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Mark records the following,

10:35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” 36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” 38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” 39 “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”

Matthew records this incident in Matthew 20:20-23 with a few slight differences but the point of the story is essentially the same.

For whom has the right or left of Jesus been prepared?

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  • I'm not sure why you accepted Jack's answer but it seems at odds with the text to me. In the text God has decided and no one can earn it yet Jack seems to suggest that it will belong to the greatest sufferer or something. The text is saying the opposite: the apostles, despite their suffering cannot influence God's decision which has already been made according to election, not earning.
    – Ruminator
    Jun 21, 2018 at 11:30

10 Answers 10

7

Mark records that Jesus goes on to say:

43But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. ESV

So you could ask "who in the Bible most fits that description?". An argument could be made for Paul or perhaps one of the other apostles, but I do not think Jesus has in mind a literal pair of people when he speaks of his left hand and his right hand, even if James and John do. This would be missing the point I feel.

Rather Jesus intends to subvert the whole idea of greatness in the mind of James and John:

42And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. ESV

They think that the position of highest honour is at Jesus hand as he sits on his throne, but rather it is by his side in his suffering and death:

45For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ESV

As the hierarchy of greatness is turned on it's head, so is the need for this position on honour to be strictly limited to a small number of people: the worldly idea of greatness is by it's nature a pyramid with fewer and fewer people as you climb higher and higher. The concept of greatness Jesus introduces them to has no such inherent restriction. James and John (and you and I) can be great, he says. The problem is not that they are not able, it is that they have no idea what true greatness is:

38Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, ESV

In a figurative sense, those who have the position of highest honour are those who are crucified at Jesus left and right hand. Not the two criminals literally, but those who take up their cross and follow Jesus.

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  • 1
    +1 Right on Jack! I think you should quote Mark 15:27 "They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left." I think Mark is indeed making allusion to the place of honor reserved for those who die with Jesus. But while James and John will die they won't die with Jesus. It has been literally prepared for the two thieves on the cross. Jun 11, 2013 at 19:26
  • It sounds to me that Jesus is saying that it isn't a position that can be earned nor one that is in Jesus' power to decide but is already assigned by God. They will suffer with him but that will NOT earn them the spots which God will fill with those of his own choice.
    – Ruminator
    Jun 21, 2018 at 11:17
2

Davidic Kings, including Jesus (Luke 1:32-33), would have their mother, not their wives (unfortunately they still practiced polygamy, for which reason such would be unfeasible), as the Queen of that Kingdom, known as the גְּבִירָה (Geb-i-raah—'Queen [mother]' or 'Lady'). cf. Revelation 12:1,5; Luke 1:43.

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We see from Scripture that the Queen would be (or should be) the first one a Jew would think of who would have the right hand position next to the King. For example:

Nehemiah 2:6

And the king said to me, and the queen that sat by him: For how long shall thy journey be, and when wilt thou return? And it pleased the king, and he sent me: and I fixed him a time.


1 Kings 2:19

Then Bathsheba [the mother of Solomon] came to king Solomon,2 to speak to him for Adonias: and the king arose to meet her, and bowed to her, and sat down upon his throne: and a throne was set for the king's mother, and she sat on his right hand.

1 * cf. Matthew 12:42.


So Mary could be one candidate (Mark 10:39; cf. Luke 2:34-35).

Who else? It's possible that by the the "left hand" Jesus understands God the Father to be meant, in light of the following Scriptures:

Psalm 110:1 (cf. Matthew 22:44)

The Lord said to my Lord: Sit thou at my right hand: Until I make thy enemies thy footstool.

Colossians 3:1

Therefore, if you be risen with Christ, seek the things that are above; where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.

Hebrews 8:1

Now of the things which we have spoken, this is the sum: We have such an high priest [Jesus—4:14], who is set on the right hand of the throne of majesty in the heavens,

This would agree well with the words of Jesus: "You know not what you ask" (Matthew 10:38). On the other hand, one could argue that He is indicating negative implications in asking to be at His left hand (Matthew 25:33; Mark 15:26-28).

Matthew 20:23 seems to indicate, however, that God the Father is not meant, however, since Jesus says, "but to them for whom it is prepared by my Father."


One could argue fairly that the Scripture exegeted and mystically applied by St. Paul as portraying the perogatives more truly in Christ (Psalm 45) in Hebrews 1 indicates that the Queen (who would be His mother, i.e. Mary) is most likely the candidate for His "right hand":

Hebrews 1:5-9

For to which of the angels hath he said at any time, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? 6 And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith: And let all the angels of God adore him. 7 And to the angels indeed he saith: He that maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. 8 But to the Son: Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of justice is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Quoting:

Psalm 45:7-10

Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a sceptre of uprightness. 8 Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 9 Myrrh and stacte and cassia perfume thy garments, from the ivory houses: out of which 10 the daughters of kings have delighted thee in thy glory, the Queen stood on thy right hand, in gilded clothing; surrounded with variety.2

2 * cf. Revelation 12:1,5.


