The stone was rolled back (Mk 16:4-16:4)

“When they looked up,

They saw

That the stone,

Which was very large,

Had already

Been rolled back.”

 

καὶ ἀναβλέψασαι θεωροῦσιν ὅτι ἀνακεκύλισται ὁ λίθος· ἦν γὰρ μέγας σφόδρα.

 

However, just like in the other gospel stories, Luke, chapter 24:2, and John, chapter 20:1, the stone had been removed when they got there.  Matthew, chapter 28:2, had the women watch as an earthquake and an angel rolled back the stone at the entrance to the tomb.  Mark said that when the 3 women looked up (καὶ ἀναβλέψασαι), they saw (θεωροῦσιν) that the stone had already been rolled away (ὅτι ἀνακεκύλισται ὁ λίθος), even though it was very large (ἦν γὰρ μέγας σφόδρα).  Thus, that was another problem solved.

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The devil leaves (Mt 4:11-4:11)

“Then the devil left him.

Suddenly,

Angels came.

They waited

On Jesus.”

 

Τότε ἀφίησιν αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄγγελοι προσῆλθον καὶ διηκόνουν αὐτῷ.

 

This ending is not quite the same as in Luke, chapter 4:13, where there were no angels. The show is over. The devil left Jesus (Τότε ἀφίησιν αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος). He had failed to convince Jesus in any of these temptations. Jesus had passed his first test. As the devil left him, a number of angels came, as in 1 Kings, chapter 19:4-8, where an angel came to help Elijah when he was in the desert. The shadow of Elijah appears in many of the gospel stories. These angels came to wait on and care for Jesus (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄγγελοι προσῆλθον καὶ διηκόνουν αὐτῷ). Score one for the good guys.

The example of Jacob (Hos 12:2-12:6)

“Yahweh has an indictment

Against Judah.

He will punish Jacob

According to his ways.

He will repay him

According to his deeds.

In the womb,

He tried to supplant

His brother.

In his manhood,

He strove with God.

He strove

With the angel.

He prevailed.

He wept.

He sought his favor.

He met him

At Bethel.

There God spoke

with him.

Yahweh!

The God of hosts!

Yahweh is his name!

But as for you,

Return to your God!

Hold fast

To love!

Hold fast

To justice!

Wait continually

For your God.”

Here Hosea referred to the stories about Jacob in Genesis, chapters 25, 28, 32, and 35. Somehow, this is an indictment against Judah and not Israel. Jacob should have been punished and repaid for his bad deeds. He had tried to supplant his brother. He actually tricked his father, but there is no mention of that. He wrestled with God or an angel, and won. Yet he wept and sought out God at Bethel. There, God spoke to him to tell him that his name was Yahweh. He wanted Jacob, Judah, Israel, and Ephraim to hold fast to love and justice. They were to continually wait for God.

The holy watcher from heaven (Dan 4:13-4:13)

“I continued looking

At the visions

Of my head,

As I lay in bed.

There was a holy watcher.

He came down

From heaven.”

As the king was still looking at this wonderful tree in his vision, while he was in bed, a holy watcher, something like an angel from heaven, came down to the king.

The bronze man (Ezek 40:3-40:4)

“When he brought me there,

A man was there.

His appearance shone

Like bronze.

He had a linen cord

With a measuring reed

In his hand.

He was standing

In the gateway.

The man said to me.

‘Son of man!

Look closely!

Listen attentively!

Set your mind

Upon all

That I shall show you.

You were brought here

In order

That I might show it

To you.

Declare all

That you see

To the house of Israel!’”

Who was this bronze man? He was not a comic book superhero, but a man that appeared to be bronze. Was he a deeply tanned man? Was he an angel of God? Was he God himself? Many have interpreted him as an angel or messenger as in other later Second Temple literature. Genesis, chapter 18, has similar appearances of men who were either angels of God or God himself. Anyway, this bronze man greeted Ezekiel at the gateway. He had in his hand a linen cord to measure short distances and a measuring reed to measure long distances. Then this man also called Ezekiel the son of man, just like Yahweh had. This bronze man told him to look closely and listen attentively. He was to keep his mind focused on what this guy was going to show him. After Ezekiel had seen this, he was then to tell the house of Israel about it. For the next few chapters, this bronze man will be the guide who measured the Temple for Ezekiel.

The worship of idols (Bar 6:4-6:7)

“Now in Babylon

You will see gods

Made of silver,

Or made of gold,

Or made of wood.

People carry them

On their shoulders.

This inspires fear

Among the heathens.

Take care!

Beware of becoming at all

Like the foreigners!

Do not let fear

Of these gods

Possess you,

When you see the multitude

Before and behind them

Worshiping them!

But say in your heart!

‘It is you!

O Lord!

Whom we must worship!’

My angel

Is with you!

He is watching

Over your lives.”

The author of this letter has a warning for the exiles while they are in Babylon. They will see gods made of silver, gold, and wood that will be carried on people’s shoulders to inspire fear. They should be careful to not become like these foreigners. They should not fear these gods. Even when they see the multitudes before and behind these gods in possessions or parades, they should not be intimidated. They were to remember in their hearts that they were to only worship the Lord. To help them out, an angel would be watching over their lives.

The redeeming savior (Isa 63:8-63:10)

“Yahweh said.

‘Surely they are my people.

Children will not deal falsely.’

He became their Savior

In all their distress.

It was no messenger.

It was no angel.

But it was his presence that saved them.

In his love,

In his pity,

He redeemed them.

He lifted them up.

He carried them

All the days of old.

But they rebelled.

They grieved his Holy Spirit.

Therefore he became their enemy.

He himself fought against them.”

Yahweh responded that surely his people and children would not respond falsely. He was their savior in times of distress. He did not merely send a messenger or an angel. It was his very presence that saved them. He showed them love and pity as he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them away as in the good old days. However, they rebelled against him as they saddened the Holy Spirit. They became his enemy so that Yahweh had to fight against them.