Jeremiah, another eschatological figure?

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Ben C. Smith
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Jeremiah, another eschatological figure?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:53 pm

I have little information on this possibility so far, but there are the following snippets:

2 Maccabees 15.6-16: 6 This Nicanor in his utter boastfulness and arrogance had determined to erect a public monument of victory over Judas and his men. 7 But Maccabeus did not cease to trust with all confidence that he would get help from the Lord. 8 And he exhorted his men not to fear the attack of the Gentiles, but to keep in mind the former times when help had come to them from heaven, and now to look for the victory which the Almighty would give them. 9 Encouraging them from the law and the prophets, and reminding them also of the struggles they had won, he made them the more eager. 10 And when he had aroused their courage, he gave his orders, at the same time pointing out the perfidy of the Gentiles and their violation of oaths. 11 He armed each of them not so much with confidence in shields and spears as with the inspiration of brave words, and he cheered them all by relating a dream, a sort of vision, which was worthy of belief. 12 What he saw was this: Onias, who had been high priest, a noble and good man, of modest bearing and gentle manner, one who spoke fittingly and had been trained from childhood in all that belongs to excellence, was praying with outstretched hands for the whole body of the Jews. 13 Then likewise a man appeared, distinguished by his gray hair and dignity, and of marvelous majesty and authority. 14 And Onias spoke, saying, “This is a man who loves the brethren and prays much for the people and the holy city, Jeremiah, the prophet of God.” 15 Jeremiah stretched out his right hand and gave to Judas a golden sword, and as he gave it he addressed him thus: 16 “Take this holy sword, a gift from God, with which you will strike down your adversaries.”

Matthew 16.13-16: 13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He says to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Mark 8.27-30: 27 Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 They told Him, saying, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” 29 And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answers and says to Him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And He warned them to tell no one about Him.

Refer, then, to Josephus' account of a mad prophet in Jerusalem:

