3 Maccabees 2:22
20 Speedily let your mercies overtake us, and put praises in the mouth of those who are downcast and broken in spirit, and give us peace." 21 Thereupon God, who oversees all things, the first Father of all, holy among the holy ones, having heard the lawful supplication, scourged him who had exalted himself in insolence and audacity. 22 He shook him on this side and that as a reed is shaken by the wind, so that he lay helpless on the ground and, besides being paralyzed in his limbs, was unable even to speak, since he was smitten by a righteous judgment. 23 Then both friends and bodyguards, seeing the severe punishment that had overtaken him, and fearing that he would lose his life, quickly dragged him out, panic-stricken in their exceedingly great fear. 24 After a while he recovered, and though he had been punished, he by no means repented, but went away uttering bitter threats.
5 The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news proclaimed to them 6 —and blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me!” 7 While they were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 What did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Look, those who wear soft clothing are in the palaces of kings! 9 What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet!
Notes and References
"... After John's disciples leave, Jesus begins to address the crowd that was present and was perhaps puzzling over the dialogue they had just heard. He began by asking them a question about John, followed by two follow up questions. His initial question sought to obtain their opinion of John the Baptist and the follow-up questions focus on John the Baptist's identity. The first follow up question κάλαμον ὑπὸ ἀνέμου σαλευόμενον; gives a vivid metaphor and has four common interpretations. First, it could refer to someone who is easily swayed by public opinion. (The image was often used this way by Rabbis. See also 1 Kings 14:15; 2 Kings 18:21; 3 Maccabees 2:22) Second, it could refer simply to the scenery around the Jordan as if to suggest mockingly that the crowds may have ventured into the wilderness for some sight-seeing or some everyday task. Third, it could be a cryptic reference to Herod Antipas who took the κάλαμος as his symbol and minted it onto coins. Finally, it could refer to the crowd’s hope for a sign of the new exodus and be a reference to the sea of reeds that God split in two before Moses and Israel on their way out of Egypt.92 Most seem to find the first two options the most plausible and few find the fourth option plausible. Whatever the case, John was none of the options above and that is the point Jesus is making ..."
Geddis, Aaron William The Concept of the Return of Elijah in Matthew 11:2-24 and its Christological implications (p. 134) University of Otago, 2020
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