The mission of the Messiah, 1:5-9:50
4. The acts of Messiah, 6:12-7:50
ii] Promises and principles, 6:17-49
a) The happiness of Christ's disciplesSynopsis
Having called his disciples to him and selected twelve as apostles, Jesus, like Moses of old, comes down from the mountain to the people gathered below. After healing many he looks squarely at his disciples, Israel's representatives, and renews the covenant in the words of the Sermon on the Plain.
God's unmerited grace is the basis for membership in the kingdom of God.
i] Context: See 6:12-16. The promises and principles of the coming kingdom, 6:17-49, is the second episode in the fourth section of Luke's gospel, The dawning of the kingdom in the acts of Messiah, 6:12-7:50, a section that reveals the nature of the kingdom of God. In this episode, The Sermon on the Plain, we learn that covenant inclusion rests on grace and not works of the law. For preaching purposes, the episode in divided into three parts: First, the beatitudes and woes, v17-26; Second, Jesus' teaching on love and mercy, v27-38; Third, three sets of illustrative sayings and parables on the human condition and thus the need for grace, v39-49.
ii] Structure: The blessings and woes:
Four beatitudes, v20-23:
"blessed are you who are poor ....."
"blessed are you who hunger now ....."
"blessed are you who weep now ....."
"blessed are you when people hate you, ......."
Four woes, v24-26;
"woe to you who are rich ....."
"woe to you who are well fed ....."
"woe to you who laugh now, ....
"woe to you when everyone speaks well of you ...."
Commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount, for Luke it is the Sermon is on a Plain. Like Moses, Jesus comes down from the mountain to speak to the people gathered on the plain and there he restates the substance of the covenant between God and his people Israel.
So, In line with the Abrahamic covenant which promised a people blessed before God, and extended in the Sinai covenant, as detailed in the book of Deuteronomy, Luke records Jesus' covenant renewal statement. The passage before us consists of the blessings and cursings. The blessings and cursings define the characteristics of those who are welcomed as members of the kingdom and those who stand outside it. Happy are those who are the broken / lost remnant of Israel, the poor, hungry, weeping and hated, "Yours is the kingdom of God", but woe are those who find their blessings in this age, the rich, full, laughing, and spoken well of, you have already received your reward.
The blessings and the cursings: The blessings and cursings / woes clearly differentiate the two central participants in Luke's gospel - those who are sick and in need of a physician, and those who are well and have no need of a physician, 5:31-32. "I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance." The blessings and woes identify those who are welcomed as members of the kingdom and those who stand outside. The specified characteristics are neither conferred by God, nor are they effort based, nor are they actual physical descriptives, rather they employ the Old Testament imagery of Israel's enslaved / exiled remnant people, as opposed to faithless / self-righteous Israel.
The characteristics of the blessed represent the lost of Israel, exiled, enslaved, impoverished, persecuted, awaiting the day of their redemption, their vindication (possibly with the sense of "righteousness" in Matthew). Jesus now addresses his disciples as the lost of Israel who recognise in Jesus the realisation of Israel's redemption. To his disciples Jesus announces the fulfilment of their eschatological hope: in Jesus theirs is now the kingdom, they will be filled, they will laugh and great will be their reward.
The characteristics of the cursed, on the other hand, represent that other part of Israel that has no association with the remnant, those who persecute the prophets, proclaim peace where there is no peace, who are contented now, filled now, but who, like the elder brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son, are lost in themselves, lost in self-righteousness, and therefore have no part in the dawning kingdom.
In terms of Biblical theology, here we have the characteristics of those who are admitted as members of Christ's kingdom, along with the fate of those who have no share in His salvation.
See 3:1-20. Like Mark, Luke records a summary of Jesus public ministry, although Mark has it before the selection of the twelve, whereas Luke has it after, introducing the Sermon on the Plain. The accounts differ somewhat, in fact they supplement each other.
When it comes to the beatitudes, it is usually argued that both Matthew and Luke use Q as their source, although as already noted, Q probably is not a documentary source, but rather primarily the extant Aramaic oral traditions of the early church. This can explain many of the differences between Matthew and Luke, given that larger blocks of teaching material are not as easily preserved in their original shape, as are narratives, sayings or pronouncement stories. Of course, Luke may have used Matthew, as well as Mark (the two document theory), but this is very unlikely; See Drury, Tradition and Design in Luke's Gospel, 1976, for the two document theory.
