The two swords.

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Ben C. Smith
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The two swords.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:09 am

At the Last Supper, the gospel of Luke narrates a strange incident found in no other gospel:

Luke 22.35-38: 35 And He said to them, “When I sent you out without moneybelt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.” 36 And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a moneybelt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was counted with wrongdoers’ (= Isaiah 53.12), for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.” 38 They said, “Lord, behold, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.” / 35 Καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, «Ὅτε ἀπέστειλα ὑμᾶς ἄτερ βαλλαντίου καὶ πήρας καὶ ὑποδημάτων, μή τινος ὑστερήσατε;» οἱ δὲ εἶπαν, «Οὐθενός.» 36 εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς, «Ἀλλὰ νῦν ὁ ἔχων βαλλάντιον ἀράτω, ὁμοίως καὶ πήραν, καὶ ὁ μὴ ἔχων πωλησάτω τὸ ἱμάτιον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀγορασάτω μάχαιραν. 37 λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι τοῦτο τὸ γεγραμμένον δεῖ τελεσθῆναι ἐν ἐμοί, τό, ‹Καὶ μετὰ ἀνόμων ἐλογίσθη,› καὶ γὰρ τὸ περὶ ἐμοῦ τέλος ἔχει.» 38 οἱ δὲ εἶπαν, «Κύριε, ἰδοὺ, μάχαιραι ὧδε δύο.» ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, «Ἱκανόν ἐστιν.»

The translation of ὁ ἔχων and ὁ μὴ ἔχων in verse 36 is difficult, but I will not go into that matter in this post; I think that all of what I will write in this post applies regardless of which option one chooses for that translation.

Jesus is referring back to his sending of the disciples on a mission earlier in the ministry:

Matthew 10.1, 5-14: 1 Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every sickness. .... 5 These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them, saying, “Do not go on a road to Gentiles, and do not enter a city of Samaritans; 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. 9 Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your belts, 10 or a bag for your journey, or even two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is deserving of his support. 11 And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. 12 As you enter the house, give it your greeting. 13 If the house is worthy, see that your blessing of peace comes upon it. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. 14 And whoever does not receive you nor listen to your words, as you leave that house or city, shake the dust off your feet.” / 1 Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς δώδεκα μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν πνευμάτων ἀκαθάρτων ὥστε ἐκβάλλειν αὐτὰ καὶ θεραπεύειν πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν μαλακίαν. .... 5 Τούτους τοὺς δώδεκα ἀπέστειλεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς παραγγείλας αὐτοῖς λέγων, «Εἰς ὁδὸν ἐθνῶν μὴ ἀπέλθητε καὶ εἰς πόλιν Σαμαριτῶν μὴ εἰσέλθητε· 6 πορεύεσθε δὲ μᾶλλον πρὸς τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἀπολωλότα οἴκου Ἰσραήλ. 7 πορευόμενοι δὲ κηρύσσετε λέγοντες ὅτι, ‹Ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.› 8 ἀσθενοῦντας θεραπεύετε, νεκροὺς ἐγείρετε, λεπροὺς καθαρίζετε, δαιμόνια ἐκβάλλετε· δωρεὰν ἐλάβετε, δωρεὰν δότε. 9 μὴ κτήσησθε χρυσὸν μηδὲ ἄργυρον μηδὲ χαλκὸν εἰς τὰς ζώνας ὑμῶν, 10 μὴ πήραν εἰς ὁδὸν μηδὲ δύο χιτῶνας μηδὲ ὑποδήματα μηδὲ ῥάβδον· ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τῆς τροφῆς αὐτοῦ. 11 εἰς ἣν δ´ ἂν πόλιν ἢ κώμην εἰσέλθητε, ἐξετάσατε τίς ἐν αὐτῇ ἄξιός ἐστιν· κἀκεῖ μείνατε ἕως ἂν ἐξέλθητε. 12 εἰσερχόμενοι δὲ εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν ἀσπάσασθε αὐτήν· 13 καὶ ἐὰν μὲν ᾖ ἡ οἰκία ἀξία, ἐλθάτω ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν ἐπ´ αὐτήν, ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ᾖ ἀξία, ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐπιστραφήτω. 14 καὶ ὃς ἂν μὴ δέξηται ὑμᾶς μηδὲ ἀκούσῃ τοὺς λόγους ὑμῶν, ἐξερχόμενοι ἔξω τῆς οἰκίας ἢ τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης ἐκτινάξατε τὸν κονιορτὸν τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν.»

