The sheep will be scattered (Mk 14:27-14:27)

“Jesus said to them.

‘You will all

Become deserters!

It is written.

‘I will strike

The shepherd.

Then the sheep

Will be scattered.”

 

Καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι Πάντες σκανδαλισθήσεσθε, ὅτι γέγραπται Πατάξω τὸν ποιμένα, καὶ τὰ πρόβατα διασκορπισθήσονται.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:31.  Mark said that Jesus told his 12 apostolic leaders (Καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) that all of them were going to be shocked, offended, stumble, fall away, or desert Jesus (ὅτι Πάντες σκανδαλισθήσεσθε).  Mark did not have the phrase that it would be that very night as Matthew had indicated.  Jesus noted that it was written (ὅτι γέγραπται) in the prophet Zechariah, chapter 13:7, that because the shepherd was struck (Πατάξω τὸν ποιμένα), the sheep in the flock would be scattered or dispersed (καὶ τὰ πρόβατα διασκορπισθήσονται).  Thus, the same would happen to them.  As something was going to happen to Jesus, they would all stumble and scatter, while deserting or leaving Jesus.

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The apostles would scatter (Mt 26:31-26:31)

“Then Jesus said

To them.

‘You will all

Become deserters

Because of me

This night.

It is written.

‘I will strike

The shepherd.

Then the sheep

Of the flock

Will be scattered.’”

 

Τότε λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Πάντες ὑμεῖς σκανδαλισθήσεσθε ἐν ἐμοὶ ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ ταύτῃ· γέγραπται γάρ Πατάξω τὸν ποιμένα, καὶ διασκορπισθήσονται τὰ πρόβατα τῆς ποίμνης·

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:27.  Jesus told his 12 disciple apostolic leaders (Τότε λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) that all of them were going to be shocked, offended, and stumble because of Jesus (Πάντες ὑμεῖς σκανδαλισθήσεσθε ἐν ἐμοὶ).  They were going to desert him this very night (ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ ταύτῃ).  Jesus noted that it was written (γέγραπται γάρ) in the prophet Zechariah, chapter 13:7, that because the shepherd was struck (γάρ Πατάξω τὸν ποιμένα), the sheep in the flock would be scattered or dispersed (καὶ διασκορπισθήσονται τὰ πρόβατα τῆς ποίμνης).  Thus, the same would happen to them.  As something was going to happen to Jesus, they would all stumble and scatter, while deserting or leaving Jesus.

 

The reasons for the scattered Israelites (Ezek 36:16-36:19)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

When the house

Of Israel

Lived

On their own soil,

They defiled it

With their ways,

With their doings.

Their conduct was,

In my sight,

Like the uncleanness

Of a woman

In her menstrual period.

Thus,

I poured out my wrath

Upon them

For the blood

That they had shed

Upon the land.

I poured out my wrath

Upon them

For the idols

With which

They had defiled it.

I scattered them

Among the nations.

They were dispersed

Through the countries.

I judged them

In accordance

With their conduct.

I judged them

In accordance

With their deeds.’”

Once again, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man, but without a specific date. Yahweh said that when the house of Israel lived on their own soil, they defiled it with how they acted. They were unclean, like the uncleanness of the menstrual female, who was considered to be unclean at the time of her period. They had shed blood throughout the land. They had worshipped idols, thus defiling the land. Yahweh then poured out his wrath and scattered them among the various nations. Thus, they were dispersed throughout the different countries. Yahweh judged them according to their conduct and their deeds.

Forty years of problems for Egypt (Ezek 29:11-29:12)

“No human foot

Shall pass through Egypt.

No animal foot

Shall pass through it.

It shall be uninhabited

Forty years.

I will make

The land of Egypt

A desolation

Among desolated countries.

Her cities shall be

A desolation

Forty years

Among cities

That are laid waste.

I will scatter

The Egyptians

Among the nations.

I will disperse them

Among the countries.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that no humans or animals would set foot in Egypt, because it was going to be uninhabited for 40 years. Thus the 40 years was similar to the 40 years in the wilderness for the Israelites. Egypt was going to be a land of desolation among desolated countries since her cities would be laid waste for 40 years. The Egyptians would also be scattered and dispersed among the various nations and countries. Actually the Persians took over Egypt in 525 BCE.

