Borderland

Luke 17:11-19

11On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

Luke mentions the person who turned back to give thanks was a Samaritan, Why is this significant, especially for today?

Comments

  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited October 3
    One obvious answer, I suppose, is that those who are still marginalised because of ethnicity, gender, religion, or whatever, are equal in the sight of God.

    We (generic *we*) need to be constantly reminded of this.
  • Doesn't Jesus answer this question in verse 18?
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited October 3
    In a way, I suppose Jesus does indeed answer it - the foreigner, in this case, is Doing The Right Thing.

    Someone needs to refer our Home Secretary to this passage...
  • TurquoiseTasticTurquoiseTastic Kerygmania Host
    Doesn't this go with several other passages including:

    * The Canaanite woman who said that the dogs ate the crumbs under the childrens' table
    * The Roman official who said that Jesus need only say the word to heal his servant, astonishing Jesus who said that He had never seen such faith in Israel
    * Jesus telling his old neighbours in Nazareth that God didn't heal any lepers in Israel at the time of Elisha, but only Naaman the Syrian

    The implication being that the insiders (Jesus's neighbours, the Pharisees, the Israelites) reject Jesus but the outsiders (the poor, the "sinners", the Gentiles) accept him.
  • That's how I read it - one of several similar examples.
  • Alan Cresswell Alan Cresswell Admin, 8th Day Host
    It's also reflected in a lot of parables. The Good Samaritan being by far the most obvious. Also the context of the lost sheep/coin/son parables - the "sinners" were coming to hear Jesus while the "righteous" wandered away, in need of someone to seek them out.
  • It may be significant that the story follows on from faith as small as a mustard seed and obedience as a servant. All ten were healed ( and probably saved too if knew my NT Greek) and all they had to do was ask Jesus for help and obey a simple instruction.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Luke 17:11-19

    11On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

    Luke mentions the person who turned back to give thanks was a Samaritan, Why is this significant, especially for today?
    Preaching again this Sunday? Why do you think it’s significant—or not—especially for today?

    Meanwhile, I agree with @TurquoiseTastic.

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Luke 17:11-19

    11On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

    Luke mentions the person who turned back to give thanks was a Samaritan, Why is this significant, especially for today?
    Preaching again this Sunday? Why do you think it’s significant—or not—especially for today?

    Meanwhile, I agree with @TurquoiseTastic.

    Nope, just thought I would start a thread on Kerygmania. I am using the RCL because many of us will hear it next Sunday.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Luke 17:11-19

    11On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

    Luke mentions the person who turned back to give thanks was a Samaritan, Why is this significant, especially for today?
    Preaching again this Sunday? Why do you think it’s significant—or not—especially for today?

    Meanwhile, I agree with @TurquoiseTastic.

    Nope, just thought I would start a thread on Kerygmania. I am using the RCL because many of us will hear it next Sunday.
    Okay. Well, why do you think it’s significant—or not—especially for today?

  • TelfordTelford Suspended
    In a way, I suppose Jesus does indeed answer it - the foreigner, in this case, is Doing The Right Thing.

    Someone needs to refer our Home Secretary to this passage...

    She's a Buddhist isn't she ? Do you think she should convert ?
  • LatchKeyKidLatchKeyKid Purgatory Host
    Would Samaritans have similar rules about showing themselves to priests to confirm their healing or accept them back into society?

    The Gospels/Acts each have a theme of accepting non-Jews into the Kingdom. This would have been an issue for Jews to accept and are partly there to explain how a branch of Judaism has become predominantly gentile. We don't have this issue as Christianity split from Judaism and we forget that it was a problem for early Jewish Christians.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited October 4
    Telford wrote: »
    In a way, I suppose Jesus does indeed answer it - the foreigner, in this case, is Doing The Right Thing.

    Someone needs to refer our Home Secretary to this passage...

    She's a Buddhist isn't she ? Do you think she should convert ?

    I would bet dollars to dimes that, if asked, Braverman would say that she finds the moral teachings of Jesus inspiring. And she would probably mean that sincerely, much in the way that many liberal Christians would say the same thing about Buddhism as they understand it.

    IOW, the gospels are kind of a shared cultural property that transcends sectarian boundaries, and saying someone should show Braverman the story of Jesus and the Samaritan leper is kinda like saying someone should show the Minister Of Child Welfare Oliver Twist.

    (And just to be clear, this argument is mine and mine alone. I'm not claiming agreement from anyone else in this thread.)
  • jay_emmjay_emm Kerygmania Host
    edited October 4
    Would Samaritans have similar rules about showing themselves to priests to confirm their healing or accept them back into society?

    ...

    It's one of the stories where missing details could affect it. (For instance when the turning happened)

    Interestingly it seems that they go, then are healed. If it's is midway it does make some sense that the Jewish exlepers see finishing their commission as important, and the Samaritan thinks it interruptible. It also shows some serious faith by them to go to the priest while not yet healed.

