Why are Jesus’ temptations in a different order in Luke?

On this first Sunday of Lent, we are reflecting in the lectionary on the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness being tested by Satan, which offers us the pattern for the Lenten period—though it is worth noting at the outset both that the figure 40 in Scripture is often taken as an approximate or symbolic number meaning ‘a significant period’ (the Exodus wanderings actually lasted 42 years) and that the 40 days of Lent don’t include the Sundays, which remain as feast days on which we are exempt from Lenten disciplines. So don’t forget where you stashed all that chocolate…!

(It is also worth noting the slightly odd way that the calendar use of Lent leading into Easter pushes the biblical narrative out of shape, since for Jesus the 40 days was a preparation for his ministry, with the events of Easter some way off, whereas for us the 40 days leads straight into the events of Holy Week and Easter itself. This might be an argument for reshaping the calendar, but I am not sure that is going to happen any time soon!)

Felix Just, on his Catholic Resources page, includes a helpful table of comparison of the three Synoptic accounts of the temptations:

.Mark 1:12-13Matthew 4:1-11Luke 4:1-13
12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts…1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished.1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished.
x3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.‘ ” (cf. Deut 8:3cd)3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” 4 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.‘ “(cf. Deut 8:3c)
x5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’ ” (cf. Ps 91:11-12) 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.‘ ” (cf. Deut 6:16)5 Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.6 And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.‘” (cf. Deut 6:13)
x8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; 9 and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.‘” (cf. Deut 6:13)9 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ 11 and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’ ” (cf. Ps 91:11-12) 12 Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.‘ ” (cf. Deut 6:16)
13d – and the angels waited on him.11 Then the devil left him,
and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
13 When the devil had finished every test,
he departed from him until an opportune time.

This is helpful in both highlighting common themes drawn out by the three gospel writers, but also in highlighting different emphases.

A common theme is the tension between the apparent power of Satan, and the sovereignty of God in the whole event. Mark expresses this rather brutally—the Spirit ‘throws’ or ‘drives’ (ballo) Jesus into the desert—where Matthew and Luke are a little more measured. But all three are also clear that Jesus was not alone, contrary to some readings of this narrative, and also contrary to the rather miserable hymn I remember from school days, Lead us Heavenly Father, lead us, which included the lines:

lone and dreary, faint and weary,
through the desert thou didst go

The temptations might not have been a bag of laughs, but Jesus is not depicted as ‘lone and dreary’; in Mark he is ministered to by angels and the wild beasts, and Luke is clear that he goes ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’ and with the words of his Father’s blessing ringing in his ears. Luke also spells out the effect of this time of discipline; as I keep noticing in reading Luke, he is unashamed of the language of power, and having gone into the desert ‘full of the Spirit’ he returns for ministry ‘in the power of the Spirit’ (Luke 4.14).

On the question of fasting, Mark doesn’t even mention it; Matthew highlights the forty ‘days and nights’ drawing his customary parallel with the experience of Moses (Ex 34.28); whilst Luke (perhaps writing for those less familiar with the biblical discipline of fasting?) emphasises the human reality that he ate nothing and so was famished.

This brings us to the question of the content and ordering of the three temptations. Some commentators question whether our account is of ‘real’ events, or whether (as depicted in some films) these things happened within Jesus’ mind—since, for example, there is no mountain high enough from which you can see ‘all the kingdoms of the world’. But we use the language of ‘seeing’ and ‘showing’ in all sorts of figurative ways, and there is nothing in the account to suggest that these were not real experiences, albeit with a supernatural dynamic to them. How did the gospel writers know about these (and other) events to which Jesus alone was witness? We have to conclude, with one Anglican wag, that ‘Jesus was in the unfortunate habit of regaling his disciples with accounts of his personal spiritual experiences’. (I cannot remember who said this, but the idea of such personal disclosure was clearly distasteful to him!)

It is commonly observed that the devil begins his attack on Jesus at the level of his identity and security: ‘If you are the son of God…’. It is equally commonly observed that Jesus responds each time by citing scripture, and consistently from Deut 6–8, passages that any observant Jew will have had to learn for Bar Mitzvah. It is rather striking that, in response to the devil’s question, Jesus does not cite in return the heavenly voice from his baptism.

We can also see the way that Jesus resistance to these temptations contrasts with the failure of God’s people in their desert wanderings. Where the people complained about lack of bread (Ex 16.3) and then about the lack of variety in the provision of manna (Num 11.6), Jesus is content with the call to desert discipline. Where the people succumbed to idolatry in making the golden calf (Ex 32), Jesus remains resolute in his focus on the worship of God alone. Where the people complained and tested God (Ex 17.2–3), Jesus resists the need to put God to the test; the word of experience and the word of Scripture are enough for him. In this regard, Jesus ‘recapitulates’ the story of God’s people, and will faithfully complete his ‘exodus’ (Luke 9.31).

But it is also clear that Luke has changed the order of the three temptations from Matthew. I think we can see that Luke acknowledges this, though the evidence is hidden in most English translations. Matthew uses the connections ‘then’ (tote) and ‘again’ (palin) in the second and third temptations, but Luke avoids these temporal succession markers, and simply says ‘and’ (kai) to link them. This reminds us that the gospel writers are not always offering us a chronological account of events, but are happy to organise their material in thematic and narrative ways that communicate something not just of the events of Jesus’ life, but of their significance.

