Temple’s Destruction Foretold

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Overhearing an innocent expression of appreciation for the beauty of the stones from which the Temple was constructed, Jesus uttered the prediction that the time was shortly to come when not one of those stones would remain in its place.

(Matt. 24:1-3; Mark 13:1-4; Luke 21:5-7)

(Huck 213; Aland 287-288; Crook 324-325)[1]

וַיֹּאמְרוּ הֲרֵי מַה נָּאוֹת אֲבָנִים אֵלּוּ וַיַּעַן יֵשׁוּעַ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלּוּ שֶׁאַתֶּם רוֹאִים [הִנֵּה] יָמִים בָּאִים וְלֹא תִשְׁתַּיֵּיר אֶבֶן עַל אֶבֶן שֶׁלֹּא תִנָּתֵץ וַיִּשְׁאָלוּהוּ לֵאמֹר רַבֵּנוּ אֱמוֹר לָנוּ אֵימָתַי יִהְיוּ אֵלּוּ וּמָה הַסִּימָן שֶׁאֵלּוּ עֲתִידִים לְהֵעָשׂוֹת

And they said to him, “Look how beautiful these stones are!”

But Yeshua replied, “These stones you see—Behold! The days are coming when there will not remain a stone upon a stone that will not be torn down.”

So they asked him, “Rabbi, tell us, when will these things be, and what is the sign that these things are going to be done?”[2]

A reproduction of our reconstruction in an ancient Hebrew script. Font, based on the Isaiah Scroll from Qumran (1QIsaa), created by Kris Udd.

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Reconstruction

To view the reconstructed text of Temple’s Destruction Foretold click on the link below:

“Destruction and Redemption” complex
Temple’s Destruction Foretold

Tumultuous Times

Yerushalayim Besieged

Son of Man’s Coming

Fig Tree parable

Story Placement

In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke there is overarching agreement as to the order of the pericopae leading up to and following the prophetic utterances of Jesus that were instigated by the events related in Temple’s Destruction Foretold. All three Gospels agree that a series of controversies in the Temple between Jesus and representatives of various Jewish factions (Question about Authority; Wicked Tenants parable; Paying Tribute; Question Concerning Resurrection; About David’s Son) lead up to Temple’s Destruction Foretold.[3] And all three Gospels follow up Jesus’ prophetic utterances with Conspiracy Against Yeshua and Betrayal by Yehudah of Keriyot.[4]

Study for Óbolo da Viúva (“The widow’s mite”) by João Zeferino da Costa. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Luke and Mark agree to relate the story of the Widow’s Gift immediately prior to Temple’s Destruction Foretold. Matthew’s Gospel omits this story, and it is clear why he did so. The author of Matthew wanted to portray Jesus’ devastating rebuttal against those who engaged in controversy with him in the Temple, and he wanted to make Jesus’ prophetic utterances a follow-up to that rebuttal. In order to do this effectively, the author of Matthew needed to make sure nothing came between the controversies and the rebuttal. As a result, Widow’s Gift had to go.[5] In its place the author of Matthew inserted three pericopae condemnatory (or seemingly so) of the Pharisees (Yeshua Critiques Contemporary Leaders; Innocent Blood; Lament for Yerushalayim). Thus, unlike the Gospels of Mark and Luke, where Temple’s Destruction Foretold is the starting point of a discourse, in Matthew Temple’s Destruction Foretold serves as a bridge that connects two parts of an extended discourse (the fifth and final in Matthew’s Gospel).[6]

The first part of this Matthean discourse was publicly delivered in the Temple (Matt. 23:1-39), while the second part was privately delivered to the disciples on the Mount of Olives (Matt. 24:4-25:46).[7] In Matthew Jesus’ prediction of the Temple’s destruction is what links the public and the private portions of the discourse together. In the public portion of the discourse the author of Matthew implies that the Pharisees are the ones who made the Temple’s destruction inevitable. In the private part of the discourse the author of Matthew has Jesus describe how the future will unfold now that the Pharisees have been displaced.

Matthew’s placement of Temple’s Destruction Foretold is thus seen to be artificial. It is a symptom of his anti-Pharisaic attitude, which probably reflects clashes between the early church and nascent rabbinic Judaism in the late first and early second centuries C.E. Luke and Mark are probably more accurate in their presentation of Temple’s Destruction Foretold as the starting point for a discourse on the future of Jerusalem. This discourse has deep roots in pre-synoptic sources that we have discussed in the introduction to the “Destruction and Redemption” complex, of which Temple’s Destruction Foretold is the first part. For an overview of the “Destruction and Redemption” complex, click here.

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

Conjectured Stages of Transmission

As we discuss in the introduction to the “Destruction and Redemption” complex, the entire discourse in Luke 21:5-36 is the literary product of the First Reconstruction (FR), which spliced redacted versions of Anthology (Anth.) pericopae into an original core prophecy of Jerusalem’s destruction and redemption, which he also adapted from Anth. Thus, although Temple’s Destruction Foretold undoubtedly existed in Anth., in Luke it comes to us only via FR. The difficulty we encountered when attempting to revert this pericope’s narrative opening to Hebrew is a testament to the extent of FR’s editorial intervention in Temple’s Destruction Foretold.

Mark’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold is mainly based on Luke’s, but it contains a great deal of Markan embellishment. It is possible, however, that at certain points Mark’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold echoes the wording of Anth. We will discuss such instances below.

Matthew’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold is deeply indebted to the version in Mark 13:1-4. Nevertheless, the author of Matthew also consulted the version in Anth., and this accounts for the few Lukan-Matthean minor agreements we encounter in this pericope (L14, L27, L39). These agreements demonstrate that, though redacted, Luke’s FR version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold was based on Anth. and still retained at least some of its original wording. There may also be other points where the author of Matthew uniquely preserved some of Anth.’s wording (cf., e.g., L12). At the same time, there are many more points at which the author of Matthew made his own editorial contributions to his version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold (cf., e.g., L4, L8, L34, L44, L45).

One question regarding the transmission of Temple’s Destruction Foretold we had to consider was whether the prediction of Jerusalem’s destruction in Luke 19:41-44 (Yerushalayim’s Destruction Foretold) might be the Anth. pericope upon which FR’s prophecy in Luke 21:6 was based. (It is for this reason that Luke 19:43-44 appears in a column of the reconstruction document for Temple’s Destruction Foretold.) In other words, should Luke 19:43-44 and Luke 21:6 be regarded as Lukan Doublets? This question arises because there are certain striking verbal similarities between the two prophecies. Both prophecies open with the words “days will come” (Luke 19:43; 21:6 [L17]), and both prophecies contain the words “they will not leave/will not be left stone upon stone” (Luke 19:44; 21:6 [L25-26]). One way to account for these overlaps could be that Luke 21:6 represents FR’s highly truncated version of the Anth. pericope preserved in Luke 19:43-44. There are, however, significant difficulties that prevent us from accepting this explanation.

First, Luke 19:43-44 is about the destruction of Jerusalem in general, while Luke 21:6 is about the destruction of the Temple in particular. Second, presuming that Luke 19:43-44 is the Anth. version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold leaves the Lukan-Matthean minor agreements in L14, L27 and L39 unaccounted for. The Lukan-Matthean minor agreements in Luke 21:5-7 ∥ Matt. 24:1-3 reveal the wording of the Anth. pericope behind the synoptic versions of Temple’s Destruction Foretold, but this wording does not appear in Luke 19:43-44. The most reasonable inference to be drawn from these facts is that Luke 19:43-44 does not represent the Anth. version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold. Third, there is an analogous case in Luke 23:27-31 (Daughters of Yerushalayim), where a prophecy of Jerusalem’s destruction contains the phrase “the days are coming” (Luke 23:29) and includes a detail (the implied killing of babies) that is paralleled in Luke 19:44 (“and they will smash…the children within you”).

This analogous case suggests that what we have in Luke 19:43-44 (Yerushalayim’s Destruction Foretold), Luke 21:6 (Temple’s Destruction Foretold) and Luke 23:27-31 (Daughters of Yerushalayim) are three distinct prophecies of Jesus. Yerushalayim’s Destruction Foretold contains Jesus’ most comprehensive depiction of the ruination of the Holy City. As such, it contains references to the destruction of the Temple (“they will not leave a stone upon a stone”) and to the killing of children (“they will smash…the children in you”). Then, on two separate occasions Jesus highlighted relevant aspects of the catastrophe to come. In the Temple Jesus focused on the Temple’s destruction. When he met certain women who lamented his condemnation, Jesus focused on the atrocities that would be committed against children. His use of “days are coming” in all three prophetic utterances echoed the language of the scriptural prophets and was typical of his allusion to the coming catastrophe in other contexts as well (cf. Luke 5:35).[8] Therefore, the fact that all three of these prophecies contain the phrase “days are coming” need not be taken as an indication that Temple’s Destruction Foretold and Daughters of Yerushalayim represent redacted versions of Yerushalayim’s Destruction Foretold. Neither must we suppose that the vocabulary employed in one prophecy has contaminated the others.[9] Thus we conclude that Temple’s Destruction Foretold is not FR’s version of Anth.’s Yerushalayim’s Destruction Foretold. It contains an independent prophecy delivered on a separate occasion.

Crucial Issues

  1. Did Jesus’ prediction of the Temple’s destruction express antipathy toward the Temple?

Comment

L1-11 There is minimal verbal agreement between Matthew, Mark and Luke in the opening lines of Temple’s Destruction Foretold. This lack of verbal agreement is due in large part to the different details each writer included or omitted from his version of the story. Luke relates that a discussion concerning the beautiful stones and votive offerings with which the Temple was adorned was going on when Jesus delivered his announcement. However, Luke does not tell his readers who participated in this discussion. Neither does Luke’s version indicate to the reader anything about the setting of this discussion. The location must be inferred from the context, and nothing more specific can be determined than that it took place while Jesus was on the Temple Mount.

Mark’s version fills in these gaps. From Mark we learn that it was one of the disciples who remarked on the Temple’s grandeur. From Mark we learn that this happened while Jesus was exiting the Temple courts.[10] From Mark we even learn exactly what it was that the speaker said (“Teacher, look! Such stones! And such buildings!”).

In Matthew’s version Jesus had exited the Temple and was already leaving it far behind when not one, but all of the disciples approach Jesus in order to show him the Temple structures, perhaps by pointing at them as they ascend the slope of the Mount of Olives.[11] In any case, the disciples in Matthew’s version speak not a word.[12] In the commentary that follows we will weigh carefully which details from each version can be traced back to Anth. and which can be explained by taking into account the redactional tendencies of each synoptic evangelist.

L1-2 καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ (Mark 13:1). The un-Hebraic genitive absolute construction with which Mark’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold describes Jesus’ departure from the Temple Mount marks it as redactional.[13] The conclusion that Mark’s ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ (ekporevomenou avtou, “as he was going out”) is redactional is reinforced when we note that this phrase occurs 3xx in Mark (Mark 10:17, 46; 13:1) but never in Luke or Matthew.[14] In Mark 13:1 the author of Mark might have been inspired to express himself with the genitive absolute because he saw Luke (following FR) doing so in Luke 21:5.

Might Jesus’ departure from the Temple, if not Mark’s manner of expressing it, be traced back to Anth.? We think this is unlikely. As we will discuss below (see Comment to L32), the author of Mark had reasons for wanting to place Jesus on the Mount of Olives for the delivery of his eschatological discourse. Having Jesus exit the Temple was simply a mechanism for getting him there. In Luke’s Gospel the announcement of the Temple’s destruction and the ensuing prophecy of destruction and redemption was delivered publicly in the Temple courts. Luke’s setting is historically credible and probably reflects the setting of the prophecy in Anth. The author of Mark, for reasons we will discuss below, was eager to relocate Jesus to the Mount of Olives. This accounts for his notice that events described in Temple’s Destruction Foretold took place as Jesus was exiting the Temple Mount.

καὶ ἐξελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ ἐπορεύετο (Matt. 24:1). Matthew’s wording in L1-2 is indebted to Mark 13:1, but Matthew’s version lays greater stress on Jesus’ departure from the Temple. Not only has Jesus made his exit, he has gone away.[15] By emphasizing Jesus’ departure from the Temple in this way, the author of Matthew probably wished to portray Jesus’ enacting the words he had Jesus utter only two verses earlier, “Your house is left to you desolate” (Matt. 23:38).[16] Jesus has turned his back on the Temple both literally and figuratively.

L3 λέγει αὐτῷ (Mark 13:1). Mark’s use of the historical present verb λέγει (legei, “he says”) is un-Hebraic and typical of Markan redaction.[17] Mark’s wording in L3 echoes that of Luke 21:5, where he read καί τινων λεγόντων (kai tinōn legontōn, “and as certain ones were saying”).

εἶπαν (GR). The genitive absolute construction with which Luke 21:5 opens is likely due to the First Reconstructor’s editorial activity. Perhaps Anth. simply opened with καὶ εἶπαν (kai eipan, “and they said”) without further identifying the speakers. In that case, the speakers could have been Jesus’ disciples, but they could just as easily have been members of the Jewish public. There is a hint in Luke 21:7 (see below, Comment to L40) that at an earlier stage of transmission the question concerning when Jesus’ prophecy of the Temple’s destruction would be fulfilled came not from disciples but from “casual” listeners. If the question that prompted Jesus’ prophecy of destruction and redemption originally came from the general public, then there is no reason why the comment regarding the Temple’s stones could not have come from the general public too.

L4 καὶ προσῆλθον (Matt. 24:1). We think it is unlikely that Matthew’s “and they approached” was taken from Anth. The drawing close of the disciples is meant to contrast with Jesus’ distancing himself from the Temple, a theme the author of Matthew emphasized by reworking Mark’s wording. The author of Matthew used the same verb, προσέρχεσθαι (proserchesthai, “to come toward,” “to approach”), again in L34, once more of the approach of the disciples. There, too, the author of Matthew was editing the wording of Mark, not reproducing the wording of Anth. (see below, Comment to L34). Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the fact that Matthew’s wording in L1-5 could be reverted to Hebrew as וַיֵּצֵא יֵשׁוּע מִן הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וַיֵּלֶךְ וַיִּקְרְבוּ תַּלְמִידָיו (“And Jesus went out from the Temple, and he went, and his disciples approached…”).[18]

L5 εἷς τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ (Mark 13:1). Identifying unnamed individuals is typical of the author of Mark’s redactional style,[19] and this Markan tendency probably accounts for his replacement of “certain ones” (Luke 21:5; L3) with “one of his disciples.” The formula εἷς + genitive (“one of the ___”) used to designate an individual (usually unnamed) who belongs to a particular group is also typically Markan.[20] We must note, however, that Mark’s wording is not un-Hebraic. Elsewhere in LOY we have reconstructed the very similar phrase τις τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ (tis tōn mathētōn avtou, “a certain one of his disciples”) as תַּלְמִיד אֶחָד מִתַּלְמִידָיו (talmid ’eḥād mitalmidāv, “one disciple from his disciples”).[21] On the other hand, we must also note that examples of εἷς + genitive used to designate an individual also occur in the Gospel of John, where no Semitic undertext is presumed to have existed.[22]

οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ (Matt. 24:1). There are several reasons why the author of Matthew might have wanted to change Mark’s “one of his disciples” to “[all of] his disciples.” It may be that the author of Matthew wanted to keep the disciples together with Jesus as a group. In Mark the one disciple directs Jesus’ attention to the stones and buildings of the Temple while Jesus is in the process of making his exit from the Temple Mount. Jesus could be imagined as crossing one of the Temple courts or walking along one of its colonnades when the disciple spoke to him. The other disciples could have been quite spread out within the Temple complex, following Jesus at their leisure, without having been left behind. On the other hand, as Matthew tells the story, Jesus had already exited the Temple and left it behind when the disciples point out to him the Temple edifices. Since Matthew did not want to imply that Jesus had parted company with any of his disciples, it was probably convenient for him to imply that they all accompanied him on his departure from the Temple by having them address Jesus collectively.

Another reason the author of Matthew may have changed “one of his disciples” to “[all of] his disciples” is his apparent distaste for hierarchy.[23] In Mark only a select subset of the apostles are privy to Jesus’ eschatological discourse. By involving all of the disciples from the beginning of the narrative, the author of Matthew ensures that all the disciples—and by extension the entire church[24] —are recipients of the ensuing revelation.

It is also possible that the author of Matthew was encouraged to make Jesus’ interlocutors plural, in contrast to Mark’s lone speaker, because he was aware that in Anth. the exclamation about the Temple’s stones came from more than one person.

L6 περὶ τοῦ ἱεροῦ (Luke 21:5). The words “concerning the Temple” appear to have been added by the First Reconstructor, who preferred not to reproduce the exact words of the speakers. In Anth. the narrative’s context and the recorded speech would have been sufficient for readers to understand that it was the Temple’s masonry that was under discussion.

L7 διδάσκαλε (Mark 13:1). The author of Mark’s use of the address διδάσκαλε (didaskale, “Teacher!”) does not accord well with his identification of the speaker as a disciple of Jesus. The Gospels of Luke and Matthew are in agreement that only non-disciples used this address when appealing to Jesus.[25] Disciples addressed Jesus as “Lord.” Apparently, the author of Mark did not notice or did not care about this distinction.[26] In Temple’s Destruction Foretold Mark’s use of διδάσκαλε is picked up from Luke 21:7 (L40), but there the speakers are not identified as disciples.