Josephus, Wars 6.5.3 §300-309: 300 But, what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who four years before the war began and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple, and began on a sudden to cry aloud: 301 "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!" This was his cry as he went about by day and by night in all the lanes of the city. 302 Certain of the most eminent among the populace, however, had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the man and gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet he neither said any thing for himself nor anything peculiar to those that chastised him, but still went on with the same words which he cried before. 303 Hereupon our rulers, supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procurator, 304 where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet he did not make any supplication for himself, nor did he shed any tears, but, turning his voice to the most lamentable tone possible, at every stroke of the whip 305 his answer was: "Woe to Jerusalem!" And when Albinus, for he was then our procurator, asked him who he was and whence he came, and why he uttered such words he made no manner of reply to what he said, but still did not leave off his melancholy ditty till Albinus took him to be a madman, and dismissed him. 306 Now during all the time that passed before the war began this man did not go near any of the citizens, nor was seen by them while he said so, but he every day uttered these lamentable words as if it were his premeditated vow: "Woe to Jerusalem!" 307 Nor did he give ill words to any of those that beat him every day, nor good words to those that gave him food, but this was his reply to all men, and indeed no other than a melancholy presage of what was to come. 308 This cry of his was the loudest at the festivals; and he continued this ditty for seven years and five months, without growing hoarse or being tired therewith, until the very time that he saw his presage in earnest fulfilled in our siege, at which time it ceased. 309 For as he was going round upon the wall he cried out with his utmost force: "Woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the holy house!" And just as he added at the last: "Woe to myself also," there came a stone out of one of the engines, and it smote him and killed him immediately; and as he was uttering the very same presages he gave up the ghost. / 300 τὸ δὲ τούτων φοβερώτερον, Ἰησοῦς γάρ τις υἱὸς Ἀνανίου τῶν ἰδιωτῶν ἄγροικος πρὸ τεσσάρων ἐτῶν τοῦ πολέμου τὰ μάλιστα τῆς πόλεως εἰρηνευομένης καὶ εὐθηνούσης, ἐλθὼν εἰς τὴν ἑορτήν, ἐν ᾗ σκηνοποιεῖσθαι πάντας ἔθος τῷ θεῷ, κατὰ τὸ ἱερὸν ἐξαπίνης ἀναβοᾶν ἤρξατο “φωνὴ ἀπὸ ἀνατολῆς, 301 φωνὴ ἀπὸ δύσεως, φωνὴ ἀπὸ τῶν τεσσάρων ἀνέμων, φωνὴ ἐπὶ Ἱεροσόλυμα καὶ τὸν ναόν, φωνὴ ἐπὶ νυμφίους καὶ νύμφας, φωνὴ ἐπὶ τὸν λαὸν πάντα.” τοῦτο μεθ᾽ ἡμέραν καὶ νύκτωρ κατὰ πάντας τοὺς στενωποὺς περιῄει κεκραγώς. 302 τῶν δὲ ἐπισήμων τινὲς δημοτῶν ἀγανακτήσαντες πρὸς τὸ κακόφημον συλλαμβάνουσι τὸν ἄνθρωπον καὶ πολλαῖς αἰκίζονται πληγαῖς. ὁ δὲ οὔθ᾽ ὑπὲρ αὑτοῦ φθεγξάμενος οὔτε ἰδίᾳ πρὸς τοὺς παίοντας, ἃς καὶ πρότερον φωνὰς βοῶν διετέλει. 303 νομίσαντες δὲ οἱ ἄρχοντες, ὅπερ ἦν, δαιμονιώτερον τὸ κίνημα τἀνδρὸς ἀνάγουσιν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸν παρὰ Ῥωμαίοις ἔπαρχον. 304 ἔνθα μάστιξι μέχρι ὀστέων ξαινόμενος οὔθ᾽ ἱκέτευσεν οὔτ᾽ ἐδάκρυσεν, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς ἐνῆν μάλιστα τὴν φωνὴν ὀλοφυρτικῶς παρεγκλίνων πρὸς ἑκάστην 305 ἀπεκρίνατο πληγήν “αἰαὶ Ἱεροσολύμοις.” τοῦ δ᾽ Ἀλβίνου διερωτῶντος, οὗτος γὰρ ἔπαρχος ἦν, τίς εἴη καὶ πόθεν, καὶ διὰ τί ταῦτα φθέγγοιτο, πρὸς ταῦτα μὲν οὐδ᾽ ὁτιοῦν ἀπεκρίνατο, τὸν δὲ ἐπὶ τῇ πόλει θρῆνον εἴρων οὐ διέλειπεν, μέχρι καταγνοὺς μανίαν ὁ Ἀλβῖνος ἀπέλυσεν αὐτόν. 306 ὁ δὲ τὸν μέχρι τοῦ πολέμου χρόνον οὔτε προσῄει τινὶ τῶν πολιτῶν οὔτε ὤφθη λαλῶν, ἀλλὰ καθ᾽ ἡμέραν ὥσπερ εὐχὴν μεμελετηκώς “αἰαὶ Ἱεροσολύμοις” ἐθρήνει. 307 οὔτε δέ τινι τῶν τυπτόντων αὐτὸν ὁσημέραι κατηρᾶτο οὔτε τοὺς τροφῆς μεταδιδόντας εὐλόγει, μία δὲ πρὸς πάντας ἦν ἡ σκυθρωπὴ κλῃδὼν ἀπόκρισις. 308 μάλιστα δ᾽ ἐν ταῖς ἑορταῖς ἐκεκράγει: καὶ τοῦτ᾽ ἐφ᾽ ἑπτὰ ἔτη καὶ μῆνας πέντε εἴρων οὔτ᾽ ἤμβλυνεν τὴν φωνὴν οὔτ᾽ ἔκαμεν, μέχρις οὗ κατὰ τὴν πολιορκίαν ἔργα τῆς κλῃδόνος ἰδὼν ἀνεπαύσατο. 309 περιιὼν γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ τείχους “αἰαὶ πάλιν τῇ πόλει καὶ τῷ λαῷ καὶ τῷ ναῷ” διαπρύσιον ἐβόα, ὡς δὲ τελευταῖον προσέθηκεν “αἰαὶ δὲ κἀμοί”, λίθος ἐκ τοῦ πετροβόλου σχασθεὶς καὶ πλήξας αὐτὸν παραχρῆμα κτείνει, φθεγγομένην δ᾽ ἔτι τὰς κλῃδόνας ἐκείνας τὴν ψυχὴν ἀφῆκε.

The line about the bride and the bridegroom is vintage Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 7.32-34: 32 “Therefore, behold, days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when it will no longer be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of the Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth because there is no other place. 33 The dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away. 34 Then I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land will become a ruin.

Jeremiah 25.10: 10 "Moreover, I will take from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp."

Jeremiah 33.10: 10 "Thus says Yahweh, 'Yet again there will be heard in this place, of which you say, "It is a waste, without man and without beast," that is, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast, 11 the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say, "Give thanks to Yahweh of hosts, for Yahweh is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting," and of those who bring a thank offering into the house of Yahweh. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were at first,' says Yahweh."

Is Jesus ben Ananias, then, thinking of himself as a Jeremiah redivivus?


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Secret Alias
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Re: Jeremiah, another eschatological figure?

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:47 am

More likely a poetic or literary device from Josephus. We tend to think of his 'history' as factual. I am not so sure. The timeline itself conforms to Daniel chapter 9 with Agrippa as the 'cut off' messiah etc.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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