VII. Confirmation by Nonbelievers and Hostile Eyewitnesses.

A. Satan cited Scripture as authoritative.


Matthew 4:6
and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: “He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, “In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.”‘ [Psalm 91:11, 12]

Luke 4:9-11

9Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10For it is written:
        “He shall give His angels charge over you,
        To keep you,’
11and,
        “In their hands they shall bear you up,
        Lest you dash your foot against a stone.”‘

 

Psalm 91:11-13

11For He shall give His angels charge over you,
        To keep you in all your ways.
        12In their hands they shall bear you up,
        Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
        13You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
        The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.



 

B. Many people witnessed the miracles and acts of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the prophets and apostles.


The apostle Paul, before Governor Festus and King Herod Agrippa II:

Acts 26:25-27
25But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. 26For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner. 27King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”


1.  The population of the children of
Israel during the Exodus.

Numbers 11:21
And Moses said, “The people whom I am among are six hundred thousand men on foot; yet You have said, “I will give them meat, that they may eat for a whole month.’

2.  Miraculous feeding of over 100 people.

2 Kings 4:42-44

42 Then a man came from Baal Shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley bread, and newly ripened grain in his knapsack. And he said, “Give it to the people, that they may eat.”
43But his servant said, “What? Shall I set this before one hundred men?”
He said again, “Give it to the people, that they may eat; for thus says the LORD: “They shall eat and have some left over.”‘ 44So he set it before them; and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the LORD.

 

3.  Miraculous feeding of over 5,000 people, plus healings.

 

Matthew 14:13-21

13 When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. 15When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”
16But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”
18He said, “Bring them here to Me.” 19Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. 20So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. 21Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

 

Mark 6:30-44

30 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
33But the multitudes [NU-Text and M-Text read they] saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him. 34And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. 35When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. 36Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; [NU-Text reads something to eat and omits the rest of this verse] for they have nothing to eat.”
37But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.”
And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”
38But He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
And when they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.”
39Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties. 41And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all. 42So they all ate and were filled. 43And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. 44Now those who had eaten the loaves were about [NU-Text and M-Text omit about] five thousand men.

 

Luke 9:10-17

10 And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing. 12When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.”
13But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.”
And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14For there were about five thousand men.
Then He said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.” 15And they did so, and made them all sit down.
16Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. 17So they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.

 

John 6:1-14

1 After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. 3And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.
4Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. 5Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” 6But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
7Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”
8One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9”There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”
10Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples [NU-Text omits to the disciples, and the disciples] to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

 

 

4.  Followed by the miraculous feeding of over 4000 people, plus healings.

 

Matthew 15:29-39

29 Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat down there. 30Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. 31So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel. 32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”
33Then His disciples said to Him, “Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?”
34Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?”
And they said, “Seven, and a few little fish.”
35So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. 36And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude. 37So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left. 38Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39And He sent away the multitude, got into the boat, and came to the region of Magdala. [NU-Text reads Magadan]

 

Mark 8:1-10

1 In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, 2”I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. 3And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.”
4Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?”
5He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?”
And they said, “Seven.”
6So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. 7They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them. 8So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments. 9Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away, 10immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

 

Matthew 16:9-11

9Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? 10Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? 11How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?--but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

 

 

5.  Regional healings involving great multitudes.

 

Matthew 4:23-25

23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. 24Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. 25Great multitudes followed Him--from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.

 

Mark 1:35-39

35 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. 36And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. 37When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”
38But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.”
39And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons.

 

Luke 4:42-44

42 Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them; 43but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” 44And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee. [NU-Text reads Judea]

 

Luke 6:17-19

17 And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, 18as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. 19And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.

Matthew 5:1
And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.

 

Matthew 8:1-4

1 When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. 2And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
3Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
4And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

 

Mark 1:40-45
40 Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”
41Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” 42As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. 43And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, 44and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
45However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction.

 

Luke 5:12-16

12 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
13Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him. 14And He charged him to tell no one, “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moses commanded.”
15However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

 


Matthew 8:18
And when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave a command to depart to the other side.


Matthew 9:8
Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled [NU-Text reads were afraid] and glorified God, who had given such power to men.


Matthew 9:24-26

24He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him. 25But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 26And the report of this went out into all that land.


Matthew 9:33
And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, “It was never seen like this in Israel!”


Matthew 9:36
But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary [NU-Text and M-Text read harassed] and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.


Matthew 11:7
As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?


Matthew 12:15
But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes [NU-Text brackets multitudes as disputed] followed Him, and He healed them all.


Matthew 12:23
And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”


Matthew 12:46
While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him.


Matthew 13:2
And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

 

Matthew 13:34
All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them,


Matthew 13:36
Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”


Matthew 14:5
And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.

 

Matthew 14:34-36

34 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of [NU-Text reads came to land at] Gennesaret. 35And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, 36and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.

Mark 6:53-56

53 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there. 54And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, 55ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was. 56Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.

 

Matthew 15:10-11

10When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

Mark 7:14-15
14When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 15There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.

 


Matthew 19:2
And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there.


Matthew 20:29
Now as they went out of Jericho, a great multitude followed Him.


Matthew 20:31
Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”

 

Matthew 21:8-10

8And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
        “Hosanna to the Son of David!
        “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’  [Psalm 118:26]
        Hosanna in the highest!”
10And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”

 

Matthew 23:39
for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!”‘ [Psalm 118:26]

 

Mark 11:9
Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ [Psalm 118:26]

 

Luke 13:35
See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, [NU-Text and M-Text omit assuredly] I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!”‘ [Psalm 118:26]

 

Luke 19:38
saying: ““Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’ [Psalm 118:26] Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

 

John 12:13
took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ [Psalm 118:26] The King of Israel!”

 

Psalm 118:26
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.

 

Matthew 21:11
So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”


Matthew 21:26
But if we say, “From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.”


Matthew 21:46
But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.


Matthew 22:33
And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.


Matthew 23:1
Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples,

 

Mark 2:3-5

3Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 4And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
5When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”


Mark 2:13
Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them.


Mark 3:7-9

7 But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea 8and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him. 9So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him.


Mark 3:20
Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.


Mark 3:32
And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers [NU-Text and M-Text add and Your sisters] are outside seeking You.”


Mark 4:1
And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea.


Mark 4:36
Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him.

 

Mark 5:21
Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea.

 

Mark 5:24
So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.

 

Mark 5:25-26

25Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”

 

Mark 5:29-31

29Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”
31But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, “Who touched Me?”‘

 

Mark 7:32-34

32Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him. 33And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. 34Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”

 

Mark 10:1
Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And multitudes gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again.

 

Mark 10:46
Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging.

 

Mark 12:12
And they sought to lay hands on Him, but feared the multitude, for they knew He had spoken the parable against them. So they left Him and went away.

 

Luke 5:1
So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the
Lake of Gennesaret,


Luke 5:3
Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.


Luke 5:15
However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities.

 

Luke 5:18-20

18Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him. 19And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus.
20When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”

 

Luke 6:17-19

17 And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, 18as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. 19And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.

 

Luke 7:8-10

8For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, “Go,’ and he goes; and to another, “Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, “Do this,’ and he does it.”
9When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” 10And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick. [NU-Text omits who had been sick]


Luke 7:24
When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?


Luke 8:4
And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable:


Luke 8:37
Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes [Spelled Rephaiah in 9:43] asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.


Luke 8:40
So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him.


Luke 8:42
for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him.


Luke 8:45
And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him [NU-Text omits and those with him] said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, “Who touched Me?”‘ [NU-Text omits and You say, “Who touched Me?” ]


Luke 11:14
And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. So it was, when the demon had gone out, that the mute spoke; and the multitudes marveled.


Luke 12:1
In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.


Luke 12:54
Then He also said to the multitudes, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, “A shower is coming’; and so it is.

 
Luke 13:17
And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.


Luke 14:25
Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them,


Luke 18:36
And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant.


Luke 19:37
Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen,


Luke 23:27
And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him.


John 5:3
In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.


John 5:13
But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.

 

John 6:2
Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.


John 6:5
Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?”


John 12:12
The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,

 

6.  Jesus exorcises a man with an unclean demon, spreading fame.


Mark 1:21-28
21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. 22And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
23Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are--the Holy One of God!”
25But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority [NU-Text reads What is this? A new doctrine with authority] He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” 28And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.

 

Luke 4:31-37

31 Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. 32And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority. 33Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, 34saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are--the Holy One of God!”
35But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him. 36Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” 37And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

 


7.  A great multitude witnesses the healing of the epileptic.


Matthew 17:14-21

14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15”Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic [Literally moonstruck] and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
17Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
19Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
20So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; [NU-Text reads little faith. ] for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” [NU-Text omits this verse]

Mark 9:14-29

14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”
17Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
19He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 20Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
21So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. 22And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, [NU-Text reads “If You can!” All things ...”] all things are possible to him who believes.”
24Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
25When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” [NU-Text omits and fasting]

Luke 9:37-42

37 Now it happened on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, that a great multitude met Him. 38Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, “Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child. 39And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth; and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him. 40So I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.”
41Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42And as he was still coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him. Then Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father.

 

 


8.  Acknowledgement of Lazarus’ resurrection; a great multitude praises Jesus when He enters
Jerusalem.


John 12:1-19

1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, [NU-Text omits who had been dead] whom He had raised from the dead. 2There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
4But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5”Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii [About one year’s wages for a worker] and given to the poor?” 6This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.
7But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept [NU-Text reads that she may keep] this for the day of My burial. 8For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”

9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:
        “Hosanna!
        “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ [Psalm 118:26]
        The King of Israel!”

14Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:
        15”Fear not, daughter of Zion;
        Behold, your King is coming,
        Sitting on a donkey’s colt.” [Zechariah 9:9]

16His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.
17Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. 18For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. 19The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!”

