2019-10-04

The OT Sources for Mark 1

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by Neil Godfrey

The Gospel of Mark is shaped out of a re-weaving of Jewish Scriptures. If you want to know its sources then they are, principally but not exclusively, in the “Old Testament”. I have posted on the identification of 160 such scriptures in chapters 11-16 of the Gospel as identified by Howard Clark Kee. (There are more that could be added to that post, especially relating to chapter 12.)

I thought of going through the earlier chapters to make a similar list but the task is simply too much to get through right now. Instead, I have limited myself to a general overview of some of the more obvious allusions to Jewish Scripture in the first chapter only. I’d like to add other chapters over time.

The following table is not exhaustive even for chapter one. More allusions could be identified but some require more explanation that takes more time to present. So I’ve kept the list at a somewhat general level. Notice the story of the leper is a direct transvaluation rather than a more direct reworking of the original. Jesus and the leper are humble foils of Elisha and Naaman. If in the gospel of Mark the original text said Jesus was indignant (as opposed to the more widely attested “moved with compassion”) when the leper knelt and suggesting Jesus could heal him, there may be some significance related to the amount of indignation that runs rife through the 2 Kings narrative: both king Ahab and the leper Naaman at different times become enraged or indignant over the processes involved that led to the cleansing of the leper. Maybe something is missing from our text of Mark, or maybe “compassion” was original to the text after all.)

Here’s the table:

Mark 1

Jewish Scripture Sources
1:1-3

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah . . . as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”—
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning . . .

Isaiah 52:7; 61:1-2

who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,

. . . .

The Sovereign Lord has filled me with his Spirit.
He has chosen me and sent me
To bring good news to the poor,
To heal the broken-hearted,
To announce release to captives
And freedom to those in prison.
He has sent me to proclaim
That the time has come
When the Lord will save his people
And defeat their enemies.
He has sent me to comfort all who mourn,

Exodus 23:20

“See, I am sending an angel [=messenger] ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.

Malachi 3:1

“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me.

Isaiah 40:3

A voice of one calling:
In the wilderness prepare
    the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.

1:4-6

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.

Malachi 4:5-6

“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”

2 Kings 1:8

And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.

1 Kings 17:2-6

And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before the Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

1:9-11

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Isaiah 64:1

Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down

Ezekiel 1:1

. . . the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God

Genesis 1:1

. . . the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters

Genesis 8:8

Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded . . .

Psalm 2:7

He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.

Isaiah 42:1

Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, My Chosen One, in whom My soul delights. I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will bring justice to the nations.

1:12

At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

Exodus 14:29; 15:22

But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur . . .

Deuteronomy 8:2

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.

Genesis 2:19

Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to Adam . . .

Psalm 91:11-13

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

1 Kings 19:3-6

Elijah . . . went a day’s journey into the wilderness. . . . All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water.

1:14-15

. . . Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Isaiah 9:1-2

. . . he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;

Isaiah 52:7

who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”

1:16-20

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

1 Kings 19:19-21

So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”

“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”

So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.

Jeremiah 16:16

Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them . . .

1:21-25

They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

“Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.

The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

Nahum = comfort (Capernaum = city of comfort)

Isaiah 40:1; 61:2

Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.

. . . .

He has sent me to comfort all who mourn.

Isaiah 52:7

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”

Nahum 1:15

Look, there on the mountains,
the feet of one who brings good news,
who proclaims peace!
Celebrate your festivals, Judah,
and fulfill your vows.
No more will the wicked invade you;
they will be completely destroyed.

1 Kings 17:18

She then said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to cause the death of my son!”

2 Kings 4:9

“Look, I am sure that this man who regularly passes our way is a holy man of God.

Exodus 34:30

When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses . . . they were afraid to come near him.

Joshua 4:14

That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him all the days of his life, just as they had stood in awe of Moses.

1 Samuel 18:14-15

In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him.

1 Kings 3:28

When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.

1:29-31

As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

Isaiah 41:13

For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
  I will help you.

Psalm 103:3

who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

1 Kings 17:15

She went and did as Elijah said.

(Compare A Story of a Mother-in-law, Stopping the Sun, and Rebuilding the Temple Wall)

1:40-44

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.

Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”

2 Kings 5:3-19

She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

. . . The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

. . . When Elisha the man of God heard . . . he sent him this message: “. . . Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. . . ” So he turned and went off in a rage.

Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy

. . . said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord. . . .

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53 thoughts on “The OT Sources for Mark 1”

  1. Thanks for doing this Neil. There is another two part allusion in chapter one in chapter one. It is often not recognised, but is important and clear in my view (I got this partly from the wonderful RG Price who comments here regularly…I think I picked up the hunter bit!)

    In Mark 1:17 “Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.”

    In Mark 1:35-36: In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him.

    This is a double allusion to Jeremiah 16:16-17
    16 “But now I will send for many fishermen,” declares the LORD, “and they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks.

    We see in the Jeremiah passage reference to men being “fishermen” and “hunters” – exactly as the disciples are described in chapter 1. As RG points out “This is the only passage in the Old Testament that talks about fishermen catching people.” Its also the only OT place where people are described as “hunters” – making this a very sure literary allusion from Mark.

    This is significant, as R.G Price explains, because the Jeremiah passage is about “the destruction of Israel” which (as he shows) is the main theme of many of Mark’s literary allusions. Despite the “good news” of Mark on the surface the irony is the the underlying allusions are about tell of the coming destruction of Israel – i.e the destruction of Jerusalem which the author of Mark had in mind when writing.

  2. This is great. I like the idea of casting a wide net, as you appear to be doing here. Some of these may not have been in the mind of the writer of Mark, but it’s a good idea to pull in all of the potential material for better analysis IMO.

    Also, with some of the parallels between Mark and Elijah/Elisha, they seem to defy exact textual parallels, but rather include themes and concepts. A few good books on this issue have already been written of course, but hopefully one day I can get around to writing up a full companion guide to Mark that tries to explain every literary reference in Mark.

    And yeah, Jonathan Rutherford did point out the hunter reference to me several years back (2014 actually, I keep all my e-mails) after I put The Gospel of Mark as Reaction and Allegory on my website. Thanks for that Jonathan.

  3. Mark 1:1, ‘The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God’ also reflects Gen 1:1 (and Rom 1:1).

    A 1:2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, [Isa 40:3]

    . BA “Look, I send my messenger ahead of you, [Malachi 3:1; adopting Mal 3:22–24, Mal 4:5, & Exodus 23:20]

    . BB who will prepare your way.” [Isa 40:3]

    . BA’ 1:3 A voice proclaiming in the wilderness, [Isa 43:19]

    . BB’ “Prepare the way for the Lord. Make his way straight.” [Isa 40:3; Psalms 5:8 and 107:7; Prov. 3:6]

    A 1:4 Appeared John the Baptizer in the wilderness proclaiming the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. [Isa 43:19]

    (and David Oliver Smith has noted parallel prologue & epilogue structures in Mark 1:1-14 and Mark 15:39-16:8, respectively. Unlocking the Puzzle: The Keys to the Christology and Structure of the Original Gospel of Mark, 2016, Resource Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition; p. 28.)

    1. Genesis 1:1, of course — and the same source material for the opening is used and expanded on by Mark’s antithetical commentator, the Gospel of John.

      I may add others that may be mentioned here, though there are some types of allusions that are more structural and part of a cultural matrix and less easy to indicate by mere quotation.

    2. Smith has also noted – re Archē tou euangeliou Iēsou Christou huiou Theou – ‘The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, Son of God‘archē not only means ‘beginning’, it also means ‘rule’. Smith says “One of Mark’s main points that he wants the reader to grasp…is…that Christ is coming to Earth soon to establish the kingdom of God” (Smith says Mark this comes from Paul’s Christology, implying that Paul motivated the author of Mark to look at the Jewish scriptures [too]).

    3. “The first pericope of the Gospel begins at 1:2. In this special case there is no movement into the scene or change of cast in the A hemistich since there is no prior scene. The A’ hemistich has John appearing in the wilderness, a definite location and the introduction of a cast member. The (BA, BA’) stich matches “sending a messenger” with “a voice in the wilderness.” The (BB, BB’) stich matches “preparing the way.”

    4. W.S. Vorster noted in his 1993 essay, cited by db below, –

      In the first place the very first quotation (Mk 1:2-3) does not [just] come from Isaiah the prophet, as Mark asserts. It is a composite reference to Exodus 23:20, Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 which he connects to Isaiah the prophet. The ‘quotation’ is taken out of context and worked into his story of John and Jesus in order to show the relationship between the two.

      “The production of the Gospel of Mark: An essay on intertextuality”. HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies. pp. 385–396

      Vorster goes on, –

      The beginning of the Gospel does not prove the fulfilment of the Old Testament, it characterises John as the predecessor of Jesus. Only at a later stage does the reader realize the resemblance between the apocalyptic John and the apocalyptic Jesus.

      One of the inferences one should make from the use of the Old Testament in the Gospel of Mark is that the author created a new story with the aid of intertextual codes …

      Later Vorster says – and the first passage is slightly out of his context –

      … some of the stories are transmitted in Mark’s Gospel in a mixed form ….

      … [then] recent attempts have been made at describing the Gospel as the rewriting of Old Testament stories … to regard Mark’s Gospel as a creation of a new text … New Testament writers created what [these scholars] call[ed] new midrashim on older texts. They argue that Mark did not simply interpret the Old Testament midrashically. Mark created a new midrash – that is, new scripture in typical Jewish fashion …

      … We have already noticed that Mark did not hesitate to use the Old Testament out of context, and that it is probable that he did the same with the tradition he received.* This simply underscores ‘our’ notion that he retold tradition for his own purposes. By doing this Mark created a new text from other texts, traces of which can be seen in his text.

      The relationship between the final text of the Gospel of Mark and precursor and other texts is an intertextual relationship. There is no causal relationship between this new text and the texts out of which Mark made his text. Mark quoted other texts, and his story alludes to other texts and absorbed other texts.

      Vorster doesn’t say what he thinks that proposed tradition Mark received was or might have been. No doubt some would propose or argue that Paul might be a large part of it.

      Vorster, W.S. (1993) “The production of the Gospel of Mark: An essay on intertextuality”. HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies. pp. 385–396

      1. The two [then] recent attempts at describing the Gospel attributed to Mark as the rewriting of Old Testament stories were, –

        Roth, W 1988. Hebrew gospel: Cracking the code of Mark. Oak Park: Meyer-Stone Books.
        Miller, D & Miller, P 1990. The Gospel of Mark as midrash: On earlier Jewish and New Testament literature. Lewiston: Mellen.

        1. The two [then] recent attempts at describing the Gospel attributed to Mark as the rewriting of Old Testament stories were, –

          Following Thomas L. Thompson’s overview of the way the Jewish Scriptures were written I tend to see the Gospel of Mark as yet one more story in the same tradition as other (OT) biblical narratives. In Genesis we see the same narrative retold in different ways through each generation. We see the same reiteration of the Creation story out of the division of waters in the Exodus, in the entry into the Promised Land, and in Elijah’s crossing of the Jordan — then in Jesus’ baptism.

          The same story of being lost, then called, then obeying, then falling away, then punishment, then restoration is told over and over. Each story warns the “new Israel” not to fall into the errors of the “old Israel”.

          The Gospel of Mark (and its variants, Matthew, John, Luke) continue that same tradition of literature and theology.

          1. The same story of being lost, then called, then obeying, then falling away, then punishment, then restoration is told over and over.

            Is it correct to say, that the old covenant with Israel no longer being extant and that the “restoration” now being applicable to any devotee of the Christ lord—is the novel innovation of Paul/Mark for this newest cycle.

            If so, have there been any novel innovations per previous cycles?

          2. Neil, to clarify, when you say “In Genesis we see the same narrative retold in different ways through each generation”, do you mean ‘we see the same Genesis narrative/s retold in different ways through each generation [and now through or by the then new early-Christian theology]’ ??

            1. Sorry, I was being fuzzy, wasn’t I. I meant it at a number of levels: the story of Abraham-Sarah is repeated in the stories of Isaac-Rebekkah and then again in Jacob-Rachel. The same story of the displacement of the natural order or privileged generation in favour of the younger and chosen is repeated in the Exodus (the old generation must die and the new enter the land of promise), in the stories of the prophets and their promises for a new generation, in the selection of the younger/initially disposessed over the older, right through to the New Testament. The motifs for new beginnings are also repeated — the splitting of the waters at the initial creation is repeated again with the renewal after the Flood, and then again in the Exodus and Red Sea crossing, and then the crossing of Jordan as those waters also divided, then with Elijah and Elisha at the Jordan, then again at the baptism of Jesus.

              The stories are retold, recycled, in their different mutations, and they are re-written for new generations who may have come through some crisis or are desirous of a new start as a “new” people of God who are now learning the lessons of the old generation, both in their real experience and in the stories themselves.

  4. I note that Mark was not the only person in his time capable of bulking up these ‘scenarios from Scripture’ into narrative episodes that involve a Jesus character. The writers of the other canonical gospels did the same thing using other scenarios. Editors of GMark could have done the same. The Scriptural references in GMark are not necessarily all by Mark. After all, all of these writers lived in a religious and cultural matrix where Scripture was scrutinized, interpreted, emulated. The records we have of their activity are just the tip of an iceberg of their synagogue services, conversations, study sessions, etc. And of the texts they used, now lost.

    In my opinion, Mark’s particular, unique contribution was to use these scenarios to construct a play for performance, as I propose in my book The Two Gospels of Mark: Performance and Text.

    1. There is a difference between what Mark does and what the others do however. Mark makes many implicit references and builds his narrative from these “hidden” references. Matthew and John, however don’t do this. They make overt references and quote scripture. They found some of Mark’s references and when they did they often pointed them out with big neon signs. They are like, “Hey look at this, here is a case where Jesus fulfilled prophesy!!!!!”

      Luke, does little of either, but instead Luke more often builds new scenarios out of themes as opposed to direct quotes or literary allusions. The vast use of these “hidden” scriptural foundations is really only a feature of Mark.

      1. r.g.price,
        Have you noted Mark’s reference to Transjordan matches the LXX OT, wheres Pliny the Elder (in Latin) & Josephus use the shortened form: Peraía (Περαία), rather than Mark’s péran toú Iordánou (πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου)—Mark 3.8 & 10.1

        1. Therefore any interpretation of Mark as only referring to the much smaller geographical area “Perea” is untenable. Rather Mark is clearly referring to the larger transjordan—likely Hellenized. Per Rutherford (2015), “Galilee is symbolic of an inclusive Church, open to all, both Jew and Gentile, based on ‘faith in Christ’ alone. This was the gospel that Paul preached. To follow Jesus, the Jerusalem Church must go to ‘Galilee’ by following the example of Paul and embracing the inclusive universal Church.”

        2. • and to elaborate

          In the Markan narrative, while at the western side of the Gallilee sea region, Jesus receives Gentiles from the surrounding regions, one of which is Transjordan (Mark 3:8). Here the author of Mark refers to the Transjordan region by using the same general term found in the LXX Book of Isaiah—péran toú Iordánou. Notably the Markan author never uses the specific contemporary name for the east bank territory of Herod Antipas, i.e. Perea. Both Galilee and Perea were incorporated into “Greater Judea” i.e. Provincia Ivdaea, in 44 CE, which already incorporated the regions of Samaria, Idumea, and the eponymous Judea. The regional name Perea is used by Josephus (c. 75 CE) and Pliny the Elder (c. 78 CE) in their geographic descriptions of the regions within the province. Therefore the traditional view that Jesus did not travel beyond the Perean territorial region of Herod Antipas is not supported by the Markan text. It appears that the usage of the term Transjordan in the Markan narrative is a reference to the Decapolis and other Gentile regions. Jennifer Wilkinson writes. “The [Markan] evangelist shows a great awareness and interest in the Graeco-Roman city territories surrounding Galilee: Gerasa (Mk 5.1); Tyre and Sidon (7.24-31); Caesarea Philippi (8.27) and the Decapolis (5.20; 7.31), and has Jesus himself travelling into these areas.” [Wilkinson, Jennifer (2012) Mark and his Gentile Audience: A Traditio-Historical and Socio-Cultural Investigation of Mk 4.35-9.29 and its Interface with Gentile Polytheism in the Roman Near East. Doctoral thesis, Durham University. pp. 51–52]

    2. Danila,

      Mark’s bizarre geography is readily explicable per r.g.price’s work, i.e. The OT said it so Mark said it in that bizarre way as reference to the OT.

      How is Mark’s bizarre geography addressed per your work?

      1. The answer is a bit complicated, and I address it in the book. I propose that Mark wrote two “works,” a performed play (which is more dimensional than a “text”) and a literary text that condensed and narratized the performance, and added literary features such as chiasms and pointers to Scripture. That literary text is the original version of the Gospel we have now. In the literary text, Mark added names of places that didn’t need to be spoken during the play.

        The audience saw the actors moving around the theater (stage + orchestra + parodoi + probably the audience area) and recognized when they moved into a different space, they were in a different place in the world of the play. A new scene was about to begin. The audience didn’t need to hear, “Glad we made it to Gerasa!” if that name had no dramatic value in the world of the play. The actors had crossed the orchestra in a boat! Obviously they were in a different location.

        The following must be somewhat speculative, as a) we don’t have all of Mark’s original literary text and b) the text was a secondary document. I assume that Mark followed good playwriting practice and did not provide extraneous information or info that the characters already know, solely for the audience’s benefit.