Mark 6.7-11: 7 And He summons the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits; 8 and He instructed them that they were to take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff — no bread, no bag, no money in their belt — 9 but to wear sandals, and, “Do not wear two tunics.” 10 And He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. 11 Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet as a testimony against them.” / 7 Καὶ προσκαλεῖται τοὺς δώδεκα καὶ ἤρξατο αὐτοὺς ἀποστέλλειν δύο δύο καὶ ἐδίδου αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν ἀκαθάρτων, 8 καὶ παρήγγειλεν αὐτοῖς ἵνα μηδὲν αἴρωσιν εἰς ὁδὸν εἰ μὴ ῥάβδον μόνον — μὴ ἄρτον, μὴ πήραν, μὴ εἰς τὴν ζώνην χαλκόν — 9 ἀλλ´ ὑποδεδεμένους σανδάλια, καὶ, «Μὴ ἐνδύσησθε δύο χιτῶνας.» 10 καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς· ὅπου ἐὰν εἰσέλθητε εἰς οἰκίαν, ἐκεῖ μένετε ἕως ἂν ἐξέλθητε ἐκεῖθεν. 11 καὶ ὃς ἂν τόπος μὴ δέξηται ὑμᾶς μηδὲ ἀκούσωσιν ὑμῶν, ἐκπορευόμενοι ἐκεῖθεν ἐκτινάξατε τὸν χοῦν τὸν ὑποκάτω τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς.

Luke 9.1-5: 1 Now He called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all the demons, and the power to heal diseases. 2 And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. 3 And He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics. 4 And whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city. 5 And as for all who do not receive you, when you leave that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” / 1 Συγκαλεσάμενος δὲ τοὺς δώδεκα ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς δύναμιν καὶ ἐξουσίαν ἐπὶ πάντα τὰ δαιμόνια καὶ νόσους θεραπεύειν 2 καὶ ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς κηρύσσειν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἰᾶσθαι τοὺς ἀσθενεῖς, 3 καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς, «Μηδὲν αἴρετε εἰς τὴν ὁδόν, μήτε ῥάβδον μήτε πήραν μήτε ἄρτον μήτε ἀργύριον μήτε ἀνὰ δύο χιτῶνας ἔχειν. 4 καὶ εἰς ἣν ἂν οἰκίαν εἰσέλθητε, ἐκεῖ μένετε καὶ ἐκεῖθεν ἐξέρχεσθε. 5 καὶ ὅσοι ἂν μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐξερχόμενοι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης τὸν κονιορτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν ἀποτινάσσετε εἰς μαρτύριον ἐπ´ αὐτούς.»

