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Source: (consider it) Thread: The Boy David's Anointing
Kwesi
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The discussion on David and Bathsheba and the historicity of events from this period raises a question that has intrigued me for some time: the anointing by Samuel of the boy David. (1 Samuel: 16).

ISTM the problem for the chroniclers is that David came too power as a result of rebellion against “the lord’s anointed”. If that were the case it not only shows David in a negative light but questions the legitimacy of his own rule, the provenance of his continuing historic status, and weakens criticism of rebellions against him. The claimed anointing by Samuel of the youthful David, therefore, seems to me a concocted event designed to get round these difficulties, but is unconvincing because it doesn’t easily fit in with subsequent events recounting the rise of David in Saul’s court. It seems more reasonable to assume that David’s success as a warrior fuelled his ambition, which led him to challenge Saul’s rule.

I would also question the veracity of David’s refusal to kill Saul when the opportunity arose. His remark “who shall slay the Lord’s anointed” IMO reflects less David's sensitivity towards constitutional niceties than the historian’s desire to de-legitimise the actions of those who later rebelled against him. (1 Samuel 26:9).

What say you, shipmates?

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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I say picking out the history from the legend is an impossible task, and possibly misses the point of the book. I suspect there's a mixture of recall, legend and concoction from the beginning of Samuel to the end of II Chronicles. Well, from Genesis 1 really...

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Kwesi
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Karl, I take your point entirely, though I think there is a value in pursuing the link or discordance between 'legend' and 'historical fact' because it helps to explain the purposes of the biblical account. I am, however, somewhat hesitant to make too sharp a distinction between 'legend' and 'fact' in this context because much of what passes for more contemporary 'objective' history is subject to similar treatment, and spin-doctoring is not unknown in our time.
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Mudfrog
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That's all OK, of course, if you need to assume that it's all legendary.
I see no reason to do that.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Lamb Chopped
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I don't see any reason to pick this out as fictional. As you point out, it doesn't dovetail particularly neatly into the rest of the stories, and really, I'd look for better work if someone were going to fictionalize that way.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Sarah G
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I rather like the approach of the Church Fathers, who would not have asked, “Is this passage telling me the truth?”, but “What is the truth that this passage is telling me?”.

It's very important to understand that in OT times, the king of Israel was so, so much more than the guy who gets to tell everyone else what to do. He had been personally anointed by God to the task,was the single representative of the whole of Israel, and was regarded as the 'son of God' in his role. He was the means by which God's will would be implemented, he would fight and win Israel's battles, and there was this running thing with the Temple.

Therefore it makes perfect sense for David to refuse to kill Saul, because to do so is to oppose God's purposes, and that always Ends Badly. As indeed happened to Saul when he disobeyed God's orders.

Where this gets really interesting is that the Messiah (=anointed one =King of the Jews) was absolutely expected to follow this 'represent Israel/beat God's enemies in battle/build the Temple' template.

Now 'Christ' (=king) is an honorific title, not a name, indicating that the Early Church clearly saw Jesus as fulfilling this OT template. Which begs the historical question of 'why'?

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Ricardus
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1. My impression is that the writer of Samuel (and Kings) has sought out as many traditions about David as he could find, and has then knit them into a single narrative. Far from trying to censor David's rule, he has been quite even-handed at featuring both positive and negative traditions about David.

If he'd wanted to censor the way David came to the throne, he could just have missed it out, like the guy who wrote Chronicles, which really is a whitewash.


2. I'm not sure there is a contradiction. Samuel-Kings as a whole is pretty virulently anti-monarchical. 1 Samuel 8 is clear that the monarchy was a concession to human weakness rather than a universal absolute. So it isn't clear that Solomon's anointing gave him a divine right to rule in the way that, say, Charles I thought he had a divine right.

