2019-10-05

OT Sources for the Gospel of Mark, chapters 2 and 3

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by Neil Godfrey

Okay, I give in. Here’s one more. Feel free to remind or alert me to any that I have forgotten or overlooked.

Intertextuality Table for Mark chapters 2 and 3:

Mark 2-3

Jewish Scripture Sources

Notes

2:1-12

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

2 Kings 1:2-17

Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, “Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury.”

But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “. . . Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!’” . . .

He told the king, “This is what the Lord says: Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!” So he died, according to the word of the Lord that Elijah had spoken.

Isaiah 33:24; 43:25; 44:22

No one living in Zion will say, “I am ill”; and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven. . . .

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. . . .

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist.

Psalm 59:3

See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, Lord.

Psalm 7:9

you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts.

Daniel 7:13

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.

Psalm 103:3

who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

Isaiah 35: 6

Then will the lame leap like a deer

It is tempting to see a source here but I am not entirely comfortable with it because I can’t see a meaning behind any connection. In other likely allusions or quotations one  can see some point: a spiritualization of a physical reference; a reversal of a code of death to one of life; a higher spiritual plane for Jesus over a literary counterpart. Perhaps I’m too spiritually blind to see something like that here.

What does come my notice, though, is a link between a Pauline message of dying with Christ and the burial of Jesus in Mark 15. I wrote in The post 70 construction of Jesus’ tomb:

The gospel author, it should further be noted, had this tomb scene in mind when he wrote his earlier narrative of the paralytic being lowered by four friends through the roof of the house to be healed by Jesus (Mark 2:1-12). There the place where Jesus was staying could not be accessed through the normal entrance because of the enormous crowd, and entry had to be gained by digging out the roof. Similarly with Jesus’ burial, the normal entrance to this place that had been dug out of the rock was blocked by a massive bolder. In both cases the one placed in this place rose up and miraculously walked through the main doorway.

So the gospel’s reference to the tomb being “hewn out of rock” is not an incidental aside, but an integral part of the image in the author’s mind.

I have compared in much more granular detail the two scenes at Mark’s flags for interpreting Mark? (at vridar.info)

 

Mark 15:46; 16:8

and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of a rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb . . . .

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

2:13-17

Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Isaiah 9:1

but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan

Isaiah 33:18

where is he that weighed the tribute?

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. . . .

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.

Deuteronomy 18:1; 26:12

The priests the Levites, even all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of Jehovah made by fire, and his inheritance. . . .

When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithe of thine increase in the third year, which is the year of tithing, then thou shalt give it unto the Levite, to the sojourner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled.

Levi is called in a similar manner to the other disciples but “has no inheritance” with the twelve disciples. See The Call of Levi not to be one of the Twelve

In Deuteronomy the Levite ate with the lowly and outcasts of society; in Mark Levi’s eating with the outcasts takes an ironic twist, as does his right to revenue of others (c.f. tithes and taxes).

2:18-22

Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”

Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”

Isaiah 61:10; 62:5

I will greatly rejoice in Jehovah, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with a garland, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. . . .

For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee; and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

Jeremiah 7:34; 16:9; 25:10

Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land shall become a waste. . . .

For thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. . . .

Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the lamp.

Joshua 9:13

and these wine-skins, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they are rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.

Job 32:19

Behold, my breast is as wine which hath no vent; Like new wine-skins it is ready to burst.

2:23-28

One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”

He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”

Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Deuteronomy 23:25

If you enter your neighbor’s grainfield, you may pick kernels with your hands, but you must not put a sickle to their standing grain.

1 Samuel 21:1-6

Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech came to meet David trembling, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee? And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business. . . . Now therefore what is under thy hand? give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatsoever there is present. And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under my hand, but there is holy bread . . . . And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days; when I came out, the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was but a common journey; how much more then to-day shall their vessels be holy? So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread, that was taken from before Jehovah, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.

Daniel 7:13

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.

Deuteronomy 5:12-15

Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy, as Jehovah thy God commanded thee. . . . And thou shalt remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and Jehovah thy God brought thee out thence by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm: therefore Jehovah thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.

3:1-6

Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”

Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.

He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

1 Kings 13:4-6

When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back. Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the Lord.

Then the king said to the man of God, “Intercede with the Lord your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” So the man of God interceded with the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before.

Isaiah 10:1-4

Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights . . . Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away

Psalms 2:2

The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed

3:7-10

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. For he had healed many . . . .

Exodus 12:37-38; 15:22-26
The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. Many other people went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds. . . . Then Moses led Israel . . . He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”
3:13-19

Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Exodus 19:1-2, 17

On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt . . . and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain. . . .

Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.

Exodus 24:1, 4, 8-10

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. . . .

He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel. . . .

Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel.

3:20-35

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Psalm 27:10

Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.

1 Samuel 17:28

When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”

Jeremiah 12:6

Your relatives, members of your own family – even they have betrayed you; they have raised a loud cry against you.

Isaiah 49: 24-25

Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives be rescued from the fierce?

But this is what the Lord says:

Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce;
I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.

 

 

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31 thoughts on “OT Sources for the Gospel of Mark, chapters 2 and 3”

  1. Excellent work as always, Neil. However, I feel that I must act as a devil’s advocate and enter a caveat. Some on this site seem rather over-excited by your methodological sleight of hand in the term ‘OT sources’. The implication is that Mark used a random dot-to-dot search through ‘scripture’ to invent an original narrative. While not entirely impossible in theory, it is inherently unlikely as the narrative is not outlined by the sources : a pre-existing template of some sort is ‘surely’ needed to organise the scriptural themes and vocabulary into a narrative.

    Methodologically, there is a parallel to the ways NT scholars extract fragments of ‘fact’ from the texts, practices you rightly and frequently deplore, quoting Moses Finley : “For the great bulk of the narrative we are faced with the ‘kernel of truth’ possibility, and I am unaware of any stigmata that automatically distinguish fiction from fact”. Likewise, there is no method, no external control, to prove that an OT allusion is the imaginative source of a Markan episode, rather than the expected way of telling a story (origin/historicity unknown).

    Consciously allusive writing is alien to us. The point of it was well put by D.A. Russell regarding Plutarch : “His linguistic position indeed reflects his thought : the Greek past was alive for him, and its language a living instrument, through every phrase of which the past might be evoked and seen to be continuous with the present”.

    1. One position is that Paul has already pre-determined much of the scripture that Mark is using.

      r.g.price, in agreement with Tom Dykstra, holds that Mark is allegorizing the teachings of Paul.

    2. The implication is that Mark used a random dot-to-dot search through ‘scripture’ to invent an original narrative.

      That is a most unlikely method. More plausible is that the passages referenced were part of thinking and discussion about the place of the “new Israel” or “people of God” who felt themselves apart from the traditional cultic practices. I don’t mean to suggest that our author somehow went looking for verses to somehow build in to a narrative. You see what happens when an author so patently is doing just that in the Gospel of Peter. The Gospel of Mark is most unlike such a forced effort to make verses fit into a story.

      We see the same process in the classics. Greek and Latin poets and authors regularly drew upon phrases and words and images that they knew well from Homer, for example, and it was the most natural thing in the world to weave those phrases and words and images into a story theme that was even in some ways a rewrite of the Homeric epics (e.g. Aeneid).

      In our culture today more of us may be familiar with a comparable process in films and music.

    3. To further what db said, I actually hadn’t read David Oliver Smith’s book, Matthew, Mark, Luke and Paul before writing my book, and I now think that indeed the writer of Mark was far more heavily influenced by Paul than I had realized. It does appear that much of Mark’s scriptural focus was guided by Paul.

      But we also need to understand the broader background, because the works most often referenced by Mark, and also by Paul, are works that are also widely references in the DSS. When we look at the material from Qumran we see that the main scriptures they commented on were the works of the prophets (mainly Isaiah), the psalms, and the book of Daniel. They also did some commentary on Exodus. But they treated the psalms as prophecies certainly as we see the psalms being used in that way by Mark as well. Also, Daniel doesn’t feature strongly in Paul’s works, but Daniel was the most commented on work at Qumran and also features in Mark (one theory is that Daniel was actually written at Qumran).

      Basically, when we look at the works referenced in Mark what we find is that Mark makes very heavy use of 1 & 2 Kings in a somewhat unique way, but in terms of everything else that’s used, it fits very closely to the works that received the most attention from Paul and the Qumran writers. So this certainly shows knowledge of a common understanding of these scriptures and that Mark is working with some existing framework of exegesis.

      And the references certainly aren’t random. When we look at the content of the works being referenced they all tie together with common themes and related back to the story. In other words, this isn’t a matter of simply cutting and pasting random parts of the OT together to form new narratives. The works being referenced have relevant meaning to the story. The story is clearly being formed around the scripture.

      The references to 1 & 2 Kings often parallel the Gospel narrative, but references to the prophets typically all refer to passages about God’s punishment of, or displeasure with, the Jewish people. It’s more complicated than just that, but I think that to really understand Mark you have to not only read it at a superficial level, but also explore each passage that is referenced by the author and understand how the referenced passage extends and illuminates the superficial narrative.

      1. but references to the prophets typically all refer to passages about God’s punishment of, or displeasure with, the Jewish people.

        Have you read: Watts, Rikki E. 2001. Isaiah’s New Exodus in Mark. Rev Upd Su edition. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic.

        Watts argues for Mark being a narrative fleshing out of Isaiah’s theme of the new exodus God promised Israel after the Babylonian captivity.

    4. Crack open the DSS. The authors tell you they are taking bits of bible and jamming them together with other bits of bible and interperating the texts in a particular manner. The results are usually far more tortured than anything in the gospels. Crack open modern “scholarship”; you are soon swimming about in daft. “Inherently unlikely” is terminology you can chuck: the MORE unlikely the methodology; the MORE likely you will find it in play might be the better rubric. Ancient or modern, these folk haven’t met a daft they didn’t want to automatically like, or a sensible they didn’t want to automatically reject.

    5. Comment by Richard Carrier—27 October 2019—per Mark’s Use of Paul’s Epistles”. Richard Carrier Blogs. 25 October 2019.

      …is there any identifiable method to Mark’s selections from the Jewish Septuagint…?

      Yes. In fact, not only has that research been done, it’s mainstream now. Pretty much every scholar admits to it in some degree.

      To see how Mark riffed on the OT, what his purpose was and his techniques, see Randel Helms’ short introduction and Crossan’s Power of Parable, which I had already cited here. For more detailed scholarship, see MacDonald’s Two Shipwrecked Gospels and Brodie’s Birthing of the New Testament.

      I of course survey and discuss all of this and more (finding examples in such mainstream scholars as Allison, Evans, Crossley, et al.) in Ch. 10 of On the Historicity of the Gospels [Jesus].

  2. I agree Mark is a patchwork novel. I feel however that the focus on phraseology will lead us to looking at the seams and thread work rather than the patches themselves.

    In fact – I’m going to use this method to justify a theory I have about Mark. I’m beginning to agree more and more that the Jesus according to the Canon is ahistorical. However, I’m in hot pursuit of the real Jesus, who I believe is there somewhere.

  3. The only “method” used here is the same in any comparative literature studies. Read the sorts of works an author was known or likely to be familiar with and identify the evident influences. A few may just be coincidental but when there are so many then influences become the simplest explanation. We have numerous other texts from the Second Temple era and shortly afterwards that demonstrate the same sorts of borrowing.

    (By the way, I think the only set of allusions in the table above that I think are my own observation are the ones on Levi. But I would not be surprised to find some day that I once read of those somewhere else, too.

    For comparison’s sake, here is how crude a narrative looks when it is very evident that an author really is trying to force dots to come together to create a new story. It just doesn’t work very well, certainly not as well as we read in our canonical gospels. It’s from the Gospel of Peter:

    [10] And they brought two wrongdoers and crucified the Lord in the middle of them. But he was silent as having no pain.

    [11] And when they had set the cross upright, they inscribed that THIS IS THE KING OF ISRAEL.

    [12] And having put his garments before him, they divided them up and threw as a gamble for them.

    [13] But a certain one of those wrongdoers reviled them, saying: ‘We have been made suffer thus because of the wrong that we have done; but this one, having become Savior of men, what injustice had he done to you?’

