Structural and Thematic Parallels to Proverbs 1-9
Thursday, February 12, 2015
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Structural and Thematic Parallels to Proverbs 1-9
First, Proverbs 1-9 and Amen-em-opet both have what would be considered long introductions. They both have titles in the introduction. For example, Proverbs 1:1 states, “The proverbs of Solomon, Son of David, King of Israel:” (ESV). This first verse clearly states who the author is followed by two titles one as being the song of David, and the King of Israel. The parallels in Amen-em-opet are a bit longer. It states,
[M]ade by the Overseer of the Grains [and PROVIDER] of foods … The triumphant one of akhimim, possessor of a tomb on the west of Panopolis, possessor of a grave in Abydos, Amen-em-Opet, the Son of Ka-nakht, the triumphant one of Abydos…(ANET,421).
This is just a portion of the introduction’s title. Like Solomon, it gives Amen-em-opet’s title along with his predecessors. It is important to note that since King David was the most powerful emperor/king of Israel and Solomon the second most powerful; there was no reason for them to have a long list of predecessors. Moreover, Saul was more of a nomadic king; Solomon and David were probably the only two real kings of united Israel that we were not failures.
Second, the prologs also have a thematic link, even though structurally Proverbs is long and Amen-em-opet is short. They both talk about hearing some type of truth or wisdom that needs to be heeded. Proverbs 1:2-7 shows where the author is imploring the hearer to take wisdom and “understand” it. This theme is strewn throughout the prolog of Proverbs. This same theme is paralleled in chapter 1 of the Amen-em-opet. It states,
Give thy ears, hear what is said,
Give thy heart to understand them.
To put them in thy heart is worth while,
(but) it is damaging to him who neglects them.
Let them rest in the casket of thy belly,
That they may be a key in thy heart. (ANET, 421).
This is an interesting passage, because first it calls for the listener to use their ears to hear. This is common language in ancient text when the author or teacher is trying to convey knowledge that he or she wanted those no only to hear but to preserve it in his or her hearer’s heart. People in the old and New Testament time periods perceived a person more from the inside rather than the outside. The heart was the center of their emotions not the mind.
Finally, Amen-em-opet and Proverbs both have several forms of parallelism. This can be seen in the quote above. It progresses from the ears to hearing which then leads to the heart for understanding. A reason/purpose statement where the first statement is positive and the second statement is negative follows this understanding. Simply put, it has several forms of parallelism that are also found within Proverbs.
Comparison of Proverbs 22:17-24:22
As noted in the previous section there is a thematic comparison between the prolog of Amen-em-opet Chapter 1 and specific passages in Proverbs 22:17-24:22. For example, Proverbs 22:17-18 states: “Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you” and Proverbs 23:15 states, “My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.” (ESV). This seems to introduce a new section within Proverbs as in subsections; just as Proverbs 1-9 is the prolog which introduces the book. This is something that is not found within Amen-em-opet. While Amen-em-opet does have the prolog introduction to head the wisdom, it does not have a repetitive call to wisdom.
Another clear theme is that both Amen-em-opet and Proverbs oppose robbing the poor. Proverbs states, “Do not rob the poor, because he is poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate. For the Lord will plead their cause and rob of life those who rob them.” (22:22-23, ESV). Meanwhile, Amen-em-opet chapter 2 states,
Guard thyself against robbing the oppressed
And against overbearing the disabled.
Stretch not forth thy hand against the approach of an old man…(ANET, 422).
and Amen-em-opet chapter 8 which states,
Be not greedy for the property of a poor man,
nor hunger for his bread.
As for the property of a poor man, it (is)a blocking to the throat,
it makes a vomiting to the gullet….(ANET, 423).
This is a clear parallel where both Solomon and Amen-em-opet are arguing for social justice against oppressing the poor.
Meanwhile, another theme can be found in Amen-em-opet chapter 23 and Proverbs 23:1-7 about sitting with rulers to eat. Proverbs 23:1-4,6-7 states,
When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite. Do not desire delicacies, for they are deceptive food. Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. …Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies, for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart not with you. You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten, (ESV).
As compared to Amen-em-opet chapter 23,
Do not eat bread before a noble,
Nor lay on thy mouth at first.
If thou art satisfied with false chewings,
They are a pastime for thy spittle.
Look at the cup which is before thee,
And let it serve thy needs.
As a noble is great in his office,
He is as a well abounds (in) the drawing (of water),…(ANET, 424).
These two sections while parallel are not exactly the same. Both passages seem to be giving a warning. Amen-em-opet directly states not to eat with a noble, meanwhile Solomon warns the hearer to be careful. Moreover, both seem to talk about how eating with the leaders. Solomon says not to eat with one who is calculating to the point where he or she will vomit what he or she ate. While Amen-em-opet states not to even eat with a ruler because it will cause false chewing and create a pastime of spittle. In other words, both seem to be claiming that eating with rulers is not so much about fellowship but saving face and acting. Whether the servant is performing false chewing or the leader is calculating, either way neither is eating for the right reasons.
Next, the parallel theme is the command not to move the landmarks/boundary lines. Amen-em-opet chapter 6 states,
Do not carry off the landmark at the boundaries of the arable land,
Nor disturb the position of the measuring-cord;
Be not greedy after a cubit of land,
Nor encroach upon the boundaries of a window… (ANET, 422).
