Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Leviticus 26 – There can be no idols or sacred pillars and the Sabbath must be honored.
Then comes the setting forth of blessings and curses—this was common in contracts in the ancient Near East according to Schocken (632]. The reward for obedience will be God’s care—rain, harvests, food in abundance, security in the land, peace (26:5-6).
“I will set my Dwelling among you, and will not disdain you. Ever present in your midst, I will be your…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 4, 2013 at 6:57am — No Comments
Leviticus 20 – Penalties for sins: If you offer your children as a sacrifice to Molech – death.
Consulting fortune-tellers – this is called “spiritual prostitution” and is punished by cutting them off from the community.
If you “act as mediums or . . . consult the spirits of the dead” (20:27), then you must die by stoning.
Dishonoring father or mother – death.
Adultery – death for…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 1, 2013 at 6:32am — No Comments
Leviticus 18 – Chapters 18-26 are known as the “Holiness Code.” The Schocken Bible editor points out that beyond the “heightened moments” of perception that make human beings feel linked to the “primal powers of existence,” the Jews also longed for a perfection and completeness in behavior “in all areas of life, personal and communal (593).
The people are warned NOT to conform to the customs of the…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 4th mo. 29, 2013 at 5:46am — No Comments
Leviticus 17 – Every sheep, goat or ox must be presented as an offering to the Lord in front of the Dwelling before it can be slaughtered for food. The blood needs to be splashed on the altar and the fat burned.
Offerings previously were made to “satyrs” [goat-demons] but this shall be no more (17:7).
This differs from Deut.12 where slaughter is permitted as long as the blood is poured out—scholars disagree which practice came first, Schocken says. …Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 4th mo. 28, 2013 at 6:00am — No Comments
Exodus 39 – The vestments made and the work presented to Moses for his blessing are here described. The colors of everything are specified including even the color of the thread to be used (gold).
The names of the twelve tribes are engraved on a dark reddish gem mounted into gold. All the various garments are described in great detail and all are decorated with gems and gold. “The Israelites did all the work just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Moses…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 4th mo. 17, 2013 at 6:31am — No Comments
Exodus 32 – Moses takes a long time conferring with God on the mountain (40 days), and the people become restless and anxious. Throughout the wilderness journey, they express the same anxieties.
Back on earth, down the mountain, life is full of human frailty. So the people go to Aaron and ask him to “make us a god who will be our leader” (32:1). One of the commandments – the FIRST one by the Catholic count, is specifically NOT to make any such representation. …Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 4th mo. 13, 2013 at 5:56am — No Comments
Exodus 15 – There follows here Moses’ famous “Song at the Sea” which the Schocken Bible editors aptly say, “provides a natural boundary in the book of Exodus. It sets off the Egypt traditions from those of Sinai and the wilderness, and brings to a spectacular close the sage of liberation.”
“So YHWH delivered Israel on that day from the hand of Egypt; Israel saw Egypt dead by the shore of the sea, and Israel saw the great hand that…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 27, 2013 at 6:39am — No Comments
Exodus 10 – The Lord says that the obstinacy of the Pharaoh and his servants is designed to make the signs and wonders of the Lord more glorious and memorable (10:1). The next plague, the eighth, is locusts. By now Pharaoh’s servants are begging him to let the Hebrews go. “’How long will you let this man hold us hostage? Let the men go to worship the Lord their God! Don’t you realize that Egypt lies in ruins?’” (10:7)
Pharaoh “caves” to his unhappy officials and…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 22, 2013 at 6:14am — No Comments
Exodus 9 – God tells Moses to tell the Pharaoh that he must “Let my people go so they can worship me. If you refuse to hold them and refuse to let them go, the hand of the Lord will strike all you livestock—your horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, sheep, and goats—with a deadly plague” (9:2-3). The livestock of the Hebrews will not be touched.
Pharaoh doesn’t yield, so the Lord sends this fifth plague. Still the Pharaoh is not convinced.
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 21, 2013 at 7:01am — No Comments
Exodus 5 - Then they go together – Moses and Aaron - to ask Pharaoh to let them go “hold a festival [“hag”] for me in the desert” [“hag” in Hebrew is related to hajj in Arabic].
