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Part II: Conclusion

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Chapter Summary

This section provides concluding remarks for the identity and constitution of the crowds in the Gospel of Matthew. It determines that the crowds are a relatively consistent and coherent entity in the gospel, denoted by the term ὄχλος. The crowds are to be regarded as Jewish. The section argues that the crowds are not only Jewish, but can be symbolic of all Israel apart from their leaders. The crowds represent the people of Israel as distinct from their leaders over the course of Jesus' ministry. The employment of the sheep image from the Hebrew Scriptures makes the association explicit. Hence, the most determinative feature of Matthew's identification of the crowds is the fact that they are Jewish. By making them Jewish, Matthew is able to characterize them using images drawn from the Hebrew Bible.

Keywords: Hebrew Bible; Israel; Jesus' ministry; Jewish people; Matthew



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