Jesus in Jerusalem — The First Part of the Week (Matthew 21-22)

Jesus in Jerusalem – the First Part of the Week — Controversy (Matthew 21-22)

Jesus has arrived at Jerusalem (21:1-2). In these chapters, Matthew locates Jesus in the temple and once Jesus has made his essential pronouncement about the temple (21:12-13), he engages in a series of controversies with various religious groups — chief priests and elders, Pharisees, and Sadducees. Matthew includes many parables that Jesus taught in these contexts, but most of them are not related in Mark or Luke. The central issue continues to be the authority of Jesus. He challenges the religious leaders to accept what God is doing through him, otherwise they will be crushed by the stone that God has declared to be chosen and precious. The litany of woes Jesus pronounces in chapter 23 end these controversies on an ominous note. The action becomes intense and fast-paced, as Jesus debates one issue after the other. Every conceivable strategy is employed by the religious leaders to discredit Jesus, but none succeed. At the end “no one dared ask him any more questions” (22:46).

Given everything that Jesus has done and taught in Galilee and the way the religious leaders from Jerusalem have challenged him in that region, we would expect his entrance into Jerusalem to arouse interest and celebratory anticipation. His reception is quite exciting. The crowds continue to be attracted to him. In the temple (21:14) he heals the blind and the lame as he has in Galilee, but apart from the cursing of the fig tree, there is no explicit miracle narrative in this section.

The various segments in this part of Matthew include:

21:1-17            The entrance into Jerusalem and Critique of the temple.

21:18-46 – 22:1-14          First series of controversies and parables

22:15-22          Pharisees and Herodians – Conspiracy and Question

22:23-33          Sadducees test Jesus about the Resurrection

22:34-40          Pharisees test Jesus about the Law

22:41-46          Jesus Questions the Pharisees about the Son of David

23:1-36            Jesus denounces the Religious Leaders

23:37-39          Jesus’ Lament for Jerusalem.

This section contains Jesus’ sharpest and most extensive warnings about impending judgment, including the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. It will be followed in chapters 24-25 with a more detailed outline of how this will occur.


21:1-17 The Entrance into Jerusalem and Critique of the Temple

We will not discern the significance of Jesus’ actions as he enters Jerusalem and makes announcement about the temple, if we do not estimate correctly how significant these places and institutions were for Judaism. As Messiah Jesus comes to the centre of  the Jewish religious society that should be embracing him, what begins with joy and excitement soon turns to lament and woe. Jesus sets the stage for his entrance. When he comes to Bethphage (1) and Bethany (17), small villages at the eastern entrance to Jerusalem, perhaps on the slopes of the Mount of Olives, he sends two disciples to locate a donkey and its foal as a beast on which he might ride into Jerusalem. These details are important because they coincide with the prophecy given in Zechariah 9:9. How Jesus made these arrangements remains a mystery. He regards himself as their owner (v. 3 “Their owner has need of them”), but in what sense he is their owner is never explained. Does he really own them as another Jewish person would own such animals? Or does he own them in the sense that he is God, their creator, and has the right to their use? Or is he their ‘master’ because he is the King of the Jews, and as the Jewish king had a claim to use people and animals to carry forward the plans of God for Israel? Regardless, the two disciples go obediently, discover everything is there as Jesus had commanded them, and return with the donkey and its foal. It shows again that Jesus is in charge. He is coming to Jerusalem on his terms.

The quotation in 21:5 could be a conflation of material from Isaiah 62:11,[1] which corresponds to 5a and Zechariah 9:9, which corresponds to 5b. What Matthew shows as fulfillment is the approach to Jerusalem, Jesus’ royal stature (son of David), the humble approach he makes, and the use of a donkey for his mount. In later, post-NT rabbinic literature, Zechariah 9:9 was interpreted messianically. We have no evidence, as far as I know that it was understood this way prior to Jesus. If Zechariah is the source of Matthew’s material, then he omits the middle section of v. 9 which describes this figure as “righteous and having salvation.” Why would he omit this? Is it because for Jerusalem Jesus does not bring salvation but judgment?