    As for why, one obvious reason would be, that was just how it happened. Though in any case it's inclusion still has reasons.
  • Would Samaritans have similar rules about showing themselves to priests to confirm their healing or accept them back into society?

    Did Samaritans have priests? The priesthood was centered in Jerusalem, even before the Israelites split into two kingdoms. Did the Samaritans develop a parallel priesthood? In the woman-at-the-well story, she tells Jesus that her ancestors worshipped where she was, but "you Jews worship in Jerusalem" (or words to that effect). Does that imply a priesthood?
  • Alan Cresswell Alan Cresswell Admin, 8th Day Host
    In John 4, the Samaritan woman at the well is from the city of Sychar and there's some debate among scholars whether that's the same as Shechem, for the site of the Samaritan Temple was at the nearby Mount Gerizim (destroyed under the Hellenistic rule in 110BC). The journey Jesus was taking through Samaria would have taken them close to Shechem as that's on the north-south route through Samaria between Galilee and Jerusalem.

    The OT writings, history and prophets, from the period between the division of Israel into northern and southern kingdoms and the fall of the northern kingdom certainly suggest a functioning religious system in the north with it's own priesthood, schools of prophets, and at least local shrines if not a full Temple. Some point after the fall of the northern kingdom the remaining Israelites formed the Samaritan nation, and at that point established Shechem as the site for their temple - it's unclear whether the local shrines were replaced by this central temple or not. In the Roman period, Samaritans had also adopted the synagogue system used by the Jews - indeed the Delos Synagogue (if it is a synagogue, there's some dispute about that) would be the oldest known synagogue dated from the second century BC, and it's a Samaritan building (even though it's in Greece - Samaritans and their religion dispersed through the Greek world along with the Jews and their religion).

    After the revolts in Judea, Samaritan religion had a bit of a revival - the Temple at Gerizim was rebuilt in 136AD, and there were priests - Samaritan liturgy was formalised and written down by the high priest in the 4th century.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Telford wrote: »
    In a way, I suppose Jesus does indeed answer it - the foreigner, in this case, is Doing The Right Thing.

    Someone needs to refer our Home Secretary to this passage...

    She's a Buddhist isn't she ? Do you think she should convert ?
    Is she? She's reported to have shown some engagement with some sort of esoteric western Buddhism but I'm pretty certain she got married in the House of Commons chapel, which is CofE. Her original name would strongly suggest her background is Goan and Roman Catholic.

  • TurquoiseTasticTurquoiseTastic Kerygmania Host
    Waves Hostly Fin

    I suggest with my Turquoise Hostly Hat on that the religious beliefs of the current Home Secretary are not directly relevant to the discussion of the passage in question. Please stay on topic.

    Hostly Fin Submerges
  • Hostly suggestion duly noted, and I apologise for raising a red herring...
  • jay_emm wrote: »
    Would Samaritans have similar rules about showing themselves to priests to confirm their healing or accept them back into society?

    ...

    It's one of the stories where missing details could affect it. (For instance when the turning happened)

    Interestingly it seems that they go, then are healed. If it's is midway it does make some sense that the Jewish exlepers see finishing their commission as important, and the Samaritan thinks it interruptible. It also shows some serious faith by them to go to the priest while not yet healed.

    As for why, one obvious reason would be, that was just how it happened. Though in any case it's inclusion still has reasons.

    I used this once to illustrate the difference between people who are mostly rule-bound as opposed to those who act with more freedom. I can recall times in my youth when I would have felt bound to carry out the direction ("Go to the priest") in spite of a desire to go say "Thank you" because of, well, a fear that if I didn't follow directions exactly, the healing might be withdrawn. Kind of a "color between the lines ALWAYS" mentality. Which is based on fear.
  • TurquoiseTasticTurquoiseTastic Kerygmania Host
    And yet there was that other time, wasn't there, where the first thing Jesus said to the heal-ee was "Go and show yourself to the priests! And don't sin again, otherwise something worse might happen to you!"

    Perhaps that just means there's a time and place for everything, and this was the time and place for a great big "Thank you!"
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    The Gospels/Acts each have a theme of accepting non-Jews into the Kingdom. This would have been an issue for Jews to accept and are partly there to explain how a branch of Judaism has become predominantly gentile. We don't have this issue as Christianity split from Judaism and we forget that it was a problem for early Jewish Christians.

    I think it's more that Christians pretend this isn't an issue. Most modern Christians are the descendants of gentiles who want to believe that they're the natural-born heirs of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob rather than adoptees into the covenant. "Gentile forgetfulness" in the terminology of theologian Willie James Jennings. So while we agree that Christians forget some important historical context, we disagree about what is being forgotten.
  • LatchKeyKidLatchKeyKid Purgatory Host
    I meant that Christians are not perturbed over why there are non-Jews in Christianity. So they don't see the significance of gentiles in the Matthew genealogy, the feeding of the 4000 gentiles after the 5000 Jews, the sending out of the 70 after the sending out of the 12, Peter's dream, the Ethiopian eunuch, Jesus talking about the healing of gentiles.