This is comparable to Proverbs 22:28 which states, “Do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set” and in Proverbs 23:10, “Do not move the ancient landmark or enter the fields of the fatherless” (ESV). Here again we see a passage dealing with social justice for the families of widows and the children whose fathers have died. In other words, do not be so greedy as to steal again from the poor.
In conclusion, there are many parallels found within the wisdom literature of Amen-em-opet and Proverbs both structurally and thematically. As noted above, both have introductions that provide each authors titles and positions. Moreover, both had prologs, but Proverb’s prolog is long while Amen-em-opet has only one short chapter. Finally, both have parallelism, and both introduction and the prolog are calls for the hearers to embrace wisdom or truth.
 Pritchard, James Bennett. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Princeton, N. J.: Univ. Press, 1971. All other references to ANET will be with text citations.
 The Prolog is Proverbs 1-9. This can be seen in Proverbs 1:2-7, 2:1-2, 3:1-2, 4:1-2,10-11, and so on through chapter 9. Throughout the prolog there is a common theme linking and asking the hearer to listen to the wisdom and understand and preserve the wisdom or truth in their hearts.
 Specific examples can be seen in the Old testament, Proverbs 2:2;5:1;7:1-3 New Testament: Mathew 11:16;13:9, 43; Mark 4:9;23; Revelation 2:7, 11; 3:6,13; 13:9 and others just to name a few.
Chapter review of Divinization and Omens
In chapter 6 of John Walton’s book, “Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament,” he expounds on the concept of divinization and omens within the ancient Near Eastern culture. In contrast to today’s secular western culture, the people of the ancient near east would have had no concept of a separation of church or state within their world view (239). Rather, the sacred was an integral part of their day to day life (239). This is most likely a result of the fact that divinization and omens played an epistemological role that was a handbook or “Guide for life” (239-240). Walton breaks down both divinization and omens down by type, practitioners and function.
Walton breaks down divinization into two forms - inspired and deductive. Inspired divinization is where the divine entity takes the initiative to establish communication with its people through a messenger (like a prophet) or a dream (240). Moreover, Walton divides divinizations between official prophecy and informal prophecy (240-241). Official prophecy is where a professionally trained prophet or messenger relays a message and in many cases, served under the “sponsorship” of a king. Meanwhile, informal prophecy was more “spontaneous and occasional” (240). Unlike official prophecy whose recipient was a king, informal prophecy was addressed to commoners. In many cases, informal prophecy was experienced through the medium of dreams. Walton explains that dreams were predominantly spontaneous. With exceptions, kings and others with power at times would sleep in “sacred” places with the goal of receiving a dream from their god (241); yet “the majority of dreams … simply came to people in the normal course of their lives” (242). Walton also makes it clear that even though many of these dreamers were not communicating with any gods, they still believed that the “gods were communicating through the symbols” within the dreams (242).
At the end of the day, the inspired divinization’s cognitive environments’ main function was not to know the gods or even the future (244). Rather, prophecies were used to bolster a theological argument for the divine right of the king to rule as he saw fit. Furthermore, dreams caused many people to seek out interpretations of them, for fear of their deity’s punishment for neglecting the dream.
Next Walton explains deductive divinization. Like inspired divinization, it is “initiated from the divine realm” (249). The difference is that the divine communication is perceived through observable “events and phenomena” (249). Deductive divinization’s cognitive environment function through what Walton calls connectiveness, control and speculative observations (249 -254). First, connectiveness is the idea that the gods communicate through patterns or symbols. These patterns would be understood as the writings of the gods and the symbols/omens were just a form of divine “alphabet” and “vocabulary” (249). The second cognitive environment, control, is the idea that these signs were meant to be interpreted to help those who could interpret them so they could “exercise some…control over the events swirling around them” (254). Now this created a culture of speculation based on observations of the symbols/omens (254). According to Walton there are two types of omen approaches, active and passive. Then, Walton lists the practitioners: Baru, Tupsarru, Muhhu, and Apilu(264-263).
Next, Walton show how magic links magic is directly linked to the concept of divinization. As he explains divinization is about gaining knowledge, while magic is about “exercising power” over spiritual forces to enable positive or negative outcomes for individuals (264-265). Magic practitioners would use incantations and rituals to destroy the “connective thread” that bound an individual to evil spirits (265).
In conclusion, Walton explains reiterates that divinization was about getting a “glimpse” of the gods and their will through the patterns of signs (267). One must realize though that the function was not about predicting the future. Instead the function of divinization was used for legitimization, action and warning. For example, it was used to prop up kings as being the divinely chosen ruler. Furthermore, it conveyed action because it caused kings to rule as if their choices were done on the divine entities behalf or will. Then, the warnings were more about causing people to change their ways to prevent the predicted judgment. Walton explains that divinization was not about certainty but rather to a provisional of guidelines or directions for how one should chose to live their life (269-270). Then, Walton shows the sheer contrast the Ancient near east ideas on prophecy compared to Deuteronomy 18:20-22. First, Israel was to know the words Yahweh did not say (270). Second, unlike the diviners and their gods Yahweh did not want his people to be afraid of Him (270).
