Structure in 2 Kings 16

2 Kings 16 is organized chiastically: 1. Formulaic introduction, 16:1-4 2. Threat to Jerusalem, and bribe of Tiglath-pileser, 16:5-9 3. State visit to Damascus, 16:10-11 (altar) 4. Ahaz ministers at the altar, 16:12-14 3’. Continuing worship at the altar, 16:15-16 2’. Tribute to . . . . Continue Reading »

Faithfulness to Israel

Through much of Kings, the parallel of North and South has been deigned to emphasize the South’s apostasy. When the South becomes a mirror-image of the idolatrous North, it’s a sign of Judah’s doom. Here, the mirroring goes the other way: Yahweh’s faithfulness to . . . . Continue Reading »

Antony and Aeneas

Shakespeare’s Antony is an Aeneas who refuses to act piously by leaving his Dido and moving on to found Rome. Hence, in pursuit of Cleopatra he leaves Empire to Octavius, and Aeneas is split between the two of them. But Antony is also an Aeneas who will never be separated from his Dido, who . . . . Continue Reading »

Perpetual War

According to Deuteronomy 20, any man who had built a house, planted a vineyard, or married a wife without enjoying their benefits and joys was excused from military service. While it was certainly possible for a 20-year-old Israelite to be unmarried and propertyless, it would seem that the military . . . . Continue Reading »

Of Kline and Kings

In his book on the Deuteronomistic history, Terence Fretheim notes the marked differences between God’s dealings with Israel and the expectations suggested by suzereignty treaties: “the historian makes it abundantly clear that God is not bound to react to the people in some schematic or . . . . Continue Reading »

Parabolic history

Jesus comes telling parables, so that seeing they might not see and hearing they might not understand. Yahweh does the same in Kings; He tells and enacts parables that are understood only by those who have received the wisdom that comes from God. It is, as with Jesus and Paul, a wisdom that runs . . . . Continue Reading »

Wedding Sermon

So far as Scripture is concerned, the marriage of Adam and Eve was the first, and the last, nude wedding. As soon as Adam sinned, he and Eve made aprons, and later the Lord replaced those with animal skins. Clothing is mercy, hiding the shame of sin. But clothing is also a judgment that . . . . Continue Reading »

Lot Complex

Once he points it out, you see it everywhere. In Lot’s Daughters , Robert Polhemus analyzes the Lot Complex, a mirror-image of the Oedipal Complex and nearly as universal in Western cultural imagination. He traces the interpretation of the story of Lot and his daughters from Genesis to the . . . . Continue Reading »

Triune trust

Trust in any circumstances is a paradox. On the one hand, trust requires intimacy. We grow in trust by sharing things with a trusted friend that we would not with others. Trust demands that protective veil be drawn between those allowed “inside” and those kept “outside.” Yet . . . . Continue Reading »