What goes into a man does not defile him (Mk 7:18-7:18)

“Jesus said

To the disciples.

‘Then do you also

Fail to understand?

Do you not realize

That whatever goes

Into a person

From outside

Cannot defile him.’”

 

καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀσύνετοί ἐστε; οὐ νοεῖτε ὅτι πᾶν τὸ ἔξωθεν εἰσπορευόμενον εἰς τὸν ἄνθρωπον οὐ δύναται αὐτὸν κοινῶσαι,

 

There was something similar to this earlier in chapter 7:15. Matthew, chapter 15:11 also has something like this.  Mark said that Jesus reprimanded them (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) for their lack of discernment or understanding (Οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀσύνετοί ἐστε).  Did they not realize that whatever went into a person from outside (οὐ νοεῖτε ὅτι πᾶν τὸ ἔξωθεν εἰσπορευόμενον εἰς τὸν ἄνθρωπον) could not make them impure, unclean or a defiled person (οὐ δύναται αὐτὸν κοινῶσαι).  Thus, spiritual purity was more important than physical purity.  It is not what you put into your body, such as unclean food, that polluted or defiled a person.

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The sorrow of the exile (Hos 9:1-9:3)

“Do not rejoice!

O Israel!

Do not exult

As other nations do!

You have played

The prostitute!

You departed from

Your God!

You have loved

A prostitute’s pay

On all the threshing floors.

Threshing floor

With wine vat

Shall not feed them.

The new wine

Shall fail them.

They shall not remain

In the land of Yahweh.

But Ephraim shall return

To Egypt.

They shall eat

Unclean food

In Assyria.”

Hosea told the people of Israel, perhaps at a harvest festival, that they would no longer rejoice and exalt like other countries. They had prostituted themselves. They had departed from their God. They had accepted the prostitute’s pay on the threshing floor. No longer would grain and wine feed them, as the new wine would fail. They were not going to remain in the land of Yahweh. They would be sent to Egypt and Assyria, where they would eat unclean food.

The whitewashed wall (Ezek 13:10-13:12)

“Because,

In truth,

They have misled

My people.

They said.

‘Peace,’

When there is no peace.

When the people

Build a wall,

These prophets smear

Whitewash on it.

Say to those

Who smear whitewash

On it

That it shall fall!

There will be

A deluge of rain.

Great hailstones

Will fall.

A stormy wind

Will break out.

When the wall falls,

Will it not be said

To you?

‘Where is the whitewash

You smeared on it?’”

These false prophets misled the people of Jerusalem about building a wall. These false prophets talked peace, when there was no peace. When the people built a wall, these prophets smeared whitewash on it. However, their actions would fail. There would be rain, hailstones, and stormy winds, so that the wall would fall. Then they would be asked what happened to the whitewash that was smeared on the wall.

The distress of everybody (Ezek 7:25-7:27)

“When anguish comes,

They will seek peace.

But there shall be none.

Disaster comes

Upon disaster.

Rumor follows

Rumor.

They shall keep

Seeking a vision

From the prophet.

Instruction shall perish

From the priest.

Counsel shall fail

From the elders.

The king mourns.

The prince shall be

Wrapped in despair.

The hands

Of the people

Of the land

Shall tremble.

According to their way,

I will deal with them.

According to their own judgments

I will judge them.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh concluded this oracle or vision to Ezekiel. In these times of trouble, they would seek peace, but there would be none. Disaster would come upon disaster. Rumor would follow rumor. They would keep looking for a vision from their prophets, but none would come. The priests would fail to instruct them. Counsel from the elders would fail. The king would mourn. The princes would be in despair. The hands of the land people would tremble. According to their ways, Yahweh would deal with them. According to their own judgments, Yahweh would judge them. They would know that Yahweh God was in charge. He was Yahweh.

The failure of the leaders (Jer 4:9-4:9)

“Yahweh says.

‘On that day,

Courage shall fail the king.

Courage shall fail the officials.

The priests shall be appalled.

The prophets astounded.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, says that on that day of invasion and destruction the kings and officials will lack courage. The priests will be appalled, while the prophets will be astonished. Their leaders will fail their people.

Against the complacent women in Jerusalem (Isa 32:9-32:14)

“Rise up!

You women who are at ease!

Hear my voice!

You complacent daughters!

Listen to my speech!

In little more than a year

You will shudder!

You complacent ones!

The vintage will fail!

The fruit harvest will not come!

Tremble!

You women who are at ease!

Shudder!

You complacent ones!

Strip!

Make yourselves bare!

Put sackcloth on your loins!

Beat upon your breasts

For the pleasant fields,

For the fruitful vine,

For the soil of my people,

Growing up in thorns,

Growing up in briers!

All the joyous houses

In the joyful city

Will be no more.

The palace will be forsaken.

The populous city will be deserted.

The watchtower will become a den.

The hills will become a den forever

For the joy of wild donkeys,

As a pasture for flocks.”

Isaiah attacks the easy going complacent Jerusalem women. Apparently this was a year before the attack on Jerusalem around 703 BCE. Isaiah always wanted people to listen to him, since they appear to be not listening. He reminded the complacent women that next year the vintage would fail and there would not be any fruit harvest. Isaiah wanted these complacent women to take off their clothes and go into mourning for their city. They should put on sackcloth and beat their breasts for the coming death of the pleasant fields and fruit vines that were about to be turned into thorns and briers. The joyful houses, the city, and the palace would be abandoned. This heavily populated city would be deserted. The towers and the hills would become a den for wild donkeys and a grazing area for animals.

The catastrophe of Eliakim (Isa 22:25-22:25)

“Says Yahweh of hosts.                                                                              

‘On that day,

The peg that was fastened

In a secure place

Will give way.

It will be cut down.

It will fall.

The load that was on it

Will perish.’

Yahweh has spoken.”

Something goes wrong. All the hopes that were placed on Eliakim fail. Yahweh, via Isaiah, said that the strongly fastened peg gave way. It fell down. The load was too heavy. They all perished. Somehow, without anything specific, Eliakim failed and his whole family suffered.