The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 3

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The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 3 – Christogenea on Talkshoe, June 8th, 2012

Last week we demonstrated that the οἰκουμένη, the inhabited world, was the living space of the civilized White races in the eyes of the Greeks and Romans. The κόσμος was the order or arrangement, and therefore the society of the οἰκουμένη – which in the time of Christ never included the alien races. Therefore understanding that the alien races were never meant to be a part of the Biblical context, there is no impetus, and certainly no Biblical commission, to extend the grace of Yahweh our God to alien races today. It is actually detrimental, as recent history certainly proves, to the health and security of our κόσμος to do so. It is even suicidal of our race to insist upon including these aliens.

It was argued here last week, that Christ was most likely born in the late fall or early autumn of 3 BC. That argument is for the most part based upon Luke's opening statement in this chapter, that Yahshua's ministry began around His thirtieth birthday, which was in the fifteenth year of Tiberius. Many modern commentator's actually go so far as accusing Luke of error here, as if they themselves can actually know better from the incomplete records which we can muster today. A 3 BC registration, in time for the celebration of Rome's 750th year, and Augustus' 25th as emperor, coincides with this fifteenth year of Tiberius and the fact that Christ is now thirty years of age, the age when a Hebrew man may begin serving his people publicly. We should insist that Luke is true, and that the modern commentators are in error.

1 Now in the fifteenth year of the emperorship of Tiberios Caesar...

ἡγεμονία (2231), appears only here in the N.T. In its other forms (ἡγεμονεύω, ἡγεμών) the word is used frequently, and the verbal form of this same word is used to describe the governorship of Pilate later in this same verse. Here referring to Tiberius it is emperorship, although the word can have a more general meaning as it is applied to governors and those holding other lesser offices, and therefore the context is important to determine its usage. Liddell & Scott define it: “a leading the way, going first...chief command...hegemony... = Roman imperium...the reign of the Emperor...”.

Tiberius Caesar assumed the Roman emperorship in August of 14 A.D., after the death of Augustus, and so August of 28 A.D. would have marked the beginning of his 15th year, and also the beginning of of John’s ministry, which must have started during this same year. On the 18th of September, 14 A.D., the Roman Senate officially confirmed Tiberius' position as Princeps, and therefore the beginning of Tiberius' fifteenth year as it was reckoned by Luke may not have begun until September of 28 A.D. As it can be seen in Numbers chapter 4, service to the congregation was begun by a Levite at age 30. This age was made the age that was acceptable for men to begin duties such as ministering. As it is evident from the circumstances of his birth illustrated in Luke chapter 1 (see 1:24), John being about five or six months older than Christ, he would have been born about March or April of 3 B.C., and would have turned 30 in that season, in 28 A.D. If Christ’s ministry began just after His 30th birthday, in the early Autumn of this same year, then John’s baptizing must have begun by the fall of 28 A.D., near the start of Tiberius’ 15th year.

3 B.C.

John born in March or April, Christ born in late September or early October.

14 A.D.

Tiberius comes to the hegemony in August upon the death of Augustus.

28 A.D.

15th year of Tiberius begins in August or September, Christ turns 30 shortly thereafter and is baptized by John who had turned thirty in March.

32 A.D.

Crucifixion in the Spring of 32 AD, after 3 ½ year ministry of Christ.

Many commentators insist that John turned 30 by 26 A.D., and that Christ also was born in 4 B.C., and so they either blame Luke for being inaccurate, or they attempt to rectify Luke by conjecturing that perhaps the first year of Tiberius’ emperorship had somehow begun a couple of years earlier than 14 A.D. So to support their contentions, those commentators claim that Luke was referring to Tiberius' association on the throne with Augustus before his death, in 12 A.D. These claims have no merit. Tiberius' position was virtually assured from 4 A.D., when he was adopted by Augustus and named as Augustus' successor, making him second-in-command in the empire at that time. Whether Tiberius was named co-princeps with Augustus in 12 A.D., or 13 A.D. as it is variously argued, he was never Emperor and never had the ἡγεμονία, until Augustus died in 14 A.D. Luke’s “fifteenth year” must surely be counted from 14 A.D., the year when Augustus died.

1 Now in the fifteenth year of the emperorship of Tiberios Caesar, Pontios Pilatos being governor of Judaea, and Herodas being Tetrarch of Galilaia, and Philippos his brother being Tetrarch of Itouraia and the land of Trachonitis, and Lusanios being Tetrarch of Abilene,

The Codex Bezae (D) has “Pilatos being administrator”. Pontius Pilate is mentioned on several occasions in events described in Josephus’ Antiquities Book 18 and Wars Book 2. Tacitus also mentioned him, and called him a procurator of Judaea. His name is found on an inscription dated from the first century and discovered at Caesarea Maritima in Palestine in 1961, which is detailed in Biblical Archaeology Review, September-October 2004, p. 27. That inscription is a tribute made to Tiberius Caesar, and on it Pilate is called the Prefect of Judaea. In the early empire, a Prefect had more authority than a procurator, one office being military in nature and the other administrative and usually connected with financial administration.

