They will be miracle workers (Mk 16:18-16:18)

“They will pick up

Snakes

In their hands.

If they drink

Any deadly thing,

It will not hurt them.

They will lay

Their hands

On the sick.

They will recover.”

 

ὄφεις ἀροῦσιν κἂν θανάσιμόν τι πίωσιν οὐ μὴ αὐτοὺς βλάψῃ, ἐπὶ ἀρρώστους χεῖρας ἐπιθήσουσιν καὶ καλῶς ἕξουσιν.

 

This is another unique section of this longer ending to Mark.  Jesus was reminding his followers of what would happen to them.  They would have special powers.  They would be able to pick up snakes in their hands (ὄφεις ἀροῦσιν).  They would be able to drink any deadly drink (κἂν θανάσιμόν τι πίωσιν), without it hurting them (οὐ μὴ αὐτοὺς βλάψῃ).  They would be able to lay their hands-on sick people (ἐπὶ ἀρρώστους χεῖρας ἐπιθήσουσιν) and they would recover or become well again (καὶ καλῶς ἕξουσιν).  They would be like miracle workers or super heroes with special powers.

Someone cut the ear of the high priest’s slave (Mk 14:47-14:47)

“But one of those

Who stood nearby

Drew his sword.

He struck

The slave

Of the high priest.

He cut off his ear.”

 

εἷς δέ τις τῶν παρεστηκότων σπασάμενος τὴν μάχαιραν ἔπαισεν τὸν δοῦλον τοῦ ἀρχιερέως καὶ ἀφεῖλεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτάριον.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:51.  In Luke, chapter 22:49-51, there was a little discussion before the cutting off of the ear.  Then Jesus healed the ear that was hurt.  John, chapter 18:10-11, explicitly named Peter, not one of those with Jesus, as the one who cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave.  In fact, the slave has the name of Malchus.  Mark said that one of these unnamed apostles was standing nearby Jesus (εἷς δέ τις τῶν παρεστηκότων).  He then drew his sword (σπασάμενος τὴν μάχαιραν) and struck a slave of the high priest (ἔπαισεν τὸν δοῦλον τοῦ ἀρχιερέως).  He cut his ear off (καὶ ἀφεῖλεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτάριον).  Obviously, this could have started a major battle, also indicating that these apostles were armed and ready to do battle, if necessary.

Someone cuts off the ear of the high priest’s slave (Mt 26:51-26:51)

“All at once,

One of those

With Jesus

Put his hand

On his sword.

He drew it.

He struck

The slave

Of the high priest.

He cut off

His ear.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ εἷς τῶν μετὰ Ἰησοῦ ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα ἀπέσπασεν τὴν μάχαιραν αὐτοῦ, καὶ πατάξας τὸν δοῦλον τοῦ ἀρχιερέως ἀφεῖλεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτίον.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:47.  In Luke, chapter 22:49-50, there was a little discussion before the cutting off of the ear and then Jesus healed the ear that was hurt.  John, chapter 18:51, explicitly named Peter, not one of those with Jesus, as the one who cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave.  In fact, the slave has the name of Malchus.  Both Mark and Matthew said that one of these unnamed disciples with Jesus (καὶ ἰδοὺ εἷς τῶν μετὰ Ἰησοῦ) stretched out his hand (ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα).  He then drew his sword (ἀπέσπασεν τὴν μάχαιραν αὐτοῦ) and struck a slave of the high priest (καὶ πατάξας τὸν δοῦλον τοῦ ἀρχιερέως).  He cut his ear off (ἀφεῖλεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτίον).  Obviously, this could have started a major battle here.

The problem of Jerusalem (Zech 12:2-12:3)

“See!

I am about to make Jerusalem

A cup of trembling

For all the surrounding people.

It will be against Judah also

In the siege against Jerusalem.

On that day,

I will make Jerusalem

A heavy stone

For all the people.

Anyone who lifts it

Shall grievously hurt themselves.

All the nations of the earth

Shall come together against it.”

Zechariah pointed out that Jerusalem was going to have a special place.  They were going to be like a cup of trembling or reeling, perhaps an allusion to the cup, bowl, or basin that caught the blood of the Passover lamb.  The neighboring people should be aware that Jerusalem was under siege.  Thus, Jerusalem was to become a heavy stone that few people could lift.  Apparently, there was a practice of lifting stones to show one’s strength among young men, like weight lifting.  Thus, anyone who tried to lift the heavy stone of Jerusalem would hurt themselves.  All the various countries in the world would come against Jerusalem, but at their own risk.

Daniel responds to the king (Dan 6:21-6:22)

“Then Daniel said

To the king.

‘O king!

Live forever!

My God

Sent his angel.

He shut

The lions’ mouths.

Thus,

They would not hurt me,

Because I was found blameless

Before him.

Also,

I was found blameless

Before you,

O king!

I have done no wrong.’”

Daniel responded to the king with the familiar salutation that the king was to live forever. He explained to the king that God’s angel had come to him and shut the mouths of these lions. Thus, they were unable to hurt him. He was found blameless before God, just as he was blameless before the king. He wanted the king to know that he had not done anything wrong.

The Babylonian king likes Jeremiah (Jer 39:11-39:12)

“King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon

Gave a command

Concerning Jeremiah,

Through Nebuzaradan,

The captain of the guard.

Saying.

‘Take him!

Look after him well!

Do him no harm!

But deal with him

As he may ask you.’”

There was no mention of the prophet Jeremiah in 2 Kings at all, which has led many to speculate about his existence. Obviously this book has a lot to say about Jeremiah. King Nebuchadnezzar liked Jeremiah because he had constantly told the Judean king and others to serve the king of Babylon. Thus the Babylonian king told the captain of his guard Nebuzaradan to care for Jeremiah and not hurt him. In fact, Nebuzaradan was to do whatever Jeremiah asked him to do. Thus Jeremiah may have been a traitor to Judah as a collaborator with the king of Babylon.

Ebed-melech rescues Jeremiah from the cistern (Jer 38:10-38:13)

“Then the king commanded

The Ethiopian Ebed-melech.

‘Take three men with you

From here!

Pull the prophet Jeremiah

Up from the cistern

Before he dies.’

So Ebed-melech took the men

With him.

They went

To the house of the king,

To a wardrobe

Of the storehouse.

They took from there

Old rags

With worn-out clothes.

Then he let them down

To Jeremiah

In the cistern

By ropes.

Then the Ethiopian Ebed-melech

Said to Jeremiah.

‘Just put the rags

With the clothes

Between your armpits

And the ropes.’

Jeremiah did so.

Then they drew Jeremiah up

By the ropes.

They pulled him

Out of the cistern.

Jeremiah remained

In the court of the guard.”

The vacillating King Zedekiah responded to the Ethiopian Ebed-melech by telling him to take 3 men with him in order to pull Jeremiah from the cistern well. The king had told the men who put Jeremiah in the well that they could do with him whatever they wanted to do. So then Ebed-melech took the 3 men. They went to the royal wardrobe in the palace. He then took some old rags and worn out clothes. When he arrived at the pit, he told Jeremiah to put these old rags or clothes between the rope and his arm pits. Thus he would not hurt himself coming out of this well. Then the 4 of them pulled him up out of the well. However, Jeremiah was then sent back to the house arrest jail in the royal court of the guard. King Zedekiah had let his officials try to kill Jeremiah, yet he sent his eunuch to save him. The result was that Jeremiah was back in jail again, as if nothing had happened.