Friday, April 08, 2005

Luke's Genealogy (Part 2a)

I found in Josephus the mention of “Jeshua the son of Josedek [or Jozadak] the high priest” (Ant. 11.3.10[73]; cf. 20.10.1[231-234], transl . Whiston). As Josephus has it, Jozadak was the high priest when the Israelites were taken captive to Babylon. Jeshua the son of Jozadak was the high priest when they returned and, along with Zerubbabel, built the foundation of the “house of God”, the temple (cf. Ez3.1-2, et al). Imagine the implications if I have been correct in suggesting that, by isolating Zerubbabel in his genealogy, Luke is implying that Jesus (= Jeshua) has come with Zerubbabel to finish building the “house of God”, so predicted in Zechariah 4.9.

N. T. Wright has made much of Jesus’ accomplishing Israel’s “return from exile” (see esp. his Jesus and the Victory of God). Might the notion be correct, especially in light of Luke's play with names - i.e., that Jeshua/Jesus is the high priest who brings the Israelites back from exile and heads the building of the temple?

copyrighted 2005

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