Bock nicely summarises the differences between Matthew and Luke:
•iLuke has four beatitudes, Matthew eight;
•iLuke changes Matthew's order, 1, 4, 2, 8;
•iLuke uses a second person address, Matthew uses the third person;
•iUnlike Luke, Matthew exegetes the qualities, eg., Luke has "poor" and Matthew has "poor in spirit."
•iLuke adds four woes / cursings. We have hints of this tradition elsewhere, Mk.4:24b, Matt.5:38-48, 7:1-2, 12,
Although it is likely that Luke edits the received tradition for his Greek readers, it would seem that the tradition he has of the beatitudes is somewhat different to the tradition available to Matthew. Luke's version is shaped by the blessings and cursings format of the Deuteronomic covenant, while the identifiers "poor / hungry / weeping / hated" single out the oppressed remnant of Israel, the lost awaiting the eschatological fulfilment of the kingdom of God.
Interestingly, Luke's use of the second person "you" is not just different to Matthew, it doesn't reflect Old Testament precedence (most often 3rd. person). Marshall, also Bovon, argues that the Lukan tradition is likely to be closer to the original, with the Matthean tradition adjusted to Old Testament precedence. It is interesting how the application of the blessing of persecution becomes "blessed are you" in Matthew 5:11-12. In Luke, Jesus' words are directed specifically to the disciples; "Looking at his disciples he said", v20.
It also seems likely that Matthew's beatitudes come with editorial explanations, such that "the poor" becomes "the poor in spirit", etc. Yet, the difference in the wording between the beatitudes in Luke, and in Matthew's spiritualisation of the beatitudes, doesn't alter the message that much, although many commentators would disagree. Luke's failure to offer a commentary to the beatitudes is not an attempt to glorify poverty, hunger, grief and persecution, rather, like Matthew, he glorifies emptiness before God, the emptiness that only God can fill, the emptiness of lost Israel, and by extension, lost humanity. The blessings of the kingdom belong to a certain type of person, a person with certain characteristics, a person with a healthy discontent as to their standing before God that leads them to yearn for the "wealth, the satisfaction, the consolation and the comradeship of the kingdom", Caird.
v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.
Text - 6:17
The sermon on the plain: i] The setting - a great crowd gathers to hear Jesus and be healed by him, v17-19. Luke's Sermon on the Plain is introduced with signs of the kingdom - healings and the casting out of demons. On this occasion it is accentuated when it is noted of Jesus that "power was coming from him." Moses was radiant when he came down from the mountain and Jesus exudes the same wonder-working power.
katabaV (katabainw) aor. part. "he went down" - [and] having come down. The participle is adverbial, possible serving to introduce a temporal clause; "Then he came down with them", Phillips.
met (meta) + gen. "with" - with [them]. Expressing association; obviously "with the disciples."
epi + gen. "on" - [he stood] on, upon. Spatial.
pedinou gen. adj. "a level [place]" - a level, flat [place] (in contrast to what is steep or uneven). Probably an allusion to Moses coming down from mount Sinai and meeting with the people of Israel gathered on the plain below, so Plummer, cf. Ex.34:29. None-the-less, it could be a "level place" somewhere on the mountain; "he .... stopped at a piece of level ground", NJB. "Coming down off the mountain with them, he stood on a plain surrounded by (his) disciples", Peterson.
maqhtwn (hV ou) gen. "of [his] disciples" - [and a crowd many] of disciples [of him]. The genitive is adjectival, partitive. Rather than "a large crowd", the sense is more likely that of a major gathering of Jesus' disciples, the whole number not being that large. Presumably Jesus came to the level place with some of his disciples and met the others there. "Many other disciples were there", CEV.
plhqoV (oV) "a [great] multitude" - [and] a very large number. Nominative subject of an assumed verb to-be. A great mob of people", Barclay.
tou laou (oV) gen. "of people" - of people. The genitive is adjectival, partitive.
apo + gen. "from" - from. Expressing source / origin.
