Male and female become one flesh (Mk 10:6-10:8)

“But from the beginning

Of creation,

‘God made them

Male

And female.

For this reason,

A man shall leave

His father

And his mother.

He shall be joined

To his wife.

The two shall become

One flesh.’

Thus,

They are no longer two,

But one flesh.”

 

ἀπὸ δὲ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτούς·

ἕνεκεν τούτου καταλείψει ἄνθρωπος τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν μητέρα,

καὶ ἔσονται οἱ δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν· ὥστε οὐκέτι εἰσὶν δύο ἀλλὰ μία σάρξ.

 

This saying of Jesus that points to the importance and indissolubility of marriage can also be found in Matthew, chapter 19:4-6.  Mark indicates that Jesus used the creation story of Genesis, chapters 1:27 and 2:24, to emphasize his point.  He noted that from the beginning of creation (ἀπὸ δὲ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως) God had made humans male and female (ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτοὺς).  At the pinnacle of creation, God created humans in his image, as both men and women were created equal in God’s image.  Jesus continued that a man leaves his father and mother (ἕνεκεν τούτου καταλείψει ἄνθρωπος τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν μητέρα).  Some Orthodox texts have the phrase about being joined to his wife (καὶ προσκολληθήσεται πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ).  The two of them then will become one flesh (καὶ ἔσονται οἱ δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν), so that they are no longer two but one flesh (ὥστε οὐκέτι εἰσὶν δύο ἀλλὰ μία σὰρξ).  Obviously, this has become part of many marriage ceremonial rituals.

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The gathering with Pilate (Mt 27:62-27:62)

“The next day,

That is,

After the day of Preparation,

The chief priests

And the Pharisees

Gathered before Pilate.”

 

Τῇ δὲ ἐπαύριον, ἥτις ἐστὶν μετὰ τὴν Παρασκευήν, συνήχθησαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι πρὸς Πειλᾶτον

 

This is unique to Matthew, who said that the next day or the tomorrow (Τῇ δὲ ἐπαύριον), after the day of Preparation (ἥτις ἐστὶν μετὰ τὴν Παρασκευήν), the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate (συνήχθησαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι πρὸς Πειλᾶτον).  Now we have the problem of dating the crucifixion.  What does the following day mean?  This tomorrow was the day after the day of Preparation.  Was it the day of preparation for the Sabbath or the day of preparation for Passover?  Perhaps Passover fell on the Sabbath.  Anyway, the chief priests were joined by the Pharisees, but not the elders or presbyters of Jerusalem as in all the other preceding meetings.  Why did the Pharisees suddenly show up here?  There were no elders, scribes, or Sadducees at this meeting before Pilate, the governor of Judea.

The indictment of Edom (Ob 1:12-1:14)

“You should not

Have gloated

Over your brother

On the day of his misfortune!

You should not

Have rejoiced

Over the people of Judah

On the day of his misfortune!

You should not

Have boasted

On the day of distress!

You should not

Have entered

The gate of my people

On the day of their calamity!

You should not

Have joined in the gloating

Over Judah’s disaster

On the day of his calamity!

You should not

Have looted his goods

On the day of his calamity!

You should not

Have stood at crossings

To cut off his fugitives!

You should not

Have handed over

His survivors

On the day of distress!”

Yahweh, via Obadiah, listed the various things that Edom did on the day of the invasion of Jerusalem.  First, they gloated over their brother Judah.  Then they rejoiced at the problems of the people of Judah.  These Edomites even boasted and entered the gates of Jerusalem.  They joined with the others, as they looted the goods of the people in Jerusalem.  They kept others from escaping.  They even handed over the survivors to the foreign attackers.  They were really complicit in this attack on Jerusalem.

Past crimes (Hos 6:7-6:9)

“But like Adam,

They transgressed the covenant.

There they dealt faithlessly

With me.

Gilead is a city

Of evildoers,

Tracked with blood.

As robbers lie in wait

For someone,

So,

The priests

Are banded together.

They murder

On the way to Shechem.

They commit

A monstrous crime.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, compared the sin of Adam with the other later Israelites. They had broken the covenant. Perhaps the “there” mentioned here was the 40 years in the wilderness, when sometimes they were unfaithful to Yahweh. The city of Gilead, on the other side of the Jordan River, was a city of bloody evil people. Just as robbers wait for someone to come by to rob, so the priests have joined together to murder people on their way to the northern shrine at Shechem. They have committed all kinds of monstrous crimes. Perhaps, this northern Israelite Samaritan sanctuary was considered the great monstrosity. Notice the continual anti-clericalism of the prophets.

Darius the Mede takes over (Dan 5:31-5:31)

“Darius,

The Mede,

Received

The kingdom.

He was about

Sixty-two years old.”

There is a lot of conjecture about this Darius, the Mede. The Medes joined with the Babylonians to overthrow the Assyrians. They came under Persian power around 550 BCE. Cyrus of Persia was the real power that conquered Babylon in 539 BCE. This Darius appears to be based on Darius I (522-486 BCE), the third Persian Emperor, not a contemporary of Cyrus or Daniel. Nevertheless, this was the end of the great Babylonian empire. Thus, ends the story of the great dinner party that finished in a disaster for the king, because he had dared to drink wine from the sacred vessels of the Jerusalem Temple.

The trip to the east gate (Ezek 11:1-11:1)

“The Spirit

Lifted me up.

He brought me

To the east gate

Of the house of Yahweh

That faces east.

There,

At the entrance

Of the gateway

There were twenty-five men.

I saw among them

Jaazaniah,

The son of Azzur,

With Pelatiah,

The son of Benaiah,

Officials of the people.”

Once again, the Spirit of Yahweh lifted Ezekiel up. This Holy Spirit brought him to the east gate of the Temple this time. There is a reference to Jaazaniah as in chapter 8 of this work. However, here Jaazaniah is the son of Azzur, not the son of Shaphan. He is among 25 men, not the 70 elders as in chapter 8. Ezekiel is not looking through a wall as in chapter 8, but standing at the east entrance of the Temple. There is no mention of the creeping things here. However, Jaazaniah was joined by another official named Pelatiah, the son of Benaiah. Thus there is a loose connection with chapter 8 of this work.

The nations prepare for war against Babylon (Jer 51:27-51:28)

“Raise a standard

In the land!

Blow the trumpet

Among the nations!

Prepare the nations

For war

Against her!

Summon

Against her

The kingdoms,

Of Ararat,

Of Minni,

Of Ashkenaz!

Appoint a marshal

Against her!

Bring up horses

Like bristling locusts!

Prepare the nations

For war

Against her!

The kings

Of the Medes,

With their governors,

Their deputies,

With every land

Under their dominion

Shall come!”

Yahweh via Jeremiah wants to call various nations to fight against Babylon. The standard and the trumpet of war should sound to prepare nations to attack her. In particular 3 countries are named. Ararat was considered the place where Noah’s ark landed in Genesis, chapter 8. The assumption is that this mountain was in southern Turkey, what today is in Kurdish land, near the Russian and Iranian borders. Minni may be a reference to the Mannaeans who lived in what is now northwestern Iran or Armenia. Ashkenaz was a son of Noah and a land around Asia Minor near Armenia. Jewish people from the Rhineland area were called Ashkenazi, and this term was later adapted for all eastern European Jews. These countries would have joined with the Persians to attack Babylon. They would have so many horses that they would seem like swarms of locusts. Joining them would be the kings of Medes with all their officials and deputies, plus all the people from the land that they dominated. These were the ancient Persian people in what is now northwestern Iran. There was no specific mention of the Persians here.