    This is linked to the sacred texts being regarded as containing timeless truths, rather than products of their contemporary cultural situations.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I want to go back to the geography of the place were this healing took place. Jesus was passing from Samaria to Galilee on his way through to Jerusalem. He enters the two villages. I am thinking one is on the Samaritan side, the other on the Galilean side when he is approached by the ten men who have some type of degenerative skin disease. This would be a place between what is safe and unsafe. A no man's (person's) land, if you will. It is a forbidding wasteland which becomes a sacred place.

    If this is true, what impact does it have with the story?
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    To add to the above comment on the borderland, look to the history of the two regions.

    Around the 10th Century BCE the kingdom of Israel splits into two rival monarchies. The Northern Kingdom becomes Samaria. The Southern kingdom becomes Judea, a.k.a. Galilee. Around the 8th Century BCE Assyria invades the Northern Kingdom and begins to import people from Mesopotamia. Intermarriage happens and the Samaritans develop their own religious practices: honoring the Torah but worshiping on Mt Gerizim near Shechem. Around the 2nd century BCE much of Galilee has converted to Judaism and they worship in Jerusalem. A violent civil war breaks out and the Judeans capture and destroy the Samaritan temple at Gerizim. No wonder there is such hostility between the two nations.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    I want to go back to the geography of the place were this healing took place. Jesus was passing from Samaria to Galilee on his way through to Jerusalem. He enters the two villages. I am thinking one is on the Samaritan side, the other on the Galilean side when he is approached by the ten men who have some type of degenerative skin disease. This would be a place between what is safe and unsafe. A no man's (person's) land, if you will. It is a forbidding wasteland which becomes a sacred place.

    If this is true, what impact does it have with the story?
    What impact do you think it has?

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I am reconsidering the significance of the references about the Samaritans for one thing.

    It seems that sometimes the people that should be close to us are, in fact, our worst enemies. While we can often get along with people of other religions, the enmity between denominations are not so good. Consider the enmity between Roman Catholics and Protestants since the Reformation. Not saying who started what but we have certainly seen the consequences like in Ireland or the 100 years war. Then too, how about the enmity we see in our own country. While the American Civil War happened 159 years ago, we seem to be continuing to fight it.

    It is therefore very significant that one of the worst enemies of Judaism shows neighborly love to the beaten man left for dead in the valley of death (that was the name for the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. It is also significant that the worst enemy of the Jews could realize the physical change he just experienced came from Jesus and that it came from God, so he turned back to praise God.

  • Gramps, I'm afraid you've got a false premise there--Jesus is actually entering a village when he comes across the ten, and there appears to be a crowd about, or at least some sort of audience, when he makes his remark later about "where are the nine" and refers to "this foreigner" (Not a phrase you'd use in speech TO the man!). So settled land probably with farms and villages around it. I don't see any reason to imagine this as a forbidding wasteland or what-have-you. This appears to be a purely ethnic boundary, and therefore easily crossed by those who have the will to do so. Have you any geographical information to the contrary?

    IMHO you'd probably do better to imagine the sorts of tensions you might find in border towns in Texas or California.

    [/b]
    And yet there was that other time, wasn't there, where the first thing Jesus said to the heal-ee was "Go and show yourself to the priests! And don't sin again, otherwise something worse might happen to you!"

    Perhaps that just means there's a time and place for everything, and this was the time and place for a great big "Thank you!"

    AFAIK this is the only time Jesus sent anybody to the priests, and in this case it was because of the OT regulation about how cured lepers were to be released back into the community. (Always wondered just how the priest-on-duty took this influx. He must have been fair staggered by it, I don't imagine healed lepers turned up that often--and particularly not ones who (as I suspect these did) look as if they'd never had a skin disease in their lives!)

    I think the other case you're remembering is the fellow from the pool at Bethesda, John 5. Jesus healed him, faded away, and then found him again in the temple (where I assume he was making thank offerings or taking care of some ritual uncleanness thing). The exact quote is
    14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.

    This is pretty much the only case I can think of where Jesus ties the health problem to some sort of sin. It's unique. Which leads me to wonder if the man's disability was perhaps the obvious result of some obvious sin (robbed a dude who fought back and managed to inflict a spinal cord injury? whacked by the angry husband of a woman he was carrying on with? Something THAT obvious, not "you had unspecified sinful thoughts and somehow that led to medical problems").

    And you'll notice that (always assuming this is the case you were thinking of!) in the text, it's written as if Jesus managed to find a private moment with him. Nobody appears to overhear it (bar perhaps a disciple or two, and maybe not them, either) and the matter becomes public only after the man himself is fool enough to go tattle to Jesus' enemies.
  • LatchKeyKidLatchKeyKid Purgatory Host
    jay_emm wrote: »
    Would Samaritans have similar rules about showing themselves to priests to confirm their healing or accept them back into society?

