of the house”) in Matt. 10:14. We have therefore omitted τῆς οἰκίας from GR.

צְאוּ מִן הָעִיר הַהִיא (HR). On the reconstruction of ἐξέρχεσθαι with יָצָא, see above, Comment to L98.[118]

L110 ἐκτινάξατε τὸν χοῦν (Mark 6:11). Matthew’s version of the Conduct in Town pericope and both of Luke’s versions are in agreement against Mark to use κονιορτός (koniortos) instead of χοῦς (chous) for “dust.” However, Matthew agrees with Mark to use the verb ἐκτινάσσειν (ektinassein; Matt. 10:14; Mark 6:11) for “shake off,” whereas Luke has ἀποτινάσσειν (apotinassein, “to shake off”; L113) in Luke 9:5 and ἀπομάσσειν (apomassein, “to wipe away”; L113) in Luke 10:11.

Although the difference between ἐκτινάσσειν (Mark-Matt.) and ἀποτινάσσειν (Luke) might initially seem insignificant, the variation in vocabulary becomes important when we discover that, in Acts, the author of Luke used ἐκτινάσσειν—the same verb used in Mark and Matthew in the Conduct in Town pericope—for Paul’s wiping off the dust from his feet (Acts 13:51; cf. Acts 18:6).[119] Adherents to the theory of Markan Priority must suppose that in Luke 9:5 the author of Luke changed Mark’s ἐκτινάσσειν to ἀποτινάσσειν, but they cannot explain why the author of Luke would have rejected Mark’s ἐκτινάσσειν even though this verb was Luke’s preferred vocabulary for situations in which a person wipes the dust from his feet.[120] Lindsey’s solution to the Synoptic Problem, according to which the author of Mark used the Gospel of Luke as his primary source, allows for a plausible explanation: the author of Luke copied ἀποτινάσσειν (despite his personal preference for ἐκτινάσσειν) from his source (FR). The author of Mark, who was familiar with the writings of Luke, including Acts, changed ἀποτινάσσειν in Luke 9:5 to ἐκτινάσσειν because he remembered that this was the verb used in the stories about Paul, and because he liked to create verbal links between the story of Jesus and the stories in Acts.[121]

καὶ τὸν κονιορτὸν (GR). The Lukan-Matthean agreement to use κονιορτός instead of Mark’s χοῦς for “dust” establishes κονιορτός as the reading in Anth. Since we believe ἐκτινάσσειν is Mark’s replacement for Luke’s ἀποτινάσσειν, we have not only adopted Luke’s vocabulary, we have also accepted Luke’s placement of the verb at L113 in GR.

וְאֶת הָאָבָק (HR). A good case can be made for reconstructing κονιορτός either with עָפָר (‘āfār, “dust”) or with אָבָק (’āvāq, “dust”). Both nouns are used to describe dust on one’s feet. We have identified three examples of the phrase “dust of the feet” written with עָפָר:

וַעֲפַר רַגְלַיִךְ יְלַחֵכוּ

καὶ τὸν χοῦν τῶν ποδῶν σου λείξουσιν

And the dust of your feet they will lick. (Isa. 49:23)

וֶהֱוֵוי מִתְאַבֵּק בַּעֲפַר רַגְלֵיהֶם

Dust yourself in the dust of their feet. (m. Avot 1:4)

עשה זאת איפוא בני התאבק בעפר רגליו והמליכהו עליך

Do this [Gen. 43:11], therefore, my son: dust yourself in the dust of his feet and make him king over you. (Gen. Rab. 93:1 [ed. Theodor-Albeck, 3:1151])

Since עָפָר is a much more common word than אָבָק,‎[122] one might suppose that עָפָר is the better candidate for HR. However, in combination with רֶגֶל (regel, “foot”), we found אָבָק to be more usual than עָפָר:

וְעָנָן אֲבַק רַגְלָיו

καὶ νεφέλαι κονιορτὸς ποδῶν αὐτοῦ

…and the clouds are the dust of his feet. (Nah. 1:3)

לֹא יִכָּנֵס לְהַר הַבָּיִת…וּבַאֲבַק שֶׁעַל רגְלוֹ

He may not enter the Temple Mount…or with dust on his feet. (m. Ber. 9:5)[123]

לֹא יִטְבּוֹל בַּאֲבַק שֶׁעַל רַגְלָיו

He may not immerse with dust on his feet. (m. Mik. 9:2)

ולינו ורחצו רגליכם אברהם מקרים רחיצה ללינה ולוט מקרים לינה לרחיצה…. ויש אומרים אף זה עשה כשורה כדי שיצאו ויראו אבק רגליהם שלא יאמרו איכן לנו

“..and stay the night and wash your feet” [Gen. 19:2]. Abraham invited them to wash and then spend the night, but Lot invited them to stay the night and only then to wash their feet…. There are those who say, “He [Lot—DNB and JNT] did this intentionally so that when they [the angels—DNB and JNT] would go out and they [the people of Sodom—DNB and JNT] would see the dust on their feet, they would not say, ‘Where did they spend the night?’”[124] (Gen. Rab. 50:4 [ed. Theodor-Albeck, 2:520])

יראו אותן באבק שעל רגליהם ויאמרו לא באו מן הדרך אלא עכשיו

They [the people of Sodom—DNB and JNT] will see them [the angels—DNB and JNT] with dust on their feet and say, “They have not come in from the road until just now.” (Derech Eretz Rabbah 4:2 [56b]; cf. Kalah Rabbati chpt. 7)

לֵךְ הִתְרַפֵּס בַּאֲבַק רַגְלֵיהֶם שֶׁל שָׂרִים וּגְדוֹלִים מִמֶּךָ

Go humble yourself in the dust of the feet of princes and those greater than yourself. (Exod. Rab. 27:9 [ed. Merkin, 6:15])

What is the significance of shaking dust off the apostles’ feet? The prevailing opinion among scholars has been that shaking off the dust of the feet was a symbolic action intended to imply that the inhabitants of the town were henceforth to be regarded as Gentiles who were no longer a part of the true Israel.[125] This dubious interpretation, which has been advanced since at least the seventeenth century,[126] rests on the fact that, according to rabbinic halachah, soil from Gentile lands is deemed to be ritually defiling.[127] Thus, the instruction to shake the dust from their feet is understood to be an act of purification from the soil of a town that had, by virtue of rejecting Jesus’ message, forfeited its Jewish status.[128] In support of this interpretation many scholars appeal to an alleged ancient Jewish rite of dust shaking that was performed when Jewish travelers entered the Holy Land after visiting Gentile territory. However, there is no mention of any such dust-shaking ceremony in any ancient Jewish source.[129]

Sculpture of a foot from the sanctuary of Asclepius in Corinth. Photo by Todd Bolen, courtesy of

Sculpture of a foot from the sanctuary of Asclepius in Corinth. Photo by Todd Bolen, courtesy of

The earliest appeal to an alleged Jewish rite of dust shaking to support this interpretation that we have been able to find[130] dates from the second half of the nineteenth century in Henry Alford’s The New Testament for English Readers.[131] Already at the dawn of the twentieth century Abbott noted that “…nothing…justifies Alford (without alleging authority) in asserting: ‘It was a custom of the Pharisees, when they entered Judaea from a Gentile land, to do this act.’”[132] Despite Abbott’s objection, however, the myth of an ancient Jewish dust-shaking ceremony gained wide acceptance, probably due to the influence of Strack and Billerbeck’s Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch (1922-1928).[133] Strack and Billerbeck actually claim less than those who cite them as an authority on the dust-shaking rite usually suppose.[134] Whereas Strack and Billerbeck merely presume that Jews would carefully remove dust from their shoes and clothing upon entering the Holy Land, scholars who cite Strack and Billerbeck typically appeal to the dust-shaking ceremony as an established fact.[135]

Since there is no evidence that an ancient Jewish dust-shaking rite upon entering the Holy Land ever existed, and since excluding fellow Jews from membership in Israel is contrary to Jesus’ own claims that his mission was to seek out the lost and bring them back into the fold, a different interpretation of the command that the apostles shake the dust from their feet is necessary. Fortunately, an alternative explanation is at hand, one that relates to the issue of inhospitality—which is the occasion for the command to shake off the dust—and that helps us understand the comparison between a town that rejects the apostles and the city of Sodom. This explanation presented itself when we read the aggadic retellings of the story of the angels who were entertained by Lot (cited above; Gen. Rab. 50:4; Derech Eretz Rabbah 4:2 [56b]),[136] according to which Lot intentionally avoided washing the angels’ feet so that the people of Sodom would not suspect that anyone had shown hospitality to the angels. Lot hoped that when the people of Sodom saw that the angels’ feet were still covered with dust from the road, the Sodomites would assume that the angels had just arrived and not suspect that they had spent the previous night in Lot’s home.

Abraham entertains his angelic guests, performing all the duties of a hospitable host in this painting by Rembrandt. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Abraham entertains his angelic guests, performing all the duties of a hospitable host in this painting by Rembrandt. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The underlying assumption of the aggadic retelling of the story of Lot and the angels is that it was considered rude and inhospitable not to welcome strangers into the home, to deny them food, or to fail to wash their feet.[137] That the angels still had dust on their feet was proof that Lot had been less than hospitable.[138] Likewise, the fact that the apostles still had dust on their feet when they left the town was proof that the townsfolk had not fulfilled their duties toward strangers who had entered their town. The connection between the town’s non-reception of the apostles, the apostles’ dust-shaking gesture, and the comment about the fate of that town being worse than Sodom’s, becomes clear when we recall that in Jewish tradition Sodom was notorious for its inhospitality.[139] The apostles’ shaking the dust from their feet was a symbolic gesture that confronted the inhabitants of the town with their failure to show hospitality; it was not an act of repudiation of the townsfolk as part of the Jewish people. Since the inhabitants had failed to show proper hospitality to the apostles by washing their feet when they arrived, the apostles took it upon themselves to shake the dust from the road off their feet when they departed. Shaking off the dust from their feet drove their point home, because if the inhabitants of the town had shown Jesus’ apostles proper hospitality in the first place, the apostles could not have performed the dramatic gesture since there would have been no dust for them to shake off.

L111 τὸν ὑποκάτω (Mark 6:11). Neither Matthew’s version of the Conduct in Town pericope nor either of Luke’s versions describe the dust as “under” the apostles’ feet. This detail was added by the author of Mark.

τὸν κολληθέντα ἡμῖν ἐκ τῆς πόλεως ὑμῶν (Luke 10:11). The apostles’ speech upon their departure from an inhospitable town is an elaboration which the author of Luke added to his source (see above, Comment to L109). The secondary nature of the apostles’ speech is demonstrated by the misunderstanding of the dust-shaking gesture implied by the comment “the dust of your city that clings to us.” If our interpretation of the dust-shaking gesture is correct, then the apostles did not shake off the dust their feet had picked up in the town, but rather the dust they had picked up from the road prior to entering the town.[140]

L112 ἀπὸ τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν (GR). In Matt. 10:14 the author of Matthew seems to have been weaving together the wording of his two main sources (Mark and Anth.) while also adding a few touches of his own. In L109 the author of Matthew partly followed Anth., but added “outside of the house.” In L110 the author of Matthew accepted ἐκτινάξατε (“shake off”) from Mark, but κονιορτὸν from the Anthology. Matthew omitted Mark’s “under” in L111, but τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν (“of your feet”) in L112 is identical to the wording in Mark.

By omitting τόν ὑποκάτω the author of Matthew inadvertently created what looks like a Hebrew construct phrase, since τόν κονιορτὸν τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν (“the dust of your feet”) could easily be reconstructed as אֲבַק רַגְלֵיכֶם (“the dust of your feet”), but we believe this potential Hebraism is more apparent than real. We have accepted Luke’s ἀπό (apo, “from”) because Luke 9:5, while based on FR, seems to preserve the wording of Anth. more accurately than the parallels in Luke 10:11, Mark 6:11 or Matt. 10:14.

מֵעַל רַגְלֵיכֶם (HR). The vast majority of instances of the noun πούς (pous, “foot”) in LXX occur as the translation of רֶגֶל (regel, “foot”).[141] We also find that the LXX translators rendered most instance of רֶגֶל with πούς.[142] Therefore our selection of רֶגֶל for HR is backed by solid LXX precedent.

