Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Numbers 16 – Two new rebellions—a) Korah’s rebellion and b) a rebellion led by Dathan and Abiram—The rebellions are conflated here, but they clearly are distinct. Korah, a Levite and Moses’ first cousin, leads 250 “men of note” (16:2) to Moses, complaining as follows: “’Enough from you! The whole community, all of them, are holy; the Lord is in their midst. Why then should you set yourselves over the Lord’s congregation?” This is the same old story—now the…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 11, 2013 at 6:44am — No Comments
Psalm 73 – Psalms 73 to 83 (and 50) are twelve ascribed to Asaph. Asaphites were “temple singers” (Wikipedia). He might have been an individual though. Chronicles notes that Asaph was a descendant of Gershom the son of Levi. In 1 Chronicles 6:39, David appoints a man named Heman as the main musician or cantor and Asaph is named his assistant.
“Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts pure. But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 12th mo. 24, 2012 at 7:54am — No Comments
Sorry there is SO MUCH in today's post. Mondays I do two days of readings and with the psalms, that gets to be LOT.
Psalm 50 – “The Lord, the Mighty One, is God, and he has spoken; he has summoned all humanity from where the sun rises to where it sets” (50:1)
“Our God approaches, and he is not silent. Fire devours everything in his way, and a great storm rages around him. He calls on the heavens above and earth below to witness the…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 12th mo. 17, 2012 at 6:07am — No Comments
Ezekiel 31 – In the spring of 587, Ezekiel is addressed by God to say to Pharaoh that Egypt can be compared to a cedar of Lebanon “with noble branches, thick-set needles and lofty trunk. Its top pierces the clouds. The waters have made it grow, the deep has made it tall, pouring its rivers round the place where it is planted, sending its streams to all the other trees” (31:3-4).
“[I]n its shade every kind of people sat . . . It was the envy of every tree in…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 11th mo. 9, 2012 at 7:10am — No Comments
Ezekiel 29 – The year is 588-587 BC. Ezekiel goes on to prophesy against the Pharaoh of Egypt, the “great crocodile wallowing in [the] Niles” (29:3). God is going to “put hooks through [his] jaws,” pull him out of the Nile, drop him in the desert and give him “as food to the beasts of the earth and the birds of heaven, so that all the inhabitants of Egypt may learn that I am Yahweh” (29:6).
He is disappointed that they have not been more supportive to the House of…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 11th mo. 8, 2012 at 7:47am — No Comments
Ezekiel 28 – The prophecy against the kingdom of Tyre – great trading city and center of the region. Tyre is condemned for being proud enough to consider itself “a god.” But foreigners will be brought against them
Tyre was created perfect – full of natural riches and guarded by god’s ensigns. But Tyre’s “busy trading has filled you with violence and sin” (28:16). The dishonesty of their trade, however, and the pride they showed has brought them to ashes. They have…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 11th mo. 7, 2012 at 8:05am — No Comments
Ezekiel 23 – Now comes an allegorical history of Jerusalem and Samaria. They are described as two women, “Daughters of the same mother” (23:2) who became prostitutes in Egypt. Their names were “Oholah” (Samaria) and Oholibah (Judah).
Oholah played the whore and God has handed her over to “her lovers, to those Assyrians for whom she lusted” (23:9-10). Though the sister – Judah – saw her reduced to shame, she too lusted for her neighbors – for the Assyrians with their…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 11th mo. 3, 2012 at 6:58am — No Comments
Ezekiel 21 – The same prophesy of destruction is directed to the people of the Negeb. The King of Babylon will stop at the crossroads that lead either to Jerusalem or to Rabbah of the Ammonites, and there he will conduct all kids of magic to see which one he is meant to attack. It will be Jerusalem. But the Ammonites too, practitioners of all kinds of “lying omens,” will be slaughtered.
The prophet here seems to wander away from the…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 11th mo. 2, 2012 at 6:27am — No Comments
Sorry for the two days without posts. I am on Long Island and we have been without power because of Hurricane Sandy. We are fortunate to have power back now; many are still without.
Ezekiel 19 – There follows here a poetic “dirge” lamenting the fall of Israel – King Jehoahaz is depicted as a young lion who learned to be a “man-eater” (19:3). “The nations combines against him; he was caught in their pit; they dragged him off with hooks to the land of…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 11th mo. 1, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments
Ezekiel 18 – The virtues of the “upright man” are described: “law-abiding and honest; he does not eat on the mountains or raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not seduce his neighbor’s wife or sleep with a woman during her periods. He oppresses no one, returns pledges, never steals, gives his own bread to the hungry, his clothes to the naked. He never charges usury on loans, takes no interest, abstains from evil, gives honest judgment between man and man, keeps my…Continue
Ezekiel 16:35-63 – For having given themselves to the terrible idolatries and human sacrifices that they performed (especially during the reign of Manasseh when – my note says – such practices were encouraged by foreign alliances), God will bring these “allies” together to bring Israel (Judah?) down. They will ravish “her” and leave her naked.
