08 May 2010

May 8

Reference links:
Old Testament

What does Wikipedia have to say about our current book? The most interesting bit is that apparently there has been a fair amount of churn in the way this book and the ones following it were divided:
The Books of Samuel (Hebrew: Sefer Sh'muel ספר שמואל‎) are part of the Hebrew Bible. The work was originally written in Hebrew, and the Book(s) of Samuel originally formed a single text, as they are often considered today in Jewish bibles.
Together with what is now referred to as the Book(s) of Kings, the translators who created the Greek Septuagint divided the text into four books, which they named the Books of the Kingdoms. In the Latin Vulgate version, these then became the Books of the Kings, thus 1 and 2 Samuel were referred to as 1 and 2 Kings, with 3 and 4 Kings being what are called 1 and 2 Kings by the King James Bible and its successors.
Which means that I will not be bothering with an introduction for 2 Samuel. Wikipedia also has this to say about authorship,
Traditionally, the authors of the books of Samuel have been held to be Samuel, Gad, and Nathan. Samuel is believed to have penned the first twenty-four chapters of the first book. Gad, the companion of David (1 Sam. 22:5), is believed to have continued the history thus commenced; and Nathan is believed to have completed it, probably arranging the whole in the form in which we now have it (1 Chronicles 29:29).
Modern scholars consider that the text is clearly not the work of men contemporary with the events. Roughly in the order they are believed to have been created historically, the sources used to construct 1 & 2 Samuel are: [list of a bunch of sources]
On to today's reading!

Remember that Eli was the current priest. His two sons failed to live up to the standards they should have been living up to:
Now Eli was very old, but he was aware of what his sons were doing to the people of Israel. He knew, for instance, that his sons were seducing the young women who assisted at the entrance of the Tabernacle.
Eli asks them to stop, but they do not, but the reason for that is peculiar:
But Eli’s sons wouldn’t listen to their father, for the Lord was already planning to put them to death.
Reminds me of Pharaoh.

Eli's family is cursed by God first through an unnamed man of God and then through Samuel. Samuel's version shows the uncertainties of a young prophet.
Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!”
“Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
[this happens a couple more times]
Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed.
[Samuel does this and God speaks of the things he will do to Eli's family]
Samuel stayed in bed until morning, then got up and opened the doors of the Tabernacle as usual. He was afraid to tell Eli what the Lord had said to him. But Eli called out to him, “Samuel, my son.”
“Here I am,” Samuel replied.
“What did the Lord say to you? Tell me everything. And may God strike you and even kill you if you hide anything from me!” So Samuel told Eli everything; he didn’t hold anything back. “It is the Lord’s will,” Eli replied. “Let him do what he thinks best.”
Awww! How cute! =)

The Philistines capture the Ark of the Covenant in a battle. Eli's sons die, Eli dies, and the wife of one of Eli's sons dies. Cheery. So now Samuel and his descendants are marked as the new priests "forever", where, as in the case of Aaron's descendants, "forever" lasts until God changes his mind.

New Testament

John's Jesus just goes on and on and on and on. He is still going on about how listening to and believing in him will give eternal life and how he only executes God's will and how the scriptures all point to him. I get the point. Jesus is claiming that he's all that and a bag of chips.

So if he's so great, why can't he get around to actually saying something to show how great he was. Give an analysis of exactly how some of the scriptures point to him (and no, random quoting of so called prophecies does not cut it). Point out some information that could not have been known by mere mortals at the time of the writing of the Bible (no the temple destruction does not count because it happened before the gospels were written).

Jesus gets annoyed at people who demand signs and proofs from him, but really, if all he is doing is claiming  to be the son of God what distinguishes him from any other person who makes outlandish claims? Nothing! People often claim that if you read the Bible, then you will see its obvious truth of Jesus' claims. What I see is a bunch of hot air and contradictory accounts.

Okay, I guess I was feeling ranty today. =)

Psalms and Proverbs

It looks like we may have another multi-part history review psalm.

The first of today's proverbs is another one where I think that my translation is a bit silly. Even if cancer is a more modern concept than rotting in the bones, it is also a highly technical term and feels out of place in this context.
A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body;
jealousy is like cancer in the bones.
Good point though. Psychological and physical health and closely linked.