Cleansing of the Temple by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

L8 ἐπιδεῖξαι αὐτῷ (Matt. 24:1). The author of Matthew had a slight redactional preference for the verb ἐπιδεικνύναι (epideiknūnai, “to point out,” “to show”), which occurs 3xx in his Gospel (Matt. 16:1; 22:19; 24:1) compared to the complete absence of this verb in Mark and a sole instance of ἐπιδεικνύναι in Luke (Luke 17:14). Of the three Matthean instances, we have found the one in Matt. 16:1 to be redactional (see Sign-Seeking Generation, Comment to L19).[27] Indeed, the redactional sentence in Matt. 16:1, where the Pharisees and Sadducees approach (προσελθόντες) Jesus to demand he show (ἐπιδεῖξαι) them a sign, is quite similar to what we read in Matt. 24:1, where the disciples approach (προσῆλθον) Jesus to show (ἐπιδεῖξαι) him the Temple buildings. The similarity of Matt. 24:1 to the redactional sentence in Matt. 16:1 increases our confidence that Matthew’s wording in Temple’s Destruction Foretold, L1-11, is redactional too.[28]

Another indication that Matt. 24:1 is the product of Matthean redaction is the implication that Jesus was able to read the minds of his disciples. Unlike the Lukan version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold, where Jesus overhears praise of the Temple’s adornments, or the Markan version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold, where one of Jesus’ disciples tell Jesus to look at the stones and buildings of the Temple, in Matthew’s version the disciples approach Jesus to show him the Temple’s buildings, but Jesus preempts their purpose by announcing the Temple’s demise.[29]

L9 ἰδοὺ ὡς καλοὶ λίθοι οὗτοι (GR). The indirect reporting of the onlookers’ discussion in Luke 21:5 is probably due to the First Reconstructor’s summarizing of Anth. The exclamation in Mark 13:1 (“Look! Such stones! And such buildings!”; L9-11), on the other hand, possesses a degree of verisimilitude, especially in light of similar statements in ancient sources. According to Josephus, “the exterior of the [Temple] building wanted nothing that could astound either mind or eye” (J.W. 5:222; Loeb). Indeed, it was “the most marvelous edifice which we have ever seen or heard of, whether we consider its structure, its magnitude, the richness of its every detail, or the reputation of its Holy Places” (J.W. 6:267). Neither did the Roman historian Tacitus fail to mention that the Temple in Jerusalem possessed enormous riches (Hist. 5:8 §1). Likewise, rabbinic literature preserves the opinion that whoever has not seen the Temple when it stood has never seen a beautiful building in all his life (b. Bab. Bat. 4a; b. Suk. 51b). Thus, it is hardly surprising to read in Mark 13:1 about visitors to the Temple remarking on its magnificence.[30]

Model of the Second Temple at the Holyland Hotel in Jerusalem. Black and white photograph by Joshua N. Tilton (2001).

Nevertheless, there are indications that the author of Mark paraphrased and even expanded Anth.’s wording of the exclamation. First, the interjection ἴδε (ide, “Look!”) is a Markan redactional term, what Lindsey referred to as a “Markan stereotype.”[31] Second, the interrogative pronoun ποταπός (potapos, “What sort?”) is rare in the Synoptic Gospels, occurring only in Matt. 8:27; Mark 13:1 (2xx); Luke 1:29; 7:39. There is never agreement among the three synoptic evangelists to use this term in the same location. Moreover, it occurs only once in LXX (Sus. 54), a consequence of there being no exact equivalent to ποταπός in Hebrew. It is thus unlikely to have occurred in Anth.’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold. Third, Mark’s reference to buildings is suspect. The noun οἰκοδομή (oikodomē, “building”) does not occur in the Synoptic Gospels outside the Markan and Matthean versions of Temple’s Destruction Foretold. Moreover, unlike “stones,” “buildings” is not picked up in Jesus’ prophecy of the Temple’s destruction. Thus, “buildings” is not necessary to the ensuing prophecy.

But while a reference to buildings may not be required to make sense of Jesus’ prophecy, Tolbert[32] has pointed out that Mark’s reference to the stones and buildings of the Temple in Mark 13:1 echoes Jesus’ pronouncement in Mark 12:10 that “the stone the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.” By making this intertextual connection the author of Mark implied that “for the rejected stone to become the new centerpiece, the buildings presently standing must first be completely dismantled.”[33] In other words, the author of Mark wished to communicate to his readers that the Temple has been (or is being) replaced by the church. Such a message fits the sectarian outlook of the author of Mark, who in the course of the eschatological discourse loses interest in the fate of the Temple, Jerusalem and the Jewish people and focuses instead on the salvation of the “elect.” The church’s replacement of the Temple does not, however, comport with the message of the historical Jesus. We conclude, therefore, that the reference to “buildings” in Mark 13:1 is a Markan addition not traceable to Anth.

If so much of Mark’s wording in L9-11 is redactional, but we nevertheless believe that Anth. recorded the words of the anonymous speakers, how are we to reconstruct the pre-synoptic Greek text? We begin by recalling that Mark’s ἴδε (“Look!”) often appears to be a substitute for ἰδού (idou, “Behold!”) in Anth.[34] Second, we can search for examples in Hebrew sources of people praising the excellent qualities of a given person or object. If these examples also appear in Greek translation, so much the better. Such examples include:

מַה טֹּבוּ אֹהָלֶיךָ יַעֲקֹב

How good are your tents, O Jacob! (Num. 24:5)

ὡς καλοί σου οἱ οἶκοι, Ιακωβ

How good are your houses, O Jacob! (Num. 24:5)

מָה אַדִּיר שִׁמְךָ בְּכָל הָאָרֶץ

How excellent is your name in all the land! (Ps. 8:2, 10)

ὡς θαυμαστὸν τὸ ὄνομά σου ἐν πάσῃ τῇ γῇ

How marvelous is your name in all the land! (Ps. 8:2, 10)

מָה רַב טוּבְךָ

How great is your goodness! (Ps. 31:20)

ὡς πολὺ τὸ πλῆθος τῆς χρηστότητός σου

How much is the multitude of your kindness! (Ps. 30:20)

מַה יָּקָר חַסְדְּךָ

How precious is your benevolence! (Ps. 36:8)

ὡς ἐπλήθυνας τὸ ἔλεός σου

How you increased your mercy! (Ps. 35:8)

מַה יְּדִידוֹת מִשְׁכְּנוֹתֶיךָ

How beloved are your dwellings! (Ps. 84:2)

ὡς ἀγαπητὰ τὰ σκηνώματά σου

How beloved are your tents! (Ps. 83:2)

הִנֵּה מַה טּוֹב וּמַה נָּעִים שֶׁבֶת אַחִים גַּם יָחַד

Behold! How good and how pleasant is the sitting of brothers also as one! (Ps. 133:1)

Ἰδοὺ δὴ τί καλὸν ἢ τί τερπνὸν ἀλλ᾿ ἢ τὸ κατοικεῖν ἀδελφοὺς ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό

Behold! Now what is better or what is more pleasant than the dwelling of brothers together? (Ps. 132:1)

קְנֹה חָכְמָה מַה טּוֹב מֵחָרוּץ

The acquisition of wisdom—how much better than gold! (Prov. 16:16)[35]

The following example is particularly apt, since it reflects spoken Hebrew relatively close to the time of Jesus:

רַבִּי יַעֲקֹב אוֹמֵר הַמְהַלֵּךְ בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְשׁוֹנֶה וּמַפְסִיק מִשְׁנָתוֹ וְאוֹמֵר מַה נָּאֶה אִילָן זֶה וּמַה נָּאֶה נִיר זֶה מַעֲלִין עָלָיו כְּאִלּוּ מִתְחַיֵּב בְּנַפְשׁוֹ

Rabbi Yaakov says, “If one is walking along the path and reciting [his lessons] and takes a break from his recitation and says, ‘How beautiful is this tree [מַה נָּאֶה אִילָן זֶה]!’ or ‘How beautiful is this plot of fallow ground [מַה נָּאֶה נִיר זֶה]!’ it is accounted to him as though he has become indebted against his soul.” (m. Avot 3:7[8])

Using these examples (especially the last) as models, we could imagine that Anth.’s text read something like ἰδοὺ ὡς καλοὶ λίθοι οὗτοι (“Behold! How beautiful are these stones!”).

הֲרֵי מַה נָּאוֹת אֲבָנִים אֵלּוּ (HR). Our Hebrew reconstruction is likewise based on the survey in the previous paragraph.

On reconstructing ἰδού (idou, “Behold!”) with הֲרֵי (ha, “Behold!”), see Preparations for Eating Passover Lamb, Comment to L22.

As we saw in the GR discussion above, the LXX translators frequently rendered מַה (mah) when used as an exclamation (“How!”) as ὡς (hōs, “How!”).

The adjective נָאֶה (nā’eh, “comely,” “beautiful”) does not occur in Biblical Hebrew so we cannot appeal to LXX to justify our reconstruction, but καλός (kalos, “good,” “beautiful”) is a semantic equivalent. Our reconstruction, מַה נָּאוֹת (mah nā’ōt, “How beautiful…!”), is based on the exclamation מַה נָּאֶה (mah nā’eh, “How beautiful…!”) in m. Avot 3:7(8), which we have cited above.

On reconstructing λίθος (lithos, “rock,” “stone”) with אֶבֶן (’even, “rock,” “stone”), see Fathers Give Good Gifts, Comment to L5.

We prefer to use the Mishnaic demonstrative pronoun אֵלּוּ (’ēlū, “these”), which replaced Biblical אֵלֶּה (’ēleh, “these”), since in L9 we are reconstructing direct speech.

L10 καὶ ἀναθήμασιν κεκόσμηται (Luke 21:5). The phrase “and with votive offerings adorned” resists retroversion to Hebrew and does not belong in direct speech. Moreover, Wolter noted that the phrase ἀναθήμασιν κοσμεῖν (anathēmasin kosmein, “to adorn with votive offerings”) is of Hellenistic origin.[36] We therefore suspect that this phrase was supplied by the First Reconstructor, who wanted to contextualize the notice about the Temple’s beautiful masonry.

Does FR’s reference to the votive offerings with which the Temple was adorned reflect the First Reconstructor’s personal knowledge? Elsewhere we have had reason to suspect that the First Reconstructor was well informed, perhaps even being in touch with the Jerusalem church.[37] In any case, FR’s reference to the lavish adornment of the Temple is consistent with accounts from Josephus (J.W. 5:201-205; Ant. 17:162) and rabbinic sources (cf., e.g., m. Yom. 3:10; m. Mid. 3:8).

L11 ποταπαὶ οἰκοδομαί (Mark 13:1). We have already discussed above (Comment to L9) our reasons for suspecting Mark’s reference to “buildings” is redactional. The author of Mark added “buildings” to the remark about “stones” in order to echo Jesus’ words, “the stone the builders rejected has become the head of the corner” (Mark 12:10). The author of Matthew retained Mark’s reference to buildings but omitted the crucial reference to the Temple’s stones, upon which Jesus’ prophetic utterance depends. Perhaps the author of Matthew was motivated to do this because of his narrative’s logic. Having removed Jesus and his interlocutors from the Temple Mount, it makes more sense for the discussion to be about the Temple’s buildings, which would be visible from a distance, than about the Temple’s masonry, since individual stones would be more difficult to discern at so great a remove from the Temple Mount.

L12 καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς (GR). Although the author of Matthew is known to have redactionally inserted ἀποκρίνειν…λέγειν (apokrinein…legein, “to answer…to say”) constructions on occasion,[38] it is clear that this Hebraic construction did sometimes occur in Anth., since the authors of Luke and Matthew could agree to use this construction in DT pericopae (Matt. 11:4 ∥ Luke 7:22 [Yohanan the Immerser’s Question, L32-34]). Thus, it is possible that ἀποκρίνειν…λέγειν occurred in Anth.’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold and that Matthew is reflecting Anth.’s wording in L12-13.

On the other hand, Mark may be preserving Anth.’s wording by including Jesus’ name in L12. The author of Matthew, having already used Jesus’ name in L1, would have naturally omitted it here. Likewise, Mark’s καί (kai, “and”) may have come from Anth., as Matthew’s stylistically better δέ (de, “but”) was probably introduced to emphasize contrast.[39]

Certainty is not possible, but since the phrase καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς reverts to Hebrew so easily, this is the reconstruction we have adopted for GR.

וַיַּעַן יֵשׁוּעַ (HR). On reconstructing ἀποκρίνειν (apokrinein, “to answer”) with עָנָה (‘ānāh, “answer”), see Call of Levi, Comment to L56.

On reconstructing Ἰησοῦς (Iēsous, “Jesus”) with יֵשׁוּעַ (yēshūa‘, “Jesus”), see Rich Man Declines the Kingdom of Heaven, Comment to L12.

L13 εἶπεν (GR). The verb εἶπεν (eipen, “he said”) in L13 is the first agreed-upon word in all three versions of Temple’s Destruction Foretold since the καί (“and”) at the beginning of L1. Although this agreement does not prove that εἶπεν occurred in Anth., we think it is quite likely that it did occur there. The author of Mark added αὐτῷ (avtō, “to him”) because in L5 he had identified the speaker as “one of his disciples.” The author of Matthew changed Mark’s αὐτῷ to the plural form αὐτοῖς (avtois, “to them”) because he had changed “one of his disciples” in Mark to “his disciples” (plural).

L14-30 In a second Luke column of the reconstruction document we have included that part of Yerushalayim’s Destruction Foretold that is similar to Jesus’ prediction in Temple’s Destruction Foretold. Since we believe that these were two separate, though related, pericopae in the Hebrew Life of Yeshua (see the Conjectured Stages of Transmission discussion above), we will not comment here on lines that solely include the text of Luke 19:43-44.

Model of the Second Temple at the Holyland Hotel in Jerusalem. Photographed by Joshua N. Tilton (2005).

L14 ταῦτα ἃ βλέπετε (GR). The text of Anth. in L14 is exceedingly difficult to reconstruct, since none of the Synoptic Gospels are quite in agreement and the differences between the three versions can often be explained by the redactional tendencies of the respective authors. For instance, whereas Matthew and Mark use the verb βλέπειν (blepein, “to see”), Luke has the synonymous θεωρεῖν (theōrein, “to see”). But θεωρεῖν in Luke is usually (perhaps always) due to the redactional activity of the First Reconstructor or the author of Luke himself.[40] It is possible, therefore, that Mark and Matthew preserve Anth.’s verb, but it is equally possible that βλέπειν is Mark’s substitute for a different verb in Anth. such as ἰδεῖν (idein, “to see”). Nevertheless, since Matthew and Luke occasionally agree to use βλέπειν in DT pericopae,[41] it is certain that this verb sometimes did occur in Anth. We have therefore decided to accept βλέπειν in L14 for GR.

Another point of disagreement between Luke on the one hand and Mark and Matthew on the other is that Luke’s sentence is declaratory whereas the sentence in Mark and Matthew is interrogative. But since converting statements in direct speech into questions is typical of Markan redaction,[42] we suspect that Luke’s nominative absolute (or causus pendens) construction is more likely to reflect the wording of Anth.[43]

In L14 there are two Lukan-Matthean agreements against Mark. First, in Luke and Matthew the addressees are plural, whereas in Mark there is a single addressee. Second, Luke and Matthew have the neuter plural ταῦτα (“these [things]”)[44] in opposition to Mark, which has the feminine plural ταύτας (tavtas, “these”). But whereas Lukan-Matthean agreements against Mark are usually a clear indication of the wording of Anth., in these particular instances the Lukan-Matthean agreements could be a purely accidental result of Matthean and Lukan editorial activity. The addressees in Matthew are naturally plural because the author of Matthew changed “one of his disciples” in Mark 13:1 to “his disciples” in Matt. 24:1 (see above, Comment to L5). Likewise, the author of Matthew may have been motivated to change Mark’s ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς (tavtas tas megalas oikodomas, “these large buildings”) to ταῦτα πάντα (tavta panta, “all these things”) because he felt that copying Mark’s question would have made Jesus look silly. After all, as Matthew tells the story, the disciples came to point out the buildings to Jesus, so of course they saw them. Moreover, the phrase ταῦτα πάντα, with its un-Hebraic order, is typical of Matthean redaction.[45]

We also have to consider the possibility that ταῦτα in Luke 21:6 is the product of FR’s redaction. If we are correct in supposing that in Anth. it was only the beautiful stones that received the onlookers’ praise, we might have expected Anth. to have read οὗτοι οἵ (houtoi hoi, “these [stones] which”) instead of ταῦτα ἅ (tavta ha, “these [things] which”). The First Reconstructor may have written ταῦτα ἅ in place of Anth.’s οὗτοι οἵ in order to accommodate Jesus’ response to FR’s insertion of καὶ ἀναθήμασιν κεκόσμηται (“and with votive offerings it was decorated”) in L10. On the other hand, the Greek translator of the Hebrew Life of Yeshua may have unintentionally blurred the focus on the Temple’s stones by translating -אֵלּוּ שֶׁ (’ēlū she-, “these [stones] that…”) as ταῦτα ἅ (“these [things] that”), in which case the Lukan-Matthean agreement against Mark to write the neuter plural ταῦτα really does preserve an echo of Anth. We have deemed this last scenario to be the most probable and have therefore accepted Luke’s ταῦτα ἅ for GR.

אֵלּוּ שֶׁאַתֶּם רוֹאִים (HR). Since in L14 we are reconstructing direct speech, we have adopted the MH demonstrative pronoun אֵלּוּ (’ēlū, “these”) rather than the BH-style אֵלֶּה (’ēleh, “these”).

On reconstructing βλέπειν (blepein, “to see”) with רָאָה (rā’āh, “see”), see Yohanan the Immerser’s Question, Comment to L31.

On nominative absolute constructions in which the subject is qualified by a relative clause, such as our reconstruction of אֵלּוּ שֶׁאַתֶּם רוֹאִים (“these [stones] that you see”), see Segal, 213 §444.

L15 τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς (Mark 13:2). Just as in L11, Mark’s reference to “buildings” in L15 was probably intended to echo Jesus’ saying about the stone the builders rejected (see above, Comment to L11). It is therefore unlikely that Mark’s wording in L15 was taken from Anth., and we have accordingly omitted from GR anything corresponding to this phrase. Note that Mark’s word order (adjective→noun) is un-Hebraic.[46]

L16 ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν (Matt. 24:2). Although the phrase “Amen! I say to you…” is itself Hebraic, Matthew’s use of this phrase in response to a rhetorical question that introduces a negation of the disciples’ expectations does not agree with normal Hebrew usage. We think it likely, therefore, that the presence of ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν in L16 is due to Matthean redaction.[47]

[ἰδοὺ] (GR). Although there is no support for it in the text of the Synoptic Gospels, it is possible that Anth. had the interjection ἰδού (idou, “Behold!”) in L16 prior to the words “days will come” in L17. Our reason for supposing that ἰδού may have been present at this point in Anth. is based on the likelihood that Jesus was using a well-established prophetic formula for announcing a future event. The phrase יָמִים בָּאִים (yāmim bā’im, “days are coming”) occurs 20xx in MT,[48] and in each instance it is preceded by the interjection הִנֵּה (hinēh, “Behold!”), which the LXX translators usually rendered as ἰδού. If ἰδού occurred in Anth., it is unsurprising that it is not reflected in Luke 21:6, since the First Reconstructor and the author of Luke had a tendency to omit ἰδού when it occurred in their source(s) (see above, Comment to L9). It is possible that Matthew’s ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν represents the author of Matthew’s replacement for Anth.’s ἰδού in L16. Nevertheless, given the lack of positive evidence in the text of the Synpotic Gospels for ἰδού in L16, we have placed our reconstruction inside brackets.

