Family members will turn on each other (Mk 13:12-13:12)

“Brother

Will betray brother

To death.

A father

Will betray his child.

Children

Will rise

Against parents.

They will have them

Put to death.”

 

καὶ παραδώσει ἀδελφὸς ἀδελφὸν εἰς θάνατον καὶ πατὴρ τέκνον, καὶ ἐπαναστήσονται τέκνα ἐπὶ γονεῖς καὶ θανατώσουσιν αὐτούς·

 

This is one of the few verses that are exactly word for word in Matthew, chapter 10:21, somewhat similar in Luke, chapter 21:16.  This was also similar to Micah, chapter 7:6, where the prophet warned that they should not trust anyone.  He said that the son was treating his father with contempt.  The daughter was against her mother.  The daughter-in-law was against her mother-in-law.  Their worst enemies were not outside, but in their very own house.  This was a time and a place where you could not trust anyone, even your friends, family, and lovers.  You had to be careful with everyone.  Jesus, via Mark, seems to indicate the same thing.  Brother would betray or hand over his brother to death (καὶ παραδώσει ἀδελφὸς ἀδελφὸν εἰς θάνατον).  A father would hand over or betray his child to death (καὶ πατὴρ τέκνον).  Children would rise up against their parents (ἐπαναστήσονται τέκνα ἐπὶ γονεῖς).  They would have them put to death (καὶ θανατώσουσιν αὐτούς).  Family disputes would arise over Jesus.  This was a far cry from love your neighbor.

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The seven brothers and the one wife died (Mk 12:22-12:22)

None of the seven brothers

Left any children.

Last of all,

The woman herself died.”

 

καὶ οἱ ἑπτὰ οὐκ ἀφῆκαν σπέρμα. ἔσχατον πάντων καὶ ἡ γυνὴ ἀπέθανεν.

 

This story about the death of the woman who had married 7 brothers can be found in Matthew, chapter 22:26-27, and in Luke, chapter 20:31-32, but there was no explicit mention of them being childless as in MatthewMark said that none of the 7 brothers had any children or offspring (καὶ οἱ ἑπτὰ οὐκ ἀφῆκαν σπέρμα).  Finally, last of all, this woman widow herself died (ἔσχατον πάντων καὶ ἡ γυνὴ ἀπέθανεν).  This was a nice simple but very improbable story.

Second and third brothers (Mk 12:21-12:21)

“The second brother

Married the widow.

Then he died.

He left no children.

The third brother

Did likewise.”

 

καὶ ὁ δεύτερος ἔλαβεν αὐτήν, καὶ ἀπέθανεν μὴ καταλιπὼν σπέρμα· καὶ ὁ τρίτος ὡσαύτως·

 

This story about the woman who married 7 brothers can be found in Matthew, chapter 22:26, and in Luke, chapter 20:31, almost word for word.  Mark said that the 2nd brother married the widow of the 1st brother or took her as his wife (καὶ ὁ δεύτερος ἔλαβεν αὐτήν).  Then he died (καὶ ἀπέθανεν) with no children or offspring (μὴ καταλιπὼν σπέρμα·), so that the 3rd brother did the same as the 2nd brother (καὶ ὁ τρίτος ὡσαύτως).  Thus, the same thing happened to the 2nd and 3rd brothers as happened to the 1st brother.  They all died childless after marrying the same woman.  There is a pattern here.

Seven brothers (Mk 12:20-12:20)

“There were seven brothers.

The first one married.

When he died,

He left no children.

 

ἑπτὰ ἀδελφοὶ ἦσαν· καὶ ὁ πρῶτος ἔλαβεν γυναῖκα, καὶ ἀποθνῄσκων οὐκ ἀφῆκεν σπέρμα·

 

This story about the woman and 7 brothers can be found in Matthew, chapter 22:25, and in Luke, chapter 20:29, almost word for word.  Thus, this story was fairly well known.  There were 7 brothers (ἑπτὰ ἀδελφοὶ ἦσαν).  The first one married or took a wife (καὶ ὁ πρῶτος ἔλαβεν γυναῖκα).  Then he died (καὶ ἀποθνῄσκων).  He was childless, since he had no seed descendants or offspring (οὐκ ἀφῆκεν σπέρμα).

The brother’s wife (Mk 12:19-12:19)

“‘Teacher!

Moses wrote

For us

That if a man’s brother

Dies,

Leaving a wife,

But no child,

The man shall

Marry the widow

And raise up children

For his brother.’”

 

Διδάσκαλε, Μωϋσῆς ἔγραψεν ἡμῖν ὅτι ἐάν τινος ἀδελφὸς ἀποθάνῃ καὶ καταλίπῃ γυναῖκα καὶ μὴ ἀφῇ τέκνον, ἵνα λάβῃ ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ ἐξαναστήσῃ σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ.  

