One of the most unusual verses found in the New Testament is Luke 19:42-44, where Jesus holds the people accountable for not recognizing the day that the Messiah would come to Israel.
In the King James version of this passage, what is not seen in the English is the imperative that is in the Greek grammar, meaning a command to do something, which in this case Israel did not do as a nation, yet also by the individual.
They Were Not Looking for Him
Luke 19:42-44, states with Jesus speaking:
If thou hadst known, even thou [Meaning the individual himself, it is “The personal pronoun of the second person singular”], at least in this thy day, [Meaning the individual himself, it is in the “Genitive case of G4771 [the previous word for “thou”]; of thee, thy: – X home, thee, thine (own), thou, thy.] the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy [Meaning the individual himself, it is in the “Genitive case of G4771 [the previous word for “thou”]; of thee, thy: – X home, thee, thine (own), thou, thy.] visitation.
When Jesus states, as recorded in the Greek, “if thou hadst known, even thou” carries the idea that they refused to know. Notice the personal admonition when Jesus says “even thou” referring to the individuals, not just Israel as a nation. Therefore, the following statement, “but now they are hid from thine eyes,” is the conclusion or the punishment for refusing to see in the first place.
It follows the same line as we see with Pharaoh hardening his own heart against God, then God on top of that hardening of his heart, hardens it even further (Because of pharaohs pride and refusal to acknowledge God, as validated by the miracles, God harden his heart beyond any logical sense in that the following miracles would not even move him. He refused to move and God allowed him to become solidified in that refusal to the extent it became ridiculous considering Pharaoh was given all the miracles that a normal man would’ve responded too, even to the point where he would lose his own son according to his own refusal to believe, and bend to God’s will).
It is this last statement, which again describes their refusal and therefore condemnation when Jesus states “because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation,” which in the Greek is better translated into the English; ‘because you refuse to acknowledge the time of your visitation.’ This is one of those few times when the New Living Translation more appropriately presents the Greek grammar of this passage when it states starting in verse 41:
“But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation.”
It is now understanding that Christ was holding them accountable for refusing to either look for the time of His visitation by studying the word of God to understand his timing, or their laziness of attitude towards the arrival of the Messiah.
There Were those that looked For the Messiah
Malachi 3:16 states:
“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. “
Simeon and Anna
Luke 2:25-38 states:
“And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Was there a word of Prophecy That Gave a Clue
Now this begs the question, if Jesus held the people accountable for knowing the time of their visitation of the Messiah, was there a prophecy in God’s word, the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus expected them to be aware of.
We are aware that Simeon and Anna were blessed by the Holy Spirit to understand that Jesus was the one that was prophesied, and Simeon was given a word from the Lord that he would not die before having seen the anointed of the Lord, the Messiah; what we don’t know is if they understood a prophecy which also led them to understand that it was time to look for their Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit identifying the individual who was Jesus this understanding. In the text and even in the Greek grammar itself it infers in that they were devout, meaning that they deeply studied God’s word in prayer.
The point still arises that Jesus held the people accountable for knowing the time of the arrival of the Messiah, rather the specific day or the time in general so that when they saw Jesus fulfilling the miracles He did, as well as the other prophecies He fulfilled according to the Scripture. Either way Christ expected them to expect His coming and therefore accept Him – to recognize Him – which they did not.
There is a Prophecy which gave the exact day that Jesus would Announce Himself As the Messiah
One of the prophecies that the prophet Daniel recorded under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is found in the ninth chapter of Daniel, in the book named after him.
This prophecy gives a starting date, a benchmark known by secular and religious figures wherein at this beginning point; according to a certain number of days the Messiah would present Himself.
How Long Is a Week?
One of the first things we need to realize is that in the Hebrew the number seven in reference to time did not always mean what we think it does. They had weeks of days, which totaled seven days. They had weeks of weeks, which totaled 49 days (Wherein the Jubilee year was 49+ the next year of freedom, which was 50); they had weeks of months, which was seven months; and they had weeks of years, which totaled seven years.
The following chart is a brief synopsis which explains the formula wherein Daniel’s prophecy declared that Jesus would present Himself on the day that we refer to as a Triumphant Entry, the only time that Jesus received worship as the Messiah, in fact He orchestrated it, to have a colt ready for the occasion.
He came in the very gate that was the gate according to the Psalms that the Messiah would enter, on the very road that the Messiah was to ride on, while the people were singing the very song which was a song of the arrival of the Messiah; wherein the Pharisees told Jesus to have the people stop because they were committing blasphemy (Calling Him God), wherein Jesus responded that if the people did not sing the prophesied Psalm to the Messiah, the rocks would sing out; indicating that this was to be His public dedication, even though four days later they cried crucify Him.
The people were laying down palm branches as they did for Kings, and their own outer coats as would fulfill a prophecy of the Messiah.
Have you ever noticed how often Jesus would sneak away from the crowds when they tried to make Him king. How when He did certain miracles, such as the first one in Cana He advised His mother that “His time had not come.” It makes no sense that He would be referring to His death, but it makes total sense in understanding that He would not declare Himself the Messiah by publicly doing this miracle, a miracle which was prophesied to be done by the Messiah himself.
This brief summary is but the starting point for this study.
The following link will take you to a more exhaustive examination, though limited as it is. LINK (Presenting the work of Sir Robert Anderson, 1899)
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”
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