[ 05. July 2017, 21:32: Message edited by: Ricardus ]

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Sarah G:

It's very important to understand that in OT times, the king of Israel was so, so much more than the guy who gets to tell everyone else what to do. He had been personally anointed by God to the task,was the single representative of the whole of Israel, and was regarded as the 'son of God' in his role. He was the means by which God's will would be implemented, he would fight and win Israel's battles, and there was this running thing with the Temple.

I dunno, ISTM that in Samuel and Kings, the Kings of Israel and Judah are, almost without exception, one of:

1. Utter bastards of varying degrees of competence;
2. Good guys, or potential good guys, who go off the rails;
3. Utterly ineffectual pawns of the neighbouring kingdoms.

[ 05. July 2017, 21:50: Message edited by: Ricardus ]

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
That's all OK, of course, if you need to assume that it's all legendary.
I see no reason to do that.

What reason do you have to assume that it isn't?

That's just as much of an assumption as assuming that it is.

My two happ'orth - it's probably both/and ...

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Kwesi
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Sarah G
quote:
I rather like the approach of the Church Fathers, who would not have asked, “Is this passage telling me the truth?”, but “What is the truth that this passage is telling me?”.
I guess in this case "the truth the passage is telling me" is that it's a porkie! I don't think it can hide behind being presented as a legend. It's not fair on legends.

Regarding the biblical attitude towards kingship, I'm in full agreement with Ricardus rather than the rather high approach of Sarah G. ISTM the biblical assessment of kings depends much more on their performance than the status of their anointing. They are judged, and not a few are found wanting.

Gamaliel, I'm not sure what point you are trying to make with your "two-penneth".

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Gamaliel
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It was two happ'orth actually, less than two penn'orth.

Simply that the stories of David are legendary but set against an historical background.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
That's all OK, of course, if you need to assume that it's all legendary.
I see no reason to do that.

What reason do you have to assume that it isn't?
...

Assuming that it is there because it happened is not really an unreasonable assumption if you assume that the Bible is sacred scripture inspired by God and he does actually want you to know what happened because David was the primary ancestor of Jesus and has a future role in a future kingdom.
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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
Sarah G
quote:
I rather like the approach of the Church Fathers, who would not have asked, “Is this passage telling me the truth?”, but “What is the truth that this passage is telling me?”.
I guess in this case "the truth the passage is telling me" is that it's a porkie! I don't think it can hide behind being presented as a legend. It's not fair on legends.

Regarding the biblical attitude towards kingship, I'm in full agreement with Ricardus rather than the rather high approach of Sarah G. ISTM the biblical assessment of kings depends much more on their performance than the status of their anointing. They are judged, and not a few are found wanting.

Gamaliel, I'm not sure what point you are trying to make with your "two-penneth".

It suits your world view to assume it is false because you are of the school who eschews the supernatural and is comfortable in its cynical view of inspiration. To you, the OT scriptures are the ancient Bronze Age documents of men and you are happy to sit above them in judgement like most here. You do not ascribe to them consistency or authority. Sadly, you could not be more wrong.

[ 06. July 2017, 20:32: Message edited by: Jamat ]

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Sarah G
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
I dunno, ISTM that in Samuel and Kings, the Kings of Israel and Judah are, almost without exception, one of:

1. Utter bastards of varying degrees of competence;
2. Good guys, or potential good guys, who go off the rails;
3. Utterly ineffectual pawns of the neighbouring kingdoms.

Agreed, so to unpack things a bit further: having a God-given vocation and carrying out that same vocation are not the same.

To give a very close parallel indeed, Israel had a God-given vocation to be a light to the world and to rescue humanity from sin. Despite some good times, they proved not up to the task all too often.

At those times they would be punished by God. However Israel never ceased to be God's son, and they always knew there would come a time when God would forgive, and those nations who had given Israel a hard time would be severely punished.

This is very close to what concerned David (see OP). Although Saul had disobeyed God, the person who moved against Saul was moving against, literally, God's son. This was not in any way a sensible long term plan.