 

Matthew, chapter 22:24, and Luke, chapter 20:28, are almost word for word as here in MarkMark said that these Sadducees addressed Jesus very respectfully as “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε).”  These Sadducees quoted a Mosaic text that Moses had written for them (Μωϋσῆς ἔγραψεν ἡμῖν), from Deuteronomy, chapter 25:5-10.  If a man’s brother should die (ὅτι ἐάν τινος ἀδελφὸς ἀποθάνῃ) leaving behind a wife (καὶ καταλίπῃ γυναῖκα) without any children (καὶ μὴ ἀφῇ τέκνον), his living brother should take his dead brother’s widow as his wife (ἵνα λάβῃ ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν γυναῖκα).  He would then raise up the descendant children or seeds for his brother (καὶ ἐξαναστήσῃ σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ).  This levirate law goes back as far as Tamar in Genesis, chapter 38:1-30, with the story of Judah’s 3 sons and Tamar, the original wife of Er.  The brother of the deceased was supposed to marry his brother’s widow if he had no sons.  The widow was not to marry outside her family.  It also assumes that the brother lived close by or in the same house as his brother.  There was no indication of whether the brother was married or not, but this seems to assume a younger brother.  This was an attempt to prolong the heritage and name of a person, which was common in ancient times.  The punishment for the brother’s refusal was an insult rather than any physical punishment.

The sake of Jesus and the gospel (Mk 10:29-10:30)

“Jesus said.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

There is no one

Who has left house,

Or brothers or sisters,

Or mother or father,

Or children,

Or lands,

For my sake

And for the sake

Of the gospel good news,

Who will not receive

A hundredfold now

In this age,

Houses,

Brothers and sisters,

Mothers,

Children,

And field lands,

With persecutions,

In the age to come,

Eternal life.’”

 

ἔφη ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐδείς ἐστιν ὃς ἀφῆκεν οἰκίαν ἢ ἀδελφοὺς ἢ ἀδελφὰς ἢ μητέρα ἢ πατέρα ἢ τέκνα ἢ ἀγροὺς ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ καὶ ἕνεκεν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου,

ἐὰν μὴ λάβῃ ἑκατονταπλασίονα νῦν ἐν τῷ καιρῷ τούτῳ οἰκίας καὶ ἀδελφοὺς καὶ ἀδελφὰς καὶ μητέρας καὶ τέκνα καὶ ἀγροὺς μετὰ διωγμῶν, καὶ ἐν τῷ αἰῶνι τῷ ἐρχομένῳ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

 

This demanding saying of Jesus, talking about giving up family and land for eternal life, can be found in Matthew, chapter 19:29, and Luke, chapter 18:29-30, but slightly different.  There is nothing here about the apostles sitting on the 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes, since that was not important to the gentile Christians that Mark was addressing.  Mark said that Jesus then issued a solemn proclamation to his disciples (ἔφη ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  Anyone who has left house (οὐδείς ἐστιν ὃς ἀφῆκεν οἰκίαν), brothers (ἢ ἀδελφοὺς), sisters (ἢ ἀδελφὰς), mother (ἢ μητέρα), father (ἢ πατέρα), children (ἢ τέκνα), or land fields (ἢ ἀγροὺς) for his sake and the sake of the gospel good news (ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ καὶ ἕνεκεν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου), would receive a hundredfold now in this age (ἐὰν μὴ λάβῃ ἑκατονταπλασίονα νῦν ἐν τῷ καιρῷ τούτῳ), in houses (οἰκίας), brothers (καὶ ἀδελφοὺς), sisters (καὶ ἀδελφὰς), mothers (καὶ μητέρας), children (καὶ τέκνα), and field lands (καὶ ἀγροὺς), with persecutions (μετὰ διωγμῶν), in the age to come, (καὶ ἐν τῷ αἰῶνι τῷ ἐρχομένῳ) and eternal life (ζωὴν αἰώνιον).

It is hard to enter the kingdom of God (Mk 10:24-10:24)

“The disciples

Were perplexed

At his words.

But Jesus

Answered them again.

‘Children!

How hard it is

For those who trust

In riches

To enter

The kingdom of God!’”

 

οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις αὐτοῦ. ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς πάλιν ἀποκριθεὶς λέγει αὐτοῖς Τέκνα, πῶς δύσκολόν ἐστιν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν·

 

This unique saying of Mark is really the repetition of what was said in the previous verse, a redundancy, to drive home a point.  Mark indicated how difficult it would be for rich people to get into the kingdom of God.  Mark said that the disciples were perplexed or amazed at his words (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις αὐτοῦ.).  However, Jesus responded or answered his disciples again (δὲ Ἰησοῦς πάλιν ἀποκριθεὶς), calling them children (λέγει αὐτοῖς Τέκνα,), not understanding what was being said.  He indicated once again how hard it was for those who trusted in riches or wealth to enter the kingdom of God (πῶς δύσκολόν ἐστιν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν τοὺς πεποιθότας ἐπὶ χρήμασιν).  Mark had Jesus repeat things because the disciples were not that sharp.  Quite often wealth had been seen as a sign that God was pleased with that person.