        I think that the audience experienced the geography of the play as follows:
        1. A man is baptizing. His costume and behavior identify him to the audience as John the Baptist/Baptizer. By implication, the location onstage is the Jordan River (not named in performance). Jesus arrives.
        2. Jesus walks, recruits fishermen in a boat. By implication, the Sea of Galilee (not named): the only place near the Jordan River where there is fishing from a boat.
        3. I am not sure if “Capernaum” is named. I don’t see why it should be. The reference to mother and brothers imply that Jesus is at home.
        4. The action implicitly continues in Galilee as long as the boat is present in the orchestra (it is removed after the return trip from Bethsaida, just before the Recognition).
        5. In 10:33, Jesus tells the audience “see, we are going up to Jerusalem.” Which tells them that the future action will be on the way to Jerusalem and in Jerusalem.
        6. The scenes thereafter on the mountain are implicitly near Jerusalem. Was this sufficient to tell the audience that this was the Mount of Olives? I guess so, given the identity of the main character.

        I suspect that “Bethsaida” was a name that was meaningful in the world of the audience, and was spoken. So, to sum up, the location “Jerusalem” was definitely spoken, and probably “Bethsaida.” I am not sure about “Jericho” as that scene is entirely missing. I doubt “Capernaum.” The rest are entirely literary.

        The bizarre geography is partly attributable to editing, e.g., the Syro-Phoenician woman scene is entirely by an editor. The early editors of GMark did not think of the narrative as a single consistent story about a human being on earth whose movements had to be minimally plausible.

        1. For general information, I intend to post a review of Danila’s book (also on James Barlow’s essay on the Ascension of Isaiah) after I have met my other commitments for reviews. I have made it a priority to complete reviews of some of the more expensive books I received from publishers after especially requesting them for discussion here.

        2. Danila, I think the Markan literary West/East axis of the “Sea of Galilee ministry” and “Perean ministry” supports stagecraft, i.e. characters entering stage right/left identify them as Jew/Gentile.

          It appears that the usage of the term Transjordan in Mark 10:1 is a reference to the Decapolis and other Gentile regions while Jesus is en-route to Jerusalem—teaching both Jews and Gentiles per the same literary West/East axis presented previously for the Sea of Galilee ministry.

          1. db: Yes, you have identified a further detail of my proposed staging. Stage Right (audience’s left, the way to the country) becomes identified with Gentiles because that’s where Gerasa has to be. I eventually concluded that all the characters that enter from Stage Right are Gentiles. In general the Stage Right side of the stage and orchestra is Gentile. I go over these stagings in much more detail in the book, including an appendix where I propose to reconstruct the action (not the dialogue) of the play.

            For Mark 10:1 and surrounding scenes, I think they take place in the orchestra and on the center of the lower stage–neither Gentile nor Judean. The question is whether this was simply the most effective dramatic staging, or Mark also thereby intended to indicate Jesus’s ecumenical ministry. In any case, when he wrote the narrative, he indicated it, as you say.

            1. A good reason for starting in Galilee:

              • Boobyer, G. H. (1952–1953). “Galilee and Galileans in St. Mark’s Gospel [PDF]”. Bulletin of the John Rylands Library XXXV: 334–348.

              [The LXX Books of Isaiah and Ezekiel] depict Galilee of the Gentiles as specially appointed to receive salvation in the messianic age, and, further, as a land which will be one of the first to experience God’s deliverance. The writer of Isa. viii. 23–ix. 6 proclaims that the light of the messianic day will disperse the shadow of death lying over “Galilee of the Gentiles”; and the LXX text of ch. viii. 23 begins with a notable addition . . . that God will pour forth this light of His salvation first upon Galilee . . . according to Ezek. xlvii. 1–12, the prophet beholds a river issuing from under the threshold of the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. . . . and it was flowing towards Galilee (verse 8)! —(p. 336)

      1. Vorster (1993) noted, –

        The passion narrative is presumably related to the Gospel of Peter, which is basically a passion story (see Crossan 1988, reference below) …

        Allusions to and quotations from the Old Testament are usually absorbed into Mark’s story in such a manner that, except for a few cases where he specifically mentions the origin of the quotation, the allusions and quotations form part of the story stuff. They are so embedded into the story that, if it were not for the references in the margins and a knowledge of the Old Testament, the reader would not have noticed that Mark uses an allusion or a quotation (see Mk 15:24). This is best seen in Mark’s story of the passion of Jesus.

        It has often been noticed that psalms of lamentation such as Psalms 22, 38 and 69 concerning the suffering of the just, are knitted into the passion narrative in such a manner that one can say that the passion narrative of Mark is narrated in the language of the Old Testament. The point is, however, that the allusions and ‘quotations’ form such an integral part of the passion narrative that it is impossible for the naive reader to realize that the text is enriched by its intertextual relationships concerning the suffering of the Just.

        Crossan, J D 1988. The cross that spoke: The origins of the passion narrative. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

        1. the text is enriched by its intertextual relationships concerning the suffering of the Just.

          I laugh when I imagine Ehrman reading that and scoffing, “So What!, that just means Jesus’ body was thrown in a mass grave is all, etc.” ad nauseam.

          1. db, Ehrman’s tunnel vision is surprising given the way he broadly cast his net in the first decade or two of his career.

            Moreover, “allusions and quotations form such an integral part of the passion narrative that it is impossible for the naive [or wilfully ignorant] reader -[such as Bart Ehrman]- to realize that the text is enriched by its intertextual relationships …”

    1. Neil, the Vorster essay above, appears to have a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)” license, so if you consider it merited, please reproduce it on Vridar.

      1. If I did that I’d run into all sorts of prioritizing and consistency issues. There is so much good stuff available. I can’t be the repository for it all.

  5. Per Mark as Paul—declaring that the old covenant with Israel is no longer extant.

    Is there a “goto” source for Mark in the OT, on this topic?

    Per Jiri Severa, “[Mark] savages and ridicules the pharisaic Jews of his time by having Jesus defy the law and giving either himself or through Jesus, misleading references to the Torah (1:1-3, 2:26, 9:12-13, 10:19, 14:21, 14:49).”

    • Perhaps Isaiah 52:7; 61:1-2 as noted in the OP.

  6. I love the parallels being generated here – however, I think a set of rules is needed for asserting a copy style reproduction. Of course the copying of Matthew from Mark for example is a very different type of copy – verbatim in other words. That aside, I still personally would go for a triangulation rule – That is, in order for something to be deemed a copying of another text three parts need to be the same.

    1 – Similar or same phrases (just these by themselves alone is not enough), for various reasons.
    2 – The references should be seen to be sought from the same group of texts – i.e. part of a phrase from one place and another part from another place is pushing the assertion that there is a copying act in place.
    3 – The relationships between objects and subjects, and the theme, should be completely transferable, not partially.

    Otherwise, we fall in to the trap of drawing pictures in clouds.

    1. I did not cite sources for any of the parallels because I thought most of them would be recognized immediately by any reader familiar with the marginal references in their old King James Bibles. They are also all discussed repeatedly in the mainstream literature, both journals and books, of conservative and liberal biblical scholars alike. That’s where the thematic or other meaningful links are discussed in depth. In addition to the King James marginal notes I used, mostly for overlap or double checking:

      • Bowman, John. 1965. The Gospel of Mark: The New Christian Jewish Passover Haggadah. Brill Archive.
      • Gundry, Robert Horton. 1993. Mark: A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross. 2 vols. Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans.
      • Le Peau, Andrew T. 2017. Mark Through Old Testament Eyes: A Background and Application Commentary.
      • Watts, Rikki E. 2001. Isaiah’s New Exodus in Mark. Rev Upd Su edition. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic.
      • Winn, Adam. 2010. Mark and the Elijah-Elisha Narrative: Considering the Practice of Greco-Roman Imitation in the Search for Markan Source Material. Eugene, Ore: Pickwick Publications.

      I was never aware of any suspicion or over-reach when a citation or two was alluded to as one focused on just one passage at a time. I wonder if some of the alarm comes from seeing all of those references collated and presented together like I have done here.

      All the above table does is show that that author was immersed in the Jewish Scriptures. I don’t think that’s a controversial point. I remember how scandalized some scholars and others were that Dennis MacDonald should dare suggest a Homeric influence on certain scenes and the loud rejoinder being, No, Mark borrowed from the story of Jonah, or of Israel in the wilderness, or from Elijah!!

  7. Thanks for this post Neil ^

    Always impressed with the background research done here.
    I’m gonna have to go through this material.

    It is enriching for me to be corrected and to see clarifications as I learn more from that type of exchange.

  8. Reading Mark as a midrash, part 2: Jesus heals the man with an unclean spirit
    Tags: Midrash, Maurice Mergui, Nanine Charbonnel

    ** What does that mean? **

    Mark 1:27 NKJ “What is this? What new doctrine is this?

    ** Here are the main lines of my reply **

    — The spirit
    Mark 1 NKJ
    8 I (John) indeed baptized you with water, but He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
    10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove
    23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit.
    25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”
    26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.

    Meaning:
    Jesus is putting the Holy Spirit within the Israel’heart and consequently Jesus is eradicating the old/unclean spirit from the Israel’s heart.
    But Israel is reluctant to accept this change, so Israel has convulsions and Israel cries

    Ezekiel 36:25-27 strengthens my position
    Ezekiel 36 NKJ
    25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
    26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
    27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

    — The doctrine
    Mark 1:27 NKJ “What is this? What new doctrine is this?
    Exodus 16
    15 So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
    And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.
    31 And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

    Comment
    The new spirit involves a new doctrine (new word, new gospel, new teaching, new bread, new Manna)

    — The water
    Mark 1 NKJ
    8 I (John) indeed baptized you with water, but He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
    Ezekiel 36:25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

    Comment: The water is used for cleansing and consequently It also represents the terrestrial life and the spiritual life.
    It also represents the terrestrial drink and the spiritual drink. Considering that the wine is a better drink than water, that allows me to introduce the word “wine”.

    ** To go further **

    — The incompatibility: between the old and the new spririt
    In addition to the difficulty to accept the change, I notice the incompatibility expressed by
    Mark 1:24 “.. What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? ..”

    — The incompatibility: between the old and the new Israel
    This is expressed by
    Mark 2
    21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse.
    22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.”

    Old Israel New Israel
    old garment,camel’s hair unshrunk cloth
    old wineskins new vine

    — John represents the hebrews
    Mark 1:6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair .., and he ate locusts and wild honey.
    The attributes (camel, locusts and wild honey) refer to the exodus and the hebrews crossing the desert. Consequently, John represents the hebrews.
    Note: locusts -> the beginning of exodus
    honey -> the end of exodus

    ** Conclusion about this healing **

    The healing of the man with an unclean spirit means that Jesus puts the Holy Spirit within the Israel’heart.
    The old spirit is now considered as an unclean spririt and becomes incompatible.
    To be short this healing starts the “Renewal of Israel”

    ** Conclusion about Mark 1-2, first step **

    Mark 1-2 is the unit describing the new doctrine

    The healing of the man with an unclean spirit
    meaning: Jesus puts the Holy Spirit within the Israel’heart and starts the Renewal of Israel
    The healing of Simon’s Mother-in-Law
    meaning: Jesus announces the new Covenant including the hebrews and the greeks
    You have to read my previous reply
    https://vridar.org/2019/08/21/a-story-of-a-mother-in-law-stopping-the-sun-and-rebuilding-the-temple-wall/#comment-95139
    The cleansing of a Leper
    meaning: The Hebrews who show their faith in Jesus are saved. They enter into the covenant with God
    A leper is Hebrew who does not follow the God’Law
    Status: A remaining work to detail and justify
    The Healing a Paralytic
    meaning: The Greeks who show their faith in Jesus are saved. They enter into the covenant with God
    A paralytic is a pagan who does not walk according the God’Law because he does not know the law.
    Status: A remaining work to detail and justify
    The main features about Old Israel and the New Israel

    Old Israel New Israel

    Spirit Unclean spirit Holy spirit
    Law/Teaching/Doctrine Law of Moses Word of Jesus, Gospel
    Food Manna Bread
    Drink Water, Old Wine Water, New Wine
    Garment Camel’s hair unshrunk cloth
    Old garment New garment
    Figure John as Baptist Jesus as son of man
    Covenant people The Hebrews The Hebrews and the Greeks
    Covenant rule Follow the Moses’Law Recognise Jesus as redeemer

    ** About Maurice Mergui and Nanine Charbonnel **
    Their works are very helpful but I also read christian authors.

  9. Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 1: Another remission of sins
    Tags: Midrash, Maurice Mergui, Nanine Charbonnel

    The remission of sin is the theme of the Gospel

    This chapter provides the essential basics

    Sin is disobedience to God

    Deuteronomy 11:1 Therefore you shall love the Lord your God, and keepHis charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always.

    Therefore sin also means that you areseparated from God
    Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.

    The repentance is wanting to come back to God. The sinner must acknowledge his faults and ask for forgiveness.
    Psalms 38:18For I will declare my iniquity I will be in anguish over my sin

    The remission of sins or (forgiveness) is the removal or the blotting out of the sins that God grants back.
    Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon

    The different stages of Jewish thought

    Step 1
    The Hebrews live under Moses’ law written in the five first books that make up the Torah. These books include extensive rules that are related to all aspects of life.

    Read for yourselves Leviticus 4 and Leviticus 16 which describe the remission of sins. Notice the importance of the rituals to be performed which always include the three following elements: the animals offering, the blood spilled at the altar, the Priest making intercession

    Also read for yourselves Leviticus 13 and 14 which describe the law of leprosy. These four books will be useful to understand the Mark Gospel

    Step 2The Hebrews still live under Moses’ law, but the hope of a less restrictive law appears in the book of the prophet Isaiah.

    Isaiah 53:10-12 shows another way of remission of sins that of the suffering servant who takes upon himself the sins of others and thus releases the Hebrews from their own sins.

    Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin ,… He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant justify many,
    For He shall bear their iniquities
    12… Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors

    Step 3
    Jewish religious movements (Judeans or Diaspora Jews) who want a softer law declare that the prophecy of Isaiah is now being fulfilled. They turn this idea into a story in order to support and widespread their doctrine and thus creates a new liturgical book, the gospel
    The main character of the story will be Jesus, the instantiation of the suffering servant. Jesus will be a two dimensional character with a divine dimension since everything comes from God and a human dimension since this gospel is intended for men.

    These same religious movements also want this softer law might lead to the conversion of pagans
    This is why Simon (the Hebrews) and Andrew (the Greeks) are brothers and why Jesus walks by the sea and will go to the other side of the sea to the pagans.

    In the OT, the sea is the border between the Hebrews who received the Moses’ law and the pagans who don’t know it.
    Deuteronomy30:11 For this commandment which I command you today not mysterious for you, nor it far off
    13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it
    14 But the word is very near you in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it

    How to read the Mark Gospel as a Midrash, Here are the key points

    Basic knowledge of Jewish thought
    The above lines

    Knowing the scriptures so as to immediately identify the key words and the theme
    Mark 1:2 As it has been written in the prophet Isaiah
    Mark 1:4 John came … preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins

    Distinguishing between Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus and Christ

    Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God
    It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
    10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.11 Then a voice came from heaven, You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;

    The Jesus character is built from Jesus of Nazareth (a man) and Jesus, son of God in Mark 1:10-11.
    The writer legitimizes his creation through the descent of the spirit and the divine voice.

    The term Jesus is only used by Mark, the writer. Other characters never use the term Jesus.
    The people identify Jesus as Jesus of Nazareth
    The unclean spirits say: You are the Son of God
    Peter answers: You are the Christ
    The high priest says: Christ, the son of the Blessed

    Knowing the scriptures so as to identify the source books and to grasp the new meaning.

    Mark 1:29-34 Now Simon mother-in-law lay ill with a fever
    Ruth 3:16 When Ruth returned to her mother-in-law Naomi asked her.

    In the book of Ruth, the pagans should obey the Moses’ law to enter into the covenant with God.
    Mark rewrites the book of Ruth by making some inversions to say that only faith in Jesus is required to enter into the covenant.
    Those who do not know the scriptures only see Jesus (of Nazareth) healing Simon’s mother-in-law.
    Those who know the scriptures understand that the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled because a new remission of sins implies a new covenant with God.

    to read more (a first version I made six months ago)
    https://vridar.org/2019/08/21/a-story-of-a-mother-in-law-stopping-the-sun-and-rebuilding-the-temple-wall/#comment-95139

    Knowing the scriptures to understand particular expressions

    Mark 1:7 …than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose.
    The one who has the right of redemption and cannot redeem takes off his shoe. (Ruth 4:6-8)

    Ruth 4:6 And the close relative said: I cannot redeem it for myself
    7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming
    8 Therefore the close relative said: …Buy it for yourself. So he took off his sandal

    The double meaning

    Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD. And He will have mercy on him; And to our God,For He will abundantly pardon
    Here, Sin means to be separated from God
    Jeremiah4:1 If you will return, O Israel; says the LORD, Return to Me. And if you will put away your abominations out of My sight, Then you shall not be moved.
    Here, Sin means to be excluded from his home, his country and to know exile.
    The term leper also contains a double meaning.

    A leper is a man excluded because of his skin disease. He’s also a Hebrew who doesn’t keep God’s commandments.
    In the bible, the most famous leper is Miriam, the Moses’ sister and the most famous exile is the babylonian exile.

    A close reading

    Mark 13:14 … let the reader understand.

    Mark 4:12 Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them
    Isaiah 6:10 Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed

    Double meaning: return to God = healing
    Healing = Remission = Return to God (according to the doctrine of the writer) = Conversion
    Mark 7:18 …Are you thus without understanding also?

