Barabbas (Mk 15:7-15:7)

“Now a man

Called Barabbas

Was in prison

With rebels,

Who had committed murder

During an insurrection.”

 

ἦν δὲ ὁ λεγόμενος Βαραββᾶς μετὰ τῶν στασιαστῶν δεδεμένος, οἵτινες ἐν τῇ στάσει φόνον πεποιήκεισαν.

 

This is something like this in Matthew, chapter 27:16.  Luke, chapter 23:18-19, also talked about Barabbas as a rebel who had murdered somebody.  In John, chapter 18:40, Barabbas was simply called a bandit.  Matthew called Barabbas a notorious prisoner without any indication of what he had done.  A few manuscripts called him Jesus Barabbas (Ἰησοῦν Βαραββᾶν).  Barabbas in Aramaic meant son of the father.  Thus, there may have been some attempt to relate Jesus to Barabbas.  Mark said that there was a man called Barabbas (ἦν δὲ ὁ λεγόμενον Βαραββᾶν), who had been captured with some rebels (μετὰ τῶν στασιαστῶν δεδεμένος).  Barabbas had committed murder in an insurrection (οἵτινες ἐν τῇ στάσει φόνον πεποιήκεισαν), not a likely candidate for parole.  Would you release a murderer?

 

Advertisements

Jesus goes before Caiaphas the high priest (Mt 26:57-26:57)

“Those

Who had arrested Jesus

Took him

To Caiaphas,

The high priest.

There

The Scribes

And the elders

Had gathered.”

 

Οἱ δὲ κρατήσαντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπήγαγον πρὸς Καϊάφαν τὸν ἀρχιερέα, ὅπου οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι συνήχθησα

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:53, but Caiaphas was not mentioned there.  In Luke, chapter 22:54, Jesus was simply brought to the high priest’s house, while in John, chapter 18:13-14, they brought Jesus to the house of the father-in-law of Caiaphas, Annas, who had been a high priest. from 6-15 CE, before he was removed by the Romans at the age of 36, even though he lived to the age of 61.  Thus, he had a lot of influence on things.  John remarked that Caiaphas had said it was better for one person to die for the people.  Caiaphas was the high priest from 18-36 CE since he had married the daughter of Annas.  Matthew said that those who had seized, arrested, or captured Jesus (Οἱ δὲ κρατήσαντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν) took him to the house of Caiaphas, the high priest (ἀπήγαγον πρὸς Καϊάφαν τὸν ἀρχιερέα).  Apparently, the Scribes and the elder presbyters had gathered or assembled there (ὅπου οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι συνήχθησα).  Was this an official meeting of the Jerusalem Sanhedrin?  Probably not, because these official meetings could not be held during the festival days or during the Passover.  On the other hand, some kind of informal meeting was possible.  However, there was no mention of the Pharisees and the Sadducees being there either.

The example of Thebes (Nah 3:8-3:10)

“Are you better

Than Thebes?

They sat by the Nile,

With water around her.

Her rampart was a sea.

Water was her wall.

Ethiopia was her strength.

Egypt too was her strength,

Without any limit.

Put

With the Libyans

Were her helpers.

Yet Egypt became an exile.

She went into captivity.

Even her infants were

Dashed into pieces

At the head

Of every street.

Lots were cast

For her nobles.

All her dignitaries

Were bound in chains.”

The Assyrians had captured Thebes, the capital of Egypt in 663 BCE.  Thus, Nahum pointed out that the Assyrians were no better than the Egyptian capital town of Themes on the Nile River.  Even though they were on the Nile River and protected by water all around them, they still fell to these Assyrians.  All their neighbors, including the other people of Egypt, and the surrounding counties of Ethiopia and Libya, were not able to help her.  Thus, Nahum pointed out that Egypt went into exile and captivity.  Even their children and infants were dashed to pieces on the street corners.  They held a lottery for their noble men.  All the important dignitaries of the city of Thebes were bound in chains.  So too, it would be the same for Nineveh and Assyria.