Tupou kai SidwnoV gen. "Tyre and Sidon" - [all judea and jerusalem and the costal region] of tyre and sidon was there. The genitive is adjectival, epexegetic, or idiomatic / locative, "the seacoast where Tyre and Sidon are located." Not implying a Gentile mission, rather the effectiveness of Jesus' mission in gathering the lost from the scattered people of Israel.
oi} rel. pro. "who [had come]" - who [came]. Referencing Jesus' disciples and others.
akousai (akouw) aor. inf. "to hear" - to hear [him and to be healed]. As with "to be healed", the infinitive expresses purpose; "in order to hear and be healed."
apo + gen. "from" - from [the diseases of them]. Expressing separation, "away from"; "they had come .... to have their illnesses cured", Barclay.
oiJ enocloumenoi (enoclew) pres. pas. part. "those troubled" - [and] the ones being troubled, plagued. The participle serves as a substantive. The release of Satan's captives is a pivotal messianic sign. "Those showing the effects of demon possession."
apo + gen. "by" - by [unclean spirits were being healed]. Here the preposition expresses agency - a rare usage replacing uJpo; "those troubled with / by unclean spirits."
ezhtoun (zhtew) imperf. "tried [to touch]" - [and all the crowd] were seeking. The imperfect indicating ongoing action, probably iterative, repetitive action, or possibly attempted action, "the crowd was trying to touch him."
aJptesqai (aJptomai) pres. inf. "to touch" - to touch, seize, grasp. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "were seeking."
autou gen. pro. "him" - him. Dative of direct object after the verb "to touch."
oJti "because" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why people in the crowd were trying to touch Jesus, as NIV. Possibly governing both verbs, "was going out" and "was healing", although "Jesus" may be the subject of the imperfect verb "was healing"; "for power issued from him, and he healed them all", Barclay.
exhreceto (ecercomai) imperf. "was coming" - [power] was going out. Imperfect expressing ongoing action, durative. The power referred to here is "the power of the Lord", 5:17, the power that derives from God and completes his will. The words may describe an actual evidence, aura etc., alluding to the power evident in Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai - his face shone.
para + gen. "from" - from [him]. Expressing source; "out from beside."
ii] The beatitudes / blessings - good news for the poor, the hungry, the weeping and the persecuted, v20-23. Luke tells us that Jesus now specifically addresses the disciples; he actually fixes his eyes upon them and says "privileged are you." They are privileged before God because they are "the poor". Some commentators interpret this poverty, as with hungering and weeping, in a socioeconomic way, but this is a spiritual poverty. "The poor" are God's servant people, the righteous remnant of Israel, scattered, lost, enslaved and broken before God. The "poor" remnant of Israel yearn to be restored to God, they hunger and thirst for their vindication, they weep for their state of loss. So right now, because the disciples have reached out for God's mercy in Christ, all the privileges of of the covenant, and of God's eternal reign, are theirs. As a consequence, they will be satisfied with the fullness of God's blessings; divine joy will be eternally theirs. Of course, in this age, God's servant community faces marginalisation. Yet in a sense, marginalisation is a privilege. Rejoice, for it but heralds the day of eternal reward.
kai autoV "-" - and he. Transitional, indicating a change is subject back to Jesus.
eparaV (epairw) aor. part. "looking at" - having lifted up [the eyes of him toward the disciples of him was saying]. The participle is adverbial, probably introducing a temporal clause, while the "lifted up" most likely describes a focused stair; "then, fixing his eyes on his disciples", NJB.
makarioi adj. "blessed are you" - blessed, happy, contented, fortunate are. Rather than a secular "lucky the person ....", an Old Testament wisdom background to the term is more likely. So, the word expresses God's favour toward a person; "privileged are you before God ...."
oiJ ptwcoi adj. "the poor" - the poor. Adjective used as a substantive, subject of an assumed verb to-be. "The pious poor who look to and depend on God", Bammel, pushes in the right direction = Matthew's "poor in spirit." The intended sense is surely religious / spiritual: the meek and humble, broken before God, the lost of Israel, the persecuted remnant. An economic sense cannot be excluded, but most likely images Israel's righteous poor, those faithful to the law and thus disadvantaged by the less pious rich. Bock unites the spiritual with the economic: "blessed are you materially poor, who nonetheless look to God and his promise, for the kingdom is yours", although this seems unlikely.