Walton makes several good arguments. First, I agree with him that the main function was about legitimization of the king. His point is bolstered by the fact that the king’s prophets would have been sponsored by the king and on the king’s payroll (240). This conflict of interest also is exasperated by the fact that kings could use the prophecies to their advantage by claiming “that the Gods had put the king on the throne and supported his policies and activities” (268). Second, I thought it was very insightful when Walton explained that the divinization prophets played upon the “fears and aspirations of the people of Mesopotamia” (269). His best support was the fact that people would be seeking out dream interpreters to find out the will of the gods rather than miss out and have something bad happen to them (244). Thus it is logical for people to seek out these practitioners to help them find some form of control to enable these people who seemed to live in fear with a form of “psychological relief”(254).
Finally, I thought the comparison of Yahweh to the divinization prophets was correct. First, the fact that God’s people were to know when he was spoken and not spoken. Second, the fact is that the people of God did not have to live in fear of God other than His “oracles of Judgment” (270).
 Top of Form
Walton, John. Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker Pub. Group, 2006.
Bottom of Form
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Thomas Martin Salazar (Personal Translation and notes 1/15/2015 update)
13:1 Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ λέγει αὐτῷ εἷς τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ· διδάσκαλε, ἴδε ποταποὶ λίθοι καὶ ποταπαὶ οἰκοδομαί. 2 καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ· βλέπεις ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς; οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ ὧδε λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον ὃς οὐ μὴ καταλυθῇ.
1. And while he was departing from the temple, one of his disciples says to him, teacher, "Behold! What wonderful stones and what wonderful of buildings. 2. And Jesus says to him, "do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will remain upon a stone that will not be torn down."
3 Καὶ καθημένου αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ ὄρος τῶν ἐλαιῶν κατέναντι τοῦ ἱεροῦ ἐπηρώτα αὐτὸν κατʼ ἰδίαν Πέτρος καὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάννης καὶ Ἀνδρέας· 4 εἰπὸν ἡμῖν, πότε ταῦτα ἔσται καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον ὅταν μέλλῃ ταῦτα συντελεῖσθαι πάντα;
3. And while sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite of the temple, Peter and Jacob and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4. “Tell us when will these things be, and what is the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?”
5 ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἤρξατο λέγειν αὐτοῖς· βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς πλανήσῃ· 6 πολλοὶ ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου λέγοντες ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι, καὶ πολλοὺς πλανήσουσιν. 7a ὅταν δὲ ἀκούσητε πολέμους καὶ ἀκοὰς πολέμων, μὴ θροεῖσθε· δεῖ γενέσθαι,
7b ἀλλʼοὔπω τὸ τέλος.
5. Now Jesus began to say to them, "watch out that no one deceives you 6. Many will come in my name, saying that, ‘I am’ and they will deceive many. 7. And when you hear about the conflicts and rumors of conflicts, do not be alarmed: it must take place,”
7b. “but [the other side of the issue]: it is not yet the end.”
This sub-section of verses shows that there will be false messiahs/christs and they will deceive many. The disciples are commanded to watch out or be aware of these false messiahs. Also, this section shows that the conflicts should not be the disciples' focus. The word " ἀλλʼ", particularly in this case, is not just contrasting the previous statement but the entirety of the previous clauses. For example in BDAG: "when whole clauses are compared, ἀλλά can indicate a transition to some[thing] different or contrasted: the other side of a matter or issue, but, yet. δεῖ γὰρ γενέσθαι, ἀλλʼ οὔπω ἐστὶν τὸ τέλος Mt 24:6, cp. Lk 21:9."(bold original) This strong transition now shows that the previous statements are being contrasted. The fact is that Jesus is trying to get his disciples to look beyond the present situation of conflicts, He will restate with more emphasis in vs 8, because the reality is that these events are not the end.
8 ἐγερθήσεται γὰρ ἔθνος ἐπʼ ἔθνος καὶ βασιλεία ἐπὶ βασιλείαν, ἔσονται σεισμοὶ κατὰ τόπους, ἔσονται λιμοί· ἀρχὴ ὠδίνων ταῦτα.
8. “For racial group will rise up against racial group and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many places. There will be famines. These things are the beginning of the birth pains”.
Moreover, the "γὰρ" adds a sense of intensity to the previous statements in verse 5-7. It intensifies the previous statements by clarifying and specifying the types of conflicts. The "γὰρ" at the beginning of vs 8 is directly linked as an explanation that in a sense re-states and adds specifics to vs. 5-7. This is because "γὰρ" is an explanatory conjunction. An explanatory conjunction is "used to introduce an explanation of a previously mentioned sentential element." This added intensity is to take the shift from the conflicts and wars as noted in the " ἀλλʼ" above and focuses on what he will begin to explain in vs 9, because the birth pains and the false messiah/christ are just the begenning. R. T. France explains, "The γάρ indicates that these clauses are further amplification of the warning about wars in v. 7, and the future tenses have the same effect as the preceding δεῖ: these things are bound to go on happening." In other words, Jesus is trying to shift those who are hearing his teaching and reading it today away from trying to know about the end so they can transition to more specific commands, which appear later in the passage about witnessing and taking care of one another.