    [14] And having become irritated at him, they ordered that there be no leg-breaking, so that he might die tormented.

    [15] But is was midday, and darkness held fast all Judea; and they were distressed and anxious lest the sun had set, since he was still living. [For] it is written for them: Let not the sun set on one put to death.

    [16] And someone of them said: ‘Give him to drink gall with vinegary wine.’ And having made a mixture, they gave to drink.

    [17] And they fulfilled all things and completed the sins on their own head.

    [18] But many went around with lamps, thinking that it was night, and they fell.

    [19] And the Lord screamed out, saying: ‘My power, O power, you have forsaken me.’ And having said this, he was taken up.

    [20] And at the same hour the veil of the Jerusalem sanctuary was torn into two.

    [21] And they drew out the nails from the hands of the Lord and placed him on the earth; and all the earth was shaken, and a great fear came about.

    I used to toy with the idea that the Gospel of Peter preceded the canonical gospels but no longer. The author is aware of what has been done with what became the canonical gospels and is trying to create his own gospel by “joining as many dots” as he can. As we can see, it is a rather unsophisticated result.

  4. Paul in Acts claims to be a Roman citizen. If Mark is reassembling patches of the Old Testament, to fill in, match Paul’s skeletal narrative? Then the Markian Pauline skeletal stitching is probably Greco Roman. Say, Homeric.

  5. Wasn’t the thesis of R.G. Price’s book “Deciphering the Gospels” that all of Mark was allusions to OT tropes, plus a bit of connective tissue added?

    He added that since so much of Mark was incorporated into the other gospels and Acts, that the authors of those books couldn’t tell the difference between fact and fiction, hence shouldn’t be considered factual, either. (I know this is a bit of an oversimplification.)

    I guess what I am asking is is there anything substantial in Mark that is not a reference to OT scripture?

          1. • The Thinker. “Jesus, Where Are You? The Missing Extrabiblical Evidence”. Atheism and the City.

            • Hickling, Stewart Ross (2017). “An evidentiary analysis of doctor Richard Carrier’s objections to the resurrection of Jesus Christ”. North-West University (South Africa), Potchefstroom Campus.

            3.2.4 Parallels between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the myth of Romulus

            Not only does Carrier(2014:302) observe parallels between Osiris, Inanna, and Jesus Christ, but he also observes manyparallels with the resurrection account of Jesus Christ and the Romulan legend of ancient Rome. In his exposition of these parallels, Carrier writes:

            The Christian conception of Jesus’ death and resurrection appears to have been significantly influenced by the Roman conception of Romulus’s death and resurrection. Even if we discounted that for any reason, the Romulus parallels definitely establish that all these components were already part of a recognized hero-type, and are therefore not surprising or unusual or unexpected. The story of Jesus would have looked familiar, not only in the same way all translation stories looked familiar even when different in many and profound ways, but also in the very specific way that among such tales it looked the most like the story of Romulus, which was publicly acted out in passion plays every year. And this was the national founding hero of the Roman Empire. What better god’s tale to emulate or co-opt?

            —(pp. 88–89)

              1. • No specific cite is given for passion play claim.

                Carrier, Richard (2009). Not the Impossible Faith. Lulu. pp. 48, n. 27. ISBN 978-0-557-04464-1. “Plutarch, Romulus 27-28 (late 1st century) and the pre-Christian author Livy, From the Founding of the City 1.16.2-7 (written c. 15 B.C.); also Cicero, Laws 1.3, Republic 2.10 (c. 40 B.C.), Ovid, Fasti 2.491-512 (c. 10 A.D.),; Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities 2.63.3 (c. 10 B.C.), Tertullian, Apology 21 (c. 200 A.D.).”

              2. I can see no evidence for such a play in the ancient sources. None of your citations points me to a source that verifies there was such a play. Have I missed one? I don’t see it in Livy nor in Ovid. I do read some comments saying that the surviving evidence breaks off before we would have expected to see an account of the play. That’s only an apology for why there is no evidence. It is not evidence. Have you actually consulted the sources you have cited? Do any of them actually testify to such a play?

              3. Plutarch (Life of Romulus 27-28):

                [27] 3 . . . He disappeared on the Nones of July, as they now call the month, then Quintilis, leaving no certain account nor even any generally accepted tradition of his death, aside from the date of it, which I have just given. For on that day many ceremonies are still performed which bear a likeness to what then came to pass.
                […]
                [28] 1 . . . Julius Proculus by name, went into the forum and solemnly swore by the most sacred emblems before all the people that, as he was travelling on the road, he had seen Romulus coming to meet him, fair and stately to the eye as never before, and arrayed in bright and shining armour. 2 He himself, then, affrighted at the sight, had said: “O King, what possessed thee, or what purpose hadst thou, that thou hast left us patricians a prey to unjust and wicked accusations, and the whole city sorrowing without end at the loss of its father?” Whereupon Romulus had replied: “It was the pleasure of the gods, O Proculus, from whom I came, that I should be with mankind only a short time, and that after founding a city destined to be the greatest on earth for empire and glory, I should dwell again in heaven. So farewell, and tell the Romans that if they practise self-restraint, and add to it valour, they will reach the utmost heights of human power.

              4. There’s some more interesting stuff in Life of Romulus 27, –

                [1] …[Romulus] taught the influential men at Rome also to seek after a form of government which was independent and without a king, where all in turn were subjects and rulers …

                [3] Wherefore suspicion and calumny fell upon that body [the Senate] when he disappeared unaccountably a short time after. He disappeared on the Nones of July … [as above^^]

                [4] … Romulus disappeared suddenly, and no portion of his body or fragment of his clothing remained to be seen … some conjectured that the senators, convened in the temple of Vulcan, fell upon him and slew him …

                [6] Others think that it was neither in the temple of Vulcan nor when the senators alone were present that he disappeared, but that he was holding an assembly of the people outside the city near the so-called Goat’s Marsh, when suddenly strange and unaccountable disorders with incredible changes filled the air; the light of the sun failed, and night came down upon them, not with peace and quiet, but with awful peals of thunder and furious blasts driving rain from every quarter, [7] during which the multitude dispersed and fled, but the nobles gathered closely together; and when the storm had ceased, and the sun shone out, and the multitude, now gathered together again in the same place as before, anxiously sought for their king, the nobles would not suffer them to inquire into his disappearance nor busy themselves about it, but exhorted them all to honour and revere Romulus, since he had been caught up into heaven, and was to be a benevolent god for them instead of a good king. [8] The multitude, accordingly, believing this and rejoicing in it, went away to worship him with good hopes of his favour; but there were some, it is said, who tested the matter in a bitter and hostile spirit, and confounded the patricians with the accusation of imposing a silly tale upon the people, and of being themselves the murderers of the king.

              5. Lowen Gartner, perhaps everything material, however small, has an element of individual consciousness.

                Per Carrier (29 September 2019). “Will AI Be Our Moses?”. Richard Carrier Blogs.

                The only thing AI can usefully do for us—and I mean the kind of AI DiCarlo imagines, which is an incredible technology we are nowhere near to achieving—is “find” the evidence that a conclusion is true and present it to us so we can independently verify it.

    1. I guess what I am asking is is there anything substantial in Mark that is not a reference to OT scripture?

      The casting out of Legion into the pigs? Though of course couched in motifs of the OT, such as the drowning of Pharaoh’s forces in the Red Sea.

      Though the procession of Jesus to the cross is a pastiche of OT allusions (160 such scriptures in chapters 11-16) they are all woven around a “parody” of a Roman Triumph:

    2. Per MacDonald, Dennis R. (2000). “Mark and Mimesis”. The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark. Yale University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-300-08012-4.

      I have come to conclude that Mark wanted his readers to detect his transvaluation of Homer.

      Per MacDonald, Dennis R. (2014). The Gospels and Homer: Imitations of Greek Epic in Mark and Luke-Acts. 1. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 2f. ISBN 978-1-4422-3053-8.

      In 2000, I published ”The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark” with Yale University Press. Since that time I have argued for imitations of classical Greek literature in several other Hellenistic Jewish and early Christian texts (see the Bibliography). Mark’s imitations of Homer can account for much of the information about Jesus in Mark that outstrips anything found in Paul or the lost Gospel. […] Mark’s authorial voice is different from that of Q/Q+ in large measure because he imitated or, better, emulated Homeric epic. One must not confuse these imitations with plagiarism insofar as the author advertised his literary debt and presented Jesus as superior to the likes of Achilles, Hector, and Odysseus.

      1. MacDonald’s thesis does not contradict the point about Jewish Scripture allusions and inspirations. MacDonald argues for both and, not either or. He explains:

        Such eclecticism also disguised reliance on the primary target of imitation. Skilled authors were bees that took the best nectar from many blossoms to produce textual honey. According to Seneca, such apian authors should “blend those several flavours into one delicious compound that, even though it betrays its origin, yet it nevertheless is clearly a different thing from that whence it came.” One achieves the height of imitation, however, when “the true copy stamps its own form upon all the features which it has drawn from what we may call the original” so that “it is impossible for it to be seen who is being imitated.” (p. 6)

        Like the proverbial bee of ancient rhetoric, Mark harvested nectar from several blossoms — some Jewish and some Greek — and transformed them into gospel honey. (p. 96)

        1. MacDonald argues for both and, not either or

          Carrier (25 October 2019). “Mark’s Use of Paul’s Epistles”. Richard Carrier Blogs:

          MacDonald has produced an entire book demonstrating that Mark built principally on transvaluing stories in the Jewish Septuagint, merely merging this with his employment of Homer to create a new, syncretized story that spoke to the wider world that was Mark’s actual market (hence why he wrote in Greek).

    1. I suspect not. He was most likely long dead by the time that became a widespread issue. We don’t find meaningful examples of people thinking the Gospels narrative was true until around 140 at the earliest.

      If we assume he wrote before 95 CE, then most likely he was dead by then. If he wrote later then maybe, but I personally don’t think he wrote later than 95 CE, though its possible, I view it more like 90% that he wrote before 95.

  6. Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 7: Paralytic’s healing
    Tags: Midrash, Maurice Mergui, Nanine Charbonnel

    (Mark 2:1-12) LAW TO THE PAGANS

    To read my previous chapters
    https://vridar.org/2019/10/04/the-ot-sources-for-mark-1/#comment-101809


    Mark 2:1 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house.
    2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door.
    And He preached the word to them.
    3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.
    4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was.
    So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
    5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.
    6 And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,
    7 “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?
    8 But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them,
    “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?
    9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say,
    ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’?
    10
    But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic,
    11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.
    12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all,
    so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

    Here is my reading plan

    1 – THE OFFERING FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS ACCORDING TO THE MOSES’ LAW
    2 – THE GOOD NEWS
    3 – ” WALK IN MY STATUTES ! “, LAW, JUSTICE, PARALYSIS
    4 – THE HOUSE WHERE THE WORD OF GOD DWELLS, FAITH AND FORGIVENESS
    5 – THE LAW TO THE PAGANS
    6 – THE TIME PERIOD BETWEEN FORGIVENESS AND HEALING, THE SON OF MAN
    7 – THE TWO SONS OF MAN: THE REDEEMER AND THE JUDGE
    8 – THE SON OF GOD AND THE SON OF MAN ON EARTH AS REDEEMER
    9 – THE SON OF GOD AND JESUS
    10 – SYNTHESIS: THE SON OF GOD, JESUS, THE SON OF MAN
    11 – THE LITTER AND THE CROSS, THE CHRIST
    12 – THE CROSS AS ASSEMBLY OF 2 WOODS, THAT OF THE HEBREWS AND THAT OF THE PAGANS
    13 – THE BLASPHEMY
    14 – THE HARD-HEARTEDNESS OF SCRIBES AND THEIR HYPOCRISY
    15 – THE BEHAVIOUR OF HEBREWS AND PAGANS
    16 – THE PAGANS GO HOME
    17 – THE HOUSE AND THE WORD
    18 – THE SON OF MAN IN THE BOOK OF EZEKIEL
    19 – THE SON OF MAN IN THE BOOKS OF DANIEL AND ENOCH
    SUMMARY

    1 – THE OFFERING FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS ACCORDING TO THE MOSES’ LAW

    Leviticus 4 describes
    1 – The offering required in the Moses’ law. The offering depends on the sinner’s rank
    (priest 4:3, community 4:13,ruler 4:22, common people 4:26)
    2 – The ritual to be performed which always include the 4 following elements: the animals offering,
    the blood spilled at the altar, the fire, the Priest making intercession

    Leviticus 4 recalls several times that a sinner is the one who does something against any of the commandments of the
    Lord
    (4:20, 4:22, 4:27)

    Leviticus 4:3 if the anointed priest sins (2398), bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the Lord
    for his sin (2403) which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering (2403).