[הִנֵּה] (HR). On reconstructing ἰδού with הִנֵּה, see Widow’s Son in Nain, Comment to L6. Although we usually prefer to reconstruct direct speech in Mishnaic-style Hebrew, here we have preferred הִנֵּה (as opposed to Mishnaic הֲרֵי) because of the likelihood that Jesus employed a pre-existing prophetic formula, viz. הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים (“Behold! Days are coming…!”).

L17 ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι (GR). As we noted in the preceding paragraph, it is likely that Jesus made use of an existing prophetic formula that included the words “days are coming” to introduce a prediction of future events. Notley has pointed out that in the Gospel of Luke various permutations of this phrase nearly always occur in connection with predictions of the destruction of Jerusalem and/or the Temple.[49]

It might be supposed that in writing the phrase ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι (elevsontai hēmerai, “days will come”) the author of Luke was attempting to imitate the Septuagint, but if that were the case, the author of Luke failed miserably, since the phrase ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι never occurs in LXX. The LXX translators invariably rendered יָמִים בָּאִים as ἡμέραι ἔρχονται (hēmerai erchontai, “days are coming”), so it is this phrase the author of Luke ought to have used if he had wanted to imitate LXX vocabulary. And as the nearly identical phrase ἔρχονται ἡμέραι (erchontai hēmerai, “coming are days”) appears in Daughters of Yerushalayim (Luke 23:29), we cannot say that the author of Luke was ignorant of or averse to the more Septuagintal phrase.

We might also suppose that ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι is the First Reconstructor’s replacement for the more Septuagintal ἔρχονται ἡμέραι, but ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι also occurs in Question About Fasting (Luke 5:35) and Like Lightning (Luke 17:22), two pericopae the author of Luke likely copied from Anth. So it is more reasonable to attribute ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι to the author of Luke than to the First Reconstructor. But if the author of Luke was in the habit of changing ἔρχονται ἡμέραι to ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι, why did he allow ἔρχονται ἡμέραι to stand in Luke 23:29? The most reasonable conclusion, therefore, is that the phrase ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι occurred in Anth.,[50] and the fact that it does not conform to LXX style is simply due to its being an independent rendering by the Greek translator of the Hebrew Life of Yeshua of the phrase יָמִים בָּאִים. In other words, ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι is a non-Septuagintal Hebraism.

יָמִים בָּאִים (HR). On reconstructing ἔρχεσθαι (erchesthai, “to come”) with בָּא (bā’, “come”), see Demands of Discipleship, Comment to L8.

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

As we noted in Preparations for Eating Passover Lamb, Comment to L1, in normal Greek it is unusual for the noun ἡμέρα (“day”) to be the subject of the verb ἔρχεσθαι (“to come”). The expression is a Hebraism.

Model of the Second Temple at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Photographed by Joshua N. Tilton (2016).

L25 καὶ οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται (GR). In L25 the three synoptic versions of Temple’s Destruction Foretold more or less agree in meaning but differ with regard to phrasing. Matthew and Mark use an οὐ μή + subjunctive construction, while Luke has οὐ + future verb. Of the two options, Luke’s is the more Hebraic and has therefore been accepted for GR.

According to Codex Vaticanus, all three versions have the adverb ὧδε (hōde, “here”), either before (Mark and Matthew) or after (Luke) the phrase “stone upon stone,” but text critics regard ὧδε in Luke 21:6 (L26) to be a scribal harmonization with the Matthean and Markan versions of Temple’s Destruction Foretold.[51] Since the Markan and Matthean ὧδε in L25 adds nothing essential to Jesus’ pronouncement, but looks like typical Markan dramatization, we have excluded ὧδε from GR.

The main difference in L25 between Luke and the Markan and Matthean versions is the phrase ἐν αἷς (en hais, “in which”), a phrase that in Luke modifies “days are coming” from L17. We suspect that ἐν αἷς was added either by the First Reconstructor or the author of Luke as a stylistic improvement to Jesus’ pronouncement. In the Hebrew Scriptures the prophetic formula “Behold! Days are coming…” is never followed by “in which.” In most cases this prophetic formula is followed by -וְ + imperfect verb, which in LXX was rendered with καί + future verb. In a few instances a pronouncement foretells something that will no longer be the case (similar to Jesus’ pronouncement). In such instances the formula “Behold! Days are coming…” is followed by וְלֹא + imperfect, which the LXX translators rendered as καὶ οὐ + future verb:

לָכֵן הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים נְאֻם יי וְלֹא יֵאָמֵר עוֹד הַתֹּפֶת וְגֵיא בֶן הִנֹּם כִּי אִם גֵּיא הַהֲרֵגָה

Therefore, behold! Days are coming, says the LORD, and it will not be said again, “the Tophet” or “the Valley of the son of Hinnom,” but rather “the Valley of Slaughter.” (Jer. 7:32)

διὰ τοῦτο ἰδοὺ ἡμέραι ἔρχονται, λέγει κύριος, καὶ οὐκ ἐροῦσιν ἔτι Βωμὸς τοῦ Ταφεθ καὶ Φάραγξ υἱοῦ Εννομ, ἀλλ᾿ ἢ Φάραγξ τῶν ἀνῃρημένων

Therefore, behold! Days are coming, says the Lord, and they will not still say, “the altar of Tafeth” or “the Valley of the son of Ennom,” but rather “the Valley of the Slain.” (Jer. 7:32; cf. Jer. 19:6)

לָכֵן הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים נְאֻם יי וְלֹא יֵאָמֵר עוֹד חַי יי אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלָה אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם

Therefore, behold! Days are coming, says the LORD, and it will not be said again, “As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the children of Israel up from the land of Egypt.” (Jer. 16:14)

διὰ τοῦτο ἰδοὺ ἡμέραι ἔρχονται, λέγει κύριος, καὶ οὐκ ἐροῦσιν ἔτι Ζῇ κύριος ὁ ἀναγαγὼν τοὺς υἱοὺς Ισραηλ ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου

Therefore, behold! Days are coming, says the Lord, and they will not still say, “As surely as the Lord lives, who led up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt.” (Jer. 16:14; cf. Jer. 23:7)

Given examples such as these, and in view of the parallel pronouncement in Yerushalayim’s Destruction Foretold, where we read ἥξουσιν ἡμέραι ἐπὶ σὲ καὶ…οὐκ ἀφήσουσιν λίθον ἐπὶ λίθον (“days will come upon you and..they will not leave a stone upon a stone”; Luke 19:43-44), we think it is likely that ἐν αἷς (“in which”) is a replacement for a simple καί (kai, “and”) in Anth.

וְלֹא תִשְׁתַּיֵּיר (HR). Elsewhere we have reconstructed ἀφιέναι (afienai, “to leave”) with הִנִּיחַ (hiniaḥ, “leave,” “cause to rest”),[52] but in the present context we think a passive form of נ-ו-ח would sound strange, since הִנִּיחַ with אֶבֶן (’even, “stone”) as its direct object means “set a stone in its place,” not “leave a stone where it is,” as we see in the following examples:

אֵין בָּאָרוֹן רַק שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הָאֲבָנִים אֲשֶׁר הִנִּחַ שָׁם מֹשֶׁה בְּחֹרֵב

There was nothing in the ark except for the two tablets of stone which Moses put there on Horeb. (1 Kgs. 8:9)

וּכְשֶׁמֵּת שָׁלְחוּ בֵּית דִּין וְהִינִּיחוּ אֶבֶן עַל אֲרוֹנוֹ

…and when he died the court sent and they set a stone on his coffin. (m. Edu. 5:6)

Thus, reconstructing καὶ οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος (“and a stone will not be left”) with a passive form of נ-ו-ח would probably be understood as “and a stone will not be put in place,” rather than “a stone will not remain in its place,” as Jesus clearly intended. We have therefore chosen to reconstruct ἀφιέναι with a passive form of שׁ-א-ר. In the nitpa‘el stem the verb נִשְׁתַּיֵּיר (nishtayēr) can mean “to be left” and can be used to refer to items that have survived catastrophic events or the ravages of time. For instance:

עיר של רבים שחרבה ונשתיירו בה גדודיות גבוהות

A jointly-owned rural farming estate[53] that was destroyed, but there were left within it high [piles of] debris…. (t. Eruv. 5:4; Vienna MS)

כיון שראו בפגרי האנשים שהיו מעבידין בהן בפרך ובעבודה קשה כולן פגרים מתים מוטלין על שפת הים אמרו כמדומין אנו שלא נשתייר אדם במצרים

When they [i.e., the Israelites—DNB and JNT] saw the corpses of the people that had enslaved them ruthlessly and with hard labor, all of them dead corpses lying on the shore of the sea, they said, “It seems to us that not one person has been left in Egypt!” (Mechilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, Vayassa‘ §1 [ed. Lauterbach, 1:223-224])

ויקח משה את עצמות יוסף…ומנין היה יודע משה רבינו היכן יוסף קבור אמרו שרח בת אשר נשתיירה מאותו הדור הלך משה אצלה ואמר לה היכן יוסף קבור

And Moses took the bones of Joseph [Exod. 13:19]. …And how did Moses, our master, know where Joseph was buried? They said Serah the daughter of Asher was left from that generation [i.e., the generation that witnessed Joseph’s burial—DNB and JNT], and Moses went to her and said to her, “Where is Joseph buried?” (Mechilta de-Shimon ben Yohai, BeShallaḥ on Exod. 13:19 [ed. Epstein-Melamed, 46])

Therefore, although ἀφιέναι never occurs in LXX as the translation of verbs built from the שׁ-א-ר root, we believe נִשְׁתַּיֵּיר is a suitable option for HR.

L26 λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον (GR). There is the slightest difference in L26 between Luke and the Markan and Matthean versions of Temple’s Destruction Foretold, namely that Luke has ἐπί + dative, whereas Mark and Matthew have ἐπί + accusative. We think that, just as in Luke 19:44, Anth. probably had ἐπί + accusative (ἐπὶ λίθον) and that it was the First Reconstructor who altered the text to ἐπί + dative (ἐπὶ λίθῳ).[54] It is possible, however, that ἐπὶ λίθῳ stood in Anth. and that the Greek translator of the Hebrew Life of Yeshua simply rendered the same phrase in two slightly different ways in the two pericopae. The author of Mark may have written ἐπὶ λίθον on the basis of Anth.’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold, or, since he seems to have been aware of the similarities between Temple’s Destruction Foretold and Yerushalayim’s Destruction Foretold, he may have imported ἐπὶ λίθον from Luke 19:44 into his version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold. Or perhaps both explanations are correct: the author of Mark saw that ἐπὶ λίθον occurred in Anth.’s versions of Temple’s Destruction Foretold and Yerushalayim’s Destruction Foretold, as well as Luke’s version of Yerushalayim’s Destruction Foretold, and therefore the author of Mark preferred to write ἐπὶ λίθον in his version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold.

אֶבֶן עַל אֶבֶן (HR). On reconstructing λίθος (lithos, “stone”) with אֶבֶן (’even, “stone”), see above, Comment to L9.

On reconstructing ἐπί (epi, “upon”) with עַל (‘al, “upon”), see Widow’s Son in Nain, Comment to L11.

The phrase λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον occurs only once in LXX, where the prophet Haggai discusses the rebuilding of the Temple:

καὶ νῦν θέσθε δὴ εἰς τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν ἀπὸ τῆς ἡμέρας ταύτης καὶ ὑπεράνω πρὸ τοῦ θεῖναι λίθον ἐπὶ λίθον ἐν τῷ ναῷ κυρίου τίνες ἦτε…ὑποτάξατε δὴ τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν ἀπὸ τῆς ἡμέρας ταύτης καὶ ἐπέκεινα· ἀπὸ τῆς τετράδος καὶ εἰκάδος τοῦ ἐνάτου μηνὸς καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς ἡμέρας, ἧς ἐθεμελιώθη ὁ ναὸς κυρίου, θέσθε ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν

And now, put it in your hearts from this day and henceforth: Before was set a stone upon stone [λίθον ἐπὶ λίθον] in the house of the Lord, what were you? …Subject your hearts from this day and onward: From the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, even the day when the house of the Lord was founded, put it in your hearts. (Hag. 2:15-16, 18)

In this passage setting a stone upon stone (Hag. 2:15) is parallel to laying the Temple’s foundation (Hag. 2:18).[55] It is possible, therefore, that λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον refers to setting the first course of stones on bedrock (i.e., “a stone upon stone”) rather than placing dressed stones upon one another (i.e., “a stone upon a stone”). In any case, by using the phrase “stone upon stone” it appears that Jesus was alluding to this prophetic passage in order to imply that the Temple would be dismantled down to its very foundations.[56]

Massive Herodian stones in the southwest corner of the retaining wall of the Temple Mount. Rubble from ruins of the Temple complex above lie beside the retaining wall. Photographed by Joshua N. Tilton.

The equivalent of LXX’s λίθον ἐπὶ λίθον (“a stone upon stone”; Hag. 2:15) in MT is אֶבֶן אֶל אֶבֶן (’even ’el ’even, “a stone to stone”). While the LXX translators did sometimes render אֶל (’el, “to”) as ἐπί (epi, “upon”),[57] עַל (‘al, “upon”) is the more usual and straightforward equivalent.[58] If, as we suppose, Jesus alluded to Hag. 2:15 in Hebrew, then we might have expected the Greek translator of the Hebrew Life of Yeshua to have written λίθος εἰς λίθον (lithos eis lithon, “a stone to stone”) or possibly λίθος πρὸς λίθον (lithos pros lithon, “a stone toward stone”). Would a Greek translator who was not making use of LXX render Jesus’ allusion to Hag. 2:15 as λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον? He might if Jesus had quoted a pre-Masoretic version of Hag. 2:15 that read אֶבֶן עַל אֶבֶן instead of MT’s אֶבֶן אֶל אֶבֶן. In addition to LXX’s translation of Hag. 2:15 there is evidence from rabbinic literature that there were Hebrew texts of Hag. 2:15 that read אֶבֶן עַל אֶבֶן (“a stone upon stone”). In Avot de-Rabbi Natan (Version A, §4 [ed. Schechter, 20]) and in the Jerusalem Talmud (y. Rosh Hash. 1:1 [56a]) Hag. 2:15 is quoted as reading אֶבֶן עַל אֶבֶן.[59] Therefore, Jesus may well have quoted a pre-Masoretic version of Hag. 2:15 that was different from MT, and this likelihood is reflected in HR.

L27 ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται (GR). The Lukan-Matthean agreement in L27 to write ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται (hos ou katalūthēsetai, “that will not be broken down”) against Mark’s ὃς οὐ μὴ καταλυθῇ (hos ou mē katalūthē, “that might not be broken down”) virtually ensures that the former was the reading of Anth.[60] This Lukan-Matthean agreement also confirms that Temple’s Destruction Foretold is not FR’s version of Yerushalayim’s Destruction Foretold, since the latter does not contain the phrase ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται. Thus, Matthew must have had access to Anth.’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold, which was different from Yerushalayim’s Destruction Foretold, thereby enabling him to agree with Luke against Mark in L27 (see the Conjectured Stages of Transmission discussion above).

שֶׁלֹּא תִנָּתֵץ (HR). In LXX the verb καταλύειν (katalūein) is not especially common, and when it does occur it usually does so with the meaning “to lodge” or “to take up one’s quarters.”[61] There is only a single instance in LXX (and that only in Codex Alexandrinus) where καταλύειν is used in a sense comparable to that in Temple’s Destruction Foretold, which we quote here:

וְאֶת חוֹמֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַם סָבִיב נָתְצוּ

…and the walls surrounding Jerusalem they tore down [נָתְצוּ]. (2 Kgs. 25:10)

τὸ τεῖχος κύκλῳ Ιερουσαλημ κατέλυσαν

…the wall surrounding Jerusalem they broke down [κατέλυσαν]. (4 Kgdms. 25:10 [Alexandrinus])

Since the root נ-ת-צ, which occurs in passive as well as active stems, continued to be used in Mishnaic Hebrew and was used for the tearing down of cities (Judg. 9:45; Jer. 4:26), walls (2 Kgs. 25:10; Jer. 39:8; 52:14; 2 Chr. 36:19), buildings (Lev. 14:45; Judg. 8:9, 17; 2 Kgs. 10:27), altars (Exod. 34:13; Deut. 7:5; 12:3) and stones (Lev. 14:45), and since 4 Kgdms. 25:10 (Alexandrinus) provides a compelling precedent, we believe the nif‘al verb נִתַּץ (nitatz, “be torn down”) is a strong candidate for HR. Below we have collected a few instances of נִתַּץ from rabbinic sources:

אִם עַד שֶׁלֹּא טִיהֲרוֹ בַצִּיפֳּרִין נִרְאָה בוֹ נֶגַע הֲרֵי זֶה יִנָּתֵץ

If before he [i.e., a priest—DNB and JNT] purified it [i.e., a house with the marks of scale disease ⟨cf. Lev. 14:33ff.⟩—DNB and JNT] with birds [cf. Lev. 14:49-53—DNB and JNT] there appeared within it [the mark of] a plague—Behold! This [house] must be torn down [יִנָּתֵץ]. (m. Neg. 13:1)

מזבח שנפגם אסור עד שינתץ רובו

An altar that was damaged is forbidden [i.e., for secular use by Jews—DNB and JNT] until the greater part of it is torn down [יִנָּתֵץ]. (b. Avod. Zar. 53b)

אלה פקודי המשכן משכן העדות. ולמה אמר משכן שני פעמים, לפי שנתנבא משה רבינו ע″ה שיחרב בית ראשון ובית שני, ואמר אחריו העדות, להורות על בית שלישי שלא יחרב, ולא ינתץ לעולם

These are the visitations of the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the testimony [Exod. 38:21]. And why does it say “tabernacle” two times? Because Moses our master prophesied that the First Temple would be destroyed, also the Second Temple. And it said after this, “the testimony,” to show concerning the Third Temple that it will not be destroyed and it will never be torn down [יִנָּתֵץ]. (Midrash Aggadah on Exodus, Pekudey §21 [ed. Buber, 1:189])

Although the final example given above comes from a late midrashic compilation, it is instructive to see that נִתַּץ could be used for the Temple’s demolition.