    Conclusion

    The Mark gospel calls for the return to God according to a new doctrine based on a softer law in order to convert the pagans.
    Mark 1:27 Then they were all amazed, .. saying: What is this? What new doctrine is his?

    Depending on his knowledge of the scriptures and his ability to immediately grasp the double meaning, the reader will see Jesus (of Nazareth) as a healer or a preacher or he will understand the fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy, the softer law to convert the pagans.

    Next Steps

    Mark 1:1-20 and then Mark 1-2 to expand and confirm what I just wrote. We will thus notice that Mark 1-2 is perfectly structured and is nearly enough to understand the whole of the gospel
    Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
    Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

  10. Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2a: The Good News, The Kingdom
    Tags: Midrash, Maurice Mergui, Nanine Charbonnel

    The Good News to the Hebrews and the Kingdom of God
    Mark tells us what has to happen
    Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
    Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

    Another remission of sins, Another way to return to God

    Mark 1:2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, (NIV)
    4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness (remission) of sins.
    5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

    Bold words identify the theme, the remission of sins and the repentance, the return to God. They also specify another way of remission of sins that of the suffering servant
    who takes upon himself the sins of others and thus releases the others from their own sins (Isaiah 53:10-12) .
    John prepares the Hebrews, those who live under the law of Moses, for this radical change (see Chapter 1: Sin, The different stages of Jewish thought).

    John announces the more powerful than him, the one who will take the right of redemption

    Mark 1:7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. (NKJ)
    John does not know Jesus, John only knows the one who is more powerful than him, the one whose shoes cannot be loosed.

    (see chapter 1, The one who takes the right of redemption keeps his shoes on (Ruth 4:6-8)).

    Jesus of Nazareth is baptized by John

    Mark 1:9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
    Jesus of Nazareth is baptized by John like any other Hebrew. John does not know Jesus (of Nazareth)

    The Jesus character building, a literary character building

    Mark 1:10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.
    11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

    The Jesus character is built from Jesus of Nazareth (a man) and Jesus, son of God The writer legitimizes his literary character building through the descent of the spirit and the divine voice.
    The term Jesus is only used by Mark, the writer. Other characters never use the term Jesus. (see Chapter 1: two dimensional character, Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth)

    Jesus shows he is more powerful than Satan

    Mark 1:12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.
    13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.

    The wilderness is the place of testing but also the place where God guides and feeds his people.
    The word food contains a double meaning: The food from earth = the bread from heaven = the Word of God, so bread = Word

    John fades away, Jesus moves into the forefront

    Mark 1:14 And after the delivering up of John, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God (Berean Literal and Aramaic Bible)

    John represents the Hebrews who live under the law of Moses and agree not to oppose the one who will fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah. John delivered his message. His mission is over.
    Now Jesus is the most powerful one who proclaims the gospel.
    The new doctrine overtakes the law of Moses. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of Mark, which contains the new doctrine, becomes the Gospel of God. (see Chapter 1: Doctrine)

    Jesus announces the good news and declares he is the one who will take the right of redemption

    Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

    The time is fulfilled = The prophecy of Isaiah is now being fulfilled
    The kingdom of God is at hand. = God gives you a New Promised Land
    Repent = Return to God
    THE GOOD NEWS (New doctrine) = The fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy, it’s now
    (see Chapter 1, Jewish thought)

    By addressing the Hebrews and saying them “Repent”. Jesus declares to them that he is the one who will take the right of redemption

    The Baptism and the Announcement of the Kingdom of God

    Mark 1:5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
    8 I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
    15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.

    Baptism represents the ritual of entering a community, it also means the adoption of a new spirit, a new way of life.
    Here, The water baptism in the Jordan retells the story about the entry into the promised Land (Joshua 3:1-5:1).
    Here, The Baptism in the spirit, represents a return to God, an entry into His kingdom, but according to a new doctrine that is no longer the law of Moses.

    The expressions promised land and kingdom of god contain a double meaning. They mean both to live close to God or to live in a country where milk and honey flow.

    The changeover to the Kingdom, the new Passover

    At this stage Mk 1:15 Jesus preaches but does not teach yet, he presents the Gospel spririt and proclaims a new kingdom. From Mark 1:21, Jesus teaches to specify his role and the kingdom.

    The entry into the kingdom occurs at the end of the story in Mark 16. A long sequence prepares this entry, Mark 14:12 till Mark 15, it is the new Passover.

    New Passover = The fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy + Jewish Passover

    The fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy: Jesus takes the right of redemption by offering his blood and thus releases the Hebrews from their own sins.
    Jewish Passover: Jews retell the story about the liberation of Hebrews from slavery in Egypt

    The Kingdom of God: the different stages

    1 Jesus announces the Kingdom
    Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.

    2 Jesus fulfills the changeover to the Kingdom, the Passover,
    Mark 15:12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?”
    Mark 15:37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.

    3 The wifes are in the kingdom
    Mark 16:2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

    Notice the combination of the following three factors: dawn, the first day, and sunrise. This occurs only once in the story.
    Note also that there are only two “first days” in the story

    The forgiveness of sins through redemption: the different stages

    1 John announces the more powerful than him, the one who will take the right of redemption
    Mark 1:7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. (NKJ)

    2 Jesus shows he is more powerful than Satan
    Mark 1:12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.
    13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.

    3 Jesus announces he is the one who will take the right of redemption
    Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

    4 Jesus takes the right of redemption
    Mark 15:25 Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.
    Mark 15:37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.

    Conclusion

    This chapter covers only Mark: 1:1-15. What is said will be done in Mark:14-15-16.
    I presented the words with double meanings and pointed out that John does not know Jesus. I will come back to this.
    At this level, only the Hebrews have been considered.

    Next Step
    The Hebrews again, the pagans and the sea. Mark 1:16-20

  11. Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2b: The Four Disciples

    Tags: Midrash, Maurice Mergui, Nanine Charbonnel

    The Hebrews, the pagans and the kingdom
    (Mark 1:16-20)

    The previous verses announced the kingdom of God, the new land of the Hebrews where the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled.
    In a practical way, the fulfillment of the Isaiah’ prophecy means to give up the Moses’ law in favor of a softer law. This is the doctrine of Jesus
    (see Chapter 1: Jewish thought, doctrine)

    The action now occurs near the sea because the sea is the border between the Hebrews who received the Moses’ law and the pagans who don’t know it, (see Chapter 1: sea, Deuteronomy 30:11-14) .

    Mark 1:16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea;for they were fishermen.
    17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
    18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
    19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets.
    20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in
    the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.

    A new community of Hebrews and pagans

    Mark 1:16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.
    17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
    19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee

    James comes from the Hebrew name Jacob and Jacob is also called Israel

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2385.htm
    James
    https://biblehub.com/greek/2384.htm
    Jacob
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3290.htm
    Jacob

    Genesis 32:28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob (3290), but Israel;

    Simon comes from the Hebrew name Simeon and Simeon is the son of Jacob
    https://biblehub.com/greek/4613.htm
    Simon
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/8095.htm
    Simeon

    Genesis 34:25 Now it came to pass on the third day, … that two of the sons of Jacob (3290) , Simeon (8095) and Levi,

    Andrew is a greek name
    https://biblehub.com/greek/406.htm

    First meaning of these verses

    Simon and Andrew represent the Hebrews and the Pagans. Jesus asks the Hebrews and the Pagans to follow his doctrine so that they may enter the kingdom of God.
    The old Israel was the community of the Hebrews, the sons of Jacob.The kingdom of God welcomes the Hebrews and the Pagans

    From the Law of Moses to the Doctrine of Jesus

    Mark 1:16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.
    17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.
    18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

    Jesus first notices Simon and Andrew because they are fishermen. So, he will use their skills to fish from now (convert people).
    This is the first step, the next step will be to give them new nets (the doctrine of Jesus).
    By using the expression fishermen, the writer points out the double meanings, fishing = conversion and net = doctrine.
    When Jesus calls them, Simon and Andrew grasp the double meaning and leave their net (the old doctrine) to take up new ones (the Doctrine of Jesus)

    As disciples Simon and Andrew will be the leaders in charge of converting the Hebrews and the Pagans.

    Mark 1:19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets.
    20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.

    Jesus then notices James and John because they are the ones who provide the nets (the doctrine, the doctrine of Zebedee). Jesus asks them to no longer provide their father Zebedee’s doctrine, in favor of a new one.
    James and John leave their father Zebedee (the doctrine of Zebedee) and follow Jesus (they commit to the doctrine of Jesus).

    There is no information about the doctrine of Zebedee but it is presented in a negative way by the terms Zebedee and hired servants

    The name Zebedee is close to Zebulun but it is not Zebulun. Zebulun means Gift of God. In the current context, the gift of God is the Word of God given to his people Israel.
    By naming Zebedee thus, the writer points out the negative side of his doctrine: it is not the true gift of God, it is only something like it

    The writer points out the negative side a second time by making Zebedee work with hired servants. The hired servants are engaged and paid to perform a task. They do not work from conviction

    https://biblehub.com/greek/3411.htm
    a hired servant

    Finally, the current context allows us to say that the doctrine of Zebedee is the law of Moses. The writer cannot express it in such a direct way because he wants to present the doctrine of Jesus as the continuity
    of Moses’ law and not a break

    More about Zebulun, the Gift of God and Zebedee

    Zebulun means Gift of God due to Genesis 20:30. In this verse, the gift is expressed by hebrews words such as zabad and zebeb

    https://biblehub.com/genesis/30-20.htm
    God has given (2064) me a good gift (2065) … And she named him Zebulun (2074)

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/2064.htm
    zabad: bestow upon, endow with
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/2065.htm
    zebed: endowment, gift
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/2074.htm
    Zebulun

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2199.htm
    Zebedee

    The Gift of God, the Word of God, is One

    Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One(259). (Berean Study Bible)

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/259.htm
    One

    According to the writer of Mark’s Gospel, Word of God is One because God is One.

    God gives His word to His people in various stages: First the law of Moses, then the expectation of Isaiah’ prophecy and finally the Gospel of Jesus Christ where the Isaiah’ prophecy is he expectation of Isaiah’ prophecy.
    These different stages are not ruptures but express the divine plan.
    Isaiah 14:27 For the LORD of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, And who will turn it back?”

    Old doctrine
    Word of God = The torah and the book of the prophet Isaiah

    Doctrine of Jesus, the fulfillment of Isaiah’ prophecy = a softer law
    Word of God = Gospel of God = Gospel of Jesus Christ = Mark’s Gospel

    Does Jesus go further than Isaiah in addressing the pagans?

    Mark 1:9 When He had gone a little farther from there,

    Has he gone too far?

    What does Isaiah say about foreigners and nations?

    Isaiah speaks only to the inhabitants of Judea and Jerusalem.

    Isaiah 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
    3 The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider.”
    4 Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the Lord,

    Only the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem are concerned. At the beginning of the book, Isaiah considers them as Israel and a sinful nation.

    Isaiah also speaks of Zion, a term associated with Jerusalem.
    Isaiah 30:19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; You shall weep no more.
    Isaiah 41:27 The first time I said to Zion, ‘Look, there they are!’ And I will give to Jerusalem one who brings good tidings.
    Isaiah 64:10 Your holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.

    Foreigners who serve the Lord are accepted

    Isaiah 56:1Thus says the Lord:
    6 “Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him,
    7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar;
    For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
    8 The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, “Yet I will gather to him Others besides those who are gathered to him.”

    But the nations/foreigners who serve the Lord must also serve Zion/Jerusalem and the Judah’s inhabitants.

    Isaiah 56:3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.
    The Foreigners will live under the rules of Zion/Jerusalem
    5 Then you shall see and become radiant, And your heart shall swell with joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.
    The wealth of the nations will benefit Zion/Jerusalem
    10 “The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls, And their kings shall minister to you; For in My wrath I struck you, But in My favor I have had mercy on you.
    The Foreigners will serve Zion/Jerusalem
    Isaiah 56:5 Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, And the sons of the foreigner Shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
    The Foreigners will serve the Judah’s inhabitants

    The Matter

    In Isaiah, the Hebrews maintain their supremacy over foreigners.
    In the doctrine of Jesus, the Hebrews and the pagans are equal since they are brothers.

    Summary

    Simon and Andrew represent the Hebrews and the pagans called to enter the kingdom of God,
    Simon and Andre are brothers because in the kingdom of God there is only one community where the Hebrews and the pagans are equal.
    As disciples Simon and Andrew will be the leaders in charge of converting the Hebrews and the pagans according to the doctrine of Jesus

    James and John represent Israel, the people to whom God gives his word, the gift of God.
    These are the Hebrews who leave the law of Moses to join Jesus.

    According to the writer of Mark’s Gospel, Word of God is One because God is One.
    By this way, the doctrine of Jesus appears as a continuity and not a rupture.

    A problem seems to arise about the equality between the Hebrews and the pagans. Jesus is going to teach soon and make some clarifications, we will see.

    Next steps
    (Mark 1:1-20) The sea again, the wilderness, the time, John, Jesus

  12. Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2c: The sea of Galilee
    Tags: Midrash, Maurice Mergui, Nanine Charbonnel

    The sea of Galilee (Mark 1:1-20)

    THE SEA AS A BORDER BETWEEN THE HEBREWS AND THE PAGANS

    The sea is the border between the Hebrews who received the Moses’ law and the pagans who don’t know it.

    Deuteronomy 30:11 For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off
    13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it
    14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it

    THE GREAT ROUND TRIP: FROM JUDEA TO JERUSALEM, IN JUDEA

    Isaiah 1:1 The vision of Isaiah .., which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
    4 Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity,

    STEP 1: John speaks to the Judean Hebrews

    Mark 1:2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, …(NIV)
    4 John appeared, … proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
    5 And all the country of Judea (Judah) and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

    Mark begins his story in the same way as Isaiah. He talks to the same audience, the people of Judea and Jerusalem and these people live in sin.

    STEP 2: John fades away, Jesus moves to Galilee and speaks to the Galilean Hebrews

    Mark 1:9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
    Mark 1:14 And after the delivering up of John, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God (Berean Literal and Aramaic Bible)

    Jesus moves from Judea to Galilee

    STEP 3: Jesus moves to the sea of Galilee and calls the Hebrews and the pagans to join him

    Mark 1:16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea;

    STEP 4: Jesus goes back and forth between the Galilee and the sea of Galilee

    Jesus speaks to the Hebrews when he teaches in the synagogue,

    Mark 1.21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.
    Mark 3.1 And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand

    Jesus speaks to the Hebrews and pagans when he teaches near the sea

    Mark 2.13 Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them.
    Mark 4.1 And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him,

    STEP 5 Jesus crosses over to the other side twice

    First go
    Mark 4.35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.
    Mark 5.1 Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes.

    First return
    Mark 5.21 Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea.

    Second go
    Mark 6.45 Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away.
    Mark 6.53 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there.

    Jesus on his second way back
    Mark 7.31 Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee.

    STEP 6 Jesus comes back to Galilee

    Mark 8.13 And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side.

    STEP 7 Jesus moves from Galilee to Judea

    Mark 10.1 Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan

    In Mark’s Gospel, Judea is always associated with the Jordan

    STEP 8 Jesus goes up to Jerusalem

    Mark 10.32 Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them;

    STEP 9 Jesus comes into Jerusalem and into the temple

    Mark 11.11 And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple.
    Isaiah 44.28 Who says of Cyrus, He is My shepherd, And he shall perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.

    LAST STEP The wifes are in the Kingdom of God (see Chapter 2a)

    Mark 16:2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

    Isaiah 62.11 Indeed the Lord has proclaimed To the end of the world: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Surely your salvation is coming;
    12 And they shall call them The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord;
    Isaiah 65.17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
    Isaiah 66.13 As one whom his mother comforts, So I will comfort you; And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
    18 “For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory.
    22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord, “So shall your descendants and your name remain.

    Mark begins and ends his story in the same way as Isaiah
    At the beginning the People of God lives in the sin and at the end, the People of God is saved

    New earth = Kingdom of God
    The daughter of Zion = The women near the tomb
    The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord = The Hebrews who follow Jesus

    Notice however an inversion between the Isaiah’s book and the Mark’s gospel: The nations come to Jerusalem while Jesus goes to the pagans.

    THE TWO CROSSINGS OVER THE SEA, JONAH AND THE DOVE

    At each of the 2 crossings over the sea leading them to the pagans, the disciples face the sea. However, on their way back, the sea is still.

    Isaiah 43,16 Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea. And a path through the mighty waters,
    Isaiah 51.15 But I am the Lord your God, Who divided the sea whose waves roared The Lord of hosts is His name.
    16 And I have put My words in your mouth;

    Things to note

    1 In the 2 crossings over the sea, the wind is the key obstacle.

    Mark 4.39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
    41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

    Mark 6.48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.
    51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.

    2 The double meaning in the words: breath, wind, spirit

    https://biblehub.com/greek/417.htm
    anemos: wind
    https://biblehub.com/greek/4151.htm
    pneuma: wind, spirit
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7307.htm
    ruach: breath, wind, spirit

    Isaiah 40.7 The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath (7307) of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.

    The crossings over the sea are difficult because the breath/wind of the pagans is opposed to the breath/wind of the Lord. The spirit of the pagans rejects the God’s commandments, the conversion

    3 The first conversion attempt in pagan land is a failure.

    Mark 5:14 So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened.
    16 And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine.
    17Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.

    The action takes place in those who feed the swines, i.e. the pagans. The pagans reject His message and ask Him to leave. Jesus will come back a second time to succeed.

    4 The parallel with the book of Jonah, Another failure followed by success

    Jonah 1:1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
    2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.”
    3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish;
    4 But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up.