Against Lachish (Mic 1:13-1:13)

“Harness the steeds

To the chariots!

Inhabitants of Lachish!

It was here that

The beginning of sin came

To the daughter of Zion.

The transgressions

Of Israel

Were found in you.”

Lachish was the most famous and well know city of the Shephelah low land area of Israel.  Lachish was the 2nd most important city in Judah, but not a holy city like Jerusalem.  This might indicate that these other towns were close to Lachish in the same area.  The people of Lachish were to get their horses and chariots ready, because they were the cause of the sin and the beginning of the transgressions for Zion and Israel.  The Assyrians had captured this city in 701 BCE.

The terrible punishment (Am 6:12-6:14)

“Do horses run

On rocks?

Does one plow the sea

With oxen?

But you have turned

Justice

Into poison.

You have turned

The fruit of righteousness

Into wormwood.

You who rejoice

In Lo-debar!

You who say,

‘Have we not

By our own strength

Taken Karnaim

For ourselves?’

Indeed,

I am raising up

Against you

A nation.

O house of Israel!’

Says Yahweh!

The God of hosts!

They shall oppress you

From Lebo-Hamath

To the Wadi Arabah.”

Amos asked whether horses could run on rocks? Do you send oxen to plow the sea? While this may seem stupid, it is not sillier than turning justice into poison or the sweetness of righteousness into the bitterness of wormwood, which the Israelites had done. While the Israelite King Jeroboam II (783-743 BCE) had captured Lo-debar and Karnaim on the west side of the Jordan, that happiness would come to an end. They thought that they had done it by themselves. Now Yahweh, the God of heavenly armies, was going to send the Assyrians to wipe out the northern kingdom of the house of Israel, from its northern border in Syria at Lebo-Hamath to the southern border of the Wadi Arabah. Yahweh, the God of heavenly hosts, would put an end to the northern kingdom of Israel.

The plunder of the city of Tyre (Ezek 26:12-26:14)

“They will plunder

Your riches.

They will loot

Your merchandise.

They will break down

Your walls.

They will destroy

Your fine houses.

They will cast

Into the water

Your stones,

Your timber,

Your soil.

I will silence

The music

Of your songs.

The sound

Of your lyres

Will be heard

No more.

I will make you

A bare rock.

You shall be a place

For spreading nets.

You shall never

Be rebuilt.

I!

Yahweh!

Have spoken!’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that he was going to have the Babylonians plunder their riches and loot the merchandise of the city of Tyre. These Babylonian invaders were going to break down their walls and destroy the fine houses of Tyre. These invaders were going to throw the local stones, timber, and soil of Tyre into the water. There would be no more music or songs. Yahweh would silence the sounds of the lyres or harps. Tyre would become a bare rock or a place for spreading fishing nets. It would never be rebuilt again. Yahweh, God, had spoken.  Actually, the siege of Tyre lasted 12 years and then they settled things. Alexander the Great in 332 BCE also captured Tyre. This ancient Phoenician island city still exists in southern Lebanon today with about 100,000 people.

The punishment of Moab (Ezek 25:9-25:11)

“Therefore,

I will lay open

The flank of Moab.

I will lay it open

From the towns

On its frontier,

The glory of the country,

Beth-jeshimoth,

Baal-meon,

Kiriathaim.

I will give it,

Along with the Ammonites,

To the people of the East

As a possession.

Thus Ammon

Shall be remembered

No more

Among the nations.

I will execute

Judgments

Upon Moab.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that the future of Moab was closely tied to Ammon. They would both suffer the same result, being captured by the people from the East. The flanks or boundaries of Moab would be laid open. Their border towns, their glorious cities would be captured, especially Beth-jeshimoth on the north, Baal-meon on the east, and Kiriathaim on the south. The western border was the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. No one would remember them, just like the Ammonites would not be remembered either. They would be wiped out, since Yahweh was going to execute his judgments on Moab. Thus, they too would finally realize that Yahweh was God.