Parables & Dark Sayings

Psalm 78 calls Israel to hear a “parable” (mashal) and a “dark saying” (cheedah) (cf. Ps. 49). Proverbs opens introducing wisdom that will give the simple tools to understand the “parable” and the “dark saying.” So what are “parables” and “dark sayings” anyway? Though not exhaustive definitions, the first uses of these words in the…

Laughter, Holy War, and Israel’s True King

Luke describes Zacharias and Elizabeth echoing several OT stories. First, they are obviously an Abraham and Sarah. They walk in the commandments and ordinances of the Lord “blameless” (1:6, cf. Gen. 17:1). And Elizabeth, like Sarah, is barren. This means John the Baptizer is an Isaac, and perhaps Zacharias’ speechlessness underlines this. Zacharias cannot talk,…

SHAQAT

The Hebrew verb “SHAQAT” is rather fascinating. It makes it’s OT debut in Genesis 6 describing the earth which has become corrupt (Gen. 6:11-12). And then God immediately uses it to describe what He is going to do to the world. He’s going to “destroy” all flesh (6:13, 17). And eventually, He vows never to…

Free Spirited Levites and the Conquest

In the book of Judges, the overwhelming unfaithfulness of Israel is on display along with the long suffering mercy and faithfulness of God. Israel’s unfaithfulness is evidenced by the blatant idolatries and anarchic behavior (e.g. “there was no king in Israel and every man did what was right in his own eyes”). But this is…