In the Hebrew sources cited above in Comment to L110 , when “dust of the feet” occurred it was stated either as a construct phrase (אֲבַק רֶגֶל, “dust of the foot”; Nah. 1:3; Gen. Rab. 50:4; Exod. Rab. 27:9) or as אָבָק שֶׁעַל רֶגֶל (“dust that is on the foot”; m. Ber. 9:5; m. Mik. 9:2; t. Ber. 7:19; Derech Eretz Rabbah 4:2 [56b]). Our reconstruction is built on the analogy of the latter formulation, but with the preposition מִן (“from”) instead of the relative pronoun -שֶׁ (“that”).

L113 ἀποτινάσσετε (GR). Since the author of Luke appears to have taken liberties with his source in Luke 10:11, and since the author of Mark appears to have exchanged ἐκτινάσσειν for ἀποτινάσσειν (see above, Comment to L110), we have accepted the imperative in Luke 9:5 for GR. In LXX ἀποτινάσσειν occurs in Judg. 16:20; 1 Kgdms. 10:2; and Lam. 2:7. In Judg. 16:20 ἀποτινάσσειν translates the root נ-ע-ר (“shake”) and in Lam. 2:7 the LXX translators evidently read נִאֵר (ni’ēr, “abhor”) as נִעֵר (ni‘ēr, “shake”). Since in rabbinic literature נָעַר is a common verb for “shake,” we have adopted it for HR.[143]

L114 πλὴν τοῦτο γεινώσκετε ὅτι ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ (Luke 10:11). We noted above (Comment to L109) that the author of Luke uses the term “Kingdom of God” here in a way that is foreign to Jesus’ normal way of speaking about the Kingdom of Heaven. According to Jesus, the Kingdom of Heaven is a divine redemptive activity in which human beings can participate when they obey God’s commandments. Jesus also used the Kingdom of Heaven to refer to his own band of itinerating disciples who were actively participating in God’s redemptive mission. The Kingdom of Heaven was happening wherever Jesus was, or, by extension, wherever the apostles were received, but not where the apostles were rejected. The author of Luke added this comment, probably in order to assert that God’s Kingdom cannot be thwarted by unbelief, but this is a development away from the original concept of the Kingdom of Heaven.

εἰς μαρτύριον ἐπ᾿ αὐτούς (GR). Luke 9:5 probably preserves the reading of Anth. In LXX εἰς μαρτύριον (eis martūrion, “for a testimony”) is typically the translation of לְעֵד (le‘ēd, “for a testimony”) or לְעֵדָה (le‘ēdāh, “for a testimony”).[144] In LXX we usually find ἐν σοὶ εἰς μαρτύριον (en soi eis martūrion, “in you for a testimony”) as the translation of בְּךָ לְעֵד/עֵדָה (bechā le‘ēd/‘ēdāh, “against you for a testimony”). Supposing that the conjectured Hebrew Ur-text read לְעֵדָה בָּהֶם (le‘ēdāh bāhem, “for a testimony against them”), the use of the preposition ἐπί (epi, “on”) rather than ἐν (en, “in”) as the translation of -בְּ is non-Septuagintal.

לְעֵדָה בָּהֶם (HR). In MH עֵדוּת (‘ēdūt) is the usual word for “testimony,” but עֵדָה also occurs in rabbinic literature as a synonym for “testimony.”[145] We have chosen to reconstruct with עֵדָה because we have not found any instances of “testimony against” with עֵדוּת.

L115-122 The comparison of an inhospitable town to Sodom is found in Matthew’s account of Sending the Twelve (Matt. 10:15) and Luke’s account of the Seventy-two (Luke 10:12). Matthew also preserves similar saying in Jesus’ denunciation of Capernaum (Matt. 11:24) in the pericope we have entitled Woes on Three Villages.

A certain degree of verbal cross-pollination appears to have taken place between the Matthean (and to a lesser extent, the Lukan) versions of these similar sayings, as shown in the tables below:

Conduct in Town Woes on Three Villages
Anth. Matt. 10:15 Luke 10:12 Luke 10:14 Matt. 11:24 Anth.
ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πλὴν πλὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πλὴν
ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται        
γῇ Σοδόμων καὶ Γομόρρων γῇ Σοδόμων καὶ Γομόρρων Σοδόμοις Τύρῳ καὶ Σειδῶνι γῇ Σοδόμων Σοδόμοις
      ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται
ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἐν τῇ κρίσει ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως ἐν τῇ κρίσει
    ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται      
ἢ τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ ἢ τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ ἢ τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ ἢ ὑμῖν ἢ σοί ἢ σοί
Conduct in Town Woes on Three Villages
Anth. Matt. 10:15 Luke 10:12 Luke 10:14 Matt. 11:24 Anth.
Amen! I say to you that Amen! I say to you, I say to you that But But I say to you that But
it will be easier it will be easier        
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah for Sodom for Tyre and Sidon for the land of Sodom for Sodom
      it will be easier it will be easier it will be easier
in that day in the day of judgment in that day in the judgment in the day of judgment in the judgment
    it will be easier      
than for that town. than for that town. than for that town. than for you. than for you. than for you.

In the tables above, blue lettering in the Matt. 10:15 and Luke 10:12 columns indicates cross-pollination from the Woes on Three Villages. Pink lettering in the Matt. 11:24 column indicates cross-pollination from the similar saying in Conduct in Town. Since Luke’s version of the Woes on Three Villages lacks a parallel to Matt. 11:24, we have used Luke 10:14 (// Matt. 11:22) as a stand-in. To indicate that Luke 10:14 is merely a shadow of Matt. 11:24 we have marked its wording in grey.

L115 ἀμὴν (Matt. 10:15). We have retained Matthew’s “Amen!” in GR and HR not only because it agrees with Hebraic usage,[146] but also because the author of Luke frequently omitted “amen” or used a synonym where “amen” appears in the Matthean parallel.[147] Perhaps the author of Luke omitted “amen” because its meaning was not familiar to his non-Jewish Greek readers.[148] Ἀμήν (amēn, “amen”) is simply a transliteration of the Hebrew word אָמֵן (’āmēn) and was therefore meaningless for Greek speakers unacquainted with Judaism.[149] Justin Martyr, who likewise wrote for non-Jewish Greek-speaking audiences, found it necessary to explain the term “amen” to his readers.[150]

L116 λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι (GR). We have retained Luke’s ὅτι (hoti, “that”) in GR both because ὅτι frequently accompanied λέγω ὑμῖν in Anth.[151] and because the presence of λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι in Matt. 11:24 seems to has seeped into Matthew’s version of Woes on Three Villages from Anth.’s version of Jesus’ warning about the fate of inhospitable cities here in Conduct in Town.[152]

Since Hebrew does not require a word corresponding to ὅτι (such as כִּי or -שֶׁ) to introduce direct speech, there is no equivalent to ὅτι in HR.[153]

L117 ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται (GR). The phrase ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται (anektoteron estai, “more bearable it will be”) occurs at different points in the Lukan and Matthean versions of Jesus’ warning about the fate of inhospitable towns. We have adopted Matthew’s more Hebraic placement of this phrase for GR.

נוֹחַ יִהְיֶה (HR). As we noted above, there is no agreement between the three versions of the comparison to Sodom saying as to the placement of the phrase ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται (“more bearable it will be”). We have chosen to follow Matt. 10:15 for the placement of this phrase in GR because this is the most natural place for it to occur in HR.

We have reconstructed ἀνεκτότερος (anektoteros, “more bearable”) with נוֹחַ (nōaḥ, “easy”) + preposition מִן (min, “from”), the standard construction for expression of degrees of comparison in Hebrew, which lacks superlatives.[154] For a similarly structured comparison in Hebrew to נוֹחַ יִהְיֶה לִסְדוֹם…מֵהָעִיר הַהִיא (“Easier it will be for Sodom…than for that city”; L117-122), note the following examples:

הוא היה אומר נוח למלוך על כל העולם כולו מלישב בפני בני אדם העטופים בסדינין

He would say, “It is easier [נוֹחַ] to rule the whole world than to sit [מִלֵישֵׁב] before people clothed in linen.” (Avot de-Rabbi Natan, Version A, 25:5 [ed. Schechter, 82])

נוח למלוך על כל האדם מלדבר על פי שנים עדים ועל פי שלשה עדים עטופי סדינים

It is easier [נוֹחַ] to rule over all humankind than to speak [מִלְדַבֵּר] on the basis of two or three witnesses clothed in linen.[155] (Avot de-Rabbi Natan, Version B, chpt. 33 [ed. Schechter, 73])

On reconstructing εἶναι (einai, “to be”) with הָיָה (hāyāh, “be”), see Call of Levi, Comment to L30.

Sodom and Gomorrha as painted by Henry Ossawa Tanner (ca. 1920). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Sodom and Gomorrah oil on canvas painting by Henry Ossawa Tanner (ca. 1920). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

L118 γῇ Σοδόμων καὶ Γομόρρων (GR). We suspect that Matthew’s reference to the “land of Sodom and Gomorrah” reflects the wording of Anth. In part this suspicion arises from the fact that it makes sense for an editor to change “land of Sodom and Gomorrah” to “Sodom” in the present context. Supposing Jesus’ saying compared the fate of one inhospitable town to that of one condemned entity (“the land of Sodom and Gomorrah”), an editor such as the author of Luke could have realized that he could omit “land” and “and Gomorrah” in order to create an “apples to apples” comparison: a single inhospitable town is compared to a single condemned city of the biblical past, Sodom. The reverse scenario, in which an editor such as the author of Matthew ruining an “apples to apples” comparison in order to mention Gomorrah in tandem with Sodom is less likely,[156] especially since the author of Matthew never referred to Gomorrah again in his Gospel, so there is no reason to suppose he had a particular interest in that ancient city.

Another reason for suspecting that Matthew’s γῇ Σοδόμων καὶ Γομόρρων (gē Sodomōn kai Gomorrōn, “for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah”) is original is the cross-pollination that took place between Matthew’s version of this saying in Conduct in Town and the denunciation of Capernaum (Matt. 11:24) in Woes on Three Villages (see above, Comment to L115-122). In Matt. 11:24 the author of Matthew again refers to the “land of Sodom,” but this designation is out of place, since in the previous verse he had referred simply to “Sodom” (Matt. 11:23).[157] Hence γῇ Σοδόμων (“for the land of Sodom”) in Matt. 11:24 was probably imported from Jesus’ warning about inhospitable cities in Conduct in Town.[158]

לְאֶרֶץ סְדוֹם וַעֲמֹרָה (HR). Most instances of γῆ (, “land”) in LXX occur as the translation of אֶרֶץ (’eretz, “land”),[159] and likewise, the LXX translators rendered the vast majority of the Hebrew Bible’s instances of אֶרֶץ as γῆ.[160]

The name Σόδομα (Sodoma, “Sodom”) is the LXX equivalent of סְדֹם (sedom, “Sodom”).[161] Philo[162] and Josephus (Ant. 1:174) also referred to Sodom as Σόδομα. Josephus once referred to Sodom as Σοδομηνή (Sodomēnē; J.W. 5:566).

The name Γόμορρα (Gomorra, “Gomorrah”) is the LXX equivalent of עֲמֹרָה (amorāh, “Gomorrah”).[163] It is also the name by which Philo referred to Gomorrah in his writings.[164] Josephus avoided all mention of Gomorrah in his extant works.

While the phrase γῇ Σοδόμων καὶ Γομόρρων (“for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah”) reverts quite easily to Hebrew as לְאֶרֶץ סְדוֹם וַעֲמֹרָה (“for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah”), it is necessary to note that the phrase “land of Sodom and Gomorrah” is unattested in the Hebrew Bible, LXX, DSS. It does not occur in rabbinic sources, either, except in very late compilations such as Menahem ben Solomon ben Isaac’s Sechel Tov (1139 C.E.).[165] It also occurs in the writings of Rabbi David Kimhi (Radak).[166] Perhaps the absence of the phrase “land of Sodom and Gomorrah” in earlier sources is merely a fluke. In any case, the suggestion that γῇ Σοδόμων καὶ Γομόρρων in Matt. 10:15 stands rather for מְדִינַת סְדוֹם וַעֲמֹרָה (medinat sedom va‘amorāh, “region of Sodom and Gomorrah”)[167] hardly resolves the difficulty, since this phrase is likewise absent from the ancient sources.

