Let the reader understand... Again

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Peter Kirby
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Peter Kirby » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:28 am

Peter Kirby wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:57 am
Mark 13:14 So when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Some of the discussion seems to imply that the word choice was "those who are in Jerusalem."

I believe the word choice is actually "those who are in Judea."

I don't doubt that the best place to be after your nation is defeated is in a cave somewhere with family and any valuables.
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Charles Wilson » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:30 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:04 am
Anyway, if that "abomination of desolation" refers to pagan sacrifices at the temple altars, it seems that Titus did just that.
Exactly correct, Bernard.

There is also the verse below which states:
"And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days!"

"...when he [Jannaeus] had taken the city, and gotten the men into his power, he brought them to Jerusalem, and did one of the most barbarous actions in the world to them; for as he was feasting with his concubines, in the sight of all the city, he ordered about eight hundred of them to be crucified; and while they were living, he ordered the throats of their children and wives to be cut before their eyes..."

Alas, indeed.

What is there for the reader to understand? That once again, a Greek General is performing a Blasphemous Act. Yes, it is at Gerizim but that points to a written text taken as a Type to be rewritten for the Glory of the Flavians. Why did Jannaeus fight for the House of Israel? Whatever reason obtains, he took those Jews who hated him and fought against him and took them to Jerusalem and crucified them in front of their wives, pregnant wives and children.

It wasn't Titus here. It might have been a Nero at Achaia but nothing else is Greekie here. Demetrius Eucerus fits. He was Greek, he was hired by Jerusalem Jews who hated Jannaeus and he takes Jerusalem and re-establishes Hasmonean Rule. The Priesthood is stabilized with Settlements in Galilee. Jannaeus, BTW, is a King and High Priest.

Why look elsewhere?

CW

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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Charles Wilson » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:35 am

Peter Kirby wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:28 am
Some of the discussion seems to imply that the word choice was "those who are in Jerusalem."
I believe the word choice is actually "those who are in Judea."
PK --

Your Post came up just before I Posted. You are correct and that is what is implied from the matter of the Jews hiring Eucerus and having Mercs under his command. Jannaeus fights Eucerus at Shechem, near Gerizim.

CW

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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:23 am

Peter Kirby wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:28 am
Peter Kirby wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:57 am
Mark 13:14 So when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Some of the discussion seems to imply that the word choice was "those who are in Jerusalem."
Good point. I think that Judea is mentioned because of the dependence here upon 1 Maccabees. Mattathias was not in Jerusalem when he and his sons fled; he was in Modin.
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:28 pm

to Ben,
I think I should not have venture from what I initially proposed:
I do not think that the abomination of desolation in gMark should be given the strict meaning it has in 'Daniel'. Actually, "Mark" did not mention 'Daniel'. This abomination might refer to the roman army standing in Jerusalem, destroying it and then massacring the Jews found within its walls. "Mark" might have assumed that afterward, the Romans did massacre the Jews found in the countryside, which they are not reported to have done.
I note also that 'Daniel' does not specify what exactly that "abomination of desolation" means.
and
But "Mark" did not say it. "Abomination of desolation" might have been a phrase he found in 'Daniel', and that "Mark" thought relevant to the situation in Jerusalem after the Roman conquest.
In Mk 13:14-18, it seems that the rural Jews of Judea are the ones referred to, not the Jews found inside the walls of Jerusalem:
"let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains"
"and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle."
"Mark" might have thought Titus left the 10th legion in Jerusalem for the purpose to do what the Romans did to those found within the city: massacres and enslavement, but this time for the Jews outside Jerusalem, in Judea.

Cordially, Bernard
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by gmx » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:11 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:39 am
It sounds like the author knows what happened.
Does it? To me it sounds like the author knows what happened in Mark 13.1-2: the temple fell, and its entire complex was totally destroyed.
I was primarily referring to verses 17-20, mentioning how bad it will be for nursing mothers and pregnant women, how people shouldn't stop to gather possessions, and how bad it would have been if the Lord hadn't shortened those days.

Those verses suggest to me that the author knows the true scale of the horrors which unfolded. Is there a different way to read them?