oJti "for" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining the why "you" are favoured, blessed; "you are privileged because .... " "In their poverty the poor can indeed be happy, because they know that the kingdom of God is there for them", Bovon
uJJmetera adj. "yours" - yours. The singular 2nd. person possessive adjective is emphatic by use, as opposed to Matthew's "theirs"; "blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven."
estin (eimi) pres. "is" - is. The present tense indicating the disciples present possession of the kingdom, but note that in the following beatitudes, although the blessing is "now", the full realisation of this blessing is future, establishing a now / not yet dichotomy. Nolland brings out the present tense in his translation of Matthew's "poor in spirit"; "Good fortune now to the poor in spirit! For theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
tou qeou "of God" - [the kingdom] of god. For Luke, the kingdom is something we possess and thus enjoy; it entails "all the blessings that are brought by the eschatological rule of God", Nolland. The genitive "of God" is usually classified as verbal, subjective, where "kingdom" = rule, although adjectival, possessive should not be discounted; see tou qeou 4:43.
In this, Luke's second and third beatitude, the temporal indicator nun, "now", indicates the present condition of God's faithful remnant people; the disciples are this way now - they are hungering now, they are weeping now. It is possible that these are conditions / characteristics / descriptors of the poverty of "the poor". Interestingly, whereas being "poor" brings with it the present realisation of the kingdom, being those who hunger and weep brings with it the future blessings of the kingdom; "you will be filled", "you will laugh".
oiJ peinwnteV (peinaw) pres. part. "who hunger" - [blessed are] the ones hungering. The participle serves as a substantive, nominative subject of an assumed verb to-be. Matthew's "hunger and thirst for righteousness", probably in the sense of "vindication", encapsulates the substance of the hunger. It is the hunger of lost Israel for the putting down of the enemy and the uplifting and blessing of the people of God in the eschatological kingdom. "Blessed are you who sense your lack and depend on God, for God shall accept and reward you in the consummation", Bock.
nun adv. "now" - now. Temporal adverb serving to emphasise the future sense of the following clause.
oJti "for" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why those who hunger are blessed.
cortasqhsesqe (cortazw) 2 pl. fut. pas. "you will be satisfied" - you will be filled, sated, receive all that you need. A divine passive; God does the filling. "Satisfied" in the sense of entering the kingdom and participating in the totality of its blessings. The image of fed and watered conjures up the Old Testament image of sharing in the blessings of the promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey. On entering the promised land, a man will sit on his back porch, under his grape vine, well satisfied. Although the prophets replay the promised economic blessings of the kingdom, they increasingly spiritualise them, eg. Ezekiel's description of the stream flowing from the sanctuary of the new temple with its healing waters and abundant produce, chapter 47. Jesus makes this point well when he says "my kingdom is not of this world." None-the-less, it should be noted that many commentators are loath to remove an economic interpretation, eg. Bock: "It is important to note that the hungry has both socioeconomic and religious overtones and that errors of interpretation occur when either element is removed." Ellis and others disagree; "a religious, and not an economic status, is primarily in view."
oiJ klaionteV (klaiw) pres. part. "who weep" - [blessed are] the ones weeping, mourning, sorrowing. The participle serves as a substantive. "Weeping with the affliction of the exile", Nolland. "Blessed are you who suffer scorn and pain as you identify with God and depend on him, for you shall be fully welcomed by him at his tale and shall rejoice", Bock.
gelasete (gelaw) fut. "you will laugh" - [because] you will laugh, feel glad. Referring to "the joy that the kingdom of God will bring into the lives of human beings", Fitzmyer.