The title “Tetrarch” is but a transliteration of the Greek τετράρχης, “the ruler of a fourth part of a country” (Strong’s, 5076), as Judaea was divided not long after the death of the first King, the Edomite Herod, and the banishment of his successor Archelaus, in 6 A.D. Philippos is mentioned often in Josephus. Lusanios is mentioned by Josephus in Antiquities, 19.5.1 (19:275).

2 in the high priesthood of Hannas and Kaïaphas, the Word of Yahweh had come upon Iohannes the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

High priest” in the Old Testament is an office held by a single individual for life, and so only one man at a time bore the title. Yet as Josephus attests on many occasions, in both his Antiquities in Book 19 [19:298 (19.6.2)] and throughout Wars [2:566 (2.20.4), 4:151-153 (4.3.7), 5:527 (5.13.1) and 6:114 (6.2.2)], first Herod and then later the Romans appointed and removed high priests often, so that the office was no more than a political tool. Here and throughout the New Testament we see multiple men associated with the term, or the term appearing in the plural, because more than one man having once held the office was alive and active at any given time, yet even after removal men seem to have retained the title, or at least were still referred to as such. Likewise men today after retirement retain titles such as “Doctor” and “Professor” or titles related to judgeships or military rank in much the same manner, although often they are qualified with distinctions such as “retired” or “emeritus”. Additionally, at least on one occasion multiple men in the same family held the post of High Priest, as had the five sons of Ananus which is related by Josephus in Antiquities Book 20 [20:197 (20.9.1)].

3 And he had gone into all the region of the Jordan proclaiming an immersion [or baptism] of repentance for a remission of errors, 4 as it is written in the book of the sayings of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice crying in the wilderness: prepare the way of the Prince, make straight His paths! 5 Every ravine shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked paths shall be into straight ones, and the rough ways into smooth roads. 6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of Yahweh!”

Isaiah 40: “3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”

Josephus, in Antiquities Book 18 [18:116-118 (18.5.2)], tells us at length of John the Baptist and how John was esteemed by the people, and how Herod had John slain. Herod had lost a battle in a dispute which he had with one Aretus, an Arabian king. Here are his comments: “116 Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist; 117 for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness toward one another, and piety toward God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body: supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. 118 Now, when [many] others came in crowds about him, for they were very greatly moved [or pleased] by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do anything he should advise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late. 119 Accordingly he was sent as prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus, the citadel I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God's displeasure to him.” (Bracketed comments in the quote from Josephus belong to his editors and are not always appropriate. - WRF)

7 Then he said to a crowd coming out to be immersed by him: “Race of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

The verb translated as “warned” here, ὑποδείκνυμι (5263), implies that the warning was done surreptitiously.

The Pharisees did not come to John because they believed him. They really came in order to see what he was doing. Christ later challenged them concerning this, as it was recorded at Matthew 21: “25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?” Luke tells us later, in Luke chapter 7: “29 And all the people heard, and the tax-collectors deemed Yahweh just, being immersed in the immersion of Iohannes. 30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the counsel of Yahweh in regard to themselves, not being immersed by him.” So we see that these men were certainly not baptized by John.

John was sent “to cleanse the sons of Levi”, as it is evident at Malachi chapter 3: “1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. 2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”

John's having called certain of the Judaeans a “race of vipers” by itself indicates that they are certainly not Levites. The answers to their identity and the reasons for his accusation are supplied later in Luke's gospel, in chapters 10 and 11, among other places.

In Luke chapter 10 we see the following account after the apostles whom Yahshua had sent out to announce His presence had returned: “17 Then the seventy-two returned with great joy saying: 'Prince, even the demons are subjected to us by Your Name!' 18 And He said to them 'I beheld the Adversary falling as lightning from heaven! 19 Behold! I have given to you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy, and no one shall by any means do you injustice. 20 But in this you must not rejoice: that spirits are subject to you. Rather, rejoice that your names are inscribed in the heavens.'”

In Luke chapter 11, we learn the race of those who disputed with Christ: “45 Then replying one of the lawyers said to Him “Teacher, saying these things You also insult us!” 46 So He said “And to you lawyers, woe! Because you load men with burdens hard to bear, and these burdens you touch with not one of your fingers! 47 Woe to you! Because you build the monuments of the prophets, and your fathers killed them! 48 Therefore you are witnesses and you consent to the works of your fathers, because they killed them, and you build. 49 For this reason also the wisdom of Yahweh says: ‘I shall send to them prophets and ambassadors, and some of them they shall kill and they shall persecute’, 50 in order that the blood of all the prophets spilled from the foundation of the Society should be required from this race, 51 from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias who was killed between the altar and the house. Yeah, I say to you, it shall be required from this race! 52 Woe to you lawyers! Because you have taken the key of knowledge, you do not enter in yourselves, and you prohibit those who are entering in!”

Only Cain killed Abel, and therefore these men who are in opposition to Christ must be of the race of Cain, and could not be purely of the race of Seth, as are the Israelites. It is learned from Jeremiah chapter 2, Ezekiel chapter 16, and many other places in Scripture that the remnant of Judah in Jerusalem had been infiltrated by Canaanites even before the deportations of the Assyrians and Babylonians. It is evident in Josephus that Jerusalem was further infiltrated and virtually taken over in the second century B.C. by Edomites, and that Herod the king was an Edomite by blood, as were many of his associates and appointees. The race of Cain, the Kenites, can be traced down through their admixture with the Canaanites, Edomites, and with many of the people of Jerusalem, all the way to the time of Christ.

