The cock crowed a second time (Mk 14:72-14:72)

“At that moment,

The cock crowed

For the second time.

Then Peter remembered

That Jesus

Had said to him.

‘Before the cock

Crows twice,

You will deny me

Three times.’

He broke down

And wept.”

 

καὶ εὐθὺς ἐκ δευτέρου ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν. καὶ ἀνεμνήσθη ὁ Πέτρος τὸ ῥῆμα ὡς εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι Πρὶν ἀλέκτορα δὶς φωνῆσαι τρίς με ἀπαρνήσῃ· καὶ ἐπιβαλὼν ἔκλαιεν.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:74-75, except that Mark has the cock crowing twice instead of once.  In Luke, chapter 22:60-62, not only does the cock crow, but Peter sees Jesus look at him to remind him of his failures.  John, chapter 18:27, has only the simple remark that the cock crowed when Peter denied Jesus the 3rd time, without Peter weeping.  Mark recounted that at that moment when the rooster cock crowed for a second time (καὶ εὐθὺς ἐκ δευτέρου ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν), Peter remembered what Jesus had said to him (καὶ ἀνεμνήσθη ὁ Πέτρος τὸ ῥῆμα ὡς εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  Before the cock or the rooster crowed twice (ὅτι Πρὶν ἀλέκτορα δὶς φωνῆσαι), he would deny, disown, or repudiate Jesus 3 times (τρὶς με ἀπαρνήσῃ).  Thus, Peter broke down and wept or lamented bitterly (καὶ ἐπιβαλὼν ἔκλαιεν).  The early followers of Jesus, the primitive Christian community, were in shambles.  Both Peter and Judas, two of the 12 leaders, had betrayed Jesus, while Jesus himself was about to be led off to death.  Do you have good leaders?

The example of Jacob (Hos 12:2-12:6)

“Yahweh has an indictment

Against Judah.

He will punish Jacob

According to his ways.

He will repay him

According to his deeds.

In the womb,

He tried to supplant

His brother.

In his manhood,

He strove with God.

He strove

With the angel.

He prevailed.

He wept.

He sought his favor.

He met him

At Bethel.

There God spoke

with him.

Yahweh!

The God of hosts!

Yahweh is his name!

But as for you,

Return to your God!

Hold fast

To love!

Hold fast

To justice!

Wait continually

For your God.”

Here Hosea referred to the stories about Jacob in Genesis, chapters 25, 28, 32, and 35. Somehow, this is an indictment against Judah and not Israel. Jacob should have been punished and repaid for his bad deeds. He had tried to supplant his brother. He actually tricked his father, but there is no mention of that. He wrestled with God or an angel, and won. Yet he wept and sought out God at Bethel. There, God spoke to him to tell him that his name was Yahweh. He wanted Jacob, Judah, Israel, and Ephraim to hold fast to love and justice. They were to continually wait for God.

The mourning lamentation for Tyre (Ezek 27:30-27:32)

“All these seamen

Wail aloud

Over you.

They cry bitterly.

They cast dust

On their heads.

They wallow

In ashes.

They make themselves

Bald

For you.

They put on

Sackcloth.

They weep

Over you,

In bitterness of soul,

With bitter mourning.

In their wailing,

They raise

A lamentation

For you.

They lament

Over you.

‘Who was ever destroyed

Like Tyre

In the midst

Of the sea?’”

All these seamen onlookers lamented and mourned for Tyre. They wailed loudly and cried bitterly over Tyre. In typical mourning fashion, they put dust on their heads and wallowed in ashes. They made themselves bald and put on sackcloth. They wept with a bitterness of soul in their mourning. They lamented over Tyre. They wondered if anyone had ever been destroyed on the high seas like Tyre.

The collection for Jerusalem (Bar 1:5-1:7)

“Then they wept.

They fasted.

They prayed

Before the Lord.

They collected

As much money

As each could give.

They sent it

To Jerusalem

To the high priest

Jehoiakim,

The son of Hilkiah,

The son of Shallum,

To the priests,

To all the people

Who were present

With him

In Jerusalem.”

Apparently, this gathering was with all the Judean exiles, and not any Babylonians. There, after the reading, they wept, fasted, and prayed to the Lord. After that, they took up a collection for the people who were left behind in Jerusalem. They were going to send it to the now high priest and the priests left in Jerusalem, Jehoiakim, the son of Hilkiah, the son of Shallum. There was no indication of how this money would get there. It was a free will offering, with each one giving what they could.

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.

The death of Andronicus (2 Macc 4:35-4:38)

“For this reason, not only Jews, but many also of other nations, were grieved and displeased at the unjust murder of Onias. When the king returned from the region of Cilicia, the Jews in the city appealed to him with regard to the unreasonable murder of Onias. The Greeks shared their hatred of the crime. Therefore King Antiochus was grieved at heart and filled with pity. He wept because of the moderation and good conduct of the deceased. Inflamed with anger, he immediately stripped off the purple robe from Andronicus. He tore off his garments. He led him around the whole city to that very place where he had committed the outrage against Onias. There he dispatched the bloodthirsty fellow. The Lord thus repaid him with the punishment he deserved.”

