Simon of Cyrene (Mk 15:21-15:21)

“They compelled

A passer-by,

Who was coming in

From the country,

To carry his cross.

It was

Simon of Cyrene,

The father

Of Alexander

And Rufus.”

 

καὶ ἀγγαρεύουσιν παράγοντά τινα Σίμωνα Κυρηναῖον ἐρχόμενον ἀπ’ ἀγροῦ, τὸν πατέρα Ἀλεξάνδρου καὶ Ῥούφου, ἵνα ἄρῃ τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:32, and Luke, chapter 23:26, but who had no mention of Simon being the father of Alexander and Rufus.  John, chapter 19:17, on the other hand, had no mention of Simon at all, since he said that Jesus carried his cross by himself.  Mark said that they compelled a passer-by who was coming from the country (καὶ ἀγγαρεύουσιν παράγοντά τινα…ἐρχόμενον ἀπ’ ἀγροῦ) to carry the cross for Jesus (ἵνα ἄρῃ τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ).  This passerby was Simon of Cyrene (Σίμωνα Κυρηναῖον), the father of Alexander and Rufus (τὸν πατέρα Ἀλεξάνδρου καὶ Ῥούφου).  Cyrene had a large Jewish community in current day Libya.  This Simon may have been in Jerusalem for the Passover.  Mark seemed to indicate that this Simon was well known with two sons, but Matthew and Luke did not mention the sons.  However, there was a Rufus mentioned at the end of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, chapter 16:13, that could be this son of Simon.

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Simon of Cyrene (Mt 27:32-27:32)

“As they went out,

They came upon a man

From Cyrene,

Named Simon.

They compelled

This man

To carry

His cross.”

 

Ἐξερχόμενοι δὲ εὗρον ἄνθρωπον Κυρηναῖον, ὀνόματι Σίμωνα· τοῦτον ἠγγάρευσαν ἵνα ἄρῃ τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 15:21, who has a very detailed description of Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as well as Luke, chapter 23:26.  John, chapter 19:17, had no mention of Simon, since he said that Jesus carried his cross by himself.  As they went out from the courtyard (Ἐξερχόμενοι δ), the Roman soldiers came upon a man from Cyrene (εὗρον ἄνθρωπον Κυρηναῖον) that had a large Jewish community in current day Libya.  This man was named Simon (ὀνόματι Σίμωνα).  They compelled or forced him to carry Jesus’ cross (τοῦτον ἠγγάρευσαν ἵνα ἄρῃ τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ).  This Simon may have been in Jerusalem for the Passover.  Mark seemed to indicate that this Simon was well known with two sons, but Matthew and Luke did not mention his sons.

The example of Thebes (Nah 3:8-3:10)

“Are you better

Than Thebes?

They sat by the Nile,

With water around her.

Her rampart was a sea.

Water was her wall.

Ethiopia was her strength.

Egypt too was her strength,

Without any limit.

Put

With the Libyans

Were her helpers.

Yet Egypt became an exile.

She went into captivity.

Even her infants were

Dashed into pieces

At the head

Of every street.

Lots were cast

For her nobles.

All her dignitaries

Were bound in chains.”

The Assyrians had captured Thebes, the capital of Egypt in 663 BCE.  Thus, Nahum pointed out that the Assyrians were no better than the Egyptian capital town of Themes on the Nile River.  Even though they were on the Nile River and protected by water all around them, they still fell to these Assyrians.  All their neighbors, including the other people of Egypt, and the surrounding counties of Ethiopia and Libya, were not able to help her.  Thus, Nahum pointed out that Egypt went into exile and captivity.  Even their children and infants were dashed to pieces on the street corners.  They held a lottery for their noble men.  All the important dignitaries of the city of Thebes were bound in chains.  So too, it would be the same for Nineveh and Assyria.

Unfulfilled prophecies about Egypt (Dan 11:42-11:43)

“He shall stretch out his hand

Against the countries.

The land of Egypt

Shall not escape.

He shall become ruler

Of the treasures

Of gold,

Of silver,

All the precious things

Of Egypt.

The Libyans.

The Ethiopians,

Shall follow in his train.”

Next Gabriel talked about another war against Egypt that King Antiochus IV would win. He would then become the ruler of all the gold, silver, and precious things in Egypt. He would then go and capture Libya and Ethiopia. In fact, nothing like this ever took place. That might indicate the date of this writing as before the end of the life of King Antiochus IV.

The allies of Gog (Ezek 38:5-38:6)

“Persia,

Cush,

Put,

Are with them.

All of them

Have shields

With helmets.

Gomer

With all its troops

Are with them.

Beth-togarmah,

From the remotest parts

Of the north,

Are with them,

With all its troops.

Many people

Are with you.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, listed the allies of Gog. Ezekiel seemed to remind Gog who was on his side. Persia was an ally. Cush or Ethiopia was also on his side. Put or Libya was also with him. Of course, they all had their shields and helmets. Also with Gog were the people of Gomer, who was the biblical son of Japheth, the son of Noah, with his army. Beth-togarmah, the horse traders with Tyre from chapter 27, from the remote north, was also with Gog. Once again, these northern countries had lots of people in their armies.

The other countries (Ezek 30:4-30:5)

“A sword shall come

Upon Egypt.

Anguish shall be

In Ethiopia.

When the slain

Fall

In Egypt,

Its wealth

Will be carried away.

Its foundations

Will be torn down.

Ethiopia,

Put,

Lud,

All Arabia,

Libya,

The people

Of the allied lands

Shall fall

With them

By the sword.”

When the sword or battle would come to Egypt, the anguish would also come to Ethiopia, which is south of Egypt. The wealth of the dead people in Egypt would be carried away. The foundations of Egypt would be shaken and torn down. However, the neighboring countries and those allied with Egypt would also suffer. Besides Ethiopia, there were the people from Put and Lud, who had also served in the army of Tyre, as mentioned earlier in chapter 27. However, those affected by this invasion were also the people from Libya, west of Egypt, as well as all the Arabian tribes and those people allied with Egypt. They would all fall by the sword.

The mercenary army at Tyre (Ezek 27:10-27:11)

“Persia,

Lud,

Put,

Were all in your army.

They were

Your mighty warriors.

They hung their shield

With you.

They hung their helmet

With you.

They gave you splendor.

The men of Arvad,

The men of Helech,

Were on your walls

All around.

The men of Gamad

Were at your towers.

They hung their quivers

All around

Your walls.

They made perfect

Your beauty.”

Tyre had a mercenary army with people from Persia, Lydia (Lud), and Libya (Put). These were the mighty warriors of Tyre who hung their shields and helmets in Tyre to give the town more splendor. Within the town, guarding the walls, were the men from the Arvad island and Cilicia (Helech), a coastal town in Asia Minor. Meanwhile, the men of Cappadocia (Gamad) guarded the towers of Tyre. They kept their bow and arrows in the town. Thus the city of Tyre had an international army protecting it, inside and outside, to make it a thing of beauty.