The statement which Christ made in Luke chapter 10 connects Satan to demons, and also connects them to serpents and scorpions, which here are being used as symbolic allegories for people. There He has this exchange with His disciples, where Luke wrote: “17 Then the seventy-two returned with great joy saying: 'Prince, even the demons are subjected to us by Your Name!' 18 And He said to them 'I beheld the Adversary falling as lightning from heaven! 19 Behold! I have given to you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy, and no one shall by any means do you injustice. 20 But in this you must not rejoice: that spirits are subject to you. Rather, rejoice that your names are inscribed in the heavens.'”

The Revelation, in chapter 12, also describes the fall of Satan: “7 And there was a war in heaven, Michael and his messengers fighting with the dragon. And the dragon fought, and his messengers, 8 and they did not prevail, nor was their place found any longer in heaven. 9 And the great dragon had been cast down, that serpent of old, who is called the False Accuser and the Adversary; he who deceives the whole inhabited earth had been cast into the earth, and his messengers had been cast down with him.”

That Satan which fell from heaven is also “that old serpent”, which must refer to the serpent of Genesis chapter 3. These are the fallen angels, the “angels that left their first estate”, and the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. The common thread that ties them to these Judaeans of Christ's time, is the blood of Cain, who was a devil and a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44), and who was the son of the wicked one (1 John 3:12). This “race of vipers” which John addresses are their descendants. That they are a race, a mixed and corrupt race, and that they can be identified as Edomites is proven by John's statements which follow.

8 You should really make fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin by saying among yourselves ‘We have Abraham for a father’. For I say to you that Yahweh is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones!

John knows that these people are evil, where he says “who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?” He is challenging them to do good, as Yahweh challenged Cain to do good. Cain was told “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” (Genesis 4:7) and immediately he went out and killed his brother. Of course Yahweh knew that Cain could not do well, just as he knew that Esau would be a sinner from the womb. In His ministry, Christ always challenged those who opposed Him to do good, even knowing full well that they could never do good.

John's statement, “and do not begin by saying among yourselves ‘We have Abraham for a father’”, reflects a legitimate claim by the Edomites, or by the Canaanite children of Shelah, that they were children of Abraham. The claim is seen again in John chapter 8, where certain of the Judaeans claimed to be children of Abraham, but Christ told them that they certainly were not children of God. They were children of Abraham, but they were not the children of the promise – and especially since they were all bastards. That Yahweh could raise up children to Abraham from stones is true, but the universalists wrongly use this verse in their vain attempts to corrupt the covenants of God with Israel. While God could indeed raise up children to Abraham from stones, that would still not make them children of Jacob, who alone are the heirs of the covenant as Paul also explains in Galatians chapter 3.

9 But already even the axe is laid to the root of the trees: surely any tree not producing good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire!”

Trees are very often used to represent races in Scripture. In the Garden of Eden, there was the “tree of life” and the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. These are not fruit trees, but allegories for races of people. Christ said to His disciples, who were also of His own nation, in John 15: “5 I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who is abiding in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you are not able to do anything.” Yahshua is “the root and the offspring of David” (Revelation 22:16), meaning that He created the tree, being Yahweh, and He is one of its branches, as He came as one of His Own children. When we race-mix, we no longer abide in Him, and therefore Christ tells us at Matthew 15:13 that “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted shall be uprooted!” Jude, referring to “some men [that] have stolen in, those of old having been written about beforetime for this judgment, godless men”, as he tells us in verse 4 of his epistle, calls them “late-autumn trees without fruit, twice dead being uprooted”. These are the Canaanites and Edomites of Judaea. These are the people which Yahweh referred to in chapter 2 of Jeremiah: “ 21 Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?”

The words of Christ, at Matthew chapter 7: “15 Keep away from the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are rapacious wolves. [These are Jude's 'some men that have stolen in' and the subjects of Paul's warning concerning 'oppressive wolves' in Acts chapter 20.] 16 You shall know them from their fruits. Does anyone gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles? 17 Thusly every good tree produces fine fruit, but the rotten tree produces evil fruit. 18 A good tree is not able to produce evil fruit [all Israel shall be saved], nor is a rotten tree [able] to produce fine fruit. 19 Each tree not producing fine fruit is cut down and cast into the fire! 20 Indeed from their fruits you shall know them.” Note that it is not the bad fruit which is destroyed, but the entire tree which produces bad fruit which is cast into the fire, and no bad fruit comes from a good tree. The judgement of eternal life, therefore, is along racial lines, and it is not merely along behavioral lines. The reward of the children of God once that eternal life is attained is another matter. The tree is good, and its fruit is good. These are the words of Yahshua Christ Himself.

10 Then the crowd questioned him, saying “So what should we do?” 11 And replying he said to them: “He having two shirts must share with he who has not, and he having food must do likewise.”

