They condemn Jesus to death (Mk 14:64-14:64)

“You have heard

His blasphemy!

What is your decision?’

All of them

Condemned him

As deserving death.”

 

ἠκούσατε τῆς βλασφημίας· τί ὑμῖν φαίνεται; οἱ δὲ πάντες κατέκριναν αὐτὸν ἔνοχον εἶναι θανάτου.

 

This is something similar in Matthew, chapter 26:65-66.  There is nothing like this in Luke, chapter 22, and John, chapter 18.  Mark said that the high priest said that they had heard his blasphemy (ἠκούσατε τὴν βλασφημίαν).  Technically, it might not have been a blasphemy, since someone had to utter the divine name or profane sacred things, but it was close enough.  Thus, this high priest asked for a decision or verdict.  What did it appear to them (τί ὑμῖν φαίνεται;)?  All the members of the council that included the chief priests, the priests, the presbyters, the elders, and the Scribes condemned Jesus (οἱ δὲ πάντες κατέκριναν αὐτὸν), that he deserved to die (ἔνοχον εἶναι θανάτου).  Technically, they could not condemn Jesus to death, since only the Roman authorities could impose a death penalty.

 

This parable was against the Jewish leaders (Mk 12:12-12:12)

“When they realized

That he had told

This parable

Against them,

They wanted

To arrest Jesus.

But they feared

The crowd.

Thus,

They left him.

They went away.”

 

Καὶ ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν κρατῆσαι, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν τὸν ὄχλον· ἔγνωσαν γὰρ ὅτι πρὸς αὐτοὺς τὴν παραβολὴν εἶπεν. καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν ἀπῆλθον.

 

This was an admission by Jewish religious leaders, the chief priests and the Pharisees, as named in Matthew chapter 21:45-46, and Luke, chapter 20:19, but not here, about the deteriorating situation.  Mark said that the unnamed “they” were trying or seeking to get a hold of or arrest Jesus (Καὶ ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν κρατῆσαι).  However, they were afraid of the crowd (καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν τὸν ὄχλον).  They realized or knew that Jesus had told this parable against them (ἔγνωσαν γὰρ ὅτι πρὸς αὐτοὺς τὴν παραβολὴν εἶπεν), the wicked evil tenants of the vineyard.  The landowner was God the Father.  The slaves were the Israelite prophets, while Jesus was the son of the Father.  Thus, they left him (καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν) and went away (ἀπῆλθον).  This will not turn out well.

The guard is set at the tomb (Mt 27:65-27:66)

“Pilate said to them.

‘You have a guard

Of soldiers.

Go!

Make it as secure

As you can!’

So,

They went

With the guard.

They made the tomb

Secure

By sealing the stone.”

 

ἔφη αὐτοῖς ὁ Πειλᾶτος Ἔχετε κουστωδίαν· ὑπάγετε ἀσφαλίσασθε ὡς οἴδατε.

οἱ δὲ πορευθέντες ἠσφαλίσαντο τὸν τάφον σφραγίσαντες τὸν λίθον μετὰ τῆς κουστωδίας.

 

This is unique to Matthew, who remarked that Pilate said to them (ἔφη αὐτοῖς ὁ Πειλᾶτος), the chief priests and the Pharisees, that they had a guard of soldiers or custodians (Ἔχετε κουστωδίαν·).  They could make this tomb as secure as they knew how or could (ὑπάγετε ἀσφαλίσασθε ὡς οἴδατε).  Thus, these Jewish leaders secured the tomb (οἱ δὲ πορευθέντες ἠσφαλίσαντο τὸν τάφον) by sealing the stone (σφραγίσαντες τὸν λίθον) that was in front of the tomb and setting up a custodial guard (μετὰ τῆς κουστωδίας).  Thus, it was not a Roman guard but a Jewish guard at the sealed tomb.

Judas Iscariot (Mt 26:14-26:14)

“Then one of the twelve,

Who was called

Judas Iscariot,

Went to the chief priests.”

