They divided his garments (Mk 15:24-15:24)

“They crucified him.

They divided

His clothes

Among themselves.

They cast lots

To decide

What each should take.”

 

καὶ σταυροῦσιν αὐτὸν, καὶ διαμερίζονται τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ, βάλλοντες κλῆρον ἐπ’ αὐτὰ τίς τί ἄρῃ.

 

The first verse is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:35.  Luke, chapter 23:34, mentioned the dividing of Jesus’ garments by chance.  John, chapter 19:23-25, has a longer detailed description about the division of the garments of JesusThe first cinemascope movie in 1953 was called the “The Robe,” based on a 1942 novel with the same name that got its inspiration from this biblical passage.  Mark said that they crucified Jesus (καὶ σταυροῦσιν αὐτὸν).  Then they divided his garments or clothes among themselves (καὶ διαμερίζονται τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ), by casting lots for them (βάλλοντες κλῆρον ἐπ’ αὐτὰ).  That is how they decided what each person would take for themselves (τίς τί ἄρῃ), which was a common practice among the Roman soldiers.

The relationship of the Father and the Son (Mt 11:26-11:27)

“Yes!

Father!

Such was

Your gracious will.

All things

Have been handed over

To me,

By my Father.

No one knows

The Son,

Except the Father.

No one knows

The Father,

Except the Son,

And anyone to whom

The Son chooses

To reveal him.”

 

ναί, ὁ Πατήρ, ὅτι οὕτως εὐδοκία ἐγένετο ἔμπροσθέν σου

Πάντα μοι παρεδόθη ὑπὸ τοῦ Πατρός μου, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐπιγινώσκει τὸν Υἱὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ Πατήρ, οὐδὲ τὸν Πατέρα τις ἐπιγινώσκει εἰ μὴ ὁ Υἱὸς καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν βούληται ὁ Υἱὸς ἀποκαλύψαι.

 

Matthew has Jesus explain his relationship to the Father in heaven.  Luke, chapter 10:22, has a similar statement, almost word for word, indicating a possible common Q source.  This is one of the few times that the synoptic gospels present Jesus with a clear knowledge of his relationship to the heavenly Father, as the Son.  The Father was well pleased to let this be known and happen because it was his will to do so (ναί, ὁ Πατήρ, ὅτι οὕτως εὐδοκία ἐγένετο ἔμπροσθέν σου).  The Father has handed over everything to his Son (Πάντα μοι παρεδόθη ὑπὸ τοῦ Πατρός μου). This is a profound theological statement indicating that the divine affiliation is very clear.  Jesus is the Son of the Father.  Only he and the Father know this.  No one really knows the Son, except the Father (Πάντα μοι παρεδόθη ὑπὸ τοῦ Πατρός μου).  The opposite is also true.   No one really knows the Father, except the Son (οὐδὲ τὸν Πατέρα τις ἐπιγινώσκει εἰ μὴ ὁ Υἱὸς).  However, Jesus, the Son, may decide or choose to tell or reveal this to others (καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν βούληται ὁ Υἱὸς ἀποκαλύψαι).  This is the gist of the gospel stories.  Jesus wanted to reveal his relationship to the Father to all his followers.

 

The response of Daniel (Dan 1:11-1:13)

“Then Daniel

Asked the guard,

That the palace master

Had appointed over

Daniel,

Hananiah,

Mishael,

Azariah.

‘Please test your servants

For ten days!

Let us be given vegetables

To eat

As well as water

To drink!

You can then compare

Our appearance

With the appearance

Of the young men

Who eat the royal rations.

Deal with your servants

According to

What you observe!’”

Daniel had a plan. He was going to ask the guard that the palace master had assigned over him and his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah for a favor. He wanted to have a 10-day test. They would only eat vegetables and water. Then after 10 days, the guard could compare their appearance to the others who were eating the royal food. At that point, Daniel would leave it up to the guard to decide what was best for the four of them.

The new moon offerings (Ezek 46:6-46:8)

“On the day

Of the new moon,

The prince shall offer

A young bull

Without blemish.

He shall offer

Six lambs

With a ram,

Which shall be

Without blemish.

As a grain offering,

He shall provide

An ephah

With the bull.

He shall provide

An ephah

With the ram.

With the lambs,

He may provide

As much as he wishes,

Together with a hin of oil

For each ephah.

When the prince enters,

He shall go in

By the vestibule

Of the gate.

He shall go out

By the same way.”

Besides the Sabbath, the other regular festival was the monthly new moon sacrifice. The lunar calendar was based on the 28-day cycle of the moon. Once again, the prince was responsible for furnishing the animals and the grain offerings, as on the Sabbath. He was to take an unblemished bull with 6 lambs and an unblemished ram for the burnt offerings. He was to offer them up with a grain offering. He too had to provide an ephah of grain (2/3rds of a bushel) with the bull and the ram. However, this prince could decide how much grain went with the lambs, but there had to be a gallon or hin of oil for each ephah of grain. The prince would enter and leave at the same gate.

The prince provides the offerings (Ezek 46:4-46:5)

“The burnt offering

That the prince

Offers to Yahweh,

On the Sabbath day

Shall be

Six lambs

Without blemish,

With a ram

Without blemish.

The grain offering

With the ram

Shall be an ephah.

The grain offering

With the lambs

Shall be as much

As he wishes to give.

There will be

A hin of oil

For each ephah.”

The Sabbath burnt offerings of the prince were clearly laid out by Yahweh, via Ezekiel. Each Sabbath, six unblemished lambs and one ram were to be offered with an ephah of a grain offering for the ram. However, the prince could decide about how much grain for the lambs. Nevertheless, for each ephah of grain (about 2/3rds of bushel), there had to be a hin or a gallon of oil.

The Zadok priests as teachers and judges (Ezek 44:23-44:24)

“They shall teach

My people

The difference

Between the holy

And the common.

They shall show them

How to distinguish

Between the unclean

And the clean.

In a controversy,

They shall act

As judges.

They shall decide it

According to my judgments.

They shall keep

My laws,

As well as my statutes

Regarding

All my appointed festivals.

They shall keep

My Sabbath holy.”

These Zadok priests would teach Yahweh’s people the difference between the holy and the common, as well as how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean. In any controversy, they would act as judges. They would decide all these cases according to Yahweh’s judgments. They were to keep all Yahweh’s laws and statutes regarding the appointed religious festivals. Finally, they were to keep the Sabbath holy.

Freedom for Jeremiah (Jer 40:2-40:4)

“The captain of the guard

Took Jeremiah.

He said to him.

‘Yahweh your God

Threatened this place

With this disaster.

Now Yahweh

Has brought it about.

He has done

As he said.

Because all of you

Sinned against Yahweh.

You did not obey his voice.

Therefore this thing

Has come upon you.

Now look!

I have just released you today

From the fetters

On your hands.

If you wish

To come with me

To Babylon,

Come!

I will take good care of you.

But if you do not wish

To come with me

To Babylon,

You need not come!

See!

The whole land is before you.

Go wherever

You think it good

Or right to go!’”

Jeremiah is finally recognized by Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, who took him aside. He said to Jeremiah that his God Yahweh had threatened this place and made that threat come true. This happened because they were sinning in Jerusalem and Judah. They had not obeyed their God. This Babylonian captain then released Jeremiah from the chains around his hands. Here is where it gets interesting. He offers Jeremiah a choice. He could go to Babylon, where he would be taken care of, or he could stay in Judah, where the whole land would be his. The captain of the guard told Jeremiah to decide on what was right and good for him. The choice was up to Jeremiah, but it seemed obvious that Jeremiah would stay.