It is also important to notice that these passages mention general things like conflicts and divisions between races, nations and kingdoms, along with all the earthquakes, and famines all of kind, which have been happening throughout human history. These general issues, are as Jesus states, "not yet the end, but instead "These things are the beginning of the birth pains." This introductory section of the Olivet discourse is not meant to be apocalyptic, but a call to focus on the important issues, which was not the wonderfulness of the Herodian temple. Finally, this introductory section focuses on a new beginning for his disciples, which will be explained in the next section.
9 Βλέπετε δὲ ὑμεῖς ἑαυτούς· παραδώσουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς συνέδρια καὶ εἰς συναγωγὰς δαρήσεσθε καὶ ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνων καὶ βασιλέων σταθήσεσθε ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς. 10 καὶ εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη πρῶτον δεῖ κηρυχθῆναι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον. 11 καὶ ὅταν ἄγωσιν ὑμᾶς παραδιδόντες, μὴ προμεριμνᾶτε τί λαλήσητε, ἀλλʼ ὃ ἐὰν δοθῇ ὑμῖν ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦτο λαλεῖτε· οὐ γάρ ἐστε ὑμεῖς οἱ λαλοῦντες ἀλλὰ τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον. 12 καὶ παραδώσει ἀδελφὸς ἀδελφὸν εἰς θάνατον καὶ πατὴρ τέκνον, καὶ ἐπαναστήσονται τέκνα ἐπὶ γονεῖς καὶ θανατώσουσιν αὐτούς· 13 καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι ὑπὸ πάντων διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου. ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος οὗτος σωθήσεται.
9. “Now, watch out for yourselves, [for] they will deliver you to the Sanhedrins and in the Synagogues you will be beaten. And before the ruler and king you will stand for my sake as a testimony against them. 10. And it is necessary to proclaim the Gospel to all nations. 11. And when they arrest you and hand you over, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given to you in that hour. For it is not you who are speaking, but the Holy Spirit [speaking through you]. 12. And brother will deliver brother to death, and a father [will betray his] child, and children will rise up in rebellion against parents. And they will have them put to death 13. And you will be hated by all, because of my name, but the one who after enduring to the end, will be saved.”
One needs to realize that this section is full of Old Testament Septuagint allusions and echoes from Micah. It starts off in vs. 9 with an echo to Micah 1:2 which states, "Ἀκούσατε, λαοί, λόγους, καὶ προσεχέτω ἡ γῆ καὶ πάντες οἱ ἐν αὐτῇ, καὶ ἔσται κύριος ἐν ὑμῖν εἰς μαρτύριον, Κύριος ἐξ οἴκου ἁγίου αὐτοῦ," which is translated, "Listen people [to] words! Earth pay close attention, and everyone in it, and the Lord shall be a testimony against you, the Lord from His holy house." This is interesting because God seems to be talking about a specific testimony (εἰς μαρτύριον) to the world. This would thus intensify the need for there to be a proclamation to all the nations as mentioned in Mark 13:10 because God meant for the entire world to hear his message. Furthermore, Mark 13:9 uses the word "συναγωγὰς" which since it is plural is understood as referring to "councils in general, whether Jewish or Gentile." This makes sense since Jesus is warning his disciples and future readers about persecution, and about being brought before rulers and kings. This is again portraying the prophetic call that these men will become against the world.
Then Mark 13:12 also makes an allusion back to Micah 7:6 which states, "διότι υἱὸς ἀτιμάζει πατέρα, θυγάτηρ ἐπαναστήσεται ἐπὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτῆς, νύμφη ἐπὶ τὴν πενθερὰν αὐτῆς, ἐχθροὶ ἀνδρὸς πάντες οἱ ἄνδρες οἱ ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ αὐτοῦ. When translated, this state's "Because a son dishonors a father, a daughter shall rise up against her mother, a wife against her mother-in-law; all the enemies of a man [are] the men in his house." Clearly the similarities are evident with the daughter-in-law and daughter rising up against their mother and mother-in-laws and sons dishonoring their fathers, when Jesus states, "and children will rise up in rebellion against parents." Moreover, the word for enemies also conveys the idea of hatred or hostility; thus paralleling Jesus' statement that "you will be hated by all." In summary, Jesus is trying to prepare them for the reality that they will be hated or have hostility towards them not just from rulers but from their own families.
With this persecution in mind, it is important to understand that the focus of this section is also linked to a specific command to "watch out for yourselves." This is because Jesus knew they would be beaten and would have to endure much persecution and tribulations, while fulfilling the call on their lives. This command is even more specific than the first one because of the reflexive pronoun "ἑαυτούς ". R.T. Francies explains that "The direct object here, ἑαυτούς, makes the warning more personal: they themselves are in danger. The warning is not so that they should try to escape persecution, but to prepare them to endure it faithfully." In the end, Jesus was still trying to prepare his disciples for their part in Salvation's history, so that they can endure until the end of their race. James Edwards explains that the "Disciples are again reminded that faithfulness does not consist in forecasting the future and determining preemptive responses, but rather in trusting that God will give them grace to complete their service in His name, and indeed will even speak through them in their deepest need." 