    ...

    It's one of the stories where missing details could affect it. (For instance when the turning happened)

    Interestingly it seems that they go, then are healed. If it's is midway it does make some sense that the Jewish exlepers see finishing their commission as important, and the Samaritan thinks it interruptible. It also shows some serious faith by them to go to the priest while not yet healed.

    As for why, one obvious reason would be, that was just how it happened. Though in any case it's inclusion still has reasons.

    I take it that the author of Luke includes accounts because they suit his theological purpose. Although we may now miss some cultural content, it does not fit with my reading of the account that their decision not to return (when they found on the way that they were cured) is acceptable. The passage implies that the nine did not give praise to God for their healing.
    The closing of the pericope with "Your faith has made you whole." does fit with the the theme that runs through Luke of keeping your faith, that may well have been a concern that the author of Luke had for his intended audience.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Gramps, I'm afraid you've got a false premise there--Jesus is actually entering a village when he comes across the ten, and there appears to be a crowd about, or at least some sort of audience, when he makes his remark later about "where are the nine" and refers to "this foreigner" (Not a phrase you'd use in speech TO the man!). So settled land probably with farms and villages around it. I don't see any reason to imagine this as a forbidding wasteland or what-have-you. This appears to be a purely ethnic boundary, and therefore easily crossed by those who have the will to do so. Have you any geographical information to the contrary?

    IMHO you'd probably do better to imagine the sorts of tensions you might find in border towns in Texas or California.

    [/b]
    And yet there was that other time, wasn't there, where the first thing Jesus said to the heal-ee was "Go and show yourself to the priests! And don't sin again, otherwise something worse might happen to you!"

    Perhaps that just means there's a time and place for everything, and this was the time and place for a great big "Thank you!"

    AFAIK this is the only time Jesus sent anybody to the priests, and in this case it was because of the OT regulation about how cured lepers were to be released back into the community. (Always wondered just how the priest-on-duty took this influx. He must have been fair staggered by it, I don't imagine healed lepers turned up that often--and particularly not ones who (as I suspect these did) look as if they'd never had a skin disease in their lives!)

    I think the other case you're remembering is the fellow from the pool at Bethesda, John 5. Jesus healed him, faded away, and then found him again in the temple (where I assume he was making thank offerings or taking care of some ritual uncleanness thing). The exact quote is
    14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.

    This is pretty much the only case I can think of where Jesus ties the health problem to some sort of sin. It's unique. Which leads me to wonder if the man's disability was perhaps the obvious result of some obvious sin (robbed a dude who fought back and managed to inflict a spinal cord injury? whacked by the angry husband of a woman he was carrying on with? Something THAT obvious, not "you had unspecified sinful thoughts and somehow that led to medical problems").

    And you'll notice that (always assuming this is the case you were thinking of!) in the text, it's written as if Jesus managed to find a private moment with him. Nobody appears to overhear it (bar perhaps a disciple or two, and maybe not them, either) and the matter becomes public only after the man himself is fool enough to go tattle to Jesus' enemies.

    I will acknowledge one mistake. I said there where two villages. On rereading the story I now realize only one village is mentioned. And, since there were ten lepers, one of which we know was a Samaritan, we might be able to assume it was a Judean village near the line of demarcation. If it is near the border, it could be possible that the land to the north of the village was a wasteland, much like the DMZ separating the Koreas, but without the wires, landmines, and guard posts. Yes, I think it was more of an ethnic boundary, but I think people did know when they had crossed the line.

    I was not thinking of the pool of Bethesda, but I was considering all the other cases where Jesus dealt with outcasts in Luke. The pool at Bethesda is told only in the Gospel of John, nowhere else.

    Something else about the ten lepers. One is reported to be a Samaritan. We do not know the ethnic background of the other nine, though since they headed to Jerusalem to show themselves to the priests it is assumed they were Judeans. If that is the case, it is significant that the disease(s) they were experiencing broke down the ethnic barrier between the lepers. Firefighters will tell stories of animals of all kinds, predator and prey, will shelter together to get through the common danger they are facing. Same with floods, animals of all kinds will seek higher ground together regardless of who is the hunter and who is the hunted.

    There is nothing in the story that indicates to me Jesus has a private moment with the Samaritan when he turns back. Fact is, when Jesus asks where are the other nine, he would be addressing someone other than the Samaritan, like the disciples who were with him.

    Now to the number 10. Any time a number is mention in the Bible it means something. All I can think of is it referring to the 10 commandments?
  • Alan Cresswell Alan Cresswell Admin, 8th Day Host
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    To add to the above comment on the borderland, look to the history of the two regions.

