The Tower In Siloam

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by kyredneck, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. kyredneck

    kyredneck
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    Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them, think ye that they were offenders above all the men that dwell in Jerusalem? Lu 13:4

    What does this verse mean? What is Christ referring to?
     
  2. Scarlett O.

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    David Guzik has a really good commentary on this.

    ............................................................................


     
  3. Tom Bryant

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    I think that the Lord Jesus is saying that just because something bad happens doesn't mean that the person was a terrible sinner. Such as, we can't assume that New Orleans was more of a sinful town because of Katrina or Chili or Haiti was more evil because of the eathquakes.

    It deals with the same error Job's friends had in assigning sin to Job because of all that he had gone through.

    God's ways are not our ways.
     
  4. kyredneck

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    Thanks for commenting Scarlett and Tom. Please suffer me to have a little fun with this.

    Here's the entire context:

    1 Now there were some present at that very season who told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
    2 And he answered and said unto them, Think ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they have suffered these things?
    3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish.
    4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them, think ye that they were offenders above all the men that dwell in Jerusalem?
    5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

    Question: How exactly do you suppose or presume that Pilate mingled the blood of those Galilaeans with their sacrifices?

    Consider this excerpt from Hassel's History

    “He [Titus] set his army in motion in April, marched at once to the walls of that devoted city, and commenced the siege immediately after the Passover, when Jerusalem was full of strangers. It seemed almost impregnable, being on an eminence and surrounded with three walls and many stately towers. The first or old wall, which by reason of its vast thickness was looked upon as impregnable, had no less than sixty of these towers, lofty, firm and strong. The second had fourteen, and the third eighty.” Hassell’s Church History, chapter 8, pg 220.

    Question: Don't you think it odd that a tower, 'lofty, firm and strong', built into the wall of Jersusalem, would just 'fall over' or collapse?
     
  5. Tom Bryant

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    Are we sure that this has to do with Titus because Jesus blames Pilate? It could be that Pilate wanted to answer a rebellion against his authority and killed the men and put their blood in his own sacrifices to the Roman gods.



    Not really, just because a historian writing 1800 years after the event called it lofty, firm and strong doesn't mean it was. It could have been old or built on a poor foundation. There's lots of explanations for me

    But still, for reasons of His own choosing, God allowed those events to happen. And Jesus used the events to teach us a lesson. Even if the tower was all those things, God's plan remains His plan.
     
  6. kyredneck

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    First off, to the best of my knowledge, I stand totally alone with my take of Lu 13:4. I've never heard it preached or read a commentator that sees it the way I do. But that's OK. That's what the 'right of private judgment' is all about; right?

    Oh no, it has nothing to do with Titus; I inserted that [Titus] for clarification (and it seems I generated confusion instead) on whom Hassell was referring to in the excerpt and to convey to the reader what those towers actually were.

    OK, here is what Edersheim, with whom I am in agreement (on the 1st verse, NOT the 4th), has to say about the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices:

    I would paraphrase Lu 13:1 with this simple modification:

    1 Now there were some present at that very season who told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood [Pilate's soldiers] had mingled with their sacrifices.

    I would also paraphrase the 4th verse with another simple modification:

    4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the [soldiers garrisoned in the tower in Siloam] fell, and killed them, think ye that they were offenders above all the men that dwell in Jerusalem?

    It is my opinion that this rendering of the 4th verse fits immensely better into the general context of the passage when considering the stern warning given by Christ in verses three and five, which I will also paraphrase:

    ....except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish [in the wrath that is to come upon this generation; i.e. the war of AD 66-70]

    Consider these comparisons:

    ....those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell...