Or again, "the left hand" could even be a non-category in Jesus' eyes, and they were thinking too simply of what it means to be sat at someone's "right hand," namely, sway, amity, power, a position of prime importance, or favor with them.


Scripturally speaking, I found no category of a 'left hand' of the King, or anyone, for that matter (cf. Matthew 27:37-38). Of course excepting the idea of what seems to be more of a generic, yet categorical separation of the sheep and the goats, the good and the bad found in Matthew 25:34,41.

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Pretty sure Father God is on Jesus' left, if He's on God's right.

ACTS 7:55–56

55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing pat the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing pat the right hand of God.”

ROMANS 8:34

34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.1

EPHESIANS 1:20

20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

COLOSSIANS 3:1

Put On the New Self 3 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

HEBREWS 1:3

3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

HEBREWS 8:1

Jesus, High Priest of a Better Covenant 8 Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,

HEBREWS 10:12

12 But when Christ1 had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,

HEBREWS 12:2

2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

1 PETER 3:22

22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

REVELATION 3:21

21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

MATTHEW 22:44

44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet”’?

ACTS 2:33

33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.

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  • This is an interesting answer. Could you add the source of your translations?
    – b a
    Jun 20, 2018 at 15:30
1

but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.

Mark 10:40

What is interesting here, is that Jesus does not deny the existence of these 'positions', nor that they will be granted for two specific individuals. This is of profound significance.

While one clearly sees that Jesus completely up-ends the disciples expectations by saying that the greatest is the servant, and that many who are first will be last, He in no way denies that there is position within God's Kingdom.

Speaking of the Law, He said,

Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:19

There is a greater and lesser in the Kingdom, but Christ's point is that it is through love, faithfulness, and service, rather that something else (say, performance).

Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:4

Again, Jesus describes those who are greatest as those who are humble like children, and who live and teach His commands. All throughout His teaching, He describes what it is to be like Himself, who is Himself the perfect portrait of greatness.

But, as for the specific two individuals, well, of course the Word doesn't say. Any speculation as to actual identities must, it seems, take into account AT LEAST 2,000 years of human history, considering every individual who either outwardly or inwardly confessed Christ. We are talking about probably over 10 billion people (random guess).

But, we have to remember that God's accounting looks different than ours. As Luke 21:3 says, the widow put in more than others, because she gave all out of her poverty, and the others gave out of abundance.

Certainly,

  1. God has prepared these two positions for specific persons.
  2. We have no way to know (in ourselves), who they are.
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Mary is at Jesus right hand. She is the highest human being in heaven given that Jesus is both God and man. Some say John the Baptist is on Jesus left hand. Yet Our Lady had stated that St. Joseph is a saint of great magnitude and St. Francis has been given the throne originally meant for Lucifer. Mary has taken both St. Joseph and John the evangelist with her. So its hard to say.

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  • 1
    Welcome to BH.SE! Please take the tour to get a feel for how the site functions. Supporting these ideas from the text of the Bible will make your answer more than just a personal opinion. For example, where is it recorded that Mary is at Jesus' right hand?
    – enegue
    Oct 11, 2017 at 7:29
  • @enegue Consider the "woman" from Revelation 12, with a crown of twelve stars, signifying that she outranks the twelve apostles combined. Moreover, if Jesus is the King of Heaven, it is fitting that His mother would enjoy such exalted honor from her Son since it would have been most fitting for Christ to obey the commandment, "Honor thy father and mother." Apr 20, 2018 at 5:39
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The man with the withered hand who Jesus restored speak to this. Jesus teaching in the synagogue during the Sabbath stretched forth his Apostle asking more of him this is when he is restored. Being stretched forth is doing more than what is asked or what your capabilities are. This would make you someone's right hand if you did that. What do you think?

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  • Jason. Thanks for the response. Here are some hints for the future. This site deals with hermeneutics. They are looking for responses that deal specifically with the grammar and/or context of the text referenced by the questioner. So, our response should at least start with any grammatical or contextual insights of the referenced text. In this case, it might have been helpful to see if there were any differences with the parallel passage in Matthew 20. Or, is there some other scripture that speaks "specifically" to the referenced text.
    – alb
    May 1, 2018 at 23:39
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The neglected paradox

Great answer by @Jack Douglas, I agree with him in all he says. Yet, even he does not specially discuss the most paradoxical and intriguing words of this passage, namely

"but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.” (Mark 10:40).

Below, I shall discuss and explain why is this logion paradoxical and what is the theologically sound exegesis of it.