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Sarah G
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
Sarah G
quote:
I rather like the approach of the Church Fathers, who would not have asked, “Is this passage telling me the truth?”, but “What is the truth that this passage is telling me?”.
I guess in this case "the truth the passage is telling me" is that it's a porkie! I don't think it can hide behind being presented as a legend. It's not fair on legends.

There's a whole range of genres beyond literal truth, lies and legend. For example, there's no requirement that there ever was a Jewish victim of a violent assault between Jerusalem and Jericho who got patched up by a Samaritan. Yet even without being historical, it is still true as a parable, in what it says.

Passages can have many levels of truth, such as their role in the complete biblical meta-narrative, or a moral message, or a record of history.

As is often said on SoF, we should not confuse truth and factuality.

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
It suits your world view to assume it is false because you are of the school who eschews the supernatural and is comfortable in its cynical view of inspiration. To you, the OT scriptures are the ancient Bronze Age documents of men and you are happy to sit above them in judgement like most here. You do not ascribe to them consistency or authority. Sadly, you could not be more wrong.

Host hat on

Jamat, this comes close to a violation of Commandment 3--Attack the issue, not the person.

Don't do it again.

Host hat off

Moo

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See you later, alligator.

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Callan
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Originally posted by James:

quote:
To you, the OT scriptures are the ancient Bronze Age documents of men and you are happy to sit above them in judgement like most here.
Iron age. With the possible exception of The Song of Miriam and a couple of other bits of the Pentateuch most of the Old Testament was written after the end of the Bronze Age c1100BC.

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Jay-Emm
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
Originally posted by James:

quote:
To you, the OT scriptures are the ancient Bronze Age documents of men and you are happy to sit above them in judgement like most here.
Iron age. With the possible exception of The Song of Miriam and a couple of other bits of the Pentateuch most of the Old Testament was written after the end of the Bronze Age c1100BC.
And of course the start of Samual is explicitly set at/after the end of the bronze age (the Philistines have a monopoly on Iron production, but do sell tools).
Which leaves the Pent, Josh, Judges, Ruth as being the only bits about the Bronze age (and potentially Job, Jonah, some of the Psalms and Proverbs).
Of which Ruth and Judges were clearly and explicitly tidied at/after the time of David. Joshua is also clearly written a bit later than the events (long enough that to this day means something, though as a latest bound presumably while 90% of what is referred to is still present)
The others, I think, don't have anything so explicit, either way, but I may be wrong.

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
That's all OK, of course, if you need to assume that it's all legendary.
I see no reason to do that.

What reason do you have to assume that it isn't?
...

Assuming that it is there because it happened is not really an unreasonable assumption if you assume that the Bible is sacred scripture inspired by God and he does actually want you to know what happened because David was the primary ancestor of Jesus and has a future role in a future kingdom.
FWIW, I do assume that the Bible is sacred scripture inspired by God and that the stories about King David and the genealogy of Jesus is of great theological significance and that there is an eschatological dimension/fulfilment to the whole thing.

What have I said that suggests otherwise?

Surely it's perfectly possible to have a high view of the inspiration of scripture without requiring all the stories to be accounts of literal events?

The point I was making was that to assume that all these events took place exactly as scripture records is as much an assumption as assuming that they didn't.

That's a different issue to recognising and tracing the theological / genealogical importance of King David both in in Christological and typological terms and in the development of Israel's sense of self and its role in the world.

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http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Kwesi
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Gamaliel
quote:
FWIW, I do assume that the Bible is sacred scripture inspired by God and that the stories about King David and the genealogy of Jesus is of great theological significance and that there is an eschatological dimension/fulfilment to the whole thing.

Surely it's perfectly possible to have a high view of the inspiration of scripture without requiring all the stories to be accounts of literal events?

The point I was making was that to assume that all these events took place exactly as scripture records is as much an assumption as assuming that they didn't.

