Jesus came to preach (Mk 1:38-1:38)

“Jesus said

To them.

‘Let us go on

To the neighboring towns.

Thus,

I may proclaim

The message there also.

That is what

I came out to do.’”

 

καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· Ἄγωμεν ἀλλαχοῦ εἰς τὰς ἐχομένας κωμοπόλεις, ἵνα καὶ ἐκεῖ κηρύξω· εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ ἐξῆλθον.

 

There is something similar in Luke, chapter 4:43, but Luke explicitly said that the message was “to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God”.  Here Mark simple recounts that Jesus said to his followers (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) that they were going to go another way (Ἄγωμεν ἀλλαχοῦ) into the nearby neighboring towns or villages (εἰς τὰς ἐχομένας κωμοπόλεις).  Thus, he could proclaim or preach (ἐκεῖ κηρύξω) this unspecified message there, since that is what he came to do (εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ ἐξῆλθον).  It was time to get to work.  They had to move on to the other nearby towns and villages to proclaim the message of Jesus.

 

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The repentance in the exile (Bar 2:32-2:35)

“‘The Israelites

Will praise me

In the land

Of their exile.

They will remember

My name.

They will turn

From their stubbornness.

They will turn

From their wicked deeds.

They will remember

The ways of their ancestors,

Who sinned

Before the Lord.

I will bring them again

Into the land

That I swore

To give to their ancestors,

To Abraham,

To Isaac,

To Jacob.

They will rule

Over it.

I will increase them.

They will not be diminished.

I will make

An everlasting covenant

With them

To be their God.

They shall be my people.

I will never again

Remove

My people Israel

From the land

That I have given them.’”

Baruch recounts what Yahweh via Moses said to the people about their repentance during the exile. The Israelites would praise him in their exile country as they would remember the name of Yahweh. They would turn from their stubbornness and wicked deeds. They would remember how their ancestors had sinned. Yahweh was going to again bring them into the land that he promised to their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There they would rule in this land as they increased, not diminished, with an everlasting covenant. He would be their God. They would be his people.  He would never again remove them from the land that he had given them. We will see how that works out.

They all go to Egypt (Jer 43:4-43:7)

“So Johanan,

The son of Kareah,

With all the commanders

Of the forces,

With all the people,

Did not obey

The voice of Yahweh,

To stay in the land of Judah.

But Johanan,

The son of Kareah,

With all the commanders

Of the forces,

Took all the remnant of Judah,

Who had returned

To settle in the land of Judah

From all the nations

To which they had been driven.

This included

The men,

The women,

The children,

The princesses,

As well as everyone

Whom Nebuzaradan,

The captain of the guard,

Had left with Gedaliah,

The son of Ahikam,

The son of Shaphan.

This also included

The prophet Jeremiah

With Baruch,

The son of Neriah.

They came into the land of Egypt.

They did not obey

The voice of Yahweh.

They arrived at Tahpanhes.”

Jeremiah recounts that Johanan with all his commanders did not obey the voice of Yahweh to stay in Judah. They then took all the remnant of those people who had returned to Judah from the other countries to be with the former governor of Judah, Gedaliah. Thus they took the men, women, children, with the royal princesses and all those that the Babylonian captain Nebuzaradan had handed over to Gedaliah to take care of. This group also included Jeremiah and his secretary Baruch. They all ended up at the Egyptian border town of Tahpanhes. Interesting enough, Jeremiah, who loved Babylon, went to Egypt instead. It did not take 40 years to go from Israel to Egypt in this reverse Exodus.

The personal plot against Jeremiah (Jer 11:18-11:19)

“Yahweh made it known to me.

I knew it.

Then you showed me

Their evil deeds.

But I was

Like a gentle lamb

Led to the slaughter.

I did not know

It was against me.

They devised schemes.

Saying.

‘Let us destroy the tree

With its fruit!

Let us cut him off

From the land of the living!

Thus his name will no longer

Be remembered!’”

Jeremiah recounts how Yahweh let him know about the plot to end his life. Jeremiah knew about their evil deeds, but he was like a gentle lamb led to slaughter. He did not realize that they were plotting a scheme against him. These evil doers wanted to destroy this tree with its fruit, Jeremiah. They wanted to cut him off from the land of the living, kill him. Thus his name would not be remembered anymore.

The destruction of the towns (Jer 4:29-4:29)

“At the noise of horseman,

At the noise of archers,

Every town takes to flight.

They enter thickets.

They climb among rocks.

All the towns are forsaken.

No one lives in them.”

Jeremiah recounts the destruction of the towns in Judah. When the people heard that the archers and the cavalry were coming, they abandoned their towns to go live in the brush area or in the caves among the rocks. They knew that their town would be destroyed, so no one wanted to live in them anymore.

Springtime (Song 2:10-2:14)

Male lover

“My beloved speaks.

He says to me.

‘Arise!

My love!

My fair one!

Come away!

Now the winter is past.

The rain is over.

The rain is gone.

The flowers appear on the earth.

The time of singing has come.

The voice of the turtledove

Is heard in our land.

The fig tree puts forth its figs.

The vines are in blossom.

They give forth fragrance.

Arise!

My love!

My fair one!

Come away!

O my dove!

In the clefts of the rock,

In the covert of the cliff,

Let me see your face.

Let me hear your voice.

Your voice is sweet.

Your face is lovely.’”

This female lover recounts the words of her male lover. In a phrase that is repeated twice within a couple of verses, we have that wonderful love request.   Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away with me! Will she go? Was this request enough to make her leave her home? He tells her why she should do this now. It is springtime. The winter has gone. The rains are gone. The flowers are appearing. The turtledove birds are singing. The fig trees have figs. The vines are blossoming with a sweet smell. It was time to go with him as he repeated the phrases from above. This turtledove lives in the rocks and the cliffs. He wanted to see her lovely face and to hear her sweet voice, a clear presentation of springtime romantic love.