Compared with the nations around her, Israel has been by far the worst. Sodom and Samaria, Edom and the Philistines will gloat…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 10th mo. 27, 2012 at 6:09am — No Comments
Ezekiel 16:1-34 – Ezekiel is once more told to confront Jerusalem and tell her life story and Yahweh’s involvement in it; it is an allegory:
Child of both Amorite and Hittite, the city was born because Yahweh was “passing by” and came to her rescue at birth. He watched her grow and at the age of marriage Yahweh bound Himself to her by a Covenant. God gave his love everything – fame, beauty, riches – everything. Word of her riches and beauty spread and she became…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 10th mo. 26, 2012 at 6:07am — No Comments
Ezekiel 14 – Ezekiel is visited by the Elders of the people, but he is called to testify against them because they have “enshrined idols in their own hearts” (14:3) and have not been faithful. Ezekiel is to tell them this in no uncertain terms, and Ezekiel “hopes to touch the heart of the House of Israel who have deserted me in favor of a pack of idols” (14:5).
Come back, he urges. But the retribution God plans will not touch the holy ones – those like Noah or Daniel…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 10th mo. 25, 2012 at 7:10am — No Comments
Ezekiel 12 – Ezekiel is asked by the Lord to act out or “mime” what will soon be happening to the people of Israel – that they will be led out of the city into exile because of the terrible things they’ve been doing. He does do this. He packs his bags just as the king of Judah will soon have to pack up his bags and escape through a hole in the city’s wall. He does it as instructed during the day and makes sure that everyone can see him acting it out. But I don’t think he gets much…Continue
Ezekiel 10 – The prophet sees another very hard-to-follow vision: above the vault, over the cherubs’ heads, something that looks like a sapphire and above this a throne. The man in white (the vision of chapter 8) is told to take burning coal from between the cherubs and scatter it over Jerusalem.
The man goes into the courtyard of the Temple and a cloud fills the inner court. “The glory of Yahweh rose off the cherubs,” and the court is filled with the brightness of the…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 10th mo. 23, 2012 at 5:58am — No Comments
Ezekiel 4 – God tells Ezekiel how he is to embody or act out the prophecy God has given him: he lays a brick in front of him and scratches on it the name “Jerusalem.” Then he is to surround it with “siege works” - an iron pan that will fill the role of a wall between him, the besieger, and the city.
He is told to “lie down on your left side and take the sin of the House of Israel on yourself” (4:4). He must lie on his left side for 190 days, and then on his right side…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 10th mo. 20, 2012 at 6:03am — No Comments
Ezekiel 2 – Ezekiel hears a voice calling him “son of man” (2:1). The term is used in Ezekiel and later Daniel to emphasize the distance between the God behind the vision and voice and the mere man who is receiving them. The first use of the term “Son of Man” [ben-Adam] is in Numbers 23:19, but Ezekiel uses the term over 90 times in his writings.
The voice tells Ezekiel to “deliver my words” to the rebellious people that were…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 10th mo. 19, 2012 at 8:03am — No Comments
Introduction to Ezekiel: Ezekiel is believed to have been born around the year 622 BC and was about age 25 in 597 BC, when he was exiled to Babylon along with King Jeconiah (also called Jehoiachin) and 3000 other “leaders” or upper class people from Jerusalem. He was part of the priesthood. His prophetic call came after he had been living in exile for about five years, and the vision he had – the larger vision of what the people of God were to become WITHOUT land and WITHOUT monarchy…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 10th mo. 18, 2012 at 7:36am — No Comments
Nahum 2 – Nineveh is under attack. “The enemy soldiers carry red shields and wear uniforms of red. They are preparing to attack! Their chariots flash like fire. Their horses prance” (2:3).
The attackers rush to the walls of the city and prepare their battering ram. “The gates by the river burst open; the palace is filled with terror. The queen is taken captive; her servants moan like doves and beat their breast in sorrow” (2:6-7).
“Like water from a…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 10th mo. 17, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments
Introductory Information for Nahum: A poem celebrating the fall of Nineveh, the capital city of Israel’s ancient enemy, Assyria. The fall of Nineveh was seen as the judgment of God upon a cruel and arrogant nation.
The Assyrian state arose sometime in the 25th-24th century BC; beginning in the 10th c. BC, it grew strong, conquering even Egypt and eventually the entire Middle East. It was eventually brought low by prolonged civil war…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 10th mo. 16, 2012 at 7:36am — No Comments