Some scholars have noted that the form of Jesus’ pronouncement is somewhat redundant, since “a stone upon a stone will not be left” implies that the stones will be torn down.[62] The redundancy of Jesus’ pronouncement is somewhat alleviated if, as we discussed above in Comment to L26, the saying means “not a stone of the Temple’s foundation will remain that will not have been torn down.” In other words, even if some of the stones survive, they will not remain in situ. We note, moreover, that certain predictions of the rabbinic sages have a similarly redundant form:

בשעת פטירתו אמר להן העמיקו לי ארוני שאין כל דקל ודקל שבבבל שאין סוס של פרסיים נקשר בו ואין לך כל ארון וארון שבארץ ישראל שאין סוס מדי אוכל בו תבן

At the hour of his [i.e., the second-century C.E. sage Yose ben Kisma’s—DNB and JNT] departure [from this life—DNB and JNT] he said to them [i.e., his disciples—DNB and JNT], “Place my coffin for me deep [in the ground—DNB and JNT], for there is not a single palm tree in Babylon that will not have a horse of the Persians tied to it, and you will not have a single coffin in the land of Israel that will not have a horse of the Medians eating fodder from it.” (b. Sanh. 98a-b)

The structural similarity of Yose ben Kisma’s predictions and Jesus’ pronouncement becomes unmistakable when they are presented in parallel columns:

Not a stone upon stone will be left There is not a single palm tree in Babylon There is not a single coffin in the land of Israel
that will not be broken down. that will not have a horse of the Persians tied to it. that will not have a horse of the Medians eating fodder from it.

It thus appears that the seeming redundancy of Jesus’ pronouncement is a reflection of its Hebrew origin.

Jesus was hardly alone in predicting the destruction of the Second Temple. Josephus relates how another Jesus, son of Ananias, habitually announced the Temple’s destruction in the 60s C.E. (J.W. 6:300-309).[63] Likewise, rabbinic sources attribute predictions of the Temple’s destruction to Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai[64] and to Rabbi Tzadok, who is said to have fasted for forty years in order to avert the Temple’s destruction (b. Git. 56a).[65]

View of the Mount of Olives from the tower of the Church of the Redeemer in the Old City of Jerusalem. Slide taken by Joshua N. Tilton.

L31-38 In the Gospels of Mark and Matthew there is no reaction to Jesus’ announcement of the Temple’s destruction until some time has passed and Jesus has settled himself upon the Mount of Olives. Only then do some of the disciples (according to Mark) or all of them (according to Matthew) respond to Jesus’ prediction with follow-up questions. In Luke the narrative unfolds differently. Jesus’ public announcement of the Temple’s destruction provokes an immediate response in which unidentified members of the public ask Jesus follow-up questions. We believe that Luke’s more plausible scenario reflects the story as it was recorded in Anth.[66] We regard Mark’s wording in L31-38 as a Markan composition,[67] which the author of Matthew subsequently adapted to his own taste. For this reason nothing corresponding to the Markan or Matthean versions of Temple’s Destruction Foretold in L31-38 (except L35, which has a parallel in Luke) appears in GR or HR.

L31 καὶ καθημένου αὐτοῦ (Mark 13:3). As we noted above in Comment to L1-2, genitive absolute constructions, such as Mark’s “and as he was sitting,” are un-Hebraic but typical of Markan redaction. The author of Matthew slightly improved Mark’s wording in L31 by changing Mark’s καί (kai, “and”) to δέ (de, “but”).[68]

Slope of the Mount of Olives. Photographed on Palm Sunday 2007 by Joshua N. Tilton. Pilgrims processing down the hillside can be seen in the photo.

L32 εἰς τὸ ὄρος τῶν ἐλαιῶν (Mark 13:3). The author of Mark’s use of the preposition εἰς (eis, “into”) to describe Jesus’ sitting on the Mount of Olives is a little odd,[69] but not inconsistent with his use of another unexpected preposition in conjunction with a verb for sitting. In the narrative introduction to the Four Soils parable (L14) the author of Mark had described Jesus as sitting ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ (en tē thalassē, “in the sea”; Mark 4:1). In both instances the author of Matthew saw fit to avoid Mark’s unusual prepositions. In the Four Soils parable he did so by omitting Mark’s unusual phrase (Matt. 13:2); in Temple’s Destruction Foretold he did so by replacing εἰς with ἐπί (epi, “on”).[70]

Since we believe the Mount of Olives location was not a feature of Mark’s sources, the question arises why the author of Mark chose to make the Mount of Olives the location for the delivery of Jesus’ eschatological discourse. It may be that the author of Mark was simply transposing the order of events in Luke, as he did elsewhere,[71] for according to Luke Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives after concluding his prophecy of the destruction and redemption of Jerusalem (Luke 21:37).[72] Or it may be that the post-resurrection appearance of Jesus on the Mount of Olives described in the first chapter of Acts, where Jesus instructs the disciples concerning future events, inspired the author of Mark to make the Mount of Olives the scene of the eschatological discourse.[73] It is also possible that the author of Mark noted the similarity of Temple’s Destruction Foretold to Yerushalayim’s Destruction Foretold, which takes place on the Mount of Olives, and decided that Temple’s Destruction Foretold should take place on the Mount of Olives too. Another possibility is that, since Mark’s wording in L31-32 seems intended to echo Zech. 14:4, which describes eschatological events that are to take place on the Mount of Olives (see below, Comment to L33), the author of Mark felt that the Mount of Olives was an appropriate setting for an eschatological discourse to be delivered.

However, we think the author of Mark’s primary motivation for relocating Jesus’ eschatological discourse to the Mount of Olives was to put Jesus’ delivery of this discourse in close proximity to the fig tree which, according to Mark 11:12-14, 20-21, Jesus cursed. The author of Mark assigned to the cursed fig tree an eschatological function. No one in the present age would ever eat of its fruit (Mark 11:14), but the cursed fig tree would bear fruit again when the Son of Man was about to arrive (Mark 13:28-29).[74] Since the author of Mark has Jesus refer to this eschatological sign at the end of the eschatological discourse, it was imperative that he set the discourse at a spot where the withered fig tree was close at hand, hence the author of Mark’s relocation of the eschatological discourse on the Mount of Olives. Of course, it is not necessary to choose between these alternatives; a confluence of the factors we have mentioned is probably what led the author of Mark to reach his decision to move Jesus’ discourse from the Temple Mount to the Mount of Olives.

L33 κατέναντι τοῦ ἱεροῦ (Mark 13:3). It is especially the phrase “opposite the Temple” that causes some scholars[75] to suppose that the author of Mark composed L32-33 in imitation of the following words in Zechariah:

וְעָמְדוּ רַגְלָיו בַּיּוֹם־הַהוּא עַל־הַר הַזֵּתִים אֲשֶׁר עַל פְּנֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם מִקֶּדֶם וְנִבְקַע הַר הַזֵּיתִים מֵחֶצְיוֹ מִזְרָחָה וָיָמָּה גֵּיא גְּדוֹלָה מְאֹד וּמָשׁ חֲצִי הָהָר צָפוֹנָה וְחֶצְיוֹ נֶגְבָּה

And his [i.e., the LORD’s—DNB and JNT] feet will stand on that day on the Mount of Olives, which is facing [עַל פְּנֵי] Jerusalem from the east. And the Mount of Olives will be cloven in half from east to west by a very great valley, and half of the mountain will move northward, and half of it will move southward. (Zech. 14:4)

καὶ στήσονται οἱ πόδες αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἐπὶ τὸ ὄρος τῶν ἐλαιῶν τὸ κατέναντι Ιερουσαλημ ἐξ ἀνατολῶν· καὶ σχισθήσεται τὸ ὄρος τῶν ἐλαιῶν, τὸ ἥμισυ αὐτοῦ πρὸς ἀνατολὰς καὶ τὸ ἥμισυ αὐτοῦ πρὸς θάλασσαν, χάος μέγα σφόδρα· καὶ κλινεῖ τὸ ἥμισυ τοῦ ὄρους πρὸς βορρᾶν καὶ τὸ ἥμισυ αὐτοῦ πρὸς νότον

And his feet will stand on that day on the Mount of Olives, which is opposite [κατέναντι] Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives will be cloven, half of it to the east, and half of it to the sea, a very great chasm. And half of the mountain will incline toward the north, and half of it toward the south. (Zech. 14:4)

This verse, which describes a divine manifestation on the Mount of Olives, follows a prediction that “days of the Lord are coming” (ἡμέραι ἔρχονται τοῦ κυρίου; Zech. 14:1)[76] when all the Gentiles will gather against Jerusalem, destroy the city, and exile its inhabitants (Zech. 14:2). Only after these catastrophic events does the the Lord (κύριος [kūrios]; Zech. 14:3) intervene, appearing on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4) accompanied by his holy ones (Zech. 14:5). The sequence of events in Zech. 14:1-5 is similar to the sequence of events in Mark’s eschatological discourse, in which the nations rise up against one another (Mark 13:8) and the Temple is defiled (Mark 13:14) during an unprecedented period of distress (Mark 13:19), at the end of which the Son of Man comes (Mark 13:26) accompanied by angels (Mark 13:27) to rescue the elect.[77] It seems likely that by alluding to Zech. 14:1 the author of Mark wished to highlight the similarity of these two prophecies and to equate the coming of the Lord with his holy ones with the coming of the Son of Man in the company of angels. If we are correct in detecting an allusion to Zech. 14:1 in Mark 13:3, then the author of Mark’s use of the preposition κατέναντι (katenanti, “opposite”) is of great significance.[78] The LXX translation of Zech. 14:4 also uses the preposition κατέναντι to describe the location of the Mount of Olives vis-à-vis Jerusalem. The LXX translators selected κατέναντι to be the translation of עַל פְּנֵי (‘al pe, “upon the face of”) in Zech. 14:4, but this was an unusual choice. Of the nearly 60 instances of κατέναντι in LXX books with counterparts in MT, only two occur as the translation of עַל פְּנֵי (Gen. 50:13; Zech. 14:4).[79] The LXX translators far more often preferred to render עַל פְּנֵי as ἐπί—often in combination with πρόσωπον[80] —or κατά—again, often in combination with πρόσωπον[81] —than as κατέναντι. Thus, the probability that Mark’s allusion to Zech. 14:4 reflects a direct translation of the Hebrew text independent of LXX is extremely small. In other words, it is almost certainly to the LXX text of Zech. 14:4 that the author of Mark alluded in Mark 13:3. His reliance on the LXX text of Zech. 14:4 confirms our impression that in L31-38 we are dealing with free Markan composition, not material that can be traced back to the Hebrew Life of Yeshua.[82]

The omission of anything corresponding to “opposite the Temple” in Matthew’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold suggests that the author of Matthew did not recognize the allusion to Zech. 14:4. He probably omitted this phrase because he regarded it as superfluous.[83] In any event, the author of Matthew had lost interest in the Temple, as his rewording of the disciples’ question in L44-45 shows.

L34 προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ (Matt. 24:3). Instead of having a select group of disciples question Jesus in private as in Mark’s account, the author of Matthew presents all of Jesus’ disciples approaching him in order to inquire further about Jesus’ prophecy that the Temple was soon to be destroyed. This change reflects the author of Matthew’s dislike for church hierarchy (see above, Comment to L5). The wording is similar to his wording in L4-5 (the differences being the lack of καί and αὐτοῦ in L34, as well as the addition of αὐτῷ), which we determined was redactional.

L35 ἐπηρώτησαν δὲ αὐτὸν (GR). According to Luke, Jesus’ public audience immediately reacted to Jesus’ startling pronouncement by asking follow-up questions. We think this version of events reflects the story as it was told in Anth. Luke’s wording in L35, not just the sense, probably reflects that of Anth. too. While it is possible that instead of ἐπηρώτησαν δὲ αὐτόν (epērōtēsan de avton, “but they asked him”) Anth. read καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτόν (kai epērōtēsan avton, “and they asked him”) or even καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτόν (kai ērōtēsan avton, “and they asked him”),[84] Luke’s wording in L35 is sufficiently Hebraic to have appeared in Anth.[85]

The author of Mark dropped Luke’s δέ (de, “but”) in L35 because in his account the asking is a continuation of the sentence that opened with the genitive absolute construction meaning “as he was sitting.” Mark’s change from Luke’s plural verb to singular is somewhat surprising, since according to Mark a group of four disciples asked Jesus the questions that follow. The singular verb may be intended to highlight Peter’s role as the spokesman of the inner circle of disciples.[86] The author of Matthew dropped the asking altogether, perhaps because he felt that asking clashed with the demand “Tell us!” (L41).[87]

וַיִּשְׁאָלוּהוּ (HR). On reconstructing ἐπερωτᾶν (eperōtan, “to ask”) with שָׁאַל (shā’al, “ask”), see Rich Man Declines the Kingdom of Heaven, Comment to L5-6.

James Tissot, La prédication de la ruine du Temple (“The Prophecy of the Destruction of the Temple”). Image courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.

L36 καθ᾿ ἰδίαν (Mark 13:3). Private audiences with Jesus for healing (Mark 7:33), special revelations (Mark 9:2), instruction (Mark 4:34) or questioning (Mark 9:28; 13:3)[88] signaled by the phrase κατ᾿ ἰδίαν (kat idian, “privately”) is a redactional feature of the Gospel of Mark. Lindsey recognized κατ᾿ ἰδίαν as a “Markan stereotype” given the proliferation of this phrase in Mark in comparison to Luke (Mark: 7xx; Luke: 2xx).[89] The author of Matthew appropriated the phrase κατ᾿ ἰδίαν from Mark, but in Matthew’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold it has acquired a new and more sinister meaning. Whereas in Mark the private audience distinguishes Jesus’ closest disciples from the others, in Matthew the private audience with Jesus distinguishes the disciples (and hence the church) from the Jewish people.[90] The author of Matthew’s adaptations of Mark’s wording in L31-38 are thus the product of two of his most deeply held convictions: his anti-hierarchical stance and his anti-Jewish sentiment.[91]

L37-38 Πέτρος καὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάνης καὶ Ἀνδρέας (Mark 13:3). The naming of individual disciples who were to be the recipients of a revelation is a detail unique to Mark’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold, and it is likely to have sprung from the author of Mark’s creative and expansive approach to his sources. The scene in Mark 13:3 is similar to that in Mark’s version of the Transfiguration, where Jesus takes Peter, James and John up a high mountain alone by themselves (κατ᾿ ἰδίαν μόνους) to receive a revelation (Mark 9:2). The addition of Andrew to this inner circle of disciples may reflect the fact that, in Mark’s Gospel, Andrew, together with the other three mentioned in Mark 13:3, belonged to the first two pairs of disciples Jesus called (Mark 1:16-20).[92] Peter, James, John and Andrew are also mentioned in this order at the head of Mark’s list of the twelve apostles (Mark 3:16-18; Choosing the Twelve, L18-29).[93]

View of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Photographed on Palm Sunday 2006 by Joshua N. Tilton. Pilgrims can be seen processing down the hillside.

L39 λέγοντες (GR). The Lukan-Matthean agreement to write λέγοντες (legontes, “saying”) in L39, where it is absent in Mark, strongly suggests that “saying” occurred in Anth.

לֵאמֹר (HR). While “they asked him, saying…” sounds redundant in English, there are plenty of examples of לֵאמֹר + שָׁאַל in Hebrew narrative, for instance:

וַיִּשְׁאָלֵהוּ הָאִישׁ לֵאמֹר מַה תְּבַקֵּשׁ

And the man asked him [וַיִּשְׁאָלֵהוּ], saying [לֵאמֹר], “What do you seek?” (Gen. 37:15)

ἠρώτησεν δὲ αὐτὸν ὁ ἄνθρωπος λέγων Τί ζητεῖς

But the man asked [ἠρώτησεν] him, saying [λέγων], “What do you seek?” (Gen. 37:15)

וַיִּשְׁאַל אֶת אַנְשֵׁי מְקֹמָהּ לֵאמֹר אַיֵּה הַקְּדֵשָׁה

And he asked [וַיִּשְׁאַל] the people of her place, saying [לֵאמֹר], “Where is the prostitute…?” (Gen. 38:21)

ἐπηρώτησεν δὲ τοὺς ἄνδρας τοὺς ἐκ τοῦ τόπου Ποῦ ἐστιν ἡ πόρνη

But he asked [ἐπηρώτησεν] the men from the place, “Where is the prostitute…?” (Gen. 38:21)

וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּיי לֵאמֹר מִי יַעֲלֶה לָּנוּ אֶל הַכְּנַעֲנִי

And the children of Israel asked [וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ] the LORD, saying [לֵאמֹר], “Who should go up for us to the Canaanites…?” (Judg. 1:1)

καὶ ἐπηρώτων οἱ υἱοὶ Ισραηλ ἐν κυρίῳ λέγοντες Τίς ἀναβήσεται ἡμῖν πρὸς τὸν Χαναναῖον

And the children of Israel asked [ἐπηρώτων] the Lord, saying [λέγοντες], “Who will go up for us to the Canaanites…?” (Judg. 1:1)

וַיִּשְׁאַל דָּוִד בַּיי לֵאמֹר הַאֵלֵךְ

And David asked [וַיִּשְׁאַל] the LORD, saying [לֵאמֹר], “Should I go…?” (1 Sam. 23:2)

καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν Δαυιδ διὰ τοῦ κυρίου λέγων Εἰ πορευθῶ

And David asked [ἐπηρώτησεν] the Lord, saying [λέγων], “Should I go…?” (1 Kgdms. 23:2)

Notice how in Gen. 38:21 the LXX translators omitted an equivalent to לֵאמֹר, evidently feeling that “saying” was superfluous following “he/she/they asked.” This indicates that λέγοντες in L39 is a Hebraism, probably the result of Anth.’s text having descended from the Hebrew Life of Yeshua. Note, too, how the LXX translators used the compound verb ἐπερωτᾶν (eperōtan, “to ask”) in the above examples, the same verb that we adopted for GR in L35.[94]

L40 διδάσκαλε (GR). The authors of Luke and Matthew are quite consistent in reserving the address διδάσκαλε (didaskale, “Teacher!”) for non-disciples who speak to Jesus.[95] This usage of διδάσκαλε fits with the Lukan version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold, in which the discussion about the Temple’s beautiful stones and the questions regarding Jesus’ announcement of the Temple’s demise come from the general public who are with Jesus on the Temple Mount. On the other hand, the identification of the audience as non-disciples does not agree with the content of the discourse that follows, in which Jesus predicts persecutions that will come upon his listeners “on account of my name” (Luke 21:12-19). These warnings and encouragements are meant for Jesus’ followers, not the general public.