    13 ‘Now if the whole congregation of Israel sins (7686) unintentionally, and the thing is hidden from the
    eyes of the assembly, and they have done something against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which
    should not be done, and are guilty;
    20 And he shall do with the bull as he did with the bull as a sin offering (2403); thus he shall do with
    it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them.

    22 ‘When a ruler has sinned (2398), and done something unintentionally against any of the commandments of
    the Lord his God in anything which should not be done, and is guilty,
    23 or if his sin which he has committed comes to his knowledge, he shall bring as his offering a kid of the
    goats
    , a male without blemish
    26 And he shall burn all its fat on the altar, like the fat of the sacrifice of the peace offering.
    So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin (2403) , and it shall be forgiven him.

    27 ‘If anyone of the common people sins (2398) unintentionally by doing something against any of the
    commandments of the Lord
    in anything which ought not to be done, and is guilty,
    32 ‘If he brings a lamb as his sin offering (2403), he shall bring a female without blemish.
    35 He shall remove all its fat, as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering.
    Then the priest shall burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire to the Lord.
    So the priest shall make atonement for his sin (2403), that he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/2403.htm
    chatta’ah: sin
    Strong’s Hebrew 2403: An offence, its penalty, occasion, sacrifice, expiation, an offender

    2 – THE GOOD NEWS
    (See my previous Chapters)

    Mark 1:15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent (3340) and believe (4100)
    the good news (2098) !”

    Sin: disobedience to God’s Word
    Disease: divine punishment because of sin
    Repentance: sinner’s will to return to God
    Redemption of sins: forgiveness of sins through redemption (the Good News) instead of offering (Moses’s Law)
    Redemption of sins (in Isaiah): the suffering servant takes upon himself the sin of others and redeems it by
    offering his life
    Good News: redemption of sins is being fulfilled

    Repentance => Forgiveness (Healings) => Redemption (Jesus’ Death, Mark 15:24-37) => Salvation
    (entry into the kingdom of God, Mark 16:1-5)

    As a result, to be healed/redeemed/saved, Hebrews and Pagans have to recognize Jesus as the one who has power to
    forgive the sins.
    In a practical way, they have to manifest their faith in Jesus and beleive the Good News.

    3 – ” WALK IN MY STATUTES ! “, LAW, JUSTICE, PARALYSIS

    The righteous is the opposite of the sinner. The righteous is he who
    1- knows the way that leads to God
    2 – does what is right,
    3 – observes God’s ordinances and walks in his statutes
    (Isaiah 58:2, Isaiah 59:8-9, Isaiah 64:5, Ezekiel 36:27)

    Isaiah 58:2 For day after day they seek Me and delight to know My ways (1870), like a nation that does
    what is right (6666) and does not forsake the justice (4941) of their God, They ask Me for righteous (6664)
    judgments (4941)
    ; they delight in the nearness of God.” (BSB)

    Isaiah 59:8 The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice (4941) in their tracks (4570).
    They have turned them into crooked paths (5410); no one who treads on them will know peace.

    Isaiah 59:9 Therefore justice (4941) is far from us, and righteousness (6666) does not reach us. We hope
    for light, but there is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in gloom.

    Isaiah 64:5 You welcome those who gladly do right (6664), who remember Your ways (1870). Surely
    You were angry, for we sinned. How can we be saved if we remain in our sins?

    Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes (2706) and
    to carefully observe My ordinances (4941).

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1870.htm
    derek: way, road, distance, journey, manner
    Strong’s Hebrew 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4941.htm
    mishpat: judgment
    Strong’s Hebrew 4941: A verdict, a sentence, formal decree, divine law, penalty, justice, privilege, style

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/6664.htm
    tsedeq: rightness, righteousness

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/6666.htm
    tsedaqah: righteousness
    Word Origin
    from the same as tsedeq

    MARK’S GOSPEL

    Mark is picking up on the same ideas, Jesus will bring a new law (a new justice) so that the sinners return to
    the right way, (Mark 2:17).

    Mark 2:17 On hearing this, Jesus told them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
    I have not come to call the righteous (1342), but sinners (268).

    https://biblehub.com/greek/1342.htm
    dikaios: correct, righteous, by impl. innocent

    https://biblehub.com/greek/268.htm
    hamartÓlos: sinful

    Mark chose to represent the pagans through the image of the paralytic even there is no paralytic but only lames in the
    Bible, (Isaiah 35:5,6).

    Isaiah 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
    Isaiah 35:6 Then the lame (6455) will leap like a deer and the mute tongue will shout for joy.
    For waters will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.

    The word “paralytic” is stronger than the word “lame” so as to point out that the pagans are fully unable to walk in
    God’s statutes
    since they do not know them.

    In the previous healing. Mark used the word “leper” to represent the Hebrews as they know God’s statutes but,
    from time to time, they leave the right way and walk by dark ways, (Isaiah 59:9 above).

    4 – THE HOUSE WHERE THE WORD OF GOD DWELLS, FAITH AND FORGIVENESS

    Mark 2:1 And again He (Jesus) entered Capernaum after some days,
    and it was heard that He was in the house.
    Mark 2:2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them,
    not even near the door. And He preached the word (3056, Logos) to them.

    The terms “house” and “Word” remind us of the tabernacle housing the ark and the ark containing the God’s Word.
    (See my Chapter 2h: The Ark)

    Mark 2:3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.

    four men => the four corners of the world, the nations surrounding Israel
    pronoun “They” => the pagans
    paralytic => the empty ark of pagans

    Mark 2:4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was.
    So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.

    they uncovered the roof => the access to the new Ark of the Covenant and its opening
    the bed on which the paralytic was lying => the empty ark of pagans

    Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic,
    Son, your sins are forgiven you.

    1- Seeing the empty ark, Jesus sees the faith of the pagans. Jesus understands that the pagans too believe
    the Good News (Mark 1:15) and want their share

    2 – Jesus recognizes their act of faith and puts the Good News in their empty ark

    3 – Son, your sins are forgiven you => Jesus erases the pagans’ past state of darkness so that they could enter
    the New Covenant and live close to God.

    Mark 2:11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.

    Jesus asks the pagans to leave with their filled ark and bring it back into their own home

    5 – THE LAW TO THE PAGANS

    To enter the New Covenant, the pagans only have to recognize the Good News as the Word of God.
    Their sins will thus be forgiven without having to make the offering, (see Leviticus 4).

    6 – THE TIME PERIOD BETWEEN FORGIVENESS (2:5) AND HEALING (2:12), THE SON OF MAN

    THE TIME PERIOD

    Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic,
    Son, your sins are forgiven you.

    6 And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts

    9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise (1453),
    take up your bed
    and walk’?
    10
    But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins
    11 He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise (1453), take up your bed, and go to your house.”

    12 Immediately he arose (1453), took up the bed,

    https://biblehub.com/greek/1453.htm
    egeirÓ: to waken, to raise up

    Mark adds a scene where the scribes (negatively) react,

    1 – to highlight the time period between the proclamation of forgiveness (Mark 2:5) and the healing (Mark 2:12)
    2 – to explicitly express the relationship between forgiveness and healing (Mark 2:9)
    3 – to introduce a new concept, the Son of Man (Mark 2:10)

    The paralytic’s healing is shaped like the 2 previous healings (mother-in-law and leper)
    1 – first, the mutual recognition (act of faith accepted by Jesus)
    2 – then, the healing healing

    Mark again highlights the time period like he did before (Mark 1:33) for the sake of reminding that
    1 – The mutual recognition is a conversion
    2 – The forgiveness of sins is only a promise of redemption. The actual redemption will take place in Mark 15:24-37
    3 – The physical healing is only narrative. It represents the salvation and the entry into the kingdom of God
    that will take place in Mark 16:1-5

    THE SON OF MAN

    Mark adds a new element here: the Son of Man who forgives the sins and then redeems them.

    To understand the difference between Jesus and the son of man, it is very useful to associate
    the 2 verses 2:5 and 2:10. And read them like this.

    Jesus said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you (BY)
    the Son of Man (WHO) has power on earth
    to forgive sins ”

    Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.
    Mark 2:10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins

    The evangelist takes care to write “Jesus says to the paralytic“, (Mark 2:5) and (Mark 2:11).
    He never writes “Jesus forgives” or “Jesus heals”

    Mark thus separates Word and deed,
    1 – Jesus is the Word that announces the redemption and teaches it
    2 – The son of man is he who fufills the redemption by forgiving the sins and redeeming them

    This construction with 2 distinct images is required because:
    1 – By definition, the image which fulfills the redemption must die.
    2 – The Word, the message saying that the forgiveness of sins is fulfilled through redemption,
    must not die.
    Jesus will disappear at the end of the story but his Word/message will remain through his body put in the tomb.

    7 – THE TWO SONS OF MAN: THE REDEEMER AND THE JUDGE

    Mark speaks three times about the son of the man who will die and rise three days later, (8:31, 9:31, 10:33).

    Mark 8:27 Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi;
    Mark 8:31 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 (450) again.

    https://biblehub.com/greek/450.htm
    anistÉmi: to raise up, to rise

    Mark takes account of two views of justice
    1 – the teaching of the new Law i.e the law of redemption
    2 – the judgment according to the new law

    As a result, in Mark’s Gospel, there are 2 sons of Man
    1 – “The son of the man who dies” is the redeemer because he has to die in order to fulfill the new law
    2 – “The son of the man who will rise” is the judge who will come after the establishment of the kingdom
    of God (the kingdom where people will live according to the new law).

    THE SON OF THE MAN AS THE REDEEMER ON EARTH

    Mark 2:10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins

    Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,
    and to give His life a ransom for many.

    Mark 14:41 Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough!
    The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners

    THE SON OF THE MAN AS THE JUDGE WHO WILL COME WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN

    Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him
    the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

    Mark 13:26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

    Mark 15:62 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.”

    JUSTICE IN OT SOURCES: PROCLAMATION AND JUDGMENT

    These two views of justice, proclamation and judgment, already exist in the books of Isaiah and Ezekiel.
    Proclamation => Isaiah 42:1,4 and Ezekiel 3:16,17
    Judgment => Isaiah 51:5, Isaiah 56:1 and Ezekiel 20:4,35

    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 (4941) to the Gentiles. (NKJ)

    Isaiah 42:4 He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice (4941) in the earth;
    And the coastlands shall wait for His law.

    Isaiah 51:5 My righteousness (6664) is near, My salvation has gone forth, And My arms will judge (8199) the
    peoples;
    The coastlands will wait upon Me, And on My arm they will trust.

    Isaiah 56:1 Thus says the LORD: “Keep justice (4941), and do righteousness, For My salvation is about
    to come, And My righteousness (6666) to be revealed.

    Ezekiel 3:16 At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
    Ezekiel 3:17Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel.
    Whenever you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me.

    Ezekiel 20:4 Will you judge (8199) them, will you judge them, son of man?
    Confront them with the abominations of their fathers

    Ezekiel 20:35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations,
    where I will enter into judgment (8199) with you face to face

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4941.htm
    mishpat: judgment
    Word Origin
    from shaphat

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/8199.htm
    shaphat: to judge, govern

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/6664.htm
    tsedeq: rightness, righteousness

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/6666.htm
    tsedaqah: righteousness
    Word Origin
    from the same as tsedeq

    8 – THE SON OF GOD, THE SON OF MAN ON EARTH AS REDEEMER

    Question: Why does the son of man forgive sins and not Jesus ?
    (Mark 2:5) Jesus said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you
    (Mark 2:10) (BY) the Son of Man (WHO) has power on earth to forgive sins”,

    Answer: because God alone can forgive sins, (Mark 2:7)
    Mark 2:7 “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?