Luke 10.1-9: 1 Now after this the Lord appointed seventy-two others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. 2 And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go; behold, I am sending you out like lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no moneybelt, no bag, no sandals, and greet no one along the way. 5 And whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ 6 And if a man of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they provide; for the laborer is deserving of his wages. Do not move from house to house. 8 Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is served to you; 9 and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” / 1 Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ἀνέδειξεν ὁ κύριος ἑτέρους ἑβδομήκοντα δύο καὶ ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς ἀνὰ δύο δύο πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ εἰς πᾶσαν πόλιν καὶ τόπον οὗ ἤμελλεν αὐτὸς ἔρχεσθαι. 2 ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς, «Ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς, οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι· δεήθητε οὖν τοῦ κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ ὅπως ἐργάτας ἐκβάλῃ εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ. 3 ὑπάγετε· ἰδοὺ, ἀποστέλλω ὑμᾶς ὡς ἄρνας ἐν μέσῳ λύκων. 4 μὴ βαστάζετε βαλλάντιον, μὴ πήραν, μὴ ὑποδήματα, καὶ μηδένα κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἀσπάσησθε. 5 εἰς ἣν δ´ ἂν εἰσέλθητε οἰκίαν, πρῶτον λέγετε, ‹Εἰρήνη τῷ οἴκῳ τούτῳ.› 6 καὶ ἐὰν ἐκεῖ ᾖ υἱὸς εἰρήνης, ἐπαναπαήσεται ἐπ´ αὐτὸν ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν· εἰ δὲ μή γε, ἐφ´ ὑμᾶς ἀνακάμψει. 7 ἐν αὐτῇ δὲ τῇ οἰκίᾳ μένετε ἐσθίοντες καὶ πίνοντες τὰ παρ´ αὐτῶν· ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τοῦ μισθοῦ αὐτοῦ. μὴ μεταβαίνετε ἐξ οἰκίας εἰς οἰκίαν. 8 καὶ εἰς ἣν ἂν πόλιν εἰσέρχησθε καὶ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐσθίετε τὰ παρατιθέμενα ὑμῖν 9 καὶ θεραπεύετε τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ ἀσθενεῖς καὶ λέγετε αὐτοῖς, ‹Ἤγγικεν ἐφ´ ὑμᾶς ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ.›»

Didache 11.6: 6 When an apostle leaves he should take nothing except bread, until he arrives at his night’s lodging. If he asks for money, he is a false prophet. / 6 Ἐξερχόμενος δὲ ὁ ἀπόστολος μηδὲν λαμβανέτω εἰ μὴ ἄρτον, ἕως οὗ αὐλισθῇ· ἐὰν δὲ ἀργύριον αἰτῇ, ψευδοπροφήτης ἐστί<ν>.

Thomas 14.1-5: 1 Jesus said to them, “If you fast, you will give birth to sin in yourselves. 2 And if you pray, you will be condemned. 3 And if you give alms, you will do ill to your spirits. 4 And if you go into any region and you travel in the districts — if you are received, eat what is set before you. Those who are sick among them, heal. 5 For whatever goes into your mouth will not defile you. Rather, whatever comes out of your mouth — that is what defiles you.”

And it is immediately obvious to exactly which set of instructions Jesus is referring:

Code: Select all

Luke 22.35: ἄτερ         βαλλαντίου καὶ πήρας καὶ ὑποδημάτων
 Luke 10.4: μὴ βαστάζετε βαλλάντιον, μὴ πήραν, μὴ ὑποδήματα
The term βαλλάντιον is not an extremely common one. In the entire Greek Bible it appears only in Tobit (Sinaiticus) 1.14; 8.2; Proverbs 1.14; Job 14.17; Luke 10.4; 12.33; 22.35, 36. It is evident, then, that Luke 22.35 is referring back specifically to the instructions at Luke 10.4. The issue is that the gospel of Luke actually gives us two different sets of mission instructions, as ought to be clear from the passages I listed. Luke 9.1-5 consists of instructions for the 12 disciples (9.1), whereas Luke 10.1-12 consists of instructions for 72 "others" (ἑτέρους, 10.1). Yet in Luke 22.35-38 Jesus is speaking mainly, to all appearances, to the 12 (refer to Luke 22.28-30, for instance); at the very least he is not excluding the 12. He is reminding the 12, in other words, of instructions which he actually gave to the 72. This inconsistency already suggests a later editorial hand; the editor responsible for Luke 22.35-38 is not the same person as the author or editor responsible for the mission instructions in Luke 9.1-5 and 10.1-12.

The suggestion finds support in Epiphanius, Panarion 42.11.6, 17; Epiphanius attests to the absence of Luke 22.35-38 from the Marcionite gospel. In other words, the Marcionite gospel lacks an inconcinnity which the presence of Luke 22.35-38 creates in the gospel text. The probable directionality is clear: canonical Luke added this passage either to the Marcionite gospel or to its source (to which the Marcionite gospel remained true at this point).