Finally, it is important to note the use of the phrase "εἰς τέλος" or to the end. This end is the goal of endurance; it is the disciples' faith in the future salvation over the present temporal salvation of a Second Temple Jewish messiah. Jesus in this passage is directly challenging the idea of what traditional Second Temple Jews would view as Jewish salvation. Second Temple Messianism would look for a leader like David to overthrow the Roman's rule and reign over Israel. This would be their view of salvation, just as Moses brought Yahweh's salvation temporally and physically from Egypt. Instead, Jesus is saying not only must He die but those following Him will have to endure to reach the end goal which includes salvation. That is a spiritual salvation as opposed to a physical temporal salvation. Thus, it is important to realize that this is not a passage about eschatology but about sanctification. According to R.T. Frances, " This last sentence of the section is therefore not so much a prediction about the ‘end’ (and thus does not directly contribute to answering the disciples’ question) as it is a call to endurance and the assurance that those who suffer for Jesus will not be ultimately the losers."
14 Ὅταν δὲ ἴδητε τὸ βδέλυγμα τῆς ἐρημώσεως ἑστηκότα ὅπου οὐ δεῖ, ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω, * τότε οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ φευγέτωσαν εἰς τὰ ὄρη, 15 ὁ [δὲ] ἐπὶ τοῦ δώματος μὴ καταβάτω μηδὲ εἰσελθάτω ἆραί τι ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας αὐτοῦ, 16 καὶ ὁ εἰς τὸν ἀγρὸν μὴ ἐπιστρεψάτω εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω ἆραι τὸ ἱμάτιον αὐτοῦ. 17 οὐαὶ δὲ ταῖς ἐν γαστρὶ ἐχούσαις καὶ ταῖς θηλαζούσαις ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις. 18 προσεύχεσθε δὲ ἵνα μὴ γένηται χειμῶνος· 19 ἔσονται γὰρ αἱ ἡμέραι ἐκεῖναι θλῖψις οἵα οὐ γέγονεν τοιαύτη ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως ἣν ἔκτισεν ὁ θεὸς ἕως τοῦ νῦν καὶ οὐ μὴ γένηται. 20 καὶ εἰ μὴ ἐκολόβωσεν κύριος τὰς ἡμέρας, οὐκ ἂν ἐσώθη πᾶσα σάρξ· ἀλλὰ διὰ τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς οὓς ἐξελέξατο ἐκολόβωσεν τὰς ἡμέρας.
14. “But when you are seeing the abomination that causes desolation [Dan 11:31//12:11] having stood where he must not be let the reader understand! Then those in Judea must escape to the mountains. 15. The one who is on the housetop must not go down or go to pick up anything from his house. 16. And the one who is in the field must not turn back to pick up his coat. 17. Woe to those who have [a baby] in their womb and those who are nursing babies in those days. 18. But pray that it may not happen during bad weather, 19. For those days will be [time of] tribulation such as has not happened since the beginning of creation which God created until now and never will happen again. 20. And unless the Lord shortened the days, no flesh would be saved, but for the sake of the chosen, which He chose, he shortened the days.”
When reading verse 14 and this section, it is important to notice that Mark uses the word " ἴδητε", which conveys the idea of perceiving by sight or with one's eyes. The key word here is "perceive". This is Mark in a sense calling those who are listening and reading this next section to watch out. The word " ἴδητε" whose root is " εἶδον" semantically conveys this idea of "being aware of someth[ing] through sensitivity"...or "to take special not[ice] of someth[ing]" or by even experience of an event. For instance, when Jesus states, " “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (NASB, John 3:3). Notice the "see" here means that one will not enter or experience the kingdom of God, not just the lack of seeing it. This concept is also conveyed when Mark uses the aorist active subjunctive, "ἴδητε " which convey this perfective aspect and a sense of experience in a moment in time, which is aided by the temporal adverb "when". Thus, the context expresses the idea that when one notices or experiences this desolation, then one needs to flee. It is a form of a request, but in the form of a warning.
The second half of the section fits as a more specific warning about the wars and conflicts discussed in the previous section (vs7), where it states, "And when you hear about the conflicts and rumors of conflicts, do not be alarmed: it must take place, but [the other side of the issue]: it is not yet the end." Meanwhile, vs.14 states, "But when you see the abomination of desolation having stood where he must not be let the reader understands!" Notice both of these verses start with temporal adverbial phrase "ὅταν δὲ." The contrast is clear, one section basically implies not to worry about the end or the rumors and news of the conflicts, but when one perceive the abomination that causes desolation then they need to run. Moreover, Mark or Jesus call, for the reader to understand, adds an emphasis to this section that is not present in the first half of the warnings.
Now it has been debated on who the reader is and how one is supposed to interpret who or what the abomination is that causes desolation. Matthew states in 24:15, "Ὅταν οὖν ἴδητε τὸ βδέλυγμα τῆς ἐρημώσεως τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Δανιὴλ τοῦ προφήτου ἑστὸς ἐν τόπῳ ἁγίῳ, ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω," which is translated, "Therefore, when you are seeing the abomination that causes Desolation, which after being spoken through Daniel the prophet having stood in the Holy place. Let the one reading [in public worship] understand." Matthew adds several key factors. First, that Jesus or Mark wants the readers to go back and read Daniel before teaching this section. Second, that the place where the abomination will be standing will be a holy place.