    Jesus cannot fulfill this role because he is the result of the merger between the Son of God and Jesus of Nazareth and
    therefore integrates a divine and a human dimension. The human dimension of Jesus prevents him from forgiving sins.

    In order for sins to be forgiven by God without any human intervention, Mark uses 2 intermediate images

    1 – The Son of God who acts only according to his father’s will
    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.”

    2 – The Son of Man on earth who is the image of the Son of God and therefore acts like him

    In the expression “Son of Man”, it is necessary to focus on the word “Son” in order to grasp that
    “Son of Man on earth” only carries the thought of being “aligned to God” or “obedient to God”

    God => Son of God => Son of Man on earth as redeemer

    This literary building allows to break the connection between God and the “Son of Man on earth”
    before he dies in order to redeem sins.

    The rupture occurs when Pilate releases Barabbas. Barabbas means the son of father, the son of (God the) Father.
    (See my Chapter 2g: Jesus)

    Mark 14:36 And He (Jesus) said, “Abba, Father”
    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.

    God => X X X X X => Son of Man on earth as redeemer

    Mark reuses the title “Son of Man” with his own manner

    9 – THE SON OF GOD AND JESUS
    (See my Chapter 2g: Jesus)

    Jesus is the God’s Word that announces the redemption and teaches it to Hebrews and pagans

    A – Mark builds the Jesus character (Mark 1:10,11) as a two dimensional character with a divine dimension to
    communicate with God and a human dimension to teach to men the message about redemption.
    The divine dimension comes from “Jesus, Son of God”
    The human dimension comes from “Jesus of Nazareth”
    God => Jesus (divine dimension + human dimension)

    B – When Pilate releases Barabbas

    1 – The Jesus character loses his divine dimension and the connection between God and Jesus as human dimension is broken
    God => X X X X X => Jesus (human dimension)

    2 – Jesus does not return to Jesus of Nazareth.
    He remains a peculiar character since his boby is the bread (Mark 14:22) and his blood is the fruit of vine
    (Mark 14:24,25)

    3 – Jesus will no longer talk to men, his last words will be for God alone (Mark 15:34).
    He will say “My God, My God” and not “Abba, Father”.

    Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice,
    saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

    This Mark 15:34 verse highlights the broken connection between God and Jesus as a simple human figure.
    Jesus as a simple human figure is forsaken and will die.

    C – The boby of Jesus remains

    The Jesus character will disappear at the end of the story but his Word (message) will remain through his body
    (the spiritual bread) put in the tomb

    After 3 days, the stone will be rolled away and the new Word of God, the Good News, will be available to mankind.
    (See my Chapter 2i: First Synthesis)

    The Word, the message saying that the forgiveness of sins is fulfilled through redemption, must not die.
    Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. (BSB)

    10 – SYNTHESIS: THE SON OF GOD, JESUS, THE SON OF MAN

    (Step 1) Building of the character “Jesus”, (Mark 1:10,11)
    (Step 2) Liberation of Barabbas, (Mark 15:15)
    (Step 3) Death of Jesus, (Mark 15:37)
    (Step 4) Opening of the tomb, (Mark 16:1-8)

    THE SON OF GOD AND JESUS

    (Step 1) God => Jesus (divine dimension + human dimension)
    (Step 2) God => X X X X X => Jesus (human dimension)
    (Step 3) God => X X X X X => Body of Jesus (the spiritual bread)
    (Step 4) God => X X X X X => Word of Jesus (the spiritual bread)

    THE SON OF GOD AND THE SON OF MAN

    (Step 1) God => Son of God => Son of Man on earth as redeemer
    (Step 2) God => X X X X X => Son of Man on earth as redeemer
    (Step 3) God =>
    (Step 4) God => ? ? ? ? ? ? => Son of Man as Judge

    Mark separates Word and deed
    1 – Jesus is the Word that announces the redemption and teaches it
    2 – The son of man on earth is he who fufills the redemption by forgiving the sins and redeeming them

    This construction with 2 distinct images is required because :
    1 – By definition, the image which fulfills the redemption must die.
    2 – The Word, the message saying that the forgiveness of sins is fulfilled through redemption, must not die.
    Jesus will disappear at the end of the story but his Word/message will remain through his body put in the tomb

    In Mark’s Gospel, the Son of Man represents two views of justice
    1 – The teaching of the new Law (the forgiveness of sins through redemption) => Son of Man on earth as redeemer
    2 – The judgment according to the new law => Son of Man as Judge

    The Redeemer is the main figure up to chapter 12. After, Mark will associate the 2 figures (Redeemer and Judge) by
    using the word “cloud” as Isaiah.

    Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud (5645), and your sins like a mist (6051).
    Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.

    Notice also that Jesus alone uses the expression “Son of Man” and never says “I am the Son of Man”

    11 – THE LITTER AND THE CROSS, THE CHRIST

    THE POOR BECOMING RICH

    Mark 2:4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was.
    So when they had broken through, they let down the bed (2895) on which the paralytic was lying.

    Mark 2:12 Immediately he (the paralytic) arose, took up the bed (2895)

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2895.htm
    krabattos: a camp bed
    Usage: a bed, mattress, mat of a poor man.
    the litter (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

    The litter, on which the paralytic is lying, expresses emptiness and spiritual poverty.
    The paralytic is poor because he does not know the true wealth, the God’s Word.

    The paralytic, carrying his litter, represents the pagans who now possess the God’s Word (the Good News)
    and can walk in God’s statutes.

    THE CROSS AS A TESTIMONY, THE CHRIST

    “Take up the litter” will become “Take up the cross”.
    The cross will testify the belonging to the new community, the one that will live according to the Good News.

    Marc 8:29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him,
    “You are the Christ.”

    Marc 8:34 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

    Marc 9:41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ,
    assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

    THE CROSS AND THE CHRIST, 2 TIME-INDEPENDENT SYMBOLS

    The cross is the signifier, the object which represents
    1 – the redemption
    2 – the union of hebrews and pagans living according to the law of redemption.
    The Christ is the signified, the concept that the cross refers to.

    The cross (the signifier) and Christ (the signified) exist in Mark’s tale and will remain in time after the end of tale
    (Mark 10:29,30).

    Mark 10:29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or
    brothers or sisters or father or mother [or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,
    Mark 10:30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time houses and brothers and sisters and
    mothers and children and lands, with persecutions and in the age to come, eternal life.

    THE INVERSION

    Notice also the inversion brought by the Good News i.e. redemption instead of offering (Mark 10:31).

    Mark 10:31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

    The Hebrews who first received the God’s Word (the Moses’ Law) will become the last
    if they do not leave this law in favour of the Good News.

    The last to receive the God’s Word, the pagans who came to take the Good News, will become the first.

    12 – THE CROSS AS ASSEMBLY OF 2 WOODS, THAT OF THE HEBREWS AND THAT OF THE PAGANS

    THE EXPECTATION FOR A REUNIFIED KINGDOM IN THE BOOKS OF EZEKIEL AND ISAIAH
    (See my Chapter 2c: The sea of Galilee)

    Ezekiel 37:16 “As for you, son of man, take a stick (6086) for yourself and write on it:
    ‘For Judah
    and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick (6086) and write on it,
    ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim
    , and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’

    Ezekiel 37:19 say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the stick(6086) of Joseph,
    which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions;
    andI will join them with it, with the stick (6086) of Judah, and make them one stick,
    and they will be one in My hand.”

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

    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.

    THE WOOD OF HEBREWS AND THE WOOD OF PAGANS

    Mark takes up the idea again but the 2 woods to be assembled become that of the hebrews and that of the pagans.
    The assembly will be done in Mark 15:21 verse and the written inscription in Mark 15:26 verse.

    Mark 15:21 Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus,
    as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross.

    Mark 15:26 And the inscription of His accusation was written above: THE KING OF THE JEWS.

    The gospel of Mark is a movement from division to unity.
    At this point (Mark 2:1-12), Jesus established a common law to both hebrews and pagans.
    This common law (the GoodNews) is based on the forgiveness of sins through redemption.
    The Good News has just healed a leper/Hebrew and a paralytic/Pagan who believed them.
    In the chapters to come and up to chapter 12, Jesus will call for unity and point out the misdeeds of division.

    THE CARPENTER

    The carpenter is the one who shapes and assembles the pieces of wood to restore the house of God (2 Chronicles 24:12).
    He also shapes the wood into the figure (8403) of a man (Isaiah 44:13)

    2 Chronicles 24:12 Then the king and Jehoiada would give the money to those who supervised the labor on the
    house of the LORD to hire stonecutters and carpenters to restore the house of the LORD, as well as workers in
    iron and bronze to repair the house of the LORD. (NKJ)

    Isaiah 44:13 The carpenter (2790) stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and
    marks it with a compass.
    He shapes it into the figure (8403) of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. (ESV)

    Mark’s Gospel

    Mark 6:3 Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And
    are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him.

    The question suggests that Jesus is the carpenter who will assemble the wood of hebrews and the wood of pagans.

    THE CHI LETTER

    The Chi letter is the 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet, (uppercase Χ).
    It is also the first letter of the word “Christos”, the Greek word for Messiah (“the anointed one”).
    This letter may also evoke the assembly of 2 sticks, the cross.

    Notice also that the shape of St Andrew’s cross is an X.
    Andrew is the first pagan called by Jesus
    and the paralytic/pagan is the first to bear the symbol that will become the cross.

    https://biblehub.com/greek/5547.htm
    Christos: the Anointed One, Messiah, Christ

    https://biblehub.com/greek/5548.htm
    chriÓ: to anoint

    13 – THE BLASPHEMY

    Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic,
    Son, your sins are forgiven you.
    Mark 2:6 And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,
    Mark 2:7 “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?

    Mark 2:10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins

    Notice that Mark is careful to speak of the Son of Man only in Mark 2:10.
    In this way, the scribes see a man forgiving and not the Son of Man

    The scribes see a man forgiving the sins and immediately accuse him of blasphemy.

    By saying “Son, your sins are forgiven you.“,
    Jesus signs his death warrant because blasphemy is sufficient cause to deserve death in Mark’s Gospel.

    Mark 14:63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses?
    Mark 14:64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?”
    And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.

    The Moses’ law considers the blasphemy in Leviticus 24 but there are no verses about the forgiveness of sins

    Leviticus 24:16 And whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death.
    All the congregation shall certainly stone him,
    the stranger as well as him who is born in the land.
    When he blasphemes the name of the Lord, he shall be put to death.

    14 – THE HARD-HEARTEDNESS OF SCRIBES AND THEIR HYPOCRISY

    Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.
    Mark 2:6 And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,

    Mark 2:7 “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?
    Mark 2:8 But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves,
    He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?

    The scribes have just shown that they have a heart of stone (Ezekiel 36:26,27) and that they are hypocritical

    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.
    Ezekiel 36:27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes,
    and you will keep My judgments and do them.

    SCRIBES’ HYPOCRISY

    The scribes understand what it means to forgive the sins because they know the texts to the letter
    and therefore the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53.

    The scribes accuse Jesus of blasphemy and so they deny the pagans the right to have their sins redeemed.
    But there was no opposition to redemption of the hebrew’s sins in the previous scene. (See my Chapter 6: Leper healing)

    Mark did not make the scribes appear in the leper scene whereas he makes them react in the scene of the parilytic/pagan

    In this way, he points out that the scribes accept the redemption of sins for the Hebrews alone
    but refuse it to the pagans.

    The matter is not the forgiveness of sins through the offering (Moses’ Law) in favor of redemption (Good News).
    The matter is the entry of the pagans.

    15 – THE BEHAVIOUR OF HEBREWS AND PAGANS

    THE HEBREWS

    The Hebrews prevent the pagans from accessing the Word of Jesus.

    Mark 2:2 Immediately many(the hebrews) gathered together, so that there was no longer room
    to receive them, not even near the door.
    And He preached the word to them.

    Mark 2:3 Then they (pagans) came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.

    Mark 2:4 And when they (the pagans) could not come near Him because of the crowd (the hebrews),
    they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through,
    they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.

    THE AMAZEMENT OF HEBREWS AND PAGANS

    Mark 2:12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all,
    so that all were amazed (1839) and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

    After his healing, the pagan testifies by going out in the presence of them all.

