Joseph puts the body of Jesus in a tomb (Mk 15:46-15:46)

“Then Joseph bought

A linen cloth.

He took the body down.

He wrapped it

In the linen cloth.

He laid it

In a tomb

That had been hewn

Out of the rock.

He then rolled

A stone

Against the door

Of the tomb.”

 

καὶ ἀγοράσας σινδόνα καθελὼν αὐτὸν ἐνείλησεν τῇ σινδόνι καὶ κατέθηκεν αὐτὸν ἐν μνήματι ὃ ἦν λελατομημένον ἐκ πέτρας, καὶ προσεκύλισεν λίθον ἐπὶ τὴν θύραν τοῦ μνημείου.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:59-60, and Luke, chapter 23:53, almost word for word.  John, chapter 19:38-41 introduced Nicodemus into this burial ritual.  Mark said that Joseph brought a clean linen cloth (καὶ ἀγοράσας σινδόνα).  He took the body down from the cross (καθελὼν αὐτὸν).  These biblical texts do not explain if he needed help with this task.  Then he wrapped the body in the linen cloth (ἐνείλησεν τῇ σινδόνι).  Finally, he laid Jesus’ body in his own new tomb (καὶ κατέθηκεν αὐτὸν ἐν μνήματι), that he had carved or hewn in a rock (ὃ ἦν λελατομημένον ἐκ πέτρας).  He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb (καὶ προσεκύλισεν λίθον ἐπὶ τὴν θύραν τοῦ μνημείου).  This seemed like a private one-person burial ritual.

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Jesus in the tomb of Joseph (Mt 27:59-27:60)

“Joseph took the body.

He wrapped it

In a clean linen cloth.

He laid it

In his own new tomb,

Which he had hewn

In the rock.

He then rolled

A great stone

To the door

Of the tomb.

Then he went away.”

 

καὶ λαβὼν τὸ σῶμα ὁ Ἰωσὴφ ἐνετύλιξεν αὐτὸ ἐν σινδόνι καθαρᾷ,

καὶ ἔθηκεν αὐτὸ ἐν τῷ καινῷ αὐτοῦ μνημείῳ ὃ ἐλατόμησεν ἐν τῇ πέτρᾳ, καὶ προσκυλίσας λίθον μέγαν τῇ θύρᾳ τοῦ μνημείου ἀπῆλθεν.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 15:46, and Luke, chapter 23:53, almost word for word, while John, chapter 19:38-41 introduced Nicodemus into this burial ritual.  Matthew said that Joseph took the body of Jesus (καὶ λαβὼν τὸ σῶμα ὁ Ἰωσὴφ).  He wrapped it in a clean linen cloth (ἐνετύλιξεν αὐτὸ ἐν σινδόνι καθαρᾷ).  The texts do not explain if he needed help with this task.  Then he laid Jesus’ body in his own new tomb (καὶ ἔθηκεν αὐτὸ ἐν τῷ καινῷ αὐτοῦ μνημείῳ), that he had carved or hewn in a rock (ὃ ἐλατόμησεν ἐν τῇ πέτρᾳ).  He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb (καὶ προσκυλίσας λίθον μέγαν τῇ θύρᾳ τοῦ μνημείου).  Finally, he went away (ἀπῆλθεν).  This seemed like a private one-person burial ritual.

The earth reacts to Yahweh (Ps 18:7-18:8)

“Then the earth reeled.

The earth rocked.

The foundations also of the mountains trembled.

The foundations quaked.

Because Yahweh was angry.

Smoke went up from his nostrils.

Devouring fire came from his mouth.

Glowing coals flamed forth from him.”

Just like in 2 Samuel, chapter 22, Yahweh’s reaction was formidable. God was angry. The earth rocked and rolled. The foundations of the mountains and not the heavens as in 2 Samuel, trembled and quaked. Smoke and fire came from his mouth and nose. Yahweh’s face, nose, and mouth become important for expressing the feelings of the divine spiritual God. Just as in 2 Samuel, flames rose up all around with glowing coals.

These outcasts now look down on Job (Job 30:9-30:15)

“Now they mock me in song.

I am a byword to them.

They abhor me.

They keep aloof from me.

They do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me.

God has loosed my bowstring.

God has humbled me.

They now have cast off restraint in my presence.

On my right hand

The rabble rises up.

They send me sprawling.

They build roadblocks from ruin.

They break up my path.

They promote my calamity.

No one restrains them.

As through a wide breach they come.

Amid the crash they roll on.

Terrors are turned upon me.

My honor is pursued as by the wind.

My prosperity has passed away like a cloud.”

Once again, in colorful language, Job complains about the rabble around him. He did not like what they were doing to him. They were mocking him with various songs and stories. They did not like him. They spit in his direction when he came near to them. They really had no restraints in his presence since God had abandoned him. This rabble of outcasts sent him sprawling to the ground. They blocked his path. They were bullies to him since no one stopped them in their conduct. They already were the outcasts of society. They came at him just like through a hole in the wall. They just rolled over him. All of Job’s honor and prosperity was gone like a wind or cloud. Here today, but gone tomorrow.

Judith beheads General Holofernes (Jdt 13:6-13:10)

“Judith went up to the bedpost near General Holofernes’ head. She took down his sword that hung there. She came close to his bed. She took hold of the hair of his head. She said.

‘Give me strength today,

O Lord God of Israel!’

Then she struck his neck twice with all her might. She cut off his head. Next she rolled his body off the bed. She pulled down the canopy from the posts. Soon afterward she went out. She gave General Holofernes’ head to her maid, who placed it in her food bag.”

Well, there it is, the high point of this book. The beautiful Hebrew widow chops off the head of the great general of the great army. She even used his own sword and prayed to God before she did it. This dynamic action made her part of medieval European literature in homilies, biblical paraphrases, histories, and poetry. She was the brave warrior and yet an exemplar of pious chastity. Judith found her way into the works of Dante, and Chaucer. In popular stories, the enemy was always General Holofernes. Painters and sculptors like Donatello, Caravaggio, Botticelli, Goya, and Michelangelo, as well as stained glass windows used this account of Judith’s beheading of Holofernes as an artistic subject. Within the biblical context there are overtones of this in Judges, chapter 4, when Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite drove a tent peg into the temple of Sisera, after giving him something to drink.   Another similar but unsuccessful event was when King Saul tired to kill David with a spear while he was playing the lyre, in 1 Samuel, chapter 18.