But what is the point of adding this episode to a gospel which originally lacked it? I suspect there are two separate reasons.

First, it is often the case with new movements, both ancient and modern, that earlier ideals succumb to later realities. I believe we already see this trend in connection with these same mission instructions in the gospel of Mark, which, contrary to the other versions, allows a staff and sandals:

John Dominic Crossan, The Historical Jesus, page 338: 338 I take it for granted, by the way, that the move here is from negative and radical to positive and normal. I find it most unlikely that anyone would bother to permit a staff and sandals unless, previously, somebody else had forbidden them.

Similarly, we can see the ideal of having genuine prophets of God running around freely giving divinely inspired guidance in early Christianity succumbing to the realities of people abusing such a situation, leading to tighter controls on and eventually even prohibitions of such prophecies. Modern, more recent history is full of such examples, as well, but I fear that to list any of them would invite social or political commentary which would distract from the point I am making. (Just think back to movements of any stripe which began with one ideal in mind but ended up having to modify it or tone it down because its implementation was unsustainable or simply not realistic.)

Thus, with regard to Luke 22.35-38, it is plausible to me that the original mission instructions from earlier in the movement, from their most restrictive (Matthew, Luke, the Didache) to their most permissive (Mark), were later viewed as unrealistic and inviting unnecessary dangers upon itinerant preachers and teachers. Thus, Jesus himself tells his disciples that things have changed, and that they ought to take along their moneybelts and bags and cloaks, and even swords.

Second, it is also often the case that earlier gospel authors or editors will create questions or problems which later gospel authors or editors take it upon themselves to answer or solve. And I think that, in this case, an incident at the arrest of Jesus is what inspired the bit about the swords in Luke 22.38:

Matthew 26.51-54: 51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew his sword, and struck the slave of the High Priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus says to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”

Mark 14.47: 47 But one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the slave of the High Priest and cut off his ear.

Luke 22.49-51: 49 When those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the slave of the High Priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus responded and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

John 18.10-11: 10 Then Simon Peter, since he had a sword, drew it and struck the High Priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, am I not to drink it?”

Revelation 13.10: 10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

One wonders why at least one of Jesus' followers has a sword in the first place; none of them has been mentioned earlier in any of the gospels as possessing one. Luke 22.38 suggests that swords are at least available to (some of) Jesus' followers, so that when we come to the arrest a couple of pericopes later we are prepared for one of them to pull one out to defend Jesus.

But why two swords? Only one is actually used to cut off the (right) ear of the slave of the High Priest. Well, I think the answer to this question is that the Lucan editor probably intends for us to think of two men of a violent nature who might be wont to carry swords. Among the apostolic company, those two would be James and John:

Mark 3.16-19: 16 And He appointed the twelve; and to Simon he gave the name Peter, 17 and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, “sons of thunder”); 18 and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot; 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.

Luke 9.51-56: 51 When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; 52 and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. 53 And they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. 54 When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them. 56 And they went on to another village.

Only the gospel of John identifies the wielder of the sword as Peter; I think that the Lucan editor wants us to think, rather, of James and John, on the model of two other violent men from the Hebrew scriptures:

Genesis 34.25-31: 25 Now it came about on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of Jacob’s sons [οἱ δύο υἱοὶ Ιακωβ] — Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers — each took his sword [ἔλαβον... ἕκαστος τὴν μάχαιραν αὐτοῦ] and came upon the city undetected, and killed every male. 26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah from Shechem’s house, and left. 27 Jacob’s sons came upon those killed and looted the city, because they had defiled their sister. 28 They took their flocks, their herds, and their donkeys, and that which was in the city and that which was in the field; 29 and they captured and looted all their wealth and all their little ones and their wives, even everything that was in the houses. 30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me repulsive among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and since my men are few in number, they will band together against me and attack me, and I will be destroyed, I and my household!” 31 But they said, “Should he treat our sister like a prostitute?”