    Jonah 3:1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying,
    2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.”
    3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh

    Jonah flees to avoid going to the pagans and the Lord punishes him by sending out a great wind on the sea. He’ll go back a second time to succeed in his mission.

    5 The parallel with the dove of Noah, Another failure followed by success

    Genesis 8:8 He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground.
    9 But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth.
    10 And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark.
    11 Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth

    The first release is a failure, the second will be a success, the dove comes back with a freshly olive leaf to indicate that the waters receded from the earth.

    6 Yonah and yonah

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3124.htm
    Yonah: an Israelite prophet
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3123.htm
    yonah: dove
    https://biblehub.com/greek/4058.htm
    peristera: a dove

    ISRAEL, THE NORTHERN KINGDOM AND JUDAH, THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM

    The first book of Kings refers to the reign of Solomon, his succession, and the schism, i.e. the division of the unified kingdom into two distinct kingdoms: that of Israel and that of Judah.
    The unified kingdom of David is split in two in the reign of Rehoboam, who becomes the first to reign over the kingdom of Judah.
    Later, the Assyrians will destroy the northern kingdom, leaving Judah as the sole custodian of the promise.

    The splitting of the unified kingdom is described in 1 Kings 12

    The southern kingdom is composed of the house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, Jerusalem is the capital
    The other tribes form the northern kingdom. Shechem is the capital.

    1 Kings 12: 21 And when Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah with the tribe of Benjamin, …, to fight against the house of Israel

    1 Kings 12:25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the mountains of Ephraim, and dwelt there. Also he went out from there and built Penuel.

    Here are some maps
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/12_Tribes_of_Israel_Map.svg
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bd/Kingdoms_of_Israel_and_Judah_map_830.svg

    The expectations for a reunified Kingdom

    Isaiah 5.7 For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.
    Isaiah 11.12 He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.

    Eezekiel 37:19 say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions;
    and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.”

    stick (6086)
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/6086.htm
    ets: tree, trees, wood

    Isaiah reminds the splitting into 2 kingdoms and the equivalence between them. Ezekiel means their reunification by joining the 2 woods, the wood of Israel and the wood of Judah.

    Mark reuses the notion of the two kingdoms

    Mark begins his story in the same way as Isaiah. He talks to the same audience, the people of Judea and Jerusalem

    Isaiah 1:1 The vision of Isaiah .., which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

    Mark 1:2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, …(NIV)
    4 John appeared, … proclaiming a baptism
    5 And all the country of Judea (Judah) and all Jerusalem were going out to him
    Mark 1:9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

    In doing this, Mark makes Jesus appear in Judea, the Southern Kingdom

    Mark 1:14 And after the delivering up of John, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God (Berean Literal and Aramaic Bible)

    Then Mark moves Jesus to Galilee, the Northern Kingdom.

    Mark equates Judah with the Southern Kingdom and Galilee with the Northern Kingdom. His purpose is not to join the wood of Judah to the wood of Israel as described by Ezekiel.
    In Mark’s gospel, the 2 woods to be joined are the wood of the Hebrews and the wood of the pagans.

    SUMMARY

    The sea takes up the theme of the pagans to be converted and announces the 2 crossings over the sea that Mark will rewrite from the book of Jonah.

    The word Galilee, represents the northern kingdom and the expectation of joining together the 2 woods, that of the northern kingdom and that of the southern kingdom.
    Mark reuses the notion of the 2 kingdoms to announce the join of the 2 other woods, the wood of the Hebrews and the wood of the pagans.

    Isaiah equates Judah and Israel and makes a distinction between them and the nations, In the book of Isaiah, the nations come to Jerusalem while Jesus goes to the pagans, in the Mark’s Gospel.

    Next steps

    (Mark 1:1-20) The wilderness, the time, John, Jesus

  13. Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2d: The Biblical Desert
    Tags: Midrash, Maurice Mergui, Nanine Charbonnel

    Desert, Dual World and Demon(s)

    THE BIBLICAL DESERT

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2048.htm
    solitary, desolate
    as an adj: deserted, desolate, waste; hence: the desert

    The desert, a place with a lot of people

    Mark 1:4 4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness (NIV)
    5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him

    The desert, a place with food

    Mark 1:4 Now John … and he ate locusts and wild honey.

    A lot of flowers in this desert with also insects that don’t live in the desert.
    I have rather in mind the locusts devastating the harvest fields.

    Exodus 16:15 So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
    And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.
    31 And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

    Exodus 16:35 And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan

    The desert, a place with spiritual food

    The word food contains a double meaning, earthly food = bread, spiritual food = Word of God

    Mark 6:30 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught.
    31And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.
    32So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.

    The apostles have taught, they have given Word of God and they no longer have it. The apostles therefore need to eat, to take up again the divine Word.
    So,Jesus invites them to go to a deserted place to eat again the divine word.

    The desert, a place to meet God and communicate with God

    Mark 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying. (Christian Standard Bible)

    Jesus prays to communicate with God. He does it again at the end of the story.

    Mark 14:35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.
    36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

    (The mountain, another place to meet God and communicate with God)

    Mark 6:46 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.
    Mark 9:2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them.
    Mark 11:1 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples;

    Zechariah14:4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,

    Isaiah 40-9 Zion, herald of good news, go up on a high mountain. Jerusalem, herald of good news, raise your voice loudly.
    Raise it, do not be afraid! Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” (Christian Standard Bible)

    The desert, the place where God tests and evaluates His people

    Mark 1:12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.
    13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan,

    Exodus 16:35 And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan

    THE DESERT, A DUAL WORLD OF GOOD AND EVIL

    Mark 1:13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.

    The name Satan, the expression wild beasts and the word angel refer to the Fallen Angels and the Good Angels from the book of Enoch.

    Enoch 54.5 And he said to me: “These are being prepared for the hosts of Azazel, so that they may take them, and throw them into the lowest part of hell;
    and they will cover their jaws with rough stones, as the Lord of Spirits commanded.
    54.6 And Michael and Gabriel, Raphael and Phanuel – these will take hold of them on that great day. And throw them, on that day, into the furnace of burning fire, so that the Lord of Spirits may take
    vengeance on them for their iniquity, in that they became servants of Satan, and led astray those who dwell upon the dry ground

    Enoch 88.1 And I saw one (Good Angel) of those four who had come out first, how he took hold of that first star (Fallen Angel), which had fallen from Heaven,
    and bound it by its hands and feet, and threw it into an abyss. And that abyss was narrow, and deep, and horrible, and dark.

    Enoch 89.10 And they began to beget wild animals and birds, so that there arose from them every kind of species: lions, tigers, wolves, dogs, hyenas, wildboars

    https://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/featured-scrolls

    The book of Enoch was not included in the canon of the Hebrew Bible. It tells of Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah, who lived for 365 years and “walked with God”.
    The displayed fragment describes the heavenly revolt of the fallen angels, and their descent to earth to cohabit with the daughters of men and to reveal secret knowledge to mankind, a story hinted at in Gen. 6:1-4

    The Demons in the book of Isaiah

    The book of Isaiah contains this sequence interpreted as a mention of the fall of the rebellious angel

    New Living Translation
    Isaiah 14:12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world.
    13 For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north.
    14 I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.
    15 Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1966.htm
    helel: a shining one

    The dual world of good and evil in the book of Isaiah

    Isaiah 45.7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.’ (NKJ)

    SUMMARY

    The biblical desert is not the geogaphic desert. It is the place to communicate with God and the place where God gives his spiritual food.

    In the temptation in the desert, Mark takes up two notions that exist in the book of Isaiah,
    1 – The dual world where Good fights against Evil, Light against Darkness, Good Angels against Fallen Angels.
    2 – The Demons, the Angels Fallen from heaven who wanted to be like God,

    Marc will expand the theme of demons in a collective or individual form (Satan, Beelzebub , Legion).

    In Mark’s gospel, the demon Legio is close to the demon Azazel and the demonic sequence is a rewriting based on Isaiah 14:12-15 and the Book of Enoch.
    The Legion sequence goes hand in hand with the Beelzebub sequence . These 2 sequences show the harmful effects of division and constitute a call to unity based on the doctrine of Jesus.

    Next steps

    (Mark 1:1-20) The biblical time, John, Jesus

  14. Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2e: The Biblical Time
    Tags: Midrash, Maurice Mergui, Nanine Charbonnel

    The Time, the Signs and the Rooster

    1 – IN THOSE DAYS

    Mark 1:9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
    Mark 8:1 In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them,

    Zechariah 8.13 And it shall come to pass (1961) That just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel,
    So I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear, Let your hands be strong.’
    14 “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Just as I determined to punish you When your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘And I would not relent,
    15 So again in these days I am determined to do good To Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear.
    16 These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;

    Mark reuses what Zachariah says

    In Mark’s gospel, those days refers to the time when God forgives his people
    1 – to do good (the sending of Jesus to fulfill the Isaiah’s prophecy)
    2 – to give him a new spiritual food (the doctrine of Jesus)
    3 – to tell him the things he shall do (follow Jesus to be saved).

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1961.htm
    hayah: to fall out, come to pass, become, be

    2 – THE FLOW OF TIME IN GENESIS

    First there are the days of creation with an evening and a morning and then the major events that happen when people get up early in the morning.

    Genesis 1.1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth
    1.5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
    1.8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.
    1.13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.
    1.19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
    1.23 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
    1.31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
    19.2 And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.”
    19.27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord.
    20.8 So Abimelech rose early in the morning, called all his servants, and told all these things in their hearing; and the men were very much afraid.
    21.14 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder,
    he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba.
    22.3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son;
    and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
    26.31 Then they arose early in the morning and swore an oath with one another; and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace
    28.18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it.

    3 – THE FLOW OF TIME IN MARK’S GOSPEL

    Several Days and Two First Days

    Mark 1.21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.
    2.23 Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain.
    3.2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.
    4.35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”
    6.21 Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee
    14.12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?”
    16:2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

    Two Nights

    Mark 6.48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.
    14.30 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”

    Several mornings but only once ‘Very early in the morning’

    Mark 1.35 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
    12.20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
    15.1 Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate.
    16:2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

    Several evenings and two notable evenings

    Mark 1.32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed.
    4.35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”
    6.47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land.
    11.19 When evening had come, He went out of the city.
    14.17 In the evening He came with the twelve.
    15.42 Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath,

    Only one sunset and one sunrise

    Mark 1.32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed.
    Mark 16:2 VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING, ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, THEY CAME TO THE TOMB WHEN THE SUN HAD RISEN.

    Isaiah 60.19 “The sun shall no longer be your light by day, Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; But the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, And your God your glory.

    In the verse Mark 16:2, Notice the combination of the following three factors: dawn, the first day, and sunrise. This occurs only once in the story.

    SYNTHESIS

    The Mark’s symbolic story unfolds at twilight (from Mark 1.32 till Mark 16:2).

    In the verse Mark 16:2, the light appears but it is no longer daylight. It is the true light, the light of the Lord (Isaiah 60:19).

    Mark evokes the flow of time through mornings, evenings, and days as in Genesis, He adds a single one sunset and a single one sunrise.

    His aim is to prepare the ultimate morning, the morning of the verses Mark 16:1-8 when women enter the kingdom of God and are in the presence of the Lord

    I have already pointed out it in my previous chapters and I will come back to it often to extand and consolidate.

    Now I point out the parallels between Mark and Genesis about the following topics: the stone, the anointing, the fear, the divine presence. I will reuse them later

    Mark 16:1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.
    2 very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
    3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?”
    8 So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

    Genesis 19.27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord.
    20.8 So Abimelech rose early in the morning, called all his servants, and told all these things in their hearing; and the men were very much afraid.
    28.18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it.

    4 – THE TIME WHEN TWO BECOMES ONE

    Jeremiah 50.4 “In those days and in that time,” says the Lord, “The children of Israel shall come, They and the children of Judah together;
    With continual weeping they shall come, And seek the Lord their God.

    The children of Israel and the children of Judah join together.

    Jeremiah 50.20 In those days and in that time,” says the Lord, “The iniquity of Israel shall be sought, but there shall be none;
    And the sins of Judah, but they shall not be found; For I will pardon
    those whom I preserve.

    Evil disappears, only Good remains

    Isaiah 60.19 “The sun shall no longer be your light by day, Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; But the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, And your God your glory.
    20 Your sun shall no longer go down, Nor shall your moon withdraw itself; For the Lord will be your everlasting light, And the days of your mourning shall be ended.
    21 Also your people shall all be righteous; They shall inherit the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified.
    22 A little one shall become a thousand, And a small one a strong nation. I, the Lord, will hasten it in its time.

    There is no longer sun and moon, God is the light.

    Mark 10.6 But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’
    7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
    8 and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.
    9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

    Mark 12.24 Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?
    25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

    There is no longer man and wife but only angels in the sky.

    Here the word marriage contains a double meaning, it also refers to the union between God and his people.

    Light is no longer the light of the sun or the moon, it is the light of God. The distinction between man and wife disappears. The children of Israel and the children of Judah join together.
    Sin disappears because God has forgiven, so there is no more Evil, only Good remains. The two becomes one.

    5 – THE TIME OF SALVATION

    The themes of salvation, Judah and Israel joining together, the unity with God have just been mentioned. They are part of Jewish literature,
    I take them up again in Joel’s book to point out the expressions reused in Mark.

    Joel 3:1 “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
    2 I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel,
    Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.
    3 They have cast lots for My people, Have given a boy as payment for a harlot, And sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.

    18 And it will come to pass in that day That the mountains shall drip with new wine, The hills shall flow with milk, And all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water;
    A fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord And water the Valley of Acacias.
    19 “Egypt shall be a desolation, And Edom a desolate wilderness, Because of violence against the people of Judah, For they have shed innocent blood in their land.
    20 But Judah shall abide forever, And Jerusalem from generation to generation.
    21 For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted; For the Lord dwells in Zion.”

    Mark 15:24 And when they crucified Him, …
    Joel 3:19 .. they have shed innocent blood

    Mark 15:24 … they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take.
    Joel 3.2 and Joel 3.3 They have also divided up My land. They have cast lots for My people,

    Psalms 22:18 They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.

    6 – OBSERVE THE SIGNS OF THE TIME, FOR THE DAY OF JUDGMENT WILL COME

    Joel 3:1 “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
    2 I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with
    them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.

    18 And it will come to pass in that day That the mountains shall drip with new wine, The hills shall flow with milk, And all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water;
    A fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord And water the Valley of Acacias.
    19 “Egypt shall be a desolation, And Edom a desolate wilderness, Because of violence against the people of Judah, For they have shed innocent blood in their land.
    21 For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted; For the Lord dwells in Zion.”

    Mark 12.1 Then He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat and built a tower.
    And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.
    2 Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that he might receive some of the fruit of the vineyard from the vinedressers.
    12.9 “Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others.

    Mark 13,2 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
    33Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.
    34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch.
    35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning

    Jesus asks the disciples to observe the signs of the times in order to grasp how the divine plan is being fulfilled.
    He asks them to be as clever as the rooster that knows each time of day and night in order to crow at the right time.

    SUMMARY

    The Mark’s symbolic story unfolds at twilight (from Mark 1.32 till Mark 16:2).

    In the verse Mark 16:2, the light appears but it is no longer daylight. It is the true light, the light of the Lord (Isaiah 60:19.)

    Mark evokes the flow of time through mornings, evenings, and days as in Genesis, He adds a single one sunset and a single one sunrise.

    His aim is to prepare the ultimate morning, the morning of the verses Mark 16:1-8 when women enter the kingdom of God and are in the presence of the Lord

    The flow of time contains signs that God addresses to the disciples and readers, that they be as clever as the rooster to recognize them.
    Mark 13:14 … let the reader understand

    In Mark’s Gospel, the biblical time is the time of hope and salvation like the other prophets Isaiah, Zechariah, Joel, Jeremiah. But Mark goes further by addressing the pagans.

    Next steps

    (Mark 1:1-20) John, Jesus, the ark, first synthesis.
    (Mark 1-2) The first 4 miracles, Levi, John again, second synthesis.

  15. Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2f: John
    Tags: Midrash, Maurice Mergui, Nanine Charbonnel

    John the Predecessor

    1 – JOHN, A MAN COMING FROM NOWHERE

    Mark 1:4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
    6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey

    No information about the character except details about his dressing and his food menu.

    2 – JOHN, THE MESSENGER ANNOUNCED BY ANCIENT SCRIPTURES

    Mark 1:2 As it is written in the Prophets: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.”

    Malachi 3.1 “Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple,
    Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the Lord of hosts.

    The first parallel with Malachi announces two themes of the gospel: a new temple and a new covenant for God’s people.

    Mark 1.2 As it is written in the Prophets: …
    3 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’ ”
    4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of B>repentance for the remission of sins.
    7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose.

    Isaiah 40.3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.

    The second parallel with Isaiah highlights the key theme of the gospel, the remission of sins according to the model of Isaiah’s suffering servant (see my Chapter 1).

    SYNTHESIS

    Exodus 23.20 “Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.
    21 Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him.
    22 But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries

    The expectation for a messenger preparing the way of the Lord already existed in the book of Exodus. The parallels with Malachi and Isaiah are more useful because they highlight the themes of the gospel.
    The fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, i.e. the lightening of the Moses’ law, has already been studied and we will soon talk about the other themes that go hand in hand, the new covenant and the new temple.

    3 – WHERE IS JOHN LOCATED IN THE CHAIN OF PROPHETS ?

    John himself is a prophet because he is dressed as a prophet

    Mark 1.6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey

    2 Kings 1.8 So they answered him, “A hairy man wearing a leather belt around his waist.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.”