The χίτων (5509), is properly “the garment worn next to the skin” (Liddell & Scott), and therefore it is shirt here, and not coat, as the King James has it.

From Exodus chapter 16, which Paul also later quotes in 2 Corinthians 8:14: “17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. 18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.” The gifts which come to us in life rain down from heaven, and with our excess we should see to it that the poor of our kin are not wanting.

From James chapter 2: “14 What is the benefit, my brethren, if one should claim to have faith, but does not have works? Is faith able to save him? 15 If a brother or sister becomes naked and lacking daily food, 16 and one from among you should say to them: “Go in peace, be warm and fed”, but you would not give to them the provisions for the body, what is the benefit? 17 Thusly also faith, if it should not have works, is by itself dead.

12 Then also the tax-collectors came to be immersed, and they said to him “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 And he said to them “Do not exact any more than that which is appointed to you.”

The apostle Matthew was a tax-collector, as it is evident in Matthew chapter 9: “9 And Yahshua passing from there sees a man sitting at the tax office, called Maththaios, and says to him 'Follow Me', and arising he followed Him.” While it cannot be proven with certainty, it was traditional for men to follow after the vocations of their fathers. Therefore it is evident that the Levites, the tax collectors and administrators of the ancient kingdom, resumed those vocations in the second temple period, and that many of the tax-collectors and administrators of the time of Christ were also Levites. It was said of the Levites, in Malachi chapter 3 in the very prophecy concerning John the Baptist: “3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.” Here we see them coming to be baptized by John, and they were a class despised by the Pharisees. Yet the Pharisees refused to be baptized by John, as it is recorded in Luke chapter 7:29-30.

14 So those who were soldiers also asked him, saying: “And what should we do?” And he said to them: “You should not cause any agitation, nor make false accusations, and be satisfied with your provisions”.

You should not cause any agitation”: the word διασείω (1286) is only here in the New Testament. The King James has it “extort from no man by violence” Liddell & Scott [L & S] define the word: “ shake confound, throw into confusion, Herodotus.... 3. to extort money from a person, N.T.”, and this last definition I must call into question since the context does nothing to support it, and since it is not defined or used in that manner in any secular writer or authority. The prefix διά is often used simply to strengthen the sense of another word when used in a compound (L & S, διά V.). The root word σείω (4579) is “to shake, move to and fro...metaphorically to shake, agitate, disturb...” (L & S), and so διασείω is “to cause agitation” here.

For one example of such agitation, although it occurred some time later, here is Josephus’ Wars, 2.223-227 (2.12.1): “223 Now after the death of Herod, king of Chalcis, Claudius set Agrippa, the son of Agrippa, over his uncle's kingdom, while Cumanus took upon him the office of procurator of the rest, which was a Roman province, and therein he succeeded Alexander; under which Cumanus began the troubles, and the Jews ruin came on; 224 for when the multitude were come together to Jerusalem, to the feast of unleavened bread, and a Roman cohort stood over the cloisters of the temple, (for they always were armed and kept guard at the festivals, to prevent any sedition which the multitude thus gathered together might make,) one of the soldiers pulled back his garment, and cowering down after an indecent manner, turned his breech to the Jews, and spoke such words as you might expect upon such a posture. 225 At this the whole multitude had indignation, and made a clamour to Cumanus that he would punish the soldier; while the rasher part of the youth, and such as were naturally the most tumultuous, fell to fighting, and caught up stones, and threw them at the soldiers. 226 Upon which Cumanus was afraid lest all the people should make an assault upon him, and sent to call for more armed men, who, when they came in great numbers into the cloisters, the Jews were in a very great consternation; and being beaten out of the temple, they ran into the city; 227 and the violence with which they crowded to get out was so great, that they trod upon each other, and squeezed one another, till ten thousand of them were killed, insomuch that this feast became the cause of mourning to the whole nation, and every family lamented [their own relatives].” Cumanus was procurator of Judaea just before Felix, whom we know from Acts chapters 23 through 25. So we see that from one episode of agitation by a Roman soldier, a tumult occurred and ten thousand people perished.

15 And with the people supposing, and all reasoning in their hearts concerning Iohannes, that perhaps he may be the Christ, 16 Iohannes replied saying to all: “Indeed I immerse you in water, but He comes, who is more powerful than me, of whom I am not worthy to loosen the straps of His sandals. He shall immerse you in the Holy Spirit, and in fire!

The people were expecting a Messiah, and they thought that John was Him. The Magi arrived in Jerusalem announcing the birth of the Messiah, as we see in Matthew chapter 2, and it is possible that the account of them had spread throughout Judaea, although there is no certainty that it did. In John chapter 1, where some of the first apostles meet Christ for the first time, they exclaimed without hesitation that “We have found the Messiah!” The woman at the well in John chapter 4, who was called a Samaritan, said to Christ, unaware of whom she was speaking to: “I know that Messiah comes, who is called Christ. When He should come, He shall announce to us all things.” Many people were later disappointed in Christ, because their expectation was that He would emancipate them from the Romans, and restore the glory that was the Old Kingdom of David and Solomon. This attitude prevailed so far as Acts chapter 1, before the final ascension of Christ, where Luke writes “6 So then they who were gathered [meaning the apostles] asked Him, saying “Prince, then at this time shall You restore the Kingdom to Israel?”

