The first denial (Mt 26:69-26:70

“Now Peter

Was sitting outside

In the courtyard.

A servant girl

Came up to him.

She said.

‘You also were

With Jesus

The Galilean.’

But he denied it

Before all of them.

He said.

‘I do not know

What you are talking about.’”

 

Ὁ δὲ Πέτρος ἐκάθητο ἔξω ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ· καὶ προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ μία παιδίσκη λέγουσα Καὶ σὺ ἦσθα μετὰ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Γαλιλαίου.

ὁ δὲ ἠρνήσατο ἔμπροσθεν πάντων λέγων Οὐκ οἶδα τί λέγεις.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:66-68, and Luke, chapter 22:56-57, but Peter was warming himself and the cock crowed in MarkJohn, chapter 18:17, has a simple denial.  Matthew said that Peter was sitting outside in the high priest’s courtyard (Ὁ δὲ Πέτρος ἐκάθητο ἔξω ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ).  Then a young servant girl or maid of the high priest came up to him (καὶ προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ μία παιδίσκη).  She said that Peter had been with Jesus, the Galilean (λέγουσα Καὶ σὺ ἦσθα μετὰ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Γαλιλαίου).  However, he denied it in front of all of them (ὁ δὲ ἠρνήσατο ἔμπροσθεν πάντων), as he said that he did not know what they were talking about (λέγων Οὐκ οἶδα τί λέγεις).  This first denial story of Peter, the great leader, was in all 4 gospels.

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Micaiah informs other officials (Jer 36:11-36:13)

“When Micaiah,

The son of Gemariah,

The son of Shaphan,

Heard all the words

Of Yahweh

From the scroll,

He went down

To the king’s house.

He went into

The secretary’s chamber.

All the officials

Were sitting there.

That is

Elishama the secretary,

Delaiah the son of Shemaiah,

Elnathan the son of Achbor,

Gemariah the son of Shaphan,

Zedekiah the son of Hananiah,

With all the officials.

Micaiah told them

All the words

That he had heard,

When Baruch read

The scroll

In the hearing

Of the people.”

Apparently not everyone was listening to Baruch in the Temple. Micaiah, the son of Gemariah and grandson of Shaphan, was there listening to Baruch. When the reading of the scroll was over, he went to the royal palace to meet with all the other royal officials in the secretary’s chamber. All the officials were there, since they had not been at the reading in the Temple, including Elishama, Delaiah, Elnathan, and Gemariah himself. Elnathan may have been the same one who King Jehoiakim sent to Egypt to get the prophet Uriah in chapter 26 of this work. Micaiah then told them everything that he heard during Baruch’s reading of the scroll in the Temple courtyard. It is hard to believe that he memorized everything, so he must have just presented the highlights.

The tragic suicide death of Razis (2 Macc 14:37-14:46)

“A certain Razis, one of the elders of Jerusalem, was denounced to Nicanor as a man who loved his compatriots. He was very well thought of. For his good will, he was called father of the Jews. In former times, when there was no mingling with the gentiles, he had been accused of Judaism. He had most zealously risked body and life for Judaism. Nicanor, wishing to exhibit the enmity which he had for the Jews, sent more than five hundred soldiers to arrest him. He thought that by arresting him, he would do them an injury. When the troops were about to capture the tower, they forced the door of the courtyard. They ordered that fire be brought and the doors burned. Being surrounded, Razis fell upon his own sword. He preferred to die nobly rather than to fall into the hands of sinners and suffer outrages unworthy of his noble birth. But in the heat of the struggle he did not hit exactly. The crowd was now rushing in through the doors. He courageously ran up on the wall. He bravely threw himself down into the crowd. But as they quickly drew back, a space opened and he fell in the middle of the empty space. Still alive and aflame with anger, he rose up. Although his blood gushed forth and his wounds were severe, he ran through the crowd. Standing upon a steep rock, with his blood now completely drained from him, he tore out his entrails. He took them with both hands and hurled them at the crowd, calling upon the Lord of life and spirit to give them back to him again. This was the manner of his death.”