The killing of the deposed high priest Onias was a semi-official act of the king. The Jews and many other nations were upset about this murder of Onias. After all, Andronicus had tricked Onias into coming out of a pagan sanctuary Temple. When King Antiochus IV returned from Cilicia, the southern coastal region of Asia Minor, he was upset and angry. He too wept for the good man. He immediately stripped Andronicus of his purple robes, the robes of authority. He tore his garments and brought him to the place where the outrage had taken place. Then he killed him so that he was given the punishment that the Lord said that he deserved. Here the king of Syria implements the will of God and brings justice to the death of the former Jerusalem high priest.

Funeral of Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 9:19-9:22)

“Then Jonathan and Simon took their brother Judas and buried him in the tomb of their ancestors at Modein. They wept for him. All Israel made great lamentation for him. They mourned many days and said.

‘How the mighty have fallen,

The savior of Israel!’

Now the rest of the acts of Judas, his wars, the brave deeds that he did, and his greatness have not been recorded, but they were very many.”

The 2 brothers of Judas Maccabeus, Jonathan and Simon took his body and buried him in the tomb of their father at Modein. They wept for their brother, while all of Israel lamented and mourned. This Israelite lamentation is almost the same as when David found out about the death of King Saul in 2 Samuel, chapter 1. On the other hand the phrase about the life of Judas “How the mighty have fallen” is reminiscent of the style of 1 Kings, chapter 11, which began with the death of King Solomon. Everything was written in the acts or annals of the individual kings. However, Judas was not king. Besides, his acts were too many to be written down in one place.

 

 

 

Menace against the Temple (1 Macc 7:33-7:38)

“After these events, Nicanor went up to Mount Zion. Some of the priests from the sanctuary and some of the elders of the people came out to greet him peaceably. They wanted to show him the burnt offering that was being offered for the king. But he mocked them. He derided them. He defiled them. He spoke arrogantly. In anger he swore this oath.

‘Unless Judas and his army are delivered

Into my hands this time,

Then if I return safely

I will burn up this house.’

He went out in great anger. At this, the priests went in and stood before the altar and the temple. They wept and said.

‘You choose this house to be called by your name.

This house is to be for your people.

This house is a house of prayer and supplication.

Take vengeance on this man and on his army!

Let them fall by the sword!

Remember their blasphemies!

Let them live no longer!’”

Nicanor went to Jerusalem. Actually some of the priests and elders greeted him peacefully. Remember that Alcimus was the high priest and friend of King Demetrius I. They wanted to show him that they had made burnt offerings in his honor. However, Nicanor turned on them as he mocked them, derided them, and defiled them. Arrogantly and angrily, he said that unless they delivered Judas to him, he was going to burn down the Temple. Then he left in anger. The priests then wept praying that this was the house of God for his people. God should take vengeance on this man and his army since he had blasphemed this Temple. He should not let him live.

The Assyrians discover the death of General Holofernes (Jdt 14:14-14:19)

“Bagoas went in as he knocked at the entry of the tent. He assumed that General Holofernes was sleeping with Judith. But when no one answered, he opened it. Then he went into the bedchamber. There he found General Holofernes sprawled on the floor dead, with his head missing. He cried out with a loud voice. He wept, groaned and shouted. He tore his clothes. Then he went to the tent where Judith had stayed. When he did not find her, he rushed out to the people and shouted.

‘The slaves have tricked us!

One Hebrew woman has brought disgrace

On the house of King Nebuchadnezzar!

Look!

General Holofernes is lying on the ground!

His head is missing!’

When the leaders of the Assyrian army heard this, they tore their tunics. They were greatly dismayed. Their loud cries and shouts rose up throughout the camp.”

Bagoas was the chief personal steward of General Holofernes. He politely knocked at the entry way to the general’s tent. He thought that the general was sleeping with Judith and did not want to disturb him. However, when no one answered, he entered the bedchamber.   There he found the general sprawled out on the floor beheaded. He was really upset. He wept, groaned, and shouted as he tore his clothes. When people were upset they would tear their clothes. Then he went to the tent of Judith to see how she was. However, she was gone. Then he realized what had happened. He ran out of the tent shouting that they had been tricked by the slaves. This Hebrew woman had brought disgrace to the house of King Nebuchadnezzar. The general was dead with his head missing. When the Assyrian army leaders heard this, they tore their clothes as they too were dismayed. Thus there were loud shouts throughout the camp. Strangely enough, there was no second in command to take over things.

Tobias heals his father Tobit (Tob 11:9-11:14)

“Then Anna ran to her son. She threw her arms around him.

‘Now that I have seen you,

My child,

I am ready to die.’

She wept. Then Tobit got up. He came stumbling out through the courtyard door. Tobias went up to him, with the gall of the fish in his hand. Holding him firmly, he blew into eyes, saying.

‘Take courage, father!’

With this he applied the medicine to his eyes. It made them smart. Next, with both his hands he peeled off the white films from the corners of his eyes. Then Tobit saw his son. He threw his arms around him.

‘I see you, my son,

The light of my eyes!’”

Tobias’ mother ran to her son and threw her arms around him. She wept and said that she could die now because she had finally seen him. Tobit tried to go to greet him, but he stumbled. Then Tobias went to greet him with the fish gall in his hand. He held his father tightly as he blew into his eyes and applied the fish gall medicine that smarted. Then the white films from the corners of his eyes were peeled off. Tobit could see his son, the light of his life. The healing of the eyes had taken place just as Raphael had said it would.