A huge crowd gathers and as Jesus proceeds, they spread their garments before the animal on the road or cut tree branches (whether Palm trees or not is not expressed in Matthew) to pave the way. Plainly these are actions that honour the person of Jesus. They crowd around him shouting their acclaim and giving voice to their hopes. They address Jesus in messianic, royal terms – son of David, a person authorized by God. The term “Hosanna” means “Yahweh, save us.” Its form seems to be Aramaic, not Hebrew. As used here it seems to reflect a form of greeting and as applied to the Son of David would express their desire for his purposes to have success. Presumably as he succeeds, they would benefit. Psalm 118:25-26 is probably the biblical basis for their cries of praise. This Psalm was sung by pilgrims preparing to celebrate a festival in Jerusalem and the temple, particularly those of Passover, and Tabernacles. The reference to “one who comes” could pick up John the Baptist’s question in 11:1-3 and his prophecy in 3:11. Whether this term had specific messianic overtones prior to the time of Jesus again is uncertain. Matthew’s description of the impact of Jesus’ entry is quite emphatic – the whole city was in a commotion. No wonder the religious leaders were concerned about what this all might mean and were afraid to arrest him as they wished (v. 46). The crowd’s explanation of Jesus’ status (v. 11) conforms to what Matthew has reported in Matthew 16 – “Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” But they are explicit – he is not Messiah in their view.

In Matthew’s account Jesus proceeds the same day to the temple and enters its precinct. He acts to expel the buyers and sellers in the temple and to disrupt the currency exchange and sale of doves. Why does he attack the buyers, as well as the sellers? Are they both responsible for the temple’s misuse? These activities were established to enable pilgrims to acquire Tyrian shekels, the currency required to pay the temple tax, and to purchase animals for sacrifice that had already been declared ‘unblemished’. With Passover imminent, the extent of the activity was probably at one of its most hectic in the annual cycle. It is possible that the profits being made through such religious commerce were exorbitant and this may partially have triggered Jesus’ reaction.

Why did Jesus do this provocative action? Zechariah 14:21 prophecies that one day ‘merchants’ would be removed from the temple. Jesus himself quotes from Isaiah 56:7 affirming that the purpose of the temple was to encourage and enable all nations to have a relationship with God, but, quoting from Jeremiah 7:11, he charges that the religious leaders had turned the temple into a “cave of robbers” (Matthew 21:13). Debate is divided whether the term lēistēs (λῃστής) means robber or has more the sense of insurrectionist, as it signifies in 26:55; 27:38, 44. If the former, Jesus is accusing the religious establishment of turning the temple into a crooked and fraudulent operation. If the latter, he is accusing them of turning the temple into a nationalist stronghold that prevents Israel from being a light to the nations, as God intended. Either way, they are not meeting the needs of the ruined and harassed sheep of Israel or fulfilling their mission.

As well, there is debate as to whether Jesus intended to cleanse, purify and restore the temple to its proper order and function, or whether, by this action, he was prophetically announcing its failure and the judgment of God that would lead to its destruction. It may be that he intended the former, hoping still that Israel might repent, but with his crucifixion imminent and as the cursing of the fig tree the next day symbolizes, the judgment will come if there is no repentance. This judgment will include the destruction of the temple.

Jesus welcomes the blind and the lame, healing them and restoring them in the temple (cf. Acts 3-4). It is possible that such people were prevented from entering the sacred precinct because they were regarded as ritually impure. Matthew describes these as “the wonderful things he did.” (thaumasia θαυμάσια). This term is only found here in the NT, but often occurs in the LXX to describe God’s actions. Deuteronomy 34:12, the final verse of the Pentateuch, is a good example – “the marvellous things… that he did.” The children also know more than they realize, as they acclaim “Hosanna to the Son of David.” As Jesus has said earlier, God has revealed his wisdom to children and hidden it from the wise. Just as Jesus’ disciples sought to prevent the children from coming to Jesus, so too do the religious leaders demand that Jesus silence these children. Again, Jesus quotes from the Old Testament, Psalm 8:3 (LXX version). There may be a connection between Psalm 8:3 and the Exodus song of Moses (15:2). Also, Psalm 118:14 is identical to Exodus 15:2 and this is the Psalm the children’s words are taken from. (Cf. Wisdom 10:2 where the writer says that singing of hymns after the Exodus occurred – “wisdom… made the tongue of infants speak clearly.”)  Jesus claims their worship is appropriate, just as their worship of God is appropriate.


