Mark 8:24: “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.”

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Mark 8:24: “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.”

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:43 pm

The blind was seeing trees.

The trees are a prediction of the future escathological Kingdom of God. Filled of trees that bring good fruits:

Ezekiel 47:12 12

And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

Mark 8:24 is humanizing these "trees", just as Matthew 7:19:
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Jesus was giving in advance the knowledge of these "trees" to be found in the coming kingdom, just as expected by the biblical Joshua:

And one shall come again from heaven, a man Preeminent, whose hands on fruitful tree By far the noblest of the Hebrews stretched, Who at one time did make the sun stand still When he spoke with fair word and holy lips, No longer vex thy soul within thy breast By reason of the sword, rich child of God, Flower longed for by him only, goodly light And noble branch, a scion much beloved,
Pleasant Judea, city beautiful, Inspired by hymns

They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land

(Numbers 13:26)
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Mark 8:24: “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.”

Post by yalla » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:31 am

From "Saint Mark" - Pelican New testament Commentaries, D.E.Nineham
Mark 8.24
"A fairly close Hellenistic parallel can be cited from an inscription recording a cure in the Temple of Asclepius at Epidaurus....A certain Alceta of Halice
was cured of blindness by the god and 'the first things he saw were the trees in the Temple precincts". p. 219

Charles Wilson
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Re: Mark 8:24: “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.”

Post by Charles Wilson » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:10 am

It's tough being a Lurker.

Mark 8: 22 - 26 (RSV):

[22] And they came to Beth-sa'ida. And some people brought to him a blind man, and begged him to touch him.
[23] And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the village; and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands upon him, he asked him, "Do you see anything?"
[24] And he looked up and said, "I see men; but they look like trees, walking."
[25] Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly.
[26] And he sent him away to his home, saying, "Do not even enter the village."

I identify "Bethsaida" as "Bezetha", a development north of Antonia, if memory serves [See underlined below]. The Time Period is given as when the Roman Siege begins in earnest. It is not a stretch to see this as the Story of Zakkai with verse 23 serving as the description of Zakkai being "smuggled" out of Jerusalem and brought to Vespasian.

In any event, verse 24 gives the important piece:

Josephus, War, 5, 7, 8 and 6, 1 and 2, in part:

"Vespasian, therefore, in order to try how he might overcome the natural strength of the place, as well as the bold defense of the Jews, made a resolution to prosecute the siege with vigor. To that end he called the commanders that were under him to a council of war, and consulted with them which way the assault might be managed to the best advantage. And when the resolution was there taken to raise a bank against that part of the wall which was practicable, he sent his whole army abroad to get the materials together. So when they had cut down all the trees on the mountains that adjoined to the city, and had gotten together a vast heap of stones, besides the wood they had cut down, some of them brought hurdles, in order to avoid the effects of the darts that were shot from above them. These hurdles they spread over their banks, under cover whereof they formed their bank, and so were little or nothing hurt by the darts that were thrown upon them from the wall, while others pulled the neighboring hillocks to pieces, and perpetually brought earth to them; so that while they were busy three sorts of ways, nobody was idle...
Thus did the miseries of Jerusalem grow worse and worse every day, and the seditious were still more irritated by the calamities they were under, even while the famine preyed upon themselves, after it had preyed upon the people. And indeed the multitude of carcasses that lay in heaps one upon another was a horrible sight, and produced a pestilential stench, which was a hinderance to those that would make sallies out of the city, and fight the enemy: but as those were to go in battle-array, who had been already used to ten thousand murders, and must tread upon those dead bodies as they marched along, so were not they terrified, nor did they pity men as they marched over them; nor did they deem this affront offered to the deceased to be any ill omen to themselves; but as they had their right hands already polluted with the murders of their own countrymen, and in that condition ran out to fight with foreigners, they seem to me to have cast a reproach upon God himself, as if he were too slow in punishing them; for the war was not now gone on with as if they had any hope of victory; for they gloried after a brutish manner in that despair of deliverance they were already in. And now the Romans, although they were greatly distressed in getting together their materials, raised their banks in one and twenty days, after they had cut down all the trees that were in the country that adjoined to the city, and that for ninety furlongs round about, as I have already related. And truly the very view itself of the country was a melancholy thing; for those places which were before adorned with trees and pleasant gardens were now become a desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down: nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judea and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now saw it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change: for the war had laid all the signs of beauty quite waste: nor if any one that had known the place before, had come on a sudden to it now, would he have known it again; but though he were at the city itself, yet would he have inquired for it notwithstanding.

2. And now the banks were finished, they afforded a foundation for fear both to the Romans and to the Jews; for the Jews expected that the city would be taken, unless they could burn those banks, as did the Romans expect that, if these were once burnt down, they should never be able to take it; for there was a mighty scarcity of materials, and the bodies of the soldiers began to fail with such hard labors, as did their souls faint with so many instances of ill success; nay, the very calamities themselves that were in the city proved a greater discouragement to the Romans than those within the city; for they found the fighting men of the Jews to be not at all mollified among such their sore afflictions, while they had themselves perpetually less and less hopes of success, and their banks were forced to yield to the stratagems of the enemy, their engines to the firmness of their wall, and their closest fights to the boldness of their attack; and, what was their greatest discouragement of all, they found the Jews' courageous souls to be superior to the multitude of the miseries they were under, by their sedition, their famine, and the war itself; insomuch that they were ready
to imagine that the violence of their attacks was invincible, and that the alacrity they showed would not be discouraged by their calamities; for what would not those be able to bear if they should be fortunate, who turned their very misfortunes to the improvement of their valor! These considerations made the Romans to keep a stronger guard about their banks than they formerly had done."

There are intentional Clues left in both Passages.

[25] Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly.

This is a referral to an Internal State and as such is marked off here as a Symbolic Term. Our Blind Man still has hopes that the Romans will be defeated. After this interaction, however, the End is CLEAR. The Roman's Siege will end in the City's Destruction - "... they seem to me to have cast a reproach upon God himself...".

Always a bad move in Josephus.

This Passage is written as if the Siege could have gone either way at this time. But...No. The Destruction is foregone. Again, though it is not certain, this parallels Zakkai.

"Do not even enter the village."

This should be identified as Part of the Roman Rewrite of the story.


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