    Isaiah 5.27 No one will be weary or stumble among them, No one will slumber or sleep; Nor will the belt on their loins be loosed,
    Nor the strap of their sandals be broken;

    Jeremiah 13.11 For as the sash (232) clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me,’ says the Lord,
    ‘that they may become My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they would not hear.’

    Elijah, the first prophet versus Malachi, the last prophet

    Malachi 4.5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
    6 And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

    By making a parallel with Malachi and dressing John as Elijah, Mark implicitly mentions the first and last prophet of the Old Testament and thus places John after Malachi.
    First prophet (Elijah ) => Other prophets (Isaiah,…) => Last prophet (Malachi ) => John

    4 – JOHN IS A HEBREW ADRESSING THE HEBREWS ONLY

    I remind the meaning of Hebrew. The Hebrews are those who live under the law of Moses whatever the generation is.

    John is a Hebrew like his distant ancestors who experienced the exodus and the desert.

    Mark 1.6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey

    Exodus 3.8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey,
    Exodus 10.14 And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt and rested on all the territory of Egypt. They were very severe; previously there had been no such locusts as they,
    nor shall there be such after them.

    John has the right attributes

    1- he eats locusts because the locusts are the eighth plague in Egypt before the exodus.
    2- he feeds on honey because honey means the end of the exodus
    3- he wears a garment of camel hair because the camels live in the desert

    John adresses the Hebrews only

    Mark 1:2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, …(NIV)
    Mark 1:5 And all the country of Judea (Judah) and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins

    Isaiah 1:1 The vision of Isaiah .., which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

    Judea and Jerusalem represent the land of the Hebrews, the Promised Land (see Chapter 2c: the sea of Galilee).

    Mark 1:7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. (NKJ)

    Only a Hebrew can understand an expression such as loose the sandal strap.
    (see my Chapter 1, The one who takes the right of redemption keeps his shoes on (Ruth 4:6-8)).

    5 – JOHN IS NOT THE NEW ELIJAH

    John dies, but Elijah doesn’t.

    2 Kings 2.1 And it came to pass, when the Lord was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.

    John acts like Elijah only once

    Mark 6:14 Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known. And he said, “John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.”
    15 Others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.”
    17 For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her.
    18 Because John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”

    John reproves the king Herod for his marriage of Herodias

    1 Kings 18.17 Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?”
    18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals.
    19 Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

    Elijah admonishes the king Ahab telling him that he is the one who troubled Israel by allowing the worship of false gods. Jezebel is the Ahab’s wife.

    Elijah, another period

    Mark 9:13 But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him.

    Jesus points out that the period of the prophets began with Elijah and ended with John. Jesus is now fulfilling the last major change.

    6 – JOHN AND JESUS

    John announces the one who comes after him but does not name him.

    Mark 1:7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. (NKJ)
    8 I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

    John announces the more powerful than him, the one who will take the right of redemption

    Mark 1:7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. (NKJ)

    John does not know Jesus, John only knows the one who is more powerful than him, the one whose shoes cannot be loosed.
    (see my Chapter 1, The one who takes the right of redemption keeps his shoes on (Ruth 4:6-8)). (see Chapter 2a: powerful)

    Mark 1:8 I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
    (see Chapter 2a: Baptism)

    Jesus of Nazareth is baptized by John

    Mark 1:9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

    Jesus of Nazareth is baptized by John like any other Hebrew. John does not know Jesus (of Nazareth)
    (see Chapter 2a: baptized)

    John fades away, Jesus moves into the forefront

    Mark 1:14 And after the delivering up of John, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God (Berean Literal and Aramaic Bible)

    John delivered his message. His mission is over. Now Jesus is the most powerful one who proclaims the gospel.
    The new doctrine overtakes the law of Moses. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of Mark, which contains the new doctrine, becomes the Gospel of God.
    (see my Chapter 1: Doctrine, see Chapter 2a: delivering )

    7 – JOHN AND THE DISCIPLES OF JESUS

    Those who fast and those who do not fast

    Mark 2:18 The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast,
    but Your disciples do not fast?

    In this context, fasting means not to eat the Jesus’ spiritual food

    In this verse, there are three kinds of people

    1 – the disciples of Jesus who support his doctrine as they eat his spiritual food.
    2 – the disciples of John who do not endorse the doctrine of Jesus but will not oppose him
    3 – the Pharisees who do not endorse the doctrine of Jesus and will oppose him.

    The disciples of John and the Pharisees do not want to give up the law of Moses, this is why they do not eat.

    Let’s remember that the doctrine of Jesus has two parts: the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy and the call to pagans. We will soon see that the Pharisees accept the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy
    but only for the Hebrews, the pagans remain excluded.

    8 – OTHER PARALLELS BETWEEN MARK AND THE PROPHETS ISAIAH AND JEREMIAH

    Mark 1:5 And all the country of Judea (Judah) and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins
    6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
    7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. (NKJ)

    Isaiah 1:1 The vision of Isaiah .., which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
    Isaiah 5.27 No one will be weary or stumble among them, No one will slumber or sleep; Nor will the belt on their loins be loosed, Nor the strap of their sandals be broken;
    Isaiah 11.5 Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist.

    Jeremiah 13.4 “Take the sash (232) that you acquired, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole in the rock.” (NKJ)
    11 For as the sash (232) clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me,’ says the Lord,
    ‘that they may become My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they would not hear.’

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/232.htm
    a waist cloth
    NASB Translation
    belt (3), belts (1), girdle (2), waistband (8).

    SUMMARY

    John is an ephemeral character whose only role is to proclaim the one who comes after him and the themes of the gospel. The main theme is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy,
    i.e. the lightening of the Moses’ law, and the 2 other themes that go hand in hand are the new covenant and the new temple.

    John comes from nowhere and does not know Jesus of Nazareth. He only knows the one who comes after him. Jesus of Nazareth is baptized by John like any other Hebrew.

    John is a hebrew prophet adressing the hebrews only. He’s not the new Elijah either.

    John is located in the chain of prophets like this:
    First prophet (Elijah ) => Other prophets (Isaiah,…) => Last prophet (Malachi ) => John

    John represents the ancient Israel, the Hebrews who live under the law of Moses, He does not endorse the doctrine of Jesus but will not oppose him.
    I’ll come back to that when I study the third and fourth miracles.

    Next steps

    (Mark 1:1-20) Jesus, the ark, first synthesis.
    (Mark 1-2) The first 4 miracles, Levi, John again, second synthesis.

  16. Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2g: Jesus
    Tags: Midrash, Maurice Mergui, Nanine Charbonnel

    1 – JESUS AS THE SON OF GOD, THE DIVINE DIMENSION

    Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God

    The word ‘son’ evokes, a new start, a renewal of God’s people. And since everything comes from God, the son is a gift from God, and therefore son of God.

    The notion of a God begetting a son already exists in the following verse

    Psalms 2.7 “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

    The book of Isaiah expands the same idea in the following verses (Isaiah 66:7-9)

    Isaiah 66.7 “Before she was in labor, she gave birth; Before her pain came, She delivered a male child.
    The pronoun ‘She’ suggests a woman

    Isaiah 66.8 Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once?
    For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children.

    Here, it is the earth or Zion/Jerusalem that gives birth and the child is the nation or the children, the people of God.

    Isaiah 66.9 Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the Lord. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God.
    God brings to the time of birth, and causes the delivery

    Notice also the descendants that God gives to Jacob, the son that God gives to Leah, the son that God gives to Abraham

    Isaiah 65.9 I (the Lord) will bring forth descendants from Jacob, And from Judah an heir of My mountains; My elect shall inherit it, And My servants shall dwell there.

    Genesis 30.20 .And Leah said, “God has given (2064) me a good gift (2065) … And she named him Zebulun (2074) (see Chapter 2b)

    Genesis 17.17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old?
    And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”

    2 – JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE HUMAN DIMENSION

    Mark 1:9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

    This verse describes human deeds such as walking and being baptized. But there is no information about Jesus of Nazareth.
    Why does he come from Galilee to Judea since John is an ephemeral character ? (see my Chapter 2f: John)

    3 – HOW DOES MARK BUILD JESUS, THE LITERARY CHARACTER.

    The main character of the story is Jesus, the instantiation of the suffering servant. Jesus is a two dimensional character
    with a divine dimension since everything comes from God and a human dimension since this gospel is intended for men.

    The writer legitimizes his creation through the descent of the spirit upon Jesus of Nazareth and the divine voice.
    He reuses the book of Isaiah and the Psalms. Below are the parallels

    Mark 1.10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.

    Isaiah 64.1 (63.19) Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence

    Mark 1,10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.

    Isaiah 61.1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor;
    He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

    Mark 1.11 Then a voice came from heaven, You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;

    Psalms 2.7 “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

    Isaiah 42.1“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.

    Isaiah 62.4 You shall no longer be termed Forsaken (5805), Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate (8074); But you shall be called Hephzibah (2657),
    and your land Beulah (1166); For the Lord delights in you, And your land shall be married.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/2657.htm
    Definition: “my delight is in her”, a name for Zion,

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1166.htm
    baal: to marry, rule over

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5805.htm
    Definition: forsakenness, desolation

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/8074.htm
    shamem: to be desolated or appalled

    Mark extracted from the scriptures, mainly Isaiah, notions such as ‘beloved son’ and ‘descent of the spirit upon him’.
    In the full verses of Isaiah, there is also the word ‘Anointed’ and the roles that Jesus fulfills.

    4 – JESUS, THE ANOINTED

    Jesus receives the anointing at Bethany. By this way, Jesus becomes legitimate to carry out God’s will on earth.

    Mark 14.8 She has done what she could to anoint (3462) My body in advance of My burial. (Berean Study Bible)

    https://biblehub.com/greek/3462.htm
    Definition: to anoint

    Isaiah 61.1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed (4886) Me To preach good tidings to the poor;

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4886.htm
    mashach: to smear, anoint

    Psalms 2.6 “Yet I have set (5258) My King On My holy hill of Zion.”
    7 “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5258.htm
    Definition: to pour out

    5 – JESUS, THE BELOVED SON

    Mark 1.11 Then a voice came from heaven, You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;

    The divine voice declares Jesus as the beloved son immediately after receiving the divine spirit.

    Marc 9:7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”

    The divine voice declares that Jesus, the beloved son, is the divine word

    Mark 12:6 Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he (God , the owner of the vineyard ) also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’

    In this Parable, God sends his beloved son even though he knows that the wine growers may kill him

    Notice in Isaiah the relationship between the beloved and the vine.

    Esaiah 5.1 Now let me sing to my Well-beloved A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: My Well-beloved has a vineyard On a very fruitful hill.

    6 – THE ROLES OF JESUS

    How does Mark reuse Isaiah ?

    Isaiah 61.1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed (4886) Me To preach good tidings to the poor;
    He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

    Jesus preaches the good news, heals and proclaims liberty. The words ‘healing’ and ‘liberty’ contain a double meaning.
    Healing is also spiritual healing, healing of the soul. Liberty is also liberation from sin.

    Isaiah 42.1“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.

    Justice is what is compliant with to the law. Mark reinterprets Isaiah. In Mark’s gospel, Justice is what is compliant with the doctrine of Jesus,
    a doctrine intended for the Hebrews and the Gentiles, the pagans.

    Isaiah 62.4 You shall no longer be termed Forsaken (5805), Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate (8074); But you shall be called Hephzibah (2657),
    and your land Beulah (1166); For the Lord delights in you, And your land shall be married.

    Isaiah 54.1 “Sing, O barren, You who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, You who have not labored with child!
    For more are the children of the desolate (8074) Than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord.

    In Isaiah, the word forsaken may represent several things: the woman who no longer gives birth, Zion/Jerusalem or the Promised Land.

    Mark takes the word up again and gives it other meanings.

    1 – Sick women who will not be able to have children (the mother-in-law lying sick with a fever, the adult woman who loses her blood, Jaire’s daughter who cannot reach adulthood to procreate)
    2 – the woman with 7 husbands who has no children,
    3 – the widow who has no husband to conceive a child

    Jesus will reverse their situation and sick women will be able to give birth,

    7 – JESUS, THE CHRIST

    Mark 1.1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God

    Mark 8.29 He (Jesus) said to them (His disciples) , “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”

    The word Christ is used belatedly in Mark 8.29

    Before the appearance of this word, Jesus did the preliminary work to make it understandable

    1 – He turned the bad land and the poor land into good land
    2 – He has sown the Word (or doctrine)
    3 – He healed the deaf and dumb so that he could hear and spread the Word.
    4 – He healed the blind ,so that he can see the light i.e. the Word that shows the way to the God’s kingdom.

    8- JESUS, JESUS DE NAZARETH, SON OF GOD, CHRIST,

    The term Jesus is only used by Mark, the writer. Other characters never use the term Jesus.

    The people identify Jesus as Jesus of Nazareth
    The unclean spirits say: You are the Son of God
    Peter answers: You are the Christ
    The high priest says: Christ, the son of the Blessed

    9 – THE BODY AND THE BLOOD OF JESUS

    Mark 14.22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
    23 Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
    24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.
    25 Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

    Body of Jesus = Bread = Spiritual food

    Blood of Jesus = Fruit of the vine = Spiritual Drink

    10 – HOW DOES MARK UNBUILD THE JESUS CHARACTER

    THE JESUS CHARACTER LOSES HIS DIVINE DIMENSION (MARK 15.15)

    Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God

    Mark 14.36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

    Mark 15.15 So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.

    Jesus speaks to his Father whom he calls Abba. By releasing Barabbas (Bar Abba = the son of the Father), Pilate releases the son of God.

    https://biblehub.com/greek/912.htm
    Barabbas: “son of Abba,” Barabbas,
    Word Origin
    of Aramaic origin bar and Abba
    Definition
    “son of Abba,”

    https://biblehub.com/greek/5.htm
    Abba: Abba, father

    JESUS YIELDS UP THE SPIRIT (MARK 15:37)

    Mark 1:10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.

    Jesus receives the divine breath i. e. His mission, the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy

    Mark 15:37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.

    Jesus fullfilled his mission and so he yielded up the spirit.

    Double meaning in the words: breath, wind, spirit

    https://biblehub.com/greek/4151.htm
    pneuma: wind, spirit
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7307.htm
    ruach: breath, wind, spirit

    11- JESUS, THE NAZIRITE FOR A SET TIME

    The word Nazarite is quoted in the book of the Maccabees

    1 Maccabees 3.49 They brought also the priests’ garments, and the firstfruits, and the tithes: and the Nazarites they stirred up, who had accomplished their days

    The word Nazarite comes from the root Hebrew word ‘nazir’ which means ‘separate’ or ‘one who is separated

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5139.htm
    nazir: one consecrated, devoted
    Word Origin from nazar

    The Book of Numbers (6:1-21) describes the temporary nazarite

    Numbers 6.2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When either a man or woman consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite (5139),
    to separate himself to the Lord
    ,
    Numbers 6.5 All the days of the vow of his separation

    The life of Jesus as a temporary Nazirite begins when Jesus of Nazareth receives the spirit (Mark 1.10) and ends when Jesus yields up the spirit (Mark 15.37).

    The expression ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ is an indication of time period rather than location

    Mark 1:9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth (nazar + eth) of Galilee,

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5144.htm
    nazar: consecrate

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/6256.htm
    eth: time

    I will now show the commonalities between the temporary Nazirite and Jesus, the literary character

    1 – The nazarite is the Holy One of God

    Numbers 6.5 ‘All the days of the vow of his separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the Lord, he shall be holy …
    8 All the days of his separation he shall be holy to the Lord.

    Mark 1.24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are the Holy One of God!

    The man in the synagogue, a man of the people, recognizes Jesus as the Holy One of God.

    2 – The Nazarite abstains from all alcohols and vinegar

    Numbers 6.3 he shall separate himself from wine and similar drink; he shall drink neither vinegar made from wine
    nor vinegar made from similar drink; neither shall he drink any grape juice, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins.

    Jesus abstains from wines and vinegar and what’s more, he doesn’t drink. Here are the various scenes

    Mark 2:16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples,
    “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”

    The scribes and Pharisees see Jesus eating. They do not see Jesus drinking.

    Mark 15.23 Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it.

    Mark 15.36 Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.”
    37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.

    Jesus doesn’t drink because he dies

    3 – The Nazarite abstains that is produced by the grapevine

    Numbers 6.4 All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin.

    Mark 14.23 Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them (the disciples), and they (the disciples) all drank from it.
    24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.
    25 Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

    Jesus does not take the fruit of the vine because he gives it to his disciples.

    However, He says that He will take the fruit of the vine when He is in the kingdom of God. This is allowed since he will not be a Nazarite

    4 – The Nazarite avoids the corpses

    Numbers 6.7 He shall not make himself unclean even for his father or his mother, for his brother or his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head.

    Marc 5.39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child (of Jairus) is not dead, but sleeping.”

    The child of Jairus is not dead, but sleeping.

    Marc 9.26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.”

    The boy becomes as one dead but He is not dead.

    5 – At the end of his period, the Nazarite must bring offerings

    Numbers 6.13 ‘Now this is the law of the Nazirite: When the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall be brought to the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
    14 And he shall present his offering to the Lord: one male lamb in its first year without blemish as a burnt offering,
    one ewe lamb in its first year without blemish as a sin offering, one ram without blemish as a peace offering,
    15 a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and their grain offering with their drink offerings.
    16 ‘Then the priest shall bring them before the Lord and offer his sin offering and his burnt offering;
    17 and he shall offer the ram as a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, with the basket of unleavened bread; the priest shall also offer its grain offering and its drink offering.

    bread as grain offering
    drink offerings
    one ewe lamb as a sin offering
    one ram as a peace offering

    Jesus brings the 4 offerings above. Here are the various scenes

    Mark 14.22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
    Jesus offers bread (his own body) as grain offering

    Mark 14.23 Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
    25 Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

    Jesus offers the fruit of the vine as drink offering.