    Around the 10th Century BCE the kingdom of Israel splits into two rival monarchies. The Northern Kingdom becomes Samaria. The Southern kingdom becomes Judea, a.k.a. Galilee. Around the 8th Century BCE Assyria invades the Northern Kingdom and begins to import people from Mesopotamia. Intermarriage happens and the Samaritans develop their own religious practices: honoring the Torah but worshiping on Mt Gerizim near Shechem. Around the 2nd century BCE much of Galilee has converted to Judaism and they worship in Jerusalem. A violent civil war breaks out and the Judeans capture and destroy the Samaritan temple at Gerizim. No wonder there is such hostility between the two nations.
    Galilee and Judea are different areas. Galilee is in the north, it was an area that included non-Jewish settlers from the old kingdom (Solomon rewards the allegiance of King Hiram with 20 cities in the area, 1 Kings 9) and would have been part of the area conquered by Assyria. Samaritan religious differences would have started to develop as soon as the kingdom divided after the death of Solomon, more difficulty getting to Jerusalem requiring places to worship in the north, what we know of Samaritan religion deviations from Judaism were mostly just around where to worship not how - though by the time of Jesus the destruction of the Samaritan Temple had already forced Samaritan religion to develop along lines that Judaism would later follow after the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed.

    Galilee was conquered by the Hasmonean Judean king Aristobulus in 103-104BC, resulting in a part of Judea in the north (Galilee). Under Roman rule after the death of Herod the Great, Galilee and Judea are under different administrations. The direct route to travel from Galilee to the rest of Judea (including Jerusalem) was through Samaria, with the high road passing through Shechem. Many Jews would cross the Jordan and take the longer, and harder, route through Gentile territory east of the Jordan - apparently they thought they'd be less ritually unclean in thoroughly Gentile areas (where they even raised pigs) than in Samaria where people believed almost but not quite the same things.
  • TurquoiseTasticTurquoiseTastic Kerygmania Host
    And yet there was that other time, wasn't there, where the first thing Jesus said to the heal-ee was "Go and show yourself to the priests! And don't sin again, otherwise something worse might happen to you!"

    AFAIK this is the only time Jesus sent anybody to the priests, and in this case it was because of the OT regulation about how cured lepers were to be released back into the community. (Always wondered just how the priest-on-duty took this influx. He must have been fair staggered by it, I don't imagine healed lepers turned up that often--and particularly not ones who (as I suspect these did) look as if they'd never had a skin disease in their lives!)

    I think the other case you're remembering is the fellow from the pool at Bethesda, John 5. Jesus healed him, faded away, and then found him again in the temple (where I assume he was making thank offerings or taking care of some ritual uncleanness thing).

    Ah yes thank you LC I was accidentally conflating the two episodes (always dangerous!)
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited October 6
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Now to the number 10. Any time a number is mention in the Bible it means something. All I can think of is it referring to the 10 commandments?
    God speaks (“God said”) 10 times in the 7-day Genesis creation story.
    There are 10 generations from Adam to Noah (inclusive), and 10 generations from Noah to Abraham (inclusive).
    There are 10 plagues in Egypt, which is in essence a de-creation story.
    The Passover lamb is chosen on the 10th day of Nisan, and there are 10 days of repentance from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.
    The Israelites tested God 10 times in the wilderness (Numbers 12:22)
    According to the rabbis, God tested Abraham 10 times.
    Ten (male) adults constitute a minyan.
    In Jesus’s parables, aside from these 10 lepers there are 10 virgins, 10 talents, 10 coins, 100 (10x10) sheep and 10 servants/slaves given 10 pounds.
    By some counts, there are 10 “ I am” statements by Jesus in John’s Gospel.

    And then there’s the tithe (one-tenth). Is that arguably is what we have in this story? One-tenth of those made whole returns?

  • And yet there was that other time, wasn't there, where the first thing Jesus said to the heal-ee was "Go and show yourself to the priests! And don't sin again, otherwise something worse might happen to you!"

    AFAIK this is the only time Jesus sent anybody to the priests, and in this case it was because of the OT regulation about how cured lepers were to be released back into the community. (Always wondered just how the priest-on-duty took this influx. He must have been fair staggered by it, I don't imagine healed lepers turned up that often--and particularly not ones who (as I suspect these did) look as if they'd never had a skin disease in their lives!)

    I think the other case you're remembering is the fellow from the pool at Bethesda, John 5. Jesus healed him, faded away, and then found him again in the temple (where I assume he was making thank offerings or taking care of some ritual uncleanness thing).

    Ah yes thank you LC I was accidentally conflating the two episodes (always dangerous!)

    You're welcome! (I find myself accidentally doing this more and more, I'm hoping it's just an after-effect of stress from Ye Plague and not a permanent state)

    Gramps: I think your idea of a "line of demarcation" is foreign to the ancient world, or at least to this part of it. I'm sure there was a rough idea, at least on the part of the various rulers (tetrarchs, etc.) of these areas, as to where the borders were; somebody (tax collectors?) probably kept an official list; but in actual practice, all this land had been settled (and re-settled, and re-re-settled) for time out of memory. And of course those territories were combined under certain rulers. Which IMHO means that the locals would NOT have seen any strict line of demarcation, complete with signposts, boundary lines, or obvious physical markers, and probably in practice had a certain amount of commerce and even social stuff over what we would consider the border--because the village 4 miles away on the "wrong side" of an official line is still closer than the village 10 miles away on the right side, and distance matters when you have to hoof it.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    And yet there was that other time, wasn't there, where the first thing Jesus said to the heal-ee was "Go and show yourself to the priests! And don't sin again, otherwise something worse might happen to you!"