John says here, which Matthew chapter 3 also records: “Indeed I immerse you in water, but He comes, who is more powerful than me, of whom I am not worthy to loosen the straps of His sandals. He shall immerse you in the Holy Spirit, and in fire!” In Acts chapter 1 Luke also records these words of Christ: “Iohannes immersed in water, but you shall be immersed in the Holy Spirit after not many days hence”. Those who cling to the water baptism ritual, cling to the baptism of John. They are like that man whom Priscilla and Aquila met in Acts chapter 18: “24 And a certain Judaean name Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, a learned man, arrived in Ephesos, who was capable in the writings. 25 He was instructed in the way of the Prince and being fervent in spirit he spoke and taught precisely the things concerning Yahshua, knowing only the immersion of Iohannes. 26 And he began to speak openly in the assembly hall. And Priskilla and Akulas hearing him took him aside and more precisely exhibited the way of Yahweh to him.” Priscilla and Aquila did not take him aside and baptize him in water again, but in the name of Jesus. Rather, they took him aside and “more precisely exhibited the way of Yahweh to him”! There is, as Paul wrote, one baptism, and Christians are to be baptized in the death of Christ, as Paul explains in Romans chapter 6. Therefore Christ explains to the apostles in Matthew chapter 20: “22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.” To be baptized in the death of Christ is to understand why He died for Israel, and once we do that, we immerse ourselves in the Holy Spirit: the spirit of separation which Yahweh requires for Israel if they are to be restored to the position of His children. Therefore, Come out from among them, and touch not the unclean!

17 Of whom the winnowing fan is in His hand, to purge His threshing-floor, and to gather together the wheat into His storehouse, but the chaff He shall burn with unquenchable fire.”

In most Bibles and commentaries one may be hard-pressed to find a relevant Old Testament reference to the things which John says here. However, there is a parallel found in Isaiah chapter 21: “9 And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground. 10 O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you. 11 The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? 12 The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come. 13 The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim. 14 The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled. 15 For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war. 16 For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail: 17 And the residue of the number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished: for the LORD God of Israel hath spoken it.” The people of Dumah, Seir, Arabia, Kedar and the other places mentioned here represent the Arab peoples and the Edomite jews. In this passage of Isaiah, the threshing-floor of Yahweh is associated with the fall of Babylon and the destruction of the Edomite and related peoples.

Another parallel with John's reference to the purging of the threshing-floor is seen where the first altars David made to Yahweh in Jerusalem were built upon a threshing-floor, and the temple was later built in that same place. This is evident in 2 Chronicles 3:1: “Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.” The story of David's having bought the threshingfloor of this Jebusite by the commandment of Yahweh, as the place to build an altar for Him at Jerusalem, is told in both 2 Samuel chapter 24 and 1 Chronicles chapter 21. If, in the parable of the wheat and the tares, the field is the world, and the wheat are the children of the kingdom, then this reference to the threshingfloor by John has great significance.

18 So then also many other things exhorting he had announced to the people. 19 But Herodas the Tetrarch, having been reproved by him concerning Herodia the wife of his brother, and concerning all of the evil things which Herodas had done, 20 added even this upon all: he had shut Iohannes up in prison.

The Codices Alexandrinus (A), Ephraemi Syri (C) and Washingtonensis (W) have “...Herodia the wife of Philippos his brother...” For this unlawful (that is, contrary to Biblical law) marriage of Herod to Herodia, here is Josephus’ Antiquities 18:134-138 (18.5.4): “134 Aristobulus left these infants when he was slain by his father, together with his brother Alexander, as we have already related. [The first Herod had killed two of his own sons. - WRF] But when they were arrived at years of puberty, this Herod, the brother of Agrippa, married Mariamne, the daughter of Olympias, who was the daughter of Herod the king, and of Joseph, the son of Joseph, who was brother to Herod the king, and had by her a son, Aristobulus; 135 but Aristobulus, the third brother of Agrippa, married Jotape, the daughter of Sampsigeramus, king of Emesa; they had a daughter who was deaf, whose name also was Jotape; and these hereto were the children of the male line. 136 But Herodias, their sister, was married to Herod [Philip], the son of Herod the Great, who was born of Mariamne, the daughter of Simon the high priest, who had a daughter, Salome; after whose birth Herodias took upon her to confound the laws of our country, and divorced herself from her husband while he was alive, and was married to Herod [Antipas], her husband's brother by the father's side; he was tetrarch of Galilee; 137 but her daughter Salome was married to Philip, the son of Herod, and tetrarch of Trachonitis; and because he died childless, Aristobulus, the son of Herod, the brother of Agrippa, married her; they had three sons, Herod, Agrippa, and Aristobulus; 138 and this was the posterity of Phasaelus and Salampsio; but the daughter of Antipater by Cypros was Cypros, whom Alexas Selcias, the son of Alexas, married; they had a daughter, Cypros; but Herod and Alexander, who, as we told you, were the brothers of Antipater, died childless.” John criticized Herod for marrying his brother Philipp's wife, and therefore Herod shut him up in prison for his criticism. Luke's statement here is parenthetical. John the Baptist appears in Luke's gospel again in chapter 7, where he sends his disciples to enquire about Christ.