    The hebrews and the pagans who were outside are amazed.
    Mark uses the verbs amaze (1839) and astonish (2284, Mark 1:27) to mean a partial perception of events.
    Mark is referring to the hebrews discovering the manna in the desert. (See my Chapter 3: The Unclean Spirit)

    https://biblehub.com/greek/1839.htm
    existÉmi: to displace, to stand aside from
    Usage: (lit: I remove from a standing position), (a) in trans. tenses: I astonish, amaze, (b) in intrans.
    tenses: I am astonished, amazed; I am out of my mind, am mad.

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2284.htm
    thambeÓ: to astonish

    16 – THE PAGANS GO HOME

    Mark 2:11 He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed,
    and go to your house.

    Jesus asks the pagans to leave with their filled ark and bring it back into their own home
    Jesus implicitly asks the pagans to cross the sea.

    See my Chapter 2c: The sea of Galilee
    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

    Later, Jesus will cross the sea and go to the pagan land.

    Mark 6:53 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there,
    Mark 6:54 And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him,
    Mark 6:55 ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds
    those who were sick
    to wherever they heard He (Jesus) was

    17 – THE HOUSE AND THE WORD

    THE HOUSE WHERE THE WORD OF JESUS DWELLS.

    Mark 2:1 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the
    house
    . (NKJ)
    Mark 2:2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not
    even near the door. And He preached the word to them.

    Mark 3:20 Then Jesus went home, and once again a crowd gathered,
    so that He and His disciples could not even eat. (BSB)

    His disciples could not even eat the spiritual food, the Word

    Mark 7:17 When He had entered a house away from the crowd,
    His disciples asked Him concerning the parable

    the parable => the spiritual message, the Word

    THE HOUSE WHERE THE WORD OF GOD DWELLS

    Mark 2:26 how he (David) went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the
    showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?”

    the showbread => the spiritual bread

    THE COMMON HOUSE OF HEBREWS AND PAGANS WHERE THE WORD OF JESUS DWELLS.

    Mark 1:29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew,
    with James and John

    James and John bring the nets i.e. the Good News

    THE HOUSE OF PAGANS WHERE THE WORD OF JESUS WILL DWELL.
    Mark 2:11 He said to the paralytic,“I say to you, arise, take up your bed,
    and go to your house.

    The bed => the ark filled with the Good News

    Mark 5:19 But Jesus would not allow him. “Go home to your own people,” He said, “and tell them
    how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy He has shown you.” (BSB)

    The testimony => the Good News

    THE HOUSE WHERE THE WORD OF GOD IS CORRUPTED

    Mark 2:15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners
    also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him

    Mark 5:38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who
    wept and wailed loudly.

    Marc 11:17 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.’ ”

    THE HOUSE WHERE THE WORD MUST BE ONE

    Mark 3:25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

    18 – THE SON OF MAN IN THE BOOK OF EZEKIEL

    The expression “Son of man” appears 93 times in the book of Ezekiel.
    In this book, the Son of Man is Ezekiel to whom God commands

    At this point, I just point out the most obvious parallels between Mark and Ezekiel.

    Ezekiel 1:26 Above the expanse over their heads was the likeness of a throne with the appearance of sapphire,
    and on the throne high above was a figure (1823) like that of a man (120). (BSB)
    28 The appearance of the brilliant light all around Him was like that of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy
    day. This was the appearance of the likeness (1823) of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it,
    I fell facedown and heard a voice speaking.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/120.htm
    adam: man, mankind

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1823.htm
    demuth: likeness, similitude

    Ezekiel 2:1 Son of man (120),” He said to me (Ezekiel), “stand up on your feet and I will
    speak to you.”

    Ezekiel 2:2 And as He spoke to me, the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet, and I heard Him
    speaking to me

    Ezekiel 2:3Son of man,” He said to me: “I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious
    nation that has rebelled against Me. To this very day they and their fathers have rebelled against Me.

    Ezekiel 2:8 But you, son of man, listen to what I tell you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious
    house. Open your mouth and eat what I give you.”
    Ezekiel 2:9
    Then I looked and saw a hand reaching out to me, and in it was a scroll (4039),

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4039.htm
    megillah: a scroll

    Ezekiel 3:16 At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
    Ezekiel 3:17 Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel.
    Whenever you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me.

    Ezekiel 3:20 Now if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I put a
    stumbling block before him, he will die. If you did not warn him, he will die in his sin, and the righteous acts
    he did will not be remembered. And I will hold you responsible for his blood.

    Ezekiel 3:21 “However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin
    and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself.”

    Ezekiel 3:24 Then the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet. He spoke with me and said, “Go, shut
    yourself inside your house.

    Ezekiel 3:25 And you, son of man, they will tie with ropes, and you will be bound so that
    you cannot go out among the people.

    Ezekiel 18:21 But if the wicked man turns from all the sins he has committed, keeps all My statutes,
    and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die.

    Ezekiel 20:4 Will you judge them, will you judge them, son of man? Confront them with the
    abominations of their fathers

    Ezekiel 20:35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations, where I will enter into judgment with
    you face to face.

    Ezekiel 20:36 Just as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt,
    so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord GOD.

    Ezekiel 36:19 I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered throughout the lands.
    I judged them according to their ways and their deeds.

    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.

    Ezekiel 36:27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My
    judgments and do them.

    Ezekiel 37:3 Then He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones come to life?” “O Lord GOD,” I replied, “only
    You know.”

    Ezekiel 37:4 And He said to me, “Prophesy concerning these bones and tell them,
    ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!

    Ezekiel 37:5 This is what the Lord GOD says to these bones:
    I will cause breath to enter you, and you will come to life.

    Ezekiel 37:16 “As for you, son of man, take a stick (6086) for yourself and write on it:
    ‘For Judah
    and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick (6086) and write on it,
    ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim
    , and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’

    Ezekiel 37:19 say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the stick(6086) of Joseph,
    which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions;
    andI will join them with it, with the stick (6086) of Judah, and make them one stick,
    and they will be one in My hand.”

    Ezekiel 37:26 And I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will
    establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary among them forever.

    Ezekiel 37:27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be My people.

    Ezekiel 45:9 For this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘Enough, O princes of Israel! Cease your violence and
    oppression, and do what is just and right. Stop dispossessing My people, declares the Lord GOD.’

    19 – THE SON OF MAN IN THE BOOKS OF DANIEL AND ENOCH

    The expression “Son of man” also appears in the books of Daniel and Enoch.
    In these books, the Son of Man is no longer a man but a figure linked to the Ancient/Head of Days.

    Daniel 7:13 In my vision in the night I continued to watch, and I saw One like a Son of Man coming with the
    clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days
    and was led into His presence.

    Enoch 46.1 And there I saw one who had a head of days [i.e. was old], and his head was white like wool;
    and with him was a second whose countenance was like the appearance of a man, and his countenance was full of
    agreeableness, like one of the holy angels.

    2. And I asked one of the angels, who went with me, and who showed me all the secrets, concerning this son of
    man
    , who he was and whence he was, and why he goes with the Head of days?

    3. And he answered and said to me: “This is the Son of man, who has justice, and justice dwells with him,
    and all the treasures of secrecy he reveals, because the Lord of the spirits has chosen him, and his portion overcomes
    all things before the Lord of the spirits in rectitude to eternity

    SUMMARY

    In this scene, Jesus heals a paralytic/pagan. Mark uses the scene to make explicit the theme of the gospel that
    is the forgiveness of sins through redemption.
    John had announced it (Mark 1:7,8) and then Jesus (Mark 1:15). Jesus has already forgiven sins twice, first by healing
    the mother-in-law/Israel and then the leper/Hebrew.
    The forgiveness of sins through redemption replaces the forgiveness of sins through offering.
    The Moses’ law is thus deeply amended because the sin and its opposite, the justice, are the foundations of it.

    Justice has two aspects:
    1 – the law, the commandments that God gives to his people to guide them
    2 – the judgment.

    Obedience to God (justice) is living God’s Word, it brings salvation whereas disobedience to God (sin) brings exclusion
    and sickness.

    Jesus brings a new law, the Good News, which sets sinners free since Jesus takes upon Himself their sins to redeem them.

    To benefit from the new law, it is enough to believe the Good News and manifest his faith in Jesus.

    The new law is offered to Hebrews and pagans without any distinction between them.

    The opening to the pagans causes hostility from scribes (Mark 2:7) and some of the Hebrews (Mark 1:45). They accept the
    redemption for themselves but deny it to the pagans.

    The notion of redemption is part of the Jewish expectation. It is described in the book of Isaiah, the chapter 53 about
    the Suffering Servant.

    With Jesus, the expectation becomes reality but this raises some technical problems that the gospel writer has to solve.
    1 – How to write a book that advocates the forgiveness of sins through redemption when the notion of redemption implies
    the death of the Redeemer?
    Would not the death of the Redeemer also kill the idea of redemption?
    2 – Since God alone can forgive sins, how can sins be forgiven on earth without human intervention?

    The answer is a figure that already exists in books such as Ezekiel. Daniel and Enoch.
    This figure is the Son of Man.

    Mark reuses this figure with his own manner so that God intervenes on earth through 2 figures according to this model.

    God => Son of God => Son of Man on earth as redeemer

    This model allows to break the connection between God and the Son of Man before he dies to redeem the sins.
    To do this, it is enough to remove the Son of God from the model, Pilate will do it by releasing Barabbas, the son of
    (God the) father.

    God => X X X X X => Son of Man on earth as redeemer

    In Mark’s Gospel, the Son of Man is a divine figure not a man. He loses his divine dimension when the connection is
    broken. All that is divine must not die.

    Mark also separates Word and deed

    1 – Jesus is the Word that announces the redemption and teaches it
    2 – The son of man as redemeer is he who fufills the redemption by forgiving the sins and redeeming them

    In this way, the message about redemption does not die. The Word of Jesus is temporarily locked in a tomb.

    Mark also introduces another figure, the Christ and a sign, the cross.

    The Christ and the cross represent the union of hebrews and pagans living according to the law of redemption.
    The Christ and the cross are time-independent notions.

    The last chapters of the Gospel will tell us a little more about the Son of Man and Christ.

    At this point, I am going on studying the Chapter 2 in order to show that the first two chapters make a coherent unit
    defining the Good News.

    NEXT STEPS

    (Mark 2:13-28) Levi the son of Alphaeus, John and the Word, Sabbath
    (Mark 1-2) Second synthesis

    Some Readings

    https://www.amazon.fr/Canon-Biblical-Interpretation-Zondervan/dp/031052329X
    Canon and Biblical Interpretation
    Craig Bartholomew, ‎Scott Hahn, ‎Robin Parry – 2010 – ‎Religion
    pages 131-132 about the Son of Man are available online

    http://www.bible-parole-et-paroles.com/2017/11/le-fils-de-l-homme.html
    French text about the Son of Man

    http://readingreligion.org/books/goy
    Israel’s Multiple Others and the Birth of the Gentile

  7. Reading Mark as a midrash, Chapter 8: Levi son of Alphaeus
    Tags: Midrash, Maurice Mergui, Nanine Charbonnel

    (Mark 2:13-17) CHANGE OF NAME AND CIRCUMCISION

    Mark 2:13 Once again Jesus went out beside the sea. All the people came to Him,
    and He taught them there. (BSB)
    Mark 2:14 As He was walking along, He saw Levi (3018) son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth.
    “Follow Me,”
    He told him, and Levi got up and followed Him.
    Mark 2:15 While Jesus was dining at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with
    Him and His disciples—for there were many who followed Him.
    Mark 2:16 When the scribes who were Pharisees saw Jesus eating with these people, they asked His
    disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
    Mark 2:17 On hearing this, Jesus told them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
    I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners (268)
    .”