L119-120 ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ (GR). Deciding between “in the day of judgment” (Matt. 10:15; 11:24) and “in that day” (Luke 10:12) is difficult.[168] In the Gospels the phrase ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως (en hēmera kriseōs, “in the day of judgment”) is unique to Matthew, where it occurs 4xx (Matt. 10:15; 11:22, 24; 12:36),[169] but since the Hebrew equivalent יוֹם הַדִּין (yōm hadin, “the day of judgment”) is attested in rabbinic sources Matthew’s phrase cannot be ruled out as un-Hebraic.[170]

On the other hand Luke’s ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ (en tē hēmera ekeinē, “in that day”)is no less Hebraic than Matthew’s wording. The phrase בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא (bayōm hahū’, “in that day”), the Hebrew equivalent of Luke’s ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ,[171] occurs over a hundred times in the prophetic books of the Hebrew Bible as a reference to a coming day of reckoning, and would certainly have been familiar to the apostles, to whom Jesus’ statement was addressed.

Tipping the balance in favor of Luke’s reading is the phenomenon of verbal cross-pollination between the Matthean versions of Jesus’ warning about the fate of inhospitable towns (Matt. 10:15) and the denunciation of Capernaum in Woes on Three Villages (Matt. 11:24) (see above, Comment to L115-122). It appears that the author of Matthew combined “in that day” from the former with “in the judgement” in the later to create the phrase “in the day of judgment,” which he then used in both passages.[172]

L119 בַּיּוֹם (HR). On reconstructing ἡμέρα (hēmera, “day”) as יוֹם (yōm, “day”), see Choosing the Twelve, Comment to L5.

Does this warning refer to the judgment at the end of time, or does Jesus refer to a reckoning that will be worked out in the course of history? The latter interpretation might be preferable, since it could tie together the entire pericope with a single underlying thought. If, as we discussed above (Comment to L88), Jesus understood an important aspect of his calling to be a prophetic mission to call the people to repentance so as to avert a national crisis that would result from armed rebellion against the Roman Empire,[173] then the judgment Jesus envisions in Matt. 10:15 and Luke 10:12 could be none other than the crushing defeat by the Roman legions of those towns that had rejected Jesus’ message of peace. As Wright suggested, “Jesus had offered these Galilean towns the way of peace. By following him, they would find the god-given golden thread to guide them through the dark labyrinth of current political aspirations and machinations, and on to vindication as the true people of the creator and covenant god. If they refused, they were choosing the way that led, inevitably, to confrontation with Rome, and so, to unavoidable ruin.”[174] In the book of Judges and in the prophetic books of the Bible God’s judgment is often carried out by Gentile kingdoms.[175]

L124-132 The Luke 9 (FR) version of the Sending discourse concludes with a description of the apostles setting out to spread their message and to heal (Luke 9:6). The high concentration of participles in Luke 9:6, the use of the verbs διέρχεσθαι (dierchesthai, “to go through”) and ἐυαγγελίζειν (evangelizein, “to proclaim good news”), both of which occur in the writings of Luke with a much greater frequency than in the Gospels of Mark or Matthew,[176] the presence of πανταχοῦ (pantachou, “everywhere”), which occurs only once in LXX,[177] and the similarity of Luke 9:6 to other concluding summary statements in the Lukan corpus (cf. Luke 8:1; Acts 8:4, 25, 40), all suggest that Luke 9:6 was either composed by the author of Luke himself, or possibly adapted from a conclusion composed by the First Reconstructor. In any case, it does not seem possible to recover a Hebrew source behind Luke 9:6.

Mark’s version of the Sending discourse, which is based on Luke 9:1-6, also concludes with a description of the apostles’ departure. That Mark 6:12-13 is a loose paraphrase of Luke 9:6 can be seen from Mark’s use of a different form of the verb ἐξέρχεσθαι (exerchesthai, “to go out”) in L124, a synonym for “proclaim” in L126, and Mark’s agreement with Luke 9:6 to mention healing in L131.

L127 ἵνα μετανοῶσιν (Mark 6:12). The ἵνα + subjunctive construction is often indicative of Greek composition. The translations of Delitzsch (וַיִּקְרְאוּ לָשׁוּב בִּתְשׁוּבָה) and Lindsey (וַיִּקְרְאוּ לָאֲנָשִׁים לָשׁוּב מִדַּרְכָּם; HTGM, 107) demonstrate how difficult it is to reconstruct ἐκήρυξαν ἵνα μετανοῶσιν in Hebrew.

L129 καὶ ἤλειφον ἐλαίῳ (Mark 6:13). Mark is unique in describing the apostles as anointing the sick with oil. Lindsey suggested that the author of Mark picked up the notion of anointing the sick from James 5:14, since this is the only other mention of healing the sick by anointing with oil in NT.[178]

L130 πολλοὺς ἀρρώστους (Mark 6:13). In NT ἄρρωστος (arrōstos) for “sick person” is rare; of the five instances, three are in Mark.[179] In Mark 6:5 and Mark 6:13 the author of Mark uses ἄρρωστος in summary statements of Jesus’ activity, which are likely redactional. The third instance of ἄρρωστος in Mark appears in the spurious ending of Mark’s Gospel (Mark 16:18). In LXX ἄρρωστος is the translation of חֹלֶה (ḥoleh, “sick person”) on only two occasions (3 Kgdms. 14:5; Mal. 1:8), thus ἄρρωστος is not typical of translation Greek. The presence of ἄρρωστος in Mark 6:13, therefore, is another hint that this verse does not reflect an original Hebrew source.

L133-136 Καὶ ἐγένετο ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς διατάσσων τοῖς δώδεκα μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ, μετέβη ἐκεῖθεν τοῦ διδάσκειν καὶ κηρύσσειν ἐν ταῖς πόλεσιν αὐτῶν (Matt. 11:1). The first half of Matt. 11:1 (L133-134) is nearly identical to the conclusions of the other major Matthean discourses (Matt. 7:28; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1), which is a strong indication of Matthean composition, since the discourses themselves were compiled by the author of Matthew.[180] It is unlikely that any part of Matt. 11:1 reflects an underlying Hebraic source.[181]

L134 διατάσσων τοῖς δώδεκα μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ (Matt. 11:1). The verb διατάσσειν (diatassein, “to instruct”) occurs 20xx in LXX, half of which are in books not included in MT, and διατάσσειν is not the standard translation of any Hebrew verb.[182] The reference to the “twelve disciples” instead of the “twelve apostles” is characteristic of Matthean redaction.[183]

L135 μετέβη ἐκεῖθεν τοῦ διδάσκειν καὶ κηρύσσειν (Matt. 11:1). We have had occasion to note that the author of Matthew was far more interested in the instructions given to the apostles than he was in their actual mission. There can hardly be a better illustration of this fact than Matt. 11:1, which concludes the Sending discourse not with a description of the apostles going out to teach, as in Mark 6:12-13 and Luke 9:6, but of Jesus heading out on a teaching tour.[184]

The verb μεταβαίνειν (metabainein, “to depart”) occurs 12xx in NT, half of which are in the Gospel of Matthew, compared to zero instances of μεταβαίνειν in Mark and only one instance in Luke (Luke 10:7).[185] All but one of the remaining NT instances of μεταβαίνειν occur in Johannine literature, which is un-Hebraic.[186] In LXX μεταβαίνειν occurs exclusively in books originally composed in Greek.[187] It therefore seems unlikely that the author of Matthew copied μεταβαίνειν from Anth. The adverb ἐκεῖθεν (ekeithen, “from there”) is also Matthean, occurring 12xx in Matthew compared to 6xx in Mark and 4xx in Luke.[188] In several instances where Matthew has ἐκεῖθεν it is lacking in the Lukan and/or Markan parallel.[189] Likewise, the combination of μεταβαίνειν + ἐκεῖθεν is found in the Gospels only in Matthew (Matt. 11:1; 12:9; 15:29). All the evidence in L135 points to Matthean composition.

L136 ἐν ταῖς πόλεσιν αὐτῶν (Matt. 11:1). The author of Matthew speaks of Jesus teaching and preaching “in their cities,” a phrasing that expresses discontinuity and alienation from the Jewish setting Matthew describes, similar to “their synagogues” in Matt. 9:35.[190] These are not the words of a Jewish eyewitness, who would have written “our cities” and “our synagogues.”

Redaction Analysis

The four versions of the Conduct in Town pericope are, despite many important differences, relatively unified in their descriptions of how the apostles were to behave when they arrived in a new town. Each version gives instructions about entering homes and how to respond to inhospitality. The Luke 9 and Mark 6 versions are closely related, as are the Matthew 10 and Luke 10 versions. We believe this to be the result of Mark’s preference for FR pericopae, hence his similarity to the Luke 9 version of the Conduct in Town pericope, whereas Matthew preferred the Anthology’s fuller version to the version in Mark 6, which caused Matthew’s version to resemble the version in Luke 10, which was also based on Anth.

Luke’s Versions

The Luke 10 version of the Conduct in Town pericope is, generally speaking, closer to Anth. than any of the other versions. Nevertheless, the author of Luke did not simply replicate Anth. in Luke 10:5-12. Sometimes the author of Luke made minor stylistic improvements, such as the transposition of two words (L85), supplying a synonym to replace a word in his source (L98), or omitting a foreign word that might have been unfamiliar to his readers (L115). At other times, however, the author of Luke adapted Anth. in more conspicuous ways. For instance, it is likely that the author of Luke added the command to “eat whatever is set before you” (L102) in order to “update” the instructions for his own time. An even more significant change is the addition of an entire speech in which the apostles voiced their reproach against an inhospitable town (L109-114). Perhaps, as a traveling companion of Paul, the author of Luke experienced the command to shake off the dust of their feet in a deeply personal way, since Paul had carried out this instruction on at least one occasion (Acts 13:51). Whatever the motivation, Luke’s editorial activity slightly changed the meaning of the dust-shaking action, since originally it was the dust from their travels on the road that the apostles were to shake off their feet as a token of the failure of the townsfolk to provide them with water to wash themselves. The author of Luke, however, made it the dust of the inhospitable town that was to be shaken off the apostles’ feet (L111). An even more significant change is the introduction of the idea that Jewish non-acceptance of the Gospel cannot hinder the Kingdom of God (L114). This is a departure from the original concept of the Kingdom of Heaven, according to which the Kingdom is a divine activity in which human beings can participate as they receive God as their king.

The Luke 9 version of the Conduct in Town pericope is based on FR’s improved-Greek epitome of the Anthology’s version. The First Reconstructor (the creator of FR) omitted the instructions about greeting the family (L86-92), “the worker is worthy” saying (L97), the instructions about conduct in a town that welcomes the apostles (L100-105), and the comparison to Sodom saying (L115-122). Despite these omissions, however, the First Reconstructor sometimes preserved the wording of Anth. more faithfully than did the author of Luke in the Luke 10 version because, as we have just discussed, at certain points the author of Luke modified the wording of Anth. in Luke 10:5-12. The most easily identifiable point at which the Luke 9 version of the Conduct in Town pericope preserves the wording of Anth. better than the Luke 10 version is in the instructions about shaking the dust from the apostles’ feet, for there the Lukan-Matthean agreements against Mark were achieved by Matthew’s and FR’s adherence to Anth. (L109). Other places at which the Luke 9 version may have preserved the Anthology’s wording more accurately than the Luke 10 version are L85, where the word order in Luke 9:4 (οἰκίαν εἰσέλθητε) is more Hebraic than in Luke 10:5 (εἰσέλθητε οἰκίαν); L99, where we suspect that ἐξέρχεσθε in Luke 9:4 is more Hebraic than μεταβαίνετε in Luke 10:7 (L98); and L114, where “for a testimony against them” (Luke 9:5) is more Hebraic than “nevertheless know this: that the Kingdom of God has come near” (Luke 10:11). The examples in L85 and L114 lack support in Matthew, but their more Hebraic quality, as compared to what is in the Luke 10 version, makes it possible to identify them as ultimately stemming from Anth.

