Pilate released Barabbas (Mk 15:15-15:15)

“Thus,

Pilate wished

To satisfy the crowd.

He released Barabbas

For them.

After flogging Jesus,

He handed him over

To be crucified.”

 

ὁ δὲ Πειλᾶτος βουλόμενος τῷ ὄχλῳ τὸ ἱκανὸν ποιῆσαι ἀπέλυσεν αὐτοῖς τὸν Βαραββᾶν, καὶ παρέδωκεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν φραγελλώσας ἵνα σταυρωθῇ.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:26.  In Luke, chapter 23:24-25, Pilate rendered a verdict, while in John, chapter 19:16, Pilate also handed him over to be crucified.  Mark said Pilate wished to satisfy the crowd (ὁ δὲ Πειλᾶτος βουλόμενος τῷ ὄχλῳ τὸ ἱκανὸν ποιῆσαι).  Thus, he released Barabbas to them (ἀπέλυσεν αὐτοῖς τὸν Βαραββᾶν).  After flogging or whipping Jesus (καὶ παρέδωκεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν φραγελλώσας), he handed him over to be crucified (ἵνα σταυρωθῇ).  Crucifixion was a common Roman death penalty.  This whipping, flogging, or scourging was also the normal way of preparing a person for death.  Those condemned to die were then nailed to planks in order to die of asphyxiation on a cross planted in the ground, so that they were not able to breath.  It sounds gruesome, but that is the way they did things back in the day.

Barabbas is released (Mt 27:26-27:26)

“Then Pilate released

Barabbas

For them.

After flogging Jesus,

He handed him over

To be crucified.”

 

τότε ἀπέλυσεν αὐτοῖς τὸν Βαραββᾶν, τὸν δὲ Ἰησοῦν φραγελλώσας παρέδωκεν ἵνα σταυρωθῇ.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:15.  In Luke, chapter 23:24-25, Pilate rendered a verdict, while in John, chapter 19:16, Pilate also handed him over to be crucified.  Matthew said Pilate released Barabbas to the crowd (τότε ἀπέλυσεν αὐτοῖς τὸν Βαραββᾶν).  After flogging or whipping Jesus (ὸν δὲ Ἰησοῦν φραγελλώσας), he handed him over to be crucified (παρέδωκεν ἵνα σταυρωθῇ).  Crucifixion was the common Roman form of the death penalty.  This whipping, flogging, or scourging was also a common way of preparing the person for death.  Those condemned to death were then nailed to planks in order to die of asphyxiation on a cross planted in the ground, so that they were not able to breath.

Eat and drink well (Ezek 39:18-39:20)

“‘You shall eat

The flesh

Of the mighty!

You shall drink

The blood

Of the princes

Of the earth!

You shall eat

Rams,

Lambs,

Goats,

Bulls,

All of them fatlings

Of Bashan.

You shall eat fat

Until you are filled.

You shall drink blood

Until you are drunk.

I am preparing

This sacrificial feast

For you.

You shall be filled

At my table

With horses,

With charioteers,

With warriors,

With all kinds of soldiers.’

Says Yahweh God.”

What were they going to do at this great festival? Yahweh God said that they were going to eat the flesh of the mighty and drink the blood of the earthly princes in some symbolic way. However, they were also going to have some real food with rams, lambs, goats, and bulls from the great grazing land on the east side of the Jordan River in Bashan. They were going to eat until they were full and drink until they were drunk. Gluttony and drunkenness was not a problem since Yahweh was preparing this sacrificial feast for them. With them at the table would be horses, charioteers, warriors, and all kinds of soldiers. However, I don’t know why.

The great feast (Ezek 39:17-39:17)

“As for you!

Son of man!

Thus says Yahweh God!

Speak to the birds

Of every sort!

Speak to all

The wild animals!

‘Assemble!

Come!

Gather from all around

To the sacrificial feast

That I am preparing

For you.

This will be

A great sacrificial feast

On the mountains

Of Israel.

You shall eat

Flesh.

You shall drink

Blood.’”

Once again, Yahweh called Ezekiel, the son of man, to speak to the various birds and the wild animals. They were all to gather at a sacrificial feast that Yahweh was preparing on the mountains of Israel, where they would eat flesh and drink blood. Yahweh seemed to imply that the birds and the animals would sacrifice themselves for Yahweh.

 

Ezekiel’s bread (Ezek 4:9-4:10)

“You take wheat.

You take barley.

You take beans.

You take lentils.

You take millet.

You take spelt.

Put them into

One vessel!

Make bread

For yourself!

During the number of days

That you lie

On your side,

Three hundred ninety days,

You shall eat it.

The food

That you eat

Shall be twenty shekels

A day,

By weight.

You shall eat it

At fixed times.”

The voice of Yahweh continued telling Ezekiel how to make his bread. It will be a combination of wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt. These last two were grains and flours. This sounds more like a stew or a soup, than rich bread. Ezekiel was to be put this combination of ingredients into one pot or vessel to make bread for himself. He was to eat this bread while he was laying on his side for the 390 days. He could eat 20 shekel weight of food daily at specific times, maybe once a day. It is not clear who was preparing his food.

 

Punishment for refusing to drink (Jer 25:28-25:29)

“If they refuse

To accept the cup

From your hand,

Then you shall say to them,

Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘You must drink!

See!

I am beginning

To bring disaster

On the city

That is called by my name.

How can you possibly

Avoid punishment?

You shall not go unpunished!

I am summoning a sword

Against all the inhabitants

Of the earth.’

Says Yahweh of hosts.”

Yahweh then tells Jeremiah what to say if they refuse to drink the cup of wrath from his hand. He told Jeremiah to say that they have to drink this cup. Yahweh was already preparing a disaster for the city that bore his name, Jerusalem. How could they possibly go unpunished? Yahweh was going to bring the sword to all the people living on earth. It would be a devastating end to the world.