Month: October 2014

How does Jezebel acquire so much power?

While reading in 1 Kings I was surprised when I got to chapter 21. The story of Naboth, Jezebel, and Ahab. I found the story particularly interesting because in this story the women, Jezebel, was the biggest instigator of the sins against Israel.It was here we begin to see how much power she really has. When Naboth originally told Ahab “no”, Ahab simply sulked,  he didn’t plot to kill Naboth.. It was Jezebel who was determined to use her husbands power to get whatever she wanted. Jezebel was the one who had Naboth, an honest man, stoned to death. Not only having a women be so important to a story but for a women to have so much power in these in times is rare. (http://www.thywordistruth.com).That is why I wanted to further look into how Jezebel had so much power.

Even in today’s socitey women are not seen as powerful as men; however, Jezebel seemed to have more power than anyone at the time. She is able to turn Ahab away from Yahweh and is determined to wipe out Yahweh’s followers. “In fact, the threat of Jezebel is so great, the  prophet Elijah summons the acolytes of Jezebel to a tournament on Mt. Carmel to determine which deity is supreme: God or Baal” (http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org)

Yet even after Elijah won, she still threatened him into hiding. Elijah went into depression from the tragic fall of his life because of this queen.

Looking further into the subject I found that “Jezebel came from Phoenicia, where her father was an absolute monarch. She assumed a king had absolute power and could rule as he wished. This was opposed to the Israelite ideal of a king who ruled under the guidance of Yahweh and Yahweh’s priests.” (http://www.womeninthebible.net). This simply means Jezebel had so much power because she assumed she did, and did as she pleased.

Ahab did not help the situation because instead of stopping her, he let her do whatever she pleased. Ahab allowed her to singlehandedly bring Israel into sin by letting her spread her ideals. (http://phoenicia.org/jezebel.html)

Today we can look at Ahab and not understand the power he gave to Jezebel. However, in today’s society people are bending to the will of others they care about. I think that is why Yahweh redeemed Ahab, because he was being negatively influenced. He knew Ahab’s true intentions and could see that Jezebel was just manipulating him. Although he failed the test, Yahweh redeemed him when Ahab repented. (http://www.justlikehim.com)

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Psalm 30

Psalm 30

30 I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
    and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you have healed me.
O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
    you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.[a]

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
    and give thanks to his holy name.[b]
For his anger is but for a moment,
    and his favor is for a lifetime.[c]
Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.

As for me, I said in my prosperity,
    “I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O Lord,
    you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
    I was dismayed.

To you, O Lord, I cry,
    and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
“What profit is there in my death,[d]
    if I go down to the pit?[e]
Will the dust praise you?
    Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
    O Lord, be my helper!”

11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    you have loosed my sackcloth
    and clothed me with gladness,
12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
    O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

This week I choose Psalm 30. It is a Psalm of David, dedicated at the temple to Yahweh. This poem is a praise to Yahweh for saving him from an illness. Although no previous books mention an illness of David and therefore we don’t the exact history of this Psalm; it is important to recognize that David is giving praise for the good works Yahweh has done in his life.

The basic summery of this psalm is that; after Yahweh saved him from the illness he calls for others to praise Yahweh, then praises God for his deliverance. Since this poem is a testimonial, exalts God, and places all attention on God; it is considered a Psalm of Praise. More specifically it is a “thanksgiving” or “Todah Psalm”.This Psalm follows the body of the Todah which includes the testimony, the experience, and a overall tone of joy. (http://www.crivoice.org/psalmgenre.html)

This poem is filled with many different poetic devices. The first one I noticed was that in verse 9. Verse 9 is filled with rhetorical questions. He is asking rhetorically what will be the purpose of his life if it ends, this also means that he is praising Yahweh for saving his life and will continue to give Yahweh praise.

Verse 11 uses imagery to help us better understand the joy that David is feeling. He is so filled with joy he goes from mourning to dancing. He says he is so happy that the only thing clothing him is gladness. Now it is not realistic to think of David dancing around naked in joy. That is why this imagery is so powerful.

This psalm is also full of synonymous parallelism.Throughout the poem he repeats his thankfullness, faithfulness, joy, priase, and glory. All from the same reason of his being saved from illness. He is thankful through out the whole poem and shows it through parallelism.

Why is the Ark of the Covenate captured?

Of all the captivating stories of 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel, I found one in particular most fascinating. When the Philistines took the Ark of the Covenant.

This surprised me for various reasons. First off, Israel was losing the battle against the Philistines. I was annoyed that new generation of Israelites had fallen of glory, again, which made Yahweh allow them to be defeated. Then when the Isrealites tried to win the battle by bringing the Ark of the Covenant, they were still defeated. Not only were they defeated but the Ark was taken as a war trophy. My biggest issue with this is that after everything they had been through: the detailed instructions, the building, the sacrificing, carrying it through the wilderness, Yahweh allowed his sacred place be captured.

1Samuel 4 : Philistines <b>captured</b> the <b>Ark of the Covenant</b>; Eli dies.

My first instinct is to follow the pattern that the books previously had and assume it was some type of lesson. However, all it did was bring curses upon the lands where it transported. The Israelites learned nothing from this lesson.

Shiloh goes extinct

So why did Yahweh allow the Ark of the Covenant to be captured?

The Philistines win the battle and capture the Ark of the Covenant.

After further looking into the reasoning for Yahweh taking something where He dwelled, I found that it actually could be considered an lesson for the Isrealities. One of Yahwehs commands was to not worship idols.  By bringing out the Ark only when they felt they were loosing was like bringing out a good luck charm. This was not how Yahweh intended for the Ark to work. Therefore, by taking it away, they were learning that Yahweh was serious about his commands. (http://enduringword.com)

“Another reason Yahweh might Yahweh allowed the Ark of the Covenant to be seized so its powers could be made manifest to the Philistines, a Gentile nation, and to Israel. In other words, the Ark being subject to Philistine captivity typifies mankind’s souls being subject to evil spirits’ negativity.” http://www.plim.org/arkofcovenant.html.

After the ark was captured Eli’s two sons died and Eli died from hearing that. Once the “glory” had left Israel the people were being judged by Samuel. (http://www.bibleexplained.com). This means that the Ark was still cherished by the Israelites even though it was gone. This shows us the Israelites once more have remorse for falling back into old patterns.

. The Philistines return the <b>Ark</b> to the Israelites after <b>capturing</b> ...