The First Reconstructor’s additions to Anth.’s prophecy of destruction and redemption.

We believe that the contradiction between the audience assumed in the narrative and the audience assumed in the discourse is a result of the First Reconstructor’s redactional activity.[96] As we discussed in the introduction to the “Destruction and Redemption” complex, the First Reconstructor wove additional materials into an earlier discourse preserved in Anth. concerning the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem. Whereas the earlier discourse was addressed to the general public, the materials that the First Reconstructor wove into this discourse were sayings Jesus addressed to his followers. Apparently, the First Reconstructor simply did not notice the tension regarding the identity of the discourse’s audience his redactional activity had created. The presence of διδάσκαλε in L40 is therefore best explained as a verbal relic from Anth. that survived FR’s redaction and thence made its way into Luke’s Gospel.[97]

רַבֵּנוּ (HR). On reconstructing διδάσκαλος (didaskalos, “teacher”) with רַב (rav, “master,” “teacher”), see Not Everyone Can Be Yeshua’s Disciple, Comment to L5.

L41 εἰπὸν ἡμῖν (GR). We think the Markan and Matthean demand “Say to us!” in L41 could be a reflection of Anth.’s wording that was eliminated by the First Reconstructor and is consequently absent in Luke 21:7. The First Reconstructor may have eliminated “Say to us!” because he felt that an imperative following “they asked him” was discordant or because he felt that such a demand sounded impolite. In any case, the demand is not un-Hebraic (see below).

Whether Mark’s εἰπὸν ἡμῖν (eipon hēmin, “Say to us!”) or Matthew’s εἰπὲ ἡμῖν (eipe hēmin, “Say to us!”) should be accepted for GR is difficult to determine. Matthew’s imperative εἰπέ also occurs in two DT pericopae (Yeshua’s Testing and Healing a Centurion’s Slave) with Luke’s agreement (Matt. 4:3 ∥ Luke 4:3; Matt. 8:8 ∥ Luke 7:7), so we can be confident that the imperatival form εἰπέ did sometimes occur in Anth. On the other hand, the remaining instances of εἰπέ in Matthew are likely to be redactional, either because they appear in sentences likely to have been composed by the author of Matthew (Matt. 18:17; 22:17) or because they seem to be corrections of Mark’s wording (Matt. 20:21; 24:3 [?]). Moreover, the imperatival form εἰπόν never occurs in Matthew, which may be an indication that the author of Matthew disliked this form for one reason or another. Mark’s imperative εἰπόν does not occur elsewhere in his Gospel, and therefore cannot be regarded as a particular favorite of the author of Mark. In Luke the imperatival form εἰπόν occurs twice (Luke 20:2; 22:67), and these instances may have been taken over from Anth. On balance, then, we feel justified in accepting Mark’s εἰπόν for GR.

אֱמוֹר לָנוּ (HR). Rabbinic literature preserves examples of “Rabbi! Say to us…” followed by a question, comparable to our Hebrew reconstruction in L40-41. For instance:

נתקבצו כל ישראל אצל משה רבינו אמ′ לו משה רבינו אמור לנו מהיא מדת כבוד שלמעלה

All Israel gathered to Moses our master. They said to him, “Moses, our master [רַבֵּינוּ]! Say to us [אֱמוֹר לָנוּ]: What is the measure of glory that is on high?” (Midrash Tannaim on Deut. 33:26 [ed. Hoffmann, 221])

Another example of “Rabbi! Say to us…” occurs in the following request:

רבי אמור לנו שנים וג′ דברים שאמרת לנו משום אביך

Rabbi [רַבִּי]! Say to us [אֱמוֹר לָנוּ] two or three things that you said to us in your father’s name. (b. Avod. Zar. 8b; cf. b. Pes. 118b)

An example of לֵאמֹר + שָׁאַל + imperative + question, such as we have in HR to L35-42, is found in the book of Jeremiah:

וְאֶת בָּרוּךְ שָׁאֲלוּ לֵאמֹר הַגֶּד נָא לָנוּ אֵיךְ כָּתַבְתָּ אֶת כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה

And they asked Baruch, saying, “Please tell us! How did you write all these things?” (Jer. 36:17)

καὶ τὸν Βαρουχ ἠρώτησαν λέγοντες Πόθεν ἔγραψας πάντας τοὺς λόγους τούτους

And they asked Baruch, saying, “Whence did you write all these things?” (Jer. 43:17)

L42 πότε ταῦτα ἔσται (GR). In L42—with the exception of οὖν (oun, “therefore”) in Luke 21:7, which looks like a Greek improvement and was therefore probably inserted by the First Reconstructor or the author of Luke—the three synoptic versions are in agreement. Since the question reverts relatively easily to Hebrew, we have accepted all but οὖν for GR.

אֵימָתַי יִהְיוּ אֵלּוּ (HR). In LXX most instances of πότε (pote, “When?”) occur as the translation of מָתַי (mātai, “When?”).[98] We also find that the LXX translators rendered most instances of מָתַי as πότε.[99] In Mishnaic Hebrew, however, מָתַי was replaced by אֵימָתַי (’ēmātai, “When?”).[100] Since we prefer to reconstruct direct speech in Mishnaic-style Hebrew, we have adopted אֵימָתַי for HR. For the same reason we have preferred to adopt the Mishnaic demonstrative אֵלּוּ (’ēlū, “these”) rather than the Biblical demonstrative אֵלֶּה (’ēleh, “these”), just as we did earlier in L14.

Marcus noted that 4QPseudo-Ezekiela contains similarly worded questions:[101]

‏[כי אני יי] הגואל עמי לתת להם הברית [ואמרה יי] ראיתי רבים מישראל אשר אהבו את שמך וילכו בדרכי[ לבך וא]לה מתי יהיו והיככה ישתלמו חסדם ויאמר יי אלי אני אראה[ ]את בני ישראל וידעו כי אני יי [ויאמר ]בן אדם הנבה על העצמות ואמרת ויקרבו עצם אל עצמו ופרק [אל פרקו ויה]י כן ויאמר שנית הנבא ויעלו עליהם גדים ויקרמו עור [מלמעלה ויהי כן] ויאמר שוב אנבא על ארבע רוחות השמים ויפחו רוח [בהרוגים ויהי כן] וי[ח]יו עם רב אנשים ויברכו את יי צבאות אש[ר] [חים ⟦ ⟧ ו]אמרה יי מתי יהיו אלה

“…[for I am the LORD,] the redeemer of my people, to give them the covenant.” [And I said, “O LORD,] I have seen many from Israel who love your name and walk in the ways of [your heart. And th]ese things—when will they be [וְאֵלֶּה מָתַי יִהְיוּ]? And how will their faithfulness be repaid?” And the LORD said to me, “I will show [ — ] the children of Israel, and they will know that I am the LORD.” [And he said,] “Son of Adam, prophesy over the bones and say, ‘Let bone approach its bone and joint [its joint.’” And it wa]s so. And he said a second time, “Prophesy so that sinews will go up on them and they will be covered with skin [over it.” And it was so.] And he said again, “Prophesy over the four winds of heaven so that a spirit will breathe [in the slain.” And it was so.] “So a people of many persons will l[iv]e and bless the LORD of Hosts wh[o] [makes them live.” [[ — ]] And] I said, “LORD, when will these things be [מָתַי יִהְיוּ אֵלֶּה]?” (4QPseudo-Ezekiela [4Q385] 2 I, 1-9)

Just as the questions in 4QPseudo-Ezekiela are similar to those in Temple’s Destruction Foretold,[102] so also their contexts, in which questioners ask about the fulfillment of prophecy, are similar.

L43 καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον (GR). This is the only line in the whole of Temple’s Destruction Foretold where there is complete verbal agreement between all three synoptic evangelists. Even that does not guarantee that their wording is identical to that of Anth., since Luke could have passed on FR’s wording to Mark, and Mark could have passed Luke’s wording on to Matthew. Nevertheless, it seems likely that Anth.’s wording has been preserved in L43 since it readily reverts to Hebrew.

וּמָה הַסִּימָן (HR). In the Hebrew Scriptures the question “What is the __?” was generally expressed as __-מָה הַ (māh ha-__, “What [is] the __?”), which the LXX translators typically rendered as τί ὁ __ (ti ho __, “What [is] the __?”). So, for instance, the question מָה הַחֲלוֹם הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר חָלָמְתָּ (“What is this dream that you dreamt?”; Gen. 37:10) appears in LXX as τί τὸ ἐνύπνιον τοῦτο, ὃ ἐνυπνιάσθης (“What is this dream that you dreamt?”). Likewise, the LXX translators rendered מָה הָעֵרָבוֹן אֲשֶׁר אֶתֶּן־לָּךְ (“What is the pledge that I should give you?”; Gen. 38:18) as τίνα τὸν ἀρραβῶνά σοι δώσω (“What is the pledge I will give you?”). Or again, מָה הַמַּעֲשֶׂה הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם (“What is this deed that you have done?”; Gen. 44:15) occurs in LXX as τί τὸ πρᾶγμα τοῦτο, ὃ ἐποιήσατε (“What is this deed that you have done?”). Our reconstruction is entirely in keeping with this pattern.

On reconstructing σημεῖον (sēmeion, “sign”) with סִימָן (simān, “sign”), see Sign-Seeking Generation, Comment to L29. An equally good alternative reconstruction of σημεῖον is אוֹת (’ōt, “sign”).

We have already had occasion to refer to Rabbi Yose ben Kisma’s predictions of future events (see above, Comment to L27). Just prior to the passage we quoted earlier we find an exchange in which Rabbi Yose ben Kisma’s disciples ask him when something will happen and then ask him for a sign that what he predicted will take place. The similarity to the exchange between Jesus and his audience in Temple’s Destruction Foretold is striking:

שאלו תלמידיו את רבי יוסי בן קיסמא אימתי בן דוד בא אמר מתיירא אני שמא תבקשו ממני אות אמרו לו אין אנו מבקשין ממך אות א″ל לכשיפול השער הזה ויבנה ויפול ויבנה ויפול ואין מספיקין לבנותו עד שבן דוד בא אמרו לו רבינו תן לנו אות אמר להם ולא כך אמרתם לי שאין אתם מבקשין ממני אות אמרו לו ואף על פי כן אמר להם אם כך יהפכו מי מערת פמייס לדם ונהפכו לדם

His disciples asked Rabbi Yose ben Kisma, “When [אֵימָתַי] will the son of David [i.e., the Messiah—DNB and JNT] come?” He said, “I am afraid lest you should ask of me a sign [אוֹת].” They said to him, “We are not asking of you a sign [אוֹת].” He said to them, “When this gate will have fallen and been rebuilt, and fallen [a second time] and rebuilt, and fallen [a third time] and they have not yet finished rebuilding, then the son of David will have come.” They said to him, “Our Rabbi, give us a sign [אוֹת]!”[103] He said to them, “And did you not say to me that you were not seeking a sign [אוֹת] from me?” They said to him, “Nevertheless.” He said to them, “If it is so, let the waters of the cave of Paneas turn to blood.” And they were turned to blood. (b. Sanh. 98a)

An important difference between this passage and Temple’s Destruction Foretold is that whereas Rabbi Yose ben Kisma’s disciples ask about the coming redemption, in Temple’s Destruction Foretold Jesus’ audience asks about an impending catastrophe.

One often reads in commentaries that Jesus was opposed to giving signs. This view is based on an ancient misunderstanding of Jesus’ words in Sign-Seeking Generation. In that pericope Jesus disparages his generation’s search for signs of redemption. No such sign will be given to them, Jesus warns, because there is no redemption in store for his generation. Theirs was a time of judgment and wrath, on account of which the only sign that would be given was a portent of destruction—Jesus, the Son of Man himself. In the transmission of Sign-Seeking Generation from Hebrew to Greek and from pre-synoptic sources to Luke and Mark and Matthew, Jesus’ message in this pericope became obscured. It appeared to the synoptic evangelists (especially the author of Mark) that Jesus was opposed to signs in principle. This ancient misunderstanding of Sign-Seeking Generation has misled some scholars into supposing that any passage in which Jesus does give signs must be a secondary invention of the early church. This seems unlikely since Jesus pointed to his own healings and exorcisms as proof or “signs” that the Kingdom of Heaven was present and active in his ministry. Jesus was not opposed to signs as such, he merely cautioned that the kind of signs his generation sought would not be forthcoming.

Stained glass window at the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. Photo courtesy of Joshua N. Tilton.

L44-45 τῆς σῆς παρουσίας καὶ συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος (Matt. 24:3). The wording of the disciples’ second question in Matthew’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold is manifestly redactional.[104] The two key terms, παρουσία (parousia, “coming”) and συντέλεια τοῦ αἰῶνος (sūnteleia tou aiōnos, “consummation of the age”), featured in the disciples’ question are prominent in the Gospel of Matthew but completely absent in the Gospels of Mark and Luke.[105] Moreover, the disciples’ question in Matthew’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold (“What is the sign of your coming and of the consummation of the age?”) bears no relation to Jesus’ announcement of the Temple’s demise.[106] Rather than responding to Jesus’ prior prediction, the question posed in Matthew anticipates the content of the discourse to follow, which, particularly in Matthew’s version, emphasizes the parousia through the addition of several Son of Man pericopae including Days of the Son of Man, Indiscriminate Catastrophe and Judging the Gentiles.[107] The question the author of Matthew places on the lips of the disciples also reflects a christological development not found in the Gospels of Mark or Luke. Whereas the other Synoptic Gospels refer to the Son of Man’s coming, Matthew’s Gospel is the only one to refer to Jesus’ parousia.[108] That in the mind of the author of Matthew Jesus’ parousia and the parousia of the Son of Man are one and the same is clear from Matt. 24:30, where he has Jesus refer to “the sign of the Son of Man” in answer to the disciples’ question in Matt. 24:3 (cf. Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27).[109]

It was clearly Mark’s use of the verb συντελεῖν (sūntelein, “to finish,” “to end”) in L45 that furnished the opportunity for the author of Matthew to refer to the συντέλεια τοῦ αἰῶνος (“consummation of the age”).[110] Since the pairing of the end of the age with the Son of Man’s coming also appears in the author of Matthew’s allegorical interpretation of the Darnel Among the Wheat parable (Matt. 13:36-43), and since the author of Matthew understood the one to be a consequence of the other, it is not surprising that he introduced the concept of the parousia along with the end of the age in the disciples’ second question. But another factor undoubtedly also played a role in the author of Matthew’s editorial decision to refer to the “consummation of the age,” namely the double occurrence of the noun συντέλεια (sūnteleia, “consummation”) in Dan. 9:27, one of the verses in Daniel that mentions the “abomination of desolation.” The abomination of desolation also appears in the Markan and Matthean versions of Jesus’ eschatological discourse (Mark 13:14; Matt. 24:15; Yerushalayim Besieged, L6), where the erection of the abomination of desolation precipitates the coming of the Son of Man. According to Dan. 9:27, the abomination of desolation will exist ἕως συντελείας (“until [the] consummation”). The author of Matthew, who was certainly familiar with Daniel’s prophecy (cf. Matt. 24:15), evidently concluded from Dan. 9:27 that the abomination of desolation would exist until the end of the age, at which point the parousia of the Son of Man would take place.

By having the disciples ask first about the timing of the Temple’s destruction and second about the end of the age, the author of Matthew tailored the disciples’ questions to fit the concerns of his readers, who knew themselves to be living in the time between these two significant events.[111]

The author of Matthew’s timeline of eschatological events. The destruction of the Temple is already in the past, while other eschatological events are yet to come.

ὅταν μέλλῃ ταῦτα γίνεσθαι (GR). We think Luke’s rather bland “when these things are about to happen” is more likely to reflect the wording of Anth. than Mark’s more interesting “when all these things are about to be accomplished.” Since allusions to Daniel are sprinkled throughout Mark’s version of the eschatological discourse,[112] Mark’s version of the disciples’ question is probably intended to allude to the question and answer featured in the final chapter of Daniel, where an angel asks, πότε οὖν συντέλεια ὧν εἴρηκάς μοι…τούτων (“When, therefore, is the completion of these things which you have spoken to me?”; Dan. 12:6) and receives the reply that after a certain period συντελεσθήσεται πάντα ταῦτα (“all these things will be completed”; Dan. 12:7).[113] It may have been Luke’s wording of the first question, πότε οὖν ταῦτα ἔσται (“When, therefore, will these things be?”; L42), the first two words of which are identical to the question in Dan. 12:6, that reminded the author of Mark of the angel’s question in Daniel. In any case, the question and answer in Dan. 12:6-7 pertains to the period of the Temple’s desecration by the abomination of desolation, as the author of Mark was surely aware. Therefore, the opinion of some scholars[114] that the second question in Mark 13:4 relates to the end of time (as in Matt. 24:3) rather than to the Temple is unjustified.[115]

The author of Mark’s desire to allude to the phrase συντελεσθήσεται πάντα ταῦτα (“all these things will be completed”) in Dan. 12:7 accounts for his insertion of πάντα (“all”) in L45.

שֶׁאֵלּוּ עֲתִידִים לְהֵעָשׂוֹת (HR). In LXX ὅταν (hotan, “when”) frequently occurs as the equivalent of the -בְּ (be, “in”) belonging to -בְּ + infinitive construct constructions.[116] In other cases ὅταν occurs as the equivalent of כִּי (ki, “that,” “when”)[117] or אֲשֶׁר (asher, “that,” “when”).[118] Somewhat less frequently ὅταν occurs as the translation of כַּאֲשֶׁר (ka’asher, “as that,” “when that”).[119] The Mishnaic equivalent of כַּאֲשֶׁר is -כְּשֶׁ (keshe-, “as that,” “when that”). Since -כְּשֶׁ already occurs in late Biblical Hebrew (Eccl. 5:14; 9:12; 10:3; 12:7), and since two of its four instances in MT are rendered as ὅταν in LXX (Eccl. 9:12; 10:3), adopting -כְּשֶׁ as the reconstruction of ὅταν in L44 would seem a legitimate option.[120] Nevertheless, in the present context -כְּשֶׁ feels a bit forced, and we think it is more likely that ὅταν was supplied by the Greek translator of the Hebrew Life of Yeshua rather than reflecting something equivalent to “when” in the underlying Hebrew text. In Hebrew, “What is the sign that these things are about to take place?” sounds more natural than “What is the sign when these things are about to take place?” Therefore, we have adopted -וּמָה הַסִּימָן שֶׁ (ūmāh hasimān she-, “and what is the sign that…?”) in L43-44 for HR.

