The top six apostles (Lk 6:14-6:14)

“They were

Simon,

Whom he named Peter,

And his brother

Andrew,

James,

John,

Philip,

And Bartholomew.”

 

Σίμωνα, ὃν καὶ ὠνόμασεν, Πέτρον καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ, καὶ Ἰάκωβον καὶ Ἰωάνην, καὶ Φίλιππον καὶ Βαρθολομαῖον,

 

Luke then gave a list of these 12 apostles.  The first six named were Simon (Σίμωνα), whom he renamed Peter (ὃν καὶ ὠνόμασεν, Πέτρον), his brother Andrew (καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ), as well as James (καὶ Ἰάκωβον), John (καὶ Ἰωάνην), Philip (καὶ Φίλιππον), and Bartholomew (καὶ Βαρθολομαῖον).  This section about the names of the 12 apostles is similar to Mark, chapter 3:16-19 and Matthew, chapter 10:2-4.  This list can also be compared to the list in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 1:13.  There are some discrepancies with these names.  First on all the lists was Simon.  Luke said that Jesus named him Peter, not merely known as Peter.  Next Luke had Andrew, the brother of Peter, but he never mentioned him in the call of the first disciples in chapter 5:1-11.  Next were the 2 brothers James and John, who were mentioned earlier.  James was always listed first.  However, they were not called the sons of Zebedee, as they were in the other gospel stories.  Mark had a longer explanation about them, calling them the sons of thunder.  Clearly, these 4 apostles were considered the most important with Peter at the top of this group, while James played an important role also.  The role of Andrew, the brother of Peter, was more ambiguous.  They are no longer called the 12 disciples (δώδεκα μαθητὰς) but the 12 apostles (δὲ δώδεκα ἀποστόλων).  They had changed from being mere followers (μαθητὰς) to now being sent out as apostles (ἀποστόλων).  Matthew had already mentioned, the call of the first 4 disciples in chapter 4:18-22.  Now they became the first 4 named apostles.  Philip and Bartholomew came next as 5 and 6 in all the lists of the apostles, without any other information about them.

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Temple curtain torn in two (Mk 15:38-15:38)

“The curtain

Of the temple

Was torn

In two,

From top

To bottom.”

 

Καὶ τὸ καταπέτασμα τοῦ ναοῦ ἐσχίσθη εἰς δύο ἀπ’ ἄνωθεν ἕως κάτω.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:51, about the Temple curtain being torn in two, except that there is no mention of an earthquake here in Mark.  There was no mention of the Temple curtain tearing or an earthquake in Luke, chapter 23, or John, chapter 19.  Mark said that the curtain of the Temple (Καὶ τὸ καταπέτασμα τοῦ ναοῦ) or the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the other parts of the Temple was torn in two (ἐσχίσθη εἰς δύο), from the top to the bottom (ἀπ’ ἄνωθεν ἕως κάτω).  Perhaps this indicated a prediction about the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE.

The sons of Zebedee (Mk 3:17-3:17)

“There was

James,

The son of Zebedee,

And John,

The brother of James.

Jesus named them

Boanerges,

That means

The sons of thunder.”

 

καὶ Ἰάκωβον τὸν τοῦ Ζεβεδαίου καὶ Ἰωάνην τὸν ἀδελφὸν τοῦ Ἰακώβου, καὶ ἐπέθηκεν αὐτοῖς ὄνομα Βοανηργές, ὅ ἐστιν Υἱοὶ Βροντῆς·

 

Then there were the 2 sons of Zebedee (τὸν τοῦ Ζεβεδαίου), James (καὶ Ἰάκωβον) and John the brother of James (καὶ Ἰωάνην τὸν ἀδελφὸν τοῦ Ἰακώβου).  James was always listed first.  However, Mark had a longer explanation about them, calling them the sons of thunder (ὅ ἐστιν Υἱοὶ Βροντῆς).  He used the Aramaic name for thunder, Boanerges (καὶ ἐπέθηκεν αὐτοῖς ὄνομα Βοανηργές), and then explained it.  Clearly, these 3 apostles were considered the most important with Peter at the top of this group and James second here.  In all the listings, they are always first.  However, Andrew, the brother of Peter comes after James and John here in Mark and in the Acts of the Apostles.  Somehow, he must have been downgraded.

The fifth vision of the golden lamp stand (Zech 4:2-4:2)

“The angel said to me.

‘What do you see?’

I said.

‘I see

A lampstand all of gold

With a bowl on the top of it.

There are seven lamps on it,

With seven lips

On each of the lamps

That are on the top of it.”

This angel that had woken up Zechariah asked him what he saw.  Then Zechariah responded that he saw a golden lampstand with a bowl on the top of it.  There were 7 lamps with 7 lips for each of the lamps.  Did this mean that God was present everywhere?

The wooden altar (Ezek 41:21-41:22)

“The doorposts

Of the nave

Were square.

In front of the holy place

Was something resembling

An altar of wood.

It was

Three cubits high,

Two cubits long,

Two cubits wide.

Its corners,

Its base,

Its walls were

Of wood.

He said to me.

‘This is the table

That stands

Before Yahweh.’”

Next Ezekiel explained the wooden altar. There were square doorposts in the nave in front of the holy place. Ezekiel seemed vague as he said that he saw something resembling an altar of wood that was 3 cubits high or 5 feet high. However, the top was a small square, 2 cubits long and wide, about 3 feet square. All its corners, base, and walls were made of wood. Then the bronze man explicitly told Ezekiel that this was the table that stood before Yahweh.

The mythical tall cedar in Lebanon (Ezek 31:3-31:5)

“Consider a cedar

Of Lebanon!

It has fair branches.

It has forest shade.

It has great height.

Its top is

Among the clouds.

The waters nourished it.

The deep made it

Grow tall.

Its rivers flow

Around the place

It was planted,

Sending forth

Its streams

To all the trees

of the forest.

So it towered high

Above all the trees

Of the forest.

Its boughs grew large.

Its branches were long

From abundant water

In its shoots.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, compared Egypt to a tall cedar tree in Lebanon. This majestic tree had fair branches in a forest shade. It was extremely tall so that its top reached into the clouds. Ezekiel seems to be referring to an ancient Babylonian myth about the deep abyss or a dragon from the watery chaos that made trees grow tall. Thus they would enter the heaven of the gods in the clouds. The nourishing water from this deep abyss made this cedar tree grow tall. Streams from this water abyss flowed all around the place where this tree was planted. Even the other trees in the forest were able to grow because of this water. Nevertheless, this high cedar tree towered over all the other trees in the forest, because it had large long branches, due to the abundance of water in its shoots.

Yahweh will plant the sprig (Ezek 17:22-17:22)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I myself

Will take a sprig

From the lofty top

Of the cedar.

I will set it out.

I will break off

A tender one

From the topmost

Of its young twigs.

I myself

Will plant it

On a high mountain,

On a lofty mountain.’”

Yahweh himself was going to plant this sprig branch on a high mountain. He was going to take it off the top of a very high cedar tree. He was going to break off a tender twig from the top of that tree. Then he was going to plant it on a high lofty mountain. There would be no more eagle plantings. Yahweh himself was stepping in.