    25 And king Solomon sent by Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him, so that he died. 1 Ki 2:25

    15 and the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away: yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
    17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have taken them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Job 1

    7 So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly, and fell upon them. Josh 11:7


    13 But the men of the army whom Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, fell upon the cities of Judah, from Samaria even unto Beth-horon, and smote of them three thousand, and took much spoil. 2 Chron 25:13


    17 And the king said unto the guard that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of Jehovah; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew that he fled, and did not disclose it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of Jehovah.
    18 And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and he slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod. I Sam 22:17,18


    29 And it was told king Solomon, Joab is fled unto the Tent of Jehovah, and, behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him.
    31 And the king said unto him, Do as he hath said, and fall upon him, and bury him; that thou mayest take away the blood, which Joab shed without cause, from me and from my father`s house. 1 Ki 2:29,31


    18 And the men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph`s house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses. Gen 43:18


    3 And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days` journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice unto Jehovah our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword. Ex 5:3


    21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us; for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescents that were on their camels` necks. Ju 8:21


    12 And they said unto him, We are come down to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves. Ju 15:12


    25 And the children of Dan said unto him, Let not thy voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows fall upon you, and thou lose thy life, with the lives of thy household.
    Ju 18:25


    15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him, so that he died. 2 Sam 1:15

    ……their common hatred to the Jews. Accordingly, they fell upon them, and slew about fifty thousand of them; nay, the Jews were all destroyed, excepting a few who escaped, either by the compassion which their friends or neighbors afforded them, in order to let them fly away.……Antiquities, 18.9.9

    ….These Germans were Caius's guard, and carried the name of the country whence they were chosen, and composed the Celtic legion. The men of that country are naturally passionate, which is commonly the temper of some other of the barbarous nations also, as being not used to consider much about what they do; they are of robust bodies and fall upon their enemies as soon as ever they are attacked by them; and which way soever they go, they perform great exploits…..Antiquities, 19.1.15

    …..So Festus sent forces, both horsemen and footmen, to fall upon those that had been seduced by a certain impostor, who promised them deliverance and freedom from the miseries they were under, if they would but follow him as far as the wilderness.….. Antiquities, 20.8.10

    ….but the seditious, fearing lest the whole multitude, in hopes of security to themselves, should go over to Agrippa, resolved immediately to fall upon and kill the ambassadors; accordingly they slew Phebus before he said a word, but Borceus was only wounded, and so prevented his fate by flying away.…..Wars, 2.19.3

    ….But when the robbers perceived this unexpected retreat of his, they resumed their courage, and ran after the hinder parts of his army, and destroyed a considerable number of both their horsemen and footmen; and now Cestius lay all night at the camp which was at Scopus; and as he went off farther next day, he thereby invited the enemy to follow him, who still fell upon the hindmost, and destroyed them; they also fell upon the flank on each side of the army, and threw darts upon them obliquely, nor durst those that were hindmost turn back upon those who wounded them behind,….Wars, 2.19.7


    3. As Titus was saying this, an extraordinary fury fell upon the men; and as Trajan was already come before the fight began, with four hundred horsemen, they were uneasy at it, because the reputation of the victory would be diminished by being common to so many…Wars 3.10.3

    …..The hotter sort of them thought it best to force their guards with their arms, and after that to fall into the midst of the city,….Wars, 4. 4. 6.

    ….And had the Idumeans then fallen upon the city, nothing could have hindered them from destroying the people every man of them, such was the rage they were in at that time;….Wars, 4.4.7.
     
    #6 kyredneck, Mar 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2010
  7. kyredneck

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    It is entirely feasible that Josephus records here the very incident to which Christ is alluding in Lu 13:4 , considering the probable proximity of the Tower of Siloam to the Pool of Siloam and the reference to aquaducts:

     
  8. Tom Bryant

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    Absolutely.

    So you believe that this verse is referring to the 66-70 period? Not sure I agree, but I've been wrong before and will be wrong again. If this was in the passage in Matthew 24-25, I might see the point, but not sure the context carries the point.
     