On reconstructing οὗτοι (houtoi, “these”) with אֵלּוּ (’ēlū, “these”), see above, Comment to L14.

There is no exact Hebrew equivalent to the verb μέλλειν (mellein, “to be about to”), but in one of the few instances in LXX where μέλλειν represents something other than an imperfect verb, it occurs as the translation of the adjective עָתִיד (‘ātid, “ready”; Job 3:8). In Mishnaic Hebrew the construction עָתִיד + infinitive construct was used to indicate that something was about to happen or going to take place.[121] As such, עָתִיד + infinitive construct and μέλλειν + infinitive have roughly the same meaning, and we have accordingly reconstructed μέλλειν + infinitive with עָתִיד + infinitive construct elsewhere in LOY.[122]

There are various options for reconstructing Luke’s infinitive. One option we rejected was קָרָה (qārāh, “happen”), which in MT never occurs in the infinitive construct, and which in Mishnaic Hebrew never occurs with the meaning “happen” but only with the meaning “meet” or “join.”[123] Another option, of course, is הָיָה (hāyāh, “be”), and although examples of עָתִיד לִהְיוֹת (‘ātid lihyōt, “going to be”) do occur,[124] reconstructing with הָיָה seems rather redundant given the presence of הָיָה in HR L42. We have therefore settled on נֶעֱשֶׂה (ne‘eseh, “be done,” “be accomplished”) for HR.

In LXX the verb γίνεσθαι occurs far more often as the translation of הָיָה (hāyāh, “be”) than of עָשָׂה (‘āsāh, “do,” “make”), but neither is the number of instances of γίνεσθαι occurring as the translation of ע-שׂ-ה negligible.[125] We also find that one of the more common renderings of ע-שׂ-ה in the nif ‘al stem (נֶעֱשֶׂה) is γίνεσθαι.[126] The infinitive form לְהֵעָשׂוֹת (lehē‘āsōt, “to be done”) occurs only twice in MT (Esth. 9:1, 14); of these occurrences, the first occurs in a clause that was not translated into Greek. The LXX translators rendered the second instance of לְהֵעָשׂוֹת as γενέσθαι (genesthai, “to be done”), the aorist counterpart of the present γίνεσθαι, which occurs in Luke 21:7 (L45).

Finally, we note that instances of לְהֵעָשׂוֹת + עָתִיד occur in rabbinic sources, for example:

ר′ דוסה אומ′ שמין על מה שעתיד להעשות אם היה מה שעתיד ל[ה]יעשות יפה חמשה דינרין נותנין לו שקל או יגמור מלאכתו

Rabbi Dosa says, “They make an estimate based on what is going to be done [עָתִיד לְהֵעָשׂוֹת]. If what is going to be done [עָתִיד לְהֵיעָשׂוֹת][127] was worth five dinars, they give him a shekel [equivalent to two dinars—DNB and JNT] or he finishes his work.” (t. Bab. Metz. 7:1; Vienna MS)

כסדר הזה עשו לי, שאו אותי שלשה מן הצפון ושלשה מן הדרום, שלשה מן המזרח, שלשה מן המערב, כשם שאתם עושין לי, כך אתם עתידין להעשות ארבעה דגלים במדבר והשכינה באמצע

…according to this order you must do for me. Carry me three on the north and three on the south, three on the east, three on the west. Just as you do for me, so you are going to be made [עֲתִידִין לְהֵעָשׂוֹת] into four cohorts in the desert and the Shechinah in the middle. (Gen. Rab. 100:2 [ed. Theodor-Albeck, 3:1284])

Redaction Analysis

The redaction in Luke’s version should be attributed mainly, if not wholly, to the First Reconstructor. The author of Mark reworked Luke’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold in characteristic fashion, but in a few places Mark’s version appears to preserve reminiscences of Anth.’s wording that were lost in Luke’s version on account of FR’s redaction. The author of Matthew not only blended the Markan and Anth. versions of Temple’s Destruction Foretold, he also made adaptations based on his own peculiar ideology. The extensive amount of redaction in each of the three versions of Temple’s Destruction Foretold has made this pericope particularly challenging to reconstruct.

Luke’s Version[128]

Temple’s Destruction Foretold
Luke Anthology
Total
Words:
45 Total
Words:
44 [45]
Total
Words
Identical
to Anth.:
29 Total
Words
Taken Over
in Luke:
29
%
Identical
to Anth.:
64.44 % of Anth.
in Luke:
65.91 [64.44]
Click here for details.

The author of Luke appears to have faithfully transmitted FR’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold. The First Reconstructor, on the other hand, made numerous changes to Anth.’s wording. These changes consisted mainly of stylistic improvements to Anth.’s grammar (e.g., use of gen. abs. in L3; introduction of ἐν αἷς in L25, ἐπὶ λίθῳ for ἐπὶ λίθον in L26; insertion of οὖν in L42), slight changes of vocabulary (L14), and the elimination of Hebraisms (ἰδού in L9 and L16; καὶ ἀποκριθείς in L12) and superfluous details (εἰπὸν ἡμῖν in L41). As is so often the case with FR pericopae, the First Reconstructor’s redactional activity is especially concentrated in the pericope’s opening, where the First Reconstructor more clearly set the stage for Jesus’ pronouncement. Thus, in contrast to Anth.’s minimalist “and they said,” the First Reconstructor explained that the speakers were discussing the Temple (L6) and its adornments (L10). On the other hand, the First Reconstructor’s redactional activity was most restrained when reporting the words of Jesus. As a result, Jesus’ message in Temple’s Destruction Foretold has been well preserved in Luke’s Gospel.

Mark’s Version[129]

Temple’s Destruction Foretold
Mark Anthology
Total
Words:
76 Total
Words:
44 [45]
Total
Words
Identical
to Anth.:
26 Total
Words
Taken Over
in Mark:
26
%
Identical
to Anth.:
34.21 % of Anth.
in Mark:
59.09 [57.78]
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In some respects the author of Mark’s redactional activity in Temple’s Destruction Foretold is similar to FR’s, but greatly amplified. Like FR, the author of Mark set the scene in greater detail. He depicted Jesus as making his exit from the Temple Mount (L1-2), and he identified the speaker who remarked on the Temple’s splendor as one of Jesus’ disciples (L5). Similarly, the author of Mark provided a new setting for the questions put to Jesus concerning his prediction. No longer are the questions posed at the location where Jesus made his pronouncement; in Mark the question is asked on the Mount of Olives opposite the Temple (L31-33). And the question comes not from the general public but from a select delegation of disciples from Jesus’ inner circle (L35-38). Many of the changes the author of Mark made to Luke are typical of his redactional style (e.g., καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ in L1; historical present in L3; “one of the ___” in L5; ἴδε in L9; transforming a statement into a question in L14; καθ᾿ ἰδίαν in L36). Other changes appear to reflect the author of Mark’s literary and theological interests. Thus, the emphasis on the Temple’s buildings (L11, L15) in addition to its stones likely reflects the author of Mark’s desire to link this pericope with Jesus’ earlier prediction that he, the stone the builders rejected, was to become the head of the corner. Perhaps the author of Mark believed that the new building, the church, could not come into being until the old building, the Temple, had been demolished. Other changes in Mark’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold appear to be in the interest of transforming Jesus’ prophecy of destruction and redemption into an eschatological discourse on the coming tribulations and ultimate salvation of the elect. The Mount of Olives setting (L32-33), the private interview of select disciples with Jesus (L36-38), and the echoing of Dan. 12:6-7 in the disciples’ second question (L45) are part and parcel of this literary and theological agenda, which extends beyond the scope of Temple’s Destruction Foretold.

Despite his extensive redactional activity, there appear to be a few places where the author of Mark has preserved echoes of Anth.’s wording that had been erased in FR. Thus, Mark’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold is probably reflecting Anth. when it preserves in direct speech the comment on the Temple’s stones. The author of Mark may also have taken from Anth. the verb in L14 and the demand “Tell us!” in L41.

Matthew’s Version[130]

Temple’s Destruction Foretold
Matthew Anthology
Total
Words:
72 Total
Words:
44 [45]
Total
Words
Identical
to Anth.:
23 Total
Words
Taken Over
in Matt.:
23
%
Identical
to Anth.:
31.94 % of Anth.
in Matt.:
52.27 [51.11]
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The author of Matthew’s approach to Temple’s Destruction Foretold was to blend the versions of Mark and Anth. while also molding the pericope to suit his particular theological interests. Prominent themes in Matthew that find expression in Matthew’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold include divine rejection of the Temple (dramatized in Jesus’ exit from the Temple Mount and departure from its vicinity in L1-2), opposition to church hierarchy (expressed in the disciples’ collective action in L4-5, L34), Jesus’ ability to read people’s thoughts (L8), the distinction between Jesus’ followers and the Jewish people (L34-36), and the parousia and consummation of the age (L44-45). For the purposes of reconstructing the sources behind the Synoptic Gospels, the main value of Matthew’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold is the confirmation, via the Lukan-Matthean minor agreements in L14, L27 and L39, that at these points FR has preserved the wording of Anth. Otherwise, Matthew’s version is an unreliable guide to Anth.’s wording. Even some of Matthew’s apparent Hebraisms (e.g., ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν in L16) appear not to have been present in Anth. (although ἀποκριθεὶς…εἶπεν in L12-13 may be authentic). Such skepticism with regard to Matthew’s Hebraisms is necessary because certain phrases, including “answered and said,” “Amen! I say to you,” “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Father in heaven,” proliferated in Matthew’s Gospel in a manner akin to the “Markan stereotypes” in the Gospel of Mark.

Results of This Research

1. Did Jesus’ prediction of the Temple’s destruction express antipathy toward the Temple? In an article on Jesus’ prophetic announcements that the Temple would be destroyed, Gerd Theissen suggested that Jesus’ prophecy was symptomatic of a growing opposition to the Temple that had its roots in class divisions between the urban elites and the rural peasant populations of first-century Israel.[131] For these rural populations the Temple represented the power and privilege enjoyed by the urban priestly oligarchy, whose interests were aligned with the imperialist Roman oppressors.

Theissen discussed two kinds of opposition to the Temple: prophetic opposition and programmatic opposition. Individual prophets announced what was going to happen to the Temple—it would be destroyed—without offering practical solutions, whereas organized groups attempted to change the Temple according to their ideas of how it ought to function. As examples of prophetic opposition, Theissen cited the prophets Micah, Uriah and Jeremiah from the First Temple period, and Jesus son of Ananias from the last years of the Second Temple period. These prophets, Theissen noted, came to Jerusalem from the country to make their pronouncements of doom against the Temple. As examples of programmatic opposition to the Temple, Theissen cited the Essenes and the Zealots. Whereas the Essenes withdrew from the Temple, the Temple was the main stage of the Zealots’ activity.

One point Theissen failed to make entirely clear—and this may be due to the fact that his article is a translation—is that the opposition voiced by these groups and individuals was not to the Temple per se, but to certain aspects of the Temple’s construction, functioning or functionaries.[132] The desire to reform the Temple implies a fundamental acceptance of and commitment to the Temple, at least in principle if not in actual practice. Therefore, it is not surprising that much of the “opposition” to the Temple Theissen cited came from priestly groups (Essenes, Zealots) and individual priests (Jeremiah). We might add additional examples. According to Luke, John the Baptist was a priest. John’s announcement of a coming figure—likely an eschatological priest—who would purify the threshing floor (i.e., the Temple) reflects dissatisfaction with the Temple’s current state of affairs.[133] Likewise, the two figures in rabbinic literature who predicted the Temple’s demise, Rabbi Tzadok and Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai, may well have been priests.[134]

With the caveat that “opposition to the Temple” means opposition to the Temple’s current state of affairs, not opposition to the institution as such, we can agree that Jesus’ dissatisfaction with the high priestly oligarchy which controlled the Temple probably played a role in his pessimistic assessment of the Temple’s future.[135] But opposition to the Temple authorities was probably not the only, nor even the most important, factor in Jesus’ prophecies that the Temple would be destroyed. These prophecies were in no small measure an analysis of the political situation in first-century Israel. Jesus realized that the rising militant nationalist sentiment among his people would lead the people of Israel into conflict with the local ruling elites and ultimately to war with the Roman Empire. In such a war Rome would be victorious, not only because of its superior military might, but also because God would not intervene to save his people. Israel had rejected the redemption God had offered them through the Kingdom of Heaven. Having turned their back on God’s promise, they would suffer the consequences of their own misguided ambitions. Thus, even if Jesus had not been critical of the Temple authorities, it is likely that he would still have predicted the Temple’s destruction.

Conclusion

Overhearing an innocent expression of appreciation for the beauty of the stones from which the Temple was constructed, Jesus uttered the prediction that the time was shortly to come when not one of those stones would remain in its place. Those who heard Jesus make this shocking prediction asked him when this would take place and what was the sign that it was going to happen. Their question became the starting point of a discourse in which Jesus foretold the destruction and eventual redemption of Jerusalem.


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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] Matthew is alone in including the Two Sons parable and Repentance and the Kingdom of Heaven in this section. Matthew and Mark agree to include Torah Expert’s Question among the controversies in the Temple. Luke reports this story elsewhere.
  • [4] Matthew and Mark agree to report the Anointing in Bethany in the aftermath of Jesus’ prophetic utterances. This narrative does not occur in Luke.
  • [5] Moreover, in Widow’s Gift Jesus says something quite positive about the widow’s participation in the Temple worship. For the author of Matthew, however, the Temple itself, and not just its administrators, had become illegitimate, so it did not serve his purpose to include the Widow’s Gift story.
  • [6] See Francis W. Beare, “The Synoptic Apocalypse: Matthean Version,” in Understanding the Sacred Text: Essays in honor of Morton S. Enslin on the Hebrew Bible and Christian Beginnings (ed. John Reumann; Valley Forge, Pa.: Judson Press, 1972), 117-133, esp. 132 n. 2. Gundry (Matt., 474) noted that a transitional scene between public and private parts of a discourse occurs in Matthew’s parables discourse where Matt. 13:34-36 forms a bridge between the public portion of the discourse in Matt. 13:1-35 and the private portion of the discourse in Matt. 13:37-53. Was transitioning between public and private teaching inspired by the transition from the Temple Mount to the Mount of Olives that the author of Matthew read about in Mark’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold?
  • [7] In addition to adding a series of sayings leading up to Jesus’ prophetic utterances, the author of Matthew also added a series of sayings (Waiting Virgins parable; Talents parable; Judging the Gentiles) following Jesus’ prophetic utterances.
  • [8] Notley noted that Jesus typically used the phrase “days are coming” when alluding to the destruction of Jerusalem. See R. Steven Notley, “Luke 5:35: ‘When the Bridegroom Is Taken Away’—Anticipation of the Destruction of the Second Temple,” in The Gospels in First-Century Judaea (ed. R. Steven Notley and Jeffrey Paul García; Leiden: Brill, 2016), 107-121, esp. 117.
  • [9] Such cross-pollination of sayings is typical of the author of Matthew’s redaction, but not of the Gospel of Luke. On verbal cross-pollination in Matthew, see Sending the Twelve: Conduct in Town, Comment to L115-122; Woes on Three Villages, Comment to L24-28; Sign-Seeking Generation, Comment to L23-24; Preserving and Destroying, Comment to L9.
  • [10] Eliav mistakenly claimed that in all three Synoptic Gospels Jesus’ “stone upon stone” prophecy was delivered as Jesus and his disciples exited the Temple courts. See Yaron Z. Eliav, God’s Mountain: The Temple Mount in Time, Place, and Memory (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005), 53. In fact, this detail is unique to Mark. Eliav’s mistake is unfortunate because he bases his entire interpretation of Jesus’ prophecy on the assumption that it was delivered as Jesus exited the Temple courts with the disciples. According to Eliav, the stones and buildings the disciples pointed to were the magnificent structures, such as the Royal Basilica, built by Herod the Great which surrounded the Temple Mount. These structures would have faced those who exited the Court of Women. While Eliav’s suggestion is intriguing, it assumes that this unique Markan detail of the timing and location of the prophecy is original. We do not share this assumption.
  • [11] See Buchanan, 2:892; Nolland, Matt., 958; France, Matt., 887.
  • [12] See Luz, 3:166.
  • [13] Cf. Taylor, 500. On genitives absolute as a feature of Markan redaction, see LOY Excursus: The Genitive Absolute in the Synoptic Gospels, under the subheading “The Genitive Absolute in Mark.”
  • [14] Luke and Matthew are in agreement against Mark’s use of ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ opposite Mark 10:17 (cf. Matt. 19:16; Luke 18:18) and Mark 13:1 (cf. Matt. 24:1; Luke 21:5). Opposite Mark’s use of ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ in Mark 10:46 Matthew has ἐκπορευομένων αὐτῶν (ekporevomenōn avtōn, “as they were going out”; Matt. 20:29). Luke’s parallel in Luke 18:35 does not employ a genitive absolute construction.
  • [15] See Swete, 295; Beare, “The Synoptic Apocalypse: Matthean Version,” 124.
  • [16] See Beare, Matt., 462; Gundry, Matt., 474; France, Matt., 887; Luz, 3:166.
  • [17] On the use of the historical present as a typical feature of Markan redaction, see LOY Excursus: Mark’s Editorial Style, under the subheading “Mark’s Freedom and Creativity.”
  • [18] Cf. Delitzsch’s translation of Matt. 24:1.
  • [19] See LOY Excursus: Mark’s Editorial Style, under the subheading “Mark’s Freedom and Creativity.”
  • [20] See Theissen, Gospels, 184 n. 40. The following table shows all of the Markan instances of εἷς + genitive used to designate an individual and the parallels in Matthew and Luke:

    Mark 5:22 εἷς τῶν ἀρχισυναγώγων (cf. Matt. 9:18 [ἄρχων εἷς]; Luke 8:41 [οὗτος ἄρχων τῆς συναγωγῆς ὑπῆρχεν])

    Mark 6:15 εἷς τῶν προφητῶν (cf. Matt. 14:[–]; Luke 9:8 [προφήτης τις])

    Mark 8:28 εἷς τῶν προφητῶν = Matt. 16:14 (ἕνα τῶν προφητῶν) (cf. Luke 9:19 [προφήτης τις])

    Mark 9:17 εἷς ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου (cf. Matt. 17:14 [ἄνθρωπος]; Luke 9:38 [ἀνὴρ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου])

    Mark 9:37 ἓν τῶν τοιούτων παιδίων (cf. Matt. 18:5 [ἓν παιδίον τοιοῦτο]; Luke 9:48 [τοῦτο τὸ παιδίον])

    Mark 12:28 εἷς τῶν γραμματέων (cf. Matt. 22:35 [εἷς ἐξ αὐτῶν ⟨νομικός⟩]; Luke 10:25 [νομικός τις])

    Mark 13:1 εἷς τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ (cf. Matt. 24:1 [οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ]; Luke 21:5 [τινων])

    Mark 14:10 εἷς τῶν δώδεκα = Matt. 26:14 (εἷς τῶν δώδεκα) (cf. Luke 22:3 [ὄντα ἐκ τοῦ ἀριθμοῦ τῶν δώδεκα])

    Mark 14:20 εἷς τῶν δώδεκα (cf. Matt. 26:23 [–]; Luke 22:21 [–])

    Mark 14:43 εἷς τῶν δώδεκα = Matt. 26:47 (εἷς τῶν δώδεκα) ∥ Luke 22:47 (εἷς τῶν δώδεκα)

    Mark 14:66 μία τῶν παιδισκῶν (cf. Matt. 26:69 [μία παιδίσκη]; Luke 22:56 [παιδίσκη τις])


    Key: [–] = no corresponding word and/or verse

    From the table above we see that Luke and Matthew agree against eight of Mark’s eleven instances of the εἷς + genitive formula. Matthew agrees with three instances of Mark’s εἷς + genitive formula; Luke agrees only once. Despite the general lack of support in Luke and Matthew for Mark’s use of the εἷς + genitive formula, neither evangelist was opposed to its use in principle. Matthew has the formula 6xx (Matt. 16:14; 18:28; 25:40; 26:14, 47, 51), half of which are in agreement with Mark. Luke has the εἷς + genitive formula 4xx (Luke 15:15, 19, 26; 22:47), and it also occurs once in Acts (Acts 23:17). The frequency of εἷς + genitive in Mark combined with the near total lack of agreement with Luke fits the profile of what Lindsey referred to as a “Markan stereotype.” Lindsey applied the term “Markan stereotype” only to vocabulary, but we have found that the same phenomenon occurs with grammatical constructions as well.