21 Then it happened as all the people were being immersed, Yahshua also was being immersed and praying, the heaven opened 22 and he had seen the Holy Spirit descending bodily as a dove upon Him, and a voice coming from heaven: “You are My beloved Son. In You I am satisfied.”

The Codex Bezae (D) has verse 22 where the voice comes from heaven as saying: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”. Psalm 2:7, which is quoted at Acts 13:33, and at Hebrews 1:5 and 5:5, says: “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” The text of Matthew agrees with Luke, where at Matthew 3:17 it records this voice as saying at Christ's baptism “He is My beloved Son, in whom I am satisfied!”

2 Peter 1, from the King James Version: “17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”

Isaiah 42: “21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.”

In the Old Testament, washing of the body is seen of the priests before they enter into the temple to do service and to make sacrifice. From Leviticus 8:4-6: “4 And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 5 And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done. 6 And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.” And from Numbers 8:21-22: “And the Levites were purified, and they washed their clothes; and Aaron offered them as an offering before the LORD; and Aaron made an atonement for them to cleanse them. 22 And after that went the Levites in to do their service in the tabernacle of the congregation before Aaron, and before his sons: as the LORD had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so did they unto them.” All of Numbers chapter 8 describes the cleansing of the Levites. Aside from these passages concerning the priests, or certain occasions where people are instructed in what to do upon exposure to diseases or corpses, or certain other circumstances, there is no other ritual cleansing of the body required by the law.  Remember the words of Yahweh in the prophecy of Malachi chapter 3, “and he shall purify the sons of Levi”: John the Baptist was also a Levite, so he could fulfill the priestly role of cleansing which Moses the Levite had done first, long before him.

Like the priests were cleansed before entering the temple to sacrifice, the sacrifice itself was also washed beforehand. From Leviticus 1:1-13: “1 And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock. 3 If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD. 4 And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. 5 And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 6 And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces. 7 And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire: 8 And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: 9 But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. 10 And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt sacrifice; he shall bring it a male without blemish. 11 And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar. 12 And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: 13 But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.”

It is apparent, that Yahshua coming to be the final ritual sacrifice for the children of Israel, the prophecy and baptism of John – for the sons of Levi – was also symbolic of the Old Testament law. That is why John was sent to baptize the sons of Levi – so that Christ could be properly sacrificed, and it is also why Christ Himself was baptized, so that the sacrifice could be properly cleansed! Now Israel has been cleansed of all their sins by Christ Himself, as foretold by the prophets, and they have no need of any further cleansing.

23 And this was Yahshua, beginning at about thirty years old, being a son, as was believed, of Ioseph, the son of Eli,

Here Luke testifies that Yahshua began His ministry “at about thirty years old”, and at the opening of this chapter, in the fifteenth year of Tiberius, which began in August of 28 A.D. It is apparent from scripture that Yahshua’s ministry was to last about three and a half years, as it is evident from Daniel 9:27 (“in the midst of the week” the Messiah would be cut off, a prophetic week being seven years), from the parable of the fig tree at Luke 13:6-9, and from counting the Passover feasts mentioned in the gospel of John (seen at 2:13, probably at 5:1, at 6:4, and 11:55, which was the Passover of the Crucifixion). If this is so, then the Crucifixion would be in 32 A.D., and Yahshua would have turned 30 in September of 28 A.D., right around the time when He was baptized. Daniel’s 70-weeks prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27) foretells a 69-week period, or 483 years, between “the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” and the appearance of the Christ at the beginning of His ministry. While the temple at Jerusalem was rebuilt in 516 B.C., the city was not. Ezra the prophet received a commission from Persian king Artaxerxes in the seventh year of that king (I Esdras 8:1; Ezra 7:1), “that they may look unto the affairs of Judaea and Jerusalem”. Artaxerxes’ reign began in 465 B.C., by popular chronologies, and so his seventh year began in 457 B.C. Ezra’s return trip to Jerusalem upon his commission took over seven months to prepare for and complete. 483 years from 28 A.D. puts one at 456 B.C., very reasonably the time when Ezra began the rebuilding of the city. Now many may say that Nehemiah, who was in Jerusalem from 502 to 490 B.C., the “Arthasatha” of Nehemiah 5:14 being Darius I of Persia, had rebuilt the city then, which is partially true. Nehemiah rebuilt the city walls (i.e. Ecclesiasticus [Σοφία Σεῖραχ] 49:13), but the buildings expected to inhabit the city were very few (Nehemiah 7:4, 11:1-2). Again, the Fall of 28 A.D., being the fifteenth year of Tiberius and Yahshua Christ’s 30th year, places His birth in 3 B.C. The reason for such a long gap between the rebuilding of the walls and the rebuilding of the city which they were to protect is readily understood, once we see that the Persian empire, which Judaea was certainly subject to, was engaged in far more serious matters at this very time. The year 490 B.C., when Nehemiah’s tenure at Jerusalem ended, was the very year that the Greeks defeated an army of invading Persians at the Battle of Marathon. The next 10 years saw all of the empire’s resources directed towards preparations for Xerxes’ invasion of Greece, far larger in scope than the small army defeated at Marathon. For the participation of the Judaeans in war with the Persians, one may see the reference by Herodotus to the “Syrians of Palestine” (7.89.i), which was the name by which he called the Judaeans (cf. Herodotus 2.104 and the note by Rawlinson in his edition, 2.159 compared with Josephus’ Antiquities 10.5.2 and II Chr. 35:20, and Herodotus 3.5). While a perfect chronology seems impossible to attain, one that is accurate within reason may indeed be established.