 

Matthew 21:9
Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ [Psalm 118:26] Hosanna in the highest!”

 

 Mark 11:9
Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ [Psalm 118:26]

 

Luke 13:35
See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, [NU-Text and M-Text omit assuredly] I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!”‘ [Psalm 118:26]

 

Luke 19:38
saying: ““Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’ [Psalm 118:26] Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

 

Matthew 21:5
“Tell the daughter of
Zion, “Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.”‘ [Zechariah 9:9]

 

Psalm 118:26
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.


Zechariah 9:9
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.



9.  Approximately 120 disciples, post-Resurrection.


Acts 1:15
And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples [NU-Text reads brethren] (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said,



10.  Approximately 3000 people become Christians, post-Resurrection.


Acts 2:6
And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.


Acts 2:41
Then those who gladly [NU-Text omits gladly] received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.



 
11.  Over 5000 people become Christians, post-Resurrection.

 

Acts 4:4
However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

 

Acts 5:14-16

14And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

 

Acts 6:7
Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.


Acts 8:6
And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.


Acts 9:31

Then the churches [NU-Text reads church ... was edified] throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.


Acts 13:45
But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.



12.  The ministry of Paul and Barnabas adds multitudes of believers.


Acts 14:1
Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed.


Acts 15:12
Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles.


Acts 19:19
Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.



13.  Over 500 witnesses to the resurrected Christ.


1 Corinthians 15:1-28

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.
3For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
9For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

 12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up--if in fact the dead do not rise. 16For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
 
20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27For “He has put all things under His feet.” [Psalm 8:6] But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

 

See also

Dr. Phil Fernandes.  “The Creed of 1 Corinthians 15:3-8:  Ancient Evidence for Christ’s Resurrection,”

http://www.biblicaldefense.org/Research_Center/Journals/Vol1No8/vol1no8-1.htm


C. The truthfulness of the testimony of the prophets and the apostles were confirmed by adversaries with the means, motive, and opportunity to refute them.

Webster’s College Dictionary:

                Mean(3), “n. 1. Usu. Means, an agency, instrument, or method used to attain an end.  2.  Means, a. available resources, esp. money. B. considerable financial resources: a person of means.”

                Motive: “n. 1. Something that causes a person to act in a certain way, do a certain thing, etc.; incentive.  2. The goal or object of a person’s actions: Her motive was revenge.”

                Opportunity: “n. 1. An appropriate or favorable time or occasion.  2. A situation or condition favorable for attainment of a goal.  3. A good position, chance, or prospect, as for success.”

The Bible provides examples of individuals, and groups of individuals, with the means, motive and opportunity to refute oral and written testimony of the historical records.  These records circulated throughout the Middle East, as the Apostles sought to spread the Gospel, the “good news,” of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 28:18-20
18And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19Go therefore [M-Text omits therefore. ] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. [NU-Text omits Amen]

Mark 16:14-18

14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18they [NU-Text reads and in their hands they will] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Luke 24:36-49

36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” 37But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
40When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet [Some printed New Testaments omit this verse. It is found in nearly all Greek manuscripts] 41But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. [NU-Text omits and some honeycomb] 43And He took it and ate in their presence.
 44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
46Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise [NU-Text reads written, that the Christ should suffer and rise. ] from the dead the third day, 47and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48And you are witnesses of these things. 49Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem [NU-Text omits of Jerusalem] until you are endued with power from on high.”

John 20:19-23

19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, [NU-Text omits assembled] for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
21So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Acts 1:6-8

6Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to [NU-Text reads My witnesses] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”


Mark 13:10
And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.


Romans 16:26
but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith--


Colossians 4:16
Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.


1 Thessalonians 5:27
I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy [NU-Text omits holy] brethren.


Revelation 1:3
Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

 

These eyewitness accounts, circulating throughout the region--and ultimately, the world--gave opponents the opportunity to refute those accounts.  The following is a list of kings, rulers and other authorities with the means, motive and opportunity to correct what was said about them, their nation, or any historical account with which they were involved.  As it turns out, no correction was necessary.  The authors of the Biblical accounts told the truth.

 

1.        Pharoah Siamon (Unnamed in 1 Kings) and Queen Tahpenes.  Contemporary of King Solomon.


Under the article titled “Egypt”, Encyclopedia Britannica notes that “During David’s reign, Philistia served as a buffer between Egypt and Israel; but upon David’s death the next to the last king of the 21st dynasty, Siamon, invaded Philistia and captured  Gezer  . If Egypt had any intention of attacking Israel, Solomon’s power forestalled Siamon, who presented Gezer to Israel as a dowry in the diplomatic marriage of his daughter to Solomon. This is indicative of the reversal of Egypt’s status in foreign affairs since the time of Amenhotep III, who had written the Babylonian king, ‘From of old, a daughter of the king of Egypt has not been given to anyone.’”


1 Kings 3:1
Now Solomon made a treaty with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and married Pharaoh’s daughter; then he brought her to the City of David until he had finished building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall all around Jerusalem.


1 Kings 11:17-20

17that Hadad fled to go to Egypt, he and certain Edomites of his father’s servants with him. Hadad was still a little child. 18Then they arose from Midian and came to Paran; and they took men with them from Paran and came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house, apportioned food for him, and gave him land. 19And Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him as wife the sister of his own wife, that is, the sister of Queen Tahpenes. 20Then the sister of Tahpenes bore him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house. And Genubath was in Pharaoh’s household among the sons of Pharaoh.

 

2.        Pharoah Sheshonk I/Shishak.  Contemporary of King Rehoboam.  Also spelled Shoshenq, or Shishak,  first king (reigned 945–924 BC) of the 22nd dynasty of Egypt.  Flourished 10th century BC


Encyclopedia Britannica
notes “Sheshonk came from a line of princes or sheikhs of Libyan tribal descent whose title was “great chief of the Meshwesh” and who appear to have settled in Heracleopolis in Middle Egypt, although another tradition placed the line in Bubastis in the eastern Nile River delta. Sheshonk probably ascended the throne without a struggle, making Bubastis his residence and marrying his son Osorkon to a daughter of Psusennes II, the last king of the previous dynasty.

“According to the Old Testament, “Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem” (1 Kings 14:25–26) in about 930 BC in support of Jeroboam, the pretender who challenged the right of Solomon’s son Rehoboam to succeed to the Israelite throne. Sheshonk’s victories in Palestine were celebrated by reliefs and inscriptions at Karnak. Although the biblical account reported the looting of the palace and Temple, the name Jerusalem did not survive in the Egyptian record. A fragment bearing Sheshonk’s name was found at Megiddo.”


1 Kings 14:25-26

25It happened in the fifth year of King Rehoboam that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. 26And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s house; he took away everything. He also took away all the gold shields which Solomon had made.

 

3.        Pharoah Shabaka (Unnamed in 2 Kings). Contemporary of the prophet Isaish, King Hezekiah flourished , late 8th and early 7th centuries BC.  Hebrew Hizqiyya, Greek Ezekias son of Ahaz, and the 13th successor of David as king of Judah at Jerusalem. The dates of his reign are often given as about 715 to about 686 BC, but inconsistencies in biblical and Assyrian cuneiform records have yielded a wide range of possible dates.


In the article titled “Nubia,” Encyclopedia Britannica reports “The Cushite ruler  Shabaka  succeeded Piankhi and conquered all of Egypt in about 715 BC, ending the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th dynasties. Moving his capital to Memphis, he founded Egypt’s 25th dynasty, which is called Cushite in the king lists. In 701 BC Shabaka backed the Hebrew king Hezekiah’s revolt against  Assyria  . The Assyrian king Sennacherib marched into Palestine and defeated an Egypto-Cushite unit at Eltekeh but failed to take Jerusalem, as Prince  Taharqa  appeared with reinforcements. Peace between Egypt and Assyria followed until the Assyrian king Esarhaddon began aggressive movements in Palestine. An attempted invasion of Egypt in 674 BC failed, but in 671 the Assyrians succeeded and expelled Taharqa from Memphis. Taharqa intermittently reoccupied Egypt, but in 663 BC the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal drove him and his successor Tanutamon out, sacking Thebes. The Assyrians appointed the Saite princes as governors of Egypt, and by 656 BC the Saite prince Psamtik I had both gained Egypt’s independence from Assyria and secured Upper Egypt against Cushite designs.”

Isaiah 36:6
Look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.

2 Kings 18:21
Now look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.

 

 


4.
        Tirhakah, King of Ethiopia.  Contemporary of King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah.


The article at http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/tirhakah.html reports that Tirhakah was “the last king of Egypt of the Ethiopian (the fifteenth) dynasty. He was the brother-in-law of So (q.v.). He probably ascended the throne about B.C. 692, having been previously king of Ethiopia (2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 37:9), which with Egypt now formed one nation. He was a great warrior, and but little is known of him. The Assyrian armies under Esarhaddon, and again under Assur-bani-pal, invaded Egypt and defeated Tirhakah, who afterwards retired into Ethiopia, where he died, after reigning twenty-six years.”

Isaiah 37:9
And the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, “He has come out to make war with you.” So when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,

2 Kings 19:9
And the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, “Look, he has come out to make war with you.” So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,

 


5.
        Pharoah So.  Contemporary of Ahaz king of Judah and Hoshea, son of Elah and king of Israel in Samaria.


The article at  http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/so.html discusses So (Nubian, Sabako) as “an Ethiopian king who brought Egypt under his sway.


“He was bribed by Hoshea to help him against the Assyrian monarch Shalmaneser (2 Kings 17:4). This was a return to the policy that had been successful in the reign of Jeroboam I.”


2 Kings 17:4
And the king of Assyria uncovered a conspiracy by Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, and brought no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison.