    Here is my reading plan

    1 – FIRST READING TO GET AN OVERVIEW
    2 – CHANGE OF NAME AND CIRCUMCISION OF FLESH
    3 – CIRCUMCISION OF HEART
    4 – LEVI BECOMES MATTHEW
    5 – LEVI AND THE LEVITES (OT SCRIPTURES)
    6 – LEVI AND THE LEVITES (MARK’S GOSPEL)
    7 – PHYSICIAN AS HEALER AND EMBALMER (OT SCRIPTURES)
    8 – PHYSICIAN AS HEALER/TEACHER AND EMBALMER (MARK’S GOSPEL)
    9 – SON OF ALPHAEUS
    10 – THE ALPHEUS AND ORONTES RIVERS
    11 – TYCHE OF ANTIOCH AND SCRIPTURES
    12 – MIGDAL AND MARY OF MAGDALA
    13 – SYENE AND SIMON OF CYRENE
    14 – RAMATHAIM AND JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA
    15 – CHANGE OF NAME AND CHANGE OF ROLE, FIRST STEP
    SUMMARY

    1 – FIRST READING TO GET AN OVERVIEW

    Mark 2:13 Once again Jesus went out beside the sea. All the people came to Him,
    and He taught them there.

    Jesus returns near the sea, the border between the hebrews and the pagans but also the symbolic place where Jesus can
    teach both the hebrews and the pagans.

    Mark 2:14 As He was walking along, He saw Levi (3018) son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth (5058)
    “Follow Me,”
    He told him, and Levi got up (450) and followed (190) Him.

    Jesus calls Levi who represents the priests performing the rituals of Moses’ law. The word “tax booth” evokes the
    entrance fee and refers to the ritual after child’s birth described in Leviticus 12.
    According to this ritual, the child is circumcised and then the mother brings the priest the offerings required by the
    Moses’ law to cleanse her.

    Using the word “tax booth”, Mark portrays Levi’s role in a negative way since Levi appears as the one who collects the
    tax to have the child enter community of Hebrews.

    Mark does this to mean that the circumcision of the flesh is not part of the Good News and will not be the sign of the
    new covenant.

    Mark 2:15 While Jesus was dining at Levi’s house, many tax collectors (5057) and sinners were
    eating
    with Him and His disciples—for there were many who followed Him.

    Mark goes on negatively portraying Levi (and his role) by having tax collectors and sinners eating at his house.

    In this way, he means that
    1 – Levi does not provide the good spiritual food.
    2 – circumcisers and sinners are not on the right way to return to God

    So why does Jesus eat with them?

    Mark 2:16 When the scribes who were Pharisees saw Jesus eating with these people, they asked His
    disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

    The scribes ask the question that questions us as readers

    Mark 2:17 On hearing this, Jesus told them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor (2395), but the
    sick. I have not come to call the righteous (1342), but sinners (268).”

    Jesus reminds us that his mission is to bring sinners back to God.
    He does not come to call those who were righteous before him i.e. the Hebrews fully following the Moses’ law.

    Jesus’ answer raises a problem because he does not criticize the righteous hebrews but he criticizes the priests who
    represent and teach the Moses’ law. Moreover, Jesus brings a new justice, the Good News.

    https://biblehub.com/greek/3018.htm
    Leuis: Levi.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3878.htm
    Levi: a son of Jacob, also the tribe descended from him

    https://biblehub.com/greek/5058.htm
    telÓnion: tax office
    Word Origin: from telÓnÉs

    https://biblehub.com/greek/5057.htm
    telÓnÉs: tax collector
    (literally, “paying-at-the-end”)
    (5057/tel?nes) is derived from telos (“a tax at the end”) and oneomai (“to buy”).

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2395.htm
    iatros: a physician, (Mark 2:17, Mark 5:26)
    Word Origin: from iaomai

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2390.htm
    iaomai: to heal (Mark 5:29)

    https://biblehub.com/greek/268.htm
    hamartÓlos: sinful (Mark 2:15,16,17), (Mark 8:38), (Mark 14:41)

    https://biblehub.com/greek/1342.htm
    dikaios: correct, righteous, by impl. Innocent (Mark 2:17), (Mark 6:20)
    “Righteous” relates to conformity to God’s standard (justice).

    2 – CHANGE OF NAME AND CIRCUMCISION OF FLESH

    ABRAM => ABRAHAM

    Genesis 17:5 No longer will you be called Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a
    father of many nations.

    Once Abram is renamed Abraham in Gen 17:5, he is never again referred to as Abram

    JACOB =>ISRAEL

    Genesis 32:28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have
    struggled with God and with men, and you have prevailed.”

    “Jacob” and “Israel” continue to be used throughout the Genesis narrative.

    ABRAM IS RENAMED ABRAHAM AND HE IS CIRCUMCISED.

    Genesis 17:4 “As for Me, this is My covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.

    Genesis 17:5 No longer will you be called Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a
    father of many nations.

    Genesis 17:8 And to you and your descendants I will give the land where you are residing—all the land
    of Canaan
    —as an eternal possession; and I will be their God.

    Genesis 17:10 This is My covenant with you and your descendants after you, which you are to keep: Every male
    among you must be circumcised.

    Genesis 17:11 You are to circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and this will be a sign of the covenant
    between Me and you
    .

    THE RITUAL AFTER CHILD’S BIRTH

    Leviticus 12:1 Then the LORD said to Moses,

    Leviticus 12:2 “Say to the Israelites, ‘A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be
    unclean for seven days, as she is during the days of her menstruation.

    Leviticus 12:3 And on the eighth day the flesh of the boy’s foreskin is to be circumcised.

    Leviticus 12:6 When the days of her purification are complete, whether for a son or for a daughter, she
    is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a
    young pigeon
    or a turtledove for a sin offering.

    Leviticus 12:7 And the priest will present them before the LORD and make atonement for her; and she shall
    be ceremonially cleansed from her flow of blood. This is the law for a woman giving birth, whether to a
    male or to a female.

    Leviticus 12:8 But if she cannot afford a lamb, she shall bring two turtledoves or two young
    pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. Then the priest will make atonement for
    her, and she will be clean.’?”

    3 – CIRCUMCISION OF HEART

    CIRCUMCISE YOUR HEARTS !

    Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and stiffen your necks no more.

    Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and remove the foreskins of your hearts, O men of Judah
    and people of Jerusalem. Otherwise, My wrath will break out like fire and burn with no one to extinguish it,
    because of your evil deeds.

    WHAT DOES CIRCUMCISION OF HEART MEAN ?

    Deuteronomy 30:6 and Mark 12:30 verses define it in the same way: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with
    all your soul”

    Deuteronomy 30:6 The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, and
    you will love Him with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.

    Mark 12:30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all
    your strength.’

    CIRCUMCISION OF HEARTS WITHOUT CIRCUMCISION OF FLESH

    By presenting the circumcision of the flesh in a negative way (Mark 2:14) and disqualifying Levi’s teaching (Mark 2:15),

    Mark clarifies what the Good News mean
    1 – The sign of new covenant will no longer be circumcision of flesh but the cross.
    2 – The teaching will be based on circumcision of heart.

    Mark 2:14 As He was walking along, He saw Levi (3018) son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth (5058).
    “Follow Me,”
    He told him, and Levi got up and followed Him.

    Mark 2:15 While Jesus was dining at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with Him
    and His disciples—for there were many who followed Him.

    4 – LEVI BECOMES MATTHEW

    CHANGE OF NAME

    After Mark 2:14-15, we will never hear of Levi again. This reminds us of Abram in Gen 17:5, once Abram is renamed
    Abraham, he is never again referred to as Abram.

    Like Abram who accepted the covenant with God, Levi accepted the new covenant based on the Good News since he follows
    Jesus. As a result, Levi will be renamed Matthew (Mark 3:18). This new name reflects his new role inside the new
    covenant. He will provide the bread, the spiritual bread as Word/Gift of God.

    Mark 2:14 As He was walking along, He saw Levi (3018) son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth
    (5058). “Follow Me,”
    He told him, and Levi got up and followed Him.

    Mark 2:15 While Jesus was dining at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were
    eating
    with Him and His disciples—for there were many who followed Him.

    Mark 3:18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew (3156), Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon
    the Canaanite, (KJV)

    https://biblehub.com/greek/3156.htm
    Matthaios: Matthew
    Word Origin: variant reading for Maththaios, q.v.

    https://biblehub.com/greek/3102b.htm
    Maththaios: Matthew, one of the twelve apostles

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4993.htm
    Mattithyah or Mattithyahu: “gift of Yah,”
    Word Origin: from mattath and Yah
    NASB Translation: Mattithiah (8).

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3050.htm
    Yah: the name of the God of Israel
    Word Origin: contr. from Yhvh
    NASB Translation: GOD (1), LORD (49).

    CHANGE OF ROLE

    Levi represents the priest who performs the birth ritual (circumcision of flesh) to have the child enter community of
    Hebrews (Mark 2:14)

    By changing his name, the character “Levi” mutates. He will play the same role as Mattithiah (1 Chronicles 9:31),
    another levite in charge of providing bread.

    The bread prepared by Mattithiah and his brothers was the law of Moses (1 Chronicles 9:31-32). The bread provided by
    Matthew and the other disciples will be the Good News (Mark 6:41), (Mark 8:6).

    Mark 2:14 As He was walking along, He saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth (5058).

    1 Chronicles 9:31 A Levite named Mattithiah (4993), the firstborn son of Shallum the Korahite, was entrusted
    with baking the bread
    (2281).
    1 Chronicles 9:32 Some of their Kohathite brothers were responsible for preparing the rows of the showbread
    (3899)
    every Sabbath.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/2281.htm
    chabittim: flat cakes, bread wafers

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3899.htm
    lechem: bread, food

    Mark 6:41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, Jesus spoke a blessing and broke
    the loaves. Then He gave them to His disciples to set before the people.
    And He divided the two fish among them all (the hebrews).

    Mark 8:6 And He directs the crowd to recline on the ground. And having taken the seven loaves,
    having given thanks, He broke them and kept giving them to His disciples, that they might
    set before them. And they set it before the crowd (the pagans).

    CHANGE OF SIGN

    By following Jesus, Levi will also carry the cross, the sign of the new covenant.

    Mark 2:14 As He was walking along, He saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth (5058).
    “Follow (190) Me,” He told him, and Levi got up (450) and followed (190) Him.

    Mark 8:34 Then Jesus called the crowd to Him along with His disciples, and He told them, “If anyone
    wants to come after Me, he must
    deny himself and take up (142) his cross and follow (190) Me.

    5 – LEVI AND THE LEVITES (OT SCRIPTURES)

    The role of Levites is described in various books such as Numbers, Leviticus, 1 Chronicles.

    THE SONS OF AARON AND THE OTHER LEVITES

    In the book of Numbers, Aaron’s sons have a higher rank than other levites. The sons of Aaron are the
    anointed priests
    (Numbers 3:3,10) and the other levites assist them (Numbers 3:6,7,9) but the Levites
    of any rank belong to God (Numbers 3:12,13).

    Numbers 3:1 This is the account of Aaron and Moses at the time the LORD spoke with Moses on Mount Sinai.

    Numbers 3:2 These are the names of the sons of Aaron: Nadab the firstborn, then Abihu, Eleazar,
    and Ithamar.

    Numbers 3:3 These were Aaron’s sons, the anointed priests, who were ordained to serve as priests.

    Numbers 3:5 Then the LORD said to Moses,

    Numbers 3:6 Bring the tribe of Levi and present them to Aaron the priest to assist him.

    Numbers 3:7 They are to perform duties for him and for the whole congregation before the Tent of Meeting,
    attending to the service of the tabernacle.

    Numbers 3:9 Assign the Levites (3881) to Aaron and his sons; they have been given exclusively to him from among
    the Israelites.

    Numbers 3:10 So you shall appoint Aaron and his sons to carry out the duties of the priesthood; but any
    outsider who approaches the tabernacle must be put to death.”

    Numbers 3:11 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

    Numbers 3:12 Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel in place of every
    firstborn Israelite from the womb. The Levites belong to Me,

    Numbers 3:13 for all the firstborn are Mine. On the day I struck down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, I
    consecrated to Myself all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast. They are Mine; I am the LORD.”

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3881.htm
    Leviyyi or Levi: descendant of Levi

    MIRIAM, AARON AND MOSES ARE DESCENDANTS OF LEVI

    Numbers 26:59 and Amram’s wife was named Jochebed. She was also a daughter of Levi, born to Levi
    in Egypt. To Amram she bore Aaron, Moses, and their sister Miriam.

    THE TEACHING OF THE LAW.

