The dogs licked his sores (Lk 16:21-16:21)

“Lazarus longed

To satisfy

His hunger

With what fell

From the rich man’s table.

Even the dogs

Would come

And lick his sores.”

 

καὶ ἐπιθυμῶν χορτασθῆναι ἀπὸ τῶν πιπτόντων ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης τοῦ πλουσίου· ἀλλὰ καὶ οἱ κύνες ἐρχόμενοι ἐπέλειχον τὰ ἕλκη αὐτοῦ.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that Lazarus longed to satisfy his hunger or to be fed (καὶ ἐπιθυμῶν χορτασθῆναι) with what fell from the rich man’s table (ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης τοῦ πλουσίου).  Even the dogs would come and lick his sores (ἀλλὰ καὶ οἱ κύνες ἐρχόμενοι ἐπέλειχον τὰ ἕλκη αὐτοῦ).  Once again, Luke has a unique word use among the biblical writers of the Greek word ἐπέλειχον to lick off, lick clean, or lick up.  Lazarus was treated like a dog, getting the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.  However, he was even worse, since the dogs were licking his sores.  Do you associate dogs with poverty?

 

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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.

How can they feed them? (Mk 8:4-8:4)

“His disciples

Replied.

‘How can we feed

These men

With bread

Here in the desert?’”

 

καὶ ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ὅτι Πόθεν τούτους δυνήσεταί τις ὧδε χορτάσαι ἄρτων ἐπ’ ἐρημίας;

 

Matthew, chapter 15:33, has a similar statement about the disciples questioning Jesus, just like in the other story of the first multiplication of loaves for the 5,000 people.  Mark said that the disciples of Jesus responded to him by asking (καὶ ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταί αὐτοῦ) where would they get enough loaves of bread to feed or satisfy these people (ὅτι Πόθεν τούτους δυνήσεταί τις ὧδε χορτάσαι ἄρτων) in this desert (ἐπ’ ἐρημίας).  In the earlier feeding of the 5,000, the place was deserted, while here it is a desert or uninhabited place also.

Where will they get food? (Mt 15:33-15:33)

“The disciples said

To Jesus.

‘Where are we to get

Enough bread

In the desert

To feed

So great a crowd?’”

 

καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταί Πόθεν ἡμῖν ἐν ἐρημίᾳ ἄρτοι τοσοῦτοι ὥστε χορτάσαι ὄχλον τοσοῦτον;

 

Mark, chapter 8:4, has a similar statement about the disciples questioning Jesus.  The disciples of Jesus asked him (καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταί) where they would get enough loaves of bread (Πόθεν ἡμῖν ἄρτοι τοσοῦτοι) to feed or satisfy such a great crowd (ὥστε χορτάσαι ὄχλον τοσοῦτον) in the desert (ἐν ἐρημίᾳ).  In the earlier feeding of the 5,000, the place was deserted, while here it is a desert or uninhabited place also.

The glittering sword (Ezek 21:15-21:17)

“‘Therefore hearts melt!

Many stumble!

At all their gates,

I have set the point

Of the sword.

Ah!

It is made

For flashing.

It is polished

For slaughter.

Attack to the right!

Engage to the left!

Attack wherever

Your edge is directed!

I too will strike

Hand to hand.

I will satisfy

My fury.’

I,

Yahweh,

Have spoken.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, concluded this little hymn to the sword. Hearts would melt. Many would stumble. Everywhere there would be the flashing of swords. Especially at the gates, there would be polished silver swords that led to slaughter and death, all around, to the right and the left, front and back. Swords would be pointed in all directions. Yahweh would also strike where he pleased in order to satisfy his anger.

The physical punishment of Jerusalem (Ezek 16:40-16:42)

“They shall bring up

A mob

Against you.

They shall stone you.

They shall cut you

To pieces

With their swords.

They shall burn

Your houses.

They shall execute

Judgments on you

In the sight

Of many women.

I will stop you

From playing the whore.

You shall also make

No more payments.

So I will satisfy

My fury

On you.

My jealousy

Shall turn away

From you.

I will be calm.

I will be angry

No longer.”

Yahweh said that he was going to bring a mob against Jerusalem. They would follow the common practice of stoning an adulterous woman. They would cut her into pieces with their swords. They would burn down her houses. They were going to execute judgments on her in the sight of many women. Jerusalem would no longer play the whore. She would not give any gifts. Yahweh would satisfy this fury and jealousy. He would then become calm and not angry any longer.

Useless silver and gold (Ezek 7:19-7:19)

“They shall fling

Their silver

Into the streets.

Their gold

Shall be treated

As unclean.

Their silver

With their gold

Cannot save them

On the day

Of the wrath

Of Yahweh.

They shall not satisfy

Their hunger.

They shall not

Fill their stomachs

With it.

It was the stumbling block

Of their iniquity.”

Anyone left standing in Israel would fling their silver into the streets. Their gold would be treated as if it were unclean, not to be touched. Their silver and gold could not save them on the day of the wrath of Yahweh. This gold and silver would not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs. In fact, their gold and silver would be a stumbling block that indicated their iniquity.