Satan will come to an end (Mk 3:26-3:26)

“If Satan

Has risen up

Against himself,

He is divided.

He cannot stand.

But his end

Has come.”

 

καὶ εἰ ὁ Σατανᾶς ἀνέστη ἐφ’ ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἐμερίσθη, οὐ δύναται στῆναι ἀλλὰ τέλος ἔχει.

 

There are similar statements to this in Matthew, chapter 12:26, and Luke, chapter 11:18.  Mark said that if Satan has risen up against himself (καὶ εἰ ὁ Σατανᾶς ἀνέστη ἐφ’ ἑαυτὸν), he was divided (καὶ ἐμερίσθη).  He would not be able to last   or stand (οὐ δύναται στῆναι) because the end of Satan has come (ἀλλὰ τέλος ἔχει).  Mark did not have the argument about how their own sons or other exorcists were able to cast out demons.  All in all, this was a very strong argument against Jesus and Beelzebul working together.

The house divided (Mk 3:24-3:25)

“If a kingdom

Is divided

Against itself,

That kingdom will not

Be able to stand.

If a house is divided

Against itself,

That house will not be able

To stand.”

 

καὶ ἐὰν βασιλεία ἐφ’ ἑαυτὴν μερισθῇ, οὐ δύναται σταθῆναι ἡ βασιλεία ἐκείνη·

καὶ ἐὰν οἰκία ἐφ’ ἑαυτὴν μερισθῇ, οὐ δυνήσεται ἡ οἰκία ἐκείνη στῆναι.

 

There are similar statements to this in Matthew, chapter 12:25, and Luke, chapter 11:17.  Mark indicated that Jesus responded to the Scribes with his house divided remarks.  Jesus said to them that if a kingdom was divided against itself (καὶ ἐὰν βασιλεία ἐφ’ ἑαυτὴν μερισθῇ), that kingdom would not be able to stand (οὐ δύναται σταθῆναι ἡ βασιλεία ἐκείνη).  If a house was divided against itself (καὶ ἐὰν οἰκία ἐφ’ ἑαυτὴν μερισθῇ), that house would not be able to stand or endure (οὐ δυνήσεται ἡ οἰκία ἐκείνη στῆναι).  This was one of President Abraham Lincoln’s (1809-1865) favorite biblical passages about slavery.

For or against Jesus (Mt 12:30-12:30)

“Whoever is not with me,

Is against me.

Whoever does not gather

With me,

Scatters.”

 

ὁ μὴ ὢν μετ’ ἐμοῦ κατ’ ἐμοῦ ἐστιν, καὶ ὁ μὴ συνάγων μετ’ ἐμοῦ σκορπίζει.

 

This saying of Jesus is exactly the same, word for word, in Luke, chapter 11:23, thus indicating a Q source.  You are either with Jesus or against him.  There is no in between.  Whoever is not with Jesus (ὁ μὴ ὢν μετ’ ἐμοῦ), is against him (κατ’ ἐμοῦ ἐστιν).  Whoever does not gather with Jesus (καὶ ὁ μὴ συνάγων μετ’ ἐμοῦ), scatters abroad (σκορπίζει).  Either you stand and gather with Jesus or you are against him and scatter everywhere.  The choice is yours.

The divided kingdom (Mt 12:25-12:27)

“Jesus knew

What they were thinking.

He said to them.

‘Every kingdom divided

Against itself is

Laid waste.

No city

Or house divided against itself

Will stand.

If Satan casts out Satan,

He is divided against himself.

How then will his kingdom stand?

If I cast out demons

By Beelzebul,

By whom

Do your own sons

Cast them out?

Therefore,

They will be your judges.”

 

εἰδὼς δὲ τὰς ἐνθυμήσεις αὐτῶν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πᾶσα βασιλεία μερισθεῖσα καθ’ ἑαυτῆς ἐρημοῦται, καὶ πᾶσα πόλις ἢ οἰκία μερισθεῖσα καθ’ ἑαυτῆς οὐ σταθήσεται.

καὶ εἰ ὁ Σατανᾶς τὸν Σατανᾶν ἐκβάλλει, ἐφ’ ἑαυτὸν ἐμερίσθη· πῶς οὖν σταθήσεται ἡ βασιλεία αὐτοῦ;

καὶ εἰ ἐγὼ ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ ἐκβάλλω τὰ δαιμόνια, οἱ υἱοὶ ὑμῶν ἐν τίνι ἐκβάλλουσιν; διὰ τοῦτο αὐτοὶ κριταὶ ἔσονται ὑμῶν.

 

There are similar statements to this in Mark, chapter 3:23-26, and Luke, chapter 11:17-19.  Jesus responded to the Pharisees with his house divided remarks.  Jesus knew what the inner thoughts of the Pharisees were (εἰδὼς δὲ τὰς ἐνθυμήσεις αὐτῶν).  He said to them that every kingdom divided against itself would be destroyed (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πᾶσα βασιλεία μερισθεῖσα καθ’ ἑαυτῆς ἐρημοῦται).  No city or house divided against itself could endure (καὶ πᾶσα πόλις ἢ οἰκία μερισθεῖσα καθ’ ἑαυτῆς οὐ σταθήσεται.).  This was one of President Abraham Lincoln’s (1809-1865) favorite biblical passages about slavery.  If Satan casts out Satan (καὶ εἰ ὁ Σατανᾶς τὸν Σατανᾶν ἐκβάλλει), then he was divided against himself (ἐφ’ ἑαυτὸν ἐμερίσθη).  How can his kingdom last (πῶς οὖν σταθήσεται ἡ βασιλεία αὐτοῦ)?  If Jesus was casting out demons by Beelzebul (καὶ εἰ ἐγὼ ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ ἐκβάλλω τὰ δαιμόνια,), how were their own sons or other exorcists able to cast out demons (οἱ υἱοὶ ὑμῶν ἐν τίνι ἐκβάλλουσιν)?  Therefore, their own sons would be their judges (διὰ τοῦτο αὐτοὶ κριταὶ ἔσονται ὑμῶν).  This was a very strong argument against Jesus and Beelzebul working together.