If you are arguing for divine inspiration as a blanket concept covering scripture as a whole then I think we have a right to expect scripture to be truthful, don't we, in terms of its various genres. In this case we are presented with an event which is historical in character because it is part of a narrative that establishes the provenance of David's claims to power. My argument is that it is a downright self-serving lie about a fictional event concocted to legitimise David's usurpation of Israel's rightful ruler, Saul. It is not, as you seem to suggest, Gamaliel, an inexact version of something that took place. Furthermore, to defend it as legend is to misunderstand the nature of legends, and to avoid the problems of inconsistency arising from the concept of divine inspiration in relation to scripture. At the very least, ISTM, that some passages are more divinely inspired than others.


Incidentally, to make a theological point, (which seems to be used by yourself and others, Gamaliel, in defence of deliberate inexactitudes), might I raise the issue of Deuteronomy 23:3. "No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the LORD. 3"No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the LORD." That would exclude David as a near descendant of Ruth. Problems! Problems!

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Lamb Chopped
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Not necessarily. It depends on whether you count through the male line, the female line, or either.

Though I've always taken the case of David and Ruth as a foretaste of the grace that made an Ethiopian eunuch the first of the Gentile believes AFAIK.

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Jamat
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quote:
Kaesi : might I raise the issue of Deuteronomy 23:3. "No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the LORD. 3"No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the LORD." That would exclude David as a near descendant of Ruth. Problems! Problems
Ruth was an adoptive daughter of Israel. There was provision for such. Another such was Uriah the Hittite. Abraham's sons and daughters are always determined by their faith in the God of Israel. So. No..no problems.
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Jamat
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quote:
Gamaliel: Surely it's perfectly possible to have a high view of the inspiration of scripture without requiring all the stories to be accounts of literal events?

Well, if a story is recounted as a factual narrative rather than a parable, poetry, prophecy or other category scripture covers, then should it NOT be narrative as far as you are concerned, you create a dissonance problem for yourself and a character problem for God and a credibility problem for the scripture.

In John 23:11, the narrative states they caught 153 large fish and the net held. But then if there were 154 and they were of varied sizes, and the net broke and 30 got away then there is such a problem. But you can never go back and count and measure them so the high view is to say OK, I accept the factual nature of the narrative.

So, did the sun stand still for Joshua? Well the narrative says so but it would have to be a miracle to alter the orbital mechanics of the solar system to allow this perception by the writer of the book of Joshua. However, you have the same problems precisely if you doubt the story do you not? So, in the end, the choice comes down to scripture or common sense, a supernatural God intervening in time or the natural mind upholding the laws of nature.

[It's John 21:11 for the fish, and Joshua 10:12 for the sun standing still. Mamacita, Host]

[ 10. July 2017, 02:50: Message edited by: Mamacita ]

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Gamaliel
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Not necessarily.

I'm perfectly prepared to accept the miraculous, God intervening in the 'natural' course of things. I don't doubt that although I obviously struggle with it given my background as a late-modern / post Enlightenment Westerner.

'Lord I believe, help thou mine unbelief.'

I don't see that it follows, though, that accepting the possibility that some of the Bible stories aren't 'literal' accounts diminishes the sense of the miraculous, the numinous and God working in and through historical events or the accumulated stories, myths and traditions of a particular culture.

Is the conversation between God and Satan in The Book of Job some kind of transcript? No, of course it isn't ...

Was Job a literal, historical figure? He may have been, he may not have been.

If he wasn't how does that impugn God's character and righteousness in any way? Liar, liar, pants on fire? No, of course not - it doesn't work that way.

Was Christ a literal, historical figure. Yes. If he wasn't then we'd have problems.

Was King David a literal historical figure?

Yes, I believe he was. Does that mean that all the accounts and stories that grew up around him are literal historical fact?

Not necessarily. Why should they be?

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Sarah G
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Well put Gamaliel. To repeat, we shouldn't confuse truth and factuality.

quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
In this case we are presented with an event which is historical in character because it is part of a narrative that establishes the provenance of David's claims to power. My argument is that it is a downright self-serving lie about a fictional event concocted to legitimise David's usurpation of Israel's rightful ruler, Saul.

