Why do we need witnesses? (Mk 14:63-14:63)

“Then the high priest

Tore his clothes.

He said.

‘Why do we still need

Witnesses?’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀρχιερεὺς διαρρήξας τοὺς χιτῶνας αὐτοῦ λέγει Τί ἔτι χρείαν ἔχομεν μαρτύρων;

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:65.  In Luke, chapter 22:71, there is something similar, but there is nothing like this in John, chapter 18.  Mark said that the high priest tore his clothes (ὁ δὲ ἀρχιερεὺς διαρρήξας τοὺς χιτῶνας αὐτοῦ), generally a sign of mourning or distress.  He then said why did they still need any witnesses (λέγει τί ἔτι χρείαν ἔχομεν μαρτύρων)?  The trial was over.  Jesus was guilty as charged, since he admitted to being the Messiah.

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The breakup (Hos 2:2-2:3)

“Plead with your mother!

Plead!

She is not my wife!

I am not her husband!

She should put away

Her whoring

From her face.

She should put away

Her adultery

From between her breasts.

Otherwise,

I will strip her naked.

I will expose her

As in the day

She was born.

I will make her

Like a wilderness.

I will turn her

Into a parched land.

I will kill her

With thirst.”

Now the prophet Hosea really tore into Gomer. He told the children that Gomer was not his wife and that he was not her husband. Gomer had to stop her whoring ways. She continued to commit adultery, although she bore 3 children. Hosea had a punishment for her. He was going to strip her naked, so that she would be like the day she was born. He was going to turn her into a wilderness or a parched land. He was going to kill her with thirst. I guess that there was no reconciliation here. The verse numbering system is not the same here for various bibles, since the Bible of Jerusalem has this at the end of the chapter.

Why was the fourth beast different? (Dan 7:19-7:19)

“Then I desired to know

The truth concerning

The fourth beast.

It was different

From all the rest.

It was exceedingly terrifying.

It had teeth

Of iron.

It had claws

Of bronze.

It devoured.

It broke in pieces.

It stamped

The residue

With its feet.”

Daniel wanted to know the truth about why the 4th beast was so different. It was more terrifying. It had great iron teeth that devoured and tore to pieces anything it wanted to. It also had claws of bronze, which was not mentioned in the earlier description. It even stamped on whatever was left over with its feet.

The fourth beast (Dan 7:7-7:7)

“After this,

I saw

In the visions,

By night,

A fourth beast.

It was terrifying,

Dreadful,

Exceedingly strong.

It had great iron teeth.

It was devouring.

It was breaking in pieces.

It was stamping

What was left,

With its feet.

It was different

From all the beasts

That preceded it.

It had ten horns.”

Daniel described, in the first-person singular, this fourth or last beast as not really comparable to any other animal. This night vision of a beast was terrifying and dreadfully strong. It had great iron teeth that devoured and tore to pieces anything it wanted to. It even stamped on whatever was left with its feet. It had 10 horns, probably a reference to the Greek, Alexander the Great, with his 10 successive rulers.

The sea dragon in the wilderness (Ezek 29:5-29:7)

“I will fling you

Into the wilderness.

You!

With all the fish

Of your channels!

You shall fall

In the open field!

You will not be gathered.

You will not be buried.

I have given you

As food

To the animals

Of the earth,

To the birds

Of the air.

Then all the inhabitants

Of Egypt

Shall know

That I am Yahweh.

Because they were

A staff of the reed

To the house of Israel.

When they grasped you

With the hand,

You broke down.

You tore

All their shoulders.

When they leaned

On you,

You broke down.

You made

All their legs

Unsteady.”

Yahweh was going to fling this sea dragon of Pharaoh, with all his fish in the Nile River channels, into the wilderness. They would then fall into an open field, where they would not be gathered or buried. The animals of the earth and the birds of the air would then eat them as food as they lay in the open fields. Then all the inhabitants of Egypt would know that Yahweh was God. They were like a reed to the house of Israel. When they grasped this dragon and his fish with their hands, they broke down. They tore all their shoulders when they leaned on these fish. Their legs became unsteady.

The personal attack on David (Ps 35:15-35:16)

“At my stumbling

They gathered in glee.

They gathered together against me.

Ruffians whom I did not know

Tore at me without ceasing.

They impiously mocked more and more.

They gnashed at me with their teeth.”

Whenever David stumbled, these pursuers gathered in glee around him. People he did not know tore into him non-stop. They mocked him. They gnashed at him with their teeth. These are pretty graphic details about David’s enemies and what they were trying to do to him.

The three friends of Job (Job 2:11-2:13)

“When Job’s three friends heard of all these troubles that had come upon him, each of them set out from his home. Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite met together. They wanted to go to console and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. They raised their voices and wept aloud. They tore their robes. They sprinkled dust in the air upon their heads. They sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights. No one spoke a word to him. They saw that his suffering was very great.”

There were 3 friends of Job who heard about the trouble of Job. They decided to come together and visit Job to console and comfort him. As they approached from a distance, they did not recognize him. They went into the normal mourning attitude. They wept, tore their robes, and sprinkled dust on their heads. As they saw that Job was suffering, they did not say anything for 7 days and nights. Their consoling and comforting was a mere presence. Who then are these people? They are sometimes referred to as the 3 Wise Men as they come from nearby northwest Arabia. They dominate this book. Eliphaz the Temanite was main comforter. Thus Job’s friend Eliphaz was a Temanite, perhaps named for an ancestor called Eliphaz. Teman was the name of an Edomite clan in the Genesis, chapter 36, the son of Eliphaz, Esau’s eldest son.  The Temanite tribe was famous for their wisdom. The exact location of Teman remains unknown, but there is a possibility that it was in present day Jordan or north Yemen. Bildad the Shuhite was the 2nd of Job’s three friends. He might have been a descendant of Shuah, the son of Abraham and Keturah in Genesis, chapter 25.  He seems to be from a desert area of Arabia.  The 3rd of Job’s 3 friends was Zophar who came from the city of Naamah, in Canaan. These 3 men represent 3 views of suffering. In one sense, they represent the various Israelite views of man’s relationship to Yahweh. 1) The sufferer has knowing committed a sin. 2) Someone in his family has committed a sin. 3) He was not aware of his sin. These explanations go one step further to say that God’s actions are inscrutable. We do not know how God’s policy of retribution works.