Public prayer (Mt 6:5-6:5)

“When you pray,

Do not be

Like the hypocrites!

They love to stand.

They pray

In the synagogues,

And at the street corners.

Thus,

They may be seen

By other men.

Truly,

I say to you,

They have received

Their reward.”

 

Καὶ ὅταν προσεύχησθε, οὐκ ἔσεσθε ὡς οἱ ὑποκριταί· ὅτι φιλοῦσιν ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς καὶ ἐν ταῖς γωνίαις τῶν πλατειῶν ἑστῶτες προσεύχεσθαι, ὅπως φανῶσιν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀπέχουσιν τὸν μισθὸν αὐτῶν.

 

This is another saying of Jesus, only found in Matthew, that carries on with the theme of the hypocrites.  However, this time it is about prayer.  When the followers of Jesus went to pray (Καὶ ὅταν προσεύχησθε), they should not be like the hypocrites (οὐκ ἔσεσθε ὡς οἱ ὑποκριταί) who love to stand praying in the synagogues and the street corners (ὅτι φιλοῦσιν ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς καὶ ἐν ταῖς γωνίαις τῶν πλατειῶν ἑστῶτες προσεύχεσθαι).  Just as they had done with their almsgiving, these hypocrites wanted to be seen by other men (ὅπως φανῶσιν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις).  Certainly, there was the common times for prayer of the faithful Jews.  The Greek word for hypocrites “οἱ ὑποκριταὶ” originally meant actors or someone who sought praise, while acting deceitfully.  According to Matthew, these hypocrites were usually the enemies of Jesus.  Just as about almsgiving, Matthew has Jesus give a solemn saying (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) concluding that these men who sought human appeal have already received their reward (ἀπέχουσιν τὸν μισθὸν αὐτῶν).  Is this a repudiation of public prayer?

The use of the Bible

We all stand within a cultural tradition with concepts, ideals and values of what is a meaningful life.  Christianity transmits the wisdom of the past and is always conservative, but sometimes prophetic.  All Christian traditions use the Bible in their worship services and as a source of wisdom and spiritual development.

Yahweh on the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:3-14:4)

“Then Yahweh will go forth.

He will fight

Against those nations,

As when he fights

On a day of battle.

On that day,

His feet shall stand

On the Mount of Olives,

Which lies before Jerusalem

On the east.

The Mount of Olives

Shall be split

In two,

From east to west

By a very wide valley.

Thus,

One half of the Mount

Shall withdraw northward.

The other half

Shall withdraw southward.”

After starting the war, Yahweh was going to defend the Israelites, by fighting against the other countries.  Yahweh was going to stand on the Mount of Olives, just east of Jerusalem.  He would split this mountain in two, so that half the mountain would be on the north and the other half on the south with a valley in between these two half mountains.

Waiting for Yahweh (Hab 2:1-2:1)

“I will stand

At my watch post.

I will station myself

On the rampart tower.

I will keep watch

To see

What he will answer

Concerning my complaint.”

Habakkuk was going to wait for Yahweh to respond to his complaint about the wicked ones.  He was going to stand at the watch post or guard shack.  He would station himself at the ramparts to the town in the tower.  He was going to watch to see if Yahweh was going to respond to his complaints.

The fear and confusion of the various countries (Mic 7:16-7:17)

“The nations shall see,

They shall be ashamed

Of all their might.

They shall lay their hands

On their mouths.

Their ears shall be deaf.

They shall lick dust,

Like a snake,

Like the crawling things

Of the earth.

They shall come trembling out

Of their fortresses.

They shall turn in dread

To Yahweh,

Our God.

They shall stand

In fear of you.”

The various nations or countries will see what is happening.  They will be ashamed of their own strength.  They will put their hands over their mouths, not speaking.  They will be deaf, not hearing.  They will be like creeping, crawling snakes, licking the dust of the earth.  They will come trembling out of their strong fortresses.  They will stand in dread and fear of Yahweh, our God.  The tables will be turned on them.

The new ruler of Israel (Mic 5:3-5:4)

“Therefore,

He shall give them up

Until the time

When she who is in labor

Has brought forth.

Then the rest

Of his brethren

Shall return

To the people of Israel.

He shall stand.

He shall feed his flock

In the strength of Yahweh,

In the majesty

Of the name of Yahweh,

His God.

They shall live secure.

Now he shall be great

To the ends of the earth.

He shall be the one of peace.”

Next Micah gave a description of this new Israelite ruler.  Apparently, this would take place after a long process of pregnancy labor.  Then the new ruler would be born when the rest of the people of Israel returned.  This new ruler would stand with them and feed them like his own flock.  He would stand in the majesty and strength of the name of Yahweh, his God.  They then would live secure.  This new ruler would be great, since he would be a man of peace, known to the ends of the earth.  It is easy to see why many of the early Christians applied this passage to Jesus of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem.