Monday, 19 March 2012

70 or 72 disciples sent out by Jesus

Were there 70 or 72 disciples sent out by Jesus ?

We find the information about the sending out of messengers in Luke's gospel under Luke 10:1.

  1. The Wycliffe Bible states - Forsooth after these things, the Lord Jesus ordained also other seventy and two, and sent them by two and two before his face into every city and place
  2. The New International Version states - After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
  3. New King James version - After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.
We are told that they are sent out in pairs but are there 35 pairs or 36 ?

Ezekiel's vision
In a book called Birth Angels which focuses on the 72 angels of the Kabbalah we read " the two plus seventy disciples sent out by Jesus ".

Who are the seventy and who are the two ?

The Kaballah teaches that there are 72 angels who inhabit the nine divine Choirs of the hierarchical tree of life.

If the following can be applied to the Kaballah line above then there is confusion as to what can be considered Angel.  By typical Christian Angel hierachy angels belong to the most common choir and are the lowest divine entities on the ladder of higher spirit.

The Kaballah line above would have more meaning to me if it read " 72 entities or 72 spirits...".

Orders of Angels also known as Angelic Choirs are a common theme in Christian Angel hierarchy. One such hierarchy goes like this.

There are 3 spheres of angels and each sphere has types of angels

  1. Sphere one
    1. Seraphim - choir that sings by the almighty's side
    2. Cherubim - guardians of the tree of life and guardians of the garden of eden
    3. Ophanim - living elders who who occupy the throne of divine justice
  2. Sphere two
    1. Dominions - the bosses of the lower angel choirs
    2. Virtues  - guardian choir that stands behind the ophanim and keep nature and the cosmos in divine order
    3. Powers - this choir is the Authority behind mankind 
  3. Sphere three
    1. Primcipalities (Rulers)  - carry out the orders of the Dominions 
    2. Archangels - Gabriel and Michael are archangels - princes ( Hebrew - sar ) among the lower angels
    3. Angels - messengers to mankind highly connected to living things

Genesis 10 of the old Testament names the seventy nations.

Gustave Dore - Depiction of Satan - Milton's Paradise Lost
 The Hebrew Testament of Naphtali mentions, He.." came down from his highest heavens, and brought down with him seventy ministering angels, Michael at their head. He commanded them to teach the seventy families who sprang from the loin of Noah seventy languages."

I am still not quite sure what to make of this 70 or 72 disciples sent out by Jesus topic.

When I refer it to Luke 10 1 it seems like the disciples are human and not angelic. I could easily speculate that there were 70 followers of Jesus who were chosen to go and spread the word of his coming. As for the two others I can guess that Jesus could be one. The other could be either the archangel Michael or even Satan.

Why Satan ?

Line 17 of Luke 10 might be a clue. " And the seventy turned back with joy, saying, " Sir, the demons are being subjected to us in thy name. ".  And he says back to the seventy, " I was beholding the Adversary, as lightning from the heaven having fallen. "  Then he tells them that nothing will hurt them because he has given to them the authority to thread on the enemy as though  they were serpents or scorpions. ( authority is from the choir of powers ) .

In the last line he tells the 70 that their names were written in heaven ( the powers are also the historians and keepers of records ) and that the spirits are subjected to them or on their side.

The Naphtali testament would completely falsefy my own assessment. But then again I don't think the Naphtali testament and the gospel of Luke have anything in common. Naphtali was the son of Jacob and  Jacob's story is dated to about 600 BC when the Neo Babylonians are preparing to overthrow the Israelites. Jacob reaches out to Laban the Aramaic and ends up an enemy of the man who is also is father in law. Jacob marries both is daughters Leah and Rachel. ( If you are a Mormon you would understand this story to be quite different since Laban ends up being slaughtered by Nephi the son of Lehi as they struggle for the idols Urim and Thurrim and the real records of the Israelite tribes ). In other Christian versions no one knows exactly how Laban dies. All we are told is that Jacob and Rachel raised Naphtali who grows up to form an Israelite tribe.

This somehow is an interpretation of the birth of Naphtali.

The testimony of Naphtali had to be speaking of a completely different order of entities than the gospel of Luke was. The gospel of Luke was written sometime after 33 AD.

Were there 70 or 72 disciples sent out by Jesus ?

Your guess is as good as mine !!!! Seventy nations with seventy languages with seventy human rulers all at the mercy of Jesus and Satan sounds reasonable.

The number 72 is full of mystery. This 72 mystery about disciples and angels is far from resolved in my mind yet I now know a bit more about Luke and about spiritual entities. I remain confused about the reality of the LDS church but the history of the Mormon flavour of Christianity has never been more interesting than it is in our times when a few mere mortals are climbing the ladder of power in America.

Mother always said " don't mix religion with brings out the devil in people ".

But can one really ever separate religion from politics ?????

Interestingly enough Confucius who lived at about the same time as Naphtali and Jacob also had 72 disciples.

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Thanks for sharing