Mark’s Version

The Markan version of the Conduct in Town pericope reproduces the Luke 9 version with minimal editorial activity. Occasionally the author of Mark replaced a word in Luke 9 with a synonym (L109, L110) or added an additional detail, such as specifying that it was the dust under the apostles’ feet that they were to shake off (L111). In one instance the author of Mark may have exchanged the verb for “shake off” that he found in Luke 9 for the verb for “shake off” in Acts 13:51 in order to emphasize the continuity between Jesus’ instructions and the actions of the Apostle Paul (L110). By supplying the words “place” (L106) and “from there” (L109), the author of Mark avoided using the word πόλις (polis, “city”) in the Conduct in Town pericope, but it is unlikely that this avoidance had a particular ideological or theological motivation. It is simply an example of Mark paraphrasing Luke, his primary source.

Matthew’s Version

Perhaps the author of Matthew preferred the Anthology’s version of the Conduct in Town pericope over Mark’s version simply because he intended to make the sending of the Twelve the occasion for the second major discourse in his Gospel, and the Anthology’s more detailed version better suited this purpose than Mark’s bare-bones version. Whatever the motivation, Matthew’s preference for Anth. led to the many similarities between the Matthean and Luke 10 versions of the Conduct in Town pericope.

An overriding ideological concern, however, caused Matthew to significantly alter the Anthology’s wording. This ideological concern had to do with worthiness: the worthiness of the apostles to receive hospitality, and the worthiness of the hosts to receive the apostles. The author of Matthew wished to ensure that the apostles would be above reproach, especially with respect to the accusation that the apostles were seeking personal gain. This concern explains why Matthew moved “the worker is worthy” saying (L97) from its original position as a comment about receiving hospitality, and attached it to the command prohibiting the apostles from acquiring possessions in the course of their mission. It seems probable that Matthew’s concern about the apostles making personal gains at the expense of their hosts is a response to actual abuses experienced within Matthew’s community. It is also likely that Matthew’s concern about the host’s worthiness (L83, L88, L90) also reflects circumstances that were current at the time the author of Matthew composed his Gospel. In Matthew’s time itinerant teachers would stay with families who belonged to the community of believers. Upon arriving in a new city, the itinerant teachers would inquire of the Church leaders where they ought to stay. These circumstances are very different from what was envisioned when Jesus sent the apostles to places they had not visited and where there was no Church, because the Church, as Matthew used this term, had not yet come into existence. The Luke 10 version of the Conduct in Town pericope preserves the more original instructions, according to which the apostles were to stay with strangers, making no distinction between who was “worthy” to receive them and who was not.

Stylistic concerns also led to Matthew’s adaptation of the Anthology. Wishing to streamline the pericope’s content, the author of Matthew conflated the instructions about conduct in private homes with the instructions about public behavior in towns. This conflation resulted in the awkward sequence of giving a command to “stay there” (L84) before the house where the apostles were to stay was actually mentioned (L85). It also appears that the author of Matthew misunderstood his source, assuming that it was literally the house that was addressed with a greeting, rather than the family that dwelt within it (L87). In the comparison to Sodom saying the author of Matthew altered the wording of Anth. slightly by adding “and Gomorrah” (L118) and changing “that day” to “day of judgment” (L119-120). Adding “and Gomorrah” adversely affected the balance of the original saying in which one inhospitable town in the present was compared to one infamously inhospitable city (Sodom) in the biblical past. Likewise, by changing “that day” to “day of judgment” the author of Matthew destroyed the original agreement between τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ (L119-120) and τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ (L122) that was preserved in Luke 10:12.

Results of this Research

1. What is the meaning of “son of peace” in Luke 10:6? It is unlikely that “son of peace” simply meant “friendly” or “hospitable person,” because the members of the household who had invited the apostles to stay with them had already proven themselves to be friendly and hospitable. It is also unlikely that “son of peace” meant someone who was already a disciple of Jesus, because the apostles, who had been with Jesus since he had begun training disciples, would almost certainly have recognized someone who had been a disciple of Jesus. From the instructions Jesus gave to the apostles, it is clear that when they greeted the household with peace they did not know beforehand whether or not anyone in the family would turn out to be a “son of peace.” Perhaps the term “son of peace” is related to Jesus’ other teachings about peace. According to Jesus, someone who is a peacemaker is called a son of God (Matt. 5:9). Evidently, Jesus defined peacemakers as people who loved even their enemies, for in this way they emulated their Father in heaven (Matt. 5:44-45). Just as God is peaceable toward the world, which is often at enmity with God, so are human beings to be peaceable toward one another (Matt. 5:48). Jesus’ teachings on peace in these related passages may be based on an ancient homily on the stones of the altar, according to which the disciples of the sages are required to be peaceable (שְׁלֵמִים; shelēmim), just as the stones of the altar were required to be whole (שְׁלֵמוֹת; shelēmōt). If such a homily undergirds Jesus’ teachings on peace, then it is possible that “son of peace,” בֶּן שָׁלוֹם (ben shālōm), is a wordplay on the term אֶבֶן שְׁלֵמָה (’even shelēmāh, “whole stone”).

2. What is the significance of the instruction to eat and drink with the people in whose home the apostles were invited to stay (Luke 10:7)? On the most basic level, Jesus instructed his apostles to be gracious guests who did not demand special treatment from their hosts. The apostles were to gratefully accept whatever they were offered, whether it was little or much, whether the quality was fine or coarse. On a deeper level, Jesus’ expectation that the apostles should have fellowship with strangers without testing their moral character or social standing contrasts sharply with the practice of the Essenes who maintained a strict separation between insiders and outsiders. The separation the Essenes maintained was not merely attitudinal, reserving love and friendliness exclusively for members of the sect, the Essenes also maintained an economic separation between covenanters and non-members, to the extent that they would not accept a gift from an outsider. Anything they received from outsiders had to be paid for, since to the Essenes having fellowship with outsiders meant participating in their wickedness. Jesus rejected the Essene demand for separation from sinners. According to Jesus, it was precisely through fellowship that “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” would be returned to the fold. That is why Jesus ate with tax collectors and required the apostles to associate with strangers.

3. How are we to interpret the command to “shake the dust from your feet” when a town or village declined to accept Jesus’ apostles? The long-held interpretation of the command to shake off the dust from the apostles’ feet, according to which the town was henceforth cut off from Israel and was to be regarded as equal to the impure land of the Gentiles, has to be abandoned, not only because this interpretation is based on a fictitious ceremony, but because it is contrary to Jesus’ worldview.[191] Whereas the Essenes might view fellow Jews who did not join their sect as cut off from Israel, Jesus rejected sharp divisions between “insiders” and “outsiders.” Jesus understood his mission to be about the restoration of Israel by calling the entire people to repentance. Declaring anyone to be irrevocably cut off from Israel is antithetical to the very spirit of Jesus’ teachings.

Instead of being an act of utter repudiation, shaking the dust from their feet is best understood as a dramatic demonstration on the part of Jesus’ apostles, a demonstration which highlights the town’s inhospitality toward strangers. Had the townspeople shown the apostles the basic hospitality that was expected to be offered to all strangers, there would have been no dust on the apostles’ feet to shake off, since supplying water for foot washing was considered to be as essential to hospitality as providing food and drink for one’s guests.[192] Understanding the shaking off of the dust from the apostles’ feet as a symbolic demonstration of the town’s inhospitality has the benefit of clarifying the connection between the inhospitable town, the apostles’ action, and the comparison of the inhospitable town to Sodom, the biblical archetype of inhospitable cities.


In the Conduct in Town pericope Jesus explained to his apostles how they were to behave when arriving in a town. The apostles were to accept hospitality from strangers and share their message of peace which would avert national catastrophe. The apostles were to demonstrate the inbreaking of God’s redemptive reign by healing the sick. If a town refused to extend hospitality to the apostles, then, as they departed, the apostles were to confront the townsfolk with dramatic proof of the town’s inhospitality: they were to shake off the dust that the townspeople ought to have washed from their feet when they arrived. Jesus commented on the fate of towns that are inhospitable to strangers: on the day of reckoning it will be worse for such towns than it will be for Sodom.

Adam Elsheimer, Jupiter and Mercury in the House of Philemon and Baucis (ca. 1608). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Adam Elsheimer, Jupiter and Mercury in the House of Philemon and Baucis (ca. 1608). 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] A version of the Conduct in Town pericope also appears in the Gospel of Thomas, where we read:

    And if you go into any land and wander in the regions, if they receive you, eat what they set before you, heal the sick among them. For what goes into your mouth will not defile you, but what comes out of your mouth, that is what will defile you. (Gos. Thom. §14 [ed. Guillaumont, 11])

  • [4] See Sending the Twelve: Conduct on the Road, Comment to L74.
  • [5] See Hawkins, 12; Robert L. Lindsey, “A New Two-source Solution to the Synoptic Problem,” thesis 7; Joshua N. Tilton and David N. Bivin, “LOY Excursus: Catalog of Markan Stereotypes and Possible Markan Pick-ups,” under the entry for Mark 2:16.
  • [6] See Sending the Twelve: “The Harvest Is Plentiful” and “A Flock Among Wolves,” Comment to L40-41.
  • [7] For a discussion of the importance of the Lukan-Matthean agreements against Mark for reconstructing the wording of Anth., see Sending the Twelve: Conduct on the Road, Comment to L63-67.
  • [8] Segal, 202 §415.
  • [9] Segal, 44 §80.
  • [10] On the sources of Matt. 9:35, see Sending the Twelve: Commissioning, Comments to L1-7, L6.
  • [11] Of the nine instances of ἄξιος (axios, “worthy”) in the Gospel of Matthew, seven occur in Matt. 10. See Demands of Discipleship, Comment to L10.
  • [12] Cf. Marshall, 419; Davies-Allison, 2:175.
  • [13] Compare Matt. 10:11 to the following passage in the Mishnah:

    הַנִּכְנַס לָעִיר וְאֵינוּ מַכִּיר אָדָם שָׁם וְאָמַר מִיכָן נֶאֱמָן וּמִיכָן מְעַשֵּׂר אָמַּ′ לוֹ אֶחָד אֲנִי אֵינו נֶאֱמָן אִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי הֲרֵי זֶה נֶאֱמָן הָלַךְ וְלָקַח מִמֶּנּוּ

    The one who enters a city and does not know anyone there and he said, “Who here is faithful and who here tithes?” and someone said to him, “I am such a one,” he is not trusted, but if he said, “So-and-so,” behold this one is trusted, and he goes and takes from him. (m. Dem. 4:6)