[/the Bible is inspired]
It's an interesting theory, and I guess there's no overwhelming reason it couldn't have happened. However:

There is no external evidence in its favour that it did.

The given basic storyline of 'Saul gets to be king, loses direction, gets killed in battle, David takes over' is inherently plausible. David was clearly a huge talent, apart from his inadequate sense of when playing with his rod is preferable to murdering his staff.

The argument from silence is moderately strong here; if the writers know an alternative Saul-David battle story line, it has left no trace. Options were certainly there for a 'God enacts his rejection of Saul in favour of David' battle storyline.

The muddled nature of David's rise in court could easily be explained by failure to edit the various sources well. Alternatively, the full story of the events of the anointing might have been only known to a few, who had a vested interest in making sure Saul didn't know.

Following the given storyline has the argument from simplicity here.

The recorded reaction of David to the assassination of Ishbaal is consistent with his views against regicide, even where it benefited him. This reaction is stressed at length. Rewriting this as well adds to the complexity of the alternative.

In brief, the burden of proof is simply on anyone who tries to prove anything, and this theory needs more to satisfy that threshold IMHO.

[the Bible is inspired]

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Kwesi
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Jamat
quote:
Ruth was an adoptive daughter of Israel. There was provision for such........... So. No..no problems.
Thanks for your instructive contribution, Jamat. It would be helpful to me if you could give me the reference to the relevant provisions whereby the Law of God given to Moses regarding Moabites was set aside.


Sarah G, thanks for your last post. Its rounded argument discusses the issue in they way I was hoping.

Gamaliel
quote:
Does that mean that all the accounts and stories that grew up around [David] are literal historical fact?
Of course, that is a difficulty with any historical writing. The question is what importance or significance is placed on any particular event. Sometimes the significance is so trivial that its truth or falsehood is of no importance whatsoever. If much is claimed for it then its status as a "literal historical fact" is of interpretative significance. It matters for our understanding of David's life whether or not his anointing as a boy actually took place. If he knew he had been anointed to replace Saul then it would have affected his attitude towards the king and his place in the court differently than had he not received his divine imprimatur from Samuel.
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Jay-Emm
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:

"No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the LORD." That would exclude David as a near descendant of Ruth. Problems! Problems

Another such was Uriah the Hittite.
Pedantic point 1: There isn't much evidence that Uriah met any of the exclusion criteria.
Pedantic point 2: There isn't much evidence that Uriah entered the assembly, anyway.

quote:

Not necessarily. It depends on whether you count through the male line, the female line, or either.

Given the context of the Moabite prohibition, I'd imagine that ignoring the female line (at 1st Gen) would be a bit counter-intuitive. Though on the other hand, it would be typical.


Two other thoughts,
There was a time in David's life (when he was 'working for the Philistines') when being not quite Jewish/Israeli might well have been beneficial.

The broad strokes main story about the great grandmother of a youngish man is pretty much within livable memory of the family. There's no reason to require divine help in it's recording/telling or a complex scribing history. Someone asking the king's dad about his (Jesse's) Grandmother, with Jesse reporting what he was told works perfectly adequately.

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Kwesi
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I think it's generally recognised that what constituted the Jewish nation at the time of David was ethnically far more diverse than the impression given in the bible. That David's great grandmother was a Moabite, one suspects, was never a problem in a small region where intermarriage between the various tribes and ethnic groups was common. It is instructive, in this regard, that Rahab (a Philistine) and Ruth (a Moabite), Uriah's wife (Bathsheba, ethnic identity not specified), together with Tamar, are specifically identified, along with Mary in an otherwise male genealogy (Matthew) as forebears of Jesus. It reminds us that the racial purity reflected in Deuteronomy 23:3 is not the only theme in the bible, though often present in a minor key.