Matthew’s order is the most natural, reaching a climax in relation to the nature of the kingdom that Jesus is bringing, reflecting the centrality of the ‘kingdom of God/the heavens’ within Jesus’ teaching in Matthew. Jesus’ response is also climactic, in that he is moving back through Deuteronomy in his citations, ever closer towards the central Jewish confession of the Shema (Deut 6.4): ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is one/the only’. The rejection of idolatry, and the worship of God alone, is the central theological call of the Old Testament narrative. And this final conflict happens on a ‘high mountain’, just as Jesus begins his ministry on a mountain in the next chapter, and hands on his ministry to the disciples on a mountain in Matt 28.

For Luke, the central place of ministry and conflict in his narrative is the temple. The first revelation of the gospel happens to Zechariah in the temple; the final conflict for Jesus takes place in the temple precincts in Luke 19; and the life and ministry of the apostles continues after the resurrection in the temple (Luke 24.53), with the temple remaining the focus of the early community of Jesus’ followers in Acts 2.46.

But this reordering also opens up the temptations to be seen as undoing not only the failure of Israel, but the failure of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden—who could not resist the allure of the delightful fruit to eat, who served the interests of the tempter, rather than remaining devoted to God, and who tested whether God’s word to them was true.

(There is a curious exploration of the existential nature of Jesus’ temptations on the Wikipedia discussion, though the content is unsourced:

Jesus was tempted three times. The temptations were hedonism (hunger / satisfaction), egoism (spectacular throw / might) and materialism (kingdoms / wealth). John the Evangelist in his epistle calls these temptations “in world” as “lust of eyes” (materialism), “lust of body” (hedonism) and “pride of life” (egoism).[52] Temptations aim to mislead and pervert three main human characteristics; to think, wish and feel which are inside mind, soul and heart as Jesus alludes in Greatest Commandment. These are related with transcendentals or ultimate ideals in three areas of human interests; science (truth), arts (beauty) and religion (goodness). Christians are called to search for divine virtues; faith, hope and love that relate them directly to God who Himself is Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

  • fortitude (courage) when his life was in danger because he was very hungry after fasting for 40 days and rejected devil’s proposition to make “bread” (“hedonism”),

  • prudence (caution) when rejected proposition to make sign of conceit and might, a “spectacular throw” (“egoism”),

  • temperance (self-control) when rejected alluring offer to receive “kingdoms of world” (“materialism”).)

There are two important things to ponder when planning to preach on this passage. The first is how far to explore questions of the differences between the gospel accounts, and the place of the temptations in, for example, Luke’s narrative. There is a real danger that highlighting these things can turn a sermon, which seeks to speak God’s word to this congregation in this time and place through this passage, into a Bible study or a ‘merely’ academic exercise, offering the listeners interesting facts which might not evoke a response of faith. But in my experience it is important to ‘show one’s workings’ in an appropriate way, rather than pull a homiletic rabbit out of the hermeneutical hat, and somehow magically offering insight as a preacher which they as ‘ordinary’ readers could not have. In preaching, we are surely helping people to read the text of Scripture well, but also show them what good reading involves; we are wanting to help them to fish for themselves, and not simply offer them a couple of fish to eat for the coming week. Ordinary readers do find these observations interesting, and are motivated in their own reading and exploration—and it is no bad thing to treat congregations as involved and intelligent readers of Scripture themselves. These are the kinds of things to explore in helping people read the Bible well.

Secondly, the temptations of Jesus are often preached as though they were moral examples for us to follow: we should go into the desert; we should face our demons; we should quote from Scripture; and so on. But to preach in this way is in danger of missing the most important thing in preaching: not to put ourselves in the narrative as if we were the most important subject, but to note what God is doing and what God has done. The focus for all three gospels writers is that Jesus has undone the failures of both Israel and Adam; when we are incorporate into Jesus, we are incorporated into this victory, and we share in it by grace rather than by our own efforts. That does not mean, as we face temptations and challenges this Lent, we can avoid the challenge of discipline and effort. But we face these things knowing that Jesus conquered them, in the power of the Spirit, and that the same Spirit is God’s gift to us, and it is his presence that brings victory and enables us to be ‘more than conquerors’ (Rom 8.37; compare Rev 2.7 and parallels).

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16 thoughts on “Why are Jesus’ temptations in a different order in Luke?”

  1. Even the conservative New English Hymnal could not stomach ‘lone and dreary’. Let alone Michaels Baughen and Saward of Jubilate Hymns who did a lot of rewriting and updating. NEH vi ‘We felt it desirable to abandon the description of Our Lord as ”lone and dreary”.’ NEH went with ‘Self-denying, death defying, Thou to Calvary didst go.’.

    Matthew’s gospel has an overall Moses template. Where one sees an expansion, that is one of the first places one will look for the cause of the expansion. Sandwiched between the desert-entry and the new Sinai of the Sermon on the Mount (which for Matthew corresponds to Pentecost in his liturgical-year template) are 40 days of testings just like the Israelites had between the Red Sea and Sinai. Matthew’s 3 in order could correspond to Exodus 16 (bread), Exodus 17 (Massah), Exodus 32 (idols – this last, golden calf, during the Sinai narrative).

    Luke is not using that template, and his instincts make him put the summary ‘Don’t put the Lord your God to the test’ last.

    Mark has 40 days of testing between the Passover baptisms by John and the start of his Pentecost-season section 1.14-6.5 (which for Mark is a section of Sabbaths [same word as ‘weeks’: Feast of Weeks], of wheat harvest, and of Spirit/spirits). The same wilderness testings are the original cause of this, since passover commemorates the departure from Egypt and Pentecost commemorates/aligns with Sinai. But aren’t there ’50’ days between Passover and Pentecost? Yes, but the count of 50 begins on 2nd day of Passover, whereas Mark is enumerating the approx period between the end of Passover and the start of Pentecost, just as at 9.2 he likely has in mind the days between Yom Kippur and Tabernacles.