I guess the possibility presented, that those inside Jerusalem could still potentially flee, and those outside had better run to the mountains, is one solution.
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:14 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:28 pm
This abomination might refer to the roman army standing in Jerusalem, destroying it and then massacring the Jews found within its walls. "Mark" might have assumed that afterward, the Romans did massacre the Jews found in the countryside, which they are not reported to have done.

....

But "Mark" did not say it. "Abomination of desolation" might have been a phrase he found in 'Daniel', and that "Mark" thought relevant to the situation in Jerusalem after the Roman conquest.

....

"Mark" might have thought Titus left the 10th legion in Jerusalem for the purpose to do what the Romans did to those found within the city: massacres and enslavement, but this time for the Jews outside Jerusalem, in Judea.
"Might have," indeed. Let me tackle this from another angle before attempting to defend my own reading.

When I read verses 1-2, I find a prediction that the Temple was going to fall and be dismantled; when I consult history, I find that the Temple fell and was dismantled. (And it was hardly obvious that an invading Roman army would destroy the Temple; Pompey had invaded and had not destroyed it.) So verses 1-2 look to me as if the author knew what happened.

But what about the rest of the chapter? Is there anything in Mark 13 besides verses 1-2 which suggest that the author knew about the destruction of the Temple? Anything which tips the author's hand or which can be best explained only by knowledge of the event after the fact?
In Mk 13:14-18, it seems that the rural Jews of Judea are the ones referred to, not the Jews found inside the walls of Jerusalem:
"let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains"
"and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle."
You skipped the bit about being on the roof and not going inside to get something out of the house.

These verses do not specify rural Judea; they seem to cover all of Judea. The message is, leave your homes (rural or urban or otherwise) and flee to the mountains.

I suggested a reason for this upthread: Mattathias was not in Jerusalem when he and his sons fled; they were in Modin. And Antiochus' actions did not affect only Jerusalem; they affected the entire country (1 Maccabees 1.41-53).
I note also that 'Daniel' does not specify what exactly that "abomination of desolation" means.
True, but our author has both Daniel and 1 Maccabees to hand.
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:30 pm

gmx wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:11 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:39 am
It sounds like the author knows what happened.
Does it? To me it sounds like the author knows what happened in Mark 13.1-2: the temple fell, and its entire complex was totally destroyed.
I was primarily referring to verses 17-20, mentioning how bad it will be for nursing mothers and pregnant women, how people shouldn't stop to gather possessions, and how bad it would have been if the Lord hadn't shortened those days.
I believe all of those statements to be tropes. Prophetic summaries of how bad things are going to get will often include specific details: your young men will die in battle, their wives will be ravished, your cattle will be slaughtered or stolen, your yogurt will curdle, your children will catch lice, and so on. (I may have made a couple of those up at the end there, but you get the picture.) Vulnerable people, including the elderly but especially children and pregnant or nursing women, appear in these warnings, too:

2 Kings 8.11-12: 11 And he fixed his gaze and stared at him, until he was ashamed. And the man of God wept. 12 And Hazael said, "Why does my lord weep?" He answered, "Because I know the evil that you will do to the people of Israel; you will set on fire their fortresses, and you will slay their young men with the sword, and dash in pieces their little ones, and rip up their women with child."

Isaiah 13.15-16: 15 Whoever is found will be thrust through, and whoever is caught will fall by the sword. 16 Their infants will be dashed in pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.

Hosea 10.14: 14 Therefore a tumult will arise among your people, and all your fortresses will be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle, when mothers were dashed in pieces with their children.

Hosea 13.16: 16 Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword, their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.

4 Ezra 5.8: 8 There shall be chaos also in many places, and fire shall often break out, and the wild beasts shall roam beyond their haunts, and menstruous women shall bring forth monsters.

4 Ezra 6.21: 21 Infants a year old shall speak with their voices, and women with child shall give birth to premature children at three and four months, and these shall live and dance.

Apocalypse of Elijah: A double tribulation will increase over the whole land in those days. He will order kings to seize all women who are breast feeding to be brought to him bound and breast feed dragons to bring up their blood from their breasts and give them to the poisoned arrows. Because of the difficulties in the cities he will also order every small child, twelve years and younger, to be seized and to be taught to throw arrows. The midwife who is upon earth will mourn. The one who has given birth will look up to heaven, saying, "Why did I sit at brick to bear children to the earth?" The childless woman and the virgin will therefore rejoice, saying, "It is time for us to rejoice because we have no children on earth, but our children are in heaven."

