Thursday, February 02, 2023

Keitai eis Ptosin kai Anastasin

 And when eight days were fulfilled for circumcising him, his name was called 'Iesous', which he had been called by the angel before being conceived in the womb.

And when their days of purification according to the law of Moyses were fulfilled, they brought him up to Hierosolyma, to present to the Lord as had been written in the Lord's law, Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord, and to give sacrifice according to what has been said in the Lord's law, A couple of turtledoves or nestling pigeons.

And see! A man was in Ierosalem, Symeon his name, and this man was just and conscientious, awaiting Israel's consolation, and holy was the Spirit on him. And it was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he was not to see death before seeing the Lord's Anointed. And in the Spirit he came into the holy place when the parents were bringing in the child Iesous, which they were doing according to what was customary by his law. And he welcomed him into his arms, and blessed God and said, Now release your servant, master, in peace according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have readied in the presence of all the peoples, light of unveiling for the nations and glory of your people Israel.

And his father and mother were wondering at the things that had been spoken about him. Then Symeon blessed them and said to Mariam his mother, See! This one is for the falling and rising of many in Israel and for a disputed sign. And a sword will pass through your soul so that the reasonings of many hearts may be unveiled.

And there was a prophetess, Hanna, daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in many days, having lived with a husband seven years from her maiden-years but a widow of about eighty-four years without leaving the holy place, serving night and day with fastings and supplications. And she at that hour standing by was praising God and was speaking about him to all those awaiting Ierusalem's ransom.

Then when they had completed all according to the Lord's law, they went back to Galilaia to their city, Nazareth, and the childling grew and strengthened, becoming filled with wisdom, and God's grace was on him.

[Luke 2:21-40, my rough translation. There's apparently a lot of variation in manuscripts over whether it is 'their purification', 'his purification', or 'her purification'; it makes no significant difference to the story. Eulabes, attributed to Simeon, literally means 'taking well in hand', and is used to indicate something like 'respectfully cautious' or 'careful', but it is often translated here as 'devout' or 'God-fearing', i.e, someone who is reverent and careful to observe the appropriate religious practices. The word for 'revealed', kechrematismenon, is associated with divine oracles; I've tried to keep it distinct from the other revelation-word used in the passage, apokalypsin/apokalyphthosin. It's notable that Simeon blesses Joseph and Mary and not, as one might expect, the child. The word for 'rising' is the same word used to mean 'resurrection'.

The word for 'daughter' does not necessarily imply that Anna was the immediate daughter of Phanuel; it can also be applied to any female descendant. Given that her maiden years bring her to her teens, and then she was married for seven years and then a widow for eighty-four years, she must be over a century old. This would mean that she was old enough to remember the Hasmonean kingdom before Pompey made it a protectorate of Rome in 63 BC and Herod the Great took it over by leveraging his Roman connections in 37 BC. If we assume that Christ was born around 4 BC, as is often thought today, she became a widow in the reign of Alexander Jannaeus, king and high priest, around about the time that he was at war with the Seleucid king Demetrios III Eucaerus. She may have been born in the reign of Aristobulus I. 

Some manuscripts say at the end not merely that Jesus became strong but that he became strong spiritually.]