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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings, Old Testament, Prophets

God Restores His People

Submitted by on Saturday, 24 September 2011No Comment

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Today’s Readings

  • Reading I:  Zechariah 2:5-15 (passim)
  • Responsorial Psalm: Jeremiah 31
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 9:43-45

The Restoration of God’s People

Zechariah’s oracle reports a vision, the third in a series. In the vision of the workmen, Zechariah sees a man measuring the city of Jerusalem. He says that it will be unwalled so as to give room to the people and animals which will be dwelling in it. This will happen because more exiles will be coming back (vv. 10-17). It is the Lord who will make this possible. And though Jerusalem will be without walls, God Himself will be its protection. Just as a column of fire guided the people of the Exodus, so now a wall of encircling fire will protect Jerusalem (9). God will dwell in the midst of His people (9.15); Judah will now be His portion (16).

Jeremiah’s Hymn of Restoration

jeremiah-32

Jeremiah 31 is the prophet Jeremiah’s hymn regarding the restoration of Israel. The hymn was probably composed during the covenant renewal held by King Josiah on the occassion of the discovery of the book of Deuteronomy.

The hymn refers to the restoration of the Northern kingdoms, referred to as Ephraim. It should be remembered that Ephraim and Manasseh were both children of Joseph, son of Jacob via Rachel. But it was Ephraim who would later become dominant among the northern tribes and in the prophet Hosea even becomes a synonym for "Israel".

The northern tribes never returned however. Before Jeremiah’s ministry in Judah ended, the exile of the southern kingdom became imminent. Even Jeremiah had to accompany those who went into Egypt as refugees. A second hymn of restoration was added at a later date (vv. 23-30) which included a prophecy about the restoration of Jerusalem (vv. 35-40)

In between these prophecies of restoration — of the North and of the South — is the oracle about the new covenant (vv. 31-34). God Himself will restore His own people on the strength of a new covenant that will be written in the hearts of men. The covenant-theology of the New Testament is based on these verses.

Jesus Prediction of the Betrayal of the Son of Man

In Luke, this short passage follows after the Transfiguration and the Healing of the Boy Possessed. To note is the way Luke places the second prediction of his passion within the context of the people’s amazement at the healing he just performed. Luke omits here the episode where the disciples ask him why they were unable to drive away the evil spirit. Instead, he inserts the second prediction of the passion putting into stark relief the "defeat" he is going to suffer in the hands of men. The power over the demon that Jesus exercised is in contrast with his declaration that he will be handed over to the power of men. It is as if it was easier for him to vanquish demonic powers than to prevent human beings from the designs that they have in their hearts. And the disciples cannot imagine what he possibly meant since they have seen the marvels that he can perform. "It was hidden [parakekalummenon] from them."

More from The Bible Journal.

Zechariah 2:5-15
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
5And I will be to it, saith the Lord, a wall of fire round about: and I will be in glory in the midst thereof.
6O, O flee ye out of the land of the north, saith the Lord, for I have scattered you into the four winds of heaven, saith the Lord.
7O Sion, flee, thou that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon:
8For thus saith the Lord of hosts: After the glory he hath sent me to the nations that have robbed you: for he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of my eye:
9For behold I lift up my hand upon them, and they shall be a prey to those that served them: and you shall know that the Lord of hosts sent me.
10Sing praise, and rejoice, O daughter of Sion: for behold I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee: saith the Lord.
11And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall be my people, and I will dwell in the midst of thee: and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me to thee.
12And the Lord shall possess Juda his portion in the sanctified land: and he shall yet choose Jerusalem.
13Let all flesh be silent at the presence of the Lord: for he is risen up out of his. holy habitation.
Luke 9:43-45
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
43And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and cured the boy, and restored him to his father.
44And all were astonished at the mighty power of God. But while all wondered at all the things he did, he said to his disciples: Lay you up in your hearts these words, for it shall come to pass, that the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.
45But they understood not this word; and it was hid from them, so that they perceived it not. And they were afraid to ask him concerning this word.

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