Jesus tries to get away from the crowds (Mk 3:7-3:7)

“Jesus departed

With his disciples

To the sea.

A great multitude

From Galilee,

Also,

From Judea,

Followed him.”

 

Καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ ἀνεχώρησεν πρὸς τὴν θάλασσαν· καὶ πολὺ πλῆθος ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἠκολούθησεν· καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰουδαίας

 

This is unique to Mark, as part of his short summaries.  Mark said that Jesus departed with his disciples (Καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ ἀνεχώρησεν) to the sea (πρὸς τὴν θάλασσαν).  Meanwhile, a great multitude from Galilee (καὶ πολὺ πλῆθος ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας) as well as from Judea (καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰουδαίας) followed him (ἠκολούθησεν).  Clearly, Jesus had become very popular.

The Moses speech (Bar 2:29-2:31)

“‘If you will not obey

My voice,

This very great multitude

Will surely turn

Into a small number

Among the nations,

Where I will scatter them.

I know that they will not

Obey me.

They are a stiff-necked people.

But in the land of their exile

They will come to themselves.

They will know

That I am

The Lord their God.

I will give them

A heart

That obeys.

I will give them

Ears that hear.’”

This is reminiscent of the end of chapter 28 in Deuteronomy. There was no explicit mention of an exile in that chapter. However in chapter 30, there was a call to return from the scattered countries. The Israelites were to obey the voice of Yahweh. Otherwise this great multitude would become a small number of people among many nations, since they were going to be scattered. Moses and Yahweh knew that the Israelites would not obey the Mosaic Law because they were a stiff-necked people. However, they would discover themselves in the land of their exile. This happens a lot. When separated from their basic culture, people tend to re-discover all the great things of their original culture that they had overlooked. The Israelites would come to realize that Yahweh was their true God. Thus Yahweh would give them an obeying heart and hearing ears so that they would be more attentive to him.

Army from a distant land (Isa 13:4-13:5)

“Listen!

A tumult on the mountains

As a great multitude!

Listen!

An uproar of kingdoms,

Of nations gathering together!

Yahweh of hosts is mustering

An army for battle.

They come from a distant land,

From the end of the heavens.

Yahweh comes.

The weapons of his indignation

Comes to destroy

The whole earth.”

Yahweh told Isaiah to listen to the great multitude on the mountains. All the nations were getting together. Yahweh was going to bring a great army from a distant land, even from the ends of heaven. Yahweh was going to bring his weapons of indignation to destroy the whole earth. Although at times it seems like an attempt to destroy the vast Babylonian Empire via the far away Persians, there are apocalyptic end time tones with the idea of the end of the whole earth and the heavens.