Barabbas (Mk 15:7-15:7)

“Now a man

Called Barabbas

Was in prison

With rebels,

Who had committed murder

During an insurrection.”

 

ἦν δὲ ὁ λεγόμενος Βαραββᾶς μετὰ τῶν στασιαστῶν δεδεμένος, οἵτινες ἐν τῇ στάσει φόνον πεποιήκεισαν.

 

This is something like this in Matthew, chapter 27:16.  Luke, chapter 23:18-19, also talked about Barabbas as a rebel who had murdered somebody.  In John, chapter 18:40, Barabbas was simply called a bandit.  Matthew called Barabbas a notorious prisoner without any indication of what he had done.  A few manuscripts called him Jesus Barabbas (Ἰησοῦν Βαραββᾶν).  Barabbas in Aramaic meant son of the father.  Thus, there may have been some attempt to relate Jesus to Barabbas.  Mark said that there was a man called Barabbas (ἦν δὲ ὁ λεγόμενον Βαραββᾶν), who had been captured with some rebels (μετὰ τῶν στασιαστῶν δεδεμένος).  Barabbas had committed murder in an insurrection (οἵτινες ἐν τῇ στάσει φόνον πεποιήκεισαν), not a likely candidate for parole.  Would you release a murderer?

 

Advertisements

The evil in Gilgal (Hos 9:15-9:15)

“Every evil

Of theirs

Began at Gilgal.

There I began

To hate them.

Because of the wickedness

Of their deeds,

I will drive them

Out of my house.

I will love them

No more.

All their officials

Are rebels.”

Gilgal was the original west bank camping grounds, east of Jericho, in Joshua, chapters 4-5. There Saul was also anointed king in 1 Samuel, chapter 11, despite the fact that Samuel was opposed to him. Gilgal was, nevertheless, the home of the prophets Elijah and Elisha in 2 Kings, chapter 2. Yahweh, via Hosea, said that all the evil things began here at Gilgal, as they entered the promised land. Yahweh began to hate the Israelites there, because of their wicked deeds. Yahweh was going to drive them out of his house, because he was not going to love them anymore. All their officials were rebels against Yahweh.

Ezekiel is the son of man (Ezek 2:1-2:3)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘Son of man!

Stand up

On your feet!

I will speak with you!’

When he spoke

To me,

The Spirit entered

Into me.

He set me

On my feet.

I heard him

Speaking to me.

He said to me.

‘Son of man!

I am sending you

To the people

Of Israel,

To a nation

Of rebels.

They have rebelled

Against me.

Their ancestors

Have transgressed

Against me.

They

Have transgressed

Against me

To this very day.”

Yahweh spoke to Ezekiel with the title, the son of man, a mere mortal. He told him to stand up on his feet, because he wanted to speak with him. When Yahweh spoke to Ezekiel, the Spirit entered into Ezekiel. Yahweh set him on his feet. Then Ezekiel heard Yahweh speaking to him, as if he was not directly speaking to him. Yahweh told Ezekiel that he was sending him to the people of Israel, a nation of rebels that had rebelled against Yahweh. Both their ancestors and they themselves have transgressed against Yahweh even to this very day.

New things (Isa 48:6-48:8)

“From this time forward,

I make you hear new things.

These hidden things,

You have not known.

They are created now,

Not long ago.

Before today,

You have never heard of them.

Thus you could not say.

‘I already knew them.’

You have never heard!

You have never known!

From of old

Your ear has not been opened.

I knew that

You would deal

Very treacherously.

I knew that

From birth

You were called a rebel.”

Now Second Isaiah has Yahweh reveal new hidden things, revelations that they did not know anything about. These were created now, not long ago. Nobody could have heard about them, so that they cannot say that they already knew about them. This is something that nobody heard or knew about. Their ears were not open. Besides, he knew that they were rebels from birth. They would deal treacherously with this information, if they had it. Once again, these are remarks about their unfaithfulness.

The restoration of Jerusalem (Isa 1:26-1:28)

“I will restore your judges

As at the first.

I will restore your counselors

As at the beginning.

Afterward,

You shall be called

The city of righteousness.

You shall be called

The faithful city.

Zion shall be redeemed

By justice.

Those in her,

Who repent,

Will be redeemed

By righteousness.

But the rebels

Shall be destroyed.

The sinners also

Shall be destroyed

Together with them.

Those who forsake Yahweh

Shall be consumed.”

Continuing with this oracle of Yahweh via Isaiah, Yahweh was then going to restore the judges and the counselors as in former times. This indicates that the current kings were not doing a good job. Then they would be a new city of righteous and faithful ones. This righteous faithful Zion would be redeemed by justice and righteousness. The rebels and sinners would either repent or be destroyed because they both had forsaken Yahweh.

Worthless money (Isa 1:22-1:23)

“Your silver has become dross.

Your wine is mixed with water.

Your princes are rebels.

They are the companions of thieves.

Everyone loves a bribe.

They run after gifts.

They do not defend the orphans.

The widow’s cause does not

Come before them.”

Isaiah reminds the Israelites that their silver money in Jerusalem has become worthless scum dross. Their wine is not pure, since it is mixed with water, or watered down. The princes of Jerusalem have become rebels and companions of thieves. They love bribes and run after gifts. There is no one left to defend and help the orphans and the widows, which is so important for Israelite life.

King Jeroboam (Sir 47:23-44:25)

“Then Jeroboam son of Nebat

Led Israel into sin.

He started Ephraim

On its sinful ways.

Their sins increased

More and more,

Until they were exiled

From their land.

They sought out

Every kind of wickedness,

Until vengeance came upon them.”

Interesting enough, Sirach talked about the king who led the Israelite northern kingdom, who was not in the Davidic line of kings. Sirach was very harsh in his judgment about the northern rebels. Their kingdom was in fact called Israel, while the southern kingdom was called Judah. Jeroboam the son of Nebat was from Ephraim, just north of Judah and Benjamin. He actually had worked for Solomon in his administration, as indicated in 1 Kings, chapters 11-14. A prophet told Jeroboam that he would be king. After a meeting with Rehoboam, Jeroboam set up a new kingdom at Shechem. His great sin was that he did not want the people to go to Jerusalem to worship. Thus he setup his own worship places. This false worship led to the downfall of the northern Kingdom of Israel (721 BCE) before that of the Kingdom of Judah (587 BCE).  The wickedness of this kingdom deserved the vengeance that came to it.