21:18-46 – 22:1-14        First series of controversies and parables

Jesus returned the next morning to the temple. On the way, hungry after the long night, he seeks fruit from a fig tree. Finding none, he curses it. Matthew records that “immediately the tree withered” (21:19). Matthew has a much shorter version than Mark, who situates the action in the temple between the cursing of the fig tree and its withering, one of his numerous narrative “sandwiches.” Whether Matthew “improves the style,” as Blomberg contends[2], I am not sure. Matthew simplifies it and makes the action move more quickly as the withering happens immediately. However, the connection with the temple is not portrayed as clearly or graphically. There are only two destructive miracles done by Jesus, according to the Gospel accounts – this one and that of the drowning of the swine. So it is unusual in its content. It is also the only specific miracle story in Jerusalem that Matthew narrates, apart from the resurrection (although Matthew tells us that Jesus has healed the blind and lame in the temple).

Discussion has occurred about what kind of fruit Jesus might have expected since fig fruit normally appear before the leaves. However, there is considerable evidence that not fully-ripened figs would still be present on a fig tree in this condition and would be edible. When the disciples observe the effect of Jesus’ curse, they are astonished and wonder “how the fig tree withered so quickly?” Jesus assures them that if their faith is sufficient, they too can accomplish such things as “casting the Mount of Olives into the sea.” What does Jesus mean? Is he teaching that his disciples by faith and prayer can bring forward God’s judgment? If there is a reference to Zechariah 14:4 where the mountain is split and each section moves apart, opening up a way of escape, perhaps the prayer of faith that Jesus urges as possible for his followers relates to the return of the Son of Man. As they proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom, they prepare for his return and the presentation of the way of salvation for human beings.

However, Jesus may also be assuring them that the destruction of the temple does not mean that prayer no longer is possible. In fact God will hear and respond to the prayer of faith wherever a believer may be (cf. Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of his temple in 1 Kings 8). No temple is required for the worship of God.

As Jesus enters the temple court, the authorities demand that he reveal the authority that gives him the right to do the things he is doing (v. 23). Behind their question lies their serious intent of seeking his arrest. If he says that he is acting by God’s authority, they could declare him to be a blasphemer and arrest him. The entire scope of Matthew’s narrative has been designed to give us as readers the answer to this question – his authority comes from God. In response Jesus poses his own question to them. He challenges them to declare the nature of John’s authority – from heaven or from men. Jesus plays the game at their level. As Matthew records their private discussion, he also notes their indictment. When they refuse to answer, Jesus similarly refuses to respond to their question. They know the answer to Jesus’ question, but refuse to give it because they know it implicates their recognition of Jesus as divinely empowered.

Jesus then responds further by offering a series of three parables, all addressed to the religious leaders. He answers the question of authority in these parables. V. 45 indicates the chief priests and the Pharisees are the primary audience and they know these parables are directed towards them.

The first parable tells the story of a farmer and his two sons[3] – this triad is common in Jesus’ parables. One son, at the command of his father, agrees to work in the vineyard, but in fact never does. The other son, hearing the same command, says he will not, but then repents and in fact spends the day working. Jesus asks them – which son obeyed and of course they must respond by saying – the one who in fact ended up working in the vineyard. Jesus applies this parable to their recent response to his question about John the Baptist. The tax collectors and prostitutes are preceding these religious leaders into the Kingdom of God (v. 31) because they have responded to John’s “way of righteousness” but the religious leaders have not. And even when the religious leaders saw the impact of John’s ministry, they still had no concern to believe him. So the religious leaders are like the son who says he will obey, but does not. God commands all people to respond to his message, but not all do, regardless of how they posture themselves. God looks at performance, not protestations of loyalty. Consider again 7:15ff – many will claim relationship to Jesus as Lord, but he will disavow them because they have not done the will of God. Jesus points out their essential hypocrisy.

The second parable again, that of the wicked tenants, also describes workers who have failed to keep their commitments. This parable takes things to another level in that it forecasts

that the owner of the vineyard will remove the wicked tenants and give the vineyard to another group entirely.