Meanwhile, Luke states in 21:20 " Ὅταν δὲ ἴδητε κυκλουμένην ὑπὸ στρατοπέδων Ἰερουσαλήμ, τότε γνῶτε ὅτι ἤγγικεν ἡ ἐρήμωσις αὐτῆς. " which is translated, "but when you are seeing Jerusalem being surrounded by armies then recognize that her desolation draws near." Thus it seems that the desolation at least according to Luke would be referring to the Roman armies. Therefore, it makes sense that one should understand Mark and Matthew as saying that the abomination that causes desolation, refers to the Roman army and Caesar who cause this destruction.
Many believers in Jerusalem were saved because this warning or a teaching like this one that was taught by the church this is known because of Church historian Eusebius. Who states,
But the people of the church in Jerusalem had been commanded by a revelation, vouchsafed to approved men there before the war, to leave the city and to dwell in a certain town of Perea called Pella. And when those that believed in Christ had come thither from Jerusalem, then, as if the royal city of the Jews and the whole land of Judea were entirely destitute of holy men, the judgment of God at length overtook those who had committed such outrages against Christ and his apostles, and totally destroyed that generation of impious men.
In other words, the church had a revelation, one that probably originated from both Mark and Matthew's gospels.
21 Καὶ τότε ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ· ἴδε ὧδε ὁ χριστός, ἴδε ἐκεῖ, μὴ πιστεύετε· 22 ἐγερθήσονται γὰρ ψευδόχριστοι καὶ ψευδοπροφῆται καὶ δώσουσιν σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα πρὸς τὸ ἀποπλανᾶν, εἰ δυνατόν, τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς. 23 ὑμεῖς δὲ βλέπετε· προείρηκα ὑμῖν πάντα.
21. “And then if anyone says to you, ‘behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘behold,’ there do not believe [him] 22. for a false Christ and false prophets will appear, and they will produce signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible the chosen. 23. But you watch out. I have told you everything beforehand.”
Ultimately, this section is a special warning to His chosen - the elect members of the people of God. In essence, Jesus is saying that even though there will be persecution and families will turn on each other, Jesus through his providence warned them about the future destruction and gives to those who heed the warning a temporal salvation from that destruction. Moreover, this conveys why it was important not to follow any others who claimed to be Christ because they would be the rebels who tried to fit their Davidic messianic presupposition of what a Christ should be like. And it is those who followed these false messiahs who were destroyed by the Roman legions. Hence, this entire section is an inclusio about false messiahs and served the purpose of changing the disciples' and the future people of God's (who will listen to the reader's teaching) understanding the concept of the Messiah for the purpose of understanding their individual elections as participants in God's salvation history.
24 Ἀλλὰ ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις μετὰ τὴν θλῖψιν ἐκείνην ὁ ἥλιος σκοτισθήσεται, καὶ ἡ σελήνη οὐ δώσει τὸ φέγγος αὐτῆς, 25 καὶ οἱ ἀστέρες ἔσονται ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πίπτοντες, καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις αἱ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς σαλευθήσονται. 26 καὶ τότε ὄψονται τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐρχόμενον ἐν νεφέλαις μετὰ δυνάμεως πολλῆς καὶ δόξης. 27 καὶ τότε ἀποστελεῖ τοὺς ἀγγέλους καὶ ἐπισυνάξει τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς [αὐτοῦ] ἐκ τῶν τεσσάρων ἀνέμων ἀπʼ ἄκρου γῆς ἕως ἄκρου οὐρανοῦ.
24. “but in those days after the tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light [Isa 13:10]. 25. and the stars will be falling from heaven. And the powers that are in heavens will be shaken [Isa 34:4] 26. Then they will see the son of Man arriving on the clouds [Dan 7:13] with power and glory. 27. And then he will send out the messengers and will gather together his chosen from the four winds-from the end of the earth to the end of heaven.”
Moreover, Mark uses the conjunction "Ἀλλὰ" which again is a strong adversative to show that he is changing the focus of the subject. This is a specific shift from the Jewish conflicts and wars to focusing on God's Kingdom and Christ, the true messiah's return. Jesus again is contrasting the preconceived idea of the Jewish Davidic messiah and his kingdom. Instead of an earthly kingdom, it is an eternal kingdom that transcends this temporal world. This is a fulfillment of Daniel's prophesy which states:
13. I observed during a night vision; “Behold, upon the clouds of heaven as the son of man, and he appeared (proclaimed) as the ancient of days having been placed (there) was presented to him. Now royal authority and honor were granted to him, and all the nations of the land, people groups. 14. And all glory was serving him, and his (royal) authority is an everlasting authority, which shall never be removed, and his monarchy, which shall never be destroyed. (Personal translation)
In other words, race and nationality does not matter anymore. Rather, God is sending out his angles to all the world to retrieve the chosen people, Jew and Gentile alike. Because when the end does happen the angels will gather the people of God. Thus, R.T. Frances explains this concept well: " From now on it will not be the national shrine which will be the focus of the people of God, but the Son of Man to whom has now been given, as Dn. 7:14 predicted, an everlasting and universal dominion which embraces all nations and languages." That is a radical idea especially when Jewish theology looked for a Jewish messiah that would liberate its nation from all foreign power and rule the land. Meanwhile, Jesus is saying that nationality no longer matters. Therefore, He is continuing the idea of a new eschatological understanding of the true messiah.