 

6.        Pharoah Necho II.  Contemporary of Josiah, king of Judah, Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Michaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and the prophet Jeremiah.  Flourished 7th century BC


Encyclopedia Britannica
reports that Necho II was “king of Egypt (reigned 610–595 BC), and a member of the 26th dynasty, who unsuccessfully attempted to aid Assyria against the Neo-Babylonians and later sponsored an expedition that circumnavigated Africa.

“According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Necho began the construction of a canal from the Nile River to the Red Sea, probably in response to the growth of trade in the Egyptian Delta, but an oracle persuaded him to discontinue the project. A threat developed in Mesopotamia, where the Assyrian Empire was falling to the Babylonians. Necho ordered fleets to be built on the Mediterranean and Red seas, and with them he undertook a Syrian campaign in 608 BC to assist the battered Assyrian armies. When Josiah, king of Judah and an ally of the Neo-Babylonians, was slain in battle at Megiddo, Necho replaced Josiah’s chosen successor with his own nominee and imposed tribute on Judah. In 606 the Egyptians routed the Neo-Babylonians, but at the great Battle of Carchemish (a Syrian city on the middle Euphrates River) in 605 the Neo-Babylonian crown prince, Nebuchadrezzar, soundly defeated Necho’s troops and forced their withdrawal from Syria and Palestine. Egypt itself was threatened in 601, but Necho repelled the enemy and continued to promote anti-Babylonian coalitions in Syria and Palestine.

“Herodotus also reports that Necho sent an expedition to circumnavigate Africa. His navigators apparently accomplished the feat, for they reported that, after a certain point in their voyage, the sun lay to their right (i.e., northward), as they sailed around southern Africa.”


2 Kings 23:29
In his days Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went to the aid of the king of Assyria, to the River Euphrates; and King Josiah went against him. And Pharaoh Necho killed him at Megiddo when he confronted him.

 
2 Chronicles 35:20-27

20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him. 21But he sent messengers to him, saying, “What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, but against the house with which I have war; for God commanded me to make haste. Refrain from meddling with God, who is with me, lest He destroy you.” 22Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself so that he might fight with him, and did not heed the words of Necho from the mouth of God. So he came to fight in the Valley of Megiddo.
23And the archers shot King Josiah; and the king said to his servants, “Take me away, for I am severely wounded.” 24His servants therefore took him out of that chariot and put him in the second chariot that he had, and they brought him to Jerusalem. So he died, and was buried in one of the tombs of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.
25Jeremiah also lamented for Josiah. And to this day all the singing men and the singing women speak of Josiah in their lamentations. They made it a custom in Israel; and indeed they are written in the Laments.
26Now the rest of the acts of Josiah and his goodness, according to what was written in the Law of the LORD, 27and his deeds from first to last, indeed they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.

 

Jeremiah 46:1-27

The word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the nations. 2Against Egypt.
Concerning the army of Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt, which was by the River Euphrates in Carchemish, and which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:
        3”Order the buckler and shield,
        And draw near to battle!
        4Harness the horses,
        And mount up, you horsemen!
        Stand forth with your helmets,
        Polish the spears,
        Put on the armor!
        5Why have I seen them dismayed and turned back?
        Their mighty ones are beaten down;
        They have speedily fled,
        And did not look back,
        For fear was all around,” says the LORD.
        6”Do not let the swift flee away,
        Nor the mighty man escape;
        They will stumble and fall
        Toward the north, by the River Euphrates.
        7”Who is this coming up like a flood,
        Whose waters move like the rivers?
        8Egypt rises up like a flood,
        And its waters move like the rivers;
        And he says, “I will go up and cover the earth,
        I will destroy the city and its inhabitants.’
        9Come up, O horses, and rage, O chariots!
        And let the mighty men come forth:
        The Ethiopians and the Libyans who handle the shield,
        And the Lydians who handle and bend the bow.
        10For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts,
        A day of vengeance,
        That He may avenge Himself on His adversaries.
        The sword shall devour;
        It shall be satiated and made drunk with their blood;
        For the Lord GOD of hosts has a sacrifice
        In the north country by the River Euphrates.
        11”Go up to Gilead and take balm,
        O virgin, the daughter of Egypt;
        In vain you will use many medicines;
        You shall not be cured.
        12The nations have heard of your shame,
        And your cry has filled the land;
        For the mighty man has stumbled against the mighty;
        They both have fallen together.”
 
13 The word that the LORD spoke to Jeremiah the prophet, how Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon would come and strike the land of Egypt.
        14”Declare in Egypt, and proclaim in Migdol;
        Proclaim in Noph [That is, ancient Memphis] and in Tahpanhes;
        Say, “Stand fast and prepare yourselves,
        For the sword devours all around you.’
        15Why are your valiant men swept away?
        They did not stand
        Because the LORD drove them away.
        16He made many fall;
        Yes, one fell upon another.
        And they said, “Arise!
        Let us go back to our own people
        And to the land of our nativity
        From the oppressing sword.’
        17They cried there,
        “Pharaoh, king of Egypt, is but a noise.
        He has passed by the appointed time!’
        18”As I live,” says the King,
        Whose name is the LORD of hosts,
        “Surely as Tabor is among the mountains
        And as Carmel by the sea, so he shall come.
        19O you daughter dwelling in Egypt,
        Prepare yourself to go into captivity!
        For Noph [That is, ancient Memphis] shall be waste and desolate, without inhabitant.
        20Egypt is a very pretty heifer,
        But destruction comes, it comes from the north.
        21Also her mercenaries are in her midst like fat bulls,
        For they also are turned back,
        They have fled away together.
        They did not stand,
        For the day of their calamity had come upon them,
        The time of their punishment.
        22Her noise shall go like a serpent,
        For they shall march with an army
        And come against her with axes,
        Like those who chop wood.
        23”They shall cut down her forest,” says the LORD,
        “Though it cannot be searched,
        Because they are innumerable,
        And more numerous than grasshoppers.
        24The daughter of Egypt shall be ashamed;
        She shall be delivered into the hand
        Of the people of the north.”
25The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, says: “Behold, I will bring punishment on Amon [A sun god] of No [That is, ancient Thebes and Pharaoh and Egypt], with their gods and their kings--Pharaoh and those who trust in him. 26And I will deliver them into the hand of those who seek their lives, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the hand of his servants. Afterward it shall be inhabited as in the days of old,” says the LORD.
   27 “But do not fear, O My servant Jacob,
        And do not be dismayed, O Israel!
        For behold, I will save you from afar,
        And your offspring from the land of their captivity;
        Jacob shall return, have rest and be at ease;
        No one shall make him afraid.


Jeremiah 30:10-11

10”Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,’ says the LORD,
        “Nor be dismayed, O Israel;
        For behold, I will save you from afar,
        And your seed from the land of their captivity.
        Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet,
        And no one shall make him afraid.
        11For I am with you,’ says the LORD, “to save you;
        Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you,
        Yet I will not make a complete end of you.
        But I will correct you in justice,
        And will not let you go altogether unpunished.’

 

7.        Pharoah Apries/Hophra.  Contemporary of Zedekiah, king of Judah, and the prophet Jeremiah.  Also spelled Ouaphris,  Egyptian Haaibra Wahibra,  Hebrew Hophra fourth king (reigned 589–570 BC.) of the 26th dynasty of Egypt; he succeeded his father, Psamtik II.  Died 567 BC.


Encyclopedia Britannica
reports “Apries failed to help his ally King Zedekiah of Judah against Babylon, but after the fall of Jerusalem he received many Jewish refugees into Egypt. Later he took the Phoenician port of Sidon, but, because of his subsequent failure in an attack on Cyrene in Libya, the Egyptian army mutinied and elected their general Ahmose as king instead (570). Apries was imprisoned but escaped; he later was murdered, perhaps by Egyptians.”


Jeremiah 37:5-12

5Then Pharaoh’s army came up from Egypt; and when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news of them, they departed from Jerusalem.
6Then the word of the LORD came to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 7”Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, “Thus you shall say to the king of Judah, who sent you to Me to inquire of Me: “Behold, Pharaoh’s army which has come up to help you will return to Egypt, to their own land. 8And the Chaldeans shall come back and fight against this city, and take it and burn it with fire.”‘ 9Thus says the LORD: “Do not deceive yourselves, saying, “The Chaldeans will surely depart from us,” for they will not depart. 10For though you had defeated the whole army of the Chaldeans who fight against you, and there remained only wounded men among them, they would rise up, every man in his tent, and burn the city with fire.”‘
11 And it happened, when the army of the Chaldeans left the siege of Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh’s army, 12that Jeremiah went out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin to claim his property there among the people.


Jeremiah 44:30
“Thus says the LORD: “Behold, I will give Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies and into the hand of those who seek his life, as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, his enemy who sought his life.”

 

8.       Naaman, Syrian commander.  Meaning: pleasantness.

At http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/naaman.html, the article notes Naaman was “a Syrian, the commander of the armies of Benhadad II in the time of Joram, king of Israel.


“He was afflicted with leprosy; and when the little Hebrew slave-girl that waited on his wife told her of a prophet in Samaria who could cure her master, he obtained a letter from Benhadad and proceeded with it to Joram. The king of Israel suspected in this some evil design against him, and rent his clothes. Elisha the prophet hearing of this, sent for Naaman, and the strange interview which took place is recorded in 2 Kings 5. The narrative contains all that is known of the Syrian commander. He was cured of his leprosy by dipping himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of Elisha. His cure is alluded to by our Lord (Luke 4:27).”


2 Kings 5:1-19

1 Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. 2And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. 3Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.” 4And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, “Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel.
5Then the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.”
So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. 6Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said,

Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy.