    • Hi Christopher, slightly off-topic but as you seem to have a good grasp of timing issues etc, I wondered if you could point me in the direction of a convincing explanation for the apparent difference in the timing of the crucifixion/resurrection between the synoptics and John? One I have read is that the difference was largely down to the different audiences for whom the Gospels were written and their knowledge or lack thereof of the Jewish Sabbath etc.

      Thanks, Peter

      • Yes, I second that. I wish I had looked into this – Humphrey has looked into it a lot more. There are few matters I am at all sure of in this connection. I do suspect John has averaged out Mark’s 3rd hour and 9th hour to arrive at ‘the hour’ (6th) when passover-lamb was sacrificed – not an original thought, of course.

        My friend Barbara Shellard had an amusing thought that Luke (whom we see as the final evangelist) was desperately trying to reconcile the other 3 in saying that the time when the women came to the tomb was ‘very early dawn’. The discrepancy between Mark and John (as on crucifixion hours, and on which part of Jesus was anointed by the lady) is predictably because John has pressing theological motives and construct, as is widely suspected. John 20.1 has to show light out of darkness at the start of a new creation cycle, so Mark’s ‘when the sun had risen’ would not fit.

        If John is the likeliest to change things because his theological motives are the most pressing, does the same apply to the Last Supper? No – as has often been pointed out. He was in addition quite a chronologist himself. And he was the gospelwriter most familiar with Jerusalem matters. How we reconcile Mark and John here… well, the 2 different calendars theory has often been posited. Also Dick France thought that Jesus defined and enacted his own ‘Passover’ one day early, despite knowing it was not the exact day. How else to cope with Mk 14.2 ‘not upon the feast’?

        My study of John has strengthened the view in my mind that Jesus was crucified on Friday and rose on Sunday, as is traditional. John in fact IMHO makes a very big thing of distinguishing between the different ideas of ‘on the third day’ and ‘in/on three days’. The latter constitutes the period initiated by the former.

        And I would love there to be a concerted effort to choose between 30 and 33 AD so that we know, in time for the 2000th anniversary, which year to mark, whether 2030 or 2033.

        Every good wish


  2. Ooh, a link in your article led me to your earlier post on the “most important thing in preaching” and the very important principle (I think) of making sermons theocentric. I think that’s so true and it was great to read that slant. I’d personally take it a step further, though it may be implicit in your own delivery, Ian: that the really important purpose of preaching is to *draw us collectively into the presence of Christ* in the there and then of the sermon.

    My first minister, Ken MacDougall of the Kilmartin Fellowship, had this marvellous gifting. Somehow, he drew us into the presence of Jesus ‘right here with us’ in the room (which of course is true). Not just talking ‘about’ Jesus, but talking in the presence of Jesus, and becoming presently aware of Jesus with us, and touched by wonder, worship, adoration, awe, and grace.

    To me, a sermon should not too often be just an academic delivery, but should – by the Holy Spirit – draw us into awareness of Jesus present, through the unfolding of the scripture, and the opening of our hearts.

    And yes, in the struggle of temptation, being drawn into the life, the death, and the experience of the risen Jesus in our midst. In whom, we can be ‘more than conquerors’. If Jesus is truly risen and with us, we should expect that (or at least trust that) right in the here and now presence in the sermon. Jesus is not a theory, for objective discussion, like listening to a talk on chemistry. Jesus is in our midst and so I appreciate a preacher guiding us into an awareness of that, and creating expectation, and acknowledging God right here with us, and encouraging us to open our hearts, our minds, and have a meeting place with Jesus as gathered believers.

  3. Note the allusions to Ezekiel in Luke’s account: 30th year, seeing the heavens opened and visions of God next to the river, receiving the scroll and the words of God proceeding out of his mouth (the man shall not live by bread alone quotation is incomplete, but completed in the account of the sermon in Nazareth), being ‘led in the Spirit’ into the wilderness, etc. How does this help? The order of Ezekiel’s visions moves from wilderness (Valley of Dry Bones), to high mountain, to various extremities of the Temple. The end of Revelation has a similar order, of course (cf. 17:3, 21:10, followed by description of the city but declaration that it has no temple). The devil is presenting a sort of false and parodic apocalypse.

    • Thanks Alastair, that is really interesting. Two questions:

      1. Is this a connection which is in the text i.e. is there evidence that Luke is aware of this—or is this about making observations by means of a theological reading of the text?

      2. I think there are numerous other points where Luke has (unexpected) connections with Revelation. But is there any evidence of wider Lukan connections with Ezekiel?

      • 1. I think the accumulation of possible allusions to Ezekiel in that context would strengthen that reading. a) The setting—by the river with the exiles; b) the event—heavens opened, a vision, and prophetic initiation; c) the time—the thirtieth year; d) the phraseology—4:1 is, in contrast to Matthew and Mark’s accounts, reminiscent of prophetic journey language (e.g. Ezekiel 37:1); e) underlying themes of eating words, coupled with the significance of the giving of the scroll in the passage that follows and the way it is connected with the first temptation (gracious words proceeding from Christ’s mouth, note parallels with Ezekiel’s prophetic initiation as he eats the scroll given to him and receives his vocation); f) the distinctive order of the temptations.