Incidentally, I found Jamat's reference to special dispensation for OK Gentiles rather like honorary 'White Status" awarded to foreign blacks for political and sporting purposes.

[ 10. July 2017, 02:52: Message edited by: Mamacita ]

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Jamat
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Deut 23:3 makes it clear that Moab was excluded from the assembly. I do not know why this rule was not enforced in Ru th's case but it is certainly a testimony to the inclusiveness of God. Along with Rahab she is a Gentile ancestor of Jesus making him a more representative figure in his genealogy. Judges was, of course, a time when Torah had been largely neglected.

However, the provision for aliens or non Jews to become part of Israel always existed in Torah. Moses mentions this but it is evident in several places. The main reason for separation was the temptation to idolatry. To remove this was the purpose of the separation. Contextually, the people groups mentioned under God's judgement such as the Amelekites, were in that position because of their bad attitude to Israel. This did not stop individuals from them becoming part of the Lord's people by choice. I was always intrigued by the fact that it was an Egyptian youth who was used to lead David to the Amelekite group that sacked Zigzag and it was an unfortunate Amelekite who brought news to David of Saul's death. He was probably part of Saul's army.

In Ruth's case she eschewed her commitment to Moab by her famous confession 'thy people shall be my people' and by following Naomi.

The clearest evidence of strangers being amongst them from Mosaic times is in Leviticus. An eg is 17.8,10,13. They were welcomed but obviously, only if they conformed to the rules of Israel's God.

[Edited to include scripture links:
Lev. 17:8;
Lev. 10;
Lev. 13
Mamacita, Host]

[ 10. July 2017, 03:12: Message edited by: Mamacita ]

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Lamb Chopped
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It's a patriarchal culture. Duh they cared about the male line, and gave less than a hoot about the female. Otherwise half David's kingly line would have been out on their ears as their recorded mothers were princesses from Egypt, Tyre, what have you. Ruth wouldn't have mattered in their eyes.

(But LC, why did you leave the possibility open before? Because I was trying to be all logical and polite, though the answer was pretty obvious. But now I have an itchy rash, and I don't care anymore.)

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
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Mamacita

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Hey everybody,

When referencing Scripture in your post, it would help all of us if you would include a link to the passage (see URL button below). If it's just a verse or two, posting the verses themselves is fine (bonus points if you use the Quote formatting using the button below).

Taking this extra step will be greatly appreciated by all of us who might not have a Bible to hand while reading the Ship. I know that, with many of us using our phones or tablets, copying links and using the URL button becomes more challenging. But please, do so when you can. Your fellow Kerygmanians will thank you.

Mamacita, Keryg Host

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Mamacita

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PS: Sending LC a virtual bottle of calamine lotion.

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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Lamb Chopped
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Weeps grateful tears [Waterworks]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Net Spinster
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I note that Ezra/Nehemiah make it clear that mothers do matter.

Ezra 9:2 has Ezra being told

quote:
They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness
Ezra 10:3 has the response
quote:
Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law.
Note even the children of these mixed marriages are rejected and there is no mention of the wives being allowed to convert.

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spinner of webs

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Lamb Chopped
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Situation is a bit different, I think--among other things, the kids in question are not being allowed to assimilate even to the point where they speak the language of their Judean fathers. The cultural adaptation in those marriages appeared to be going entirely one way--not so surprising for the newly resettled exiles--and I don't recall (though may be wrong) Nehemiah specifically appealing to any anti-Moabite regulations. In short, I think it's a one-off in an emergency situation (the exiles were in danger of disappearing as a people by being absorbed into the surrounding people groups).

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Gamaliel
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Hopefully without introducing a tangent or getting into numerology, @Jamat, numbers are often a loaded issue in the scriptures, even in the narrative parts - as they often are in ancient literature of any kind.

So, in the instance of the 153 fish there could be more going on than a simple factual statement that there were 153 fish. I've heard various allegories and suggestions for that figure - it was the number of people-groups the early Christians were aware of, it represented some significant figure, etc etc.