Wow, what a gruesome description of the death of Razis! Razis was a well respected Jewish elder, sometimes referred to as the father of the Jews. He was accused of Judaism because he would not mingle with the gentiles. Nicanor wanted to make an example of him so he sent 500 troops to arrest him. So far this does not sound outlandish. Then when they got to his house, they decided to set fire to his door to get in. Then Razis was surrounded and decided to kill himself with a sword, a common Roman practice, rather than die in disgrace. However, in the heat of the excitement with the 500 troops running at him, he somehow missed killing himself but merely cut himself. So Razis ran to the top of the wall. He wanted to hurl himself into the crowd, but they stepped back and he fell into an empty space. Now as he was angry and still alive, he ran through the crowd of troops until he got to a sharp rock. The blood was gushing out all over the place. Somehow he tore out his own intestines and threw them at the crowd. This was some weird scene. Here then is the main point. He cried to the Lord of life to give them back to him. Of course, he died. Somehow this father of Judaism believed that his intestines would be restored in some kind of afterlife, a resurrection. This is one of the few times that we have a Jewish attempted suicide.

Haman was happy (Esth 5:9-5:13)

“Haman went out that day from the king happy and in good spirits. But when he saw Mordecai the Jew in the courtyard, and observed that he neither rose nor trembled before him, he was infuriated with Mordecai. Nevertheless Haman restrained himself. He went home. Then he sent and called for his friends and his wife Zeresh. Haman recounted to them the splendor of his riches and the number of his sons. He told them about all the promotions with which the king had honored him. He explained how he had advanced above the officials and ministers of the king. Haman added.

‘Even Queen Esther let no one but me

Come with the king to the banquet that she prepared.

Tomorrow also I am invited by her,

Together with the king.

Yet all this does me no good,

As long as I see the Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.’”

Haman was very happy as he left the king and Queen Esther. However, when he saw Mordecai in the courtyard, he was angry. Mordecai would not recognize his authority, but Haman remained calm and went home. Once at home, he called his friends and wife and told them how wonderful things were going. Haman was a rich man with many sons. He had been promoted and honored by the king. He was the second in command in the kingdom. In fact, he had been the only one invited to a dinner with the king and his wife that day and once again he was invited tomorrow. There was only one thing that really bothered him, the Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.

The appearance of Raphael (Tob 3:16-3:17)

“At that very moment, the prayers of both were heard in the glorious presence of God. Raphael was sent to heal both of them. He helped Tobit by removing the white films from his eyes, so that he might see God’s light with his eyes. He helped Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, by giving her in marriage to Tobias the son of Tobit. He set her free from the wicked demon Asmodeus. Tobias was entitled to have her before all others who had desired to marry her. At the same time that Tobit returned from the courtyard into his house, Sarah daughter of Raguel came down from her upper room.”

God heard both the prayers of Tobit and Sarah. What a coincidence, since they were both praying at the same time. Now Raphael enters without any introduction. He is not explicitly mentioned as an angel. He simply is a messenger from God, which is what an angel is. He will appear to heal both of them. The plot of the story is now revealed. He will cure Tobit of his blindness and get a husband from Sarah, who will be the son of Tobit, Tobias. Thus, the story of the grave digger and the woman haunted with an evil spirit will join together. Meanwhile, they both returned from their individual prayers.

The blinding of Tobit (Tob 2:9-2:10)

“That same night I washed myself. I went into my courtyard. I slept by the wall of the courtyard. My face was uncovered because of the heat. I did not know that there were sparrows on the wall. Their fresh droppings fell into my eyes. The droppings produced white films. I went to physicians to be healed. However, the more they treated me with ointments the more my vision was obscured by the white films, until I became completely blind. All my kindred were sorry for me. Ahikar took care of me for two years before he went to Elymais.”

Washing was important for ritual purity after touching dead bodies. After Tobit washed himself, he lay out in the courtyard because it was hot. He slept by the wall of the courtyard. Somehow he left his eyes open so that sparrow droppings fell into his eyes, the way that sparrow droppings fall on modern parked cars. He had some kind of white film on his eyes that led to blindness. Although he went to physicians, they only made the situation worse. This is the first biblical mention of an attempt at a cure that does not have a religious base. Everyone felt sorry for him. However, it was nephew, the well connected Ahikar who took care of him. There is no mention of his wife or son helping him. After 2 years, Ahikar had an assignment to go to Elymais, a rich city in Persia, south of Media and north of Susiana.