    AFAIK this is the only time Jesus sent anybody to the priests, and in this case it was because of the OT regulation about how cured lepers were to be released back into the community. (Always wondered just how the priest-on-duty took this influx. He must have been fair staggered by it, I don't imagine healed lepers turned up that often--and particularly not ones who (as I suspect these did) look as if they'd never had a skin disease in their lives!)

    I think the other case you're remembering is the fellow from the pool at Bethesda, John 5. Jesus healed him, faded away, and then found him again in the temple (where I assume he was making thank offerings or taking care of some ritual uncleanness thing).

    Ah yes thank you LC I was accidentally conflating the two episodes (always dangerous!)

    You're welcome! (I find myself accidentally doing this more and more, I'm hoping it's just an after-effect of stress from Ye Plague and not a permanent state)

    Gramps: I think your idea of a "line of demarcation" is foreign to the ancient world, or at least to this part of it. I'm sure there was a rough idea, at least on the part of the various rulers (tetrarchs, etc.) of these areas, as to where the borders were; somebody (tax collectors?) probably kept an official list; but in actual practice, all this land had been settled (and re-settled, and re-re-settled) for time out of memory. And of course those territories were combined under certain rulers. Which IMHO means that the locals would NOT have seen any strict line of demarcation, complete with signposts, boundary lines, or obvious physical markers, and probably in practice had a certain amount of commerce and even social stuff over what we would consider the border--because the village 4 miles away on the "wrong side" of an official line is still closer than the village 10 miles away on the right side, and distance matters when you have to hoof it.

    I think I said something similar to that when I acknowledged there that it was an ethnic boundary but people would know when they crossed to the other side.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    To add to the above comment on the borderland, look to the history of the two regions.

    Around the 10th Century BCE the kingdom of Israel splits into two rival monarchies. The Northern Kingdom becomes Samaria. The Southern kingdom becomes Judea, a.k.a. Galilee. Around the 8th Century BCE Assyria invades the Northern Kingdom and begins to import people from Mesopotamia. Intermarriage happens and the Samaritans develop their own religious practices: honoring the Torah but worshiping on Mt Gerizim near Shechem. Around the 2nd century BCE much of Galilee has converted to Judaism and they worship in Jerusalem. A violent civil war breaks out and the Judeans capture and destroy the Samaritan temple at Gerizim. No wonder there is such hostility between the two nations.
    Galilee and Judea are different areas. Galilee is in the north, it was an area that included non-Jewish settlers from the old kingdom (Solomon rewards the allegiance of King Hiram with 20 cities in the area, 1 Kings 9) and would have been part of the area conquered by Assyria. Samaritan religious differences would have started to develop as soon as the kingdom divided after the death of Solomon, more difficulty getting to Jerusalem requiring places to worship in the north, what we know of Samaritan religion deviations from Judaism were mostly just around where to worship not how - though by the time of Jesus the destruction of the Samaritan Temple had already forced Samaritan religion to develop along lines that Judaism would later follow after the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed.

    Galilee was conquered by the Hasmonean Judean king Aristobulus in 103-104BC, resulting in a part of Judea in the north (Galilee). Under Roman rule after the death of Herod the Great, Galilee and Judea are under different administrations. The direct route to travel from Galilee to the rest of Judea (including Jerusalem) was through Samaria, with the high road passing through Shechem. Many Jews would cross the Jordan and take the longer, and harder, route through Gentile territory east of the Jordan - apparently they thought they'd be less ritually unclean in thoroughly Gentile areas (where they even raised pigs) than in Samaria where people believed almost but not quite the same things.
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Now to the number 10. Any time a number is mention in the Bible it means something. All I can think of is it referring to the 10 commandments?
    God speaks (“God said”) 10 times in the 7-day Genesis creation story.
    There are 10 generations from Adam to Noah (inclusive), and 10 generations from Noah to Abraham (inclusive).
    There are 10 plagues in Egypt, which is in essence a de-creation story.
    The Passover lamb is chosen on the 10th day of Nisan, and there are 10 days of repentance from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.
    The Israelites tested God 10 times in the wilderness (Numbers 12:22)
    According to the rabbis, God tested Abraham 10 times.
    Ten (male) adults constitute a minyan.
    In Jesus’s parables, aside from these 10 lepers there are 10 virgins, 10 talents, 10 coins, 100 (10x10) sheep and 10 servants/slaves given 10 pounds.
    By some counts, there are 10 “ I am” statements by Jesus in John’s Gospel.

    And then there’s the tithe (one-tenth). Is that arguably is what we have in this story? One-tenth of those made whole returns?