        2. More generally, I think Ezekiel underlies a lot of Luke’s vision of Jesus’ ministry, as the Son of Man who sets his face against Jerusalem and declares its imminent destruction. Obviously it isn’t the most prominent OT background, but it is important throughout. In Luke, Christ’s ministry neatly divides into two phases. The first Galilean phase begins with the testimony of John, baptism of Jesus, and conflict with the devil in the wilderness and ends with John killed and the question of whether Jesus is John raised again. The second begins with the testimony of Peter, the transfiguration of Jesus, the casting out of the demon from the possessed child and setting his face toward Jerusalem. It ends with Jesus crucified and risen again. While only intermittently present in between, Ezekiel allusions surface at pivotal moments at the beginning of both of these phases, where the larger contours of Jesus’ ministry are most clearly in view.

    • Luke does have webs of references to Samuel, Isaiah (ch61), Elijah, and Moses (Deut1-26). The umbrella description is ‘proto-prophet’. But ch 3 and the first half of ch4 is not covered by these. So it looks like a 5th web (Ezekiel, otherwise a notable absentee from Luke’s prophetic hall of fame) has been uncovered.

      I think this is another great insight, Alastair.

      • Among these:
        1. Samuel covers chs 1-2;
        2. Ezekiel comes next: chs 3.1-4.17 (receiving of the scroll)
        3. Here ‘prophet Isaiah’ is mentioned: and the reading (Isa 61) provides the content for the woman-man ‘captives [to debt]’ pair of narrative additions, chs 7+19; and the woman-man ‘oppressed’ pair of narrative additions, chs 13-14.
        4. This Nazareth sermon also explicitly provides the springboard for the Elijah-Elisha pair of narrative additions (Widow of Nain’s son, 10 lepers: chs 7,17) – as always, woman preceding man. All these 3 pairs are quite symmetrically placed within the whole. And these narrative-addition stories number 6, like the 6 protoprophets. But the main Elijah material exists in the form of brief insertion of the main themes of the Elijah cycle in their most appropriate context within the Moses cycle 9.51-18.14. (Not typology.) The Transfiguration which pairs Moses and Elijah is the springboard for this long central-section passage which contains this interspersing of Elijah allusions in…
        5. …the sequential Deut 1-26 template behind 9.51-18.14.

        6. This is the new bit. The remaining chapters till the end have a similar set of little references to the *Joseph* story. These are (like the preceding) pretty much all in ”L” material, i.e. the material unique to Luke. And the origin of most ”L” material seems to be explicable in precisely this way – as does its often enigmatic nature (allusions/tiny OT-related insertions are bound to be intrinsically enigmatic and to threaten the smoothness of the narrative flow).

        Background: Luke has Jacob-Esau-Joseph in his mind as a writer, as witness the embrace in Prodigal Son story and ‘This my son was dead and is alive, was lost and is found’ – Joseph is the figure who perfectly combines all 4 adjectives.

        All one really needs to do here is list the bits new to Luke that are not in the other 3. And also the bits whose position Luke transposes to become adjacent to his new bits. Then examine them for Joseph material (inserted motifs).

        (Most of chs 19-21 is not original to Luke. The 19.41 tears [Joseph weeps 5x] are very unlikely to be an allusion. New Lukan additions come thick and fast in chs 22-24, however.)
        Df1. Last Supper speaks of 2 cups not 1 (the cup in Benjamin’s sack is a feature of the Joseph story, and is a context heavily mined by Luke below).
        Df2. Lk 22.26-7 Kingly figure who serves at table: Gen. 43.34. (Cf. 22.30a eat and drink at table in my kingdom.)
        Df3. Lk 22.28 Has been through and come through a succession of trials: Gen 37-40.
        Df4. Lk 22.30 12 tribes named after Joseph’s brothers. Very differently placed in Matthew.
        Df5. Lk 22.31 sifting of wheat/grain (to find money and cup unexpectedly: Gen 42,44).
        Df6. Lk 22.32 reference to Simon Peter’s ‘brothers’ as though the 12 apostles were brothers like the 12 patriarchs were in the Joseph story.
        Df7. Lk 22.33 odd reference to ‘prison’ for Jesus (Gen 39-41).
        Df8. Lk 22.36 Now money and sack are included having previously been excluded. Why? Because they were included in the Joseph story (Gen 42, 44). After all, they play no part in the subsequent narrative in Luke, and the reference to them otherwise seems redundant.
        Df9. Lk 22.37 Numbered among transgressors/rebellious. This particular Isa 53 verse is distinctive to Luke. But it summarises Joseph’s Gen 39-41 predicament.
        Df10. Lk 22.38 The two swords – Simeon’s and Levi’s Gen 34, 49. Joseph-story swords are in pairs (apart from Gen 48.22).
        Df11. Lk 23.8 The king is glad for an audience with Joseph/Jesus for a particular reason: precisely because he has heard of his marvellous powers. Gen 41.14-15.
        Df12. Lk 23.27 (mourning/lamenting motif)
        Df13. Lk 23.39-43: the 2 criminals on the crosses. First there are 2 bad men with one acknowledged as good and wrongly condemned (Gen 40.15, Lk 23.41). Second one of these 2 gets a good outcome and the other a bad. Third, this involves a ‘remember me’ (Gen 40.14,23). Fourth, the context of this remembering would have to be when coming into kingdom or entering the presence of the king.
        Df14. Centurion surprisingly says not ‘Son of God’ but ‘innocent’. A famous crux, which appeared in my Theology Finals (Peter Southwell reckoned that people set gobbet passages to which they themselves want an answer). Joseph was innocent, wrongly condemned (Gen 40.15).
        Df15 Luke abruptly makes *Joseph* of Arimathea ‘good and upright’ in this very context of nos 13-14 above which emphasise the innocence and righteousness of the condemned – so maybe this is just Luke having a private joke.
        Df16 A minor point: Lk 24.9,33; Ac 2.14 the formulation ‘the Eleven’ is essentially a Lukan one. (Matt’s Great Commission has ‘the 11 disciples’.) The brothers without Joseph were a group of Eleven. 11 stars bowed down in Joseph’s dream (and cf. Gen 32.23).
        Df17 The climax of both stories is exactly the same. (a) People narrate a sob-story (b) to an interlocutor who is actually the protagonist of their story (c) but feigns ignorance (d) and then reveals himself.
        Df18 Lk 24.36 ‘Peace be with you’ (but also here in John) is in Gen 43.29.
        Df19 Lk 24.39 The moment of revealing his true identity – It is I myself – cf. Gen 45.3.
        Df20 Lk 24.49 Remain in the city – this is a marked Lukan change from Mark etc.. Likewise Jacob’s family at this point settle/remain in the place where they have come to – a great land that is not the land of their birth.
        Df21 Lk 24.50-1 The end of a story is a great Blessing (Gen 49). Not in the other gospels.
        There are probably a few others I have listed and forgotten and others I have not seen.
        I have not seen any linking up of Simon Peter with the patriarch Simeon.

