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Warrior Bride

Warrior Bride October 20, 2016

Chronicles envisions Israel as a “host” (tzaba). David leads Israel’s hosts. The princes of Israel military commanders. When “all Israel” gathers, they are represented by elders and army captains, and even the Levitical singers are established by David and the commanders of the host (1 Chronicles 25:1).

To be an Israelite was to be enlisted in the host of the Davidic king, which is the host of Yahweh, who is Yahweh Sabaoth, Yahweh of Armies. King + Israel, as William Johnstone has put it, was a “sacrament” of the Lord and His hosts.

When Israel gathers at Hebron to make David king, they greet him with a declaration: “Behold we are your bone and your flesh” (1 Chronicles 11). It’s a declaration of kinship, but one ought not miss the echo of Adam’s declaration in Genesis 2, concerning the woman who is his bone and flesh. The link with Genesis 2 suggests that coronation is a kind of marriage ceremony, David as the Bridegroom to Israel the bride.

Put these together: Israel is host. Israel is bride. Israel is a warrior bride. And so is the church. Baptism is incorporation into the body that is the bride, and for that very reason is an enlistment in the host of the greater David, deployment in a Spiritual war.

There’s an obvious anomaly. In Genesis 2, Adam the Bridegroom declares Eve “bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” In 1 Chronicles 11, the people (presumably the Bride) say it to David (presumably the Bridegroom). But the inversion is suggestive. It seems that David takes the role of bride, Israel being the bridegroom. And that does fit the monarchical theory of the Chronicler, who, according to William Johnstone’s formula, considers David the “executive of God” while also insisting that “the monarchy is but the instrument of the people’s realization of their destiny” (1 & 2 Chronicles, 1.144).

David is anointed as a “helper” suitable to Israel, as Eve to a new-Adamic humanity.


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