14 October 2010

Oct 14

Reference links:
Old Testament

What's of interest today? Let's see if we can find anything.

False prophets are evil and whatnot: Nope

Visions of good and bad figs which represent, respectively, the people taken into exile and those left behind in Jerusalem: Kind of interesting.

Jeremiah scolds the people for not listening to him and idols are bad: Nope

A prediction that "Israel and her neighboring lands will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years": Interesting because it's wrong. According to the internets, the first deportation of Israelites was in 597 BCE and the next (the one which ended the kingship) was 587 BCE. By 538 BCE the forced exile was ended because Darius of Perisa had conquered the Babylonian empire and it was his policy to let people return to their homelands. Thus, the gap between the start of the exile and the end of Israel and the neighboring lands serving the king of Babylon was, depending on how you count, 49 or 59 years. Not 70.

Nations being forced to drink the cup the Lord's anger: Interesting because there is nothing in the text itself (at least in English) to indicate that this is any more symbolic than many passages literalists insist on taking literally. Do they insist on taking this one literally?

God's going to cause misery and destruction: Nothing new.

New Testament

What will happen before Jesus comes? The author of 2 Thessalonians lets us know. A "man of lawlessness" must arise.
He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.
He'll be evil, of course.

This makes me suspect the Pauline origins of this letter. Paul's pretty good at repeating the things he considers important (again and again) . If this were a genuinely Pauline idea, I would expect it to be repeated elsewhere. Either that or Paul considers this a minor idea.

I also discovered when searching for 'Paul antichrist'. That there are apparently a non-trivial number of websites declaring Paul to be the antichrist. I had never encountered that particular train of thought before.

Psalms and Proverbs

Patience and soft speech are good.