        The latest version of my ‘gospel OT-templates’ talk I gave in Hawarden 18 months ago, just after receiving Alastair’s Ezekiel insight. The Joseph insight I got from my wife and its source was Joseph Prince on the 2 ”thieves” on the cross being similar to the butler and baker (New Creation Church sermon 15.11.20). This not only proved a rich seam but perhaps completed the set, since Luke [19-]22-24 had hitherto been a gaping hole to which I had only weakly assigned ‘rejected prophet’. It is interesting that Joseph is the one who fits ‘prophet’ least (what the 6 figures have in common is being protoprophets) – but given the Emmaus Road and subsequent Resurrection Appearance, Luke’s interest was doubtless ‘prophetic fulfilment’ throughout the Scriptures, rather than just prophets.

  4. Updated Joseph//Luke 19-24 list:

    All that is said of Joseph and Luke 19-24 presupposes that this is the final part of a larger and comprehensive protoprophet scheme that includes sectionally
    Samuel and Luke 1-2;
    Ezekiel and Luke 3-4 prior to Nazareth sermon;
    Isaiah 61 and Luke 4, 7, 13-14, 19;
    Elijah/Elisha and Luke 4, 7, 17 [and Lk 24, Ac 1 as prefigured in 9.30-1] with many redactional tweaks in the central Moses section 9.51-18.14;
    and Moses (Deut 1-26)sequentially in Luke 9.51-18.14.

    Joseph is a prophet in the company of these other prophets not just because he is a prophetic type (Luke 24.25-7,44-6) but also because he himself is an anointed diviner and dream-interpreter ‘in whom is the Spirit of God’: Gen 41.38. See too Gen 41.12-16, 44.15.

    If we look at 3 things in Luke 19-24 – the new (L) material, the redactional changes and the alterations in sequence – then a high proportion of that is explained by the principle that Luke has Joseph-ised this section. These 3 types of changes had previously been combined in a very similar way in his use of Deuteronomy 1-26 in Luke 9.51-18.14.
    We also find a fourth category: a larger narrative has the same shape and/or summary (in a combination of central details) as its forbear. Thus:
    -the parable of the mnai and the broad sweep of the brothers’ antagonism and culpability;
    -the adulteress (originally from the cusp of Luke 21-22) and Judah/Tamar;
    -the brigands on the crosses and the baker and cupbearer;
    -the Emmaus Road and Joseph’s revelation of his idenitity.

    (a) Thirty years old when began public ministry: Gen 41.46 // Luke 3.23.
    (b) Rich Fool – pre-planning by storing in storehouses
    (c) Prodigal Son – ‘This my son was dead and is alive; was lost and is found’ (a combination fulfilled better scripturally by Joseph than by any other figure); the embrace of father and son (Gen 46.29; cf. 33.4 Jacob and Esau).
    (d) Fives and Tens: Genesis has a group of ten brothers come to Egypt (Gen 42.3). There are fives at Gen 43.34, 47.2,24-26. Luke introduces fives at 12.6,52, 14.19, 16.28, 19.19. He introduces tens at 14.31, 15.8, 17.17, 19.13-25; however, his introduction of tens is not notably at a higher level than that by Matthew.

    GENERAL CONCORDANCE BETWEEN JOSEPH AND JESUS which might originally have commended to Luke the idea of using Joseph as a type:
    Most-beloved and favoured son
    Hated by his own
    Sold for silver (20 or 30 pieces)
    Righteous man; falsely accused
    Saviour (very Lukan) – cf. Gen. 41.45

    The previous cycle is Deuteronomy 1-26//Luke 9.51-18.14. This ends in Luke 18.14. The final Elijah-Elisha material is Luke 17.11-19 (ten lepers). And the final Isaiah 61 material is Luke 19.1-10 (Zacchaeus, the second of the 2 debt-captives: cf. Isa 61.1). So the three cycles that spread over the broadest area have all come to an end within less than 2 chapters, leaving the way for the last cycle (Joseph) to begin there and then in the very next verse at 19.11.