7And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me.”
8So it was, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”
9Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house. 10And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” 11But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, “He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’ 12Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. 13And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, “Wash, and be clean’?” 14So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
15And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.”
16But he said, “As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing.” And he urged him to take it, but he refused.
17So Naaman said, “Then, if not, please let your servant be given two mule-loads of earth; for your servant will no longer offer either burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD. 18Yet in this thing may the LORD pardon your servant: when my master goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon--when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the LORD please pardon your servant in this thing.”
19Then he said to him, “Go in peace.” So he departed from him a short distance.


Luke 4:27
And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”

 


9.
       Nebuchadnezzar/Nebuchadrezzar II, King of Neo-Babylonian Empire (605 – 562 B.C.)   Contemporary of King Zedekiah, Pharaoh Necho, Jehoiachin, and the prophets Jeremiah and Daniel.


The biography in Encyclopedia Britannica, written by Henry W.F. Saggs, reports that Nebuchadrezzar II was “the second and greatest king of the Chaldean dynasty of Babylonia (reigned c. 605–c. 561 BC). He was known for his military might, the splendour of his capital, Babylon, and his important part in Jewish history.


“Nebuchadrezzar II was the oldest son and successor of Nabopolassar, founder of the Chaldean empire. He is known from cuneiform inscriptions, the Bible and later Jewish sources, and classical authors. His name, from the Akkadian Nabu-kudurri-usur, means “O Nabu, watch over my heir.”


“While his father disclaimed royal descent, Nebuchadrezzar claimed the third-millennium Akkadian ruler Naram-Sin as ancestor. The year of his birth is uncertain, but it is not likely to have been before 630 BC, for according to tradition Nebuchadrezzar began his military career as a young man, appearing as a military administrator by 610. He is first mentioned by his father as working as a labourer in the restoration of the temple of Marduk, the chief god of the city of Babylon and the national god of Babylonia.


“In 607/606, as crown prince, Nebuchadrezzar commanded an army with his father in the mountains north of Assyria , subsequently leading independent operations after Nabopolassar’s return to Babylon. After a Babylonian reverse at the hands of Egypt in 606/605, he served as commander in chief in his father’s place and by brilliant generalship shattered the Egyptian army at Carchemish and Hamath, thereby securing control of all Syria. After his father’s death on Aug. 16, 605, Nebuchadrezzar returned to Babylon and ascended the throne within three weeks. This rapid consolidation of his accession and the fact that he could return to Syria shortly afterward reflected his strong grip on the empire.


“On expeditions in Syria and Palestine from June to December of 604, Nebuchadrezzar received the submission of local states, including Judah , and captured the city of Ashkelon. With Greek mercenaries in his armies, further campaigns to extend Babylonian control in Palestine followed in the three succeeding years. On the last occasion (601/600), Nebuchadrezzar clashed with an Egyptian army, with heavy losses; this reverse was followed by the defection of certain vassal states, Judah among them. This brought an intermission in the series of annual campaigns in 600/599, while Nebuchadrezzar remained in Babylonia repairing his losses of chariots. Measures to regain control were resumed at the end of 599/598 (December to March). Nebuchadrezzar’s strategic planning appeared in his attack on the Arab tribes of northwestern Arabia, in preparation for the occupation of Judah. He attacked Judah a year later and captured Jerusalem on March 16, 597, deporting King Jehoiachin to Babylon. After a further brief Syrian campaign in 596/595, Nebuchadrezzar had to act in eastern Babylonia to repel a threatened invasion, probably from Elam (modern southwestern Iran). Tensions in Babylonia were revealed by a rebellion late in 595/594 involving elements of the army, but he was able to put this down decisively enough to undertake two further campaigns in Syria during 594.


“Nebuchadrezzar’s further military activities are known not from extant chronicles but from other sources, particularly the Bible, which records another attack on Jerusalem and a siege of Tyre (lasting 13 years, according to the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus) and hints at an invasion of Egypt. The siege of Jerusalem ended in its capture in 587/586 and in the deportation of prominent citizens, with a further deportation in 582. In this respect he followed the methods of his Assyrian predecessors.


“Much influenced by the Assyrian imperial tradition, Nebuchadrezzar consciously pursued a policy of expansion, claiming the grant of universal kingship by Marduk and praying to have “no opponent from horizon to sky.” From cuneiform fragments he is known to have attempted the invasion of Egypt, the culmination of his expansionist policy, in 568/567.


“In addition to being a brilliant tactician and strategist, Nebuchadrezzar was also prominent in international diplomacy, as shown in his sending an ambassador (probably Nabonidus, a successor) to mediate between the Medes and Lydians in Asia Minor. He died about 561 and was succeeded by his son Awil-Marduk (Evil-Merodach of 2 Kings).

“Nebuchadrezzar’s main activity, other than as military commander, was the rebuilding of Babylon. He completed and extended fortifications begun by his father, built a great moat and a new outer defense wall, paved the ceremonial Processional Way with limestone, rebuilt and embellished the principal temples, and cut canals. This he did not only for his own glorification but also in honour of the gods. He claimed to be “the one who set in the mouth of the people reverence for the great gods” and disparaged predecessors who had built palaces elsewhere than at Babylon and had only journeyed there for the New Year Feast.


“Little is known of his family life beyond the tradition that he married a Median princess, whose yearning for her native terrain he sought to ease by creating gardens simulating hills. A structure representing these hanging gardens cannot be positively identified in either the cuneiform texts or the archaeological remains.


“Despite the fateful part he played in Judah’s history, Nebuchadrezzar is seen in Jewish tradition in a predominantly favourable light. It was claimed that he gave orders for the protection of Jeremiah , who regarded him as God’s appointed instrument whom it was impiety to disobey, and the prophet Ezekiel expressed a similar view at the attack on Tyre. A corresponding attitude to Nebuchadrezzar, as God’s instrument against wrongdoers, occurs in the Apocrypha in 1 Esdras and, as protector to be prayed for, in Baruch. In Daniel (Old Testament) and in Bel and the Dragon (Apocrypha), Nebuchadrezzar appears as a man, initially deceived by bad advisers, who welcomes the situation in which truth is triumphant and God is vindicated.


“There is no independent support for the tradition in Daniel of Nebuchadrezzar’s seven years’ madness, and the story probably arose from a fanciful later interpretation of texts concerned with events under Nabonidus, who showed apparent eccentricity in deserting Babylon for a decade to live in Arabia.


“In modern times Nebuchadrezzar has been treated as the type of godless conqueror; Napoleon was compared to him. The story of Nebuchadrezzar is the basis of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Nabucco, while his supposed madness is the theme of William Blake’s picture Nebuchadnezzar.


Though expressing doubt in the account of Nebuchadrezzar’s madness, Saggs fails to consider Nebuchadrezzar, his contemporaries and his successors had the means, motive, and opportunity to correct Daniel’s account had it been in error.

 

Jeremiah 39:5-7

5But the Chaldean army pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. And when they had captured him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he pronounced judgment on him. 6Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes in Riblah; the king of Babylon also killed all the nobles of Judah. 7Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him with bronze fetters to carry him off to Babylon.

Jeremiah 52:9-11

9So they took the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he pronounced judgment on him. 10Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. And he killed all the princes of Judah in Riblah. 11He also put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in bronze fetters, took him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.

 

Jeremiah 46:1-3

1 The word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the nations. 2Against Egypt.
Concerning the army of Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt, which was by the River Euphrates in Carchemish, and which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:
        3”Order the buckler and shield,
        And draw near to battle!

 

2 Kings 24:11-13

11And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, as his servants were besieging it. 12Then Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his servants, his princes, and his officers went out to the king of Babylon; and the king of Babylon, in the eighth year of his reign, took him prisoner.
13 And he carried out from there all the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s house, and he cut in pieces all the articles of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said.

 

Daniel 1:1-3

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.
3Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles,

 

Daniel’s prophecy of the four great empires, of which Nebuchadnezzar is the first.


Daniel 2:26-48

26The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?”
27Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. 28But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these: 29As for you, O king, thoughts came to your mind while on your bed, about what would come to pass after this; and He who reveals secrets has made known to you what will be. 30But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but for our sakes who make known the interpretation to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart.
31”You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. 32This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs [Or sides] of bronze, 33its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. [Or baked clay, and so in verses 34, 35, and 42] 34You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
36”This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. 37You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; 38and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all--you are this head of gold. 39But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. 41Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. 42And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. 43As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. 45Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold--the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.”

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel, and commanded that they should present an offering and incense to him. 47The king answered Daniel, and said, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.” 48Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon.


The madness of Nebuchadnezzar.


Daniel 4:28-37

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. 30The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”
31While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! 32And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”
33That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
34 And at the end of the time [Literally days] I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:
        For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
        And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
        35All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
        He does according to His will in the army of heaven
        And among the inhabitants of the earth.
        No one can restrain His hand
        Or say to Him, “What have You done?”

36At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. 37Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

 

Ezekiel 26:7
“For thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar [Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, and so elsewhere in this book] king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses, with chariots, and with horsemen, and an army with many people.

 

10.    Herod Antipas the tetrarch, ruler of Galilee and Perea.  (4 B.C. – A.D. 39)


The Encyclopedia Britannica notes that Herod Antipas was “the son of Herod I the Great who became tetrarch of Galilee and ruled throughout Jesus of Nazareth’s ministry.


“Around 4 BC Herod Antipas inherited part of his father’s kingdom after the Roman emperor Augustus had adjusted his father’s will. He restored the damage caused in the period between his father’s death and the approval of the will, restoring two towns, one of which he renamed in honour of the Roman imperial family.