    Leviticus 10:8 Then the LORD said to Aaron,

    Leviticus 10:9 “You and your sons are not to drink wine or strong drink when you enter the Tent of Meeting, or
    else you will die; this is a permanent statute for the generations to come.

    Leviticus 10:10 You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the clean and
    the unclean
    ,

    Leviticus 10:11 so that you may teach the Israelites all the statutes that the LORD has given them
    through Moses.”

    THE PERFORMING OF RITUALS

    Some examples already studied
    1 – the ritual after child’s birth (Leviticus 12)
    2 – the law about leprosy (Leviticus 13) and the ritual for cleansing healed lepers (Leviticus 14)
    3 – the sin offering (Leviticus 4)

    THE SERVICE OF THE TABERNACLE

    Numbers 1:49 “Do not number the tribe of Levi in the census with the other Israelites.

    Numbers 1:50 Instead, you are to appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the Testimony, all its
    furnishings,
    and everything in it.

    They shall carry the tabernacle and all its articles, care for it, and camp around it.

    OTHER LEVITE ACTIVITIES (SPICES, BREAD)

    1 Chronicles 9:29 Others were put in charge of the furnishings and other articles of the sanctuary, as
    well as the fine flour, wine, oil, frankincense, and spices.

    1 Chronicles 9:30 And some of the sons of the priests mixed the spices

    1 Chronicles 9:31 A Levite named Mattithiah (4993), the firstborn son of Shallum the Korahite, was entrusted
    with baking the bread
    (2281). BSB

    1 Chronicles 9:32 Some of their Kohathite brothers were responsible for preparing the rows of the
    showbread
    every Sabbath.

    6 – LEVI AND THE LEVITES (MARK’S GOSPEL)

    In Mark’s gospel, there are two institutions that represent the Moses’ law and its teaching: the synagogue and the
    temple. Mark always portrays them negatively.

    The purpose is to say that the synagogue and the temple no longer teach and spread the Word of God.

    The synagogue

    Mark 1:23 => The first man in the synagogue has an unclean spirit

    Mark 3:1 => The second man in the synagogue has a withered hand

    Mark 5:38 => Jesus beholds a commotion when he comes to the house of the ruler of the synagogue,

    The temple

    Mark refers to the temple by using the words: scribe, priest, Levi, doctor, high priest

    Mark 1:22 => The scribes teach without authority

    Mark 2:8 => The scribes are hard at heart

    Mark 1:40 => The priests do not heal leprosy

    Mark 2:14 => Levi, the priest in charge of ritual after child’s birth, is portrayed as a tax collector.

    Mark 5:25 => The doctors are unable to heal the wife suffering from bleeding

    THE STRAYING OF THE LEVITES

    Priests may also fail and lead people down the wrong way.

    Leviticus 4.3 if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the LORD
    for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering.

    In Mark’s Gospel, the Levites/priests became the merchants who corrupted the meaning of the offerings. Mark portrays
    them as “money changers” and “doves sellers” (Mark 11:15)

    Mark reuses Ezekiel 48:11,14 to write Mark 11:15-17

    Ezekiel 48:11 It will be for the consecrated priests, the descendants of Zadok, who kept My charge and
    did not go astray (8582) as the Levites did when the Israelites went astray.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/8582.htm
    taah: to err

    Ezekiel 48:13 Bordering the territory of the priests, the Levites shall have an area 25,000
    cubits long and 10,000 cubits wide. The whole length will be 25,000 cubits, and the width 10,000 cubits.

    Ezekiel 48:14 They must not sell or exchange any of it, and they must not transfer this best
    part
    of the land, for it is holy to the LORD

    Mark 11:15 When they arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began to drive out
    those who were buying and selling there.
    He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling doves.

    Mark 11:16 And He would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.

    Mark 11:17 Then Jesus began to teach them, and He declared,
    “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations’?
    But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’?”

    Mark 11: When the chief priests and scribes heard this, they looked for a way to kill Him.

    THE END OF THE LEVITES

    Mark 14:62 But Jesus remained silent and made no reply. Again the high priest questioned Him, “Are You the
    Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”

    Mark 14:63I am,” said Jesus, “and you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power
    and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

    Mark 14:63 At this, the high priest tore (1284) his clothes and declared, “Why do we need any more witnesses?

    The high priest represents the upper class of the Levites, the sons of Aaron. He understood that Jesus was talking
    about the renewal of Israel. He shreds his clothes to mean that his role is over.

    7 – PHYSICIAN AS HEALER AND EMBALMER (OT SOURCES)

    HEALER

    Isaiah 53:4 Surely He (The Suffering Servant) took on our infirmities and carried our sorrows; yet we
    considered Him stricken by God, struck down and afflicted.

    Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment
    that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed (7495).

    Hosea 7:1 When I heal Israel (7495), the iniquity of Ephraim will be exposed, as well as the crimes of
    Samaria
    . For they practice deceit and thieves break in; bandits raid in the streets.

    EMBALMER

    Genesis 50:2 And Joseph directed the physicians (7495) in his service to embalm his father Israel
    So they embalmed him,

    2 chronicles16:12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady became
    increasingly severe. Yet even in his illness he did not seek the LORD, but only the physicians (7495).
    2 chronicles16:14 And he was buried in the tomb that he had cut out for himself in the City of David. They laid
    him on a bier that was full of spices and various blended perfumes; then they made a great fire in his honor.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7495.htm
    rapha: to heal
    NASB Translation
    become fresh (3), completely healed (1), heal (24), healed (22), healer (1), healing (2), heals (3),
    physician (1), physicians (4), purified (2), reappeared (1), repaired (2), take care (1)

    8 – DOCTOR AS HEALER/TEACHER AND EMBALMER (MARK’S GOSPEL)

    The doctor is the one who heals the sickness of the soul by bringing the Word of God.

    HEALER/TEACHER

    Mark 2:17 On hearing this, Jesus told them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor (2395), but the sick.
    I have not come to call the righteous (1342), but sinners (268).”

    Mark 5:25 And a woman was there who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years.

    Mark 5:26 She had borne much agony under the care of many physicians (2395), and had spent all she had,
    but to no avail. Instead, her condition had only grown worse.

    EMBALMER

    The word “doctor” (Mark 2:17) contains a double meaning, it also refers to embalming (Mark 14:3,8) and (Mark 16:1).

    Mark 2:17 On hearing this, Jesus told them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor (2395), but the sick.
    I have not come to call the righteous (1342), but sinners (268).”

    Mark 14:3 While Jesus was in Bethany reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman
    came with
    an alabaster jar of expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke open the jar and poured it on
    Jesus’ head.

    Mark 14:8 She has done what she could to anoint My body in advance of My burial.

    Mark 16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices
    so they could go and anoint the body of Jesus.

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2395.htm
    iatros: a physician, (Mark 2:17, Mark 5:26)
    Word Origin: from iaomai

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2390.htm
    iaomai: to heal (Mark 5:29)

    9 – SON OF ALPHAEUS

    Mark 2:14 As He was walking along, He saw Levi (3018) son of Alphaeus (256)

    https://biblehub.com/greek/256.htm
    Alphaios: Alphaeus (Mark 2:14 , Mark 3:18)

    Alphaeus refers to the Alpheus river whose waters were said to pass beneath the Ionian Sea and
    rise again
    . (See my next paragraphs)

    In Mark’s gospel, the expression “son of Alphaeus” points out the disappearance of an old world and its renewal/rebirth
    The current scene annonces the disappearance of the Levites (the priesthood of old Israel) in favor of Jesus’disciples.
    Levi => Matthew

    The expression will be used a second time (Mark 3:18) to indicate the renewal/rebirth of Israel.

    Mark 3:18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus,
    Simon the Canaanite (KJV)

    In Mark’s gospel, the new world expected in Isaiah is being fufilled and becomes the kingdom of God.

    Isaiah (51:16, 65:17, 66:22, 62:2) => Expectation for new heavens and a new earth
    Mark 1:15 => the kingdom of God is near

    Isaiah 51:16 I have put My words in your mouth, and covered you with the shadow of My hand, to
    establish the heavens, to found the earth,
    and to say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’?”

    Isaiah 65:17 For behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be
    remembered, nor will they come to mind.

    Isaiah 66:22 “For just as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, will endure before Me,”
    declares the LORD, “so your descendants and your name will endure.

    Isaiah 62:2 Nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You will be called by a new name
    that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.

    Mark 1:15The time is fulfilled,” He said, “and the kingdom of God is near, Repent and believe in
    the gospel!”

    10 – THE ALPHEUS AND ORONTES RIVERS

    The Alpheus river and its features, disappearance and resurgence, are quoted by authors such as Ovid, Virgil, Strabo.
    Strabon also identifies the Alpheus river and the Orontes river which flows near Antioch because both rivers have the
    same features.

    ALPHEUS RIVER

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Alpheus
    https://www.britannica.com/place/Alpheus-River#ref171279
    Alpheus River, also spelled Alpheius, Modern Greek AlfiÓs PotamÓs, river, the longest of the
    Peloponnese (Modern Greek: PelopÓnnisos), Greece, rising near DhaviÁ in central Arcadia (ArkadÍa), with a course of
    about 70 miles (110 km).

    The shallow, gravelly stream receives its name from the ancient river god of the Peloponnese, Alpheus, whose
    waters were said to pass beneath the Ionian Sea and rise again in the fountain of Arethusa near Syracuse, Sicily.

    The legend may have been inspired by the fact that the river disappears several times into the limestone Arcadian
    mountains and reemerges after flowing some distance underground.

    OVID (43 BC – 17/18 AD)
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Arethusa-Greek-mythology#ref106034
    Alpheus, however, made his way beneath the sea and united his waters with those of the spring. According
    to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book V, Arethusa,

    VIRGIL (70 BC – 19 BC)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfeios
    In the Aeneid, Virgil describes the Alpheus as flowing under the sea to resurface at Ortygia on Sicily,
    or “so runs the tale”

    STRABO (64 or 63 BC – AD 24)
    https://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Strabo/6B*.html#2.9
    STRABO GEOGRAPHY Book VI, Chapter 2

    9 … and again, the water near the Arcadian Asea is first forced below the surface and then, much later,
    emerges as both the Eurotas and the Alpheius;

    ORONTES RIVER

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orontes_River
    Among the most important cities located on the river nowadays are Homs, Hama, Jisr al-Shughur, and Antakya (the ancient
    Antioch, which was also known as “Antioch on the Orontes”).

    STRABO (64 or 63 BC – AD 24)
    https://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Strabo/6B*.html#2.9
    STRABO GEOGRAPHY Book VI, Chapter 2

    9 …The cavern near Mataurus contains an immense gallery through which a river flows invisible for a
    considerable distance, and then emerges to the surface,
    as is the case with the Orontes in Syria, which sinks into the chasm (called Charybdis) between Apameia and
    Antiocheia and rises again forty stadia away.

    and again, the water near the Arcadian Asea is first forced below the surface and then, much later, emerges as both the
    Eurotas and the Alpheius;
    and hence the belief in a certain fabulous utterance, that if two wreaths be dedicated separately to each of the
    two rivers and thrown into the common stream,
    each will reappear, in accordance with the dedication, in the appropriate river.

    http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Strabo/16B*.html#2.7
    STRABO GEOGRAPHY Book XVI, Chapter 2

    7 The Orontes River flows near the city. This river has its sources in CoelÊ-Syria; and then, after
    flowing underground, issues forth again;
    and then, proceeding through the territory of the Apameians into that of
    Antiocheia, closely approaches the latter city and flows down to the sea near Seleuceia.

    11 – TYCHE OF ANTIOCH AND SCRIPTURES

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Tyche
    Greek goddess
    Tyche, in Greek religion, the goddess of chance, with whom the Roman Fortuna was later identified; a capricious
    dispenser of good and ill fortune

    https://museum.classics.cam.ac.uk/collections/casts/tyche-antioch
    The protecting deity of the city. Roman copy reduced in size of a bronze original.
    This sculpture is full of symbols and metaphor. The female figure represents the luck or good fortune, Tyche, of the
    city of Antioch, in modern Turkey.

    She is seated on a rock, with her feet on a swimming male figure (a personification of the river Orontes), both
    symbols of the city’s topography.
    She holds a sheaf of wheat representing prosperity,
    and wears a turreted crown symbolising security.