Simeon and Levi took up two swords (one each) against an entire city; James and John requested permission to torch a Samaritan village (Luke 9.54); Jesus' followers requested permission to use a sword at the arrest (Luke 22.49); and I suspect that our Lucan editor connected these dots and gave James and John two swords of their own (one each).

When the disciples show Jesus the two swords, and Jesus responds laconically, "It is enough" (ἱκανόν ἐστιν), he is not saying, "They (the two swords) are enough" (ἱκαναί εἰσιν), which would be silly anyway, two swords not being enough for an entire band of apostles in virtually any way. Rather, I think he is rebuking the ones who showed him the swords, kind of in the sense of saying, "Enough, you two," for already having the swords to hand. Thus the seemingly unintentional surprise of, say, Mark 14.47 (the use of a sword at the arrest of Jesus) is avoided; this surprise in Luke 22.38 (two disciples, presumably James and John, already bearing swords) is intentional, and the reader is supposed to react as if the news is right in character for them. "Oh, of course you do."

Obviously some parts of this treatment are more secure than others, but I am pretty sure that I am on the right track overall. I welcome ideas which put the pieces together even more elegantly.

Ben.

PS: More content for that passage about Simeon and Levi:

Genesis 34.1-31:

1 Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land. 2 When Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her and raped her. 3 But he was deeply attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her. 4 So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, “Get me this young woman as a wife.” 5 Now Jacob heard that he had defiled his daughter Dinah; but his sons were with his livestock in the field, so Jacob said nothing until they came in. 6 Then Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. 7 Now the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard about it; and the men were grieved, and they were very angry because he had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by sleeping with Jacob’s daughter, for such a thing ought not to be done.

8 But Hamor spoke with them, saying, “The soul of my son Shechem longs for your daughter; please give her to him in marriage. 9 And intermarry with us; give your daughters to us and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 So you will live with us, and the land shall be open to you; live and trade in it and acquire property in it.” 11 Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, “Let me find favor in your sight, and I will give whatever you tell me. 12 Demand of me ever so much bridal payment and gift, and I will give whatever you tell me; but give me the girl in marriage.”

13 But Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor with deceit, because he had defiled their sister Dinah. 14 They said to them, “We cannot do this thing, that is, give our sister to a man who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us. 15 Only on this condition will we consent to you: if you will become like us, in that every male of you will be circumcised, 16 then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters for ourselves, and we will live with you and become one people. 17 But if you do not listen to us to be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and go.”

18 Now their words seemed reasonable to Hamor and Shechem, Hamor’s son. 19 The young man did not delay to do this, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter. Now he was more respected than all the household of his father. 20 So Hamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city and spoke to the people of their city, saying, 21 “These men are friendly to us; therefore let them live in the land and trade in it, for behold, the land is large enough for them. We will take their daughters in marriage, and give our daughters to them. 22 Only on this condition will the men consent to us to live with us, to become one people: that every male among us be circumcised just as they are circumcised. 23 Will their livestock and their property and all their animals not be ours? Let’s just consent to them, and they will live with us.” 24 All who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and to his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city.

25 Now it came about on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of Jacob’s sons [οἱ δύο υἱοὶ Ιακωβ] — Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers — each took his sword [ἔλαβον... ἕκαστος τὴν μάχαιραν αὐτοῦ] and came upon the city undetected, and killed every male. 26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah from Shechem’s house, and left. 27 Jacob’s sons came upon those killed and looted the city, because they had defiled their sister. 28 They took their flocks, their herds, and their donkeys, and that which was in the city and that which was in the field; 29 and they captured and looted all their wealth and all their little ones and their wives, even everything that was in the houses. 30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me repulsive among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and since my men are few in number, they will band together against me and attack me, and I will be destroyed, I and my household!” 31 But they said, “Should he treat our sister like a prostitute?”

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Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:43 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Giuseppe
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Re: The two swords.

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:30 am

Only the gospel of John identifies the wielder of the sword as Peter; I think that the Lucan editor wants us to think, rather, of James and John, on the model of two other violent men from the Hebrew scriptures:
what about the logion 10.34 of Matthew:

Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword

That sword was only one because only Peter had it.