He divorced his Nabataean wife, daughter of the king of the desert kingdom adjoining his own, to marry Herodias , formerly the wife of his half brother. The marriage offended his former father-in-law and alienated his Jewish subjects. When John the Baptist , one of his subjects, reproached Herod for this marriage, Herodias goaded her husband into imprisoning him. Still unmollified, she inveigled her daughter, Salome, to ask for the Baptist’s head in return for dancing at her stepfather’s birthday feast. Antipas reluctantly beheaded John, and later, when Jesus’ miracles were reported to him, he believed that John the Baptist had been resurrected. When Jesus was arrested in Jerusalem, Pilate, the Roman procurator of Judaea, first sent him to Antipas, who was spending Passover in the capital, because Jesus came from Antipas’ realm. The Tetrarch was eager to see Jesus, expecting more miracles, but soon returned him to Pilate, unwilling to pass judgment.


Some time earlier, Antipas had built the city of Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, partly modelling it after a Greek city, but though he erected statues in the Greek manner in his palace, his coins bore no images. He also encouraged the Herodians, well-to-do Jews who supported him and were tolerant of Roman authority.


Herod’s closeness to the imperial family resulted in his choice as a mediator in the Roman–Parthian talks of 36. To his credit the conference was a success, but Antipas’ haste to report the news to Rome aroused the hostility of Aulus Vitellius, legate of Syria, later emperor. Around 37, the Nabataean king Aretas IV, whose daughter Antipas had repudiated, attacked Herod’s realm, inflicting severe damage. When the Tetrarch appealed to Rome, the Emperor sent Vitellius, who, still nursing his resentment, availed himself of every possible delay. After Caligula became emperor in 37, Herodias, envious of her brother Agrippa I’s success, persuaded her husband to denounce him before the Emperor, but the intended victim, Caligula’s close friend, anticipated Antipas and levied charges, partially true, against him. Caligula banished Antipas to Gaul, where Herodias accompanied him, and her brother added the tetrarchy to his domains.”


Luke 3:1-3

1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, [NU-Text and M-Text read in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas] the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,

 

Luke 3:18-20

18And with many other exhortations he preached to the people. 19But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, [NU-Text reads his brother’s wife] and for all the evils which Herod had done, 20also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison.

 

 

Matthew 14:1-3

1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus 2and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.” 3For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife.

Mark 6:14-29

14 Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known. And he said, “John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.”
15Others said, “It is Elijah.”
And others said, “It is the Prophet, or [NU-Text and M-Text omit or] like one of the prophets.”
16But when Herod heard, he said, “This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!” 17For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. 18Because John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
19Therefore Herodias held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not; 20for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
21Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. 22And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.” 23He also swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”
24So she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?”
And she said, “The head of John the Baptist!”
25Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
26And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. 27Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison, 28brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29When his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corpse and laid it in a tomb.

Luke 9:7-9

7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him; and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead, 8and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again. 9Herod said, “John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I hear such things?” So he sought to see Him.

 


Luke 23:7-12

7And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. 8Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. 9Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. 10And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. 11Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. 12That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.


Acts 13:1
Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

 

11.    The Jewish Authorities.


The New Testament accounts name them as “chief priests,” “scribes,” “elders of the people,” “the council,” “rulers of the synagogue,” “leaders of the people,” among other titles.

 

Matthew 3:1-12

1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” 3For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
        “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
        “Prepare the way of the LORD;
        Make His paths straight.”‘ [Isaiah 40:3]
4Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him 6and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9and do not think to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. [M-Text omits and fire] 12His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

John 1:19
Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”


See also Mark 1:1-8; Luke 3:1-20.

 

Matthew 9:18-26

18 While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.” 19So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples.
20And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. 21For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” 22But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.
23When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, 24He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him. 25But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 26And the report of this went out into all that land.

Mark 5:21-43

21 Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea. 22And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” 24So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.
25Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”
29Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”
31But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, “Who touched Me?”‘
32And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
35While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”
36As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 37And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. 38Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.”
40And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. 41Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. 43But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat.

Luke 8:40-56

40 So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him. 41And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house, 42for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying.
But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. 43Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.
45And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”
When all denied it, Peter and those with him [NU-Text omits and those with him] said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, “Who touched Me?”‘ [NU-Text omits and You say, “Who touched Me?”]
46But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.
48And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer;  [NU-Text omits be of good cheer. ] your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
49While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.” [NU-Text adds anymore]
50But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” 51When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in [NU-Text adds with Him] except Peter, James, and John, [NU-Text and M-Text read Peter, John, and James] and the father and mother of the girl. 52Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” 53And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.
54But He put them all outside, [NU-Text omits put them all outside] took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” 55Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat. 56And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.

 

 

Matthew 21:23
Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”


Matthew 21:45
Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them.


Matthew 26:3
Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,


Matthew 26:14
Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests


Matthew 26:47
And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.


Matthew 26:59
Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death,

 

 

Matthew 27:3-10

3 Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”
And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!”
5Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.
6But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” 7And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. 8Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
9Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, 10and gave them for the potter’s field, as the LORD directed me.” [Jeremiah 32:6-9]

Jeremiah 32:6-9

6And Jeremiah said, “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 7”Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you, saying, “Buy my field which is in Anathoth, for the right of redemption is yours to buy it.”‘ 8Then Hanamel my uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said to me, “Please buy my field that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin; for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption yours; buy it for yourself.’ Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD. 9So I bought the field from Hanamel, the son of my uncle who was in Anathoth, and weighed out to him the money--seventeen shekels of silver.

 

Acts 1:18-19

18(Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. 19And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.)

 

Matthew 27:12
And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.


Matthew 27:20
But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.


Matthew 27:41
Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said,


Matthew 27:62
On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate,


Matthew 28:11
Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened.

Mark 1:21-28

21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. 22And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
23Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are--the Holy One of God!”
25But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority [NU-Text reads What is this? A new doctrine with authority] He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” 28And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.

Luke 4:31-37

31 Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. 32And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority. 33Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, 34saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are--the Holy One of God!”
35But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him. 36Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” 37And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

 

 

Matthew 9:18-26

18 While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.” 19So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples.
20And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. 21For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” 22But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.
23When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, 24He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him. 25But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 26And the report of this went out into all that land.

Mark 5:21-43

21 Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea. 22And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” 24So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.
25Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”
29Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”
31But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, “Who touched Me?”‘
32And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
35While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”
36As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 37And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. 38Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.”
40And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. 41Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. 43But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat.

 

Luke 8:40-56

40 So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him. 41And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house, 42for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying.
But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. 43Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.
45And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”
When all denied it, Peter and those with him [NU-Text omits and those with him] said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, “Who touched Me?”‘ [NU-Text omits and You say, “Who touched Me?”]
46But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.
48And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; [NU-Text omits be of good cheer]. your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
49While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.” [NU-Text adds anymore]
50But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” 51When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in [NU-Text adds with Him] except Peter, James, and John, [NU-Text and M-Text read Peter, John, and James]  and the father and mother of the girl. 52Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” 53And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.
54But He put them all outside, [NU-Text omits put them all outside] took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” 55Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat. 56And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.

 

Mark 8:31
And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.


Mark 10:33
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles;


Mark 11:18
And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching.


Mark 11:27
Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him.


Mark 14:1
After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death.


Mark 14:10
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them.


Mark 14:43
And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.


Mark 14:53
And they led Jesus away to the high priest; and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes.


Mark 14:55
Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none.


Mark 15:1
Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate.


Mark 15:3
And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing.


Mark 15:10
For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy.


Mark 15:11
But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them.


Mark 15:31
Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.


Luke 9:22
saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”


Luke 19:47
And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him,


Luke 20:1
Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him


Luke 20:19
And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people [M-Text reads but they were afraid] --for they knew He had spoken this parable against them.


Luke 20:19
And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people [M-Text reads but they were afraid] --for they knew He had spoken this parable against them.


Luke 22:4
So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them.


Luke 22:52
Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs?


Luke 22:52
Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs?


Luke 23:4
So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.


Luke 23:10
And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him.


Luke 23:13
Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people,


Luke 23:23
But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed. [NU-Text omits and of the chief priests]


Luke 23:23
But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed. [NU-Text omits and of the chief priests]


John 7:11-13

11Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?” 12And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.” 13However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

 

John 7:18-20

18He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. 19Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?”
20The people answered and said, “You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?”

 

John 7:32
The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him.

 

John 7:45
Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?”

 

John 7:46-48

46The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”
47Then the Pharisees answered them, “Are you also deceived? 48Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him?

John 8:39-40
39They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.

John 8:46-48

46Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”
48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

John 8:52
Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, “If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’

John 8:59
Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, [NU-Text omits the rest of this verse] going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

John 10:19-21
19Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?”
21Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

John 10:32-33

32Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”
33The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”


John 11:47
Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs.


John 11:57
Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.


John 12:10
But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also,

John 12:41-43

41These things Isaiah said when [NU-Text reads because] he saw His glory and spoke of Him. 
42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.


John 18:3
Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.


John 18:35
Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?”


John 19:6
Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.”


John 19:15
But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”


John 19:21
Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, “The King of the Jews,’ but, “He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”


Acts 4:15-17

15But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”


Acts 4:23
And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.


Acts 5:24
Now when the high priest, [NU-Text omits the high priest] the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these things, they wondered what the outcome would be.

 

Acts 9:14
And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”


Acts 9:21
Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?”


Acts 22:30
The next day, because he wanted to know for certain why he was accused by the Jews, he released him from his bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down and set him before them.


Acts 23:14
They came to the chief priests and elders, and said, “We have bound ourselves under a great oath that we will eat nothing until we have killed Paul.

 

Acts 25:15
about whom the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, when I was in Jerusalem, asking for a judgment against him.


Acts 26:10
This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.

 

12.    Nicodemus.  Meaning: the people is victor.


The account at  http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/nicodemus.html notes that Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin.


