Tree Gallows Haman, undone by Mordecai’s refusal to pay him homage, follows the counsel of his friends and wife to build gallows for the Jew. The word in Hebrew for gallows is “tree”; Haman builds a tree to hang Mordecai on. Of course the story reverses the plot, exalting Mordecai to Haman’s position and Haman…

QADESH Another connection to the ‘qadesh’ of the previous post is in 1 Samuel 2 where the sons of Eli are laying with the women who come to the tabernacle to (presumably) worship. The sons of Eli are called ‘sons of Belial’ which is exactly what the men of Gibeah are called in Judges 19….

Visitors in an Evil City There are a number of archtypal narrative “sets” throughout Scripture. The woman at the well and a man looking for a bride and the pharaoh/exodus motif are probably some of the most prominent. Perhaps Judges 19 and Genesis 19 are pieces of another narrative set which culminates in the birth…

A City Without Walls Zechariah 2 is a glorious advent reading, promising the coming of Yahweh to His people. It’s hard to miss the international flavor of the prophecy. It’s not merely that Yahweh is returning to renew His people, but the renewal is going to turn Israel inside out. Jerusalem shall be inhabited as…

John Calvin Marilynne Robinson points out in her introduction to The Death of Adam that John Calvin is regularly condemned, harangued and set forth as ‘religion gone wrong’ in many a university classrom, and yet it is simultaneously the unwritten assumption that it is highly suspect to actually read his writing. He is often labeled…

Pacifism I need to read more of Stanely Hauerwas, but he commonly refers to himself as a “pacifist”. At least one sermon of his indicates that he would apply this even as far as the repudiation of self-defence or defence of a loved one. Christ’s words in the Sermon on the Mount and other passages…