 

Τότε πορευθεὶς εἷς τῶν δώδεκα, ὁ λεγόμενος Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριώτης, πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:10, and somewhat similar in Luke, chapter 22:3-5, and in John, chapter 13:2, where Satan played a role.  Here in Matthew, there is just the simple statement that the man called Judas Iscariot (ὁ λεγόμενος Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριώτης), one of the beloved 12 leaders or apostles (εἷς τῶν δώδεκα) went to the chief priests (Τότε πορευθεὶς…πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς).  Apparently, according to John, chapter 12:6, Judas had been in charge of their common money, but he was stealing from this fund.  Thus, there may have been financial reasons or greed pushing Judas to betray Jesus.  John seems to be much more vehemently opposed to Judas.

Prediction of what is going to happen in Jerusalem (Mt 20:18-20:19)

“See!

We are going up

To Jerusalem.

The Son of Man

Will be handed over

To the chief priests

And scribes.

They will condemn him

To death.

Then they will hand him

Over to the gentiles.

He will be mocked.

He will be scourged.

He will be crucified.

On the third day

He will be raised up.”

 

Ἰδοὺ ἀναβαίνομεν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα, καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδοθήσεται τοῖς ἀρχιερεῦσιν καὶ γραμματεῦσιν, καὶ κατακρινοῦσιν αὐτὸν εἰς θάνατον,

καὶ παραδώσουσιν αὐτὸν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν εἰς τὸ ἐμπαῖξαι καὶ μαστιγῶσαι καὶ σταυρῶσαι, καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ ἐγερθήσεται.

 

Mark, chapter 10:33-34, and Luke, chapter 18:32-33, have something similar to this.  This would be the 3rd prediction of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection after chapters 16:21 and 17:22-23.  Yet this is the most descriptive explanation.  Jesus told his trusted 12 leaders that they were going to Jerusalem (Ἰδοὺ ἀναβαίνομεν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα).  There the Son of Man would be handed over to the chief priests of Jerusalem and the scribes (καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδοθήσεται τοῖς ἀρχιερεῦσιν καὶ γραμματεῦσιν).  There was no mention of the Pharisees or Sadducees.  These priests and scribes were going to condemn him to death (καὶ κατακρινοῦσιν αὐτὸν εἰς θάνατον).  They would, in turn, hand him over to the gentiles (καὶ παραδώσουσιν αὐτὸν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν), meaning the Romans.  Then they would mock or ridicule him (εἰς τὸ ἐμπαῖξαι).  They would scourge him (καὶ μαστιγῶσαι).  Finally, they would crucify him (καὶ σταυρῶσαι), the common form of Roman execution.  However, on the 3rd day, the Son of Man would be raised up (καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ ἐγερθήσεται).  Obviously, Jesus was talking about himself, but he always used the term Son of Man.

Herod was annoyed and frightened (Mt 2:3-2:4)

“When King Herod heard this,

He was frightened.

All of Jerusalem

Was troubled

With him.

King Herod called together

All the chief priests,

As well as the scribes

Of the people.

He inquired of them

Where the Christ

Was to be born.”

 

ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἡρῴδης ἐταράχθη, καὶ πᾶσα Ἱεροσόλυμα μετ’ αὐτοῦ, καὶ συναγαγὼν πάντας τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ γραμματεῖς τοῦ λαοῦ ἐπυνθάνετο παρ’ αὐτῶν ποῦ ὁ Χριστὸς γεννᾶται.

 

When the old King Herod heard this (ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἡρῴδης) from the magi, he was frightened, troubled, and annoyed (ἐταράχθη), since he did not have a new born son.  He might have worried about his own sons, since his oldest son Archelaus would become the ethnarch of the tetrarchy of Judea, while Herod Antipas would become tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, when he died.  In fact, the whole town of Jerusalem (πᾶσα Ἱεροσόλυμα μετ’ αὐτοῦ) was troubled also, because they had not heard anything about a new king.  Thus, King Herod assembled all the chief priests and the scribes (συναγαγὼν πάντας τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ γραμματεῖς τοῦ λαοῦ) in Jerusalem to find out (ἐπυνθάνετο) where this new anointed king might have been born (αὐτῶν ποῦ ὁ Χριστὸς γεννᾶται).  Interesting enough, Matthew has the new child called Χριστὸς, the anointed one.  King Herod probably gathered the great Jewish Sanhedrin to discuss this matter.  Herod himself was from Edom and not really a traditional Jew, but had converted to Judaism, so that his knowledge of Jewish traditions was weak.