    I found this interesting comment from the Jewish Virtual Library:
    The Conquest of Israel

    In 722 BC, the Assyrians conquered Israel. The Assyrians were aggressive and effective; the history of their dominance over the Middle East is a history of constant warfare. In order to assure that conquered territories would remain pacified, the Assyrians would force many of the native inhabitants to relocate to other parts of their empire. They almost always chose the upper and more powerful classes, for they had no reason to fear the general mass of a population. They would then send Assyrians to relocate in the conquered territory.

    When they conquered Israel, they forced the ten tribes to scatter throughout their empire. For all practical purposes, you might consider this a proto-Diaspora ("diaspora"="scattering"), except that these Israelites disappear from history permanently; they are called "the ten lost tribes of Israel." Why this happened is difficult to assess. The Assyrians did not settle the Israelites in one place, but scattered them in small populations all over the Middle East. When the Babylonians later conquered Judah, they, too, relocate a massive amount of the population. However, they move that population to a single location so that the Jews can set up a separate community and still retain their religion and identity. The Israelites deported by the Assyrians, however, do not live in separate communities and soon drop their Yahweh religion and their Hebrew names and identities.

    The Samaritans

    One other consequence of the Assyrian invasion of Israel involved the settling of Israel by Assyrians. This group settled in the capital of Israel, Samaria, and they took with them Assyrian gods and cultic practices. But the people of the Middle East were above everything else highly superstitious. Even the Hebrews didn't necessarily deny the existence or power of other peoples' gods—just in case. Conquering peoples constantly feared that the local gods would wreak vengeance on them. Therefore, they would adopt the local god or gods into their religion and cultic practices.

    Within a short time, the Assyrians in Samaria were worshipping Yahweh as well as their own gods; within a couple centuries, they would be worshipping Yahweh exclusively. Thus was formed the only major schism in the Yahweh religion: the schism between the Jews and the Samaritans. The Samaritans, who were Assyrian and therefore non-Hebrew, adopted almost all of the Hebrew Torah and cultic practices; unlike the Jews, however, they believed that they could sacrifice to God outside of the temple in Jerusalem. The Jews frowned on the Samaritans, denying that a non-Hebrew had any right to be included among the chosen people and angered that the Samaritans would dare to sacrifice to Yahweh outside of Jerusalem. The Samaritan schism played a major role in the rhetoric of Jesus of Nazareth; and there are still Samaritans alive today around the city of Samaria.
    https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-two-kingdoms-of-israel

    Could it be the 10 lepers represented the lost tribes of Israel?
  • LatchKeyKidLatchKeyKid Purgatory Host
    I am not aware of any symbolic representation for the number 10 in the Bible.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I am not aware of any symbolic representation for the number 10 in the Bible.

    I invite you to look at this: https://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/10.html The Bible is heavy in numerology. 10 can mean a number of things.
  • LatchKeyKidLatchKeyKid Purgatory Host
    The number 10 occurs in in the Bible many times, but, from the site I looked up there was no connection between them or symbolism in the number.
  • From chabad.org: “ In Judaism, the number ten is quite significant. Throughout the teachings of Torah, Talmud, Kabbalah and Chassidus, the number ten is a fundamental building block for every aspect of Creation.”

    FWIW.

  • LatchKeyKidLatchKeyKid Purgatory Host
    edited October 7
    Thanks, but there seems to be no inscrutable link😊

    This is from Bible.org
    Five and ten, and their multiples, occur frequently on account of the decimal system used in Palestine. In the OT 10 Patriarchs are mentioned before the Flood. The Egyptians were visited with 10 plagues and there were Ten Commandments. The fraction one-tenth formed the tithe (Gn. 14:20; 28:22; Lv. 27:30; 2 Ch. 31:5; Mal. 3:10). In the parable of Lk. 15:8 the woman possessed 10 coins, and in the parable of the pounds mention is made of 10 pounds, 10 servants and 10 cities (Lk. 19:11-27). Of the 10 virgins, 5 were wise and 5 foolish (Mt. 25:2). 5 sparrows were sold for 2 farthings (Lk. 12:6); Dives had 5 brothers (Lk. 16:28); the woman by the well had had 5 husbands (Jn. 4:18), and at the feeding of the 5,000 the lad had 5 loaves. There are 10 powers which cannot separate the believer from the love of God (Rom. 8:38f.) and 10 sins which exclude from the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:10). The number 10, therefore, also signifies completeness; 10 elders form a company (Ru. 4:2).
  • I don’t know if this from The Jewish Encyclopedia helps at all or not:
    The following numbers occur in Hebrew literature either as symbols or as round numbers: . . .