  • [21] See Lord’s Prayer, L4; Cf. Yohanan the Immerser’s Question, L9.
  • [22] In John’s Gospel examples of εἷς + genitive used to designate an individual occur in John [12:4;] 18:22; 19:34.
  • [23] The author of Matthew’s distrust of hierarchy finds expression in his conflation of the twelve apostles with Jesus’ disciples. Whereas in Mark and Luke the twelve apostles are selected from among the larger body of disciples, in Matthew Jesus has only twelve disciples. See Choosing the Twelve, Comment to L7. By implying that during his lifetime Jesus had only twelve disciples, the author of Matthew robbed the apostles of their unique status. According to Matthew, anyone could become a disciple and thus attain status equal to that enjoyed by the Twelve. The prohibition against honorific titles in Matt. 23:8-10, a saying unique to the Gospel of Matthew, also evinces hostility toward hierarchy within the church. On the view that Matt. 23:8-10 reflects the tensions between the Matthean community and emerging rabbinic Judaism of the early second century C.E., see Tomson, 276; Peter J. Tomson, “The Didache, Matthew, and Barnabas as Sources for Early Second Century Jewish and Christian History,” in Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries: How to Write their History (ed. Joshua Schwartz and Peter J. Tomson; CRINT 13; Leiden: Brill, 2014), 348-382, esp. 366-367.
  • [24] Cf. Beare, “The Synoptic Apocalypse: Matthean Version,” 124.
  • [25] Scholars frequently overlook the fact that διδάσκαλε as an address reserved for outsiders is a Lukan-Matthean agreement against Mark. See Withered Fig Tree, Comment to L20.
  • [26] The author of Mark has disciples address Jesus as διδάσκαλε in Mark 4:38 (cf. Matt. 8:25; Luke 8:24); 9:38 (cf. Luke 9:49); 10:35 (cf. Matt. 20:20); 13:1 (cf. Matt. 24:1; Luke 21:5).
  • [27] Matthew’s use of ἐπιδεικνύναι in Paying Tribute (Matt. 22:19) is partially supported by Luke’s parallel, which has the verb δεικνύναι (deiknūnai, “to show”; Luke 20:24) in contrast to Mark’s use of the verb φέρειν (ferein, “to bring”; Mark 12:15). In this case the Lukan-Matthean agreement supports the conclusion that Anth. had δεικνύναι and that it was the author of Matthew who transformed Anth.’s verb into the compound form ἐπιδεικνύναι.
  • [28] Cf. Gundry, Matt., 475; Davies-Allison, 3:334.
  • [29] Cf. Luz, 3:166.
  • [30] Theissen opined that the disciple’s remark was “a little reminiscent of people from the provinces who seldom come to the capital,” but neither Josephus nor Tacitus were rural dwellers unused to city life. Many of the sages, too, were accustomed to living in Jerusalem. See Gerd Theissen, “Jesus’ Temple Prophecy: Prophecy in the Tension between Town and Country” (Theissen, Social, 94-115, esp. 105 n. 21). In any case, the awe at the Temple’s splendor which the comment expresses cannot prove that it must have come from a disciple rather than from a member of the worshipping public, which at festivals like Passover would have included pilgrims from rural areas.
  • [31] On ἴδε as a Markan redactional term, see Yeshua, His Mother and Brothers, Comment to L42; LOY Excursus: Catalog of Markan Stereotypes and Possible Markan Pick-ups, under the entry for Mark 2:24.
  • [32] Cited in France, Mark, 496 n. 4.
  • [33] See Mary Ann Tolbert, Sowing the Gospel: Mark’s World in Literary-Historical Perspective (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1989), 257-265, esp. 260.
  • [34] See Yeshua, His Mother and Brothers, Comment to L42.
  • [35] The LXX translation of this verse is too different from the Hebrew to be useful for our inquiry.
  • [36] See Wolter, 2:417.
  • [37] See The Kingdom of Heaven Is Increasing, Comment to L9.
  • [38] On the author of Matthew’s redactional use of ἀποκρίνειν…λέγειν constructions, see Yeshua’s Immersion, Comment to L17-18. Cf. Sign-Seeking Generation, L8-9.
  • [39] Gundry, Matt., 475.
  • [40] On θεωρεῖν as an indicator of FR or Lukan redaction, see Tower Builder and King Going to War, Comment to L7.
  • [41] Matthew and Luke agree to use βλέπειν in the following DT pericopae: On Hypocrisy (Matt. 7:3 ∥ Luke 6:41) and Blessedness of the Twelve (Matt. 13:16 ∥ Luke 10:23; Matt. 13:17 ∥ Luke 10:24).
  • [42] On the conversion of statements into questions as characteristic of Markan redaction, see LOY Excursus: Mark’s Editorial Style, under the subheading “Mark’s Freedom and Creativity.”
  • [43] On the higher than normal frequency of causus pendens in translation Greek compared to standard Koine, see Black, 34.
  • [44] Note, however, that in Matthew ταῦτα is accusative, whereas in Luke ταῦτα is nominative.
  • [45] Cf. Gundry, Matt., 475; Davies-Allison, 3:335. On the un-Hebraic word order ταῦτα→πάντα as characteristic of Matthean redaction, see Yeshua’s Testing, Comment to L48. The author of Matthew’s insertion of πάντα in L14 also compensates for his omission of Mark’s πάντα in L45.
  • [46] Cf. Notley, “Non-Septuagintal Hebraisms in the Third Gospel: An Inconvenient Truth” (JS2, 320-346, esp. 338).
  • [47] Cf. Davies-Allison, 3:335. We similarly found the instance of ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν in Matt. 19:23 to be redactional. See Rich Man Declines the Kingdom of Heaven, Comment to L60.
  • [48] The phrase יָמִים בָּאִים occurs in 1 Sam. 2:31; 2 Kgs. 20:17; Isa. 39:6; Jer. 7:32; 9:24; 16:14; 19:6; 23:5, 7; 30:3; 31:27, 31; 33:14; 48:12; 49:2; 51:47, 52; Amos 4:2; 8:11; 9:13.
  • [49] See Notley, “Luke 5:35: ‘When the Bridegroom Is Taken Away’—Anticipation of the Destruction of the Second Temple,” 117. Cf. Lloyd Gaston, No Stone On Another: Studies in the Significance of the Fall of Jerusalem in the Synoptic Gospels (Leiden: Brill, 1970), 360. If Notley is correct that Jesus’ saying about the bridegroom’s being taken away refers to the destruction of the Temple, the one exception is Luke 17:22, where “days will come” introduces a saying about the Son of Man.
  • [50] Cf. Taylor (501), who suggested that the phrase ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι in Luke 21:6 came from a non-Markan source.
  • [51] See Metzger, 172; Fitzmyer, 2:1331.
  • [52] On reconstructing ἀφιέναι with הִנִּיחַ, see Rich Man Declines the Kingdom of Heaven, Comment to L97.
  • [53] On the use of עִיר (‘ir) to refer to a rural farming estate similar to a Roman villa, see Shimon Applebaum, “Economic Life in Palestine” (Safrai-Stern, 2:631-700, esp. 641-642).
  • [54] If it had been the author of Luke who made the change from ἐπὶ λίθον to ἐπὶ λίθῳ, it is difficult to explain why he did not also do so in Luke 19:44. Cf. Nolland, Luke, 3:988.
  • [55] See Carol L. Meyers and Eric M. Meyers, Haggai, Zechariah 1-8: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 25B; Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1987), 59.
  • [56] Cf. Hagner, 2:688; Nolland, Matt., 959; Collins, 602. The suggestion put forward by Marcus (2:871) that Jesus’ allusion to Hag. 2:15 indicates that, unlike Solomon’s Temple, this Temple will not be rebuilt is a non sequitur. Gundry (Use, 28-66) apparently did not detect in λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον of Matt. 24:2 ∥ Mark 13:2 an allusion to Hag. 2:15, since he did not include it in the section “Allusive Quotations in Common with Mark.”
  • [57] In a survey of all the instances of ἐπί in Genesis we found that ἐπί occurred as the translation of אֶל 18xx: Gen. 4:4 (2xx), 5 (2xx), 8; 14:3, 7; 22:3, 9 (1st instance), 12; 24:20, 29, 42 (1st instance); 37:29; 39:7; 42:21; 43:30; 49:33.
  • [58] See Widow’s Son in Nain, Comment to L11.
  • [59] Unfortunately, the text of Hag. 2:15 was not preserved among DSS.
  • [60] Cf. Hagner, 2:687.
  • [61] See Hatch-Redpath, 2:738.
  • [62] Cf. Nolland, Matt., 959 n. 18.
  • [63] According to Josephus, Jesus son of Ananias would cry out:

    φωνὴ ἀπὸ ἀνατολῆς, φωνὴ ἀπὸ δύσεως, φωνὴ ἀπὸ τῶν τεσσάρων ἀνέμων, φωνὴ ἐπὶ Ἱεροσόλυμα καὶ τὸν ναόν, φωνὴ ἐπὶ νυμφίους καὶ νύμφας, φωνὴ ἐπὶ τὸν λαὸν πάντα

    A voice from the east! A voice from the west! A voice from the four winds! A voice against Jerusalem and the Temple! A voice against grooms and brides! A voice against the whole people! (J.W. 6:301)

  • [64] According to the Jerusalem Talmud we read:

    תני ארבעים שנה עד שלא חרב בית המקדש היה נר מערבי כבה ולשון של זהורית מאדים וגורל של שם עולה בשמאל והיו נועלין דלתות ההיכל מבערב ומשכימין ומוצאין אותן פתוחין אמר לו רבן יוחנן בן זכיי היכל למה אתה מבהלינו יודעין אנו שסופך ליחרב שנאמר פתח לבנון דלתיך ותאכל אש בארזיך

    It was taught [in a baraita]: Forty years before the Temple was destroyed, the western lamp would go out, and the crimson strap would stay red, and the lot for the Name would come up in the left hand, and they would lock the doors of the Temple in the evening, but they would rise early and find them open. Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai said, “O Temple, why do you frighten us? We know that your end is to be burned, as it is said, Open your doors, O Lebanon, and fire will consume your cedars [Zech. 11:1].” (y. Yom. 6:3 [33b])

    On this talmudic tradition and its relationship to reports in Josephus, see Daniel R. Schwartz, “Portents of Destruction: From Flavian Propaganda to Rabbinic Theodicy,” in From Despair to Solace: A Memorial Volume for Ziporah Brody z”l on the Tenth Anniversary of her Passing (ed. Sara Tova Brody; Jerusalem: Midreshet Lindenbaum, 2009), 3-12. Cf. Boring-Berger-Colpe, 132-133.

  • [65] On predictions of the Second Temple’s destruction, see Craig. A. Evans, “Predictions of the Destruction of the Herodian Temple in the Pseudepigrapha, Qumran Scrolls, and Related Texts,” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 10 (1992): 87-147.
  • [66] Conzelmann’s explanation (79) that the author of Luke excised the Mount of Olives because for Luke the Mount of Olives “is not the place of teaching, but of prayer by night” is unconvincing. In the writings of Luke, Jesus made daytime appearances on the Mount of Olives in which prayer is not mentioned (see Luke 19:29, 37; Acts 1:12) but where Jesus does instruct the Pharisees (Luke 19:40), deliver prophecies of Jerusalem’s destruction (Luke 19:41-44) and instruct the disciples (Acts 1:7-8). Elsewhere in Luke, Jesus is said to have made habitual nighttime appearances on the Mount of Olives during his final sojourn in Jerusalem (Luke 21:37), but Luke does not even hint that Jesus prayed there on these occasions. It is only in Luke 22:39-46 that Jesus is said to pray on the Mount of Olives at night.
  • [67] Cf. Taylor, 501-502; Pryke, 20.
  • [68] Cf. Gundry, Matt., 476.
  • [69] Moulton and Milligan noted that in Koine there was interchange between εἰς and ἐν (“in”), but noted no such interchange between εἰς and ἐπί (“on”). See Moulton-Milligan, 186.
  • [70] See Allen, 254; Gundry, Matt., 476; Hagner, 2:687; Nolland, Matt., 960 n. 22.
  • [71] An example of the author of Mark’s transposition of Luke’s story order is the placement of Yeshua, His Mother and Brothers. In Luke we find the order Four Soils parableFour Soils interpretation→Collection of Sayings→Yeshua, His Mother and Brothers, while in Mark we find the order Yeshua, His Mother and BrothersFour Soils parableFour Soils interpretation→Expanded Collection of Sayings. Here, too, Mark places at the beginning of a discourse a narrative that in Luke appears at the end. On transposition of narrative order and the transposition of events within narratives as a feature of Markan redaction, see LOY Excursus: Mark’s Editorial Style, under the subheading “Mark’s Freedom and Creativity.”
  • [72] Cf. Beare, Matt., 463.
  • [73] Cf. Gaston, No Stone On Another, 46.
  • [74] On our supposition that the author of Mark intended his readers to think of the withered fig tree when he related his version of the Fig Tree parable, see Fig Tree parable, Comment to L8-9.
  • [75] Cf. Beare, Matt., 463; Marcus, 2:869.
  • [76] Did the words ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι (“days will come”) in Luke 21:6 (L17), which the author of Mark omitted in Mark 13:2, remind him of the phrase ἡμέραι ἔρχονται (“days are coming”) in Zech. 14:1?
  • [77] The sequence of events in Zech. 14:1-5 is even closer to the sequence of events described in Luke 21, which we regard as Mark’s source for Jesus’ eschatological discourse. In Luke’s version of Jesus’ prophecy of destruction and redemption the nations rise up (Luke 21:10) and surround Jerusalem (Luke 21:20), the people are killed or driven into exile (Luke 21:24), and Jerusalem is trampled by the Gentiles (Luke 21:24). Only after Jerusalem has been destroyed does the Son of Man come (Luke 21:27) to bring about the redemption of Jerusalem and its inhabitants (Luke 21:28). It is as though the similarity between Luke’s prophecy of destruction and redemption (Luke 21:5-36) and Zechariah’s prophecy of Jerusalem’s destruction and redemption (Zech. 14:1-5) is what inspired the author of Mark to allude to Zech. 14:4 in his version of Jesus’ eschatological discourse.
  • [78] The preposition κατέναντι occurs only 3xx in the Gospel of Mark (Mark 11:2 [TT = Matt. 21:2; Luke 19:30]; 12:41 [Lk-Mk cf. Luke 21:1]; 13:3 [TT cf. Matt. 24:3; Luke 21:7]), so it cannot fairly be described as particularly Markan.
  • [79] In LXX κατέναντι occurs much more frequently as the translation of other prepositions such as נֶגֶד (neged, “opposite,” “against”; Exod. 19:2; 4 Kgdms. 1:13; 1 Chr. 5:11; 8:32; 2 Chr. 8:14; 2 Esd. 13:10, 23; 22:37; Ps. 5:6; 25[26]:3; Eccl. 4:12; 6:8; Amos 4:3; Joel 1:16; Lam. 3:35) or לִפְנֵי (lifnē, “in front of,” “in the presence of”; Exod. 32:5; Num. 17:19; 1 Chr. 19:7, 14; 24:6; 2 Chr. 2:5; 6:12, 22, 24; 32:12; Ezek. 42:4) than of עַל פְּנֵי.
  • [80] The LXX translators rendered עַל פְּנֵי as ἐπί (often + πρόσωπον) in Gen. 6:1; 7:3, 23; 8:9; 11:4, 8, 9; 17:3, 17; 18:16; 19:28; 50:1; Exod. 16:14; 32:20; 33:16; 34:33, 35; Lev. 9:24; 16:14; Num. 12:3; 14:5; 16:4, 22; 17:10; 19:16; 20:6; Deut. 2:25; 7:6; 11:4, 25; 14:2; 34:1.
  • [81] The LXX translators rendered עַל פְּנֵי as κατά (often + πρόσωπον) in Gen. 1:20; 16:12; 25:18 (2xx); 32:22; Num. 21:11, 20; Deut. 32:49.
  • [82] Note, too, that the stacking up of prepositional phrases (“to the Mount of Olives opposite the Temple”) is typical of Markan style. On the stacking up of prepositional phrases as typical of Markan redaction, see LOY Excursus: Mark’s Editorial Style, under the subheading “Mark’s Freedom and Creativity.”
  • [83] Cf. Luz, Matt., 3:191.
  • [84] The phrase καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτόν occurs in Luke 4:38, where we accepted it for GR in Healing Shimon’s Mother-in-law, L15-16.
  • [85] In Question Concerning Resurrection Luke and Matthew agree to write ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτόν (Matt. 22:23 ∥ Luke 20:27) against Mark’s ἐπηρώτων αὐτόν (Mark 12:18), making it likely that the phrase ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτόν occurred in Anth.’s version of Question Concerning Resurrection. We have also accepted the compound verb ἐπερωτᾶν (eperōtan, “to ask”) in Yohanan the Immerser’s Exhortations, L1, L12, and in Rich Man Declines the Kingdom of Heaven, L5.
  • [86] See Swete, 296; France, Mark, 507; Collins, 602 n. 83.
  • [87] Cf. Nolland, Matt., 960.
  • [88] Cf. κατὰ μόνας (kata monas, “alone”), used to introduce private questioning of Jesus in Mark 4:10. In the Matthean and Lukan parallels the phrase κατὰ μόνας is lacking (Matt. 13:10; Luke 8:9). See Four Soils interpretation, L2.
  • [89] The phrase κατ᾿ ἰδίαν appears in Luke 9:10 and Luke 10:23. Both instances are probably redactional. Mark has κατ᾿ ἰδίαν in Mark 4:34; 6:31, 32; 7:33; 9:2, 28; 13:3. On κατ᾿ ἰδίαν as a Markan stereotype, see LOY Excursus: Catalog of Markan Stereotypes and Possible Markan Pick-ups, under the entry for Mark 6:32.
  • [90] See Schweizer, 448.
  • [91] On the author of Matthew’s anti-hierarchical views, see above, Comment to L5. On the author of Matthew’s paradoxical anti-Jewishness, see David Flusser, “Two Anti-Jewish Montages in Matthew” (Flusser, JOC, 552-560); idem, “Matthew’s ‘Verus Israel’” (Flusser, JOC, 561-574); idem, “Anti-Jewish Sentiment in the Gospel of Matthew” (Flusser, JSTP2, 351-353); idem, “The Synagogue and the Church in the Synoptic Gospels” (JS1, 17-40); R. Steven Notley, “Anti-Jewish Tendencies in the Synoptic Gospels”; Tomson, 272-289.
  • [92] Cf. Wolter, 2:418.
  • [93] See Gould, 242; Bundy, 459 §360.
  • [94] Compare our reconstruction of καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν οἱ ὄχλοι λέγοντες (“and the crowds asked him, saying”) as וַיִּשְׁאָלוּהוּ הָאֻכְלוּסִים לֵאמֹר (“and the crowds asked him, saying”) in Yohanan the Immerser’s Exhortations, L1.
  • [95] See Wolter, 2:418.
  • [96] Other scholars have also wrestled to reconcile the apparent contradiction between the audience presupposed in Luke 21:5-7 and the discourse that follows. See Winter, “The Treatment of his Sources by the Third Evangelist in Luke XXI‐XXIV,” 154 n. 3.
  • [97] Cf. Manson, Sayings, 324. Nolland (Luke, 3:987), working from the assumption that Luke’s version of Temple’s Destruction Foretold is based on Mark’s, opined that the differences between Luke and Mark make “good redactional sense.” As we have seen, however, διδάσκαλε in L40 does not make good sense but, on the contrary, creates difficulties in Luke’s narrative. It is most unlikely, therefore, that the author of Luke added διδάσκαλε in L40 (pace Bovon, 3:105).
  • [98] In LXX πότε occurs as the translation of מָתַי in Gen. 30:30; Exod. 8:5; 1 Kgdms. 1:14; 16:1; 2 Kgdms. 2:26; 3 Kgdms. 18:21; 2 Esd. 12:6 (2xx); Ps. 6:4; 40[41]:6; 41[42]:3; 73[74]:10; 79[80]:5; 81[82]:2; 89[90]:13; 93[94]:3 (2xx), 8; 100[101]:2; 118[119]:82, 84; Prov. 6:9; 23:35; Job 7:4; Amos 8:5; Isa. 6:11; Jer. 4:14, 21; 12:4; 23:26; 38[31]:22; Dan. 12:6. In LXX πότε occurs as the translation of something other than מָתַי in Judg. 5:13 (אָז); Ps. 4:3 (מֶה); 12[13]:2 (2xx; אָנָה), 3 (אָנָה); 34[35]:17 (כַּמָּה); 61[62]:4 (אָנָה); 78[79]:5 (מָה); 88[89]:47 (מָה); Job 4:7 (אֵיפֹה).
  • [99] The LXX translators rendered as πότε the instances of מָתַי that occur in Gen. 30:30; Exod. 8:5; 1 Sam. 1:14; 16:1; 2 Sam. 2:26; 1 Kgs. 18:21; Isa. 6:11; Jer. 4:14, 21; 12:4; 23:26; 31[38]:22; Amos 8:5; Ps. 6:4; 41[40]:6; 42[41]:3; 74[73]:10; 80[79]:5; 82[81]:2; 90[89]:13; 94[93]:3 (2xx), 8; 101[100]:2; 119[118]:82, 84; Job 7:4; Prov. 6:9 (2nd instance); 23:35; Dan. 12:6; Neh. 2:6 (2xx). The LXX translators rendered as τίς (always in the phrase ἕως τίνος) the instances of מָתַי (almost always in the phrase עַד מָתַי) in Exod. 10:3, 7; Num. 14:27; Jer. 13:27; 47[29]:5; Hos. 8:5; Hab. 2:6; Zech. 1:12; Prov. 6:9 (1st instance); Dan. 8:13. The only other instance of מָתַי in MT is found in Prov. 1:22, where the LXX translators rendered עַד מָתַי as ὅσον ἄν.
  • [100] See Segal, 136 §296.
  • [101] See Marcus, 2:870.
  • [102] The Second-Temple period 4QPseudo-Ezekiela was composed in a biblicizing style of Hebrew.
  • [103] In an alternate version of this tradition the disciples say to Rabbi Yose ben Kisma, מְבַקְּשִׁים אֲנוּ אוֹת מִמְּךָ (“We are seeking a sign from you!”; Tanhuma, VaYishlaḥ §8 [ed. Buber, 1:166]).
  • [104] Cf. Beare, Earliest, 215 §213.
  • [105] On παρουσία as a Matthean redactional term, see Days of the Son of Man, Comment to L10. On συντέλεια (τοῦ) αἰῶνος as a Matthean redactional term, see Darnel Among the Wheat, Comment to L51. See also Dalman, 155.
  • [106] Cf. Allen, 254; Gundry, Matt., 476.
  • [107] On the Son of Man as a motif that dominates the entire Matthean discourse (Matt. 23:1-25:46), see Beare, “The Synoptic Apocalypse: Matthean Version,” 119-120.
  • [108] Elsewhere in Matthew we always read about “the parousia of the Son of Man” (Matt. 24:27, 37, 39) or the Son of Man’s coming (Matt. 10:23; 16:27, 28; 24:44; 25:31; 26:64). We find a similar development in the Pauline epistles, which refer to ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Χριστοῦ (“the parousia of Christ”; 1 Cor. 15:23) and to ἡ παρουσία τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ (“the parousia of our Lord Jesus Christ”; 1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:1; cf. 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15). See also ἡ παρουσία τοῦ κυρίου (“the parousia of the Lord”) in James 5:7, 8.

    The very phrasing of “your parousia” in Matt. 24:3, with the adjective σός (sos, “your”), points to its Matthean origin (cf. Gundry, Matt., 476). On the redactional character of σός in the Synoptic Gospels, see Darnel Among the Wheat, Comment to L17.
  • [109] Cf. Fred W. Burnett, The Testament of Jesus-Sophia: A Redaction-Critical Study of the Eschatological Discourse in Matthew (Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1979), 219.
  • [110] Cf. Burnett, The Testament of Jesus-Sophia, 221.
  • [111] Cf. Schweizer, 448.
  • [112] In addition to the allusion to Dan. 12:6-7 in Mark 13:4, we note that Mark 13:14 alludes to Dan. 9:27 and Dan. 12:11, Mark 13:19 alludes to Dan. 12:1, and Mark 13:26 alludes to Dan. 7:13. Only the allusion to Dan. 7:13 is present in Luke’s version of Jesus’ prophecy of destruction and redemption (Luke 21:27).
  • [113] Cf. Davies-Allison, 3:337 n. 60; Marcus, 2:870.
  • [114] See Manson, Sayings, 324; Collins, 602; Marcus, 2:873-874; Wolter, 2:418. Cf. Taylor, 502.
  • [115] Cf. France, Mark, 505-506.
  • [116] In a survey of all the instances of ὅταν in LXX Pentateuch, we found that ὅταν occurs as the equivalent of -בְּ in -בְּ + infinitive construct 24xx (Exod. 1:16; 12:13; 16:3; 19:13; 28:30, 43; 30:7, 8, 20 [2xx]; 38:27; Lev. 12:6; 23:22, 39; Num. 4:5; 8:2; 9:19; 10:7; 11:9; 15:19; 18:30; 28:26; 35:19; Deut. 23:14). Similarly, we found that ὅταν occurs 4xx as the equivalent of -כְּ in -כְּ + infinitive construct (Exod. 11:1; Deut. 17:18; 20:2, 9) and once as the equivalent of מִן in מִן + infinitive construct (Num. 24:23).
  • [117] In a survey of all the instances of ὅταν in LXX Pentateuch, we found that ὅταν occurs 13xx as the equivalent of כִּי (Exod. 3:21; 18:16; 34:24; Lev. 19:23; 23:10; Num. 11:29; 15:2, 22; Deut. 4:29; 6:10, 20; 11:29; 15:13).
  • [118] In a survey of all the instances of ὅταν in LXX Pentateuch, we found that ὅταν occurs 4xx as the translation of אֲשֶׁר (Num. 9:20, 21; 32:23; Deut. 11:10).
  • [119] In a survey of all the instances of ὅταν in LXX Pentateuch, we found that ὅταν occurs 3xx as the translation of כַּאֲשֶׁר (Gen. 40:14; Exod. 17:11 [2xx]). There are five additional instances in LXX where ὅταν occurs as the translation of כַּאֲשֶׁר (Amos 3:12; 5:19; Isa. 23:5; Ezek. 10:10; 37:18).
  • [120] And note that we reconstructed ὅταν as -כְּשֶׁ in Lord’s Prayer, L9.
  • [121] Cf. Jastrow, 1129; Segal, 167 §349; Kutscher, 131 §218.
  • [122] See Yohanan the Immerser Demands Repentance, Comment to L9.
  • [123] See Jastrow, 1418.
  • [124] Cf., e.g., m. Mid. 2:5.
  • [125] In LXX γίνεσθαι occurs as the translation of עָשָׂה (qal) 11xx (Gen. 42:25; 44:2; 50:20; Exod. 8:22; Num. 28:6; 3 Kgdms. 22:54; 2 Chr. 24:8; 2 Esd. 13:16; Prov. 24:6; Jer. 8:8; Ezek. 46:23) and as the translation of נֶעֱשֶׂה (nif‘al) 24xx (Lev. 18:30; Num. 6:4; 15:24; Deut. 13:15; 17:4; Judg. 16:11; 2 Kgdms. 17:23; 3 Kgdms. 10:20; 4 Kgdms. 23:22, 23; 2 Chr. 9:19; 35:18; 2 Esd. 10:3; 15:18 [2xx]; 16:16; Esth. 9:14 [Vaticanus, Sinaiticus]; Eccl. 1:13; 4:1; Mal. 2:11; Isa. 46:10; Dan. 9:12 [2xx]; 11:36).
  • [126] See Dos Santos, 162.
  • [127] The Vienna MS reads עתיד ליעשות, which may be a scribal error, since the Erfurt MS reads עתיד להיעשות. See Zuckermandel, 385. On the other hand, the form ליעשות in the Vienna MS may be an example of elision of the , which in MH sometimes occurred in nif‘al infinitives. See Segal, 58 §115.
  • [128]
    Temple’s Destruction Foretold
    Luke’s Version Anthology’s Wording (Reconstructed)
    καί τινων λεγόντων περὶ τοῦ ἱεροῦ ὅτι λίθοις καλοῖς καὶ ἀναθήμασιν κεκόσμηται εἶπεν ταῦτα ἃ θεωρεῖτε ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι ἐν αἷς οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος ἐπὶ λίθῳ ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται ἐπηρώτησαν δὲ αὐτὸν λέγοντες διδάσκαλε πότε οὖν ταῦτα ἔσται καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον ὅταν μέλλῃ ταῦτα γείνεσθαι καί εἶπαν ἰδού ὡς καλοὶ λίθοι οὗτοι καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν ταῦτα ἃ βλέπετε [ἰδοὺ] ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι καὶ οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται ἐπηρώτησαν δὲ αὐτὸν λέγοντες διδάσκαλε εἰπὸν ἡμῖν πότε ταῦτα ἔσται καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον ὅταν μέλλῃ ταῦτα γίνεσθαι
    Total Words: 45 Total Words: 44 [45]
    Total Words Identical to Anth.: 29 Total Words Taken Over in Luke: 29
    Percentage Identical to Anth.: 64.44% Percentage of Anth. Represented in Luke: 65.91 [64.44]%

  • [129]
    Temple’s Destruction Foretold
    Mark’s Version Anthology’s Wording (Reconstructed)
    καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ λέγει αὐτῷ εἷς τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ διδάσκαλε ἴδε ποταποὶ λίθοι καὶ ποταπαὶ οἰκοδομαί καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ βλέπεις ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ ὧδε λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον ὃς οὐ μὴ καταλυθῇ καὶ καθημένου αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ ὄρος τῶν ἐλαιῶν κατέναντι τοῦ ἱεροῦ ἐπηρώτα αὐτὸν κατ᾿ ἰδίαν Πέτρος καὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάνης καὶ Ἀνδρέας εἰπὸν ἡμῖν πότε ταῦτα ἔσται καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον ὅταν μέλλῃ ταῦτα συντελεῖσθαι πάντα καί εἶπαν ἰδού ὡς καλοὶ λίθοι οὗτοι καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν ταῦτα ἃ βλέπετε [ἰδοὺ] ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι καὶ οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται ἐπηρώτησαν δὲ αὐτὸν λέγοντες διδάσκαλε εἰπὸν ἡμῖν πότε ταῦτα ἔσται καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον ὅταν μέλλῃ ταῦτα γίνεσθαι
    Total Words: 76 Total Words: 44 [45]
    Total Words Identical to Anth.: 26 Total Words Taken Over in Mark: 26
    Percentage Identical to Anth.: 34.21% Percentage of Anth. Represented in Mark: 59.09 [57.78]%

  • [130]
    Temple’s Destruction Foretold
    Matthew’s Version Anthology’s Wording (Reconstructed)
    καὶ ἐξελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ τοῦ ἱεροῦ ἐπορεύετο καὶ προσῆλθον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπιδεῖξαι αὐτῷ τὰς οἰκοδομὰς τοῦ ἱεροῦ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς οὐ βλέπετε ταῦτα πάντα ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ ὧδε λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοῦ ὄρους τῶν ἐλαιῶν προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ κατ᾿ ἰδίαν λέγοντες εἰπὲ ἡμῖν πότε ταῦτα ἔσται καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον τῆς σῆς παρουσίας καὶ συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος καί εἶπαν ἰδού ὡς καλοὶ λίθοι οὗτοι καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν ταῦταβλέπετε [ἰδοὺ] ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι καὶ οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται ἐπηρώτησαν δὲ αὐτὸν λέγοντες διδάσκαλε εἰπὸν ἡμῖν πότε ταῦτα ἔσται καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον ὅταν μέλλῃ ταῦτα γίνεσθαι
    Total Words: 72 Total Words: 44 [45]
    Total Words Identical to Anth.: 23 Total Words Taken Over in Matt.: 23
    Percentage Identical to Anth.: 31.94% Percentage of Anth. Represented in Matt.: 52.27 [51.11]%

  • [131] See Gerd Theissen, “Jesus’ Temple Prophecy: Prophecy in the Tension between Town and Country” (Theissen, Social, 94-114).
  • [132] Even where Theissen tried to clarify this point, ambiguity lingers when he wrote, “But it was precisely this intense identification with the Temple that provided the best foundation for a resolute opposition to it: the more sacred an institution, the more stringent the criticism of its actually existing form will often be” (97). Here, too, it must be understood that the opposition is not to the Temple as such—for otherwise how could there be fierce identification with it?—but to the way the Temple was being administered or to the persons who administered it.
  • [133] For this interpretation of John the Baptist’s message, see our discussion in Yohanan the Immerser’s Eschatological Discourse.
  • [134] Not only does the name Tzadok suggest that Rabbi Tzadok was of priestly lineage, since the name Tzadok belonged to the priest from the time of David who established the high priestly family that served in the First and Second Temples until the time of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, but an anecdote in t. Yom. 1:12 clearly portrays Rabbi Tzadok acting in the capacity of a priest. See Joachim Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus: An Investigation into Economic and Social Conditions during the New Testament Period (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1969), 286. On Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai’s possible priestly pedigree, see Daniel R. Schwartz, “Was Rabban Joḥanan ben Zakkai a Priest?” Sinai 88 (1981): 32-39 (in Hebrew). For an English translation of this article on WholeStones.org, click here.
  • [135] Theissen suggested three reasons why first-century Jews might have rejected the Temple’s current state of affairs: 1) opposition to its builder, Herod the Great; 2) opposition to the Temple’s style of construction, which included Greco-Roman architectural traits and, more importantly, the golden image of an eagle, a symbol of Roman imperial rule; and 3) opposition to the Temple aristocracy. Only the last of these reasons seems applicable to Jesus. Neither the Temple’s builder nor its style prevented him or his family from participating in the Temple worship from the time of his childhood until his public career. On the other hand, clashes between Jesus and the high priestly oligarchy are well-documented.

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    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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