Cut off your foot (Mk 9:45-9:45)

“If your foot

Causes you

To stumble,

Cut it off!

It is better

For you

To enter life

Lame

Than to have

Two feet

To be thrown

Into hell.”

 

καὶ ἐὰν ὁ πούς σου σκανδαλίζῃ σε, ἀπόκοψον αὐτόν· καλόν ἐστίν σε εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν ζωὴν χωλὸν, ἢ τοὺς δύο πόδας ἔχοντα βληθῆναι εἰς τὴν γέενναν.

 

This saying about better to be lame than sin can also be found in Matthew chapter 18:8, with some minor changes, since he united the hand and foot together.  In a rather harsh statement, Mark indicated that Jesus said that if your foot (καὶ ἐὰν ὁ πούς σου) causes you to stumble or sin (σκανδαλίζῃ σε), cut it off (ἀπόκοψον αὐτόν).  It would be better for you to enter life lame (καλόν ἐστίν σε εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν ζωὴν χωλόν) than to have two feet (ἢ τοὺς δύο πόδας) but thrown into Gehenna or hell (ἔχοντα βληθῆναι εἰς τὴν γέενναν).  The Greek word for hell was “γέενναν” or the English Gehenna, based on the Hebrew word Gehinnom.  That was the name of the valley south of Jerusalem where burning child sacrifices would take place.  Whatever, the temptation, stumbling block, or snare was, get rid of it, even if it was one of your own feet.

Advertisements

Jesus lifts up the boy (Mk 9:27-9:27)

“But Jesus

Took the boy

By the hand.

He lifted him up.

The boy was able

To stand.”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς αὐτοῦ ἤγειρεν αὐτόν, καὶ ἀνέστη.

 

This is unique to Mark, who said that Jesus took the boy by the hand (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς αὐτοῦ).  He lifted him up (ἤγειρεν αὐτόν) so that he rose up, able to stand up by himself (καὶ ἀνέστη).  The boy was not dead.  Jesus helped him to get to his feet.

Jesus cures the mother-in-law of Simon (Mk 1:31-1:31)

“Jesus came in.

He took her

By the hand.

He lifted her up.

Then the fever

Left her.

She began

To serve them.”

 

καὶ προσελθὼν ἤγειρεν αὐτὴν κρατήσας τῆς χειρός· καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτὴν ὁ πυρετός, καὶ διηκόνει αὐτοῖς.

 

Matthew, chapter 8:14, and Luke, chapter 4:39, have something similar, almost word for word.  Luke was more dramatic by having Jesus stand over her and rebuke the evil spirit.  Mark said that Jesus came in (καὶ προσελθὼν).  He took or touched her by the hand and lifted her up (ἤγειρεν αὐτὴν κρατήσας τῆς χειρός).  The fever left her (καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτὴν ὁ πυρετός).  She, then began to serve them (καὶ διηκόνει αὐτῷ) with her normal hospitality.  This was a typical healing that took place with a touching hand.  The mother-in law of Simon was cured so well that she was able to resume her normal activities.

Curing the girl (Mt 9:25-9:26)

“When the crowd

Had been put outside,

Jesus went in.

He took her

By the hand.

Then the girl got up.

The report of this

Spread throughout

That district”

 

ὅτε δὲ ἐξεβλήθη ὁ ὄχλος, εἰσελθὼν ἐκράτησεν τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς, καὶ ἠγέρθη τὸ κοράσιον.

καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἡ φήμη αὕτη εἰς ὅλην τὴν γῆν ἐκείνην.

 

This curing of the girl is similar to what can be found in Mark, chapter 5:41-42, and Luke, chapter 8:54-55.  However, here the story is very succinct and the news spread quickly.  Jesus had the crowds put outside (ὅτε δὲ ἐξεβλήθη ὁ ὄχλος).  Then he went into (εἰσελθὼν) where the dead girl was.  He took her by the hand (ἐκράτησεν τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς).  Then this girl got up (καὶ ἠγέρθη τὸ κοράσιον).  This is somewhat like the prophet Elijah who brought a child back to life in 1 Kings, chapter 17:17-24.  The news of this event spread all over this land or district (καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἡ φήμη αὕτη εἰς ὅλην τὴν γῆν ἐκείνην).  There was no attempt here to keep it quiet.

The explanation of the two sticks (Ezek 37:18-37:19)

“Your people will

Say to you.

‘Will you not show us

What you mean by these?’

Say to them!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I am about to take

The stick of Joseph,

That is

In the hand of Ephraim,

With the tribes of Israel

Associated with it.

I will put

The stick of Judah

Upon it.

I will make them

One stick.

Thus,

They may be

One

In my hand.’”

Of course, there was a simple explanation to this action of Ezekiel. When the people would ask Ezekiel what all this meant, he was to explain to them that the sick of Joseph that included Ephraim was the northern tribes associated with him. This stick was to be put on the stick of Judah. Thus, instead of two sticks, there would only be one stick in the hand of Ezekiel. The north was going to be once again connected to the south, Judah.

 

The Assyrian conquerors (Ezek 23:8-23:10)

“She did not give up
Her prostitution activities.
She had practiced them
Since her days
In Egypt.
In her youth,
Men had lain
With her.
They had fondled
Her virgin bosom.
They had poured out
Their lust
Upon her.
Therefore I delivered her
Into the hands
Of her lovers,
Into the hands
Of the Assyrians.
She had lusted
After them.
These Assyrians
Uncovered her nakedness.
They seized her sons.
They seized her daughters.
They killed her
With the sword.
Judgment was executed
Upon her.
She became a byword
Among women.”
Yahweh, via Ezekiel, told the story of Samaria, Oholah. She had practiced prostitution since her youth, when she had played the whore with Egypt. She slept and had sex with the Egyptians. She let them fondle her virgin breasts, so that they poured out their lust on her. Thus Yahweh decided to deliver Oholah into the hand of her Assyrian lovers, since she had lusted after them. Thus Assyria uncovered her nakedness. Then they seized her sons and daughters. Finally, they killed her with the sword, as judgment was executed upon her. She became a byword among women. This is obviously an allusion to the end of the northern kingdom of Israel at Samaria in 724, when the Assyrian King Shalmaneser V conquered and took over northern Israel. Thus the kingdom of Israel at Samaria came to an end.

Jerusalem is in sack cloth (Bar 4:17-4:20)

“But I!

How can I help you?

He who brought

These calamities

Upon you

Will deliver you

From the hand

Of your enemies.

Go!

My children!

Go!

I have been left desolate.

I have taken off

The robe of peace.

I put on

Sackcloth

For my supplication.

I will cry

To the Everlasting One

All my days.”

The personification of Jerusalem continued with the first person singular, I. Jerusalem wanted to know how she could help. God, who brought their calamities, was also going to deliver them from the hand of their enemies. Jerusalem told her children to go and leave her. She would be left desolate. She was going to take off her robe of peace and prosperity to put on sackcloth for crying to the Everlasting One, not Yahweh, all her remaining days.