The Kingdom of God is coming (Mk 9:1-9:1)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

There are some

Standing here

Who will not taste death

Until they see

The kingdom of God

Come with power.’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι εἰσίν τινες ὧδε τῶν ἑστηκότων οἵτινες οὐ μὴ γεύσωνται θανάτου ἕως ἂν ἴδωσιν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐληλυθυῖαν ἐν δυνάμει

 

Jesus said that the judgment end times was coming soon.  Something similar can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:27-28, Luke, chapter 9:27, and here, almost word for word, especially the second verse.  Mark reported that Jesus said to them (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς) with a solemn pronouncement (Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that some of those standing before him would not experience or taste death (ὅτι εἰσίν τινες ὧδε τῶν ἑστηκότων οἵτινες οὐ μὴ γεύσωνται θανάτου) before they would see the Kingdom of God (ἕως ἂν ἴδωσιν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ), and not the Son of Man, as in Matthew, coming with power (ἐληλυθυῖαν ἐν δυνάμει).  The end times or judgment was imminent, not some far away time.

The angel at the tomb (Mt 28:2-28:3)

“An angel

Of the Lord

Descended from heaven.

He came.

He rolled back

The stone.

He sat upon it.

His appearance was

Like lightning.

His clothing

Was as white

As snow.”

 

ἄγγελος γὰρ Κυρίου καταβὰς ἐξ οὐρανοῦ καὶ προσελθὼν ἀπεκύλισεν τὸν λίθον καὶ ἐκάθητο ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ.

ἦν δὲ ἡ εἰδέα αὐτοῦ ὡς ἀστραπὴ, καὶ τὸ ἔνδυμα αὐτοῦ λευκὸν ὡς χιών.

Matthew is the only one to explicitly describe the actions and the angel at the tomb.  In Mark, chapter 16:5, the women found a young man with a white robe sitting in the tomb, while in Luke, chapter 24:4, there were 2 men in dazzling clothes standing in the tomb.  John, chapter 20:11-13, had 2 angels talk to Mary Magdalene in the tomb.  Matthew uniquely said that an angel of the Lord (ἄγγελος γὰρ Κυρίου) descended from heaven (καταβὰς ἐξ οὐρανοῦ).  He came and rolled back the stone (καὶ προσελθὼν ἀπεκύλισεν τὸν λίθον), so that he was sitting on this stone (καὶ ἐκάθητο ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ).  He looked like a bright flash of lightning (ἦν δὲ ἡ εἰδέα αὐτοῦ ὡς ἀστραπὴ) because his clothing was as white as snow (καὶ τὸ ἔνδυμα αὐτοῦ λευκὸν ὡς χιών).  Once again, Matthew was more dramatic in his descriptions.

The importance of Daniel (Mt 24:15-24:15)

“When you see

The desolating sacrilege

Standing in the holy place,

As was spoken of

By the prophet Daniel,

Let the reader understand!”

 

Ὅταν οὖν ἴδητε τὸ βδέλυγμα τῆς ἐρημώσεως τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Δανιὴλ τοῦ προφήτου ἑστὸς ἐν τόπῳ ἁγίῳ, ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω,

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 13:14, and in Luke, chapter 21:20, but only Matthew specifically mentioned the prophet Daniel.  Jesus warned that when they saw the desolating sacrilege or cursed devastation (Ὅταν οὖν ἴδητε τὸ βδέλυγμα τῆς ἐρημώσεως) standing in the holy place (ἑστὸς ἐν τόπῳ ἁγίῳ), they would understand (ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω) what was happening.  Matthew explicitly named the prophet Daniel (τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Δανιὴλ τοῦ προφήτου), chapter 9:27 and chapter 11:31, talking about the desolating abomination in the Temple.  In 175 BCE, the prince coming to destroy the high priest Onias III was probably King Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who came to destroy the city of Jerusalem and the sanctuary during the war against the Maccabees uprising.  During this time, the sacrifices and offerings ceased in the Temple.  Instead, they had these terrible abominations and desolations of the false idols.  Thus, the reference to Daniel is both eschatological about the end times as well as a reference to the political religious revolt of the Maccabees nearly 2 centuries earlier.