ETA: I have found another reference to pregnant women having a hard time of it during an apocalyptic scenario. This one comes from an Egyptian apocalyptic text, the Oracle of the Potter: "Much death will fall upon pregnant women."

I already gave my opinion as to the source of the motifs of fleeing to the mountains and leaving one's possessions behind:

1 Maccabees 2.27-28: 27 And Mattathias cried throughout the city with a loud voice, saying, "Whosoever is zealous of the law, and maintains the covenant, let him follow me." 28 So he and his sons fled unto the mountains [ἔφυγεν αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ υἱοὶ αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰ ὄρη], and left all that ever they had in the city [καὶ ἐγκατέλιπον ὅσα εἶχον ἐν τῇ πόλει].

As for the tribulation and the shortening of days, I have posted stuff about that elsewhere. Basically, the tribulation idea comes from Daniel 12.1, and the shortening of the days is an apologetic measure (inserted as a gloss into the text) taken to make up for the fact that the tribulation did not end with the coming of the son of man and all the glories which ought to have attended him.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:16 pm

to Ben,
But what about the rest of the chapter? Is there anything in Mark 13 besides verses 1-2 which suggest that the author knew about the destruction of the Temple? Anything which tips the author's hand or which can be best explained only by knowledge of the event after the fact?
And why would "Mark" need to confirm later what he wrote in 13:1-2?
These verses do not specify rural Judea; they seem to cover all of Judea. The message is, leave your homes (rural or urban or otherwise) and flee to the mountains.
I can accept that. But by that time, Jerusalem is out of the picture.
BTW, there were houses and roofs in Judea outside Jerusalem.
True, but our author has both Daniel and 1 Maccabees to hand.
I suggested a reason for this upthread: Mattathias was not in Jerusalem when he and his sons fled; they were in Modin. And Antiochus' actions did not affect only Jerusalem; they affected the entire country (1 Maccabees 1.41-53).
It is not certain "Mark" knew about 1 Maccabees. But if he did, it looks that Antiochus IV and his men persecuted "the whole country" after he entered Jerusalem, looted and destroyed a lot. Maybe "Mark" thought the same would happen for the Judeans then after the Roman destruction of Jerusalem.

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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:45 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:16 pm
to Ben,
But what about the rest of the chapter? Is there anything in Mark 13 besides verses 1-2 which suggest that the author knew about the destruction of the Temple? Anything which tips the author's hand or which can be best explained only by knowledge of the event after the fact?
And why would "Mark" need to confirm later what he wrote in 13:1-2?
I am simply asking a question. Is there anything besides verses 1-2 in the chapter which would suggest, on its own, that Mark knew of the events of 70?
It is not certain "Mark" knew about 1 Maccabees. But if he did, it looks that Antiochus IV and his men persecuted "the whole country" after he entered Jerusalem, looted and destroyed a lot.
It seems pretty clear that our author knew either of 1 Maccabees or of the events described therein.

But regardless: Mattathias and his sons also fled to the mountains, leaving their possessions behind them (exactly as Mark 13 instructs), only after the abomination of desolation was set up.

My point here is pretty simple: everything possibly relevant to the fall of Jerusalem in Mark 13, except for the first 2 verses, depends completely and utterly upon prophetic or historical precedents. Mark tells the people of Judea to flee to the mountains because that is what the people of Judea did in Maccabean times. Mark writes of the abomination of desolation because that is what was set up in Maccabean times, and also what was predicted according to some timetables to be set up in the end times, as well. Mark warns pregnant women because the hardships that women and children will suffer in such times is one of those prophetic tropes. Mark writes of the tribulation to end all tribulations because that is what Daniel 12.1 predicted. Mark writes of the coming of the son of man because that is how certain Hebrew prophecies (including some in Isaiah and Daniel) had come to be interpreted.

Also, Mark (ungrammatically, ad sensum) makes a masculine participle ("standing") modify a neuter noun ("abomination"). Why, in your view, does he do that?
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