In the OT Israel is often symbolized by a vineyard, cf. Isaiah 5:1-7. Here in Matthew Jesus has the owner plant a vineyard and nurture it. When he leaves, he puts tenants in charge. He expects to reap the benefits at harvest time. So he sends his slaves to collect the profits. The response of the tenants is quite unexpected and extraordinary. They mistreat them and kill some of them (the reality of persecution). The result is that the owner receives no payment and the tenants are emboldened to seize the land. Hoping they will respect his son, the owner sends his heir. The tenants kill him, mistakenly thinking that this will give them ownership of the vineyard. Perhaps they think that if the son has come, the owner must be dead. At the end Jesus asks his audience what they think the owner will do to these tenants when he shows up? They know what would happen – the wicked people would be destroyed in a wretched way and the vineyard rented to new tenants who would render the appropriate profits to the owner.

Although Jesus agrees with their response, he knows they do not understand the significance of this story. So he quotes from Psalm 118:22-23. He applies this story of the stone to himself. He is the “stone the builders rejected and he has become the head of the corner.” While rejection has been occurring through various statements and actions in Matthew’s narrative, this is the only time the verb apedokimasan (ἀπεδοκίμασαν “they rejected”) occurs in Matthew’s Gospel. There is a play on words in Aramaic (not Greek) between stone (eben) and son (ben). If the religious leaders do reject Jesus, this does not disqualify him as Messiah. God will vindicate him completely. If he does, they can be assured that “the Lord (Yahweh) has done this” and should regard it as God’s miraculous work. The early church used Psalm 118:22-23 as an important text to explain Israel’s response to the messianic role of Jesus (Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7).

Jesus concludes that God will remove the kingdom “from you”, i.e., the Jewish religious leaders who have abused their leadership, and give it “to a people who will produce its fruits” (v.43). Jesus probably here refers to his disciples who form his messianic community. This ‘ethnos’ will include both Jews and Gentiles, as Jesus’ ministry has already indicated. The people of God are being reconstituted and Jesus still holds open to these leaders the opportunity to participate.

The parable expresses the patient, but persistent manner of God in seeking to involve Israel in his work. Yet, the reality is that God’s patience will end, if Israel does not repent and respond, and when he does those who oppose him will be destroyed. However, God will accomplish his work, through new leaders if necessary. God’s son Jesus soon will be killed and this event will trigger a judgment upon the current Jewish leadership who have rejected him.

He concludes with a serious word of judgment, using the image of the stone – lithoi (λίθοι). Some argue that v. 44 is borrowed from Luke 20:18 because some textual witnesses (primarily among the so-called Western Text — D, 33, Old Latin translation manuscripts) omit it here in Matthew. However, the major manuscripts all have it so it is hard to demonstrate that it was not original to Matthew. It also coincides with the theme of judgment that he has been developing consistently within his narrative. The action of “falling against the stone” compares to stumbling, normally rendered in Matthew by the verb skandalizomai (σκανδαλίζομαι). Jesus warns the religious leaders through this imagery because they are rejecting Jesus and taking offense at his words and actions. Here Jesus says that those who actively oppose him “will be broken in pieces.” The stone is not going to be removed. The second element has the image of a stone falling from some height upon a person and crushing or flattening him. Here the idea is of a person caught unaware, yet fatally harmed. Perhaps, as Blomberg suggests[4], it defines the person who is not actively opposing Jesus, but still has not responded to his message. There are probably allusions here to Isa. 8:14-15 and Dan. 2:34-­35.

The response of the religious leaders reminds us of Jesus’ words in Matthew 13 – those who hear, but do not understand. Matthew tells us “they knew that he was speaking concerning them,” but instead of taking his message to heart, they intensify their efforts to destroy him. Only their fear of the crowd’s reaction to his arrest restrains them. Again, the public’s perception that “he is a prophet” dominates. Through this parable Jesus in fact has answered their question about the source of his authority – “this has happened from the Lord,” but they are not willing to accept this.

The third parable in this series (22:1-14) again is addressed “to them,” i.e., the chief priests and the Pharisees (22:1). Note that Matthew says “he spoke in parables” plural, but only one is recorded. Jesus tells the story of a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son and sends messengers to tell his invited guests that all is ready. “Those called/invited,” however, refuse to respond and ignore the information. The king sends a second message, more urgent and more detailed outlining the excellent nature of the banquet, but some ignore it and continue with their own business and the rest actively resist, mistreat and kill the messengers. Jesus says that “the King became very angry and sends his army to destroy the murderers and burn their city” (v. 7). The verb used here eneprēsen (ἐνέπρησεν “he burned”) only occurs here in the NT, but in the LXX is used to describe the burning of a city and in particular the burning of Jerusalem by the Babylonians (2 Ki. 25:9; 2 Chron. 36:19).

