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Matt 2:13-3:10 family grief voiced


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I know the section Matt 2:13-3:10 is arbitrary, and yet there's within it strong narrative structure around family. Reading it in Greek compels me to go back to the LXX Genesis and the prophets. There's a dreamer Joseph whose dreams take a family into and then out of Egypt. There's the crying of mothers and the crying of prophets. There's the question of birth legitimacy.


The narrative structure, with the repeated particles δὲ and καὶ give this a very Hebraic feel.

It's also almost Homeric, with that  Ἑτοιμάσατε τὴν ὁδὸν κυρίου, perhaps a nod to The Odyssey? (My thoughts are all over the place with this, since John's gospel has John the Baptist quoting differently slightly: Εὐθύνατε τὴν ὁδὸν κυρίου -- veering away from Matthew's quoted prophet as translated in LXX.)

Through early 21st century lenses, there's the question also of gendering. In Greek παιδ* seems to be generically something more like "children" and less like "boys." And yet most of our English translations through our day stress boys for πάντας τοὺς παῖδας. The narrative feel here seems on the family, on the Hebraic voicing of grief and displacement and legitimacy. Using Greek in Roman empire for this is quite interesting. The politics of inclusion and hierarchies come through.

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