Crown of thorns (Mk 15:17-15:17)

“They clothed Jesus

In a purple cloak.

After twisting

Some thorns

Into a crown,

They put it

On him.”

 

καὶ ἐνδιδύσκουσιν αὐτὸν πορφύραν καὶ περιτιθέασιν αὐτῷ πλέξαντες ἀκάνθινον στέφανον

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:28-29, but not in Luke.  In John, chapter 19:2-3, there is something similar.  Mark said that these Roman soldiers put a scarlet or purple robe on him (καὶ ἐνδιδύσκουσιν αὐτὸν πορφύραν), so that he might have looked like a king in a purple robe.  Then they put on Jesus (καὶ περιτιθέασιν αὐτῷ) a crown of twisted thorns (πλέξαντες ἀκάνθινον στέφανον), like a Roman laurel or gold crown.  Have you ever taunted anyone?

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The soldiers and the chariots (Nah 2:3-2:5)

“The shields

Of his warriors

Are red.

His soldiers

Are clothed

In scarlet.

The metal

On the chariots

Flashes

On the day

When he musters them.

The chargers prance.

The chariots race madly

Through the streets.

They rush back and forth

Through the squares.

Their appearance is

Like torches.

They dart

Like lightning.

He calls his officers.

They stumble

As they come forward.

They hasten

To the wall.

The mantelet is set up.”

Nahum gave a vivid colorful description of the actions in Nineveh.  The shields of the warriors in Nineveh would be red with blood.  The clothes of their soldiers were scarlet from the blood.  The metal from the chariots flashed from the sunlight, as the men followed behind.  The chargers were prancing around, while the chariots raced madly through the streets, going back and forth from the squares.  They were like torches darting in and out, almost like lightning.  When they called their officers, they came out stumbling along.  They ran to the wall where the protective screens or mantelet was set up.  In other words, the soldiers and their officers with their chariots were in a state of chaos.

Forgiveness (Isa 1:18-1:18)

“Yahweh says.

‘Come now!

Let us argue it out!

Even though your sins are

Like scarlet,

They shall be

Like snow.

Even though they are red

Like crimson,

They shall become

Like wool.’”

It is difficult to tell whether this is a new Yahweh oracle of Isaiah, but it is a new theme, forgiveness. The case in favor of forgiveness must be presented, discussed, and argued out like a law case. Even though your sins were a scarlet wicked color, they could become pure white like snow. Even these crimson red sins could become like lamb’s white wool. Thus there was a path to forgiveness.