What is paradoxical here? This is what: Jesus, in fact, states that He is powerless to grant the level of proximity of His followers to Him. Now, any earthly king has this power to make somebody a chief minister, closest to him, so why Jesus, the Heavenly King (John 18:36) is devoid of this capacity? (To anticipate things later below to be explained: just because He is heavenly and not earthly king!). But who is then more powerful than He, who has prepared this proximity for His followers, for it is plainly written that "those places have been prepared for some", but if Jesus Himself was who has prepared, then He also has granted, for the first implies the second. But Jesus necessarily denies the first (i.e. preparation) while denying the second (i.e. granting). So, who then has prepared those places if not Jesus? Who is this more powerful principle, against whom even Jesus has to confess His powerlessness? Maybe the Father? Maybe the Father has prepared saints' proximity to His Son and the latter cannot change any more what the Father has prepared. But this answer is theologically totally unsound, for Father acts His deeds only through the Son (creates the universe through His Son/Logos; forgives sins and saves mankind through the Son/Logos etc.,), thus if the Father has prepared and granted, then necessarily also the Son has likewise and simultaneously prepared and granted, but Jesus denies it for Himself, and by implication, also denies it for the Father. Of course, neither Holy Spirit can be this "preparer" and "grantor" against whom neither Father nor Son can do anything (I will not develop logic for proving this last point, for it will be redundant). Thus, the Trinity does not prepare and grant the greater or lesser proximity to the hypostasis of the Son, the incarnate Logos Jesus Christ, and, therefore, even the Trinity is powerless to grant this grater or lesser proximity. But Trinity is God and as God is omnipotent, so what is this principle against which even God is powerless? Maybe Fate? There is Trinity, yes, but alongside with the Trinity there could be also the Fate/Necessity (Τυχή/Ἀνάγκη) which sets things in such a way that even the Trinity cannot change it. But this is absurd, for then instead of the Biblical omnipotent God we shall obtain a pagan deity like Zeus who is weaker than Fate/Necessity in Greek religion and start henceforth building temples to Lady Fate/Necessity and worship her alongside or even more principally than the Trinity. Thus, to avoid this absurdity, we must conclude that neither fate/necessity prepares and grants saints' degrees of proximity with Jesus. But then what?

And here comes the answer: nothing but human freedom, in which even God does not intervene; for nothing but human freedom can decide the intensity of human co-action with divine Grace; nothing but human freedom can decide how much alike Christ to become, how closely imitate Him, how heavy a cross to carry, how many needful neighbours to help. God gives talents, that is to say apportions His Grace to humans, but say, Chuck, out of his free initiative, increases those talents more, while, say, Jonathan, again out of his free initiative, also increases, but less so than Chuck, and both are very good Christians, faithful custodians of Grace, but with greater or lesser reciprocation with God and greater or lesser free efforts and exertion. But proximity with God is exactly pending on this free initiative, free reciprocation with Him and free exertion. But against our freedom even God made Himself utterly powerless, because He utterly respects it in us, for it is the mark of His image and likeness in us, for without this intrinsic gift in us, we are even not humans any more and this gift of free decision-making is as intrinsic and inseparable from us as thinking is four our minds and as ability to breathe is for our bodies until they are alive and breathe. As a beautiful image tells about divine and human interaction: Jesus stands and knocks constantly to the door of our hearts, but this door has only one handle, that from inside, so even Jesus cannot break in, so to say, into our hearts without us freely letting Him to, freely and with a reciprocal desire opening our heart's door to Him with the handle of our free choice, which only we can stir. And that is exactly why the earthly kings can, in fact, make anybody, any wretch and undeserving person to sit in a closest proximity to his throne out of his sovereign initiative, but Jesus as the Heavenly King is unable to do so, for even though He desires all to come to Him most closely, He cannot impose this and cannot make an unwilling or un-reciprocating person "sit" close to Him even by His Sovereign Authority, for it was exactly by this Sovereign Authority that He gave to us, humans, this untouchable freedom of free will, free choice and the ability of free decision-making.

Thus, to conclude: Jesus' words express a divine respect towards an awesome, a horrible gift of freedom (and therefore, also the horrible responsibility) that all humans, as images and likenesses of God, have been endowed by Him. We can use this gift for following sins and making ourselves remote from God, or we can use this gift for repenting and making ourselves closer to God, or, moreover, we can use this gift for even greater opening of our hearts and lives to the infinity of divine love towards us and get even closer to Him, but He does not force us, it is only on us and our free, dreadfully so, decision.

Jesus speaks about the mystery of human freedom in this passage.

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  • How is God omnipotent if human freedom so easily subverts his power?
    – 習約塔
    Jun 26, 2018 at 2:56
  • @xiota Otherwise all intelligent creatures - all angels and all humans without exception - will be necessarily saved, which will make obsolete the idea of divine judgement, central in the Biblical tradition. All-poweful God does want a student to plagiarise, but makes Himself absolutely powerless to interfere in this misdeed. If God will always interfere in human free wrong decisions, then also He will cease to be all-powerful, because He will betray Himself as being unable to create free decision-making persons in a true sense. Jun 26, 2018 at 5:34
0

To understand Mark 10:40 correctly one should read the whole episode. What is actually asked and what is answered in Mark 10:35-45?
The petty favour asked by the brothers is the best seats of honour at the dinner-table. One might say they desire the same as what Jesus warns against in Mark 12:38-39:

38 In His teaching Jesus also said, “Watch out for the scribes. They like to walk around in long robes, to receive greetings in the marketplaces, 39 and to have the chief seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets.

Though the initial answer in Mark 10:40 seems a bit cryptic, Jesus explains in Mark 10:42-44:

42 So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be this way among you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all.