However we cut it, the narrative passages in scripture aren't like narrative passages in more modern forms of literature. The same applies to ancient historiography be it Herodotus, Tacitus or Caesar's Gallic Wars.

That doesn't mean they are unhistorical, simply that they're history but not as we know it. As has been said, there are differences between truth and factuality.

'The Bible is true. Some of it actually happened.'

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Jay-Emm
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
It's a patriarchal culture. Duh they cared about the male line, and gave less than a hoot about the female. Otherwise half David's kingly line would have been out on their ears as their recorded mothers were princesses from Egypt, Tyre, what have you. Ruth wouldn't have mattered in their eyes.

(But LC, why did you leave the possibility open before? Because I was trying to be all logical and polite, though the answer was pretty obvious. But now I have an itchy rash, and I don't care anymore.)

[Patriachal, woman blaming mode]
Except it was those evil Moabite whore's who were to be harressed because they were harressing the poor Israeli men with their wiles * (well Deut 23 actually mentions Balaam which is in Numbers 24 is immediately before that bit).
[/Patriachal, woman blaming mode]

Also that Deut passage explicitly gives a 3 generation rule for Egyptions and Edomites (and it's only 10 generations for Moabites.

*language from ESV
[off to work, will post links later, but short version, Israeli men and Moabite/Midianite women sleep together, worship the Lord and Baal together, Phineas kills son, daughter in almost law, and (aiming for belly) targeting any unborn child*, gets commended and moabites evicted]

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Jay-Emm
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Numbers 25 (NRSV which uses less harsh language)

Meanwhile we still have the Q as to what's involved in being in the 'assembly'.

Whatever it is we presume there has to be some 'sub-assembly position' for the intermediary generations, otherwise there'd be no start point (I suppose we could alternative consider the prohibition starting when Moses spoke) and the chucking out of people with 'defects' would need describing.
We don't yet appear to have the 3 outer court structure of the second temple. From the sound I'd guess it would be analogous to entry to the Court of (male) Israel otherwise.
Though Athaaliah 2 Kings 10 goes into the temple (in at least some sense) so it may be that things were codified more afterwards (or that things were a bit slack in her reign).

[Corrected links. Mamacita, Host]

[ 10. July 2017, 17:25: Message edited by: Mamacita ]

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Mamacita

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Jay-Emm, your scripture links both went to Leviticus 17:8, so I've corrected them based on what you indicated. If that isn't what you wanted, PM me and I'll fix it.

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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Sarah G
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Question marks have been raised about the status of Kings in Israel. For reasons I'll come to it is important to appreciate that their status was close to, some would say actually, divine.

In 2 Sam 7:12-14 God adopts the king to be his son. Granted there is a sensus plenior, but the immediate reference is to Solomon. This also is repeated in Psalm 2 where God says to the king “You are my son; today I have become your father”.

In Psalm 89 , David is described as God's 'firstborn'. Very telling is Psalm 45:6-7 in which the king is addressed as “O God” (Elohim).

This continues in Isaiah 9:6-7 in which the king (probably Hezekiah) is proclaimed as “Mighty God (El), Everlasting Father”.

The point should be clear- the king of Israel was far, far more than a king as we understand it. He stands in a unique position with God, as God's son. He also represents Israel (like Andy Murray represents the UK*, but more so). Hence the dual reference to both Israel and the king as God's son.

Clearly there are questions on timing (did this status arrive at the time of Samuel's redactor, source or events?).

However the reasons behind David's reluctance to turn Saul into a kebab become clear- far be it from him to terminate the son of God.

This is all important because it feeds directly into how Jesus should be seen as king of Israel (Christ). In that role, he represented Israel as God's son (also Son).



*I would say 'or as Trump represents the US', but I won't, for obvious reasons.