    The scope of Luke’s Joseph-section is therefore Luke 19.11-24.52.

    Df1 The parable of the mnai (notice that references previously thought to be – improbably – to Archelaus are in fact to Joseph). This initial Joseph-correspondence is suitably initial, since it summarises the brothers’ antagonism and culpability over a period of time.
    (a) ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ (Gen 37.8 // Luke 19.14, cf. 19.27 – the perfect place for Luke to start his Joseph cycle, as this comes at the very beginning of the Joseph story).
    (b) The central figure attains high office in a far country to which he travels (Gen 41.40-1, 45.9,13 // Luke 19.12,15; cf. 20.9 for long absence in a far country).
    (c) Matthew’s ‘talents’ are altered to silver coins perhaps more comparable to those in Gen 42.27-28.
    (d) The central figure later reestablishes contact (Gen 42.6ff. // Luke 19.15)
    (e) He speaks to the ‘ten’ (Gen 42.3 // Luke 19.13) – a Lukan redaction, an alteration from Matthew who features 3 servants.
    (f) Receiving cities (Luke 19.17,19 – a difference from Matthew – perhaps an echo of the fact that the sons of Jacob had tribal territories including many important cities: see e.g. Gen 48.3-6).
    (g) Once he has successfully become king against the former express wishes of some, he issues the command that that group of people be slain before him slay them (Gen 42.18,20,22 // Luke 19.27).

    Df2 Luke 19.37 An especially magnificent and peopled donkey-ride, with much rejoicing: cf. Gen 45.23-46.27.

    Df3 Luke 19.41 weeping – very common in Joseph story (Joseph weeps 7 times: Gen 42.24, 43.30, 45.2, 45.14-15, 46.29, 50.1, 50.17).

    Df4 Luke 19.44 Jesus’s coming is incognito and unrecognised – cf. Gen 42.8.

    Df5 Luke 20.9 Protagonist’s long absence in a far country (Gen 37-50).

    Df 6 Luke 20.20 Spies (cf. Gen 42.9,14-16).

    Df 7 Luke 20.20 Delivered up / referred to ”the governor” (Gen 42.6).

    Df8 Luke 21.12 ‘Prisons’ is added by Luke alone (cf. Gen 39.20ff; Luke 22.33).

    Df9 Luke 21.15 A mouth and wisdom before kings – cf. Gen 41.16-39 [39: ‘wise’].

    Df10 Luke 21.18 ‘Not a hair of your head will perish; by your endurance you will gain your lives’ – this could scarcely apply to all, but it does fit Joseph’s situation which involved great patience and endurance wasting away in prison with little prospect after the cupbearer forgot him (Gen 41.10).

    Df11 Luke 21.28 Lift up your head – your redemption draws near. Joseph’s promise to the cupbearer is precisely that Pharaoh will lift up his head, and this is in the context of his release being near.

    Df12 Luke gap between 21.38-22.1 [or, at least, originally and very plausibly positioned by one important MS between Luke 21.38-22.1 – it is amazing that *any* gospel context could contain this story so well – let alone one actually attested by a MS – with the reference to spending the night at the Mount of Olives and coming in the early morning to teach]: Woman Taken In Adultery. One-to-one large scale correspondences with the Judah and Tamar story of Gen 38:
    Broad sweep of the story:
    (a) one woman in sexual sin
    (b) is condemned to death by others who themselves are guilty of sin,
    (c) and ends up not being punished or dying.
    (d) Issue of writing on the ground. Judah is operating pre-Moses, so there is merely a reference to the conventional punishment of the day; but with Jesus there is a problem that Moses needs to be overridden – hence the writing in the sand?
    It is quite possible that Luke reasoned that the Judah and Tamar story was sui generis within the Joseph novella, having no relevance to Joseph himself which is after all his main concern. Perhaps he includes it in his scheme because it is part of Gen 37-50, but withdraws it later, so that it becomes floating material as early as Papias’s time? It is unsually tangential to the broad sweep of the Lukan narrative, perhaps to reflect the way that Gen 38 is unusually tangential to Gen 37-50.

    [Df13 Luke 22.5 Both are sold for money (Gen 37.28) – but this detail was already in Mark 14.11.]

    Df14 Luke 22.15 Eager desire to eat with his companions: meal is a very important occasion for him (Gen 43.31-4).

    Df15 Luke 22.17-18,20-23: Last Supper speaks of two cups not one:
    (a) Jesus’s words at Luke’s first cup see merely an echo of Mark 14.25. This is appropriate though because Gen 40.13 looks forward to the next wine-drinking being on the occasion involving the king’s cup, when the king’s presence has finally been attained, as is shortly to take place. Luke 22.16-18 doubles up on ‘not till the Kingdom of God’ perhaps for this reason: once as a nod to Mark 14 and once as a nod to Genesis 40.
    (b) Luke’s second cup is the one linked to Benjamin (a context that interests Luke: see 22.31), because ‘the hand of my betrayer is with me at the table’ (Lk 22.21[-22]). Gen 44.10, likewise, specifies that only one of the 12 brothers is guilty.
    (c) The aforesaid situation produces great agitation among the companions (Gen 44.13 // Lk 22.23).

    Df16 Lk 22.26-7 Kingly figure who serves at table: Gen 43.34 (cf. 22.30a eat and drink at table in my kingdom).

    Df17 Luke 22.28: Protagonist has been through and come through a succession of trials: Gen 37-40. The sequence that is understood is that these are the precursors to glory. Gen 37.23-41.45 // Luke 22.28-30 and 24.26.

