God had helped Israel (Lk 1:54-1:54)

“God

Has helped

His servant!

Israel!

In remembrance

Of his mercy.”

 

ἀντελάβετο Ἰσραὴλ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ, μνησθῆναι ἐλέους,

 

This canticle takes on a different tone as there was now an emphasis on Israel, the country.  Luke indicated that Mary said that God had helped Israel (ἀντελάβετο Ἰσραὴλ), his servant or male slave (παιδὸς αὐτοῦ), by remembering his mercy (μνησθῆναι ἐλέους).  Mary was a true daughter of Israel.  She wanted God’s mercy for her country.

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The two walking disciples (Mk 16:12-16:12)

“After this,

Jesus appeared

In another form

To two of them,

As they were going walking

Into the country.”

 

Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα δυσὶν ἐξ αὐτῶν περιπατοῦσιν ἐφανερώθη ἐν ἑτέρᾳ μορφῇ πορευομένοις εἰς ἀγρόν·

 

This appearance of Jesus to these 2 men walking in the country is somewhat similar to Luke, chapter 24:13-35, with the 2 disciples walking near the village of Emmaus, but in an abbreviated form.  This long ending of Mark said that after this initial announcement by Mary Magdalene (Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα), Jesus appeared in another form (ἐφανερώθη ἐν ἑτέρᾳ μορφῇ) to 2 of his disciples as they were walking (δυσὶν ἐξ αὐτῶν περιπατοῦσιν) into the country (πορευομένοις εἰς ἀγρόν).  These disciples are not named, nor is there any mention of where they are.

Simon of Cyrene (Mk 15:21-15:21)

“They compelled

A passer-by,

Who was coming in

From the country,

To carry his cross.

It was

Simon of Cyrene,

The father

Of Alexander

And Rufus.”

 

καὶ ἀγγαρεύουσιν παράγοντά τινα Σίμωνα Κυρηναῖον ἐρχόμενον ἀπ’ ἀγροῦ, τὸν πατέρα Ἀλεξάνδρου καὶ Ῥούφου, ἵνα ἄρῃ τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:32, and Luke, chapter 23:26, but who had no mention of Simon being the father of Alexander and Rufus.  John, chapter 19:17, on the other hand, had no mention of Simon at all, since he said that Jesus carried his cross by himself.  Mark said that they compelled a passer-by who was coming from the country (καὶ ἀγγαρεύουσιν παράγοντά τινα…ἐρχόμενον ἀπ’ ἀγροῦ) to carry the cross for Jesus (ἵνα ἄρῃ τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ).  This passerby was Simon of Cyrene (Σίμωνα Κυρηναῖον), the father of Alexander and Rufus (τὸν πατέρα Ἀλεξάνδρου καὶ Ῥούφου).  Cyrene had a large Jewish community in current day Libya.  This Simon may have been in Jerusalem for the Passover.  Mark seemed to indicate that this Simon was well known with two sons, but Matthew and Luke did not mention the sons.  However, there was a Rufus mentioned at the end of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, chapter 16:13, that could be this son of Simon.

The division of the land by tribes (Ezek 47:21-47:21)

“Thus,

You shall divide

This land

Among you,

According

To the tribes

Of Israel.”

Now that the boundaries of the country of Israel were established, it remained to distribute the land to the various tribes of Israel. Like the boundaries of the country, it sounded easier in theory than in reality. Much of this had been laid out in Numbers, chapter 34, and Joshua, chapters 13-19.

Yahweh would destroy Babylon (Jer 51:52-51:53)

“Says Yahweh.

‘Therefore,

The time is surely coming.

When I will punish

Her idols.

The wounded shall groan

Through all her land.

Though Babylon should

Mount up to heaven,

Destroyers would come

Upon her,

From me.

Though she should fortify

her strong heights,

Destroyers would come

Upon her,

From me.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh was going to destroy Babylon and her idols. The time was coming when Yahweh would destroy all their idols throughout the country. The wounded ones would groan. Even if Babylon would mount prayers to heaven, her destroyers would come upon her from Yahweh. Even if she would fortify herself with strong high walls, these destroyers from Yahweh would descend upon her. Babylon and her idols were doomed. Yahweh was sending his destroyers.

Escape from Babylon (Jer 50:8-50:8)

“Flee from Babylon!

Go out of the land

Of the Chaldeans!

Be like male goats!

Lead the flock!”

Yahweh via Jeremiah has a series of commands. Get out of town! They were to get out of the city of Babylon. They were to get out of the country of the Chaldeans. They should act like male goats, leading their flocks, not like lost sheep.

Against the Ammonites (Jer 49:1-49:2)

“Concerning the Ammonites!

Thus says Yahweh!

‘Has Israel no sons?

Has he no heir?

Why then has Milcom

Dispossessed Gad?

Why has he dispossessed

His people?

Why has he settled

In its cities?’”

The Ammonites, like the Moabites, were considered the descendants of the incest of Lot with his second daughter from the story in Genesis, chapter 19. The country of Ammon was north of Moab, but south of Aram and Damascus.  The country of Ammon existed from about the 10th century to the 4th century BCE in what would have been the Gad territory as outlined in Joshua chapter 13. Today it is part of the country of Jordan. Yahweh seems upset at Ammon. Did not Israel have sons and heirs to live in this Gad territory? Milcom, the god of the Ammonites, was a lot like Molech, the god of the Moabites. Some believe it was the same god with slightly different spellings for each country. This god Milcom had dispossessed the people of Yahweh and settled in their cities. In the Septuagint Greek translation, this is chapter 30, not chapter 49 as here.