3 Maccabees 5:51
48 When the Jews saw the dust raised by the elephants going out at the gate and by the following armed forces, as well as by the trampling of the crowd, and heard the loud and tumultuous noise, 49 they thought that this was their last moment of life, the end of their most miserable suspense, and giving way to lamentation and groans they kissed each other, embracing relatives and falling into one another's arms —parents and children, mothers and daughters, and others with babies at their breasts who were drawing their last milk. 50 Not only this, but when they considered the help that they had received before from heaven, they prostrated themselves with one accord on the ground, removing the babies from their breasts, 51 and cried out in a very loud voice, imploring the Ruler over every power to manifest himself and be merciful to them, as they stood now at the gates of death.
13 When Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 They answered, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven! 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.” 20 Then he instructed his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
Notes and References
"... Although theirs was a delegated power, the same power of the Kingdom worked through them that worked through Jesus. Their awareness that these miracles were wrought by no power resident in themselves accounts for the fact that they never performed miracles in a competitive or boastful spirit. The report of the seventy is given with complete disinterestedness and devotion, as of those who are instruments of God. The truth is implicit in the statement that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against the church (Mt. 16:18). This image of the gates of the realm of the dead is a familiar Semitic concept. (Isaiah 38:10; Psalm 9:13; Job 38:17; Wisdom of Solomon 16:13; 3 Maccabees 5:51 ...) The exact meaning of this saying is not clear. It may mean that the gates of Hades, which are conceived as closing behind all the dead, will now be able to hold its victims no longer but will be forced open before the powers of the Kingdom exercised through the church. The church will be stronger than death, and will rescue people from the domination of Hades to the realm of life ..."
Ladd, George Eldon A Theology of the New Testament (p. 114) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993
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