I think that the original passage was marcionite:

Do not think that I came to bring war on earth. I did not come to bring war but peace

...since, just as with the family of Jesus (where the Judaizers attributed to their Jesus the hateful thought of hostility against his own family), the Jesus of Marcion was Good and was converted in an Avenger.

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Secret Alias
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Re: The two swords.

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:32 am

Excellent post Ben.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The two swords.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:40 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:32 am
Excellent post Ben.
Thanks.

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mlinssen
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Re: The two swords.

Post by mlinssen » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:07 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:30 am
Only the gospel of John identifies the wielder of the sword as Peter; I think that the Lucan editor wants us to think, rather, of James and John, on the model of two other violent men from the Hebrew scriptures:
what about the logion 10.34 of Matthew:

Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword

That sword was only one because only Peter had it.

I think that the original passage was marcionite:

Do not think that I came to bring war on earth. I did not come to bring war but peace

...since, just as with the family of Jesus (where the Judaizers attributed to their Jesus the hateful thought of hostility against his own family), the Jesus of Marcion was Good and was converted in an Avenger.

16. say(s) IS : Perhaps they think viz. the(PL) human : have I come to cast of a(n) Peace upon the World and they know not : have I come to cast of some(PL) division upon the earth a(n) fire a(n) sword a(n) War there-be five Indeed will come-to-be in a(n) house there-be three will come-to-be upon two and two upon three the father upon the child and the child upon the father and they will stay to foot they in-case they make-be the(PL) Solitary

Fire, sword, War (ⲡⲟⲗⲉⲙⲟⲥ).
And two people fighting, although Thomas makes them 3 (Father) against 2 (Child)
Are they fighting with swords?

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Re: The two swords.

Post by mlinssen » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:23 pm

Fine Initiative Ben, one of my greater puzzles.
Mark, Luke, Matthew, and it is funny how they take Thomas and add their own after every phrase, only to continue back to Thomas and rinse and repeat

But the two tunics and stuff? Argghhhh-like, I never made sense of it.
The 72 and the 12... luminaries and acons?

I'll keep reading your post until something hits me :whistling:

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Re: The two swords.

Post by Bernard Muller » Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:14 pm

I always thought that the two swords in gLuke is because gMark has at least one in Jesus' entourage use his sword.
Probably, that had gLuke audience wondering if Jesus was leading a gang of armed men. Certainly "Luke" did not want her intended audience to think that. So "Luke" invented Jesus' request in order to show that Jesus' companions had only two swords, with Jesus' answer: “It is enough.”
And gLuke, above what shows in the other gospels, has: "And He touched his ear and healed him." having Jesus repairing instantly the ear of the slave.
Also, "Luke" quoted Isaiah "And He was counted with wrongdoers" to make sure the one who cut the ear is understood as a wrongdoer.

Cordially, Bernard

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Re: The two swords.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:17 pm

mlinssen wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:23 pm
But the two tunics and stuff? Argghhhh-like, I never made sense of it.
Just my two cents: the state of my understanding on the topic thus far.

I think the movement was trying, directly or indirectly, to beat the Cynics or similar wanderers at their own game:

Epictetus, Discourse 3.22.9-11, 50-51: 9-11 Also think about the matter carefully; it is not what it seems to you. “I wear a cloak [τριβώνιον] now and I shall wear it then; I sleep hard now, and I shall sleep hard then; I will take in addition a little bag [πηρίδιον] now and a staff [ξύλον], and I will go about and begin to beg and to abuse those whom I meet; and, if I see any man plucking the hair out of his body, I will rebuke him, or if he has dressed his hair, or if he walks about in purple.” If you imagine the thing to be such as this, keep far away from it; do not approach it; it is not at all for you. But if you imagine it to be what it is, and do not think yourself to be unfit for it, consider what a great thing you undertake. .... 50-51 This is the language of the Cynics, this their character, this is their purpose. You say no, but their characteristic is the little bag and staff [πηρίδιον καὶ ξύλον] and great jaws: the devouring of all that you give them, or storing it up, or the abusing unseasonably all whom they meet, or displaying their shoulder as a fine thing.

