Mark 13:27

and then he will send the angels, and gather his people from the four winds, from one end of the world to the other.

G*D’s eyesight is shot
used to be G*D could see
a partner from a mile off

now a scene must be cleared
of riff and raff to see
what’s under G*D’s nose

what’s not shaken or blown away
must be what G*D’s looking for
an honest broker way off there

Mark has many translational problems. This verse is one of them.

Jesus has been talking about his rising for some time. This is the first time he has put forward that his disciples, his followers, will have their own rising. The condition here is their election or having been chosen. These qualifiers play against the way Jesus has participated in the first part of Mark—healing prodigally. Even those who would seem to be unchoosen or the unelect have their condition changed through their having been healed.

It is the second half of Mark that highlights the unchoosen—Pharisees, Scribes, Sadducees, Herodians, High Priests (but not all of them). This may be a later understanding important to Mark’s telling but of less import to Jesus accepting the consequences of his challenge of tradition and power.

The Greek speaks of “four winds”. Not every language has four winds or uses wind to speak directionally. Even for those who can use the idiom of winds to mean west, east, south, and north, there is something lost if it fails to bring to mind the travails being spoken of—people who are blown away from their place(s) of security, scattered to see what soil they’ll end up in.

The third difficulty has to do with the ends of earth and heaven. The word ἄκρον(akron, farthest bound, extreme) can be connected with a previous cosmology of a three-story universe—

It can be read horizontally, directionally, as from one end of earth to the opposite end of heaven. It has also been understood vertically from the lowest part of earth to the highest point of the sky.

The promise points to additional risings. The question for the reader is how universal that rising is, will all creation be “raised”?

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