    Ten: Had a symbolical character in part because it is the basis of the decimal system, and in part because it is the sum of three and seven. Its simplest use is as a round number (Gen. xxiv. 10, 22; Josh. xxii. 14; Judges xvii. 10; et al.; comp. Lampronti, l.c. s.v. [Hebrew letters]). A more sacred use is found in the ritual (Ex. xxvi. 1, 16; Num. vii., xxviii., xxix.; I Kings vi., vii.; Ezek. xlv.; II Chron. iv.). Because of this sacred character “ten” is used in apocalyptic symbolism (Dan. vii. 7, 20, 24). Multiples of ten are used as round numbers: one hundred and two hundred, in Pes. 64b; et al.; one thousand, in Ḥul. 97b; Ned. 50b; Yer. Ta'an. iv. 8; ten thousand and two hundred thousand, in Yer. Ta'an. iv. 8; one million, in Yoma 33b.
    I’m assuming “round number” is used to mean an estimated or approximate number.

    As for the 10 plagues in Exodus, I’ve heard and read analysis that suggests the 10 plagues in Exodus link back to the 10 utterances of God (“God said”) in Genesis 1.

  • LatchKeyKidLatchKeyKid Purgatory Host
    The human mind likes to find patterns and thus there is an interest in numerology. It's easy to make up the Deck Of Cards song, but is that inherent in the design of a card pack or is it a contrivance?

    But just because the same number is used in different places does not seem sufficient for there to be an association or symbolism. I would expect something explicit rather than just implied because it occurred to someone.

    Why would have the intended audience of Luke seen symbolism in there being 10? Maybe Luke does have numerological aspects and has redacted the number to ten, but I haven't seen an indication of that so far.
  • jay_emmjay_emm Kerygmania Host
    I don't see any development from the 10 being 10 lost tribes, as it seems the number is doing all the work against everything else (9 of them are probably Judean for a start).

    Though authors have surprised me also. And tales with a point often have leakage, so it would make sense to see if the number connects.

    More generally ten here being historical chance or authorial convenience works fine with me.
    A tithe as the most obvious relation if any.
  • The human mind likes to find patterns and thus there is an interest in numerology. It's easy to make up the Deck Of Cards song, but is that inherent in the design of a card pack or is it a contrivance?

    But just because the same number is used in different places does not seem sufficient for there to be an association or symbolism. I would expect something explicit rather than just implied because it occurred to someone.

    Why would have the intended audience of Luke seen symbolism in there being 10? Maybe Luke does have numerological aspects and has redacted the number to ten, but I haven't seen an indication of that so far.
    To my mind, “symbolism” may not quite be the right word. Significance, or connections, maybe? And it seems interesting to me that you would expect something to be stated explicitly, rather than implied. I think if we were reading a modern novel, we’d consider it a sign of bad writing if everything was explicitly spelled out. That’s not good storytelling, nor is it storytelling designed to make you think,

    Hebrew Scripture seems to be very much set up to make connections. When, for example, you see that in Exodus, God speaks (usually, I think, “the Lord said”) ten times in relation to the plagues, it prompts the question “Where else does it say God spoke ten times? Oh yeah, at creation. So is that supposed to signal something about what’s happening in Exodus?” (The climax to the plagues will, of course, be the waters crashing in and destroying, right back to the first verses of Genesis.)

    And then you get to the 10 Commandments, which in Hebrew are the aséret ha-dvarím—the Ten Words or the Ten Sayings. (And this despite it not being at all clear from the text itself that there are ten of them.) And that again can prompt the question, “What does it mean here that God is speaking ten times? Does it relate to otger places where God speaks ten times?”

    Of course, there’s the possibility that Luke’s audience understood “ten” in a more idiomatic sense, in the way that 40 indicates a generation or an indeterminate period of time. Or it’s possible that ten is simply ten. But assigning significance to certain numbers is a very, very old idea in Judaism, and it seems to me that if we dismiss that, we risk decontextualizing what Luke wrote and what his original audience would have heard. (With this particular story, I find myself a little intrigued with the connection to a tithe—one-tenth returned to the Lord.)

    BTW, my apologies. I thought I’d linked to the page of The Jewish Encyclopedia that I referred to above, but realized this morning that I hadn’t. It’s here.

  • LatchKeyKidLatchKeyKid Purgatory Host
    I have quickly gone through Luke. Though there are few times that numbers are mentioned, the numbers do not seem to be used with significance. There are ten talents given to each servant in the parable, and perhaps some can view this as the number of perfection given to each servant (representing the disciples who are Luke's intended audience)

    By contrast, Matthew seems to use numbers more intentionally. Matthew's genealogy is explicitly constructed as 3 groups of 2x7 generations.
    Matthew presents Jesus as the expected prophet like (or greater than) Moses, with putting Jesus' teaching into five discourses, equal to the number of books in the Torah, commencing with Jesus giving the beatitude discourse on the mountain (alluding to Moses receiving the commandments on the mountain). This, I take, would be apparent to Matthew's audience. In any case, it ties in with other passages in Matthew.

    Also, IIRC, John intentionally chooses seven signs for his gospel.

    I don't want to divert this thread to a tangent. I can take this subject to another thread if people are interested.
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