They mocked Jesus (Mk 15:19-15:19)

“They struck

His head

With a reed.

They spat

Upon him.

They knelt down

In homage to him.”

 

καὶ ἔτυπτον αὐτοῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν καλάμῳ καὶ ἐνέπτυον αὐτῷ, καὶ τιθέντες τὰ γόνατα προσεκύνουν αὐτῷ.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:30, but not in Luke.  In John, chapter 19:3, there is something similar.  Mark said that these Roman soldiers kept striking him on the head (καὶ ἔτυπτον αὐτοῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν) with a reed or stick (καλάμῳ).  Then they spat on Jesus (καὶ ἐνέπτυον αὐτῷ).  Finally, these Roman soldiers bent their knees (καὶ τιθέντες τὰ γόνατα) and knelt before him (προσεκύνουν αὐτῷ as they were mockingly paying homage to this pretended king of the Jews.

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They give him sour wine to drink (Mt 27:48-27:48)

“At once,

One of the bystanders ran.

He got a sponge.

He filled it

With sour wine.

He put it on a stick.

He gave it to him

To drink.”

 

καὶ εὐθέως δραμὼν εἷς ἐξ αὐτῶν καὶ λαβὼν σπόγγον πλήσας τε ὄξους καὶ περιθεὶς καλάμῳ ἐπότιζεν αὐτόν.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:36.  In Luke, chapter 23:36, there was an indication of a soldier who gave some sour wine to Jesus.  In John, chapter 19:28-29, Jesus said that he was thirsty before they gave him this sour wine that was standing nearby.  Matthew said that soon one of the bystanders ran to get a sponge (καὶ εὐθέως δραμὼν εἷς ἐξ αὐτῶν καὶ λαβὼν σπόγγον).  He filled it with sour wine or vinegar (πλήσας τε ὄξους).  Then he put it on a stick or reed (καὶ περιθεὶς καλάμῳ) to give Jesus something to drink (ἐπότιζεν αὐτόν).  This sour wine or vinegar might have been a reference to Psalm 69:21, where the psalmist complained that they gave him vinegar to drink.  This common Roman soldier drink of sour wine or vinegar mixed with water might also have been an anesthetic to ease the pain.  Thus, this action might have been an act of compassion for Jesus hanging on the cross.

The insult to the king of Israel (Mic 5:1-5:1)

“Now you are walled around

With a wall.

Siege is laid against us.

With a rod,

They strike

The ruler of Israel.”

This appears to be an insult to the king of Israel.  He apparently was surrounded on all sides, with a siege set against him.  Then these invaders would strike the king of Israel with a rod or stick, as they humiliated him.  There is a slight discrepancy whether this is the first verse of chapter 5 or the last verse of chapter 4.

The dragon in the Nile River (Ezek 29:3-29:4)

“Speak!

Say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I am against you!

Pharaoh!

King of Egypt!

The great dragon

Sprawling In the midst

Of its channels!

Saying!

‘My Nile is my own!

I made it for myself.’

I will put hooks

In your jaws.

I will make the fish

Of your channels

Stick to your scales.

I will draw you up

From your channels,

With all the fish

Of your channels

Sticking to your scales.’”

Ezekiel was told to speak against the Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, who was described as a great dragon in the midst of the various Nile channels in the Delta area. This great dragon Pharaoh was proclaiming that the Nile River belonged to him. Yahweh said that he was going to put hooks into this dragon’s jaws. The various fish in the Nile channels in the Delta area would have their scales stick to these tributaries. In other words, they would die. These offshoots of the Nile River were an allusion to the various countries that had mercenary troops in Egypt.

The Spirit of Yahweh and speechless Ezekiel (Ezek 3:24-3:27)

“But the Spirit

Entered into me.

He set me on my feet.

He spoke with me.

He said to me.

‘Go!

Shut yourself

Inside your house!

As for you,

Son of man,

Cords will be placed

On you.

You shall be bound

With them.

Thus you cannot go out

Among the people.

I will make your tongue

Cling to the roof

Of your mouth.

Thus you shall be

Speechless.

You will be unable

To reprove them.

They are a rebellious house.

But when I speak

With you,

I will open your mouth.

You shall say to them,

‘Thus says Yahweh God!

Let those who will hear,

Hear!

Let those who refuse to hear,

Refuse!

They are a rebellious house.’”

This is one of the few times that the Spirit of Yahweh or the Holy Spirit actually speaks to someone. This Holy Spirit entered into Ezekiel. He put him on his feet and spoke to him. He told Ezekiel, the son of man, to lock himself inside of his house. It is not clear where this house came from. Cords were going to be placed binding up Ezekiel, so that he could not go among the people. Then this Spirit was going to make Ezekiel’s tongue stick to the roof of his mouth, so that he would be speechless and unable to reprove this rebellious house. When Ezekiel would be allowed to speak later, he was to say the famous saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh God!’ Anyone who wanted to hear could hear. Or they could refuse to hear. After all, he was going to speak to this rebellious house who might not want to listen.

The starving children (Lam 4:4-4:4)

Daleth

“The tongue

Of the infant

Sticks

To the roof

Of its mouth

For thirst.

The children

Beg for food.

But no one gives

Them anything.”

The situation in Jerusalem was dire, since the infants are so thirsty that their tongues stick to the roof of their mouths. The children had to beg for food. But even then, there was no one to give them food. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Daleth in this acrostic poem.

Personal suffering (Lam 3:1-3:3)

Aleph

“I am the one

Who has seen affliction

Under the rod

Of God’s wrath.

He has driven me.

He has brought me

Into darkness

Without any light.

Against me alone

He turns his hand

Again and again

All day long.”

These three short verses, instead of one verse, start with the Hebrew consonant letter Aleph. Each section after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this personal acrostic poem or psalm. Using the first person singular, this author proclaims that he has seen a lot of suffering. He has seen affliction, due to the rod or stick of God’s wrath. God drove him into darkness, without any light. God has turned his hand against him alone, over and over again, all day long. He was in great pain.