No staff and no bag = being better at this lifestyle than the Cynics, who swore by their staff and bag.

Two tunics = one to wear and one extra. You are allowed to wear one, but not allowed to pack another for the journey.

The other instructions are of a similar nature, I think, designed to frame the itinerant prophet as a critic of the established order and as a spokesperson for God in the manner of the Hebrew prophets. The Didache frames the same stipulations from the perspective of the householders being visited by such people.

The changing requirements (from idealistic to realistic) convince me that people actually did this, just like the Cynics did. And such people were actually and eventually replaced by local elders or bishops and deacons, because the original approach was not sustainable (nor was it meant to be, since the end was supposed to be nigh).

Speaking of Cynics, I love the Syrophoenician woman in Matthew and Mark: possibly my favorite character in any gospel. Bear in mind that a Κυνικός was literally "doglike" (adjective from κύων):

Francis Gerald Downing, Making Sense in (and of) the First Christian Century, page 112: 112 There is a lot about dogs in the commentaries, very little about dogs at table: just two passages are cited: the late passage in Lachs, and another passage, also late, from Philostratus, who quotes a critic of his source, Damis, Apollonius of Tyana’s original biographer. The critic allowed that Damis had recorded well enough his specimens of his master’s sayings and opinions. But collecting such trifles ‘reminded one of dogs who pick and eat fragments which fall from a feast’. / I have found no one who asks whether there is any instance where anyone else agrees to be called ‘dog’. Yet there are in fact many. / In the Greek-speaking world there is just one most likely reaction to this story. A woman boldly approaches a strange man to beg for help, is told it would be throwing children’s food to dogs, accepts the metaphor, turns it to her own advantage, and wins the point. This is an encounter with a woman Cynic.

Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 3.51, lines 12-13a: 12-13a “It is the custom to throw the remnants to the dogs,” as Euripides said in The Cretan Women (= fragment 472 N). / 12-13a «Νόμος δὲ λείψαν' ἐκβάλλειν κυσίν,» ἐν Κρήσσαις ὁ Εὐριπίδης ἔφη.

Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 3.51, lines 17-22a: 17-22a “But you, Cynic, are always famishing, and won't allow us to partake of good and ample discourse — nay, feed on it. For noble discourse is food for the soul.” With this he turned to his slave and said, “Leucus, if you have any bread scraps from the manger, give them to these Dogs.” / 17-22a «Πλήρης μὲν λαχάνων ἀγορή, πλήρης δὲ καὶ ἄρτων, σὺ δέ, ὦ κύον, ἀεὶ λιμώττεις καὶ οὐκ ἐᾷς ἡμᾶς λόγων καλῶν καὶ ἀφθόνων μεταλαμβάνειν, μᾶλλον δὲ σιτεῖσθαι· τροφὴ γὰρ ψυχῆς λόγοι καλοί.» καὶ ἅμα στραφεὶς πρὸς τὸν οἰκέτην, «Λεῦκε, ἔφη, κἂν ἐκφατνισματά τινα ἄρτων ἔχῃς, δὸς τοῖς κυσίν.»

YMMV.

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Re: The two swords.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:17 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:14 pm
Also, "Luke" quoted Isaiah "And He was counted with wrongdoers" to make sure the one who cut the ear is understood as a wrongdoer.
That is an interesting take. Thanks. I had not thought of that angle.