28 Ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς συκῆς μάθετε τὴν παραβολήν· ὅταν ἤδη ὁ κλάδος αὐτῆς ἁπαλὸς γένηται καὶ ἐκφύῃ τὰ φύλλα, γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος ἐστίν· 29 οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς, ὅταν ἴδητε ταῦτα γινόμενα, γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγύς ἐστιν ἐπὶ θύραις. 30 Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ ἡ γενεὰ αὕτη μέχρις οὗ ταῦτα πάντα γένηται. 31 ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ παρελεύσονται, οἱ δὲ λόγοι μου οὐ μὴ παρελεύσονται.
28. Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and sprouts its leaves. You know that summer is near. 29. Thus also you, when you see these things happening, be very certain that he is near, at the gates. 30. Amen I say to you: this generation will not pass away, until all these things take place. 31. The heaven and the earth will pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Now the parable of the fig tree gives another reason for why the disciples and the people of God should be alert. Jesus is imploring that one should not be like the fig tree that did not have any fruit, but rather, one should be prepared for Christ's return because like the fig tree on the road to Jerusalem one does not know when He will appear. It is important to notice how verse 29 states, "When you are seeing these things happening", referring back most likely to verse 14 and verse 7 that include two statements about hearing and seeing. He compares the signs to a fig tree in the summer whose leaves become green right before the fruit becomes available as a sign that the fruit is ready. The conflicts, the false messiah and the abomination that causes desolation - all three of these are signs of the destruction of the temple, just as a leafy fig tree in the summer is a sign of fruit.
32 Περὶ δὲ τῆς ἡμέρας ἐκείνης ἢ τῆς ὥρας οὐδεὶς οἶδεν, οὐδὲ οἱ ἄγγελοι ἐν οὐρανῷ οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός, εἰ μὴ ὁ πατήρ. 33 Βλέπετε, ἀγρυπνεῖτε· οὐκ οἴδατε γὰρ πότε ὁ καιρός ἐστιν. 34 Ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἀπόδημος ἀφεὶς τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ καὶ δοὺς τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐξουσίαν ἑκάστῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ καὶ τῷ θυρωρῷ ἐνετείλατο ἵνα γρηγορῇ. 35 γρηγορεῖτε οὖν· οὐκ οἴδατε γὰρ πότε ὁ κύριος τῆς οἰκίας ἔρχεται, ἢ ὀψὲ ἢ μεσονύκτιον ἢ ἀλεκτοροφωνίας ἢ πρωΐ, 36 μὴ ἐλθὼν ἐξαίφνης εὕρῃ ὑμᾶς καθεύδοντας. 37 ὃ δὲ ὑμῖν λέγω πᾶσιν λέγω, γρηγορεῖτε.
32. But regarding that day or hour, no one knows, not even the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, except the Father. 33. Watch out; be alert for you do not know when the time is. 34. It is like a human being away on a journey; he departed from his house, and gave authority to his slaves, to each his work, he also gave an order to the doorkeeper to stay alert. 35. So be on alert, for you do not know when the Lord of the house will return. Whether in the evening, at midnight or when the rooster crows, or in early in the morning, 36. in case he should arrive suddenly and find you asleep. 37. What I say to you I say to all: "be alert!"
Jesus again makes a shift in the topic, but this time He uses the post positive conjunction " δὲ " instead of " Ἀλλὰ ". This shows Jesus shifting his argument away from how does one know when the end will be to when his return will be. After this shift, Jesus starts right back in vs 33 with two specific commands with the imperatival verbs "Βλέπετε, ἀγρυπνεῖτε" which is, "watch out! Be alert!", because no one knows when Christ will return. The back to back use of these verbs adds emphasis to Christ's statement, which is not present in the previous statements - as if to say that the disciples need to pay even closer attention.
While this passage is about the parousia, that is only a cursory view of what Jesus is saying to his disciples. Jesus uses a parable of a man who is about to go on a journey and he leaves his "δοῦλος" in charge. The passage use of "δοῦλος" conveys a context that goes beyond slave but more as "someone who is solely committed to another" because the slave is bound by duty to give "total allegiance." Jesus is comparing himself to the master and he is leaving his "δοῦλος" behind to watch over his house. In other words, the disciples are the "δοῦλος." Jesus is commanding them with emphasis to watch out and be alert for His return - not by sitting around looking for him, but by faithfully running His home. Thisa passage is about how to be alert and wait on the Lord by being a faithful "δοῦλος."
In conclusion, Mark 13:1-37 is not about knowing when the eschatological end times are to occur. Instead, Jesus called them to "watch out" for the false messiahs (MK 13:5), for one another (MK 13:9) and because he specifically warned them to (MK 13:23). This section (13:5-6, 21-23) is also contained in an inclusio about being deceived by a false messiah . Inside this inclusio, there were also two important temporal clauses going from general in 13:7-8 "ὅταν δὲ ἀκούσητε", which deals with conflicts to a more specific section in 13:14-20 " Ὅταν δὲ ἴδητε" about the abomination of desolation. These are specific warning about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Moreover, Jesus' argument goes towards changing the common second temple perception of what type of Messiah he was, and what type of kingdom he was inheriting (13:24-27). This along with the idea of the destruction of the temple would have been a radical concept for most second temple Jews who found their identity in their nationality and the temple which housed the presence of God. That said, Jesus was seeking to help his disciples see beyond their awe of the temple and Jerusalem because the worldly city and building are not his kingdom. Finally, Jesus ends his argument with a parable and a call to stewards while He is away.