“He is first noticed as visiting Jesus by night (John 3:1-21) for the purpose of learning more of his doctrines, which our Lord then unfolded to him, giving prominence to the necessity of being “born again.” He is next met with in the Sanhedrin (7:50-52), where he protested against the course they were taking in plotting against Christ. Once more he is mentioned as taking part in the preparation for the anointing and burial of the body of Christ (John 19:39). We hear nothing more of him. There can be little doubt that he became a true disciple.”


John 3:1-21

1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
3Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”
10Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. [NU-Text omits who is in heaven] 14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in Him should not perish but [NU-Text omits not perish but] have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18”He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

 

John 7:45-52

45 Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?”
46The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”
47Then the Pharisees answered them, “Are you also deceived? 48Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him? 49But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”
50Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, [NU-Text reads before] being one of them) said to them, 51”Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?”
52They answered and said to him, “Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen [NU-Text reads is to rise] out of Galilee.”

 

John 19:38-40

38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.

 

13.    Annas / Ananias, the High Priest.


The WebBible Online from ChristianAnswers.Net, http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/annas.html, notes that Annas “was high priest A.D. 7-14. In A.D. 25, Caiaphas, who had married the daughter of Annas (John 18:13), was promoted to that office, and probably Annas was now made president of the Sanhedrin, or deputy or coadjutor of the high priest, and thus was also called high priest along with Caiaphas (Luke 3:2).


“Under Mosaic law, the high-priesthood was held for life (Numbers 3:10); and although Annas had been deposed by the Roman procurator, the Jews may still have regarded him as legally the high priest. Our Lord was first brought before Annas, and after a brief questioning of him (John 18:19-23) was sent to Caiaphas, when some members of the Sanhedrin had met, and the first trial of Jesus took place (Matthew 26:57-68). This examination of our Lord before Annas is recorded only by John.  Annas was president of the Sanhedrin before which Peter and John were brought (Acts 4:6).”


From http://www.bible-history.com/HighPriests/NTHIGHPRIESTSAnnas.htm:

“Annas, whose name means “The grace of Jehovah” was the son of Seth and appointed high priest of the Jews in 6 A.D in his 37th year. He was high priest from 6 to 15 A.D. but as long as he lived he was the virtual head of the priestly party in Jerusalem. He was chosen to the high priesthood by Quirinius, the imperial governor of Syria; obliged to give way to Ismael by Valerius Gratus, procurator of Judaea, in the beginning of Tiberius’ reign, 14 A.D. Eleazar, the son of Annas, followed Ismael; then Simon; then Joseph Caiaphas, son-in-law of Annas (John 18:13).


“In the time of Christ high priests were appointed and removed at the command of the Roman governors. Although removed from office, Annas’ power and influence was so great that five of his sons, as well as his son-in-law Caiaphas and his grandson Matthias, also became high priests. Years afterward he lost the high priesthood, but even then he was popularly considered as still in office and was called “high priest”; even after Pentecost his name appears first in the list of priestly leaders” from Acts 4:5-7.


Also see Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews; XX. ix. 2 [8]


Luke 3:1-3

1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, [NU-Text and M-Text read in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas] the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,


See also Matthew 3:1-6; Mark 1:2-6; John 1:19-23.


John 18:12-14

12 Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. 13And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year. 14Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

 

Jesus questioned by Annas.


John 18:19-22

19 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.
20Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, [NU-Text reads where all the Jews meet] and in secret I have said nothing. 21Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.”
22And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?”

 

John 18:23-24

23Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?”
24Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Acts 4:5-7

5 And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, 6as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”

 

Acts 5:17-41

17 Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, 18and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. 19But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20”Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”
21And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together, with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
22 But when the officers came and did not find them in the prison, they returned and reported, 23saying, “Indeed we found the prison shut securely, and the guards standing outside [NU-Text and M-Text omit outside] before the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!” 24Now when the high priest, [NU-Text omits the high priest] the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these things, they wondered what the outcome would be. 25So one came and told them, saying, [NU-Text and M-Text omit saying] “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”
26Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. 27And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”
29But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
 
33 When they heard this, they were furious and plotted to kill them. 34Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while. 35And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men. 36For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing. 37After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed. 38And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; 39but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it--lest you even be found to fight against God.”
40And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His [NU-Text reads the name; M-Text reads the name of Jesus] name.

 

The trial continues as the focus shifts to:

14.    Gamaliel I.  Flourished 1st century AD.


According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Gamaliel I was “also called Rabban Gamaliel (rabban, meaning “teacher”)  a tanna, one of a select group of Palestinian masters of the Jewish Oral Law, and a teacher twice mentioned in the New Testament.

“According to tradition—but not historic fact—Gamaliel succeeded his father, Simon, and his grandfather, the renowned sage Hillel (to whose school of thought he belonged), as nasi (president) of the Sanhedrin, the supreme Jewish court. It is certain, though, that Gamaliel held a leading position in the Sanhedrin and that he enjoyed the highest repute as teacher of the Law; he was the first to be given the title rabban. Like his grandfather, Gamaliel also was given the title ha-Zaqen (the Elder).


“The New Testament (Acts 5:34–39) relates that Gamaliel intervened on behalf of the Apostles of Jesus when they had been seized and brought to the Sanhedrin, and another passage (Acts 22:3) tells how St. Paul, in a speech to the Jews, tried to influence them by stating that he had been a student of Gamaliel (“I am a Jew, . . . brought up . . . at the feet of Gamaliel”).


“Gamaliel established a number of lenient ordinances, in particular, laws affecting women and non-Jews. Of his teaching, only one saying is preserved in the Talmud; it enjoins the duties of study and scrupulous observance of religious ordinances. Gamaliel’s renown is summed up in the words recorded in the Talmud: ‘When Rabban Gamaliel the Elder died, regard for the Torah [Jewish Law] ceased, and purity and piety died.’”


Acts 5:33-41

33 When they heard this, they were furious and plotted to kill them. 34Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while. 35And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men. 36For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing. 37After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed. 38And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; 39but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it--lest you even be found to fight against God.”
40And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His [NU-Text reads the name; M-Text reads the name of Jesus] name.


Paul’s testimony


Acts 22:3
“I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today.
 

 

15.     Joseph Caiaphas, the High Priest.  Son in law of Annas.

The article in Encyclopedia Britannica notes that “On a day-to-day basis Jerusalem was governed by the  high priest. Assisted by a council, he had the difficult task of mediating between the remote Roman prefect and the local populace, which was hostile toward pagans and wanted to be free of foreign interference. His political responsibility was to maintain order and to see that tribute was paid. Caiaphas, the high priest during Jesus’ adulthood, held the office from about A.D. 18 to 36, longer than anyone else during the Roman period, indicating that he was a successful and reliable diplomat. Since he and Pilate were in power together for 10 years, they must have collaborated successfully.


“Thus, at the time of Jesus’ public career, Galilee was governed by the tetrarch Antipas, who was sovereign within his own domain, provided that he remained loyal to Rome and maintained peace and stability within his borders. Judaea (including Jerusalem) was nominally governed by Pilate, but the actual daily rule of Jerusalem was in the hands of Caiaphas and his council.”


Matthew 26:2-4

2”You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
3Then the chief priests, the scribes, [NU-Text omits the scribes] and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him.

 

Matthew 26:57-58

57 And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end.

 

Matthew 26:65
Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!

 

Luke 3:1-3

1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, [NU-Text and M-Text read in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas] the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,

 

John 11:48-50

48If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”
49And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50nor do you consider that it is expedient for us [NU-Text reads you] that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.”

 

John 18:12-14

12 Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. 13And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year. 14Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

 

John 18:23-24

23Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?”
24Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

 

John 18:28
Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.

 

Acts 4:1-22

1 Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, 2being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

5 And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, 6as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”
8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11This is the “stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ [Psalm 118:22] 12Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. 14And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”
18So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” 21So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. 22For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.

 

16.  Pontius Pilate, Governor of Judea.  Died A.D. 36.

Encyclopedia Britannica notes that Pilate was “Roman prefect (governor) of Judaea (A.D. 26–36) under the emperor Tiberius; he presided at the trial of Jesus and gave the order for his crucifixion.

“According to the traditional account of his life, Pilate was a Roman equestrian (knight) of the Samnite clan of the Pontii (hence his name Pontius). He was appointed prefect of Judaea through the intervention of Sejanus, a favourite of the Roman emperor Tiberius. Protected by Sejanus, he incurred the enmity of the Jews by insulting their religious sensibilities, as when he hung worship images of the Emperor throughout Jerusalem and had coins bearing pagan religious symbols minted. After Sejanus’ fall (A.D. 31), Pilate was exposed to sharper criticism from the Jews, who may have capitalized on his vulnerability by obtaining a legal death sentence on Jesus (John 19:12). The Samaritans reported him to Vitellius, legate of Syria, after he had attacked them on Mt. Gerizim (A.D. 36). He was then ordered back to Rome to stand trial for cruelty and oppression, particularly on the charge that he executed men without proper trial. According to an uncertain 4th-century tradition, Pilate killed himself on orders from Emperor Caligula in A.D. 39.


“Judgments of the man himself must be made inferentially, almost entirely on the basis of later Jewish and Christian writings, chiefly Josephus and the New Testament. Josephus’ references appear to be consistent. They seem to picture a strong-willed, strict, authoritarian Roman leader who was, nevertheless, both rational and practical and who knew how far he should go in a given case. For example, Josephus tells us that “in order to abolish Jewish laws,” and with the intent of diminishing privileges Jews had hitherto enjoyed, Pilate ordered his troops to encamp in Jerusalem and sent them into the city with images of the emperor attached to their ensigns. When the Jews demonstrated in Caesarea, Pilate’s city of residence, he threatened them with death unless they desisted; but when the Jews showed their readiness to die, he ordered the images removed. Josephus states his inferential judgment that Pilate “was deeply affected with their firm resolution,” suggesting his own strength of character.