Interesting changes take place with the fourth beatitude: it is longer and more detailed; there is a tense change from what the disciples are "now" to a future when ....; and the religious nature of the disciples' situation is spelled out in the terms of persecution due to their association with Jesus. The expansion of this beatitude is probably due to the fact that it serves as a dramatic conclusion to the beatitudes.
oJtan + subj. "when [men hate you]" - [blessed are you] when [men hate you]. This conjunction with a subjunctive verb forms an indefinite temporal clause. Here the blessing is not "because" people hate you, ie., causal, but rather temporal, "whenever people are hostile toward you." Probably in a religious context, so "curse you."
aforiswsin (aforizw) aor. subj. "they exclude" - [and] they ostracise, exclude, divide, outlaw you. Here probably in the sense "excommunicate", probably from the synagogue, although Bock argues for the more general "ostracise."
oneidiswsin (oneidizw) aor. subj. "insult" - [and] they insult, reproach, heap insults on, revile you. "Slander and verbally attack", Bock.
ekbalwsin (ekballw) aor. subj. "reject" - [and] cast out, throw out = scorn, defame [the name of you = the person = reputation]. The sense is of banning even the mention of a person's name. As my grandfather would put in 1st World War terminology, "they ought to be shot and their cloths burnt (usually referring to politicians!)", ie., all evidence of their existence removed.
wJV as [evil] - as [wicked, evil, infamous]. Here expressing a characteristic quality, so not "like something infamous", but actually "infamous". With the accusative noun ponhron, "wicked", it serves as the accusative complement of the direct object "the name", as NIV; "When they denounce your very name as something infamous", Cassirer.
eJneka + gen. "because of" - because of, on account of. Introducing a causal clause explaining the reason why people may defame a disciple. Matthew has "because of me." "Because you are loyal to the Son of Man", Phillips.
tou anqrwpou (oV) gen. "of Man" - [the son] of man. The genitive is adjectival, relational. This messianic title is favoured by Jesus, possibly due to its illusive nature (the phrase can just men "man"), but more so due to its eschatological fit. Jesus is Daniel's coming Son of Man, the one who comes to the Ancient of Days, and in the presence of whose eternal reign all knees will bend. See oJ uiJoV tou anqrwpou, 5:24.
carhte (cairw) aor. pas. imp. "rejoice" - rejoice, be happy. Describing a sense of wellbeing.
en + dat. "in" - in [that day]. Temporal use of the preposition; "when that happens", TH.
skirthsate (skirtaw) aor. imp. "leap for joy" - [and] leap, dance for happiness, joy. The aorist indicating punctiliar action, although it would be normal to use an aorist for future action, as here.
gar "because" - for, because. Rather than oJti for the first three beatitudes, this beatitude uses gar to introduce a causal clause explaining why the persecuted disciple is makarioi, "blessed", namely, because eternal reward is theirs. Stated as an encouragement, not as an offer of reward for certain behaviour.
idou "-" - look, pay attention, behold. Serving to introduce and emphasise the clause; "for know this assuredly that you will have a great reward in heaven."
oJ misqoV (oV) "reward" - the reward, wages [of you]. Nominative subject of an assumed verb to-be. A recompense based upon what a person has earned and thus deserves.* The reward is possibly divine approval, "you can be glad when it happens, skip like a lamb if you like! for ...... all heaven applauds", Peterson. Yet, it is more likely that the reference here is to the immanent eschatological fulfilment of all things which, because of its wonder and nearness, blunts the pain of our present circumstances. "Your reward in heaven is magnificent", Phillips.
en + dat. "in" - [is great] in [heaven]. Expressing space / place.
gar "for" - for. Introducing a second causal clause explaining why the persecuted believer is "blessed", namely, "because" they are in good company.
kata + acc. "[that is] how" - according to [the same things]. Expressing a standard; "in just the same way", Fitzmyer.
toiV profhtaiV (hV ou) dat. "to the prophets" - [the fathers of them were doing] to the prophets. Dative of indirect object. The imperfect verb "were doing" is classified as customary by Thompson.
iii] The cursings - bad news for the rich, the full, the laughing and the well-spoken of, v24-26. Matthew does not have woes and his 8 beatitudes become 4 in Luke with 4 corresponding woes. Luke's fourth woe is not expanded like his fourth blessing, although Bovon views it as a "clever imitation." Given the impression left by Matthew's beatitudes, Luke's "woes" seem out of place, but they do align with the blessings and cursings of the Deuteronomic covenant. It is likely that the woes serve a contrasting function and are not actually directed to those "who had come to hear him." As is the case for a negative proposition in a counterpoint construction, they serve only to emphasise the positive. As Nolland puts it, "despite the second person address ("to you"), those against whom the woes are directed are presumed absent." So, the sense is "You are blessed, unlike those facing woe."
plhn con. "but" - but, nevertheless. Strong adversative. "On the contrary."