  • [14] See Gundry, Matt., 188.
  • [15] On changes the author of Matthew made to the Conduct on the Road pericope in response to itinerant teachers, see Sending the Twelve: Conduct on the Road, Comments to L52-62, L62, L63, and under the subheading “Redaction Analysis: Matthew’s Version.”
  • [16] We have intentionally used the word “church” here, since this was the term the author of Matthew used for his community. In the Synoptic Gospels the noun ἐκκλησία (ekklēsia, “church”) occurs exclusively in the Gospel of Matthew (Matt. 16:18; 18:17 [2xx]).
  • [17] Examples of אָמַר in the imperative are found in m. Rosh Hash. 2:6; m. Yev. 16:7; m. Ned. 3:4; m. Bab. Metz. 7:1; m. Sanh. 3:6; 6:2; 7:5, 10; m. Avot 1:15; m. Arach. 8:7; m. Neg. 3:1; m. Yad. 4:3.
  • [18] Fitzmyer, 2:847.
  • [19] See Werner Foerster, “εἰρήνη,” TDNT, 2:413 n. 77.
  • [20] On the Hebraic use of “house” in the sense of “family” see Rich Man Declines the Kingdom of Heaven, Comment to L113.
  • [21] Cf. Luz, 2:71 n. 9. For the prohibition against greetings on the road, see Sending the Twelve: Conduct on the Road, Comment to L77.
  • [22] Examples of שָׁלוֹם as a greeting are found in Judg. 19:20; 1 Sam. 25:6; m. Mid. 1:2; Avot de-Rabbi Natan, Version A, 41:1 (ed. Schechter, 131); Gen. Rab. 100:7 (ed. Theodor-Albeck, 3:1291). On the greeting שָׁלוֹם in the Bar Kochva letters as likely reflecting spoken greetins, see P. S. Alexander, “Epistolary Literature,” in Jewish Writings of the Second Temple Period (CRINT II.2; ed. Michael E. Stone; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984),579-596, esp. 590.
  • [23] We find examples of -שָׁלוֹם לְ in wishes for peace in Gen. 29:6; 43:23; Judg. 6:23; 19:20; Isa. 57:19; Dan. 10:19; 1 Chr. 12:19.
  • [24] Examples of שָׁלוֹם עַל in MT are found in Ps. 125:5; 128:6. Both are examples of the formula שָׁלוֹם עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל (“Peace [be] upon Israel”), rendered in both places by LXX as εἰρήνη ἐπὶ τὸν Ισραηλ (“Peace [be] upon the Israel”).
  • [25] Examples of שָׁלוֹם עַל in rabbinic literature include m. Mid. 1:2; Avot de-Rabbi Natan, Version A, 41:1 (ed. Schechter, 131); Gen. Rab. 100:7 (ed. Theodor-Albeck, 3:1291); y. Ber. 2:1 [13a]; y. Moed Kat. 3:7 [18b]; y. Naz. 4:1 [16b]; y. Shevu. 2:4 [11a]; b. Ber. 3a (2xx); b. Rosh Hash. 25b; b. Taan. 20b (2xx).
  • [26] See Albert L. A. Hogeterp, “New Testament Greek as Popular Speech: Adolf Deissmann in Retrospect,” Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 102 (2011): 178-200, esp. 197.
  • [27] Cited by Hogeterp, “New Testament Greek as Popular Speech,” 197.
  • [28] Cf. Francis Wright Beare, “The Mission of the Disciples and the Mission Charge: Matthew 10 and Parallels,” Journal of Biblical Literature 89 (1970): 1-13, esp. 11-12; Davies-Allison, 2:175-176; Nolland, Luke, 2:552.
  • [29] The LXX translators rendered אִם as ἐάν in Gen. 4:7; 18:26, 28, 30; 24:8; 28:20; 30:31; 31:8 (2xx), 52; 32:9, 27; 34:15, 17; 38:17; 42:15, 37; 43:9; 44:23, 32. The LXX translators rendered אִם as εἰ in Gen. 13:9 (2xx), 6; 14:23; 15:5; 17:17; 18:3, 21; 20:7; 23:8; 24:42, 49 (2xx); 25:22; 27:46: 30:1, 27; 31:50 (2xx); 33:10; 42:16, 19; 43:4, 5, 11; 44:26; 47:16, 18, 29; 50:4. The bias toward εἰ over ἐάν should not be overemphasized, since a larger sample size might even the score or even reverse it.
  • [30] See Segal, 229 §486.
  • [31] See Moulton-Milligan, 649.
  • [32] See Wilfred Lawrence Knox, The Sources of the Synoptic Gospels (2 vols.; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953), 1:90 n. 1; Hogeterp, “New Testament Greek as Popular Speech,” 186-190.
  • [33] See Fitzmyer, 2:848.
  • [34] According to Zimmerman, “…‘son of peace’ is an unparalleled locution except in Aramaic where בר שלמותא which means ‘one of the same mind, one of the same conviction’ i.e., one who is a kindred spirit”; however, the sources Zimmerman cites are Syriac, and may be influenced by the language of the New Testament. See Frank Zimmerman, The Aramaic Origin of the Four Gospels (New York: Ktav, 1979), 127.
  • [35] See Rich Man Declines the Kingdom of Heaven, Comments to L45-47, L97; Demands of Discipleship, Comment to L17.
  • [36] Bivin notes, however, that since the duration of a disciple’s study with a rabbinic sage could be as little as a few months due to family and work obligations, there could have been scores of Jesus’ disciples in the Galilee who had studied with him for a period of time and returned home prior to the mission of the Twelve.
  • [37] That the hosts were strangers is clear from the fact that it was not until after the apostles had accepted the invitation and entered the house that they learned whether or not a “son of peace” lived there.
  • [38] The implication of Acts 1:21-22 is that the twelve apostles had been with Jesus since the beginning of his teaching career. It seems highly unlikely, therefore, that Jesus would have had any disciples who were not personally known to the twelve apostles. In MT אִישׁ שָׁלוֹם (’ish shālōm; Jer. 38:22; Obad. 7; Ps. 41:10) usually means “friend” (and cf. אֱנוֹשׁ שָׁלוֹם; enōsh shālōm in Jer. 20:10). However, אִישׁ שָׁלוֹם is best translated as “man of peace” in Ps. 37:37. Perhaps Jesus refrained from using the term “man of peace” in his instructions to the Twelve in order to eliminate the misconception that the Twelve were to stay only with those who were either friends of Jesus or already known to be sympathetic to his message.
  • [39] On the Hebraic quality of the Beatitudes, especially in their Matthean form, see David Flusser, “Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit…” (Flusser, JOC, 102-114); idem, “Some Notes to the Beatitudes” (Flusser, JOC, 115-125); Robert L. Lindsey, “The Hebrew Life of Jesus,” under the subheading “The Two Versions of the Beatitudes.”
  • [40] See Menahem Kister, “Words and Formulae in the Gospels in the Light of Hebrew and Aramaic Sources,” in The Sermon on the Mount and its Jewish Setting (Cahiers de la Revue Biblique 60; ed. Hans-Jürgen Becker and Serge Ruzer; Paris: J. Gabalda, 2005), 115-147, esp. 131-133.
  • [41] On the designation בן תורה see Anthony J. Saldarini, trans., The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan (Abot de Rabbi Nathan) Version B (Leiden: Brill, 1975), 109 n. 4.
  • [42] Other examples of the אֶבֶן/בֵּן wordplay are found in John the Baptist’s claim that “from these stones God can raise up sons for Abraham” (Matt. 3:9; Luke 3:8), and the rejected son/stone imagery of the Wicked Tenants parable (Matt. 21:33-44; Mark 12:1-11; Luke 20:9-18). Yet another example of this wordplay is found in Jos., J.W. 5:272. See Randall Buth and Brian Kvasnica, “Critical Notes on the VTS” (JS1, 299-300); Daniel R. Schwartz, “On the Jewish Background of Christianity,” in Studies in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity: Text and Context (ed. Dan Jaffé; Leiden: Brill, 2010), 87-105, esp. 100. Note that the wordplay between “son” and “stone” does not work in Aramaic.
  • [43] Yohanan ben Zakkai’s saying in t. Sot. 14:1-4, in which he bemoans murders that took place in the open, may also be a polemic against militant Jewish nationalists. Compare t. Sot. 14:1-4 with Josephus’ statement that the Sicarii committed murder in broad daylight (J.W. 2:254). See David N. Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton, “LOY Excursus: The Kingdom of Heaven in the Life of Yeshua,” under the subheading “The Kingdom of Heaven in Jewish Literature: Political Aspect of the Kingdom of Heaven.”
  • [44] On Jesus’ rejection of Jewish militant nationalist ideology, see Flusser, Jesus, 105-107; idem, “Gamaliel and Nicodemus”; R. Steven Notley, “‘Give unto Caesar’: Jesus, the Zealots and the Imago Dei”; David N. Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton, “LOY Excursus: The Kingdom of Heaven in the Life of Yeshua,” under the subheading “The Kingdom of Heaven in the Teachings of Jesus: Political Aspect.”
  • [45] On the appointment of twelve apostles to signify the restoration of the twelve tribes of Israel, see Choosing the Twelve, Comment to L10-11.
  • [46] On the significance of the phrase “every disease and sickness” in the commissioning of the apostles, see Sending the Twelve: Commissioning, Comment to L22-23.
  • [47] On idolatry as the worship of demons, see 1 Cor. 10:20.
  • [48] See R. Steven Notley, “Jesus’ Jewish Hermeneutical Method in the Nazareth Synagogue,” in Early Christian Literature and Intertextuality (2 vols.; ed. Craig A. Evans and H. Daniel Zacharias; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2009), 2:46-59, esp. 56.
  • [49] See David Flusser, “The Times of the Gentiles and the Redemption of Jerusalem,” under the subheading “Solidarity with Israel.”
  • [50] On this passage, see Flusser, Jesus, 244-245.
  • [51] According to Caird, “the sending out of the Twelve was not so much an evangelistic mission as a political manifesto. Jesus…believed that Israel was facing a great national crisis…and that she must choose either to follow Jesus in His programme of national renewal under the rule of God or else to follow the policy of nationalism to its inevitable and disastrous climax of war with Rome.” See George B. Caird, “Uncomfortable Words II. Shake off the Dust from Your Feet (Mk 611),” Expository Times 81 (1969): 40-43, esp. 41.
  • [52] Cf. Bovon, 2:23.
  • [53] In LXX ἐπαναπαύεσθαι is found in Num. 11:25, 26; Judg. 16:26; 4 Kgdms. 2:15; 5:18; 7:2, 17; 1 Macc. 8:11; Mic. 3:11; Ezek. 29:7; Isa. 11:2 (Sinaiticus).
  • [54] The verb ἐπαναπαύεσθαι is the translation of נָח in Num. 11:25, 26; 4 Kgdms. 2:15; Isa. 11:2.
  • [55] See Segal, 230 §489.
  • [56] In LXX ἀνακάμπτειν is found in Exod. 32:27; Judg. 11:39; 2 Kgdms. 1:22; 8:13; 3 Kgdms. 12:20; 1 Chr. 19:5; 1 Esd. 8:84; 4 Macc. 1:35 (Sinaiticus); Job 39:4; Sir. 40:11; Zech. 9:8; Jer. 3:1 (3xx); 15:5; Ezek. 1:13[14] (Alexandrinus); 7:13 (Alexandrinus); Sus. 14 (Theodotion).
  • [57] In Jer. 15:5 ἀνακάμπτειν translates סָר (sār, “turn aside”).
  • [58] There are also examples of הֶחֱזִיר שָׁלוֹם (heḥezir shālōm) in the sense of “return a greeting.” Cf. m. Avot 6:9 in printed editions of the Mishnah.
  • [59] See Luke 12:12; 13:31; 20:19.
  • [60] See Luke 13:1.
  • [61] See Luke 23:12; 24:13.
  • [62] Plummer (Luke, 274) notes that opposite these expressions, “The other Evangelists prefer ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὤρᾳ, κ.τ.λ.”
  • [63] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:910.
  • [64] In LXX μένειν translates יָשַׁב in Gen. 24:55; Ps. 9:8; 101[102]:13; Zech. 14:10.
  • [65] On the reconstruction of μένειν with יָשַׁב, see Robert L. Lindsey, “The Major Importance of the ‘Minor’ Agreements,” under the subheading “A Written Hebrew Source Behind the Synoptic Gospels?”
  • [66] In MT we find אָכַל paired with שָׁתָה numerous times. Cf., e.g., Gen. 24:54; 25:34; 26:30; Exod. 24:11; 32:6; Deut. 32:38; Judg. 9:27; 19:4, 21; 1 Sam. 30:16; 2 Sam. 11:11; 1 Kgs. 1:25; 4:20; 18:41, 42; 19:6, 8; 2 Kgs. 6:22, 23; 7:8; 9:34; Isa. 21:5; 22:13; Jer. 16:8; 22:15; Job 1:4, 13, 18; Prov. 23:7; Ruth 3:3; Eccl. 2:24; 3:13; 5:17; 8:15; Neh. 8:12; 1 Chr. 12:40; 29:22. In the Mishnah we find אָכַל וְשָׁתָה in m. Yom. 8:3; m. Suk. 2:4; m. Taan. 1:4, 5, 6; 3:9; m. Ned. 3:2; 5:6; m. Shevu. 3:1.
  • [67] In NT ἐσθίειν and πίνειν appear together in Matt. 6:31; 11:18, 19; 24:49; Luke 5:30, 33; 7:33, 34; 10:7; 12:19, 29, 45; 13:26; 17:8, 27, 28; 22:30; Acts 9:9; 23:12, 21; Rom. 14:21; 1 Cor. 9:4; 10:7, 31; 11:22, 27, 29; 15:32.
  • [68] Additional examples where παρά + αὐτός (gen.) is the translation of מֵאֵת + suffix are found in Num. 17:17; 18:26; 31:51; Deut. 3:4; 1 Kgdms. 8:10; 2 Kgdms. 2:31 (מֵתוּ reading as מֵאִתּוֹ); 4 Kgdms. 3:11; 4:5; 5:20; 8:8; 2 Chr. 18:6.
  • [69] A different version of Ben Zoma’s saying is found in a baraita:

    הוא היה אומר אורח טוב מהו אומר כמה טרחות טרח בעל הבית בשבילי כמה בשר הביא לפני כמה יין הביא לפני כמה גלוסקאות הביא לפני וכל מה שטרח לא טרח אלא בשבילי אבל אורח רע מהו אומר מה טורח טרח בעל הבית זה פת אחת אכלתי חתיכה אחת אכלתי כוס אחד שתיתי כל טורח שטרח בעל הבית זה לא טרח אלא בשביל אשתו ובניו

    He [Ben Zoma] used to say, “What does a good guest say? ‘What trouble the master of the house has undertaken for my comfort! He has set so much meat before me! He has set so much wine before me! He has set so many cakes before me! And all the trouble he took was done solely for me!’ But what does a bad guest say? ‘What does the trouble the master of the house has undertaken amount to? I have eaten one piece [of bread] and one slice [of meat] and I have drunk one cup [of wine]. All the trouble the master of the house undertook was only for the sake of his wife and children!’” (b. Ber. 58a)

  • [70] See Andrew Arterbury, Entertaining Angels: Early Christian Hospitality in its Mediterranean Setting (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2005), 143. On the virtue of hospitality in Jewish and Christian traditions, see Marvin R. Wilson, “Hospitality: Heritage of the Church.”
  • [71] On the application of the designation “homeless poor” to the sages and their disciples, see Not Everyone Can Be Yeshua’s Disciple, Comment to L14.
  • [72] Note that there is not the slightest suggestion that the Essenes were to avoid the food and drink of “outsiders” because it might be non-kosher. Not even the Essenes suspected fellow Jews of eating meats forbidden in the Torah. Their possessions might be morally and spiritually tainted, but if the food was paid for it could be consumed, which would not have been the case for forbidden meats. Likewise, Jesus’ command to eat and drink “what is theirs” has nothing to do with suspending or abolishing the Torah’s dietary laws. Among Jews of the Second Temple period in the land of Israel, the issue of serving (or being served) non-kosher food was inconceivable.
  • [73] “Their wealth” refers to “the wealth of the men of holiness who walk in perfection” (הון אנשי הקודש ההולכים בתמים), who are mentioned in the previous sentence.
  • [74] Cf. CD VI, 15.
  • [75] Flusser suggested that the Shrewd Manager parable (Luke 16:1-12) constitutes Jesus’ critique of the Essenes’ economic separatism. See David Flusser, “Jesus’ Opinion About the Essenes” (Flusser, JOC, 150-168).
  • [76] This is another reason why “son of peace” probably does not refer to someone who was already a follower of Jesus. The point of the mission was not to visit friends, but to spread Jesus’ message to people who were not familiar with it already.
  • [77] See Marshall, 420; cf. A. E. Harvey, “‘The Workman is Worthy of his Hire’: Fortunes of a Proverb in the Early Church,” Novum Testamentum 24 (1982): 209-221, esp. 218-219.
  • [78] Terms such as הון רשעה (“wealth of wickedness”; CD VI, 15; VIII, 5; XIX, 17) and הון חמס (“wealth of unrighteousness”; 1QS X, 19; 1QHa XVIII, 25) are characteristic of the outlook of the authors of the sectarian scrolls.
  • [79] See Nolland, Matt., 418; Sending the Twelve: Conduct on the Road, Comment to L78.
  • [80] See Lindsey, HTGM, 79 n. 1. For a different view, see Ze’ev Safrai and Peter J. Tomson, “Paul’s ‘Collection for the Saints’ (2 Cor 8-9) and Financial Support of Leaders in Early Christianity and Judaism,” in Second Corinthians in the Perspective of Late Second Temple Judaism (ed. Reimund Bieringer, Emmanuel Nathan, Didier Pollefeyt, and Peter J. Tomson; CRINT 14; Leiden: Brill, 2014), 132-220, esp. 185-186, 190.
  • [81] See Dalman, 46.
  • [82] See Gundry, Matt., 187.
  • [83] For a fuller discussion of the author of Matthew’s adaptations of the instructions Jesus gave to the apostles in order to respond to circumstances within his own community, see Sending the Twelve: Conduct on the Road, Comments to L62, L63 and L70.
  • [84] In LXX ἄξιος is the translation of מָלֵא in Gen. 23:9; 1 Chr. 21:22, 24.
  • [85] In LXX ἄξιος is the translation of שָׁוָה in Esth. 7:4; Prov. 3:15; 8:11; Job 33:27.
  • [86] In the following examples רָאוּי means “suitable” or “qualified” without the connotation of merit:

    הֲרֵי זֶה רָאוּיִ לִהְיוֹת כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל

    Behold, this one is qualified to be a high priest. (m. Yev. 7:6)

    אִם אָמַ′ עַל מִי שֶׁהוּא רָאוּיִ לִירוּשָּׁה דְּבָרָיו קַיָּימִין וְעַל מִי שֶׁאֵינוּ רָאוּיִ לִירוּשָּׁה אֵין דְּבָרָיו קַיָּימִין

    If he said it about someone who was qualified to inherit, his words are upheld, but if about someone who was not qualified to inherit, they are not upheld. (m. Bab. Bat. 8:5)

    הַמִּזְבֵּחַ מְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת הָרָאוּיִ לוֹ

    The altar sanctifies whatever is qualified to [be offered on] it. (m. Zev. 9:1)

    כָּל שֶׁאֵינוּ רָאוּיִ לַעֲבוֹדָה אֵינוּ חוֹלֵק בַּבָּשָׂר

    Any [priest] who is not qualified for the divine service may not share in the meat [of the sacrifices]. (m. Zev. 12:1)

  • [87] For an example of זָכָה in the sense of “worthy,” cf. אם זכה הוא מתפרנס בהם (“If he is worthy he makes a living by them”; Avot de-Rabbi Natan, Version B, chpt. 27 [ed. Schechter, 55]). For an example of כָּשֵׁר in the sense of “worthy,” cf. יכנס כשר הוא (“Let him enter, he is worthy”; Avot de-Rabbi Natan, Version B, chpt. 28 [ed. Schechter, 57]).
  • [88] See Hatch-Redpath, 930.
  • [89] See Dos Santos, 200.
  • [90] See below, Comment to L134.
  • [91] See Hatch-Redpath, 1:491-495.
  • [92] See Dos Santos, 84-84.
  • [93] Additional examples of מִבַּיִת לְבַיִת in the Mishnah are found in m. Pes. 1:2; m. Moed Kat. 2:4.
  • [94] In LXX εἰσέρχεσθαι + πόλις translates עִיר + בָּא in Gen. 34:25; Josh. 10:19; Ruth 2:18; 3:15; 1 Kgdms. 4:13; 9:13; 10:5; 21:1; 23:7; 2 Kgdms. 10:14; 17:17; 19:4; 4 Kgdms. 7:4, 12; 19:32, 33; 24:11; Hos. 11:9; Jonah 3:4; Isa. 37:33; Jer. 4:5; 8:14; 14:18; 48[41]:7.
  • [95] For examples in the Mishnah of “enter a city” with the verb נִכְנַס, see m. Dem. 4:6, 7; m. Avod. Zar. 5:6; cf. t. Ber. 6:16 (“enter a metropolis [כְּרָךְ]”).
  • [96] See Moule, Idiom, 180-181; Morton Smith, Tannaitic Parallels to the Gospels (2d ed.; Philadelphia: Society of Biblical Literature, 1968), 198 n. 6.
  • [97] On δέχεσθαι in the sense of “receive hospitably,” see Walter Grundmann, “δέχομαι,” TDNT, 2:51-52. N.B.: In Nazi Germany Walter Grundmann served as director of the Institut zur Erforschung und Beseitigung des jüdischen Einflusses auf das deutsche kirchliche Leben (Institute for the Study and Eradication of Jewish Influence on German Church Life). Our citation of Grundmann’s scholarship in no way endorses his anti-Semitic worldview. On Grundmann, see Susannah Heschel, “Nazifying Christian Theology: Walter Grundmann and the Institute for the Study and Eradication of Jewish Influence on German Church Life,” Church History 63.4 (1994): 587-605.
  • [98] In LXX δέχεσθαι translates לָקַח in Gen. 4:11; 33:10; Exod. 29:5 (Alexandrinus); 32:4; Deut. 32:11; Judg. 13:23; Ps. 49[50]:9; Prov. 1:3; 2:1; 4:10; 10:8; 21:11; Job 4:12; 40:24; Hos. 4:11; 10:6; Amos 5:11; Zeph. 3:2, 7; Isa. 40:2; Jer. 2:30; 5:3; 7:27[28]; 9:19; 17:23; 32[25]:28.
  • [99] In LXX δέχεσθαι translates קִבֵּל in 2 Chr. 29:16, 22; 2 Esd. 8:30; Job 2:10.
  • [100] On the verb קִבֵּל in late Biblical Hebrew and Mishnaic Hebrew, see Hurvitz, 213-216.
  • [101] In LXX παρατιθέναι is the translation of שָׂם לִפְנֵי in Gen. 24:33; Exod. 19:7; 21:1; Deut. 4:44; 1 Kgdms. 9:24 (2xx); 28:22; 4 Kgdms. 6:22. In Gen. 43:32 and 2 Kgdms. 12:20 παρατιθέναι is the translation of -שָׂם לְ, while in Gen. 18:8 παρατιθέναι is the translation of נָתַן לִפְנֵי (nātan lifnē, “give before,” i.e., “serve”).
  • [102] See Bovon, 2:24.
  • [103] See Marshall, 421; David R. Catchpole, “The Mission Charge in Q,” Semeia 55 (1991): 147-174, esp. 165-166.
  • [104] The translation of συνείδησις (sūneidēsis) as “consciousness,” rather than “conscience,” is intentional. In 1 Cor. 10:29 Paul makes it clear that it is the συνείδησις of the non-believer, not the believer, that is the issue. The question is not whether the non-believing Gentile would have a bad conscience for eating idol-food—he obviously would not—but whether in the non-believer’s mind, in his consciousness, the food was consecrated to a pagan diety. If the non-believer did not treat the food as consecrated, then neither should the believer. On this understanding of συνείδησις, see Peter J. Tomson, Paul and the Jewish Law: Halakha in the Letters of the Apostle to the Gentiles (CRINT III.1; Fortress: Minneapolis, 1990), 208-216.
  • [105] See Tomson, Paul and the Jewish Law, 216-220.
  • [106] See Sending the Twelve: Conduct on the Road, Comment to L58-62.
  • [107] In LXX ἀσθενής occurs 16xx in books that are included in MT, where it translates eleven different Hebrew words. See Hatch-Redpath, 1:172.
  • [108] See Bovon, 2:24.
  • [109] See Sending the Twelve: Conduct on the Road, Comment to L57.
  • [110] See David N. Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton, “LOY Excursus: The Kingdom of Heaven in the Life of Yeshua,” under the subheading “Which is correct: ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ or ‘Kingdom of God’?”
  • [111] After arriving at this conclusion, we discovered a handwritten note in the margins of Robert Lindsey’s copy of the Novum Testamentum Graece (ed. S. C. E. Legg), wherein Lindsey also suggested reconstructing ἐγγίζειν with הִגִּיעַ in Matt. 10:7.
  • [112] In LXX φθάνειν translates הִגִּיעַ in 2 Chr. 28:9; Eccl. 8:14 (2xx); 12:1; Song 2:12; Dan. 8:7 (Theodotion); 12:12 (Theodotion).
  • [113] In LXX ἐγγίζειν is the translation of הִגִּיעַ in Ps. 31[32]:6; 87[88]:4; 106[107]:18.
  • [114] See Robert L. Lindsey, “The Kingdom of God: God’s Power Among Believers.”
  • [115] See Caird, “Uncomfortable Words II. Shake off the Dust from Your Feet,” 41.
  • [116] See Sending the Twelve: Apostle and Sender, Comment to L137.
  • [117] In Esth. 6:9, 11 πλατεῖα is the translation of רְחוֹב (reḥōv, “street,” “square”).
  • [118] For imperative forms of יָצָא in MH, cf., e.g., m. Ter. 4:4; m. Shab. 9:1; m. Pes. 4:2; 7:2; 8:2; 9:9; m. Yom. 3:1; m. Taan. 3:8, 9; m. Avot 2:9; m. Tam. 3:2; m. Mik. 7:1.
  • [119] As Cadbury noted, the pseudepigraphical Acts of Barnabas describes shaking off the dust of the feet on two occasions. See Henry J. Cadbury, “Note XXIV: Dust and Garments” (Foakes Jackson-Lake, 5:269-277, esp. 269 n. 6). In both instances, the verb used for “shake off” is ἐκτινάσσειν (Acts Barn. §20, 21). These descriptions are probably influenced by Acts 13:51.
  • [120] See Cadbury, “Dust and Garments” (Foakes Jackson-Lake, 5:269 n. 4).
  • [121] Lindsey referred to the vocabulary in Mark borrowed from Acts as “Markan pick-ups.”
  • [122] In MT אָבָק occurs 6xx, whereas עָפָר occurs 110xx. Likewise, in the Mishnah אָבָק occurs 6xx, whereas עָפָר occurs 62xx.
  • [123] The Tosefta’s parallel has אבק שעל רגליו (t. Ber. 7:19; Vienna MS).
  • [124] The sages noted that whereas Abraham first washed the angels’ feet and then offered them hospitality, Lot first invited the angels to stay the night and then offered to wash their feet (cf. Gen. 18:4; 19:2).
  • [125] See, for instance, Swete, 118; Manson, Luke, 101; Manson, Sayings, 76; Taylor, 305; Davies-Allison, 2:178 n. 47; B. Green, 110.
  • [126] Commenting on Matt. 10:14 in his Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae (1658), Lightfoot (2:186) wrote:

    Therefore that Rite of shaking the dust off the feet commanded the disciples, speaks thus much; “Wheresoever a City of Israel shall not receive you; when ye depart, by shaking off the dust from your feet, shew that ye esteem that City, however a City of Israel, for a Heathen, prophane, impure City, and as such abhor it.”

  • [127] Cf., e.g., m. Ohol. 2:3; m. Toh. 4:5; b. Git. 8a-b; b. Sanh. 12b. For a discussion of the rabbinic concept of the ritual impurity of Gentile land, see Shmuel Safrai, “The Land of Israel in Tannaitic Halacha,” in Das Land Israel in biblischer Zeit (ed. Georg Strecker; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1983), 201-215, esp. 206-207.
  • [128] Accordingly, Edwards writes: “In applying a Gentile figure of speech to a Jewish village, Jesus desacralizes Eretz Israel, and with it the presumption of salvation on the basis of ethnicity, nation, or race.” See James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Luke (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015), 263; cf. 309.
  • [129] Scholars who cite the supposed Jewish dust-shaking ceremony include Plummer (Luke, 240): “It is said that Pharisees performed this action when re-entering Judæa from heathen lands”; Caird (“Uncomfortable Words II. Shake off the Dust from Your Feet,” 41): “the shaking off of dust from the feet was a Jewish gesture directed against Gentiles…. The astonishing thing about Jesus’ instruction…is that this Jewish gesture is now to be employed against Jews”; Marshall (354): “The action of shaking off the dust of a gentile city from one’s feet was practiced by Jews”; Fitzmyer (1:754): “Jews returning to Palestine were expected to do the same”; France (Mark, 250): “The rabbis shook the dust off their feet when leaving Gentile territory, to avoid carrying its defilement with them”; Keener (320): “But those who rejected Christ’s agents…were to be treated like spiritual pagans [(Matt.) 10:14]. Just as Jewish people returning to the holy land might shake the dust of Gentile lands from their feet, or those entering the holy temple might shake the relatively profane dust of the land of Israel from their feet…, so Jesus’ disciples were to treat as unholy those who rejected their message”; Hagner (1:273): “Jews shook the dust off their sandals when they returned from travelling in [unclean] gentile territory”; Guelich (322): “The Jews customarily shook dust from their feet when returning from gentile territory”; Vermes (Authentic, 276): “The mention of shaking dust from their feet recalls an old Jewish custom, which consisted in pilgrims and travellers cleansing themselves of the unclean dust of foreign lands before they entered the Holy Land”; Edwards (262): “When Jews traveled outside Palestine, they were commanded to shake themselves free of dust when returning to Israel, lest they pollute the Holy Land.” The most egregious example is probably that of Joel Green, who writes:

    Ordinarily an action related to self-purification, here it [shaking off dust—DNB and JNT] is specifically interpreted as a performative testimony against the village—designed not, then, to render the traveler clean (again), but to declare the village “unclean.” That is, Jesus’ instructions, albeit in a subtle way, circumvent ordinary rules of purity by turning them on their head. Jesus performed no such act of self-purification upon his return from the land of the Gentiles and the domain of the unclean in [Luke] 8:40, for he had found responsive faith even in the midst of impurity and rejection ([Luke] 8:26-39). No longer working narrowly within an ethnic definition of Israel as the people of God, he now declares that those who refuse the salvific visitation of God…are to be regarded as though they were outside the people of God. (J. Green, 360)

    Not only does Green base his interpretation on a custom that never existed, but on the basis of this fantasy he attempts to prove that Jesus abolished ancient Judaism’s system of ritual purity and that Jesus rejected “ethnic” Israel as the people of God.

    Even among scholars who reject the interpretation that the command to shake the dust from the apostles’ feet was a symbolic gesture implying that the Jewish inhabitants of the town that did not receive the apostles were henceforth to be regarded as Gentiles, there is often a failure to mention that no Jewish dust-shaking ceremony is ever attested in the ancient sources. See, for instance, Nolland (Luke, 1:428): “It probably has no relationship to the rabbinic tradition of carefully removing the dust of foreign lands before returning to the Holy Land”; Witherington (222): “Probably the action of Jesus’ disciples in shaking the dust off their feet has nothing to do with the later rabbinic gesture of shaking the dust off one’s feet when one leaves a Gentile country.”

  • [130] Gill, writing in the 1740s, for instance, made no reference to an alleged Jewish dust-shaking rite.
  • [131] Henry Alford, The New Testament for English Readers (2 vols.; 2d ed.; Cambridge: Deighton, Bell and Co., 1868-1872), 1:70.
  • [132] See Abbott, Corrections, 106.
  • [133] See Strack-Billerbeck, 1:571. Marcus (384) writes: “Strack-Billerbeck (1.571) asserts that Jews returning to the Holy Land from abroad would shake off the dust of the unclean pagan lands in which they had been sojourning, but the passages they cite (e.g., m. Ohol. 2:3; b. Ber. 19b) do not support this assertion.” Cf. Luz (2:81 n. 93): “The (later) rabbinical conviction that gentile land is unclean (references in Str-B 1.571) did not lead to a rite of shaking off the dust; this has been created (!) by Billerbeck.”
  • [134] Our thanks to Guido Baltes for consulting with us on Strack and Billerbeck’s interpretation of Matt. 10:14.
  • [135] Kosmala’s warning is apropos: “NT scholars should study the original texts and BILLERBECK’s translations and conclusions with care, and should not be too rash with their own conclusions.” See Hans Kosmala, “‘In My Name,’” Annual of the Swedish Theological Institute 5 (1967): 87-109; quotation on 87-88.
  • [136] Subsequently, we discovered that this interpretation of Jesus’ command to shake the dust from the feet has been suggested by other scholars, though not in connection with the aggadic treatments of the story of Lot and the angels. See Andrew Arterbury, Entertaining Angels, 140, 143, cited by Mikeal C. Parsons, Luke (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2015), 147.
  • [137] On the expectation that foot washing was a normal part of hospitality, cf. Luke 7:44; 1 Tim. 5:10; Gen. Rab. 72:5. Abraham, who was the paradigm of Jewish hospitality, welcomed wayfaring strangers and washed their feet before serving them food (Gen. 18:4; Philo, Abr. §107, 114; Jos., Ant. 1:196, 200; T. Ab. (A) 3:7-9).
  • [138] For differing views in modern scholarship on Lot’s hospitality toward the angels in comparison with Abraham’s, see Yitzhak (Itzik) Peleg, “Was Lot a Good Host? Was Lot Saved from Sodom as a Reward for His Hospitality?” and Jonathan D. Safren, “Hospitality Compared: Abraham and Lot as Hosts,” both in Universalism and Particularism at Sodom and Gomorrah: Essays in Memory of Ron Pirson (ed. Diana Lipton; Leiden: Brill, 2012), 129-156 (Peleg), 157-178 (Safren).
  • [139] On inhospitality and greed as the sin of Sodom, see Ezek. 16:49; Wis. 19:14; Jos., Ant. 1:194; m. Avot 5:10; Sifre Deut. §43, on Deut. 11:6; b. Sanh. 109a. Given that the inhospitality of Sodom was proverbial, it is unnecessary to suppose that the aggadic treatments of the story of Lot that mention the dust on the angels’ feet already existed in the time of Jesus. All that is necessary is the cultural assumption that, had proper hospitality been shown to the apostles, there would no longer be any dust on their feet when they departed the town.
  • [140] On the other hand, the change to “dust…from your town” could be an intentional reworking of the tradition in order to allude to the concept of the condemned city (עיר הנדחת), the dust of which is forbidden for all uses (cf. b. Hul. 89a). We are indebted to Ze’ev Safrai for this suggestion (personal communication).
  • [141] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:1198-1199.
  • [142] See Dos Santos, 190.
  • [143] For examples of נָעַר in rabbinic literature, see m. Shab. 21:2, 3; m. Maksh. 1:4; t. Avod. Zar. 4:11; t. Maksh. 3:12.
  • [144] In LXX the phrase εἰς μαρτύριον is the translation of לְעֵד‎ 5xx (Gen. 31:44; Deut. 31:19, 26; Job 16:8; Mic. 1:2) and the translation of לְעֵדָה‎ 3xx (Gen. 21:30; Josh. 24:27 [2xx]).
  • [145] See Jastrow, 1043.
  • [146] Lindsey observed that in the Synoptic Gospels Jesus usually says “Amen!” as an affirmative response to something someone else said or as a reaffirmation and amplification of something Jesus himself had just said, which conforms to the responsive use of “amen” in Hebrew sources. See Robert L. Lindsey, “‘Verily’ or ‘Amen’—What Did Jesus Say?
  • [147] In the following Matthean-Lukan parallels the author of Luke either omited ἀμήν or used a synonym:

    Matt. 5:26 (ἀμὴν λέγω σοι) DT (cf. Luke 12:59 [λέγω σοι])

    Matt. 8:10 (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) DT (cf. Luke 7:9 [λέγω ὑμῖν]) Since Matthean redaction is evident in this pericope, the authenticity of this instance of ἀμήν is in doubt.

    Matt. 10:15 (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) DT (cf. Luke 10:12 [λέγω ὑμῖν])

    Matt. 11:11 (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) DT (cf. Luke 7:28 [λέγω ὑμῖν])

    Matt. 13:17 (ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν) DT (cf. Luke 10:24 [λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν])

    Matt. 16:28 (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) TT = Mark 9:1 (cf. Luke 9:27 [λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν ἀληθῶς])

    Matt. 18:13 (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) DT (cf. Luke 15:5 [–]) Matthew’s un-Hebraic usage of ἀμήν in an interrogative sentence leads us to prefer Luke’s omission of ἀμήν in this instance.

    Matt. 23:36 (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) DT (cf. Luke 11:51 [ναὶ λέγω ὑμῖν])

    Matt. 24:47 (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) DT (cf. Luke 12:44 [ἀληθῶς λέγω ὑμῖν])

    Matt. 26:34 (ἀμὴν λέγω σοι) TT = Mark 14:30 (cf. Luke 22:34 ([λέγω σοι]) In this pericope Matthew seems to be following Mark rather than Anth. The usage of ἀμήν is un-Hebraic since it introduces a contrary statement, not an affirmation. Luke is probably to be preferred in this instance.