The tongue in cheek answer to the presumptuous brothers is that they should consider doing some serious work before they start asking for freebies. On an even more mundane level one could say that those that go over the preparations for dinner, slaving away so that others can eat and drink, are also responsible for the seating arrangements. :-)

NB There is a chapter about the preparation of the Passover meal in Mark 14:12-16:

12 On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was to be sacrificed, Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 13 So He sent two of His disciples and told them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jug of water will meet you. Follow him, 14 and whichever house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is My guest room, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?’ 15 And he will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” 16 So the disciples left and went into the city, where they found everything as Jesus had described. And they prepared the Passover.

I wonder which disciples he sent to make preparations and if they even volunteered for the job. :-)

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First one must ask the question? what then is missing from this equation ...Jesus is the Son of the Father ... A Son and a Father needs a Mother .. To complete the family ... The Father is a spirit and Son is flesh of a women and the spirit of the Father therefore the women is of flesh .. Jesus mention that the person on the left is a servant .. And the least shall be the greatest .. The person who sits at the left hand of Jesus is therefore a woman made of flesh who is a servant ...

P.s she is mentioned in description in Isaiah 54:1-8 KJV

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  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange! Unfortunately, this does not answer the question. Be sure to visit the tour to learn more about this site. Due to the nature of this site, references may be required in order to support your conclusions. Nov 14, 2014 at 0:29
-1

This is all a Zodiac planisphere with the central Sun as Judge. See the Book of Thomas "You do not see the light of the sun, which judges the universe". See the Pistis Sophia where Jesus blatantly describes this Celestial Template to his disciples. The 12 Jurists are the Zodiac Houses. The Maha Yuga described as the Perfect Year by Plato (Timaeus 39d) and as the Great Year by Cicero (De Natura Deorum II.51.). This is the period of one complete cycle of the equinoxes around the ecliptic, about 25,800 years. This Maha Yuga or Great Year was divided into 360 or 365 days, depending on the era you lived in and your calculations for the Great Year.

NASA suggests "around" 25,800 years for the Great Year (Aerospace Science and Technology Dictionary G Section. Hq.nasa.gov. 1989-10-18.) This was, however, a machine, and you needed it to be tidy, with meshing gears. Ptolemy said his teacher Hipparchus, by comparing the position of the vernal equinox against the fixed stars in his time and in earlier observations, discovered that the precession of the equinox caused the Earth's axial north pole to shift westward approximately one degree every 72 years.

We need even numbers for efficiency, so we need those 12 Zodiac ages to mesh with 72 Asterisms, which can be a small constellation, or it can be a single star that represents one of the degrees of the Great Year. Following Hipparchus, we multiply 360 days by 72 degrees to give us a Great Year template of 25,920 years.

These are not Lunar Nakshatras nor Tarot Arcana. Frex, the Egyptian Dendera calendar is a planisphere with 36 Decans of 10 days each which some versions show 72 Asterisms. The Hindu's have calendars of Vedic descriptions of 72 Manu's, as shown by B.G. Siddharth in "The Celestial Key to the Vedas: Discovering the Origins of the World's Oldest Civilization" (c.1999).

This Celestial Template has been adapted to every major system around you. I call it the old 1,2,3, because all major religions unspool the Eleatic One, Atman, Buddha, God into other beings and eventually it becomes an Earth-centric Clock, Calendar, Planisphere, Cosmology and Cosmogony: the 1, 2, 3, the 6, 12, 24, 36, 72 and 360. We can't get away from The System.

This is the base 60 or sexagenary numeral system that the Sumerians of the 3rd century BCE used as a "superior highly composite number" for measuring "time, angles, and geographic coordinates". In his book, Siddharth shows that the Hindu's had been using this same system since around 10,000 BCE, and had applied it to their Celestial Clock, Calendar, Planisphere, Cosmology and Cosmogony. It's a huge machine that gives order to the Universe, explored by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend in their wonderful book Hamlet's Mill (1st hardcover edition, Gambit, 1969).

Consider the Template of the Courtroom I've attached below.The Defendant sits on Stage Left, but they sit on the Right Hand of God. If a King calls someone his shield and his right hand, it simply means that The Hand is standing on the King's right, and in The Hand's own right hand is naturally a sword, and on his left arm is a huge shield that is always annoyingly in the King's face.

So that answers the GoT question of how the Hand of the King can somehow be associated with both right and left side of the King. All of this is subject to poetic overlay, and it really helps to mentally stand in these positions to imagine how Eddard Stark obtained his nicknames from King Robert Baratheon after his 17-year Hand Jon Arryn died.

The Celestial Template was applied to the layout of the entire State Capitol originally placed the Castle against some mighty hill, with the King facing outward, the Senate and the Military Headquarters (and thus the Treasury) on his right, so actually on the left side of the city as we face the King in his castle. As he faces us, on his left is the House of Complainers. That is all the House does - representing the influential Middle Class and artists, athletes, and notables, and the loudest rabble rousers among the Lower Class. In the Courtroom Template, we see the House of Complainers precisely in the spot of the Plaintiff, literally called the Complainant.