    In early Hellenistic times, when this copy was made, Antioch became the second biggest city of the east
    Mediterranean
    , after Alexandria; a large number of other cities adopted Tyche as their symbol at this time

    Date: Roman. Original: c.300 BCE
    Sculptor: Of original: Eutychides, pupil of Lysippos
    Provenance: Found in Rome

    https://en.vikidia.org/wiki/Tyche#/media/File:Tyche_Antioch_Vatican_Inv2672.jpg
    A statue of Tyche at the Vatican.
    The Tyche (Fortune) of Antioch. Marble, Roman copy after a Greek bronze original by Eutychides of the 3rd century BC.

    Notice again
    1 – The swimmer at his feet, which represents Orontes
    2 – His hand holding the ears of wheat, symbol of wealth and fertility.
    3 – His head surrounded by a crown of crenellated towers which evokes the walls of the city

    Now, let us look at the link with the scriptures

    THE EARS OF GRAIN (BOOK OF RUTH AND MARK’S GOSPEL)

    Ruth 2:2 Ruth the Moabitess (a pagan) asked Naomi, “Will you let me go into the fields and gather
    fallen grain (7641)
    behind someone with whom I find favor?” Naomi answered her, “Go ahead, my daughter.”

    Mark 2:23 On the Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to make their way,
    picking some heads of grain (4719).

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7641.htm
    shibbol or shibboleth: ear (of grain)

    https://biblehub.com/greek/4719.htm
    stachus: a head of grain

    Ears of grain represents the God’s Word that God’s people have to work in order to get the spiritual food, the
    spiritual wealth

    Mark 14:3 While Jesus was in Bethany reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman
    came with an alabaster jar of expensive perfume
    , made of pure nard.
    She broke open the jar and poured it on Jesus’ head.

    The expression “expensive perfume” refers to the spiritual wealth and reminds us the ears of grain
    The word “alabaster” also evokes the material used to make a statue.

    THE TOWER AND THE VINEYARD (BOOK OF ISAIAH AND MARK’S GOSPEL)

    Isaiah 5:2 He dug it up and cleared the stones and planted the finest vines. He built a watchtower
    (4026)
    in the middle and dug out a winepress as well.
    He waited for the vineyard to yield good grapes, but the fruit it produced was sour!

    Mark 12:1 Then Jesus began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall
    around it, dug a wine vat, and built a watchtower (4444).
    Then he rented it out to some tenants and went away on a journey.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4026.htm
    migdal or migdalah: a tower

    https://biblehub.com/greek/4444.htm
    purgos: a tower

    REBIRTH/RENEWAL (Mark 2) => EMBALMING (Mark 14) => REBIRTH/RENEWAL (Mark 16)

    The Alpheus river => The Orontes river flowing near Antioch

    The Son of Alpheus (Mark 2:14) => The woman who looks like the Tyche of Antioch (Mark 14:3)
    => The wifes who embalm the body (Mark 14:8 Mark 16:1)

    Mark 14:8 She has done what she could to anoint My body in advance of My burial.

    Mark 16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary (3137) Magdalene (3094), Mary the mother of James, and
    Salome bought spices so they could go and anoint the body of Jesus.

    12 – MIGDAL AND MARY OF MAGDALA

    MIGDAL

    Joshua 15:37 Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal-gad (4028), (BSB)

    Joshua 19:38 Iron, Migdal-el (4027), Horem, Beth-anath, and Beth-shemesh. There were nineteen cities,
    along with their villages. (BSB)

    Genesis 35:21 Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder (4029). (NIV)

    Genesis 11:4 “Come,” they said, “let us build for ourselves a city with a tower (4026) that reaches to the
    heavens
    , that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of all the earth.”
    (The Tower of Babel)

    Isaiah 5:2 He dug it up and cleared the stones and planted the finest vines. He built a watchtower (4026)
    in the middle and dug out a winepress as well. He waited for the vineyard to yield good grapes, but the
    fruit it produced was sour!

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4026.htm
    migdal or migdalah: a tower

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4027.htm
    Migdal-el: “tower of God”

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4028.htm
    Migdal-gad: “tower of Gad
    from migdal and Gad

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1408.htm
    Gad: “fortune,” a Bab. god.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4029.htm
    Migdal-eder: “flock tower,”
    Word Origin: from migdal and eder

    MARK’S GOSPEL

    Mark 12:1 Then Jesus began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a
    wall around it, dug a wine vat, and built a watchtower (4444).
    Then he rented it out to some tenants and went away on a journey.

    Mark 16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary (3137) Magdalene (3094), Mary the mother of James, and Salome
    bought spices so they could go and anoint the body of Jesus.

    https://biblehub.com/greek/3137.htm
    Maria or Mariam: Mary
    Word Origin: of Hebrew origin Miryam

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4813.htm
    Miryam: the sister of Aaron and Moses

    https://biblehub.com/greek/3094.htm
    MagdalÉnÉ: Magdalene, of Magdala

    Miryam (the Moses’ sister) + migdal (reference to the Tyche of Antioch) => Mary (3137) of Magdala (3094)

    Miryam (hebrew name) + migdal (reference to pagan goddess) => Mary (3137) of Magdala (3094)

    Mary of Magdala represents the new community of hebrews and pagans living according to the Good News.

    13 – SYENE AND SIMON (4613) OF CYRENE (2956)

    Ezekiel 29:10 therefore I am against you and against your rivers. I will turn the land of Egypt into a
    ruin, a desolate wasteland from Migdol (4024) to Syene (5482) , and as far as the border of Cush.

    Ezekiel 30:6 For this is what the LORD says: The allies of Egypt will fall, and her proud strength will
    collapse. From Migdol (4024) to Syene (5482) they will fall by the sword within her,
    declares the Lord GOD

    Mark 15:21 Now Simon (4613) of Cyrene (2956), the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his
    way in from the country, and the soldiers forced him to carry the cross of Jesus.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/4024.htm
    Migdol: a city on the N.E. border of Egypt

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5482.htm
    Cveneh: Syene

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2956.htm
    KurÉnaios: of Cyrene

    https://biblehub.com/greek/2957.htm
    KurÉnÉ: Cyrene, a city in N. Africa

    https://biblehub.com/greek/4613.htm
    SimÓn: Simon

    Simon (Hebrew name) + Syene (pagan town) => Simon (4613) of Cyrene (2956) carrying the cross

    The cross
    1 – sign of the new covenant
    2 – assembly of 2 woods : that of the hebrews and that of the pagans (See my Chapter 7: Paralytic’s healing)

    14 – RAMATHAIM AND JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA

    RAMATHAIM

    1 Samuel 1:1 Now there was a man named Elkanah who was from Ramathaim (7436) -zophim in the hill
    country of Ephraim.
    He was the son
    of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite

    1 Samuel 2:11 Then Elkanah went to his home at Ramah (7413). But the boy ministered to the LORD
    before Eli the priest.

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7436.htm
    Ramathayim Tsophim: “double height of watchers,” a city in Ephraim
    Word Origin: from ramah and tsaphah

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7413.htm
    ramah: height, high place
    Word Origin: from rum

    Ezekiel 37:16 “And you, son of man, take for yourself one stick and write on it, ‘For Judah and for
    the sons of Israel,
    his companions’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of
    Ephraim and all the house of Israel
    , his companions.’

    Ezekiel 37:17 Then join them together into one stick, so that they become one in your hand.

    Joseph (the wood of Joseph) + Ramathaim (the wood of Ephraim) => the reunited kingdom of Israel.
    (See my Chapter 2c: The sea of Galilee)

    JOSEPH THE SON OF JACOB

    Genesis 41:39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph (3130) , “Since God has made all this known to you, there is
    no one as discerning and wise as you.

    Genesis 41:40 You shall be in charge of my house, and all my people are to obey your commands. Only with
    regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”

    Genesis 41:41 Pharaoh also told Joseph, “I hereby place you over all the land of Egypt.”

    Genesis 50:2 And Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel. So they embalmed him,

    Genesis 50:5 my father made me swear an oath when he said, ‘I am about to die. You must bury me in the tomb
    that I dug for myself
    in the land of Canaan.’ Now let me go and bury my father, and then return.”

    Genesis 50:6 Pharaoh replied, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear to do.”

    JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA

    Mark 14:8 She has done what she could to anoint My body in advance of My burial.

    Mark 15:43 Joseph (2501) of Arimathea (707), a prominent Council member who himself was
    waiting for the kingdom of God, boldly went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus.

    Mark 15:46 So Joseph bought a linen cloth, took down the body of Jesus, wrapped it in the cloth,
    and placed it in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the
    tomb.

    Joseph the son of Jacob and Joseph of Arimathea share the same features
    1 – they are high-ranking advisors
    2 – they take the body to place it in a tomb

    Joseph (son of Jacob) + Ramathaim (high-ranking advisor) => Joseph of Arimathea

    Joseph of Arimathea as the high-ranking advisor who takes the body of Jesus to place it in a tomb

    https://biblehub.com/greek/707.htm
    Harimathaia: Arimathea,
    of Hebrew origin, cf. Ramah

    https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7413.htm
    ramah: height, high place
    Word Origin
    from rum

    15 – CHANGE OF NAME IN MARK’S GOSPEL, FIRST STEP

    Zabulun => Zebedee (See my Chapter 2b: The Four Disciples)

    Levi (a Levite) => Mattithiah (another Levite) => Matthew (a disciple)

    Alpheus river => Orontes river => Tcyhe of Antioch (swimmer, the ears of wheat,
    Tower/Migdal) => Magdala

    Miryam (Moses’ sister) + migdal (Tyche of Antioch) => Mary of Magdala, the
    new community of hebrews and pagans

    Simon (Hebrew name) + Syene (pagan town) => Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross

    Cross = sign of the new covenant + assembly of 2 woods, that of the hebrews and that of the pagans

    Joseph (the wood of Joseph) + Ramathaim (the wood of Ephraim) => the reunited kingdom of
    Israel

    Joseph (son of Jacob) + Ramathaim (high-ranking advisor) => Joseph of Arimathea who
    places the body of Jesus in a tomb

    SUMMARY

    This scene teaches us that circumcision of the flesh is not part of the Good News.

    The sign of the new covenant will be the cross. The Hebrews and the Pagans will have to carry the cross (Mark 8:34),
    sign of inversion (Mark 2:11) and assembly of 2 woods, that of the hebrews and that of the pagans.

    To get the message across the hebrews and pagans, Mark writes a scene where Levi, the priest in charge of performing
    the ritual, is negatively portrayed.

    Mark describes him as a tax collector, the one who collects the tax to have the child enter community of Hebrews.
    We will never hear of Levi again.

    Jesus gave him a new role and renamed him Matthew to reflect that role. Levi became Matthew, one of the disciples who
    provide the good spiritual bread, the Good News.

    To understand the scene, we have to know the OT sources
    1 – Genesis 17:4-14 => abram is renamed abraham and he is circumcised.
    2 – 1 Chronicles 9:31,32 => Mattithiah the Levite and some of their brothers are in charge of preparing the bread

    In the last verse (Mark 2:17), Jesus reminds us that his mission is to bring sinners back to God.

    He does not come to call those who were righteous before him i.e. the Hebrews fully following the Moses’ law.

    Jesus’ comment raises a problem because he does not criticize the righteous hebrews but he criticizes the priests who
    represent and teach the Moses’ law. Moreover, Jesus brings a new justice, the Good News.

    Jesus will specify his message to the Hebrews in the following verses.

    Knowledges about the Alpheus and Orontes rivers are helpful to grasp the notion of renewal contained in the expression
    “son of alphaeus” and to identifie characters close to the Tyche of Antioch.

    Like the river Alpheus and the river Orontes, Levi disappears in one form and reappears in another form.
    Levi the circumciser mutates and becomes Matthew the disciple in charge of providing the bread.

    NEXT STEPS

    (Mark 2:18-28) John and the Word, Sabbath
    (Mark 1-2) Second synthesis

    Some readings

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyche
    https://www.livius.org/articles/concept/tyche-of-antioch/
    https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195393361/obo-9780195393361-0240.xml
    Biblical Studies Levi/Levites

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