Mark 11:16

and would not allow anyone to carry anything across the Temple Courts.


tables in one direction
chairs in another

doves released
coins scattered

all in all
quite a mess

needing fallow time
not a quick fix

so don’t bring
a broom just yet

such a picture
needs living with

imprinted on souls
for constant reflection

every system
comes to this

its calculated good
still frail


Remember—no story takes place in a vacuum—there is a Judean security police and a Roman garrison close at hand. These bodies exert the control needed to see that commercial interests are cared for.

This is the case for both those directly involved in transactions within the Temple setting and for those who save steps by using the temple ground as a shortcut from one part of Jerusalem to another or the carrying of goods to and from one of the gates of the city.

If the upsetting of tables is a direct action against those controlling the temple economy and means to access the favor of G*D, then this action is equivalent to what we know as a boycott or blockade of the public to raise their awareness of a current difficulty.

In both cases, this moment of disruption is but a prelude to the eventual collapse of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 CE when it is destroyed by the Romans as its political and military inconvenience came to outweigh its commercial benefit to them.

It is one thing to interfere with the day-to-day business of a religion, it is quite another to interfere with the business of individual citizens who make up one crowd or another. Every boycott or blockade reveals both supporters and opponents. Awareness of the larger issue that would bring forth this act of resistance is raised and more supporters gained. Interference with or interruption of daily business turns passive followers into active adversaries.

Beyond the reactions of those directly affected, security forces have their own interest in keeping a tight control on disputes and will use any needed force to preempt any potential or active disruption.

The odds are this event was relatively short in duration.

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