See how this works now? The Elders are the rich Upper Class, probably descended from the line of royalty through some affair. If there is a siege, there is an inner wall around the Castle which contains the Gallery of Elders, and all of their animals, food, textiles and other resources will be used to support the core of the Crown during a siege. Off to the upper left is the Temple, serving to unite the masses around some god while teaching the hoi polloi about morals and laws, serving as an old Synagogue where they could get married, attend a de-facto school and also (ahem) as a Court of Law for the lower classes.

This Lower Court had a Jury of 12, modernly with 6 chosen by the Defendant and 6 by the Accuser. The understanding that a Jury must have 12 people is old and certainly points to the Celestial Template. In 725 CE, the Welsh king Morgan of Gla-Morgan established 12 member Jury trials, making it clear that he saw the Trial as a copy of the Biblical Tribunal where Three (Tri) people served as the Accuser, Defendant and neutral Judge, with a Jury of 12 to follow the template of the 12 Apostles.

What does Apostle mean? It means someone who was commissioned by the King to roam around the Kingdom and resolve disputes by acting as local Judges. From the magnificent Online Etymology Dictionary, we learn that *apo- means to be sent "off, away from", while *stel- means "to stand, to put in order". Here comes the Judge. ALL RISE! Jesus literally calls the Apostles Judges:

"Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matthew 19:28)

Paul seems to have created his own version of the 12 Apostles, with the instructions to travel around the world and "judge trivial cases".

"Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?" (1 Corinthians 6:2)

Jesus similarly commissioned the 70 Elders to travel around the world and "prepare the way" for the multitude of Tribunal Judgments that were forthcoming. Some texts said there were 70 and some 72; nobody could decide how many degrees where were in the Great Year anymore lol! These 72 apostles were called evdomikonta (εβδομήκοντα) apostoli or evdomikonta mathetes in the New Testament, and of course we know there were actually 72 because this number had to mesh with 12:

'And after these things the Lord appointed also other seventy-two: and he sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself was to come.' (Luke 10)

"Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." (John 20:21)

This system exists to this day in the Rabbinical system as an echo of the ancient Sanhedrin, with 71 member rabbinates presided over by a Chief Priest for 72 (Sanhedrin, Wikipedia) Exodus 18:21–22, Numbers 11:16–17, 11:24–25 and Deuteronomy 1:15–18, 17:9–12 are some texts where YHWH commanded Moses to establish courts of judges who were given full authority over the people of Israel, who were commanded by God through Moses to obey the judgments made by the courts and every Torah-abiding law they established.

This Greater Sanhedrin was the High or Supreme Court, which in the Celestial Template would be located to the right hand of the King as he faces us, putting the Supreme Court to the left of the Capitol or Castle as we face the King. The Lesser Sanhedrin also had 72 members representing the Lower Court for the Complaining Masses lol, located to the left hand of the King.

Or to our right as we face the capitolem, a Tolem or Totem, being a massive pillar that once existed in the middle of the Kingdom and from which the Ideal Template was platted out like George Washington and his freemasons lol! Often the throne itself was the Tolem everything pivoted around.Today's Synagogues are symbolically set up using the Celestial Template for the Courtroom:

"A typical synagogue contains an ark (where the scrolls of the Law are kept), an " eternal light " burning before the ark, two candelabra, pews, and a raised platform (bimah), from which scriptural passages are read and from which, often, services are conducted."(Synagogue, Judaism, Encyclopedia Britannica).

Acts 5:21 states that the Greater Sanhedrin Council was also called the "Senate", or Gerousia, which means "the Council of the Elders". YHWH told Moses to appoint 70 Elders to Judge the Israelites, and with Moses and Aaron this made 72 Elders (Numbers 11:16-30). If you read the OT carefully enough, there are prophets whose works were once included in the Torah, but are now missing and they are only mentioned by reputation.

I'm not going to lay them all out for you, but I assure you there are 72 of what we call the Major and Minor Prophets which the Bible implied to be an official Royal Station of High Prophet. There are 72 High Priests. Including YHWHE himself, the Hasmonean and Maccabean Kings and down to Jesus there were 72 High Kings. There were likely 72 High Poets or Scribes and 72 High Judges who were more like Soldiers such as Samson than white beards such as Solomon. The five groups of 72 makes for a total of 360 official Royal Appointees.

I'm relying on my 40 manuscripts at this juncture, with proprietary research I cannot allow others to steal, but you can certainly see the syllogistic logic behind the system I describe. The Bible implies there are "myriads" of Angels, but in actuality at the very top, there are only a few hundred Royal Appointees and if you just average out the various lists of the Angels exiled with Satan you are seeing a "third of the stars" swept out of Heaven during the big battle (Revelation 12:4). That would be about 120 and well in line with the 360 Angels we can associate with Asterism *Days of the Great Year, each lasting for 72 Earth-years until the North Pole returns to where it was in Aries.

I simply can't tell you the story of the Bible in all of its crystalized Glory, but I can give a Gloss with respect to the Celestial Template. There were once 70 Spirits who rebelled against the King of the Universe. They eventually lost, and the King ordered them to be extinguished so they could never reincarnate again. Their personalities were to be wiped from existence.