    Key: TT = pericope has parallels in all three Synoptic Gospels; DT = Lukan-Matthean pericope; [–] = no corresponding wording in parallel verse

    See the discussion of the author of Luke’s use of ἀμήν in Cadbury, Style, 157.

  • [148] So Dalman, 227.
  • [149] On transliterated words in the Synoptic Gospels, see Joshua N. Tilton and David N. Bivin, “LOY Excursus: Greek Transliterations of Hebrew, Aramaic and Hebrew/Aramaic Words in the Synoptic Gospels.”
  • [150] See Rich Man Declines the Kingdom of Heaven, Comment to L102.
  • [151] For examples in Anth. of λέγω ὑμῖν accompanied by ὅτι, see Rich Man Declines the Kingdom of Heaven, L102; Lost Sheep and Lost Coin, L34, L53; Blessedness of the Twelve, L10.
  • [152] See Woes on Three Villages, Comments to L12 and L24.
  • [153] See Widow’s Son in Nain, Comment to L22.
  • [154] For a similar example, see Rich Man Declines the Kingdom of Heaven, Comment to L76.
  • [155] Saldarini interprets “clothed in linen” as a reference to people who are wealthy, since linen was worn by the well-to-do. In support of his view, Saldarini cites Luke 16:19, where the rich man in the parable wears garments of linen. See Saldarini, trans., The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan, 197 n. 18.
  • [156] Pace Marshall, 424; Luz, 2:71 n. 10; Bovon, 2:24.
  • [157] See Woes on Three Villages, Comment to L25.
  • [158] In Matt. 11:24 the author of Matthew probably felt he had to omit καὶ Γομόρρων (“and Gomorrah”) because Sodom had already been mentioned on its own in Matt. 11:23.
  • [159] See Hatch-Redpath, 1:240-255.
  • [160] See Dos Santos, 18.
  • [161] See Hatch-Redpath, 3:146; Dos Santos, 139.
  • [162] Philo referred to Sodom by the name Σόδομα in Leg. 3:24, 197, 213; Sacr. §122; Ebr. §222 (2xx); Somn. 1:85; 2:191, 192 (2xx); Abr. §227; Q.G. 4:51a.
  • [163] See Hatch-Redpath, 3:48; Dos Santos, 157.
  • [164] Philo referred to Gomorrah by the name Γόμορρα in Ebr. §222; Somn. 1:85; 2:191, 192.
  • [165] In Sechel Tov we read:

    מלך ביפיו תחזינה עיניך תראנה ארץ מרחקים רבותינו אנשי עיר הקודש דרשו מקרא זה באברהם, שנגלה עליו מלכו בכבודו והראהו מתן שכרו ופרענות ארץ סדום ועמורה שנתרחקו מלפניו

    A king in his beauty will your eyes envision, they will see a land of great distances [Isa. 33:17]. Our rabbis, the men of the Holy City, interpreted this verse as referring to Abraham, for his king in his glory was revealed to him, and he made him see the giving of his wage and the punishment of the land of Sodom and Gomorrah, which were removed from before him. (Sechel Tov, Lech Lecha 17:27 [ed. Buber, 24])

  • [166] For instance, in his Commentary on Genesis, Rabbi David Kimhi explained concerning כִּכַּר הַיַּרְדֵּן (kikar hayardēn, “the valley of the Jordan”) mentioned in Gen. 13:10 that הככר הזה היה סמוך לארץ סדום ועמורה (“…this valley was close to the land of Sodom and Gomorrah….”).
  • [167] See Samuel Tobias Lachs, “Studies in the Semitic Background to the Gospel of Matthew,” Jewish Quarterly Review 67.4 (1977): 195-217, esp. 211; Frank Zimmermann, The Aramaic Origin of the Four Gospels (New York: Ktav, 1979), 47.
  • [168] See Harnack, 13.
  • [169] Parallel to ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως (“in the day of judgment”) Luke has ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ (“in that day”; Luke 10:12 opposite Matt. 10:15; 11:24) or ἐν τῇ κρίσει (“in the judgment”; Luke 10:14 opposite Matt. 11:22). There is no Lukan parallel to Matt. 12:36.
  • [170] The following passages contain examples of “the day of judgment” in rabbinic literature:

    רבי אלעזר אומר אם תזכו לשמור את השבת תנצלו משלש פורעניות מיומו של גוג ומחבלו של משיח ומיום דין הגדול

    Rabbi Eliezer says, “If you succeed in keeping the Sabbath you will be spared three tribulations: [you will be spared] from the day of Gog, from the tribulations preceding the Messiah, and from the Great Day of Judgment.” (Mechilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, Vayassa‘ chpt. 5 [ed. Lauterbach, 1:245])

    תניא בית שמאי אומרים שלש כתות הן ליום הדין אחת של צדיקים גמורין ואחת של רשעים גמורין ואחת של בינוניים

    It was taught [in a baraita]: The House of Shammai say, “There are three divisions on the Day of Judgment: one is of the completely righteous, one is of the completely wicked, and the other is of the mixed type.” (b. Rosh Hash. 16b)

    וכל העובר עבירה אחת בעוה″ז מלפפתו והולכת לפניו ליום הדין

    …and whoever commits one sin, it clings to him in this world and goes on ahead of him to the Day of Judgment…. (b. Sot. 3b; cf. b. Avod. Zar. 5a)

    עונות שאדם דש בעקביו בעולם הזה מסובין לו ליום הדין

    Sins that a man grinds with his heels [i.e., treats as insignificant—DNB and JNT] in this world surround him on the Day of Judgment. (b. Avod. Zar. 18a)

  • [171] Cf. Marshall, 424; Bovon, 2:24.
  • [172] See Woes on Three Villages, Comment to L15. An additional consideration that favors Luke’s reading over Matthew’s is that we would normally reconstruct the preposition ἐν with -בְּ, but we have only found examples of ליום הדין, never ביום הדין, for “on the day of judgment.” Had “on the day of judgment” been present in the conjectured Hebrew Ur-text, we would have expected to find εἰς ἡμέραν κρίσεως in Matthew rather than ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως. (In fact, we do find εἰς ἡμέραν κρίσεως in 2 Pet. 2:9; 3:7. In Jude 6 we find εἰς κρίσιν μεγάλης ἡμέρας—a near perfect equivalent for ליום דין הגדול—which we encountered in Mechilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, Vayassa chpt. 5 [ed. Lauterbach, 1:245]. In 1 John 4:17, which is remote from Hebrew influence, we find ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῆς κρίσεως.) Luke’s ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ, on the other hand, is exactly what we would have expected to find if the conjectured Hebrew Ur-text read בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא.‎
  • [173] Flusser characterized Jesus as a second Jeremiah, who called for repentance in order to avert a national crisis (Flusser, Jesus, 200).
  • [174] N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996), 330.
  • [175] Note that in response to the Assyrian invasion of the kingdom of Judah by Sennacherib, the prophet Isaiah exclaimed, “Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah” (Isa. 1:9; NIV). Thus, according to Isaiah, suffering a fate like Sodom’s can come as a judgment from God via human actions.
  • [176] The verb διέρχεσθαι occurs 2xx in Matthew (Matt 12:43; 19:24) and 2xx in Mark (Mark 4:35; 10:25), compared to 10xx in Luke and 21xx in Acts (Luke 2:15, 35; 4:30; 5:15; 8:22; 9:6; 11:24; 17:11; 19:1, 4; Acts 8:4, 40; 9:32, 38; 10:38; 11:19, 22; 12:10; 13:6, 14; 14:24; 15:3, 41; 16:6; 17:23; 18:23, 27; 19:1, 21; 20:2, 25). Likewise, the verb ἐυαγγελίζειν occurs once in Matthew (Matt. 11:5) and not at all in Mark, compared to 10xx in Luke and 15xx in Acts (Luke 1:19; 2:10; 3:18; 4:18, 43; 7:22; 8:1; 9:6; 16:16; 20:1; Acts 5:42; 8:4, 12, 25, 35, 40; 10:36; 11:20; 13:32; 14:7, 15, 21; 15:35; 16:10; 17:18).
  • [177] The adverb πανταχοῦ occurs in Isa. 42:22.
  • [178] See Robert L. Lindsey, “Measuring the Disparity Between Matthew, Mark and Luke,” under the subheading “Further Proof of Mark’s Dependence on Luke”; Joshua N. Tilton and David N. Bivin, “LOY Excursus: Catalog of Markan Stereotypes and Possible Markan Pick-ups,” under the entry for Mark 6:13.
  • [179] The two other instances of ἄρρωστος in NT are in Matt. 14:14 and 1 Cor. 11:30.
  • [180] See Beare, 87. The following diagram demonstrates how similar the conclusions of the five Matthean discourses are:

      Matthew 7:28 Matthew 11:1 Matthew 13:53 Matthew 19:1 Matthew 26:1
    1 Καὶ ἐγένετο Καὶ ἐγένετο Καὶ ἐγένετο Καὶ ἐγένετο Καὶ ἐγένετο
    2 ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν
    3 ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὁ Ἰησοῦς
    4         πάντας
    5 τοὺς λόγους   τὰς παραβολὰς τοὺς λόγους τοὺς λόγους
    6 τούτους….   ταύτας…. τούτους…. τούτους….
    7   διατάσσων      
    8   τοῖς δώδεκα μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ….      

  • [181] See Luz, 2:123.
  • [182] In LXX διατάσσειν occurs in Judg. 5:9; 1 Kgdms. 13:11; 3 Kgdms. 11:18; 1 Chr. 9:33; 2 Chr. 5:11; Jdt. 2:16; 1 Macc. 6:35; 2 Macc. 5:3; 12:20; 14:22; 3 Macc. 1:19; 5:44; 4 Macc. 8:3; Prov. 9:12; Wis. 11:20; Pss. Sol. 18:10; Ezek. 21:24, 25; 42:20; 44:8.
  • [183] See Choosing the Twelve, Comment to L7.
  • [184] See Schweizer, 253-254; Gundry, Matt., 203; Davies-Allison, 2:239.
  • [185] Note, moreover, that we regard μεταβαίνειν in Luke 10:7 as redactional. See above, Comment to L98.
  • [186] In the Johannine corpus μεταβαίνειν occurs in John 5:24; 7:3; 13:1; 1 John 3:14. The only other instance of μεταβαίνειν in NT is in the un-Hebraic second half of Acts (Acts 18:7).
  • [187] In LXX μεταβαίνειν occurs in 2 Macc. 6:1, 9, 24; Wis. 7:27; 19:19.
  • [188] In the Synoptic Gospels we find ἐκεῖθεν in Matt. 4:21; 5:26; 9:9, 27; 11:1; 12:9, 15; 13:53; 14:13; 15:21, 29; 19:15; Mark 6:1, 10, 11; 7:24; 9:30 (κἀκεῖθεν); 10:1; Luke 9:4; 11:53 (κἀκεῖθεν); 12:59; 16:26.
  • [189] Matthew has ἐκεῖθεν where it is absent in the Lukan and/or Markan parallels in Matt. 4:21 (opposite Mark 1:19; Luke 5:2); Matt. 9:9 (opposite Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27); Matt. 12:9 (opposite Mark 3:1; Luke 6:6); Matt. 12:15 (opposite Mark 3:7; Luke 6:17); Matt. 14:13 (opposite Mark 6:32; Luke 9:10); Matt. 15:29 (opposite Mark 7:31; no Lukan parallel); Matt. 19:15 (opposite Mark 10:16; no Lukan parallel).
  • [190] See Gundry, Matt., 203; Hagner, 1:297; Sending the Twelve: Commissioning, Comment to L6.
  • [191] See Joshua N. Tilton, “‘Shake the Dust from Your Feet’: What Did the Apostles’ Action Signify?
  • [192] In the broader Greco-Roman culture, as well as in ancient Jewish society, it was considered proper to wash the feet of one’s guests prior to serving them a meal. See Blake Leyerle, “Meal Customs in the Greco-Roman World,” in Passover and Easter: Origin and History to Modern Times (ed. Paul F. Bradshaw and Lawrence A. Hoffman; Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1999), 29-61, esp. 40.

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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

    Joshua N. Tilton

    Joshua N. Tilton grew up in St. George, a small town on the coast of Maine. For his undergraduate degree he studied at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, where he earned a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies (2002). There he studied Biblical Hebrew and…
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