 ἴδε- conveys an idea that one is commanding or emphatically saying "Look!" or "Behold" or "Take notice!," so as to "introduce" or "draw attention" to something. William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (3rd ed.; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 466.
 The context here conveys a sense of emotional outburst. This same outburst of emotion can be seen also in 1 John 3:1. Thus the word, "ποταποὶ" is best translated as "how wonderful" or "how glorious." William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (3rd ed.; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 856.
 Indicative verb which means "see" or "to gaze at". The main idea behind these two uses of the verb is that Mark is not saying just to see with their eyes but that Jesus is trying to draw the disciples' attention to think about what he is about to say. This seems logical with its context and the fact that Mark uses an indicative verb that Jesus is trying to "direct" their "attention" to more than just the stones but to the words he is about to say. William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (3rd ed.; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 179.
It must be noted that Matthew changes the phrase "βλέπεις ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς" to "οὐ βλέπετε ταῦτα πάντα": "do you not see all these." This is interesting because in Mark, " βλέπετε " conveys the idea to "watch out" or to "take care"- again back to the idea of directing one's attention towards more than just the visual, but the content behind what Jesus is saying.
 ἐπηρώτα-imperfect, active, indicative, third person singular, thus only one of the disciples asked Jesus - "he(one of disciples probably Peter) asked him (Jesus) privately"
 " βλέπετε " is the first of several imperatival phrases conveying specific commands to watch out, throughout this section (MK 13:5, 9, 23, 33). Each time " βλέπετε " is used it is a specific command to watch out. For instance:
13:5 Watch out for false messiah/christs.
13:9 Watch out for yourselves (the reflexive pronoun makes it even more personal).
13:14 Another personal call to see/perceive/experience to the church a subsection to 13:9.
13:23. Watch out for false messiah, because Jesus told them everything beforehand. (ends inclusio with 13:5)
13:33 Watch out, be alert, to actively live for God because no one knows the time of His return. This is the contrast of the previous inclusio, because instead of watching out for a false messiah, they are called to be alert for His (Christ) return.
Other specific commands from imperatival verbs in this section include ἀγρυπνεῖτε (MK 13:33) and γρηγορεῖτε (MK13:35, 37).
 (1.) In this context, God is talking through His prophet. (2.) The word " λόγους " is accusative and plural. And according to BDAG "δ. the pl. (οἱ) λόγοι is used, on the one hand, of words uttered on various occasions, of speeches or instruction given here and there by humans or transcendent beings," like " οἱ δέκα λόγοι the ten commandments"; and more specifically in the accusative case, "πᾶς ὅστις ἀκούει μου τοὺς λόγους τούτους Mt 7:24" which is where Jesus states, "Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine"BDAG, 600.
 Translated "ἐν" as against. This is because the NET Septuagint also translated "ἐν" as against, but admittedly the Greek seems to imply "among" instead. That said the Hebrew Old Testament passage also uses the word against. Thus it is possible that the Septuagint use of " ἐν" is just a very rare use.
 Now F. W. Danker thinks that verse 10 is "possibly" an allusion to Micah 4:2 which states, "And many nations shall come and say: 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of the God of Iakob, and they will show us his way, and we will walk in his paths.' because out of Sion shall go forth the law, and a word of the Lord from Ierousalem"(NET Septuagint, Micah 4:2). Danker, "Double-Entendre", 163.
 According to R. T. Frances Note 58 on page 518. "N. T. Wright, Victory, 347–48, sees this as ‘a classic example of an entire passage [Mi. 7:2–10] being evoked by a single reference’. The Targum Jonathan version of Mi. 7 provides even closer links with this passage, particularly a reference specifically to brother giving up brother to death: see L. Hartman, Prophecy, 168–69" [bold added] Frances, The Gospel of Mark, 518n.5).
 R. T. Frances understands " εἰς τέλος" as forever which contextually can be conveyed for example John 13:1d which states, "He loved them to the end." And of course Jesus' love here does not have an end rather it is eternal/forever. It does not seem to fit the context of Mark 13:13 though. Frances, The Gospel of Mark,519.
 Participial that is masculine and singular and could convey that the "Abomination of desolation" is a specific male person. Brooks, James A. Vol. 23, Mark. (NAC. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1991)212-213. That said, R.T. Frances takes it as an event, the time when the Romans started to squash the Jewish rebellion, which hit the "climax in A.D. 70." Frances, The Gospel of Mark, 519.
 Eusebius of Caesaria, "The Church History of Eusebius", trans. Arthur Cushman McGiffert, in , vol. 1, Eusebius: Church History, Life of Constantine the Great, and Oration in Praise of Constantine ( ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace;, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second SeriesNew York: Christian Literature Company, 1890), 138. From Eusebius, Church History, 3.5.3 for any other translations.
 Or corrupted.
A. 13:32 shift to parousia
B.13:33 Exhortation to be watchful and alert.
C.13:34 parable explain verse 33.
B.13:33 Exhortation to be watchful and alert.
C.13:34 parable explain verse 33.
B' 13:35-37 again a call to be on alert.