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Re: The two swords.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:39 pm

A passage from the gospel of the Hebrews, according to Jerome:

Jerome, On Famous Men 2: § Also the gospel which is named according to the Hebrews, and which was recently translated by me into Greek and Latin, which also Origen often used, refers after the resurrection of the Savior, “But the Lord, when He had given the shroud to the servant of the priest, went to James and appeared to him.” James indeed had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour when he had drunk the chalice of the Lord until he saw Him risen from among those who sleep. And again after a little bit, “‘Bear forth,’ said the Lord, ‘a table and bread.’” And immediately is added, “He bore bread, and He blessed it, and He broke it, and He gave it to James the Just, and He said to him, ‘My brother, eat your bread, because the Son of Man has resurrected from among those who sleep.’” / § Evangelium quoque quod appellatur secundum Hebraeos, et a me nuper in Graecum Latinumque sermonem translatum est, quo et Origenes saepe utitur, post resurrectionem salvatoris refert, «Dominus autem cum dedisset sindonem servo sacerdotis, ivit ad Iacobum et apparuit ei.» iuraverat enim Iacobus se non comesturum panem ab illa hora quia biberat calicem domini donec videret eum resurgentem a dormientibus. rursusque post paululum, «‹Afferte,› ait dominus, ‹mensam et panem.›» statimque additur, «Tulit panem, et benedixit, ac fregit, et dedit Iacobo iusto, et dixit ei, ‹Frater mi, comede panem tuum, quia resurrexit filius hominis a dormientibus.›»

Jesus gives what must be his own burial shroud to "the servant of the priest." The Latin term for "servant" here is servus, which translates δοῦλος very frequently in the Vulgate, in the New Testament only twice translating παῖς (Luke 15.26; John 4.51), which is more commonly rendered as puer/puella. In one verse (Luke 12.45) servus translates δοῦλος while puer translates παῖς, thus showing nicely how Jerome tended to translate these terms. I feel pretty confident, then, that the Greek reading in this gospel was δούλῳ, the dative of δοῦλος (as servi is the dative of servus in the Latin).

Thus, I am extremely tempted to read this slave/servant of the priest as the same fellow who appears in the canonical gospels:

Matthew 26.51-54: 51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew his sword, and struck the slave of the High Priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus says to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”

Mark 14.47: 47 But one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the slave of the High Priest and cut off his ear.

Luke 22.49-51: 49 When those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the slave of the High Priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus responded and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

John 18.10-11: 10 Then Simon Peter, since he had a sword, drew it and struck the High Priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, am I not to drink it?”

My only hesitation is that it is the high priest in the synoptics and merely a priest in the Gospel of the Hebrews. It is fairly easy to imagine the office receiving an upgrade so as to increase the importance of the priest's slave being affiliated with Jesus after his resurrection; Zechariah, for example, is promoted from a priest in Luke 1.5 to a high priest in the Protevangelium of James 8.2-3. But a promotion would imply that the text preserved in the gospel of the Hebrews is the more original, and I have no other reason to suppose that this gospel predates the gospel of Mark and several reasons for supposing that it postdates Mark. Of course, I am willing to countenance a proto-Mark in which the man bore the office of priest, after which the canonical gospels promoted him, but I do not like to rely on such proto-texts unless I am left with no other choice which makes sense to me.

A brief check into the manuscript history of Jerome's On Famous Men has not helped, as it is always a priest here and never a high priest, so far as I can discern so far. However, there are Old Latin manuscripts which demote the high priest in the canonical gospels to merely a priest. The Vulgate has unus autem quidam de circumstantibus educens gladium percussit servum summi sacerdotis et amputavit illi auriculam at Mark 14.47; but codex Bobiensis (itk) has et unus de adsistentibus rapuit gladium et percussit servum sacerdotis et abstulit illi auriculam at Mark 14.47. Similarly, the Vulgate has et percussit unus ex illis servum principis sacerdotum et amputavit auriculam eius dextram at Luke 22.50; but codex Colbertinus (itc) has percussit unus ex eis servum sacerdotis et abstulit aurem eius dextram; and codex Rehdigeranus (itl) has et unus ex his amputavit auriculam dextram servum sacerdotis. Hilarius has something similar in a brief paraphrase of John 18.10. So it seems possible that either Jerome or a scribe turned a high priest into a priest in the transmission of this tradition. It is always a question anyway of how far to trust the exact wording of a text quoted by any of the church fathers; we can see how they can paraphrase even the canonical books; how much more the noncanonical ones?

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