Pharaoh wants to know “Who is YHWH, that I should hearken to his voice” (5:2). Pharaoh accuses them of just being lazy and looking for an excuse to get out of doing the work he wants them to do. Instead of letting them go, he increases their…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 18, 2013 at 5:42am — No Comments
Introduction: We turn here from the origins of the earth’s peoples—nations, races and clans—to the origins of the Jewish people religiously and politically. While we have no “outside”—extra-biblical—sources to weigh historical information against, the [historically/culturally] experiential impact of the exodus memory/story is impossible to set aside.
The memory/story, which is recounted here, is not only reality-orienting for the Jewish people,…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 16, 2013 at 7:31am — No Comments
Job 20 – Zophar speaks out of an emotional response to the insults he hears from Job. The joy experienced by those who are “wicked” is always brief. “Though evil is sweet to his taste, and he conceals it under his tongue; though he saves it, . . .holds it inside his mouth, [t]his food in his bowels turns into asps’ venom within him” (20:13-14). This is what God does to the wicked man.
Job 21 – Job replies: He rebukes Zophar for thinking he is assailing him.…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 5, 2013 at 5:57am — No Comments
Job 16 – Job continues in anger: “I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are! Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air? What makes you keep on talking? I could say the same things if you were in my place. I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you. But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief” (16:2-5).
Times when people are going through profound suffering and grief are…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 3, 2013 at 6:20am — No Comments
Job 6 – The misery Job feels is heavier than the sands of the seas. It is no wonder then that he speaks a little wildly – carelessly. “Don’t I have a right to complain? Don’t wild donkeys bray when they find no grass, and oxen below when they have no food?” (5:5)
“”Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant my desire. I wish he would crush me. I wish he would reach out his hand and kill me. At least I can take comfort in this: Despite the pain, I…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 2nd mo. 26, 2013 at 5:39am — No Comments
Genesis 45 - Unable to go on any more with this, Joseph dismisses everyone and reveals himself to his brothers. “He wept so loudly the Egyptians could hear him, and word of it quickly carried to Pharaoh’s palace” (45:2).
After having put them through the wringer, Joseph now tells them they are not to reproach themselves any more: “It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives . . . to ensure for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 2nd mo. 21, 2013 at 6:12am — No Comments
Genesis 37 - The story of Joseph opens when Joseph is 17. If Jacob spent 20 years in Haran and married Leah and Rachel after 7 years there, then Reuben must have been 13 or 14 when they returned to Canaan. We see here that Joseph’s poor relations with his brothers derives not solely from his dreams, but from other things as well.
Joseph “reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing” (37:2) and his father…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 2nd mo. 11, 2013 at 5:59am — No Comments
Genesis 30 - Children, all but one sons, are born from the following women in the following order:
Leah Zilpah Rachel Bilhah
1-Reuben 7-Gad 11-Joseph 5-Dan
2-Simeon 8-Asher 12-Benjamin 6-Naphtali
Added by Irene Lape on 2nd mo. 5, 2013 at 6:00am — No Comments
Genesis 29 – Jacob hurries on to Paddan-Aram and sees a well in the distance surrounded by livestock waiting for the stone to be moved from the mouth of the well. The covering stone so heavy (it says) that only when all the shepherds are assembled at the end of the day are they able to move it away. But here, when Jacob sees Rachel—the girl he falls in love with—he alone moves the stone back so she can water her father’s livestock (29:10).
At Laban’s invitation, Jacob…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 2nd mo. 4, 2013 at 7:57am — No Comments
Genesis 28 – This chapter is a retelling of what just happened in 27. In this telling of the story there is more of an emphasis on where the “blessed son” should go and whom he should marry. Here Jacob does not flee from his brother’s wrath; he simply follows the instructions of his father to go to his grandfather Bethuel and marry one of his uncle’s daughters. It seems as if Esau thinks he looses the blessing not because of any chicanery of his brother but because he married women…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 2nd mo. 3, 2013 at 6:05am — No Comments
Genesis 26 – A severe famine strikes the land, so Isaac moves to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lives. “The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, ‘Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you. Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father” (26:2-3). So Isaac stays in Gerar.
But when “the men…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 2nd mo. 1, 2013 at 6:17am — No Comments