This kind of language and presentation (poetic) is Tanakh style and not the way Jesus is portrayed by the greek bible.

Any findings on why Jesus is projected to have used this language.

Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.

1 Answer 1


Let there be no doubt that Jesus was thoroughly Jewish in his appearance, customs and language. The passage in Matt 23:37 is neither unique nor surprising.

First, Jesus said the same thing on a previous occasion in Luke 13:34, 35

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! “Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’”

Further, Jesus wept over Jerusalem as recorded in Luke 19:41.

Second, Jesus alludes to several OT passages in this brief speech in Matt 23:37, 38.

  • Matt 23:35 - “On you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah”. (See 2 Chron. 24:20–21). There were many more.
  • Ps 91:4 - He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
  • Deut 32:11 - As an eagle stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, He spread His wings to catch them and carried them on His pinions.

It is one of the great ironies of history that Jerusalem, the "City of Peace" has experienced more wars that most other places. Jesus wept over Jerusalem for two reasons:

  • the bloodshed that would occur there, eg, Acts 7:60, 12:2, see also 1 Thess 2:14, 15, James 5:10, etc.
  • The fact that the Jews had effectively rejected their long-awaited Messiah and thus -

Look, your house is left to you desolate (v38)

Matt 21:43 - "Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.

  • Dottard, Agree that Jesus was a Jew and probably spoke Aramaic. Jesus himself did not write anything except once in the sand when they brought the woman caught in adultery. So clearly someone used this poetic language compared to a prosaic text used in the rest of the Greek text. was wondering why? Matt 23:35 referring to the Jews killing the first man and the last prophet in Tanakh a bit of exaggeration don't you think? Abel was killed even before God made a covenant with Abraham leave alone with Jacob to form Israelites. Hope you are not saying the Jews are accountable for every death?
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 4:40
  • Again in Matt 23:35 Matthew quotes the killing of Zechariah the son of Barachiah but if you read the text King Joash kills Zechariah the son of Jehoiada (note he is a priest, not a prophet) Ps 91:4 This is such an amazing Psalm where David talks about how God protects the people who love God. If you read Psalm 91:9 it is clear that it is about people who call God their refuge. How is this relevant to Jesus?
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 4:51
  • @YedduPrasad - I have far too much love and respect for Jews to accuse them of causing all deaths. However, Jesus was referring to a number of martyrs during the history of the Israelite nation (Abel was well before that). If the Gospel writers recorded Jesus words (as they claim) then I believe that is what Jesus said, albeit in a different language perhaps.
    – Dottard
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 4:52
  • @YedduPrasad - there is at least one or two questions about that discrepancy on this site alone.
    – Dottard
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 4:53
  • Deut 32:11: This is a song of Moses to Israel before he is to die. Verse 11 is about how God brought Isreal out of Egypt through the desert. Please see the below verses that this is about Israel and not about Jesus. 9 Because the Lord's portion is His people Jacob, the lot of His inheritance. 44 And Moses came and spoke all the words of this song into the ears of the people he and Hoshea the son of Nun. In this tool, I am seeing responses to questions with verses that are out of context from Tanakh. Why is this happening? (I am asking you as I think you are an owner of this tool. Maybe?)
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 5:03

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