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?

 

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Adultery (Mt 5:27-5:28)

“You have heard

That it was said.

‘You shall not

Commit adultery.’

But I say to you

That everyone

Who looks at a woman

With lust

Has already committed adultery

With her

In his heart.’”

 

Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη Οὐ μοιχεύσεις.

γὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ βλέπων γυναῖκα πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ.

 

Once again, Matthew alone mentions one of the 10 Commandments from Exodus, chapter 20:14.  This was something all the Jewish people knew, since they had heard it said often (Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη).  Everyone knew that they should not commit adultery (Οὐ μοιχεύσεις), having sex with a married woman who was not your wife.  However, Matthew has this solemn statement of Jesus (γὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν) that he was demanding more.  Everyone who looked at a woman lustfully (ὅτι πᾶς ὁ βλέπων γυναῖκα πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν), has already committed adultery with her in his heart (ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ).  This was a much higher standard, not merely the act of adultery, but the planning to do so was wrong.  This was adultery of the heart.

The fourth curse against the Chaldean drunkards (Hab 2:15-2:17)

“Woe to you!

You make your neighbors drink!

You pour out your wrath,

Until they are drunk,

In order to gaze

On their nakedness!

You will be sated

With contempt,

Instead of glory!

Drink!

You yourself!

Stagger!

The cup

In Yahweh’s right hand

Will come around to you.

Shame will come upon

Your glory!

The violence done

To Lebanon

Will overwhelm you.

The destruction

Of the animals

Will terrify you,

Because of human bloodshed

With the violence to the earth,

To the cities,

To all who live in them.”

Habakkuk then cursed the Chaldean drunkards.  They made their neighbors drunk so that they would become naked.  They themselves would drink until they staggered around.  They used alcohol as a weapon and as a form of feasting.  Their glory would turn to shame.  They had been violent to Lebanon.  The destruction of animals would terrify them.  They had committed violence that led to bloodshed in the various cities that they had taken over.

The defiled prostitution (Hos 6:10-6:10)

“In the house of Israel,

I have seen a horrible thing.

Ephraim’s prostitution

Is there.

Israel is defiled.”

The house of Israel has committed a terrible thing. They have allowed the prostitution of Ephraim to continue. Thus, the northern kingdom of Israel has defiled itself, with their false worship of other gods.

Past crimes (Hos 6:7-6:9)

“But like Adam,

They transgressed the covenant.

There they dealt faithlessly

With me.

Gilead is a city

Of evildoers,

Tracked with blood.

As robbers lie in wait

For someone,

So,

The priests

Are banded together.

They murder

On the way to Shechem.

They commit

A monstrous crime.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, compared the sin of Adam with the other later Israelites. They had broken the covenant. Perhaps the “there” mentioned here was the 40 years in the wilderness, when sometimes they were unfaithful to Yahweh. The city of Gilead, on the other side of the Jordan River, was a city of bloody evil people. Just as robbers wait for someone to come by to rob, so the priests have joined together to murder people on their way to the northern shrine at Shechem. They have committed all kinds of monstrous crimes. Perhaps, this northern Israelite Samaritan sanctuary was considered the great monstrosity. Notice the continual anti-clericalism of the prophets.

The worship on the mountain tops (Hos 4:13-4:13)

“They sacrifice

On the tops

Of the mountains.

They make offerings

Upon the hills.

They make offerings

Under the oak trees,

Under the poplar trees,

Under the terebinth trees.

Their shade is good.

Therefore,

Your daughters

Play the prostitute.

Your daughters-in-law

Commit adultery.”

The Israelites were sacrificing to the various Canaanite gods on the tops of the mountains. They were making offerings on the hills. They preferred to make these offerings under the various trees, the oak, the poplar, and the terebinth, because the shade of those trees was good. Thus, their daughters became prostitutes, while their daughters-in-law committed adultery. Clearly, they were unfaithful to Yahweh.

Everlasting marriage (Hos 2:19-2:20)

“I will take you

For my wife

Forever.

I will take you

For my wife

In righteousness,

In justice,

In steadfast love,

In mercy.

I will take you

For my wife

In faithfulness.

You shall know Yahweh.”

Next Yahweh committed to an everlasting marriage. Yahweh was going to take Israel as his wife for all time, forever. She would be his wife in righteousness, justice, love, and mercy. Israel would be a faithful wife. Thus, she would truly know Yahweh, God.