To repeat verse 23: “And this was Yahshua, beginning at about thirty years old, being a son, as was believed, of Ioseph, the son of Eli...” The actual word for “son”, υἱός (5207) appears in this section only this one time, where it says “being a son, as was believed, of Ioseph”. All other occurrences of “son” here are only inferred in the use of the Genitive Masculine singular Article, τοῦ, before the respective name. The 9th edition of the Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon says of the Article (ὁ, ἡ, τό) at B. II. 1. “before the genitive of a proper name, to express descent, son or daughter...” giving examples much like those found here.

The Codex Washingtonensis (W), from the fifth century, wants the entire genealogy found in Luke, from the phrase “the son of Eli” through to the end of the chapter. The Codex Bezae (D) has verses 23 through 31 here as follows: “And this was Yahshua, beginning at about thirty years old, who was supposed to be a son of Ioseph, son of Iakob, son of Maththan, son of Eleazar, son of Elioud, son of Iachin, son of Sadok, son of Azor, son of Eliakim, son of Abioud, son of Zorobabel, son of Salathiel, son of Iechonias, son of Ioakim, son of Eliakim, son of Iosia, son of Amos, son of Manassa, son of Ezekia, son of Achas, son of Ioathan, son of Ozia, son of Amasias, son of Ioas, son of Ochozias, son of Ioram, son of Iosaphad, son of Asaph, son of Abioud, son of Roboam, son of Solomon, son of David”. This list is quite similar to that found at Matthew 1:6-16, in the reverse order.

24 the son of Maththat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Iannai, the son of Ioseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahoum, the son of Hesli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maäth, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semeïn, the son of Iosach, the son of Ioda, 27 the son of Iohanan, the son of Resa, the son of Zorobabel, the son of Salathiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Kosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Iasous [the transliterated Greek form of the name Yahshua], the son of Eliezer, the son of Iorim, the son of Maththat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Sumeon, the son of Iouda, the son of Ioseph, the son of Ionam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Natham, the son of David, 32 the son of Iessai, the son of Iobel, the son of Boos, the son of Sala, the son of Nahasson,

From Acts 13:20 we see that it was roughly 450 years from the Exodus until the time when Israel was given a king. The records show that Sala the son of Nahasson was in the Exodus. Therefore the genealogies show only 5 generations in a period of over 450 years from Sala to David, and it is evident that the records are almost certainly incomplete. By contrast, the prior 430 years, as we know from Galatians 3:17, which are found in the verses that follow cover the period from Nahasson all the way back to Isaac, and we see 9 generations over that period.

Verses 31 and 32: David, Iessai, Iobel, Boos, Sala = 450 years (Acts 13:20). Verses 32 to 34: Nahasson, Adam, Admin, Arni, Hesrom, Phares, Iouda, Jakob, and Isaak = 430 years (Galatians 3:17)

33 the son of Adam, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hesrom, the son of Phares, the son of Iouda, 34 the son of Jakob, the son of Isaak, the son of Abraham, the son of Thara, the son of Nachor, 35 the son of Serouch, the son of Ragau, the son of Phalek, the son of Eber, the son of Sala, 36 the son of Kaïnam, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Sem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Mathousala, the son of Henoch, the son of Iaret, the son of Maleleäl, the son of Kaïnam, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of Yahweh.

We had also discussed the several apparent flaws – when compared to the Old Testament as we have it today – which exist in the genealogy of Christ as recorded by Matthew in his gospel, when that gospel was presented here last year. At that time it was said that“ The apostles were not handed the genealogies of the Christ by an angel. Neither were they recited to them by Yahweh Himself. The gospels were written by human eyewitnesses, in the case of Matthew and John, or the recorders of eyewitnesses, in the case of Luke and Mark. They themselves had to rely on very incomplete records in order to chronicle the events surrounding the coming of Christ in perspective with Hebrew history. These records were pieced together as best as their writers could do so. They were probably pieced together at least in part from unofficial sources, since Herod had long before destroyed the genealogies in the temple (which is reported by Eusebius at 1.7.13 of his Ecclesiastical History from earlier sources and which even the Talmud admits, Kiddushin 75a), and since the Christian gospel writers were – as it is apparent - not welcome around the public offices anyway, even if they could investigate the records. There are many marvels about Scripture that prove that God is true. But the Gospels – and the ancient chronicles which the gospel writers relied upon – are far from complete.” I then proceeded to describe some of the flaws of the genealogy in Matthew's gospel, which are also apparent in the Old Testament records as we currently have them, and which I have just illustrated above. It is not that the records are to be accused of being wrong, it is only that they are obviously incomplete in many respects.