  9. kyredneck

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    No Tom, I'm saying the warnings given by Christ in the 3rd & 5th verses are referring to the wrath that was to come (AD 66-70). The incident that involved the Tower of Siloam had already occurred when Christ alluded to it. :)
     
  10. kyredneck

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    Thanks to the moderator(s) that corrected my spelling. :)
     
  11. kyredneck

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    For the sake of clarity here is my 'amplification' of Lu 13:1-5:

    1 Now there were some present at that very season who told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood [Pilate's soldiers] had mingled with their sacrifices.
    2 And he answered and said unto them, Think ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they have suffered these things?
    3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish [in the wrath that is to come upon this generation; i.e. the war of AD 66-70]
    4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the [soldiers garrisoned in the tower in Siloam] fell, and killed them, think ye that they were offenders above all the men that dwell in Jerusalem?
    5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish [in the wrath that is to come upon this generation; i.e. the war of AD 66-70] Lu 13
     
  12. kyredneck

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    Tom, my apologies to you if my response seemed short or rude. Honestly, it was not my intent to be so. Blame for any confusion on your part falls squarely on me for not presenting the topic plainly from the gitgo in the OP. I should have began this thread with my amplification of the passage given in post #11.
     
  13. Winman

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    Boy, are you missing the whole point of this passage. Jesus is telling these people to repent of believing they are righteous and see that they too are sinners in danger of perishing.

    Luke 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
    2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
    3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
    4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
    5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.


    These people thought that because Pilate had killed some men, and that 18 were crushed when a tower fell on them, that this was evidence that these persons were terrible sinners in God's eyes, and so God caused this evil to come upon them.

    This passage teaches what repentance is. It is a turning from a wrong or false belief. Notice in verse 2 Jesus says "suppose ye" and in verse 4 he says "think ye", and in both instances he is asking whether they think these persons were worse sinners than others. Then Jesus tells them to rethink this belief and recognize they too were sinners in danger of perishing. You can have a good life with many blessings, this does not prove you are in favor with God. And when bad things happen to a person, this does not prove God is angry with them.

    The Jews also believed that persons afflicted with disease or handicaps were terrible sinners.

    John 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
    2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
    3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.


    When the disciples saw this man who was born blind they asked Jesus whether this blindness was the result of his sin or his parent's sin. Jesus corrects their wrong thinking and says this blindness was not caused by this man's sin or his parent's, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. And then Jesus healed him. So this man's blindness was a blessing to all that saw his healing and showed them that Jesus was the promised Christ.
     
  14. kyredneck

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    Where do you see that I have disputed that? :)
     
    #14 kyredneck, Mar 6, 2010
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  15. Winman

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    You didn't dispute what I said, but your take on this passage was quite different. You seemed to summarize it when you said:

    If I understand you, you seem to feel that the principal application of this passage was referring to the destruction of Jerusalem.
     
  16. Tom Bryant

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    It didn't seem rude at all. I understood what you were saying. I just didn't think it was correct. I don't take offense at those who take Scripture word for word..... even if they are calvinists. (just kidding :tongue3: )
     
  17. Joseph M. Smith

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    This is one of the lectionary readings for March 7. Is that why questions about it were posted ... because those churches that use the lectionary will be treating this passage tomorrow?

    I am not a lectionary devotee, but my pastor is, and so, since I am subbing for him tomorrow, I am preaching from this passage. Tomorrow you will be able to read it on SermonCentral.com and then you will know all the ANSWERS! :smilewinkgrin:
     
  18. kyredneck

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    Yes that's right, but not only the destruction of Jerusalem but to the time of the entire war and those 'days of vengeance' and 'the consummation of the age'.

    Hodge's first rule of interpretation:
    I believe Christ here is speaking as 'The Prophet', who Himself said, ”I was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”, and Who Himself instructed His Apostles, “Go not into any way of the Gentiles...but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

    Compare this:

    .......except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish Lu 13:3

    With this:

    .....every soul that shall not hearken to that prophet, shall be utterly destroyed from among the people...... Acts 3:23

    I believe it to be error to take these two passages (and many others like it) to mean perishing or destruction for all eternity in hell.
     
    #18 kyredneck, Mar 7, 2010
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  19. kyredneck

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    Joseph, (although I'm 99.999999% certain what the rendering will be) would you mind sharing a brief synopsis of the lectionary readings for March 07? Or how did YOU present it? :)


    Thanks
     
  20. Crabtownboy

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    This is a theological and a philosophical question. Try reading:

    The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thorton Wilder.
     
    #20 Crabtownboy, Mar 7, 2010
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