    Df18 Luke 22.30 12 tribes under auspices of both Joseph’s brothers (e.g., Gen 49) and the Twelve Apostles. This section has been transferred to this context after being very differently placed in Matthew.

    Df19 Luke 22.29-30 ‘I now grant you [i.e. leaders of twelve tribes] the right to eat and drink at my table’: cf. Gen 43.31-4 – and this is a Lukan redaction.

    Df20 Luke 22.31 ‘Simon, Simon’ – because 2 Simons are involved: the patriarch Simeon and Simon Peter.

    Df21 Luke 22.31-4: Luke in general speaks of ‘Peter’ not of ‘Simon’, and it is telling that he even reverts to Peter in this same short passage (22.33-4) and in the words of Jesus (22.34) who actually replaces ‘Simon’ with ‘Peter’. What has happened is that the term ‘Simon’ is used just at the point where the comparison with patriarch Simeon is being made.

    Df 22 Luke 22.31 Sifting of wheat (Gen chs 42, 44)

    Df23 Luke 22-31-2 ‘Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift *each* of you [you: plural, and ‘brethren’ are the context that explains what the plural designates] like wheat. But I have prayed for *you* [specifically], Simon’. Otherwise would have been a very obscure passage. In the light of the OT it makes sense since Simeon is the very one who avoids the wheat-sifting (42.24-28 – see the immediate justaposition of the binding of Simeon 42.24 with the filling of the grain sacks 42.25 with their sifting 42.27-8).

    Df24 Lk 22.32 Reference to Simon Peter’s ‘brethren’ as though the apostles are brethren makes a lot more sense if we read against the backdrop of the Joseph story with the 12 brothers.

    Df25 Luke 22.32 When Sim[e]on has been restored/returned to his ‘brethren’ again it strengthens / comforts them – they receive words of reassurance (Gen 43.23) after their apprehension (42.28,36, 43.14,18).

    Df26 Luke 22.33 Odd reference to following Jesus to prison, since Jesus does not go to prison. But of course *Joseph* did (Gen 39.20-40.14).

    Df27 Luke 22.33 Simeon/Simon bound/imprisoned (Gen 42.24, 43.14,23).

    Df28 Luke 22.33 Implied danger that Simeon/Simon will die (Gen 42.36) because Jacob speaks as though he never expects to see him again (he is in the same category as Joseph, who will never be seen again, is ‘gone’).

    Df29 Luke 22.36 Jesus’s explicit alteration of the status of money and of moneybags/sacks/purses. Both were previously forbidden, but both are now permitted. Why? Because both figure in the Joseph story (Gen 42, 44) which is hereabouts determinative of Luke’s content. Yet neither plays a part in the subsequent narrative of Luke, making reference to them redundant within the narrative. Hence, the tie-up with the Joseph story seems to be the motive.

    Df30 Luke 22.37 ‘Numbered among the transgressors’ – of the many references to Isaiah 53 in the NT, this verse is distinctive to Luke. But it summarises Joseph’s Gen 39-41 predicament when he rubs shoulders with the rightfully condemned.

    Df31 Luke 22.38 The two swords – Simeon’s and Levi’s Gen 34.25-26. Simeon and Levi are, relatedly, paired at Gen 49.5-7. Joseph-story swords are in pairs (apart from Gen 48.22).

    Df32 Luke 22.41 Jesus ‘withdrew’ (redactional) – cf. Gen 43.30[, 45.1].

    Df33 Luke 22.52, 23.4,13,16,41,47 Emphasis on protagonist’s innocence, his having done no crime (cf. Gen 40.15, 42.11,31,34).

    Df34 Luke 22.52 Officers of the temple [guard] – only in Luke. Cf. Gen. 40.3.

    Df35 Luke 23.8 The king is glad of an audience with Joseph/Jesus for a particular reason: he has heard of his miraculous powers and wants to see them enacted first hand. Gen 41.14-15.

    Df36 Luke 23.11 The king himself dresses the protagonist in a royal robe: Gen 41.42.

    [Df37 Luke 23.11 Jesus’s new apparel is ‘bright’ – cf. stars Gen 37.9.]

    Df38 Luke 23.12 Herod and Pilate become united from that day having previously been at enmity, Cf. uniting of Israel and Egypt in the same location, Gen 45.9-10, 46.34.

    Df39 Luke 23.27,48 Mourning and lamenting as at a funeral – details new to Luke (Gen 50.3,4).

    Df40 Luke 23.34 ‘Father, forgive them.’ Cf. Gen. 45.5, 50.17, and whole of 50.15-21 on topic of father and forgiveness: this main treatment of forgiveness in the Joseph story has ‘father’ central to it. 24.47 has repentance and forgiveness as central to the evangel.
    -The individuals forgiven by Joseph are in ignorance of the true situation. In addition cf. Acts 3.17, 17.30: Luke links ignorance to non-culpability.

    Df41 Luke 23.34 Connection of forgiving his aggressors with stripping of clothing (Gen 37.23-24 is the main act Joseph would have to forgive his brothers for).

    Df42 Luke 23.39-43. The two criminals on the crosses:
    (a) Two bad men, with one acknowledged as good and wrongly condemned (Gen 40.15).
    (b) One of these two has a good outcome pronounced over him by the protagonist, and the other a bad (40.12-13, 18-19).
    (c) This involves a ‘remember me’ (Gen 40.14,23).
    (d) The context of this ‘remember me’ is when coming into the kingdom or entering the presence of the king (Gen 41.40-3).
    (e) The two righteous ones later got reunited in the king’s presence (Gen 41.9-14).
    (f) The unrighteous one got lifted up on a vertical pole (Gen 40.19,22).

