October 8, 2018

Some observations on the final chapter of Chronicles (2 Chronicles 36). In the previous chapter, the Chronicler records the death of Josiah, which is effectively the end of the Davidic monarchy. Chapter 36 records the rapid disintegration of the kingdom, the brief reigns of his sons, the subjection of Judah first to Egypt and then to Babylon, finally the decree of Cyrus. 1) The reign of Jehoiakim (36:5-8), Neco’s puppet, is recounted in a chiastic paragraph: A. He was 25… Read more

October 4, 2018

R. R. Reno offers an incisive analysis of the “rage politics” surrounding the Kavanaugh confirmation. He suggests that it’s class rage, focused on sex. That’s not a surprise, since the sexual revolution is by far the most enduring legacy of the social revolution at the middle of the last century. The rage against Kavanaugh is, he speculates, a class rage, proportionate to socio-economic status: “It is an elite rage of law professors and management consultants. It’s the rage of the… Read more

October 3, 2018

The Chronicler’s account of Josiah’s reign is glowingly positive. He seeks Yahweh, purges idolatry from Jerusalem, Judah, and the temple, listens to the word of the Lord, leads a covenant renewal, and throw an unprecedented Passover celebration. But there’s a subtle counter-melody running along behind the surface song of triumph. It tells the story of Josiah’s reign as a recapitulation of the history of Israel – in reverse. Consider: 1) Josiah purges the land of idolatry (2 Chronicles 34:1-7). It’s… Read more

October 2, 2018

I expressed some disagreements and some commendations for Seth Postell’s Adam as Israel a few days ago. Here I sum up some more of Postell’s insights. 1) He takes the description of the serpent in 3:1 as a positive description: He is “more prudent” (Heb. ‘arom) than all the beasts. that contrasts to the eventual judgment on the serpent, “more cursed than all the creatures of the field” (3:14). Postell observes, “God did not make a ‘crafty’ creature; he made… Read more

October 1, 2018

David devotes a great deal of attention to organizing Levitical singers (1 Chronicles 25) and gatekeepers (1 Chronicles 26). Solomon follows David’s instructions in setting up these roles at the temple (singers, 2 Chronicles 5:12-23; 9:11; gatekeepers, 2 Chronicles 8:14). Remarkably, after Solomon, these officials virtually drop out of the picture. We can trace several terms to make the point: 1) Asaph, one of the leaders of the Levitical musicians, is a prominent figure in David’s reign (e.g., 1 Chronicles… Read more

September 27, 2018

Commodification is a three step dance, according to John McKnight and Peter Block (Abundant Community). It begins by identifying a human condition; it redescribes the condition as a problem that can be fixed; and then it sells the fix (39). The fix gets reduced to elements and then “curricularized” so that any schmo can do it, and through curricularization comes professionalization. This process ends up “mystifying” the solution, sequestering it off into private space where the pros can handle it…. Read more

September 26, 2018

I don’t agree with Seth Postell’s fundamental thesis in Adam as Israel. He states the thesis as follows: “when understood as the introduction to the Torah and the Tanakh as a whole, Genesis 1-3 intentionally foreshadows Israel’s failure to keep the Sinai Covenant as well as their exile from the Promised Land in order to point the reader to a future work of God in the ‘last days'” (3). Adam, like Israel later, fails to “conquer” the serpent, and so… Read more

September 25, 2018

The Chronicler carefully lays out the chronology of Josiah’s reign (2 Chronicles 34-35). 1)Becomes king at age of 8 (34:1). 2) In the eighth year of his reign, at age 16, Josiah begins to seek God (34:3). 3) In the twelfth year of his reign, at age 20, Josiah begins to purge Jerusalem, Judah, the temple, and the northern kingdom (34:3). 4) In the eighteenth year of his reign, at age 26, he begins to repair the house (34:8). During… Read more

September 24, 2018

Bo and Ben Winegard analyze today’s “Great Awokening” as a religious movement. They deploy the categories of sacredness and purity, priestly privilege, sin, atonement, and absolution to explain “Wokeness” as a religious movement and a status system. They admit to that “many of their moral concerns are entirely legitimate,” but admit to skepticism about some claims about contemporary American culture. It doesn’t matter to the analysis, though. They insist that “Even if its claims were entirely true, one could still… Read more

September 19, 2018

Here’s a connection I missed in my commentary on Revelation. One of hundreds. In Numbers 31, the Lord instructs Moses to take vengeance on the Midianites. The vengeance is for the attack by the Balak of Moab, who joined the Midianites in attacking Israel. Initially, they tried to hire the prophet Balaam; when that failed, they seduced Israel to idolatry and sexual sin by sending Moabite women into the camp (Numbers 25). Yahweh tells Moses to assemble a force consisting… Read more

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