Jealousy (Mk 15:10-15:10)

“Pilate realized

That it was out of jealousy

That the chief priests

Had handed him over.”

 

ἐγίνωσκεν γὰρ ὅτι διὰ φθόνον παραδεδώκεισαν αὐτὸν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς.

 

This is something almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:18.  Mark said that Pilate knew or realized (ἐγίνωσκεν γὰρ) that it was out of jealousy (ὅτι διὰ φθόνον) that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him (παραδεδώκεισαν αὐτόν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς).  Pilate was a cagey guy.  Do you act out of jealousy?

The prisoner Barabbas (Mt 27:16-27:18)

“At that time,

They had a notorious prisoner,

Called Barabbas.

After they had gathered,

Pilate said to them.

‘Whom do you want me

To release for you?

Jesus Barabbas

Or Jesus,

Who is called Christ

The Messiah?’

He realized

That it was out of jealousy

That they had handed

Him over.”

 

εἶχον δὲ τότε δέσμιον ἐπίσημον λεγόμενον Βαραββᾶν.

συνηγμένων οὖν αὐτῶν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Πειλᾶτος Τίνα θέλετε ἀπολύσω ὑμῖν, Βαραββᾶν ἢ Ἰησοῦν τὸν λεγόμενον Χριστόν;

ᾔδει γὰρ ὅτι διὰ φθόνον παρέδωκαν αὐτόν.

 

This is something like this in Mark, chapter 15:7-10, with a longer description of Barabbas as a rebel who had committed murder in an insurrection.  Luke, chapter 23:18-19, also talked about Barabbas as a rebel who had murdered somebody.  In John, chapter 18:39-40, Barabbas was simply called a bandit.  Matthew simply called Barabbas a notorious prisoner without any indication of what he had done.  A few manuscripts called him Jesus Barabbas (Ἰησοῦν Βαραββᾶν.).  Matthew said that at that time, there was this notorious prisoner called Barabbas (εἶχον δὲ τότε δέσμιον ἐπίσημον λεγόμενον Βαραββᾶν).  Thus, after they had gathered (συνηγμένων οὖν αὐτῶν), Pilate asked the crowd (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Πειλᾶτος) who did they want him to release for them (Τίνα θέλετε ἀπολύσω ὑμῖν), Barabbas (Βαραββᾶν) or Jesus (ἢ Ἰησοῦν), who was called Christ, the Messiah (τὸν λεγόμενον Χριστόν)?  He knew or realized (ᾔδει γὰρ) that it was out of jealousy (ὅτι διὰ φθόνον) that these Jewish leaders had handed Jesus over to him (παρέδωκαν αὐτόν).

The physical punishment of Jerusalem (Ezek 16:40-16:42)

“They shall bring up

A mob

Against you.

They shall stone you.

They shall cut you

To pieces

With their swords.

They shall burn

Your houses.

They shall execute

Judgments on you

In the sight

Of many women.

I will stop you

From playing the whore.

You shall also make

No more payments.

So I will satisfy

My fury

On you.

My jealousy

Shall turn away

From you.

I will be calm.

I will be angry

No longer.”

Yahweh said that he was going to bring a mob against Jerusalem. They would follow the common practice of stoning an adulterous woman. They would cut her into pieces with their swords. They would burn down her houses. They were going to execute judgments on her in the sight of many women. Jerusalem would no longer play the whore. She would not give any gifts. Yahweh would satisfy this fury and jealousy. He would then become calm and not angry any longer.

Yahweh’s judgment of Jerusalem (Ezek 16:38-16:39)

“I will judge you

As a woman

Who commits adultery.

I will judge you

As one who sheds blood.

I will bring

Blood upon you

In wrath,

In jealousy.

I will deliver you

Into their hands.

They shall throw down

Your platform.

They shall break down

Your lofty places.

They shall strip you

Of your clothes.

They will take

Your beautiful objects.

They will leave you naked.

They will leave you bare.”

Yahweh was going to pass judgment on Jerusalem. He was going to treat Jerusalem like a woman who had committed adultery. He was going to judge her as one who had shed blood. Yahweh was going to bring his wrath and jealousy upon her. He was going to hand her over to her former lovers. They would throw down her platforms and break up her lofty places that were at the street corners and in the public squares. They would strip her of her clothes and take her beautiful jewels. Finally, they would leave her naked and bare.

The anger and fury of Yahweh on Jerusalem (Ezek 5:13-5:15)

“My anger shall

Spend itself.

I will vent my fury

On them.

I will satisfy myself.

They shall know

That I,

Yahweh,

Have spoken

In my jealousy,

When I spend my fury

On them.

Moreover

I will make you

A desolation.

I will make you

An object of mocking

Among the nations

Around you,

In the sight

Of all that pass by.

You shall be a mockery.

You shall be a taunt.

You shall be a warning.

You shall be a horror,

To the nations around you.

I will execute judgments

On you

In anger,

In fury,

With furious punishments.

I!

Yahweh!

Have spoken!”

Yahweh said that he was going to spend his anger on the people of Jerusalem. He was going to vent his fury on them. He was going to satisfy himself. They would know that he was Yahweh. He was going to speak out of jealousy against them. This is a very strong statement about the anger of God against the people of Jerusalem, because he was a jealous God. Jerusalem would become a desolation, an object of mocking, a taunt, a warning, and a horror among all the nations around her. Angry Yahweh was going to execute his judgments on them with his furious punishments. Yahweh has clearly spoken.

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.

Joy (Sir 30:21-30:25)

“Do not give yourself over

To sorrow!

Do not distress yourself deliberately!

A joyful heart is life itself.

Rejoicing lengthens

One’s life span.

Indulger yourself!

Take comfort!

Remove sorrow far from you!

Sorrow has destroyed many.

No advantage ever comes from it.

Jealousy shortens life.

Anger shortens life.

Anxiety brings on premature old age.

Whoever is cheerful at table,

Whoever is merry at table,

Will benefit from their food.”

Sirach reminds us not to give into sorrow. Do not deliberately distress yourself. If you are happy, you will lengthen your lifespan. Indulge yourself and take comfort in what you do. Stay away from sorrow, because it has destroyed many people, since there is no advantage to being sorrowful. Jealousy and anger will shorten your life. Anxiety brings on old age prematurely. Look at all the happy old people. If you are cheerful and merry when you eat, the food will seem that much better.