Keep awake! (Mk 13:35-13:35)

“Therefore,

Keep awake!

You do not know

When the master

Of the house

Will come.

It could be

In the evening,

Or at midnight,

Or at cockcrow,

Or at dawn.”

 

γρηγορεῖτε οὖν· οὐκ οἴδατε γὰρ πότε ὁ κύριος τῆς οἰκίας ἔρχεται, ἢ ὀψὲ ἢ μεσονύκτιον ἢ ἀλεκτοροφωνίας ἢ πρωΐ·

 

This saying of Jesus is similar to Matthew, chapter 24:42, and Luke, chapter 12:38, about the thief at night.  Mark said that Jesus warned his disciples to be vigilant.  They were to stay awake (γρηγορεῖτε οὖν) because they did not know (οὐκ οἴδατε) when the lord or the master of the house would come back (γὰρ πότε ὁ κύριος τῆς οἰκίας ἔρχεται).  It could be at some unexpected time, late in the evening (ἢ ὀψὲ), midnight (ἢ μεσονύκτιον), cockcrow (ἢ ἀλεκτοροφωνίας), or at morning dawn (ἢ πρωΐ).

Jesus leaves Jerusalem (Mk 11:19-11:19)

“When evening came.

Jesus

And his disciples

Went out

Of the city.”

 

Καὶ ὅταν ὀψὲ ἐγένετο, ἐξεπορεύοντο ἔξω τῆς πόλεως.

 

This is a unique saying of Mark, but not inconsistent with the other gospel stories.  When evening came (Καὶ ὅταν ὀψὲ ἐγένετο), Jesus and his disciples went out of the city (ἐξεπορεύοντο ἔξω τῆς πόλεως).  Notice that they left Jerusalem at night, probably going to Bethany, which was not far away and where they felt safe.

Edom had been deceived (Ob 1:5-1:7)

“If thieves

Came to you,

How you would have been

Destroyed!

If plunderers

Came by night,

How you have been

Destroyed!

Would they not steal

Only what they wanted?

If grape-gatherers

Came to you,

Would they not

Leave gleanings?

How Esau has been pillaged!

His treasures have been

Sought out!

All your allies

Have deceived you.

They have driven you

To the border.

Your confederates

Have prevailed

Against you.

Those who ate your bread

Have set a trap

For you.

There is no understanding of it.”

Edom has suffered like as if thieves had come to them at night.  However, these robbers would only take what they wanted.  Unlike grape-gatherers who leave gleanings for the poor, these attackers have pillaged Edom and taken its treasures.  It was their own allies that deceived Edom.  They drove them out of their own country to the border.  Their former friends had prevailed against them.  The very people, who they used to sit down to break bread with, were the ones who set the trap for them.  Who could understand such a thing?

The vision of the four winds (Dan 7:2-7:2)

“I!

Daniel!

Saw in my vision,

By night,

The four winds

Of heaven

Stirring up

The great sea.”

Clearly, the first-person singular indicates that this is no longer a description about Daniel, but Daniel himself writing about his dream or vision. He had this vision at night, as he saw the 4 winds of heaven stirring up the great sea, the Mediterranean Sea.

Daniel’s dream (Dan 7:1-7:1)

“In the first year

Of King Belshazzar,

King of Babylon,

Daniel

Had a dream.

He had visions

In his head

As he lay in his bed.

Then he wrote down

The dream.”

The second half of this book has a series of visions by Daniel. This is one of Daniel’s own dreams, even though there have many other dreams mentioned already. This dream seemed parallel to the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar in chapter 2. This took place during the first year of King Belshazzar. That would put this dream around 554 BCE, the first year that this king was the viceroy with his father, King Nabonidus (556-539 BCE). Strangely enough, there is hardly any mention of King Nabonidus, the father of King Belshazzar, in this Book of Daniel. This time, Daniel had this vision at night as was laying in his bed. The difference, of course, is that he wrote the dream down.

Prepare for war (Jer 6:4-6:5)

“Prepare war against her!

Sanctify yourselves!

Get up!

Let us attack at noon!

Woe to us!

The day declines!

The shadows of evening lengthen!

Get up!

Let us attack by night!

Let us destroy her palaces!”

Jeremiah wanted people to prepare for war. They were to sanctify themselves because war was a sacred action. At first, the enemy wanted to get up and attack at noon. However, the day was declining as the evening shadows came along. Finally, they wanted to attack at night and destroy their palaces.

The everlasting light of Yahweh (Isa 60:19-60:20)

“The sun shall no longer be

Your light by day.

The moon shall give

Light to you by night,

But not for brightness.

Yahweh will be

Your everlasting light.

Your God will be your glory.

Your sun shall no more go down.

Your moon will not withdraw itself.

Yahweh will be your everlasting light.

Your days of mourning shall be ended.”

You will not need the sun or the moon because the everlasting light of Yahweh will be bright enough. There still will be a sun during the day and a moon at night, but the brightness would come from Yahweh. He will be your everlasting light and your glory. This sun of Yahweh will never set. The moon of Yahweh will never hide itself. The days of mourning are over, because Yahweh is the new everlasting light.