Mark 12:21

and the second married his widow, and died without family; and so did the third.


if at first you don’t succeed
there is no guarantee
that any x-number of tries
will bring satisfaction
in a task well-done

all that’s available
is the comfort of a work
for its own weird sake
whether appreciated or not
it is quite enough

should work arrive
under a condition of profit
it turns suddenly thin
a mere shadow
lived under domination


Premise: A man’s property is to be passed on to his son(s). In this story, the man is dead, gone, period. At question is how to honor his memory (justifying the keeping of everything— property—in the hands of men). It becomes the responsibility of his closest representative to stand in to see that there is a proper path for his property to be passed on. With the familial, tribal structure this became the duty of his brother or father.

In this particular, a brother “invests” further in the “woman” by marrying her and attempting to bring forth a son.

Given a clue earlier that the Sadducees didn’t believe in resurrection, we can see their sense of resurrection as something that takes place in this world—brother resurrecting brother. A part of the irony here is that resurrection in this world, this Paradise, is very much a good place for the kind of renewal Baptizer John spoke about. People did not come to the Jordan for some eternal reward, but a very present challenge of meaning in their present context.

A wilderness reflection on baptism will be revealed in a final response about living now, not sometime later.

At any rate, we have now gone through three of the seven brothers and still no heir.

When seen through the eyes of the unnamed woman, we can hear the echo of what has recently been claimed, “Me, too!” Is a woman’s uterus her value? Is her virginity an added value? Is property anywhere near a proper valuing of an image of G*D?

Such a devaluing of women also devalues men. Is siring a child for my brother my value in this family? (Am I my brother’s penis?) In terms of an earlier construction (3:27)—procreation was created for humans; humans weren’t created for procreation.

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