The rotten plague (Zech 14:12-14:12)

“This shall be the plague

With which Yahweh

Will strike all the people

That waged wars

Against Jerusalem.

Their flesh shall rot,

While they are still

On their feet.

Their eyes shall rot

In their sockets.

Their tongues shall rot

In their mouths.”

Yahweh was going to send a plague on everybody that had waged war on Jerusalem.  Their flesh would rot on their body as they were still standing on their feet.  Their eyes would rot in their sockets, while their tongues would rot in their mouths.  This was a rotten plague.

The earth patrol (Zech 1:9-1:11)

“Then I said.

‘What are these?

My lord!’

The angel who talked with me

Said to me.

`I will show you

What they are.’

Then the man

Who was standing

Among the myrtle trees

Answered.

‘They are those

Whom Yahweh has sent

To patrol the earth.’

Then they spoke

To the angel of Yahweh,

Who was standing

Among the myrtle trees.

‘We have patrolled

the earth.

Look!

The whole earth

Remains at peace.’”

Zechariah had the same question, what was this all about?  The angel of Yahweh told Zechariah that he would explain what was going on.  Actually, the man standing among the myrtle trees did most of the talking.  He said that these horses with their riders were patrolling the earth, like a worldwide police force that Yahweh had sent out.  Then this man from the myrtle tree area spoke directly to the angel of Yahweh.  He reported that they had patrolled the whole earth and there was peace everywhere.  Apparently, during the early reign of the Persian King Darius I, there were very few disturbances.

No escape (Am 9:1-9:1)

“I saw Yahweh

Standing beside the altar.

He said.

‘Strike the capitals

Until the thresholds shake!

Shatter them

On the heads

Of all the people.

Those who are left,

I will kill

With the sword!

Not one of them

Shall flee away!

Not one of them

Shall escape.’”

The final vision of Amos was when he saw Yahweh standing beside the altar, presumably the altar at Bethel in Samaria.  Yahweh said to Amos that he was going to strike the capitals or the tops of the columns so that the thresholds or the rest of the support systems would shake.  In fact, they would all tumble and shatter on the heads of the people there.  Anyone left over, Yahweh was going to kill with the sword.  No one would get away or escape from this false temple at Bethel.

The trial of the elders (Dan 13:50-13:51)

“So,

All the people

Hurried back.

The rest of the elders

Said to Daniel.

‘Come!

Sit among us!

Inform us!

God has given you

The standing

Of an elder.

Daniel said to them.

‘Separate them far

From each other.

I will examine them.’”

All the people hurried back to the house of Joakim and Susanna. The rest of the elders came up to Daniel. They asked him to sit among them as an elder, since they thought that God had given him standing as an elder. There had been no indication about other elders until this point. Suddenly, Daniel became important, as he told them to separate the two elder judges who had testified against Susanna. He was going to examine each one of them separately.

Two others show up (Dan 12:5-12:5)

“Then I

Daniel,

Looked.

Two others

Appeared.

One was standing

On this bank

Of the stream.

One was standing

On the other bank

Of the stream.”

Then Daniel saw two other people standing along the bank of the river that he had not seen before.  One was on this side of the river, while the other one was on the other side of the river.

The vision of the ram (Dan 8:3-8:4)

“I looked up.

I saw a ram

Standing

Beside the river.

It had two horns.

Both horns

Were long.

But one was longer

Than the other.

The longer one

Came up second.

I saw the ram

Charging

Westward,

Northward,

Southward.

All beasts were

Powerless

To withstand him.

No one could be rescued

From its power.

It did as it pleased.

It became strong.”

Daniel then saw a ram standing by the river. Obviously, it had 2 long horns, but one horn was longer than the other. Perhaps, this was an indication of the longer Persian was the shorter Medes horn. This ram charged west, north, and south, but not eastward. All the other animals were powerless before it. No one could escape from it, because it did what it pleased, as it seemed to get stronger.