A certain man, an unusual man from the future it was said, suggested that there should be an organized Trial and he called in some favors to make it so. Providing the Celestial Template, he himself acted as their Defense Attorney, also called their Advocate and Wonderful Counselor. You only think Jesus was the most important one here, but a reincarnation of him from the future was the one he always genuflected towards. This was the original Defense Attorney of the original Titans.

When the man had made his case, the certain god and gods that heard him granted his wish to allow him to save the 70 or 72 Titans. But he would have to substitute his own life for theirs, being crucified not once, but once for each of them! Read Kersey Graves' wonderful book "The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors" to see that he actually compiled a list of 70+ crucified saviors, and each of them was that man who, in one incarnation, was called Jesus.

The Bible follows the fall of the Titans as God scatters their Spirits so they become many, shrinking into the Giants, and then the Demigods, then the semi-divine Heroes and the Mighty Men of Old, and finally they shrunk down into a multitude of humans. If you read the Greek and Latin description of the Gigantomachy, for example, there are around 70 Giants, same as the Titans, and most of them have the same names as the previous Titans. And when the war is over, witnesses saw their bodies shrink as they emitted steam and "gore".

Each of the Titans became a "Goyim" or a "Nation descended from a Giant" lol, and God divided up the entire world into 70 Nations (Genesis 10, Table of Nations). God keeps for himself the variants of Jacob, also called Israel, from which he will make a nation. Deuteronomy 32:8 then states that humanity was divided up by the "according to the number of b'nei elohim". Who were the Elohim? They were the astral Christs of the Olympians.

If we look closely, we can see that the 12-member Olympian council is sometimes in flux so one member like Hephaestus can be replaced by another such as Dionysus. So it's political, and it's also a Celestial Template which the Tsadokite priesthood has preserved in Deuteronomy, discussed on Stack Exchange on Biblical Hermeneutics "Human kind divided up among the gods".

The Spirits of the Titans were, like the Elohim, actually Christs that could wear a body like a set of clothes. The Christ was a Greek gestalt in the field of Astral Science. Jesus suggested three souls would be sufficient to make a Christ Spirit, whereas the Rabbi's believed it required at least 13 souls to create a Shekinah like their ancestors created every Sabaoth, once a week, forming Queen Asherah and the Wife of Yahweh when Israel was united, and two Sister Wives of Yahweh when Israel divided after Civil War (read Raphael Patai, The Hebrew Goddess for more info on the astral Shekinah).

These astral Spirits could be scattered until they lost their memories, and they could be returned. This is part of a Biblical Template of the Call and Return which was part of the Egyptian Amun/Amen cult, and Jesus made it clear that his father Amen had selected every single one of the 12 Olympian Apostle Jurists, as well as the 72 Titan Apostle Elders. When Jesus left, he implied that the guy that built the entire system would be arriving to take over his ministry, which essentially had him preparing The Way like another John the Baptist.

Listen to how Jesus talks of himself, his father's reputation as OT Judge, and the future Holy Ghost in terms of the Judicial system built up from the Celestial Template:

"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, that He may be with you forever" (John 14:16)

"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world." (1 John 2:1)

"Open your mouth for the mute; for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy." (Proverbs 31:8-9)

"Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man." (Hebrews 8:1-2)

"who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him." (1 Peter 3:22)

"For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5)

"But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises." (Hebrews 8:6)

"For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." (Hebrews 9:15)

"For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Hebrews 9:24)

"and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel." (Hebrews 12:24)

"“Blessings on one who has seen you with him when he is proclaimed among the angels and glorified among the saints. Yours is life. Rejoice and be glad as children of god. Observe his will that you may be saved. Accept correction from me and save yourselves. I am mediating for you with the father, and he will forgive you many things.” (Secret Book/Apocryphon of James)

Those are some passages about Jesus as the Defense Attorney, Advocate, Wonderful Counselor. Here are some passages about Jesus in the context as a Witness, and not just him, but John the Baptist who clearly presented himself as giving Testimony in a Trial or Tri-ad of Judge, Accuser, Defender:

"There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light." (John 1:6-8)

Jesus even spoke of John and the previous High Prophets as testifying about him in an ongoing court case:

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life." (John 5:39-40)

John essentially served as the Court Crier, who could double as the Clerk and Reporter:

"Now in those days John the Baptist *came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight!’” (Matthew 3:1-3)

This echoes what the ancient King's Crier shouted when YHWH was the Judge:

"A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God." (Isaiah 40:3)

YHWH sitting as a judge in a Celestial Court is a major theme of the Old Testament. When we first meet Satan in the Bible, it is as a lawyer. Fokkelman translates הַשָּׂטָן (haśśāṭān) preferred in Job 1-2 as "THE PROSECUTOR" (Fokkelman, J.P. (2012). The Book of Job in Form: A Literary Translation with Commentary. Leiden: Brill, p. 37.). Fokkelman explains the setting of the prologue of Job:

"The author opens the Book of Job in his role as omniscient narrator. That quality enables him to inform us of what goes on in the heavenly council. He lets us listen in while God is talking to an angel on duty, a sort of District Attorney." (Fokkelman, op. cit., p. 15.)

Peterson uses the same term "The Prosecutor" in translation of Zech. 3:1-2 (Petersen, D.L. (1984). Haggai and Zechariah 1-8: A Commentary. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, p. 186.). For Smith, Zech. 3:1-2 takes place in a “courtroom setting” (White, E. (2014). Yahweh's Council: Its Structure and Membership. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, p. 54. cf. cf. Bovati, P. (1997). Re-establishing Justice: Legal Terms, Concepts and Procedures in the Hebrew Bible. London: Bloomsbury, pp. 236-238.)

Peterson calls the passage in Zech as “legal context…in the divine council” (Petersen, op. cit., p. 190.): "The scene is set with השׂטן in the role of prosecutor,המלאך [hammalʾak] as the defense attorney, Yahweh as the judge, and the high priest Joshua as the defendant (3:1)." (White, op. cit., p. 54.)

Stokes states that according to the “present scholarly consensus,” the śāṭān in the Old Testament “serves God as a sort of prosecuting attorney in the heavenly court.” (Stokes, R.E. (2014). Satan, Yhwh’s Executioner. Journal of Biblical Literature, 133(2), 251-270. See pp. 251-252)

In God's system, Satan is both Prosecutor but also works closely with the witness called The Seducer. I've given examples of God sending out Spirits to lie to the prophets and kings. The Babylonian Talmud and Tanhuna go into further detail (Reeg, G. (2013). The devil in rabbinic literature. In I. Fröhlich & E. Koskenniemi (Eds.), Evil and the Devil (pp. 71-83). London: T&T Clark, p. 73).

In BBat 16a, an anonymous Tanna states that Satan: "Comes down to earth and seduces, then ascends to heaven and awakens wrath; permission is granted to him and he takes away the soul." In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus tells Simon Peter that Satan has requested permission to sift ‘you’ (ὑμᾶς, humas, plural pronoun referring to all the disciples) like wheat. Crump states, “The similarity in this with the heavenly court scenes of Job 1:8-12; 2:3-7 has been observed many times.” ( Crump, D.M. (1992). Jesus the Intercessor: Prayer and Christology in Luke-Acts. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, p. 154.)

The Greek verb ἐξαιτέω (exaiteō), means “to ask for with emphasis and with implication of having a right to do so.” (Bauer, W., Danker, F.W., Arndt, W.F. & Gingrich, F.W. (2000). A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 344.) In the OT, the imagery of harvesting wheat is used repeatedly to describe divine judgment (Ps. 35:5; Jer. 13:24; Amos 9:9; cf. Matt. 3:12).

Hence, Satan’s request for permission to sift the disciples like wheat probably means that he has brought charges against them in the hope of awakening God’s wrath so that he can execute judgment. It is the same concept reflected in the Talmud in BBat. 16a. That God is the recipient of his request for permission is confirmed by Jesus’ countermove, which is to make an intercessory prayer for Simon Peter (σοῦ, sou, singular pronoun).

Crump states, “The juxtaposition of ‘Satan has demanded…but I have asked’ (ἐγὼ δὲ ἐδεήθην) indicates that Jesus’ prayer has been specifically aimed at effectively countering Satan’s interest.” (Crump, op. cit., p. 155.) The OED says the Satan wordset indicates official entrapment, altogether meaning "one who opposes, plots, obstructs, acts as an adversary", where the suffix of De-vil is from the Greek Diaboulos "slanderer" and Epiboulos "plotter". Elaine Pagels said this of Satan's reputation in the Torah:

"In biblical sources the Hebrew term the satan describes an adversarial role. It is not the name of a particular character. Although Hebrew storytellers as early as the sixth century B.C.E. occasionally introduced a supernatural character whom they called the satan, what they meant was any one of the angels sent by God for the specific purpose of blocking or obstructing human activity" (Elaine Pagels, "The Origin of Satan," 1995).

The Accuser, Plaintiff or Prosecution seems to be working directly for God:

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)

"And the LORD said to him, With which? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, You shall persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so." (1 Kings 22:22)

In the Gospel of Nicodemus, Satan is called the Devil by Hades, and speaks of Jesus as "our common enemy". 1 Peter 5:8 calls him the "Adversary" which is the Rabbinical title of the Accuser or Prosecuting Attorney. In Revelation 2:9, we hear Jesus say that Satan has his own Synagogue, or COURT where he is presiding over "tribulations". Jesus calls Satan "the accuser of our brethren" (Revelations 12:10) who uses lies and has his children use lies to convict them (John 8:44).

Jesus said his sojourn on Earth was related to the gathering of the 12 Olympians and 70 Titans, the Call and Return Circle Dance with lots of AMENs from the which Jesus pantomimed while dancing in the Acts of John. The scattered Titans would be reconstituted as the astral Ethnarch of their 70 respective Nations, and called to answer to God for how they treated their own people which, after all, represent the scattered remnants of their ancient Spirits.

“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matthew 3:11-12)

John had 36 male disciples and 36 female disciples. These all went over to Jesus en-masse, and the 36 and 72 are overtly and covertly mentioned in various texts such as the Pistis Sophia. The Rabbis said that John's disciples were members of the Tanukhim, which was a secret college dedicated to teaching the mantic arts and Astral Science to the most promising and adept students. John told his students that he was from Heaven, and it was organized into a hierarchy of Angels and gods:

"John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” (John 1:15)

And all of the beings who descended to the Earth from the Heavens were here, for a Tri-al. The Tri-bulation. By the Tri-ad on the Tri-bunal.

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1:2-4)

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." (Romans 12:12)

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

The Biblical system is revealed: Jesus is the Plaintiff on the Judge-King's left. The Christ is the Defendant on the right. The Bible mentions a Witness, an Accuser or Prosecuting Attorney, an Advocate and Wonderful Counselor or Defense Attorney. Jesus has 12 disciples chosen by his Father the King-Judge. This is the Jury, with 6 jurists chosen by the Defendant and 6 by the Plaintiff.

Out in the Gallery are the 70 Titans arranged in two groups of 35. The Clerk and the Court Reporter are the typical scribe and poet that attend the King. The Son of Man mentioned in the Bible is the final planetary Christ that is created from the mashed up astral souls of everybody who couldn't climb the ladder to enlightenment. This final Christ is just about the most accused person in history, and I believe the NT says that the Christ sits at the right hand of God? In the seat of the Defendant, right?

As for Jesus having people on his left and right, who knows? It sounds like the Tribunal running the Tribulation - you know, the Judge, the Accuser and the Defender, as gotten an upgrade to the archetypal system. The Judge has his two helpers (Clerk and Reporter), and his security I suppose, and so the Prosecution and Defense teams have expanded perhaps? LOL! The courtroom is getting crowded!

As for a less poetic assignment of Bad and Good to Left and Right-handedness, for millennia the first civilizations have used their left hand to wipe their butt and their right hand to eat or do anything else important. Today over half of the world still lives like this. Left became symbolically associated with unclean and right with clean and even purity. Left became Lute or Lewd, Lay-around, Lying and Lies, Crooked writing and behavior because we all know we should write with our right. It was never fair to left-handed people who need to remember, Lefties are all in their Right Mind.

Now, I've shown that Jesus was the Witness, that there could be other Witnesses in the form of official God-sent Seducers, and that Satan is the Prosecuting Attorney. I've shown that Jesus was the Defense Attorney, the Advocate, the Wonderful Counselor:

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)

The Bible also depicts Jesus as the JUDGE (John 5:22, 27, 30, 8:15-16, 26, 9:39; James 5:9; Acts 10:42, 17:31; 2 Cor 5:10; Mat 19:28; Luke 22:30 and many others). In John 12:47-48, Jesus says he did not come here to Judge anyone, but his many other statements show this cannot be accurate. It is more like a person saying "I didn't ask for this". In the Gospel of Judas, when the Christ is arranging with Judas to betray him, he tells Judas that he - Judas will judge the world, and intentionally enrages him to prepare :

"Already your horn as been raised, your wrath has been kindled..."

Is there anything I haven't covered? How about Jesus as the Accuser? Jesus was called the "Morning Star" in Revelations 22:16. Satan is called the Morning Star in Isaiah 14:12 and here accused of "laying the nations low", meaning that it was he who exiled the Titans. And of course, this was Jesus, proving that they are the same person. Just as Jesus said he and the Father "are one", and he was the same person as the Holy Spirit.

All of this drama is the awakening of a self-actualized, hyper-intelligent, pan-dimensional being. Jesus called them "Universals" and "Totalities". Accepting that you are everyone in the court room, even the accused, is a hard transition to make, but if this can happen, we have a mature, self-aware Universal, whereas very few Universes have such a luxury.

Please read The Thunder: Perfect Mind to hear Sophia call herself Jesus and Christ, accused and accuser, honored and scorned, scattered and returned. She/He is everyone, speaking with the voice of billions of people at once so it sounds like Thunder. That is the perfect Universal folks.

Courtroom Layout

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  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics.SE and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others. I also recommend going through the Help Center's sections on both asking and answering questions.
    – agarza
    Apr 20, 2023 at 3:31
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    (-1) Your level of detail here is great, but this post contains an incredible quantity of bizarre unsourced claims that have no parallel in scripture or Jewish tradition. Do any scholars or commentators support this view, or is it something you've invented yourself?
    – Steve can help
    Apr 21, 2023 at 20:39
  • Steve, these claims are liberally all through synoptic scripture, pseudepigrapha, apocrypha, Gnostic tractates, and Jewish works. I've written 40 manuscripts about it all, loaded with thousands of citations. This system exists, and it isn't at all bizarre. I'm only allowed 8 hyperlinks so you'll have to deal with parenthetical references, which I will add as I have time. In the meantime, no more slander from you please. Just because you weren't aware of the template is no reason to lash out with sophomoric zingers.
    – user68441
    Apr 22, 2023 at 22:54

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