In Matthew's genealogy, there are 26 generations between David and Yahshua. It can be demonstrated that at least four generations are plainly missing, which are indeed listed in the records of the Old Testament (Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah and Jehoiakim). In Luke's genealogy, there are 41 generations listed between David and Yahshua, many more than Matthew's even if the apparently missing generations are supplied.

Two men are included in both genealogies, about halfway both in generations and in years between David and Yahshua Christ. These two men are Salathiel and his son Zorobabel, who led the first return from Babylon and who oversaw the building of the second temple at Jerusalem (cf. Ezra 3:2 and 5:2). In Matthew's genealogy, it is seen that Jeconiah (who is also called both Jehoiachin and Coniah in Scripture) is listed as the father of Salathiel. In Luke's genealogy, Neri (evidently the Greek form of the Hebrew name Neriah) is listed as Salathiel's father. After Zorobabel, the genealogies again diverge, to his son Abioud in Matthew, but to Resa in Luke. The Resa of Luke seems to be the Rephaiah who is a son of Zorobabel mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:21 and again in Nehemiah 3:9. Aside from these three, the ancestors of Christ as listed by Luke following the time of David and Nathan are virtually unknown anywhere in scripture. To add to the confusion, in the book of 1 Chronicles, at 3:16-17, Zorobabel is listed not as the son of Salathiel, but as the son of Pedaiah his brother.

Additionally, Jeconiah himself was cursed, where it says at Jeremiah 22:29-30: “29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD. 30 Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.”

There are many reasons which are often conjectured for the differences in Matthew's and Luke's genealogies. From the earliest Christian writers, debate has been made concerning the reasons for these differences, and a book could be written explaining all of them. It is also conjectured today in Christian Identity, as it had been in ancient times, that perhaps Matthew gives us Joseph's genealogy, while Luke really may have recorded that of Mary. This is of course alluring, and makes for an easy explanation, however it is not in any way supported by the manuscripts themselves.

We see in Mark chapter 12 an account also given in the other gospels: “18 And the Sadducees come to Him, who say there is not to be a resurrection, and they questioned Him saying: 19 'Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a brother of one should die and leaves a wife and should not leave a child, that his brother should take the wife and raise up offspring for his brother....'” This is a part of the laws of Kinsman Redemption which is evidenced in the history of the sons of Judah, and again in the redemption of Ruth by Boaz, the grandfather of David.

The only way in which it can be imagined, believing the texts of both genealogies as they are written, that both genealogies are true, is if Matthew's account is seen as explaining the official line of succession of the throne itself, but if Luke's account is seen as explaining the line of actual physical descent. The departures in the two genealogies can only be explained if on at least two occasions a man raised up seed for a brother who did not leave a male heir to succeed him, one just before the time of Zorobabel and another just before the time of Joseph. However, because the records from the two periods in which that must have happened are not available in Scripture, none of this is recorded. Any other theory that I have witnessed so far, which attempts to explain these differences, denies plain statements made in the gospels themselves, and cannot be explained by known Hebrew laws and customs.


Among the various manuscripts, there are several minor differences in the genealogy as it is listed here in Luke, which shall be published below in the notes for this presentation at Christogenea but which shall not be discussed here.

Other notes on the genealogy as it is listed in Luke chapter 3:

In verse 28, P4 has “Elmasam”; Codex A the MT “Elmodam”;Elmadam” in the text follows !, B, and 070.

In verse 31 Codex A wants “the son of Menna”; Codex A and the MT have “Nathan”; “Natham” in the text follows P4, א, and B.

In verse 32 the NA27 follows Codex A which has “Iobed”; Codex D has “Obel” while the MT has “Obed”; “Iobel” in the text follows א and B, in spite of the fact that the LXX has “Obed”, as does the English of the A.V.; for Boos the MT has “Booz”; the text follows א, A, B, and D. Also in verse 32 Codices A and D and the MT have “Salmon”; the text follows P4, א, and B.

From the beginning of verse 33, Codices A and D have “the son of Aminadab, the son of Aram, the son of Hesrom”; Codex B has “the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hesrom”; the NA27, following a 7th century revision of Codex א, and later mss. L 019 (8th c.), X 033 (10th c.), Γ 036 (10th c.), and others even later, has “the son of Aminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hesrom”; the text follows P4 and א. Also in verse 33, Codex A wants “the son of Phares”.

In verse 35, Codex A has “Phaleg” for “Phalek”.

In verse 36, P75 and Codex D want “the son of Kaïnam”; Codex A and the MT have “...the son of Kaïnan...”; the text follows Codices א and B.

In verse 37 Codex A has “Iareth”; Codex D and the MT have “Iared”. The text follows P4, P75, and Codices א and B. Also in verse 37, Codices A, B, D, and the MT have “Kaïnan”; see the note at v. 36. The text follows P75 and א.

The chronologies of Matthew and Luke:


































































































Ezra 3:2, 5:2










Resa appears to be the Rephaiah of 1 Chronicles 3:21 and Nehemiah 3:9




















































































Generations between David and Yahshua

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