The traditions of men (Mk 7:8-7:9)

“‘You abandon

The commandments

Of God!

You hold

To human tradition!’

Then he said to them.

‘You have a fine way

Of rejecting

The commandment

Of God,

In order

To keep

Your tradition!’”

 

ἀφέντες τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ κρατεῖτε τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν ἀνθρώπων.

καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Καλῶς ἀθετεῖτε τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἵνα τὴν παράδοσιν ὑμῶν τηρήσητε.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 15:3.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that they had abandoned or neglected the commandments of God (ἀφέντες τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Instead, they followed or kept their own human traditions or instructions (κρατεῖτε τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν ἀνθρώπων).  This is a question that many Evangelical Christians ask about mainline Christian Churches, especially Catholics and Orthodox, that have strong Christian traditions.  However, sometimes, new traditions are hard to break also.  This seems to set a dichotomy against God’s commandments and human religious traditions.  Some ancient manuscripts added the section that was in chapter 7:4 here.  There are many other traditions that they hold or observe (καὶ ἄλλα πολλά ἐστιν ἃ παρέλαβον κρατεῖν) about washing cups (βαπτισμοὺς ποτηρίων), pots (καὶ ξεστῶν), and bronze plates (καὶ χαλκίων).  Then Jesus said to them (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς) that they had a fine honorable way of rejecting the commandments of God (Καλῶς ἀθετεῖτε τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ), in order to keep their own traditions (ἵνα τὴν παράδοσιν ὑμῶν τηρήσητε).  This last saying was not in Matthew.  This is a very strong rejection of Jewish traditional religious practices.

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The washing of cups (Mk 7:4-7:4)

“They do not eat anything

From the market place,

Unless they wash it.

There are many other traditions

That they observe.

They wash

Cups,

Pots,

And bronze plates.”

 

καὶ ἀπ’ ἀγορᾶς ἐὰν μὴ ῥαντίσωνται οὐκ ἐσθίουσιν, καὶ ἄλλα πολλά ἐστιν ἃ παρέλαβον κρατεῖν, βαπτισμοὺς ποτηρίων καὶ ξεστῶν καὶ χαλκίων,

 

Mark alone continued with his elaboration about the Pharisees and their traditions to his gentile non-Jewish audience.  He said that the Pharisees do not eat anything coming from the market place, unless they wash it first (καὶ ἀπ’ ἀγορᾶς ἐὰν μὴ ῥαντίσωνται οὐκ ἐσθίουσιν).  There are many other traditions that they hold or observe (καὶ ἄλλα πολλά ἐστιν ἃ παρέλαβον κρατεῖν) about washing cups (βαπτισμοὺς ποτηρίων), pots (καὶ ξεστῶν), and bronze plates (καὶ χαλκίων).  It was obvious that the Pharisees had a keener sense of cleanliness or purity than most gentiles because washing or purification was an important religious practice.

The Babylonians took all the valuable precious vessels (Jer 52:18-52:19)

“The captain of the guard

Took away

The pots,

The shovels,

The snuffers,

The basins,

The ladles.

They took away

All the vessels of bronze

Used in the temple service.

The captain of the guard

Took away

The small bowls,

The fire pans,

The basins,

The pots,

The lamp stands,

The ladles,

The bowls for libation.

He took both

Those of gold

With those of silver.”

This is slightly more detailed than the listing found in 2 Kings, chapter 25. The captain of the guard took these Temple vessels that were used in the worship services, although it is not clear whether he did this before he burned the Temple or after the burning. Nevertheless he took pots, shovels, snuffers, basins, ladles, and all the bronze vessels used in the Temple service. He also took away the small bowls, the fire pans, the pots, the lamp stands, and the bowls for libation, whether they were gold or silver.

The power of Leviathan (Job 41:30-41:34)

“It’s under parts are like sharp potsherds.

It spreads itself like a threshing sledge on the mire.

It makes the deep boil like a pot.

It makes the sea like a pot of ointment.

It leaves a shining wake behind it.

One would think that the deep to be white-haired.

On earth it has no equal.

It is a creature without fear.

It surveys everything that is lofty.

It is king over all that are proud.”

The Leviathan is powerful. Yahweh reminded Job that the Leviathan was the king of the proud. Its underbelly had sharp ceramic pieces that come from the breaking of pots. It is like sledge as it is so big it makes the sea seem like a bottle of ointment. Somehow it has control of the waters since there is nothing equal to it on earth. It has no fear since it is in charge of all the proud folks as it leader king. So ends this long description of the Leviathan, as Yahweh explained it to Job.

The bronze work (2 Chr 4:11-4:18)

“Huram made the bronze pots, shovels, and basins. Thus Huram finished the work that he did for King Solomon on the house of God. He made the two pillars, the bowls, and the two capitals on the top of the pillars. He made the two lattice works to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the top of the pillars. There were four hundred pomegranates for the two lattice works, two rows of pomegranates for each lattice work, to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were upon the pillars. He made the stands, and the basins on the stands, the one sea, and the twelve oxen underneath it. The pots, the shovels, the forks, and all the equipment for these, Huram-abi made of burnished bronze for King Solomon for the house of Yahweh. In the plain of the Jordan the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredah. King Solomon made all these things in great quantities, so that the weight of the bronze was not ascertained.”

Now Huram (Hiram) comes up with all the bronze work as in 1 Kings, chapter 7. Here it is Huram, not King Solomon who made all these bronze works. Huram built the 2 bronze pillars, with the tops or capitals on each one. He did the ornate lattice work. Their ornamentation included over 200 pomegranates and various flowers on each capital or top. On top of that he made 10 large basins to go on the bronze stands. Also he, not King Solomon, was responsible for the bronze sea with its 12 oxen bulls holding it up. Huram-abi was the artisan in charge even though King Solomon was the overseer of the total project. They used so much bronze that they were unable to weigh it.