    Df43 Luke 23.46 ‘Into Your hands I commit my spirit’ – this is the righteous sufferer of Ps 31.5 speaking, who will receive vindication. Cf. on innocence and righteousness (Gen 40.15, 42.11,31,34 // Luke 22.52, 23.4,13,16,41,47).

    Df44 Luke 23.47 Centurion says ‘innocent’ not ‘Son of God’ to tie in the better with Gen 40.15, 42.11,31,34. Joseph as a righteous man: Yoma 35b.

    Df45 Luke 23.50 ‘Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph.’ This sentence could almost come directly from Genesis 37-50. Jesus-in-the-light-of-Joseph has repeatedly been portrayed as innocent, as we have seen above.

    Df46 Luke 24.9,33, Ac. 2.14 The formulation ‘the eleven’ is essentially Lukan. (Matt’s Great Commission had had ‘The 11 disciples’.) The brothers without Joseph were a group of 11. 11 stars bowed down in Joseph’s dream of Gen 37.9 (and cf. Gen. 32.23).

    [Df47 Luke 24.12 Linen strips found in cavity where body had been, but the body which they had wrapped is missing. Unlikely link with Gen 37.31-2.]

    Df48 Luke 24.13-35 Similar shape to climax of whole story:
    (a) People narrate a sad/tragic story (Gen 42.13 // Luke 24.20-1)
    (b) to an interlocutor who feigns ignorance (Gen 42.7 // Luke 24.28)…
    (c) but is actually realised to be the protagonist (Gen 45.26 // Luke 24.31-3)
    (d) Who was thought dead (Gen 42.13 // Luke 24.20) but is actually alive
    (e) And who at the end reveals himself (Gen 45.3 // Luke 24.38-43 esp. 24.39) – see in context below.

    Df49 Luke 24.26 (cf. 22.28-30 sequence) ‘Had to suffer before entering his glory’ – there has, therefore, according to Luke, to be scriptural precedent for this sequence, which Joseph well provides (though not exclusively: cf. suffering servant): Gen 39.20-41.45.

    Df50 Luke 24.27 Scope of the scriptural basis: begins with ‘the writings of Moses’, of which the Joseph story is a part.

    Df51 Luke 24.27 ‘All the prophets’ – Luke’s scheme involves an unusually large number of prophets (see top) and even extends to people like Joseph who might not immediately be categorised thus (Gen 41.38).

    Df52 Luke 24.33 ‘the eleven’ (quite formal) is a Lukan coinage: 24.9,33, Acts 2.14 cf. 1.26. The coinage would be made smoother if Luke had an existing group of 11 in mind such as Joseph’s brothers (Gen 37.9). The term is used at precisely the moment when the protagonist’s being alone with the one is followed by his being together with all the eleven:

    Df53 Luke 24.34 ‘Has appeared to Simon’ – in Genesis, Joseph was alone with Simeon before the others in the group later joined him (Gen 42.24-43.23).

    Df54 Luke 24.36 ‘Peace be with you’ – though this is inherited by Luke from John 20.19.21,26 – is in Gen 43.29.

    Df55 Luke 24.38-43, esp. 24.39 Climactic self-revelation Gen 45.3.

    Df56 Luke 24.46 The period of precisely three days before restoration to new beginning is prophetic and scriptural: Gen 40.12-13,18-20 and also 42.17.

    Df57 Luke 24.49 The Great Relocation, Gen 45.9-10, 46.3-4. Unlike in other gospels, disciples relocate at this point to the great land that is not the land of their birth. This is the reason for this notable shift in Luke away from the picture given by the other gospels.
    The relocation immediately follows upon the unexpected very happy climax.

    Df58 Luke 24.49 with Acts 1.4 The Promise of the Father – Jacob’s promises, predictions and mandates to his offspring in Gen 49.1-28 which lay out a colossal future.

    Df59 Luke 24.49 Robed with power from on high: cf. Gen 41.42 (and 37.3).

    Df60 Luke 24.50-1 Final Blessing. The end of the story is a great Blessing, not as in the other gospels. See Genesis 49.1-28. Also Joseph’s blessing of Pharaoh in 47.7,10. 45.8 says how Joseph has been appointed a father to Pharaoh.

    Df61 Luke 24.52 They worshipped him: cf. Gen 37.7-10.

    Df62 Luke 24.53 Joyful ‘return’ as a climax: cf. Gen 46.1,29.

    Df63 Acts 1.3 Forty-day cooling off period after the climax: Gen 50.3.

    Df64 Acts 1.18 Judas bought a field – cf. Gen 49.30.

    • Df12A Luke 22.4,52 (& Acts 4.1, 5.24) introduces Captain of the Guard – not in Mark and Matt: Gen 37.36, 39.1, 40.4 (Potiphar).

    • Df1A Luke 19-30-33 Tying/Untying of foal/colt mentioned as many as five times in Luke, in accord with its house-of-Judah/David importance in Gen. 49.11 (in kingly context of 49.10): ‘Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine’ – hattip psephizo 4.4.22.

    • Df4A Luke 19.44 The colourful idea of a ‘visitation’, episkope, is a Lukan addition (not only to the other Synoptics but also to this entire Lukan siege-based insert). Beale and Carson, Commentary ad loc note Genesis 50.24-5LXX – both verses have the same concept and it is a prominent feature in Genesis because this is the very close of Genesis and of the Joseph story.


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