“The New Testament, however, suggests a weak, vacillating personality. Would the mob be just as happy if he released Jesus instead of Barabbas on the feast day (Mark 15:6 ff.)? Pilate weakly capitulates. His wife sends him word of her dream (Matthew 27:19), and Pilate abdicates his responsibility to the emperor. In the Fourth Gospel, Pilate is depicted as having accepted the Christian interpretation of the meaning of Jesus (John 19:7–11), and he rejects the Jews’ reminder that Jesus has merely said that he is “the king of the Jews” (John 19:21). Clearly, as an index to the character and personality of Pilate, the New Testament is devastating. But it is preoccupied with concerns of the nascent Christian communities, increasingly making their way among the Gentiles and anxious to avoid giving offense to Roman authorities. Eventually, in Christian tradition, Pilate and his wife became converts, and the latter is a saint in the Eastern Church.”


Luke 3:1
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,


Luke 13:1
There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

 

Matthew 27:1-3

1 When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death. 2And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius [NU-Text omits Pontius] Pilate the governor. 
3 Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

 

Mark 15:1
Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate.

Luke 23:1
Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate.

John 18:28
Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.

Acts 3:13
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.

 

Matthew 27:11-14

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.” 12And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.
13Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” 14But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.

Mark 15:1-5

1Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate.

2Then Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
He answered and said to him, “It is as you say.”
3And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing. 4Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, “Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!” [NU-Text reads of which they accuse You]  5But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled.

Luke 23:1-5

1Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. 2And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the [NU-Text reads our] nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”
3Then Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
He answered him and said, “It is as you say.”
4So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.”
5But they were the more fierce, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.”

John 18:29-38

29Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?”
30They answered and said to him, “If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.”
31Then Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.”
Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,” 32that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die.
33Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
34Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?”
35Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?”
36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
37Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”
Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
38Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.

 

Matthew 27:15-26

15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. 16And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. [NU-Text reads Jesus Barabbas] 17Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.
19While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”
20But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”
They said, “Barabbas!”
22Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”
They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!”
23Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?”
But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”
24When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. [NU-Text omits just. ] You see to it.”
25And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”
26Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.

Mark 15:6-15

6 Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. 7And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion. 8Then the multitude, crying aloud, [NU-Text reads going up] began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them. 9But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 10For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy.
11But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. 12Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?”
13So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!”
14Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?”
But they cried out all the more, “Crucify Him!”
15So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.

Luke 23:13-25

13 Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, 14said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; 15no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; [NU-Text reads for he sent Him back to us] and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. 16I will therefore chastise Him and release Him” 17(for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast). [NU-Text omits verse 17]
18And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas”-- 19who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.
20Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. 21But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”
22Then he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.”
23But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed. [NU-Text omits and of the chief priests. ] 24So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. 25And he released to them [NU-Text and M-Text omit to them] the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

John 18:38-40

38Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.
39 “But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
40Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.

 

Matthew 27:27-31

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. 28And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. 31And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.

Mark 15:16-20

16 Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison. 17And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, 18and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. 20And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him.

John 19:1-16

1 So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. 2And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. 3Then they said, [NU-Text reads And they came up to Him and said] “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands.
4Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.”

5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!”
6Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.”
7The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our [NU-Text reads the law] law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.”
8Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.
10Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”
11Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
12From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”
13When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
15But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”
The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”
16Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away. [NU-Text omits and led Him away]

 

Matthew 27:32-44

32 Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. 33And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, 34they gave Him sour [NU-Text omits sour]. wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.
35Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, [NU-Text and M-Text omit the rest of this verse] that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:
        “They divided My garments among them,
        And for My clothing they cast lots.” [NU-Text and M-Text omit the rest of this verse]
36Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. 37And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him:
        THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
38Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.
39And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads 40and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
41Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, [M-Text reads with the scribes, the Pharisees, and the elders] said, 42”He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, [NU-Text reads He is the King of Israel!] let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. [NU-Text and M-Text read we will believe in Him] 43He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, “I am the Son of God.”‘
44Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.

Mark 15:21-31

21 Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. 22And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. 23Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. 24And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take.
25Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. 26And the inscription of His accusation was written above:
        THE KING OF THE JEWS.
27With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. 28So the Scripture was fulfilled [Isaiah 53:12] which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.” [NU-Text omits this verse]
29And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”
31Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. 32Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” [M-Text reads believe Him]
Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.

Luke 23:26-43

26 Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.
27And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. 28But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, “Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ 30Then they will begin “to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”‘ [Hosea 10:8] 31For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?”
32There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. 33And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” [NU-Text brackets the first sentence as a later addition]
And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”
36The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, 37and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”
38And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: [NU-Text omits written and in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew]
        THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, [NU-Text reads Are You not the Christ?] save Yourself and us.”
40But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42Then he said to Jesus, “Lord. [NU-Text reads And he said, “Jesus, remember me]  remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
43And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

John 19:17-22

17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. 19Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was:
        JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
20Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.
21Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, “The King of the Jews,’ but, “He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”“‘
22Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”


John 19:31
Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Matthew 27:57-59

57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. 59When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

Mark 15:42-47

42 Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44Pilate marveled that He was already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him if He had been dead for some time. 45So when he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid.

Luke 23:50-56

50 Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. 51He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting [NU-Text reads who was waiting] for the kingdom of God. 52This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. 54That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.
55And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. 56Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

John 19:38-42

38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 41Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

 

Matthew 27:62-65

62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, “After three days I will rise.’ 64Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night [NU-Text omits by night] and steal Him away, and say to the people, “He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”
65Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.”

Acts 3:13
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.


Acts 4:27
“For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together


Acts 13:28
And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death.


1 Timothy 6:13
I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate,

 

17.  Saul/Paul of Tarsus.

born A.D. 10? , Tarsus in Cilicia [now in Turkey]

died 67? , Rome [Italy]


In the Britannica article “Paul, the Apostle, Saint”, Barnabas Lindars notes that the original name was Saul of Tarsus, “a 1st-century Jew who, after first being a bitter enemy of Christianity, later became an important figure in its history.


“Converted only a few years after the death of Jesus, he became the leading Apostle (missionary) of the new movement and played a decisive part in extending it beyond the limits of Judaism to become a worldwide religion. His surviving letters are the earliest extant Christian writings. They reveal both theological skill and pastoral understanding and have had lasting importance for Christian life and thought.


“In the time of Paul, Tarsus, the home of famous Stoic philosophers, was on the main trade route between East and West. Like many of the Jews there Paul inherited Roman citizenship, probably granted by the Romans as a reward for mercenary service in the previous century. This fact explains his two names. He used his Jewish name, Saul, within the Jewish community and his Roman surname, Paul, when speaking Greek. Though he had a strict Jewish upbringing, he also grew up with a good command of idiomatic Greek and the experience of a cosmopolitan city, which fitted him for his special vocation to bring the gospel to the Gentiles (non-Jews). At some stage he became an enthusiastic member of the Pharisees, a Jewish sect that promoted purity and fidelity to the Law of Moses. According to Acts, he received training as a rabbi in Jerusalem under Gamaliel I. His knowledge of the Law and of rabbinic methods of interpreting it is evident in his letters. Like most rabbis he supported himself with a manual trade—tent making—probably learned from his father. It is clear that he never met Jesus while in Jerusalem, if, indeed, he was there before the Crucifixion. He learned enough about Jesus and his followers, however, to regard the Christian movement as a threat to the Pharisaic Judaism that he had embraced so eagerly. Thus he first appears on the scene of history as a persecutor of the newly founded church.


“Serious persecution of Christians first arose in connection with converts among the Hellenists (Greek-speaking Jews) in Jerusalem. When one of them, Stephen, was stoned to death, the murderers “laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul” (Acts 7:58). At that time Paul shared the sense of outrage aroused by the Hellenist converts. They had not only proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah and heavenly Lord, a man who had been crucified and therefore accursed by God (Deut. 21:23), but they also claimed that the temple and its sacrifices were superseded by the sacrificial death of Jesus and that therefore the Law could be disregarded (the subject of another curse, Deut. 27:26). Paul thus joined in the effort to stamp out the Christian movement. The Hellenist converts fled to the foreign cities where they had family connections, while the original Aramaic-speaking group in Jerusalem kept a low profile to avoid giving provocation.”


Acts 9:1-2

1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.


See also Acts 22:6-16; 26:12-18


Acts 9:13
Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem.

 

Acts 9:19-23

19So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.
20 Immediately he preached the Christ [NU-Text reads Jesus] in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.
21Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?”
22But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.
23 Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him.


Acts 22:3-21

3”I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today. 4I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, 5as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.
6”Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. 7And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ 8So I answered, “Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, “I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’
9”And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, [NU-Text omits and were afraid] but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. 10So I said, “What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, “Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ 11And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.
12”Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, 13came to me; and he stood and said to me, “Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him. 14Then he said, “The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. 15For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’
17”Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance 18and saw Him saying to me, “Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’ 19So I said, “Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You. 20And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, [NU-Text omits to his death] and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ 21Then He said to me, “Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.”‘


Acts 26:9-11

9”Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.

 

Galatians 1:11-24

11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
13For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
15But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, NU-Text reads Cephas.

and remained with him fifteen days. 19But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20(Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.)
21Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. 23But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24And they glorified God in me.