The banquet remains ready and so a third time the king sends out his messengers with a new invitation. However, he tells them “those who had been invited were not worthy,” so invite anyone you find. Those who respond, both good and bad, fill the wedding feast. The first have become last and the last first.

The parable takes a twist as the king discovers someone in the banquet “who was not wearing wedding clothes” (v. 11). When the man cannot explain how he got in without the appropriate garment, the king orders him bound and “thrown into the outer darkness, there where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.” His lack of clothing shows a lack of care and respect for the king. Without any excuse the man is excluded from the feast and left in eternal judgment. Jesus has used similar imagery at 13:40-42. He transitions from the parable to commentary in his final comments. It seems that Jesus speaks of God in the character of the king.

His conclusion is pointed – “many are invited, but few are chosen” (v.14). The language of ‘many …few’ needs to be understood carefully. According to the parable everyone ends up receiving the invitation, but not everyone responds. Yet, the wedding banquet is full – the king’s banquet proceeds as he planned. Even within the banquet context, sorting continues – as with the weeds and wheat or the sheep and the goats or the good fish and bad fish. Those who constitute “the elect” will be a surprise. Those who reject God’s invitation, whether ignoring it or actively opposing it, will be held accountable for their behaviour. Even if one does respond, one has to respond according to the terms God defines.

The connection between the actions of ‘inviting’, ‘calling’ and ‘chosen’ should be considered carefully in this parable. The behaviour of the guests is outrageous in every respect and the anger of the king is more than justified.


22:15-22            Pharisees and Herodians – Conspiracy and Question

A new episode begins with v. 15. The Pharisees leave in order to develop their plans to “trap him in his words.” Once they decide what to do, they send “their disciples” along with “the Herodians” with a new challenge. They raise the question of paying taxes to Caesar. The two groups represented may have had contrasting responses to this question. If the Herodians were a group of Jews who supported the Herod dynasty, then presumably they would have had no problem with issues of taxation. Some within the Pharisee movement would have resented such a requirement.

They begin (v. 16) with a rather flattering statement, acknowledging his prophetic stance. They know Jesus will not compromise his integrity and so they try to take advantage of his integrity by forming this question. The kind of tax discussed here is not the temple tax, but rather the poll tax levied by the Romans and which supported their oppression. Josephus tells us that Judas of Galilee had previously opposed this tax (Antiquities 18.1.1).

Jesus recognizes their ‘hypocrisy’ and their attempt to ‘test him’, and Matthew describes it as “their evil intent.” His answer amazes them because it avoids their deliberate trap. He acknowledges that God’s sovereignty must be recognized, but human government also has a legitimate claim for reasonable support. The fact that they can supply coinage issued by the Roman government indicates that they use the Roman services without compunction. Such coinage would also have some human image on it, often of the emperor.

Blomberg[5] notes that the ensuing series of controversies parallel the four questions that formed part of the Passover liturgy: 1) a question regarding a point of law; 2) a question with a note of scoffing; 3) a question by a person of plain piety; 4) a question by the father of the family at his own initiative.


22:23-33          Sadducees test Jesus about the Resurrection

The Pharisees’ disciples and the Herodians leave and the Sadducees step up to take their turn. We do not have much information from Matthew’s Gospel about the Sadducees as a religious group. They seem to include the chief priests who control the temple and some of the priestly aristocracy. Josephus confirms with the NT that they did not believe in resurrection (anastasis (ἀνάστασις) v. 23). In this they contradict Jesus’ teaching and the claim in his passion predictions that the Son of Man will be raised (egeirō (ἐγείρω)). He also has raised people from the dead, a kind of resurrection, but not the same as he has predicted about the Son of Man. Presumably the teaching about eternal life incorporates some idea about resurrection or else it would be a bodiless existence. Perhaps the Sadducees embraced more of the Hellenistic idea of immortality of the soul that exists apart from body.