    Mark 14.24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.
    Jesus offers his own blood as sin offering. His blood equates the blood of the ewe lamb

    Mark 15.15 So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.
    Jesus is the ram as a peace offering. To get peace with the crowd. Pilate condemns Jesus to die and releases Barabbas.

    SUMMARY

    The word ‘Son’ evokes, a new start, a renewal of God’s people. And since everything comes from God, the son is a gift from God, and therefore Son of God.

    The idea of God begetting a son, giving a son and causing the delivery is a commonplace in the scriptures (Genesis, Psalms, Isaiah).
    Mark takes it up again through the expressions ‘Son of God’ and ‘My beloved Son’.
    The other idea that goes hand in hand, is the woman who gives birth thanks to God.
    Mark reuses it by writing several scenes where Jesus heals a sick wife or a forsaken wife so that she could give birth.

    Mark extracted from the scriptures, mainly Isaiah, notions such as ‘beloved son’ and ‘descent of the spirit upon him’.
    In the full verses of Isaiah, there is also the word ‘Anointed’ and the roles that Jesus fulfills.

    The word Christ is used belatedly (Mark 8.29) beacause Jesus has to do the preliminary work to make this word understandable

    At the beginning of the Gospel, Mark builds the Jesus character as a two dimensional character with a divine dimension since
    everything comes from God and a human dimension since this gospel is intended for men.
    At the end of the gospel, Mark deconstructs the Jesus character. Mark takes care to first remove the divine dimension by releasing the son of God. By this way, the Son of God does not die.

    The term Jesus is only used by Mark, the writer. Other characters never use the term Jesus.

    The body of Jesus is a little bit peculiar since his boby is also the bread and his blood is also the fruit of vine

    Mark also give Jesus the status of a temporary nazarite and so he limits his story to the period of the Nazarite.

    Next Steps

    (Mark 1:1-20) the ark, first synthesis.
    (Mark 1-2) The first 4 miracles, Levi, John again, second synthesis.

  17. Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2h: The Ark
    Tags: Midrash, Maurice Mergui, Nanine Charbonnel

    The Ark of the Covenant

    ** PART 1: THE OT SOURCES **

    1 – NOAH’S ARK

    Genesis 8.6 So it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made.
    8 He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground.
    10 And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark.
    11 Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth
    13 And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, that the waters were dried up from the earth;
    and Noah removed the covering (4372) of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface of the ground was dry.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4372.htm
    mikseh: a covering

    NOAH opens the ark to send the dove. On the second attempt, the dove brings the good news
    since it comes back with a freshly olive leaf meaning that the waters receded from the earth.

    What will be reused

    The link between the opening of the ark and the dove bringing the good news.

    2 – THE ARK OF THE COVENANT

    A – GOD MADE AN ALLIANCE WITH ISRAEL

    Exodus 24.8 And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.”
    12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.”
    15 Then Moses went up into the mountain, and a cloud covered the mountain.
    16 Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
    18 So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

    What will be reused

    The blood of the covenant
    The clouds as a celestial arch containing the law and commandments of God
    The tablets of stone as the written form of the God’s Word
    The mountain as a place to meet God and communicate with God Moses as intercessor will become Jesus as intercessor

    B – THE ARK OF THE COVENANT AND ITS MERCY SEAT

    Exodus 25.10 “And they shall make an ark (727) of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height. (NKJ)
    16 And you shall put into the ark (727) the Testimony (5715) which I will give you.
    17You shall make a mercy seat (3727) of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width.
    21 You shall put the mercy seat (3727) on top of the ark(727) , and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4720.htm
    miqdash or miqqedash: a sacred place, sanctuary
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/727.htm
    aron: a chest, ark
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5715.htm
    eduth: testimony
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3727.htm
    kapporeth: propitiatory

    What will be reused

    The ark of the covenant as terrestrial arch containing the law and commandments of God and so the God’s Word
    The mercy seat or cover that allows or prevents access to God’s Word

    C – THE TABERNACLE

    Exodus 25.8 And they are to make a sanctuary (4720) for Me (the Lord), so that I may dwell among them. Berean Study Bible
    9 According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle (4908) and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you hall make it.

    Exodus 26.1 “Moreover you shall make the tabernacle (4908) with ten curtains of fine woven linen and blue, purple, and scarlet thread; with artistic designs of cherubim you shall weave them.
    7 “You shall also make curtains of goats’ hair, to be a tent (198) over the tabernacle. You shall make eleven curtains.
    14 “You shall also make a covering (4372) of ram skins dyed red for the tent, and a covering of badger skins above that.
    15And for the tabernacle (4908) you shall make the boards of acacia wood, standing upright.

    Exodus 40.21 And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, hung up the veil of the covering, and partitioned off the ark of the Testimony, as the LORD had commanded Moses.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4908.htm
    mishkan: dwelling place, tabernacle
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/168.htm
    ohel: a tent
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4372.htm
    mikseh: a covering

    The tabernacle is both the dwelling place for God and the container that can receive the ark.
    The tabernacle or tent is the temporary structure that houses the tabernacle

    What will be reused

    The tabernacle or tent is both the dwelling place for God and the shelter in which the ark is placed. The tent will later become the temple

    D – THE VEIL TO SEPERATE

    Exodus 26.31 “You shall make a veil (6532) woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen. It shall be woven with an artistic design of cherubim.
    33 And you shall hang the veil from the clasps. Then you shall bring the ark (727) of the Testimony (5715) in there, behind the veil (6532).
    The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the Most Holy.

    34 You shall put the mercy seat upon the ark of the Testimony in the Most Holy

    Leviticus 16.2 and the LORD said to Moses: “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil,
    before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die;
    for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/6532.htm
    paroketh: a curtain
    NASB Translation
    curtain (1), veil (24).

    The veil prevents from entering the Holy of Holies where the arch is lying.
    Only the high priest enters this place once a year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16)

    What will be reused

    The veil of the temple will be torn in two

    E – GARMENTS FOR THE PRIESTHOOD

    Exodus 28.4 And these are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a skillfully woven tunic, a turban, and a sash.
    So they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, that he may minister to Me as priest.

    The high priest wears specific garments to mean his intercession for the people.

    What will be reused

    The high priest will tear his clothes

    F – THE COVENANT RENEWED

    Exode 34.4 So he cut two tablets of stone like the first ones. Then Moses rose early in the morning and went up Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him;
    and he took in his hand the two tablets of stone.
    5 Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord.
    6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,
    7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children
    and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
    8 So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped.

    27 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write these words, for according to the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.
    28 So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments (1697).
    29 Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain),
    that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.
    30 So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.
    31 Then Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him; and Moses talked with them.
    32 Afterward all the children of Israel came near, and he gave them as commandments all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai.
    33 And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face.
    34 But whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he would take the veil off until he came out; …

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1697.htm
    dabar: speech, word

    The covenant scene is replayed a second time (cloud, mountain, tablets of stone, Moses as intercessor, veil, …).
    The new elements are: The forgiveness of sins, the shining face of Moses, the fear being face to face with God or the God’s word

    What will be reused

    The second opening of the heaven
    The clouds as a celestial arch
    The mountain as a place to meet God and communicate with God
    Moses as intercessor will become Jesus as intercessor,
    God forgives the sins
    The shining face of Moses that will become the shining clothes of Jesus
    The fear being face to face with God or the God’s word
    The bowing in front of God

    3 – THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES

    THE EXIT FROM EGYPT AND THE ENTRY INTO THE DESERT

    Leviticus 23.39 ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days;
    on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest.
    40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs (6057) of leafy (5687) trees, and willows of the brook;
    and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.
    41 You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
    42 You shall dwell (3427) in booths (5521) for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths,
    43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’ ”
    44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/6057.htm
    anaph: a branch, bough
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5687.htm
    aboth: (having) interwoven (foliage), leafy
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3427.htm
    yashab: to sit, remain, dwell
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5521.htm
    sukkah: a thicket, booth

    THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES IS ALSO THE FEAST OF HARVEST

    Exodus 23.16 and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year,
    when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.

    What will be reused

    The branches and the boughs to build the wood huts and to remember the fragile dwellings in which the hebrews dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt.
    The end of slavery that will become the liberation from sin.
    The fields where the crops grow.

    4 – THE CLOUDS BEFORE THE PEOPLE AND BEHIND THE PEOPLE

    Exodus 13.17 Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go,
    20 So they took their journey from Succoth (5523) and camped in Etham at the edge of the wilderness.
    21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.

    Exodus 14.19 And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them.
    20 So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5523.htm
    Sukkoth: a city East of the Jordan, also a place in Egypt
    NASB Translation
    Succoth (18).

    https://biblehub.com/topical/s/succoth.htm
    Succoth
    tents; tabernacles

    What will be reused

    The clouds as a celestial arch
    God who guides and protects his people

    5 – THE CLOUDS AND THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS

    Exode 34.4 So he cut two tablets of stone like the first ones. Then Moses rose early in the morning and went up Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him;
    and he took in his hand the two tablets of stone.
    5 Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord.
    6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,
    7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and
    the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

    Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, And like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”

    What will be reused

    The clouds as a celestial arch
    God forgives the sins Jesus as redeemer

    6 – THE TEMPLE BUILT BY SOLOMON

    The king Solomon builds the temple to replace the tent and then the Ark is brought into the Temple

    1 Kings 8.5 Also King Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled with him, were with him before the ark,
    sacrificing sheep and oxen that could not be counted or numbered for multitude.
    6 Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim.
    9 Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.
    10 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord,
    11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.

    12 Then Solomon spoke: “The Lord said He would dwell in the dark cloud.
    13 I have surely built You an exalted house, And a place for You to dwell in forever.”

    19 Nevertheless you (David) shall not build the temple, but your son (Solomon) who will come from your body, he (Solomon) shall build the temple for My name.
    19 Nevertheless, you (David) are not the one to build it; but your son (Solomon) , your own offspring (3318), will build the house for My Name.’ (Berean Study Bible)

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3318.htm
    yatsa: to go or come out

    The Tent or tabernacle becomes the Temple and so the features are the same.
    The temple is both the dwelling place for God and the house in which the ark is placed
    According to the will of God, the temple is not built by David but by his son Solomon.

    What will be reused

    The equivalence between the presence of God and his Word.
    The equivalence between the God’s word and the objects that houses it, the ark and the temple.
    God will send his son (Jesus) to build a new temple and replace the existing one. And in Mark’s Gospel, some characters will consider Jesus as a descendant of David

    7 – THE TEMPLE, A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL PEOPLES

    1 Kings 8.41 “Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, but has come from a far country for Your name’s sake
    42 (for they will hear of Your great name and Your strong hand and Your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this temple,
    43 hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You,
    as do Your people Israel,
    and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name.

    All peoples join Israel to pray in the temple, to know the name of God and fear him.

    What will be reused

    Jesus will cleanses the Temple to make it again a house of prayer The foreigner and all peoples who will be the pagans
    The Name of God and the fear of God

    ** PART 2: HOW DOES MARK REUSE THE OT SOURCES ? **

    In the OT sources, God is present on earth through his Word. The Word is put in the Ark of the Covenant as were the commandments of God written on the tablets of stone and given to Moses.
    The tabernacle or tent is both the dwelling place for God and the shelter in which the ark is placed.
    The terms “tabernacle” or “tent” refer to the exodus.
    The king Solomon will later build the temple, God’s dwelling place, in which the ark will be placed.

    A major thing related to the ark is its cover because it allows or prevents access to the Word contained in the ark. Some examples,
    in the book of Exodus, the mercy seat closes the ark and in the book of Genesis, Noah opens the ark.

    Mark will reuse all these materials and will build his story by taking again the 2 scenes of the exodus where God makes a covenant with Moses and with Israel and then renews it.
    Clouds and Heavens will become the celestial ark and Jesus will be the ark of the covenant.
    Mark will add other sequences referring to the arch and its opening.
    The following paragraphs provide an overview of the different scenes.

    1 – JOHN ANNOUNCES THE ONE WHO WILL REDEEM

    Mark 1:1-8 John announces the one who will redeem and therefore John implicitly announces a new covenant and the blood of the covenant. (see my Chapters 1 and 2a)

    2 – THE BUILDING OF JESUS CHARACTER AND THE GOOD NEWS

    Mark 1:10 .. He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.
    11 Then a voice came from heaven, You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;

    14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel (2098) of the kingdom of God,

    15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel (2098).”

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2098.htm
    euaggelion: good news

    The celestial ark opens for the first time, the God’s word confirms what John says and he God’s word comes to dwell on earth.
    The Heavens = Celestial Ark and Jesus = Ark of covenant

    The dove brings the good News that will replace the Moses’ Law (see my Chapter 2b) and puts the good News into the Ark of covenant, Jesus.
    The kingdom of God is going to replace the old Israel.

    This first opening reuses elements coming from the first opening in the Exodus and the opening of the Noah’s ark in Genesis

    3 – THE PARALYTIC

    Mark 2:3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.
    4 Since they were unable to get to Jesus through the crowd, they uncovered the roof (648) above Him, made an opening (1846),
    and lowered the paralytic on his mat (2895). (Berean Study Bible)

    https://biblehub.com/greek/648.htm
    Definition: to unroof
    Usage: I unroof, take the roof off.

    https://biblehub.com/greek/1846.htm
    Definition: to dig out or up
    Usage: (a) I dig out, hence: I open up, (b) I gouge.

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2895.htm
    krabattos: a camp bed
    Usage: a bed, mattress, mat of a poor man.

    The roof = the cover of the ark
    Jesus = the ark that contains the good news
    The paralytic who was carried by four men = the empty ark belonging to pagans

    Meaning:
    The pagans
    uncover the roof of the ark so as to get the good news. They want their part and come to fill their empty ark.

    4 – JESUS PREDICTS HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION

    Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ
    Mark 8.29 He (Jesus) said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ .”

    Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection
    31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
    32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.

    Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
    34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

    Jesus announces for the first time that he will die. His blood will be the blood of the new covenant and redemption.
    The two Christian symbols Christ and Cross are mentioned for the first time in the story that begins in the verse Mark 1.2
    The relationship between Christ and the Cross is established by this sentence: “Take Up the Cross to Follow the Christ

    This sequence (Mark 8:29-34) is a turning point in the story and the celestial ark will now open to confirm that Jesus says

    5 – JESUS TRANSFIGURED ON THE MOUNT

    Mark 9.2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them.
    3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.
    4 And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
    5 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles (4633) : one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—
    6 because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.
    7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”

    10 So they ( Peter, James, and John) kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.

    https://biblehub.com/greek/4633.htm
    Definition: a tent
    Usage: a tent, booth, tabernacle, abode, dwelling, mansion, habitation.

    The celestial ark opens for the second time and the God’s word confirms what Jesus claims in the previous scene. Jesus is transfigured like Moses.

    This 2nd opening is close to the 2nd opening in the Exodus and reuses identical or similar elements: the clouds, the mountain, shining clothes, the fear

    Peter identifies Jesus as the divine word, so Peter suggests to build a tabernacle to house this Word.
    The first tabernacle to build is that of Jesus, the second that of Moses and the third that of Elijah.
    This sort order means that the Jesus’ word is higher than the Moses’ word and that the Moses’ word is higher than the Elijah’s word.

    The 3 disciples are afraid because they are face to face with the God’s word. They can no longer speak since God is speaking.

    6 – THE TRIUMPHANT ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM

    (Brean study bible)
    Mark 11.7 Then they led the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks (2440) over it, and He sat on it.
    8 Many in the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches (4746) they had cut from the fields (68).
    9 The ones who went ahead and those who followed were shouting: “Hosanna!” “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
    10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest!”
    11 Then Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, He went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2440.htm
    himation: an outer garment, a cloak, robe
    https://biblehub.com/greek/4746.htm
    stoibas: a bough, branch of a tree
    https://biblehub.com/greek/68.htm
    agros: a field, the country

    https://biblehub.com/greek/5614.htm
    Strong’s Concordance
    hÓsanna: save, we pray
    NAS Exhaustive Concordance
    Word Origin
    of Hebrew origin yasha and na

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3467.htm
    yasha: to deliver

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4994.htm
    na: I (we) pray, now

    This scene reuses elements evoking the feast of tabernacles
    1 – the branches to build huts,
    2 – the word ‘Hosanna’ to mean the liberation from slavery in Egypt,
    3 – the fields, because this is also the feast of the harvest.

    This scene uses elements evoking the construction of the temple of Solomon
    1 – the name ‘David’ and the word ‘Father’ because David is the father of Solomon,
    2 – the expression ‘the name of God’ for the temple is built so that the nations and Israel will pray and know the name of god

    Meaning
    Jesus goes up to Jerusalem for the first time to teach in the temple. Considering Jesus as the new ark or tabernacle, Jesus comes to put his Word in its dwelling place, the temple.
    The people see the descendant of David entering Jerusalem.

    7 – JESUS CLEANSES THE TEMPLE

    Mark 11.15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple,
    and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.
    Mark 11. 17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house (3624) shall be called a house (3624) of prayer for all nations’?
    But you have made it a ‘den (4693) of thieves.’ ”

    https://biblehub.com/greek/3624.htm
    oikos: a house, a dwelling

    https://biblehub.com/greek/4693.htm
    NASB Translation
    cave (1), caves (2), den (3)

    The expression ‘a house of prayer for all nations’ reminds the purpose of the temple built by Solomon. See 1 Kings 8.41-43 in my Part 1 above

    Meaning
    Jesus drives out the previous Teaching (the Moses’ Law) and teaches so as to bring in the Good News into the temple

    8 – THE PASSOVER, FROM THE OLD ISRAEL TOWARDS THE KINGDOM OF GOD

    Mark 14.24 And He (Jesus) said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.

