Ears Better to Hear You With

Hi CW,

Malchus is a variant of Marcus (as in Marcus Antonius/Mark Antony).

That is not to say that the High Priest's servant was Mark Antony, but it definitely reveals the later role playing.

For example, Mark Antony had been the "servant" of Julius Caesar who was Pontifex Maximus ("High Priest").

So, what would the cutting off and healing of Mark Antony's ear represent? I'll have to think about that one ahwile. For sure, there was an on-going rivalry between the heirs of Augustus and those of Mark Antony (of which Herod was one). Mark Antony "rebelled" against Julius Caesar's appointed heir Augustus, but was defeated by him. Yet, that did not put an end to rivalry for the throne, especially when Augustus may not have had a true son of his own. Within that context, one of Herod's natural descendants may figuratively be the "healed ear".

I still like your idea of the ear signifying an informant. And this also relates to suspicion of the direct line of succession (through Augustus and Tiberius) toward other branches that stood ready to take the throne when opportunity presented itself.

The Gethsemene scene takes place circa 36 AD. At that time, the succession of Tiberius was very much in question. It ultimately came down to Gemellus (Simon Peter) and Caligula third son of Germanicus (Archelaus). Ironically, from the Roman perspective, it was Gemellus (Simon Peter) that was lopped off, along with Nero and Drusus (James and John, the sons of Zebedee), the two older brothers of Caligula. The claim of Gemellus/Simon Peter to the throne was never fully restored. However, the second son of Germanicus, namely Drusus, did ascend to the throne as Vespatian.

Archelaus was the fifth "son" of Herod (by the accounting of Josephus). Consistent with this, he is called Zebedee in the Gospels (after the fifth son of Jacob, Zebulun). Herod was typecast after both Jacob and Solomon. As the son of Herod/neo-Solomon, Archelaus was the neo-Rehoboam. The various rebellions that took place after the death of Herod are depicted by Josephus as a repetition of what happened to Rehoboam after the death of Solomon when the Kingdom was divided.

Archelaus was still quite young upon being deposed in Judea. I'm not sure if any of his sons had been born by that time. Regardless, the two eldest were typecast as "twins" to Herod Philip II and Aristobulus III in the roles of "Elijah" and "Elisha".

Earlier precedent was fulfilled. Archelaus endured a symbolic death, but only so that he could be resurrected to greater glory in Rome (as Germanicus). Augustus evidently had bigger plans for him than kingship in Judea. After the death of Augustus, Archelaus set out to make his mark in the East, even following the footsteps of the Joshua/Jesus figure Alexander the Great in Mesopotamia and Egypt. And like Alexander, Archelaus/Germanicus would not return alive even so far west as Greece, but would be murdered.

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