No refuge for the shepherds (Jer 25:34-25:38)

“Wail!

You shepherds!

Cry out!

Roll in ashes!

You lords of the flock!

The days of your slaughter

Have come.

The days of your dispersions

Have come.

You shall fall

Like a choice vessel.

Flight shall fail the shepherds.

There shall be no escape

For the lords of the flock.

Hark!

The cry of the shepherds!

The wail of the lords of the flock!

Yahweh is despoiling their pasture.

The peaceful folds are devastated.

Because of the fierce anger of Yahweh.

Like a lion,

He has left his covert.

Their land has become a waste

Because of the cruel sword,

Because of his fierce anger.”

Yahweh continues his diatribe against the rulers in Judah. These leaders or shepherds should cry out and roll in ashes. The days of slaughter have come when they will be dispersed. They are going to fall like a chosen vessel. The shepherds will not be able to flee. The lords of the flock will not escape. Both the shepherds and the lords of the flock will cry out because Yahweh is going to ruin their pasture. These peaceful flocks and folds will be devastated. Yahweh was angry like a lion that has left its covert of little cubs. The land will become a wasteland because of the anger and the sword of Yahweh.

The end of Israelite internal strife (Isa 11:12-11:16)

“Yahweh will raise a signal for the nations.

He will assemble the outcasts of Israel.

He will gather the dispersed of Judah

From the four corners of the earth.

The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart.

The hostility of Judah shall be cut off.

Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah.

Judah shall not be hostile towards Ephraim.

But they shall swoop down

On the backs of the Philistines

In the west.

Together they shall plunder

The people of the east.

They shall put forth their hand

Against Edom and Moab.

The Ammonites shall obey them.

Yahweh will utterly destroy

The tongue of the sea of Egypt.

He will wave his hand over the River,

With his scorching wind.

He will split it into seven channels.

Thus there will be a way to cross on foot.

There shall be a highway from Assyria

For the remnant that is left of his people,

As there was for Israel

When they came up

From the land of Egypt.”

Isaiah implies that there will be a glorious reunion of Judah and Ephraim, the south and north of Israel, since Yahweh, the Lord, will give a signal to all the nations. The dispersed Israelites were to return from the four corners of the earth. There would no longer be any jealousy or hostility between Judah and Ephraim, north and south. Instead, they would unite to fight against the Philistines in the west and the Edomites and Moabites on the eastern side of Israel. They would have control of the Ammonites, the traditional enemies of Israel, as outlined in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles. The reference to the tongue of the sea is to the Red Sea. Of course, the River is the Euphrates River. Yahweh was going to break up these seas so that people could walk through them. He wanted a highway from Assyria to the Promise Land so that all the exiles in Assyria could return, just like the Exodus march from Egypt took place. Obviously, we are talking about the time of the Exile in the 6th and 7th centuries BCE, and how it would end.

Jonathan with Simon wins at Azotus (1 Macc 10:82-10:85)

“Then Simon brought forward his force. He engaged the phalanx in battle because the cavalry was exhausted. They were overwhelmed by him and fled as the cavalry was dispersed in the plain. They fled to Azotus. There they entered Beth-dagon, the temple of their idol, for safety. But Jonathan burned Azotus and the surrounding towns and plundered them. He burned with fire the temple of Dagon and those who had taken refuge in it. The number of those who fell by the sword, with those burned alive, came to eight thousand men.”

Simon then brought his reserve forces into play. They overwhelmed the army of Apollonius as it dispersed. The troops of Apollonius fled to the city of Azotus and to their temple of Dagon. The mention of Dagon at Azotus or Ashdod goes back to Samson in Judges, chapter 16 and the Philistines with the Ark of the Covenant in 1 Samuel, chapter 5. Jonathan was not very tolerant of other religious beliefs so he burned down the temple with the refugees inside it. Altogether he wiped out 8,000 people either with the sword or by burning.