    58 “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.

    62 Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.
    63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses?
    64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?”

    Mark 15.29 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days,
    30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”

    Mark 15.37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.

    38 Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

    THE OLD ISRAEL DIES

    The veil is torn in two and so the place, where the Moses’ Law dwells, becomes emptied.
    The clothes of the high priest are torn so the high priest can no longer act as an intercessor.
    The Temple symbolized the Old Israel and it becomes without significance

    JESUS REDEEMS THE SINS BY SHEDDING THE BLOOD OF THE NEW COVENANT
    Jesus dies for he fullfilled his mission

    9 – THE TOMB AND THE ROLLING STONE

    THE TOMB HEWN OUT OF THE ROCK

    Mark 15.46 Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen.
    And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.

    Isaiah 22.16 ‘What have you here, and whom have you here, That you have hewn a sepulcher here, As he who hews himself a sepulcher on high, Who carves a tomb for himself in a rock?

    THE ENTRANCE TO THE TOMB

    Mark 15.46 Then he (Joseph) bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen.
    And he (Joseph) laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.

    1 Kings 8.6 Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple,
    to the Most Holy Place,
    under the wings of the cherubim.

    The body of Jesus is also the ark where his Word dwells. Joseph brings in the ark of the covenant to its place, into the tomb.

    THE ROLLING STONE

    Mark 15.46 Then he (Joseph) bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen.
    And he (Joseph) laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.

    Genesis 29.3 Now all the flocks would be gathered there; and they would roll the stone from the well’s mouth, water the sheep,
    and put the stone back in its place on the well’s mouth.

    The rolling stone allows or prevents access to life, the earthly life is water and the spiritual life is God’s Word.
    The rolling stone plays the same role as the cover of the ark, the mercy seat
    The rolling stone against the door of the tomb makes the Word unreachable and so the Word becomes as if dead.

    THE OPENING OF THE TOMB

    Mark 16.1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.
    2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
    3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?”
    4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large.
    5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.

    The three women are looking for the body of Jesus of Nazareth

    THE FEAR

    Mark 16.6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.
    7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.
    8 So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

    The 3 women understand the gospel of Mark, they now know that the invisible body of Jesus is the word of God.
    The 3 women are afraid like the 3 disciples seeing Jesus transfigured. They are afraid because they are face to face with the God’s word.

    The cover of the ark is removed. The good News is now available to mankind.
    This world, where the good News replaces the Moses’ Law, is the kingdom of God.

    SUMMARY

    Mark reuses the OT materials referring to the ark and its opening as well as the idea that God is present on earth through his Word.

    Clouds and Heavens become the celestial ark while Jesus becomes the ark of the covenant.

    1 – John announces the one who will redeem and therefore John implicitly announces a new covenant and the blood of the covenant.

    2 – The celestial ark opens for the first time, the God’s word confirms what John says and puts the good News into the Ark of covenant, Jesus.

    3 – The pagans uncover the roof of the ark so as to get the good news. They want their part and come to fill their empty ark.

    4 – Jesus announces for the first time that he will die. His blood will be the blood of the new covenant and redemption. The two Christian symbols, Christ and Cross, are mentioned.

    5 – The celestial ark opens for the second time and the God’s word confirms what Jesus claims in the previous scene. Jesus is transfigured like Moses.

    6 – Jesus goes up to Jerusalem for the first time so as to put his Word in its dwelling place, the temple. Some elements of the scene reminds the feast of tabernacles and harvest.

    7 – Jesus cleanses the temple so as to put his Word in its dwelling place, the temple.

    8 – The Temple, that symbolized the Old Israel, becomes emptied and Jesus redeems the sins by shedding the blood of the new covenant.

    9 – The ark of the covenant, the body of Jesus, is put into the tomb.
    The rolling stone against the door of the tomb makes the Word unreachable and so the Word becomes as if dead.
    Three days later, the rolling stone is removed. The good News is again available to mankind.
    The old Israel based on the Moses’ Law disappears and the kingdom of God based on the good News is established.

    Next Steps

    (Mark 1:1-20) first synthesis.
    (Mark 1-2) The first 4 miracles ((Unclean Spirit, Mother-in-Law, Leper, Paralytic), Levi, John again, second synthesis.

  18. Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2i: First Synthesis
    Tags: Midrash, Maurice Mergui, Nanine Charbonnel

    (Mark 1:1-20), First Synthesis

    Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 1: Another remission of sins
    (Chapter 1 provides the essential basics to make a Midrashic Reading)

    Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2a: The Good News, The Kingdom
    Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2b: The Four Disciples
    Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2c: The sea of Galilee
    Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2d: The Biblical Desert
    Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2e: The Biblical Time
    Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2f: John
    Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2g: Jesus
    Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 2h: The Ark

    I made a presentation by theme to show that the beginning of the gospel will be fulfilled at the end.
    I resume the sequential reading and summarize what I have already written.
    To get the detailed argumentation and all the OT sources you have to read my previous chapters above.

    ** THE BEGINNING OF THE GOSPEL: THE ANNOUNCEMENTS **

    1 – PRESENTATION OF THE GOSPEL

    Mark 1.1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (NKJ)

    The Mark’s Gospel contains the good news brought by Jesus. Jesus is declared, Christ and Son of God.

    As in Genesis, We are at the beginning of creation. Genesis tells the beginning of a world where later on the Hebrews will live according to the law of Moses.
    The Gospel of Mark will tell the creation of a new world where the Hebrews will live according to the good news teached by Jesus.

    In the Gospel of Mark, time looks like time in Genesis (several mornings and evenings, several days). But in Mark, there is a single sunset and a single sunrise,
    the aim is to prepare the ultimate morning that happens at the end of the book. (see my Chapter: The Biblical Time)

    As in Isaiah, Mark will declare from the beginning all that will happen at the end, (Isaiah 46.10) .

    2 – JOHN, THE PREDECESSOR ANNOUNCED BY THE SCRIPTURES

    Mark 1.2 As it is written in the Prophets: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.”
    Mark 1.3 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’ ”

    The first quotation refers to Malachi, the last prophet. Malachi will also quote Elijah, the first prophet., (Malachi 3.1, Malachi 4.5)

    The second quotation refers to Isaiah, (Isaiah 40.3).

    So, John is located in the chain of prophets like this:
    First prophet (Elijah ) => Other prophets (Isaiah,…) => Last prophet (Malachi ) => John

    3 – JOHN ANNOUNCES THE THEME OF THE GOSPEL, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS

    Mark 1.4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
    Mark 1.5 Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.

    The sin is disobedience to God, so the sinner lives separated from God.
    The repentance is wanting to come back to God (Deuteronomy 11:1), (Isaiah 59:2)

    How to come back to God ? , There are 3 steps
    1 The sinner must confess his fault.(Psalms 38:18)
    2 The sinner must show his willingness to return to God
    3 God then grants back by forgiving the sins since God may punish his people but also forgive them generously (Isaiah 55:7)

    To guide his people and prevent them from falling into sin, God gave his law to Moses when he crossed the desert out of Egypt.
    The God’s commandments written on stone tablets were put in the ark of the covenant. (Exodus 24-25, the covenant), Exodus 34, the covenant renewed )

    The 5 books of the Torah are also the other written form containing the Moses’ Law.

    4 – JOHN THE HEBREW PROPHET ADRESSING THE HEBREWS

    Mark 1.6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.

    John belongs to the line of the Hebrews, those who crossed the desert.
    The word ‘camel’ reminds us of the desert and the words ‘locust’ and ‘honey’ refer to the beginning and the end of the exodus. (Exodus 3.8 , Exodus 10.14)

    John is a prophet because he is dressed like a prophet, Elijah particularly. (2 Kings 1.8, Isaiah 5.27 , Isaiah 11.5 Jeremiah 13.11)

    John speaks to the inhabitants of Judea and Jerusalem, those who live in the land of Hebrews, (see Mark 1:5).
    At the beginning of his book Isaiah also addressed the same people that Isaiah considered as Israel. (Isaiah 1:1,3)

    Judea and Jerusalem also represents the southern kingdom while Galilee represents the northern kingdom (1 Kings 12:21,23)

    5 – JOHN ANNOUNCES THE MORE POWERFUL THAN HIM WHO WILL FULFILL THE ISAIAH’S PROPHECY

    Mark 1.7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to toop down and loose.

    He who keeps his shoe is He who will take the right to redemption. (Ruth 4:6-8).

    In our context, the redemption is the redemption of sins by an third person.

    This model of redemption is described by the prophet Isaiah, his suffering servant takes upon himself the sins of others and offers his blood to redeem their sins. (Isaiah 53:10,12).

    The fulfillment of the Isaiah’s prophecy is part of the expectation of the Hebrews who are waiting for a lightening of the Moses’ Law.
    But the forgiveness of sins is a hot topic since only God can forgive sins.

    The one who will take the right of redemption must be as powerful as God but do not be God

    6 – JOHN ANNOUNCES A NEW BAPTISM TO ENTER A NEW WORLD

    Mark 1.8 I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

    Baptism represents the ritual of entering a community, it also means the adoption of a new spirit, a new way of life.
    The water baptism in the Jordan retells the story about the the end of slavery and the entry into the promised Land (Joshua 3:1-5:1).
    The Baptism in the spirit, represents an entry into a new world, a world where the Hebrews will be delivered from sin.

    7 – JESUS OF NAZARETH APPEARS

    Mark 1.9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

    ‘Those days’ refer to the biblical time, the time when God speaks to his people, (Zechariah 8.13-16).

    In Mark’s Gospel, Nazareth is a time reference, Nazar (Nazarite) + eth (Time)
    In Mark’s Gospel, Galilee is a hebrew land referring to the northern kingdom (1 Kings 12:21,23)

    Jesus of Nazareth is baptized by John like every other hebrew. The purpose of the deed is to underline the continuity between John and Jesus
    By receiving the baptism Jesus also belongs to the line of the Hebrews.

    8 – THE JESUS CHARACTER BUILDING, A LITERARY CHARACTER BUILDING

    Mark 1.10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.
    Mark 1.11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

    ‘Jesus comes up from the water’ means that Jesus is leaving the world of the Hebrews and their old baptism of water in order to receive the new baptism, the baptism of the spirit.

    JESUS = THE TWO DIMENSIONAL CHARACTER

    Mark builds the Jesus character as a two dimensional character with a divine dimension since everything comes from God and a human dimension since the Good News are intended for men.

    Jesus, son of God, brings the divine dimension while Jesus of Nazareth brings the human dimension.
    The word ‘Son’ evokes, a new start, a renewal of God’s people. And since everything comes from God, the son is a gift from God, and therefore Son of God.
    The idea of God begetting a son, giving a son and causing the delivery is a commonplace in the scriptures, (Psalms 2.7, Isaiah 65.9, Isaiah 66.7-9, Genesis 17.17 Genesis 30.20 )
    Mark takes it up again through the expressions ‘Son of God’ and ‘My beloved Son’.
    The other idea that goes hand in hand, is the woman who gives birth thanks to God. (Isaiah 62.4, Isaiah 65.9, Isaiah 66.7-9, Genesis 17.17 Genesis 30.20)

    Mark extracted from the scriptures, mainly Isaiah, notions such as ‘beloved son’ and ‘descent of the spirit upon him’.
    In the full verses of Isaiah, the Lord speaks to his ‘Anointed’ and talks about his roles.
    Jesus will be anointed and will fulfill the missions that Isaiah quotes, (Isaiah 42.1, Isaiah 61.1)

    Jesus will also be the temporary Nazir described in the book of numbers.(Numbers 6:1-17). See also my Chapter: Jesus.
    The Nazir is Jesus and not Jesus of Nazareth.

    At the end of the Gospel, Jesus declares that his boby is the bread and his blood is the fruit of vine (Mark 14.22-25)

    The term Jesus is only used by Mark, the writer. Other characters never use the term Jesus.

    JESUS = THE ARK OF THE COVENANT

    The celestial ark opens for the first time like in exodus. In that way, the God’s word confirms what John says
    and God comes to dwell on earth through his Word
    , Jesus becomes the ark containing the God’s Word

    The Heavens = Celestial Ark
    Jesus = Ark of the Covenant

    The dove brings the good News that will replace the Moses’ Law and puts the good News into the Ark of the covenant, Jesus.

    This first opening reuses elements coming from the first opening in the Exodus and the opening of the Noah’s ark and the dove in Genesis.
    (Exodus 24.8-18 the Lord descends in the cloud),
    (Exodus 25:10-21 (The Ark and the mercy seat),
    (Genesis 8.6-13) (The Ark and the dove)

    See also my Chapter: The Ark

    9 – JESUS SHOWS HE IS MORE POWERFUL THAN SATAN

    Mark 1.12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.
    Mark 1.13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.

    The spirit of God, therefore God, drives Jesus into the desert so that he experiments the same things as Moses in the exodus.

    DESERT = DUAL WORLD

    The words ‘temptation’, ‘Satan’, ‘wild beasts’ and ‘angels’ refer to the good angels fighting against the fallen angels in the book of Enoch, (Enoch 54.5 , Enoch 88.1, Enoch 89.10)

    So, the desert is a dual world where Good fights against Evil, Light against Darkness, Good Angels against Fallen Angels
    It is also the dual world where God tests his people while giving his spiritual and earthly food.

    DESERT = LOCATION TO MEET GOD

    The biblical desert is not the geogaphic desert. It is the place to communicate with God and the place where God gives his spiritual food.

    THE DEMONS

    The book of Isaiah contains a sequence interpreted as a mention of the fall of the rebellious angel, Satan. (Isaiah 14:12-15)

    Mark will expand the theme of demons in a collective or individual form (Satan, Beelzebub, Legion as Azazel), (Enoch 54:5,6), (Isaiah 14:12-15)

    10 – JOHN FADES AWAY, JESUS MOVES INTO THE FOREFRONT

    Mark 1:14 And after the delivering up of John, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God (Berean Literal and Aramaic Bible)

    Jesus leaves Judea, the southern kingdom, to go to Galilee, the northern kingdom (1 Kings 12: 21, 23)

    John delivered his message. His mission is over. Jesus is now the most powerful one who proclaims the Gospel.
    The Gospel of Jesus (the Good News) overtakes the law of Moses and becomes the Gospel of God.

    11- JESUS ANNOUNCES THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THAT HE WILL FULFILL THE ISAIAH’S PROPHECY

    Mark 1.15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (NKJ)

    The time is fulfilled = The prophecy of Isaiah is now being fulfilled.
    The kingdom of God is at hand = The kingdom of God is going to be established
    Repent and believe in the gospel = Return to God according to the way that Jesus will teach.

    By addressing the Hebrews and saying them ‘Repent’, Jesus implicitly declares to them that he is the one who will take the right of redemption and so he will fulfill the Isaiah’s prophecy.

    The kingdom of God is going to replace the old Israel.
    The kingdom will be established at the end of the gospel when the women enter the tomb on the ultimate morning.

    12 – JESUS CALLS THE HEBREWS AND THE PAGANS TO ENTER THE KINGDOM

    Mark 1.16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.
    Mark 1.17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
    Mark 1.18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

    Jesus walks by the Sea of Galilee, the border between the hebrews and the pagans, (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). See also my Chapter: the Sea of Galilee

    The nets represent the God’s word which is used to catch (to convert) the fish (mainly the pagans).
    At the call of Jesus, Simon and Andrew leave their nets i.e. the God’ word transmitted to Moses

    Simon comes from the Hebrew name ‘Simeon’ while Andrew is a greek name

    Simon and Andrew represent the Hebrews and the pagans called to enter the kingdom of God,
    Simon and Andre are brothers because in the kingdom of God there is only one community where the Hebrews and the pagans are equal.
    As disciples, Simon and Andrew will be the leaders in charge of converting the Hebrews and the pagans according to the teaching of Jesus.

    13 – JESUS ASKS THE HEBREWS TO GIVE UP THE MOSES’ LAW IN FAVOR OF THE GOOD NEWS.

    Mark 1.19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets.
    Mark 1.20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.

    JAMES AND JOHN, THE SONS OF ZEBEDEE

    James and John are not fishermen, their roles is to provide the nets i.e. the God’s word.
    At the call of Jesus, they stop providing the old Word, that of their father, Zebedee, in order to provide the word of Jesus

    The name Zebedee is close to Zebulun but it is not Zebulun. Zebulun means Gift of God, (Genesis 20:30).
    See also my Chapter; The Four Disciples

    In the current context, the gift of God is the Word of God given to his people Israel.
    By naming Zebedee thus, the writer points out the negative side of his Word: it is not the true gift of God, it is only something like it
    Zebedee, the father, knows the Old Law, the law of Moses. God is now taking a new step by giving a new word, the good news.

    God follows his own plan and His Word is one since God is One. There is continuity in God’s word

    James comes from the Hebrew name ‘Jacob’ and Jacob is also called Israel, (Genesis 32:28).
    We will see later why John is named John.

    James and John represent Israel, the people to whom God gives his word, the gift of God.
    These are also the Hebrews who leave the law of Moses to join Jesus.

    JESUS GOES A LITTLE FURTHER THAN ISAIAH IN ADDRESSING THE PAGANS

    In Isaiah, the Foreigners who serve the Lord are accepted, (Isaiah 56.1 Isaiah 56:6-8)
    But the Hebrews maintain their supremacy over foreigners.(Isaiah 56:3,5,10, Isaiah 61.5)

    In the teaching of Jesus, the Hebrews and the pagans are equalsince they are brothers.