See also Acts 9:1-31


1 Corinthians 9:1
Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?


1 Corinthians 15:9
For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.


1 Timothy 1:13
although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.
3For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
9For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

 

Mark 16:9-20

9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.
[See also Matthew 28:9, 10; John 20:11-18]

 12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.
[See also Luke 24:13-35]

The Great Commission
14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18they [NU-Text reads and in their hands they will] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. [Verses 9-20 are bracketed in NU-Text as not original. They are lacking in Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, although nearly all other manuscripts of Mark contain them]

 

[See also Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:6-8]

 

1 Corinthians 15:12-19

12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up--if in fact the dead do not rise. 16For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. [Or those who through Jesus sleep]
15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words.

 

18.  Sergius Paulus, Proconsul of Cyprus at Paphos

“In 1877, an inscription was found near Paphos, bearing Sergius Paulus’s name and title of proconsul.  Ten years later, his name was also found on a memorial stone in Rome. The stone records that in A.D. 47 he was appointed as one of the keepers of the banks and channel of the river Tiber. He held this office when he returned to Rome after his three years as governor of Cyprus.”

From  http://www.facingthechallenge.org/paulus.htm:

This inscription is displayed in the courtyard of the Yalvac museum. Clearly visible is the whole of “Paulli” and portions of “Sergii.”  Online, this can be seen at http://holylandphotos.org/browse.asp?s=1,3,8,21,96&img=TCSCPA28


Acts 13:1-12
1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant.
6Now when they had gone through the island [NU-Text reads the whole island] to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, 7who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? 11And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.”
And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.


19.  Porcius Festus.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition notes that Porcius Festus was the successor of Felix (A.D. 60-A.D. 62) as procurator of Judea (Acts 24:27).  “A few weeks after he had entered on his office the case of Paul, then a prisoner at Caesarea, was reported to him. The “next day,” after he had gone down to Caesarea, he heard Paul defend himself in the presence of Herod Agrippa II and his sister Bernice, and not finding in him anything worthy of death or of bonds, would have set him free had he not appealed unto Caesar (Acts 25:11-12). In consequence of this appeal Paul was sent to Rome. Festus, after being in office less than two years, died in Judea.

Copyright © 2002 Columbia University Press

Acts 24:27
But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound.


Acts 25:1-27

1 Now when Festus had come to the province, after three days he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem. 2Then the high priest [NU-Text reads chief priests] and the chief men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they petitioned him, 3asking a favor against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem--while they lay in ambush along the road to kill him. 4But Festus answered that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself was going there shortly. 5”Therefore,” he said, “let those who have authority among you go down with me and accuse this man, to see if there is any fault in him.”
6And when he had remained among them more than ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day, sitting on the judgment seat, he commanded Paul to be brought. 7When he had come, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood about and laid many serious complaints against Paul, which they could not prove, 8while he answered for himself, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I offended in anything at all.”
9But Festus, wanting to do the Jews a favor, answered Paul and said, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and there be judged before me concerning these things?”
10So Paul said, “I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you very well know. 11For if I am an offender, or have committed anything deserving of death, I do not object to dying; but if there is nothing in these things of which these men accuse me, no one can deliver me to them. I appeal to Caesar.”
12Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, “You have appealed to Caesar? To Caesar you shall go!”
13 And after some days King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to greet Festus. 14When they had been there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying: “There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix, 15about whom the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, when I was in Jerusalem, asking for a judgment against him. 16To them I answered, “It is not the custom of the Romans to deliver any man to destruction [NU-Text omits to destruction, although it is implied] before the accused meets the accusers face to face, and has opportunity to answer for himself concerning the charge against him.’ 17Therefore when they had come together, without any delay, the next day I sat on the judgment seat and commanded the man to be brought in. 18When the accusers stood up, they brought no accusation against him of such things as I supposed, 19but had some questions against him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who had died, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. 20And because I was uncertain of such questions, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there be judged concerning these matters. 21But when Paul appealed to be reserved for the decision of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I could send him to Caesar.”
22Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I also would like to hear the man myself.”
“Tomorrow,” he said, “you shall hear him.”
23So the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had come with great pomp, and had entered the auditorium with the commanders and the prominent men of the city, at Festus’ command Paul was brought in. 24And Festus said: “King Agrippa and all the men who are here present with us, you see this man about whom the whole assembly of the Jews petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying out that he was not fit to live any longer. 25But when I found that he had committed nothing deserving of death, and that he himself had appealed to Augustus, I decided to send him. 26I have nothing certain to write to my lord concerning him. Therefore I have brought him out before you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after the examination has taken place I may have something to write. 27For it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner and not to specify the charges against him.”

 

Acts 26:24-25

24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”
25But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.

 

20.  King Herod Agrippa II


Of Herod Agrippa II, Encyclopedia Britannica notes that he was born A.D. 27, and died A.D. 93, meaning he was alive during the time the New Testament documents were written and circulated throughout the region.

The Britannica notes that Agrippa II was “king of Chalcis in southern Lebanon from A.D. 50 and tetrarch of Batanaea and Trachonitis in south Syria from A.D. 53, who unsuccessfully mediated with the rebels in the Jewish Revolt of A.D. 66–70. He was a great-grandson of Herod I the Great.


“Agrippa II was raised and educated at the imperial court in Rome. Because of his youth at the death of his father, Agrippa I, in 44, the emperor Claudius returned Judaea to the status of a province. The young prince, however, took an interest in the welfare of the Jews and helped secure them an edict of moderation. In 48 he received authority over temple affairs in Jerusalem. Two years later he became king of Chalcis, and in 53 he exchanged this land for Philip the Tetrarch’s former holdings. Nero, the new emperor, in 54 added territory near the Sea of Galilee to Agrippa’s realm. As his father had been, Agrippa II was an ardent collaborator  with Rome and did all in his power to prevent the rupture between Rome and Jewry, but in vain.


“Between 52 and 60, he appointed several high priests and earned the enmity of the conflicting parties.  Though he supported the rights of the Jews at Alexandria, who faced trouble from the Hellenized populace, he avoided politics in Judaea, where the Zealots, a terrorist group, were active. In 60, when St. Paul was arrested, the procurator consulted Agrippa concerning the Apostle’s case; the Tetrarch  found him innocent.”


According to Luke’s account in Acts 26, Paul tells Agrippa, “you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies” (verse 3), recalls Christ’s resurrection from the dead as fulfilling Old Testament prophecies (verses 21-22) and tells Agrippa, “The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.” (verses 26-27)


Wow. Pretty heavy statements to use in addressing a king. Had Paul spoken falsely, the book of Acts  would have had a different ending (and beginning, for that matter). Instead of refuting Paul, Agrippa says, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” (verse 28).


Paul’s reply (verse 28): “Short time or long--I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me  today may become what I am, except for these chains.”


Agrippa later tells Governor Festus (verse 32): “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed  to Caesar.” Would Agrippa had said that if Paul was lying in his testimony?


This was an eyewitness account from the physician Luke, who recorded these events in the book of Acts. In Acts 12:23, Luke even records that Agrippa’s father was consumed by worms because he had blasphemed against God (in A.D. 44, when Agrippa II was 17 years old).


There is a separate, independent account of the death of Agrippa I.

F.F. Bruce writes: “The sudden death of Herod Agrippa I, narrated by Luke in Acts 12:19-23, is recorded also by Josephus (Ant. xix. 8. 2) in a form agreeing with Luke’s general Outline, though the two accounts are quite independent of each other. This is the story as told by Josephus: [9]

“‘When Agrippa had reigned three full years over all Judaea, he came to the city of Caesarea, which was formerly called Strato’s Tower. There he exhibited shows in honour of Caesar, inaugurating this as a festival for the emperor’s welfare. And there came together to it a multitude of the provincial officials and of those who had been promoted to a distinguished position. On the second day of the shows he put on a robe all made of diver, of altogether wonderful weaving, and arrived in the theatre at break of day. Then the silver shone as the sun’s first rays fell upon it and glittered wonderfully, its resplendence inspiring a sort of fear and trembling in those who gazed upon it. Immediately his flatterers called out from various quarters, in words which in truth were not for his good, addressing him as a god, and invoking him with the cry, “Be propitious! if hitherto we have revered thee as a human being, yet henceforth we confess thee to be superior to mortal nature.”


“‘The king did not rebuke them, nor did he repudiate their impious flattery. But looking up soon afterwards he saw the owl sitting on a rope above his head, and immediately recognized it as a messenger of evil as it had formerly been a messenger of good,’ and a pang of grief pierced his heart. There came also a severe pain in his belly, beginning with a violent attack.... So he was carried quickly into the palace, and the news sped abroad among all that he would certainly die before long.... And when he had suffered continuously for five days from the pain in his belly, he departed this life in the fifty fourth year of his age and the seventh of his reign.’


“The parallels between the two accounts are obvious, as is also the absence of collusion between them. Luke describes the king’s sudden stroke by saying, in biblical language, that ‘the angel of the Lord smote him’; it is unnecessary to think that there is any significance in the fact that the Greek word for ‘angel’ in Luke’s account (angelos) is the same as the word for ‘messenger’ applied to the owl by Josephus, though some early Christian Fathers seem to have thought so. The Tyrians may well have taken advantage of this festival to be publicly reconciled to the king.

“In general, we may sum up the comparison of the two accounts in the words of an unbiased historian, Eduard Meyer: ‘In outline, in data, and in the general conception, both accounts are in full agreement. By its very interesting details, which are by no means to be explained as due to a “tendency” or a popular tradition, Luke’s account affords a guarantee that it is at least just as reliable as that of Josephus.” [10]


Had Luke or Josephus been in error, King Agrippa had the means, motive, and opportunity to squelch these documents as copies circulated  throughout the region, or to imprison Luke, Paul and Josephus for false testimony. Indeed, Agrippa had the means, motive and opportunity to stop the entire New Testament, written and circulating within his kingdom, within his lifetime. But he did not/could not refute the eyewitness accounts.

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