A description of his illness (Mk 9:18-9:18)

“Whenever it seizes him,

It dashes him down.

He foams.

He grinds his teeth.

He becomes rigid,

Wasting away.”

 

καὶ ὅπου ἐὰν αὐτὸν καταλάβῃ, ῥήσσει αὐτόν, καὶ ἀφρίζει καὶ τρίζει τοὺς ὀδόντας καὶ ξηραίνεται·

 

The story of the man with the incurable son can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:15, Luke, chapter 9:39, and here in Mark, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Apparently, this son was an epileptic, who was often considered to be possessed by the devil.  Even today, we are still unsure of the exact cause of epilepsy seizures.  This description of the young man’s suffering differed from Matthew who had the child suffer very badly, falling into fire and water.  Luke had a description similar to Mark.  However, this was a very descriptive narrative of what was happening to this young man.  Mark said that whenever the spirit seized him (καὶ ὅπου ἐὰν αὐτὸν καταλάβῃ), it dashed or threw him down (ῥήσσει αὐτόν).  This young boy would foam (καὶ ἀφρίζει) at the mouth.  He would grind or gnash his teeth (αὶ τρίζει τοὺς ὀδόντας).  He would become rigid as he was wasting or withering away (καὶ ξηραίνεται).

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The transgressions of the house of Israel (Ezek 33:10-33:10)

“Now You!

Son of man!

Say!

To the house of Israel!

Thus,

You have said!

‘Our transgressions,

Our sins,

Weigh upon us!

We waste away

Because of them.

How then can we live?’”

Yahweh has a convoluted message for Ezekiel, the son of man, for the house of Israel. The Israelites had said that they had committed sins and transgressions against Yahweh. These sins weighed on them, as they are wasting away. They even wondered how they could live. Yet, this is Ezekiel projecting what Yahweh said to him that the Israelites had said. This was a long way to get a simple message that they were sinners.

Personal distress (Lam 3:4-3:6)

Beth

“Yahweh has made

my flesh waste away.

He has made

My skin waste away.

He has broken

My bones.

He has besieged me.

With bitterness.

He has enveloped me

With tribulation.

He has made me

Sit in darkness

Like the dead

Of long ago.”

Almost like the sufferings of Job, this author complains about his own personal suffering. His flesh and his skin are wasting away, since his bones are broken. He has been besieged and enveloped in bitterness and tribulation, sitting in darkness like a person dead for a long time. Throughout this poem, these three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Beth. Each three verse section after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this personal acrostic poem.

“When I kept silence,

My body wasted away.

I was groaning all day long.

Day and night

Your hand was heavy upon me.

My strength was dried up

Like the heat of summer.

Selah”

Sickness and sinning were considered synonymous. When David was silently suffering his body was wasting away. He groaned the whole time, both day and night. The heavy hand of Yahweh was upon him. His strength was dried up as the heat of summer does. Once again, there is a pause for a musical interlude with the Selah.

David was in bad shape (Ps 31:9-31:10)

“Be gracious to me!

Yahweh!

I am in distress!

My eye wastes away from grief!

My soul wastes away from grief!

My body also wastes away from grief!

My life is spent with sorrow!

My years pass with sighing!

My strength fails.

Because of my misery,

My bones waste away.”

David wanted Yahweh to be gracious to him because he was in great distress. His eyes, soul, and body were wasting away in grief. He was living a sorrowful life as each year passed with sightings all the time. His strength was failing him because of his misery. His bones were wasting away. He was a “woe is me” kind of guy. He sounded a lot like Job.

The crying eyes of David (Ps 6:6-6:7)

“I am weary with my moaning.

Every night I flood my bed with tears.

I drench my couch with my weeping.

My eyes waste away because of grief.

They grow weak because of all my foes.”

David is weary with all his moaning. Every night his bed is full of tears. He drenches his couch in the day with tears. His eyes are wasting away because of grief. He was growing weak because of his enemies.