    ** THE CENTRAL PART OF THE GOSPEL **

    The sequence (Mark 8:29-34) is a turning point in the gospel and the celestial ark will open for a second time like in Exodus to confirm that Jesus says

    1 – PETER CONFESSES JESUS AS THE CHRIST
    Mark 8.29

    2 – JESUS PREDICTS HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION
    Mark 8:31-32

    Jesus openly announces for the first time that he will take the right of redemption
    His blood will be the blood of the new covenant and redemption.

    3 – TAKE UP THE CROSS AND FOLLOW ME
    Mark 8:34

    4 – JESUS TRANSFIGURED ON THE MOUNT
    Mark 9:2-7

    The celestial ark opens for the second time like in Exodus and Jesus is transfigured as Moses, (Exodus 34:4-8 and Exodus 34:27-34).

    Peter confesses that the Jesus’ word is higher than the Moses’ word. (see my Chapter: The Ark)

    The 3 disciples (Peter, James, and John) are afraid because they are face to face with the God’s word.

    ** THE END OF THE GOSPEL: THE FULFILLMENT **

    1 – JESUS IS ANOINTED
    Mark 14:1-9

    2 – THE PASSOVER, FROM THE OLD ISRAEL TOWARDS THE KINGDOM OF GOD
    Mark 14:12 till Mark 15:41

    THE BODY AND THE BLOOD OF JESUS
    Jesus declares that his boby is the bread and his blood is the fruit of vine

    THE JESUS CHARACTER LOSES HIS DIVINE DIMENSION
    Pilate releases Barabbas (Bar Abba = the son of the Father). By this way, Mark releases the Son of God and saves him from death

    THE OLD ISRAEL DIES

    The veil of the temple is torn in two and so the place, where the Moses’ Law dwells, becomes emptied. (Leviticus 16.2, Exodus 26:31 ,33)

    The clothes of the high priest are torn so the high priest can no longer act as an intercessor., (Exodus 28.4 )

    The Temple symbolized the Old Israel and it becomes without significance

    JESUS REDEEMS THE SINS BY SHEDDING THE BLOOD OF THE NEW COVENANT
    Jesus dies for he fulfilled his mission
    Jesus shedded his blood, the fruit of vine. But there is still his body, the bread that gives the life, the spiritual life

    3 – THE BODY OF JESUS PUT IN THE TOMB
    Mark 15:42-47

    The body of Jesus, the bread that gives the life, is also the ark where his Word dwells.

    Joseph brings in the ark of the covenant to its place, into the tomb. (1 Kings 8.6, Isaiah 22.16).
    Then Joseph rolls a stone against the door of the tomb and makes the Word unreachable. So the Word becomes as if dead.

    The rolling stone plays the same role as the cover of the ark, the mercy seat, (Exodus 25.21).
    In Genesis, The rolling stone allows or prevents access to well water, the life (Genesis 29.3).

    4 -THE KINGDOM OF GOD, BASED ON THE GOOD NEWS, IS ESTABLISHED.
    Mark 16:1-8

    The stone had been rolled away. The 3 wifes understand the Mark’s gospel, they now know that the invisible body of Jesus is the word of God, the life
    The 3 wifes are afraid like the 3 disciples seeing Jesus transfigured. They are afraid because they are face to face with the God’s word.

    The good News is now available to mankind and replaces the Moses’ Law. Thus, the kingdom of God is established

    SUMMARY

    The Mark’s Gospel and the Book of Exodus

    Mark structures his gospel like the Exodus by making the voice of God descending from heaven twice.

    Mark takes up the idea that God dwells on earth through his word.
    Jesus thus becomes the ark of the covenant and the topics linked to the ark are reused: the tabernacle, the mercy seat, the veil, the clothes of the high priest.

    The baptism of John reminds us of the exit from Egypt and the temptation scene reminds us of the crossing over the desert.

    The Jesus character

    The Jesus character is a two dimensional character with a divine dimension since everything comes from God and a human dimension since the Good News are intended for men.

    The good News

    Jesus brings the good News, He will fulfill the Isaiah’s prophecy. That means that he will take upon himself the sins of others and he will offer his blood to redeem their sins.
    By this way, he delivers the Hebrews from their sins.

    The fulfillment of the Isaiah’s prophecy is part of the expectation of the Hebrews who are waiting for a lightening of the Moses’ Law.
    But the forgiveness of sins is a hot topic since only God can forgive sins.

    Moreover, Jesus goes a little further than Isaiah in addressing the pagans

    NEXT STEPS

    THE GOOD NEWS VERSUS THE MOSES’ LAW

    Mark 1:21-45 and Mark 2
    The first 4 miracles ((Unclean Spirit, Mother-in-Law, Leper, Paralytic), Levi, John again, second synthesis.

  19. Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 3: The Unclean Spirit
    Tags: Midrash, Maurice Mergui, Nanine Charbonnel

    (Mark 1:21-28) Jesus Casts Out an Unclean Spirit

    ** WHAT DOES UNCLEAN SPIRIT MEAN ? **

    THE PARABLE OF THE DIVIDED KINGDOM

    Mark 3:22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He (Jesus) has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.”
    23 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan?
    24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
    <25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
    26 And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end

    28 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter;
    29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”
    30 because they (the scribes) said, “He (Jesus) has an unclean spirit.”

    The scribes accuse Jesus of being possessed by Beelzebul, the demon and Jesus ends his reply as if he was accused of having an unclean spirit.
    In this way, Jesus equates demon with unclean spirit.

    Jesus replies with a parable about the mischiefs of division and says that only the Holy Spirit, i.e. the good news, will be able to forgive the sins.

    This sequence tell us that ‘unclean spirit’ equates demon and that ‘unclean spirit’ also means division and destruction.

    ** THE PARALLELS IN THE GOSPEL ITSELF **

    1 – TWO VERY CLOSE SCENES

    THE MAN IN THE SYNAGOGUE

    Mark 1:23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out,
    24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are the Holy One of God!”
    25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”

    27 Then they were all amazed (2284), so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this?
    For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”
    28 And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2284.htm
    thambeÓ: to astonish

    THE MAN IN THE COUNTRY OF THE GADARENES

    Mark 5:2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

    7And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?
    I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”
    8 For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!”
    ..
    13 And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand);
    and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.

    20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled (2296)

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2296.htm
    thaumazÓ: to marvel, wonder

    THE PARALLELS BETWEEN THE 2 SCENES

    a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit => out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit

    he cried out => he cried out with a loud voice

    What have we to do with You => What have I to do with You Did You come to destroy us? => You do not torment me

    come out of him! => Come out of the man, unclean spirit

    His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee => he began to proclaim in Decapolis

    Then they were all amazed => all marveled

    Also notice in the 2 scenes

    1 – the man with the unclean spirit initiates the dialogue with Jesus

    2 – a single unclean spirit at the beginning and the several unclean spirits at the end

    The unclean spirit divides himself into several unclean spirits and so it cannot not subsist.
    The 2 scenes illustrate the parable of the divided kingdom.

    The 2 unclean spirits in the 2 scenes are not the same because the first scene involves the Hebrews while the second scene involves the pagans.

    2 – OTHER SCENES WITH AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT

    THE FIRST SEA CROSSING

    Mark 4:37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.
    38But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
    39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind (417) ceased and there was a great calm.

    41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind (417) and the sea obey Him!

    https://biblehub.com/greek/417.htm
    anemos: wind
    https://biblehub.com/greek/4151.htm
    pneuma: wind, spirit
    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7307.htm
    ruach: breath, wind, spirit

    Here, the wind is the spirit of the pagans who fight against the spirit that Jesus brings. See my Chapter 2c: The sea of Galilee

    THE WOMAN WHOSE YOUNG DAUGHTER HAD AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT

    Mark 7:25 For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit (4151) heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet.
    26 The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.

    THE MAN WHOSE SON HAD AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT

    Mark 9.17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit.

    25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it,
    Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”
    26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.”

    3 – THE PARALLELS BETWEEN THE 5 SCENES

    THE MAN WITH AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT CRIES OUT WHEN HE SPEAKS TO JESUS

    Mark 1:23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out,
    24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth?

    Mark 5:2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
    Mark 5:7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? …

    THE COMMANDS TO EXPEL THE SPIRIT

    Mark 1:25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”

    Mark 4:39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!

    Mark 5:8 For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!”

    Mark 9:25 Then Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it,
    “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”

    THE CONVULSIONS AND CRIES WHEN THE SPIRIT COMES OUT

    Mark 1:26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.

    Mark 9:26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.”

    Notice also that Jesus cries out when he yields up the spirit. See my Chapter 2g: Jesus
    Mark 15:37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.

    DUALITY AND OPPOSITION

    Mark 1:24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are the Holy One of God!”

    Mark 5:7And he cried out with a loud voice and said,“What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”

    See my Chapter 2d: The Biblical Desert

    THE DESTRUCTION

    Mark 1:24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are the Holy One of God!”

    Mark 5:7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”

    Mark 4:37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.
    38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

    THE FAME

    Mark 1:28 And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.

    Mark 5:20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled (2296)

    THE AMAZEMENT

    Mark 1:27 Then they were all amazed (2284), so that they questioned among themselves,

    Mark 5:20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled (2296)

    THE MUTUAL QUESTIONING

    Mark 1 : 27 Then they were all amazed , so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this?

    Mark 4 :41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

    JESUS COMMANDS THE UNCLEAN SPIRITS

    Mark 1:27 Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this?
    What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”

    Mark 4:41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!

    4 – FROM THE SYNAGOGUE TO THE TEMPLE

    THE MAN IN THE SYNAGOGUE

    Mark 1:21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.
    22 And they were astonished (1605) at His teaching (1322)., for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
    24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are the Holy One of God!”
    25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”

    THE MERCHANTS IN THE TEMPLE

    Mark 11:15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and
    sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.
    17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
    18And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him;
    for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished (1605) at His teaching (1322).

    THE PARALLELS BETWEEN THE 2 SCENES

    They went into Capernaum => they came to Jerusalem.

    He (Jesus) entered the synagogue => Jesus went into the temple

    Jesus casts the unclean spirit out of the synagogue => Jesus casts out ot the temple those who have made the temple a den of thieves.

    Jesus teaches and then casts out the unclean spirit = > Jesus casts out the merchants and then teaches

    Jesus does not teach like the scribes => The chief priests and the scribes hear Jesus

    The hebrews in the synagogue were astonished at his doctrine => the temple crowd was astonished at his doctrine.

    The unclean spirit wonders whether Jesus has come to destroy them => The scribes and priests want to destroy Jesus.

    ** MEANING **

    1 – CAPERNAUM, THE VILLAGE OF CONSOLATION

    Mark 2:1 Then they went into Capernaum, kaphar (3723) + nacham (5162)

    Isaiah 40:1 “Comfort (5162), comfort My people,” says your God.(Berean Study Bible)

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2584.htm
    Word Origin
    variant reading for Kapharnaoum, q.v.

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2746b.htm
    Kapharnaoum: Capernaum, a city of Galilee
    Word Origin of Hebrew origin kaphar and Nachum

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3723.htm
    kaphar: a village

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5151.htm
    Nachum: an Israelite prophet
    Word Origin from nacham

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5162.htm
    nacham: to be sorry, console oneself

    2 – FIRST READING BASED ON OT SOURCES

    Jesus has just received the spirit and spirit also means good News and God’s word. See my Chapter 2a: The Good News, The Kingdom
    Spirit => good News and God’s word

    Mark 1:10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.

    Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor.
    He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners, (Berean Study Bible)

    Jesus now teaches the good news to the Hebrews since the scene takes place in the synagogue. The good news becomes teaching and doctrine
    Spirit => good News and God’s word => teaching, doctrine

    Mark 1:21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.
    22 And they were astonished at His teaching (1322), for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

    27 Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine (1322) is this?
    For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”

    https://biblehub.com/greek/1322.htm
    didachÉ: doctrine, teaching

    Jesus puts his doctrine into the Hebrews’ heart/mind by expelling the old spirit so as to write his doctrine in their minds.
    The old spirit is now considered as unclean

    Mark expresses it very concisely by reusing the verses of Ezekiel and Jeremiah.

    Mark 1:25 But Jesus rebuked him (the unclean spirit) , saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”

    Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
    27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

    Jeremiah 11:8 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone followed the dictates of his evil (7451) heart;
    therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but which they have not done.’ ”
    Jeremiah 31:33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD:
    I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7451.htm
    ra’: adversity
    Definition: bad, evil

    The good news has just been put in the Hebrews’ heart, they replace the Moses’ law given to their fathers during the exodus.
    The link between the good News and the Moses’ Law is highlighted by the amazement of the Hebrews.
    The Hebrews of the synagogue are all amazed and question among themselves, saying, ‘What is this?’ as they receive the good news.
    The hebrews of the exodus said to one another, “What is it?” as they received the Manna. The Manna is the God’s spiritual food, it represents the law of Moses.

    Mark 1:27 Then they were all amazed (2284), so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this?
    What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”

    Exodus 16:15 So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
    And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.
    31 And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2284.htm
    thambeÓ: to astonish

    Notice also these 3 parallels about the amazement

    Mark 1:27 Then they were all amazed (2284), so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this?
    What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”

    Mark 4:41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

    Exodus 16:15 So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.

    3 – DETAILED READING

    Context: Jesus has just received the good News and claimed they are the God’s Word. See my Chapter 2a: The Good News, The Kingdom

    Mark 1:21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.

    He now teaches the good News to the Hebrews on the day when the Hebrews study the God’s Word and in the house where the Hebrews study the God’s Word
    The action takes place in Capernaum, the village of consolation, (Isaiah 40:1).

    22 And they were astonished at His teaching (1322), for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

    The good News become teaching.
    Jesus teaches with authority because his word will replace the commandments given to Moses, Here, Mark underlines the continuity between Jesus and Moses.
    But Jesus does not teach like the scribes those who know the Moses’ law to the letter, Mark underlines this time the difference between Jesus and Moses.

    23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out,

    The man represents the Hebrews who want to keep the Moses’ law.
    Mark says the man has an unclean spirit because the good News and the Moses’ law cannot coexist.
    The good News is now the God’s word and the God’s word is one.

    Good News means the fulfillment of the Isaiah’s prophecy which lightens the Moses’ law.
    The next gospel scenes will tell more about the lightening of the law. See also my previous Chapters 1, 2a, 2i

    24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are the Holy One of God!”

    Those Hebrews immediately grasp the opposition between the Moses’ Law and the good News.

    24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are the Holy One of God!”

    Mark presents the man as a man of the people, this is why he talks to Jesus by saying Jesus of Nazareth.
    Mark also tells us that Jesus is a Nazirite since the Nazirite is the Holy One of God. See My Chapter 2g: Jesus

    25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!

    Jesus is stronger than the unclean spririt and Jesus puts the good News in his mind/heart.

    26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.

    The convulsions and the cries highlight the trauma that the Hebrews suffer, they have to leave the law of their fathers.

    27 Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this?
    For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”

    The amazement of the Hebrews in the synagogue reminds us of the amazement of the Hebrews receiving the Manna in the desert, (Exodus 16:15, 31).
    In both scenes, the Hebrews are amazed by the spiritual food that God gives to them.

    27 Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this?
    For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”

    This verse sums up the sequence, A new doctrine replaces the old one which is now considered as unclean.
    Notice also that the unclean spirit is divided since Mark now says ‘unclean spirits’. Division means destruction so the God’s word must be one

    28 And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.

    The good news are first taught to the Hebrews of the Northern Kingdom. See My Chapter 2c: The sea of Galilee

    SUMMARY

    Spirit, good News, God’s Word and Teaching are equivalent terms. After having received the good News (Mark 1:10), Jesus claims good News are the God’s word. (Mark 1: 14,15)

    In this scene described by the verses Mark 1:21-28 , Jesus teaches the good News in the synagogue so as to put them in the minds/hearts of the hebrews.
    In doing so, Jesus asks the Hebrews in the synagogue to leave the Moses’ law that their fathers received during the exodus.

    This scene does not specify the content of the good News but it highlights the difference and opposition between the good News and the Moses’ law, (Mark 1:24′ What have we to do with You’).

    The old spirit, the spirit of the Moses’ Law, is now considered as unclean because it divises. The God’s word must be one because division means destruction.

    This scene in the synagogue reminds us of that other scene where Jesus also asks the Hebrews to leave the law of their fathers. See my Chapter 2b:The Four disciples.
    Mark 1:20 And immediately He (Jesus) called them, and they (James and John) left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.

    Here Jesus casts the unclean spirit out of Galilee, the northern Hebrew kingdom. Jesus will later cast another kind of unclean spirit out of the land of the pagans.

    Here Jesus casts the unclean spirit out of the synagogue. Jesus will later cast the merchants out of the temple in Jerusalem, the capital of the southern kingdom.

    At this point, Jesus has put his Word in the hearts/minds of the hebrews. This Word will have to grow like a seed.

    The next step in the sequential reading is now the new covenant.

    NEXT STEPS

    THE GOOD NEWS VERSUS THE MOSES’ LAW

    (Mark 1:29-34) Mother-in-Law
    I am going to update a first version I made several months ago

    https://vridar.org/2019/08/21/a-story-of-a-mother-in-law-stopping-the-sun-and-rebuilding-the-temple-wall/#comment-95139

    (Mark 1:35-45 and Mark 2) First pray , Leper, Paralytic, Levi the son of Alphaeus , John again, second synthesis.

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