Joseph puts the body of Jesus in a tomb (Mk 15:46-15:46)

“Then Joseph bought

A linen cloth.

He took the body down.

He wrapped it

In the linen cloth.

He laid it

In a tomb

That had been hewn

Out of the rock.

He then rolled

A stone

Against the door

Of the tomb.”

 

καὶ ἀγοράσας σινδόνα καθελὼν αὐτὸν ἐνείλησεν τῇ σινδόνι καὶ κατέθηκεν αὐτὸν ἐν μνήματι ὃ ἦν λελατομημένον ἐκ πέτρας, καὶ προσεκύλισεν λίθον ἐπὶ τὴν θύραν τοῦ μνημείου.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:59-60, and Luke, chapter 23:53, almost word for word.  John, chapter 19:38-41 introduced Nicodemus into this burial ritual.  Mark said that Joseph brought a clean linen cloth (καὶ ἀγοράσας σινδόνα).  He took the body down from the cross (καθελὼν αὐτὸν).  These biblical texts do not explain if he needed help with this task.  Then he wrapped the body in the linen cloth (ἐνείλησεν τῇ σινδόνι).  Finally, he laid Jesus’ body in his own new tomb (καὶ κατέθηκεν αὐτὸν ἐν μνήματι), that he had carved or hewn in a rock (ὃ ἦν λελατομημένον ἐκ πέτρας).  He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb (καὶ προσεκύλισεν λίθον ἐπὶ τὴν θύραν τοῦ μνημείου).  This seemed like a private one-person burial ritual.

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The deed is done (Ezek 9:11-9:11)

“Then the man,

Clothed in linen,

With the writing case

At his side,

Brought back word.

He said.

‘I have done

As you commanded me.’”

The man with the writing case at his side said that he was finished with his task of finding people who cared about the terrible situation in Jerusalem. He had marked all those who were to be saved, just as Yahweh had told him to do.

Babylon is caught (Jer 50:23-50:25)

“How the hammer

Of the whole earth

Is cut down!

It is broken!

How Babylon has become

A horror

Among the nations!

You set a snare

For yourself!

You were caught!

O Babylon!

But you did not know it.

You were discovered.

You were seized

Because you challenged

Yahweh.

Yahweh has opened

His armory.

He has brought out

The weapons

Of his wrath.

Yahweh,

God of hosts,

Has a task to do

In the land

Of the Chaldeans.”

Babylon has become a broken hammer, a horror to all the countries. They had set a trap, but they themselves fell into it. The other countries found the trapped Babylon and seized it, because the Babylonians had challenged Yahweh by burning down his Temple. Thus Yahweh used all the weapons in his great armory of anger against Babylon. He had a task to do in the land of the Chaldeans. Why did Yahweh not do this sooner?

The Rechabites (Jer 35:2-35:2)

“Go to the house

Of the Rechabites!

Speak with them!

Bring them

To the house of Yahweh,

Into one of the chambers!

Then offer them wine

To drink!’”

This short chapter is all about the Rechabites. They get their name from Rechab, who was mentioned in 1 Chronicles, chapter 2, listed under the descendants of Hur. They seem to be descendants of Hammath, a northern city, or Hemath, a Kenite, who was also called Hobab. The Rechabites were not descendants of Jacob, but Kenites, a people originally settled in that part of Arabia called the land of Midian. They may have been the descendants of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, who was a Kenite. Thus these Rechabites were not true Israelites, but were friendly to the Israelites. They were generally nomads in the desert, living in tents. The most prominent Rechabite may have been Jehonadab or Jonadab, the son of Rechab, in 2 Kings, chapter 10, where he joined with King Jehu of Israel (841-814 BCE) in helping wipe out the family of King Ahab of Israel (874-853 BCE). Yahweh told Jeremiah to go to their house, talk to them, and bring them back to the Temple in Jerusalem. There he was to find a chamber in the Temple and offer these Rechabites some wine. This seems like a simple task.

Yahweh consecrates Jeremiah (Jer 1:9-1:10)

“Then Yahweh put out his hand.

He touched my mouth.

Yahweh said to me.

‘Now I have put my words

In your mouth.

See!

Today I appoint you

Over nations.

Today I appoint you

Over kingdoms.

You will pluck up.

You will pull down.

You will destroy.

You will overthrow.

You will build.

You will plant.’”

Yahweh then consecrated Jeremiah by putting out his hand and touching his mouth. He told Jeremiah that he was going to put his words into his mouth. Jeremiah would be over many nations and kingdoms. His task was to pluck up and pull down, destroy, and overthrow. Yet at the same time he was also going to build and plant. Jeremiah had a unique but difficult task as a prophet of God.

Children (Sir 7:22-7:25)

“Do you have cattle?

Look after them.

If they are profitable to you,

Keep them.

Do you have children?

Discipline them.

Make them obedient from their youth.

Do you have daughters?

Be concerned for their chastity.

Do not show yourself too indulgent with them.

Give a daughter in marriage.

You will have completed a great task.

But give her to a sensible man.”

Sirach continued with his recommendations on how to handle children. However, he also mentioned cattle. If you had cattle take care of them if they profitable. If not, get rid of them. If you have children, there is a clear directive, discipline them. There is no alternative. They have to be obedient from their youth. If you have daughters, you have to protect their chastity. There is no such recommendation for the sons. You should not indulge your daughters. Your task, as a father, was to get your daughter married to a sensible man. If you did that you had accomplished a great task. However, there is no demand on you to have your son have a good marriage.

Judith responds (Jdt 8:32-8:34)

“Judith said to them.

‘Listen to me.

I am about to do something

That will go down through all generations of our descendants.

Stand at the town gate tonight.

I will go out with my maid.

Within the days after

That you have promised to surrender the town to our enemies,

The Lord will deliver Israel by my hand.

Only, do not try to find out what I am doing.

I will not tell you,

Until I have finished what I am about to do.’”

Judith told them to listen carefully. She was about to do something daring that would be remembered for generations to come. She wanted to make sure that she could get out that night through the gate with her maid servant. If she was not able to get the problem solved within 5 days, Uzziah could surrender. However, she believed that God was on her side to help deliver Israel. She was not going to tell them what she was about to do, until she had completed the task. This sounds mysterious and intriguing.