ouai "woe" - alas, disaster, horror. Expressing intense distress, possibly related to immanent divine judgment. "Unfortunate are you", "tragic is the fate of you who ....", Barclay.
uJmin dat. "to you" - to you. Dative of interest, disadvantage; "alas for you." Unlike the opening beatitudes, Luke this time supplies the 2nd person pronoun, "you".
toiV plousioiV dat. adj. "who are rich" - the rich ones. Adjective used as a substantive, standing in apposition to the dative "to you." If we have treated "the poor" as a religious descriptive then obviously "the rich" must be treated in the same way, rather than treating the phrase as an economic descriptor, eg., "rich" = those who "have used their wealth to purchase their own comfort, and have not used their wealth to help the needy", Marshall. The rich are those who are not rich toward God, they have not laid up treasure in heaven. The Pharisees serve as good examples of "the rich"; their self-righteous status gives them self-security and comfort. As with "the poor", there is an incidental economic component, but it is primarily used as an Old Testament allusion to the prosperity of unrighteous Israel. Certainly, the Pharisees were generally blessed with this world's goods, making them first century proponents of a prosperity gospel. So, the rich are those who are satisfied with the good life they now live and see no need to secure for themselves treasure in heaven. "It's trouble ahead if you think you have made it, what you have is all you'll ever get", Peterson.
oJti "for" - for, because. As with the beatitudes, serving to introduce a causal clause explaining why it is "woe to you" the rich, namely, "because" you already have your full.
apecete (apecw) pres. "you have already received" - you are receiving, obtaining, having in full. The present "receiving", implicit in the verb, can be emphasised with the addition of "already", as NIV. "You have received all the comfort you will ever get", Barclay.
uJmwn gen. pro. "your" - [encouragement, consolation, comfort = full payment] of you. The genitive is usually treated as adjectival, possessive, as NIV, although verbal, objective is possible, so Culy.
Luke uses the same format for the second and third woe as he does for the second and third blessing. Being well fed and happy seem to serve as descriptors of being rich, as hungering and weeping are descriptors of being poor. Again we have "now", such that "the rich" are fulfilled in the present, with the consequences destined for the future / eschatological.
oiJ empeplhsmenoi (epiplhmi) perf. pas. part. "who are well fed" - [woe to you] the ones having been well fed. The participle serves as a substantive. The perfect expressing a past feeding continuing into the present; "Woe to you, you who have been filled now." "Satisfied"; "have all you want", TH.
nun adv. "now" - now. Temporal adverb.
oJti "for" - because. Causal, explaining why it is "woe to you"; as above.
peinasete (peinaw) fut. "you will go hungry" - you will hunger. Future expressing the sense, "there will be a time when ...."
oiJ gelwnteV (gelaw) pres. part. "who laugh" - [woe to you] the ones laughing [now]. The participle serves as a substantive.
penqhsete (penqew) fut. "you will mourn" - [for] you will mourn [and weep]. To experience sadness or grief as the result of depressing circumstances.* Again, the inner state is the issue here; "The laughter is that of those who feel quite happy with their present lot in life. Theirs is a fool's paradise", Nolland.
oJtan + subj. "when" - [woe] whenever. Introducing an indefinite temporal clause, although usually translated "when" rather than "whenever".
kalwV adv. "well" - [all men speak] well. An adverb of manner; "praise you." There is danger when "all" praise you. "When everyone sings your praises."
uJmaV acc. "of you" - of you. An accusative of reference / respect; "concerning you."
gar "for" - because. Causal, as above.
kata + acc. "[that] is how" - according to [the same things]. Expressing a standard; "in accordance with, corresponding to." "Their fathers treated the false prophets in exactly the same way", Barclay.
autwn gen. pro. "their [ancestors]" - [the fathers] of them. The genitive is adjectival, relational.
epoioun (poiew) imperf. "treated" - were doing. The imperfect carries a durative aspect expressing ongoing action.
toiV yeudoprofhtaiV (hV ou) dat. "the false prophets" - to the false prophets. Dative of indirect object; "they were doing these things to the false prophets." This is a reference to the prophets who proclaimed peace when there was no peace (did not unsettle the status quo), prophets who did not properly declare the word of God.