Their question to Jesus probably represents a stock-in-trade apologetic they used to support their position. Again they use one part of God’s revelation to deny another part of its teaching. Their method is a kind of reductio ad absurdum, using the responsibility of levirate marriage to argue their position. When they ask the question at the end – whose wife will she be in the resurrection – they do not think it can be answered with any sense. They assume that resurrection life is the same as life now.

Jesus responds in two ways. He accuses them of error because “they do not know the scriptures nor the power of God” (v. 29). He criticizes their understanding of God’s revelation. He then provides new information about what life in the resurrected state will be like. There is no marriage and people will be like angels in this regard. The Sadducees also did not believe in angels and so Jesus may be attacking another of their core beliefs in his response. Finally, he leads them to understand the implications of God’s covenant relationship with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Yahweh’s relationship with them did not cease at death. He remains their God for eternity. If God continues, then because of their relationship with him, so must Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God is “God of the living.”

Matthew does not tell us the response of the Sadducees to this remarkable answer, but the crowds are blown away with amazement. V. 34 does indicate that they were “silenced” by his answer.


22:34-40          Pharisees test Jesus about the Law

The Pharisees regroup and one of them asks another question, one often debated within the Jewish religious fraternity. Matthew characterizes this again as a ‘test’ (v. 35). The question does not seem as tricky – “What is the greatest command in the Law?” Jesus answers forthrightly and there is no further discussion. He summarizes the essence of the Law in the two commands to love God (Deut. 6:5) and love neighbour (Lev. 19:18). “The whole law and prophet hangs on these two commands.” Perhaps these two commands then are intended to define the actions of Jesus – everything he does demonstrates his love for God and his love for neighbour. Is this true of those who oppose him? In the light of Jesus’ response, all aspects of the law must be understood and carried forward in the light of these two principles held in equal tension. Will my obedience to this principle enable me to love God and love my neighbour? If I have to forfeit one of these principles in order to interpret a part of God’s revelation, then I have not understood his revelation properly. Nor can I play one off against the other. Cf.<atthew 5:17-18.


22:41-46          Jesus Questions the Pharisees about the Son of David

Now it is Jesus’ turn. Having responded to all of their ‘tests’ and attempts to find evidence on which to accuse him, he gives them a test. He directs their attention to the belief in the Messiah and asks them about the Messiah’s ancestry. “Whose son is he?” Their immediate response is “Son of David.” Matthew had made this connection in chapter 1:1 with respect to Jesus. Several times in the narrative, most recently during his entry into Jerusalem, people had applied this title to him.

The riddle Jesus poses comes from Psalm 110:1. If the Messiah is purely human in his ancestry, why then does David call him “Lord,” i.e., acknowledging that he is his sovereign? The second reference to “Lord” in 110:1 can only be to Messiah, who resides at the place of highest privilege and power – the right hand of God. Those who oppose the Messiah will be subjected to his leadership whether they want to or not. Jesus presses his point. If David calls him Lord, how can he be his son? He does not deny the Davidic ancestry of the Messiah, but he claims that this is not the entire story. The Messiah is also ‘son of God’ and the birth story of Jesus in Matthew 1­-2 has shown how this dual sonship has occurred.

At this point no one is prepared to engage him with any more questions. His public teaching ministry is done.

[1] Isa.62:11a εἶπατε τῇ θυγατρὶ Σιών, ἰδού σοι ὁ σωτὴρ παργίνεται ἔχων τὸν ἑαυτοῦ μισθόν; “say to daughter Sion, ‘See, your Savior comes to you having his own reward’” (NETS). Zech. 9:9  χαῖρε σφόδρα, θύγατερ Σιών· κήρυσσε, θύγατερ Ἱερουσαλήμ· ἰδοὺ ὁ βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεταί σοι, δίκαιος καὶ σῴζων αὐτός, πραῢς καὶ ἐπιβεβηκὼς ἐπὶ ὑποζύγιον καὶ πῶλον νέον; “Rejoice greatly, O daughter Sion! Proclaim, O daughter Ierousalem! Behold, your king domes to you, just and salvific is he, meek and riding on a beast of burden and a young foal” (NETS).

[2] Blomberg, 317.

[3] In the OT patriarchal figures have two sons — Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau.

[4] Blomberg, 325.

[5] Blomberg, 330.