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BroJames
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I think it is probably important to read the language of "father" and "son" in the light of suzerain/vassal treaties in the Ancient Near East, and not to take the language too literally. There's a very brief account here.

Language like "You are my son, today I have begotten you" (Ps 2.7) is particularly reminiscent of such treaties, and while a sensus plenior reading can apply them differently to Jesus it is important (for various reasons) not to import that understanding back into the OT.

In ancient Israel, as portrayed in the OT, the kings of Israel and/or Judah were always understood to be vassal kings under the overlordship of YHWH. This is one reason why looking to Egypt or to Assyria for protection was seen as so problematic - not just that it showed a lack of trust from a faith perspective, but also that it was seen as a breach of an actual treaty (aka covenant) with God.

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Mamacita

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OK, I admit I had to look it up:

sensus plenior

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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BroJames
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Oops! Sorry I should have linked and/or translated. Thank you for doing so.

The trouble is that the idea of a fuller sense in Scripture known to God, and made plain in the coming of Jesus Christ, but not revealed to the writer of the original text is a bit of a mouthful to put in full, and the literal meaning - something like the "fuller meaning" - doesn't adequately convey the principle by itself, 'sensus plenior' having become the name for the concept and not just a description of it.

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Mamacita

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Not a problem, BroJames (and no intended criticism).

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Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

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Sarah G
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quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:
I think it is probably important to read the language of "father" and "son" in the light of suzerain/vassal treaties in the Ancient Near East, and not to take the language too literally. <snip> This is one reason why looking to Egypt or to Assyria for protection was seen as so problematic - not just that it showed a lack of trust from a faith perspective, but also that it was seen as a breach of an actual treaty (aka covenant) with God.

A fascinating perspective. I, for one, was entirely unaware of this. It does, indeed, explain a lot, and a Hittite style suzerainty agreement is certainly a clear theme in the Old Covenant.

However I think we need to be careful where the father-son thing is concerned. In the Hittite agreements, it is used as a description purely of the power relationship (versus 'brothers'). In the Jewish- God covenant, there is so much more of a normal emotional father-son love relationship involved.

"When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” The word for 'loved' used is definitely emotional

One thinks of the fathers loving reaction in the prodigal son story to his eldest son (Israel).

Jeremiah 31:20 "Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,” declares the Lord.

Exodus 4:22, 23 - the killing of the firstborn son was because Israel was to God as their firstborn son was to the Egyptians.

Finally, it is important to bear in mind that Israel was far more than a protectorate- it was called by God to accomplish his purpose of freeing mankind.

quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:
Oops! Sorry I should have linked and/or translated. Thank you for doing so.

Reading back, I started it. Some explanation is generally a good idea when using foreign language phrases, so mea culpa.
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BroJames
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Yes I agree, I think the father/son metaphor is developed in many different ways, and is a much richer concept than the power/loyalty relationship found in the treaties. It is chiefly in language in which the king is addressed/described as a son of God that it is important to have that usage in mind as a reminder that while a sensus plenior reading might interpret it messianically, it did have a plainer (though still metaphorical) meaning in its original context.
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Sarah G
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It's certainly true that in the 'contract', the king is there to do what he's told, suzerain style.

However it needs to be born in mind that the king was, in a sense, Israel. Hence what is true of Israel could also be said of the king, including some of the nature of the relationship.

Not only does this explain David's reluctance to decorate Saul's sternum with a spear, it explains a frequently ignored aspect of the NT, which can leave people struggling harder with Paul than needs to be the case.

Israel had been charged with sorting out the whole sin/death problem. It had failed, and as Paul points out, that was always going to happen, with Israel getting sucked into the same quicksand.

As Israel's king, Jesus got Israel out of the whole sin problem (Matt 1:21- “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”)

This freed Israel up to complete their vocation to rescue humanity (Genesis 26:4 “and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed”), which Jesus did as Israel's representative, i.e. Israel.

King-Israel-Messiah; three sides of the same coin.

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