Wine v. Wine

In the Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32), Moses says that the vine of Israel grew from a cutting from Sodom’s vine, from the vineyard of Gomorrah. Such vines produce only bitter fruit or worse - venom from dragons ( tanniyn ; vv. 32-33). The image is picked up in Isaiah, who complains about the . . . . Continue Reading »

Seeing God

Deuteronomy and Exodus contradict one another regarding the visibility of God, says Margaret Barker in Temple Mysticism (p. 2). Moses reminds the Israelites, “you heard the sound of words but saw no form” (Deuteronomy 4:12). Exodus 24:10, though, says that Moses and the elders . . . . Continue Reading »


As Moses gives his final instructions to Israel, he reminds them that he will not lead them into the land (Deuteronomy 31:1-3). Instead: a. Yahweh your God will cross ahead of you b. He will destroy those nations before you b’. and you shall dispossess them a’. Joshua is the one who . . . . Continue Reading »

Choice things

“Precious” ( meged ) is used in only two books of the Old Testament. in Deuteronomy 33, it is used five times in Moses’ blessing on Joseph. It is used three times in the Song (4:13, 16; 7:13). In Deuteronomy 33, the adjective is used as a noun four time (“precious . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic Meditation

Deuteronomy 6:7: You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. We don’t worship simply by putting a service on the calendar and showing up. We put the service on the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Lord is Unsplit

The shema is often taken as a declaration of monotheistic faith, or at least of henotheism. In ANE context, it may have another aspect to it. Yitzhaq Feder ( Blood Expiation in Hittite and Biblical Ritual (Writings from the Ancient World Supplements/Society of Biblical Literature) ) analyzes a . . . . Continue Reading »

Hear, my Son

My friend, Ralph Smith, has published several excellent books on the Trinity ( Paradox and Truth: Rethinking Van Til on the Trinity ; Eternal Covenant: How the Trinity Reshapes Covenant Theology ; and Trinity & Reality: An Introduction to the Christian Faith ), and most recently has written a . . . . Continue Reading »

Bad Translations

The NASB renders Deuteronomy 30:9 this way: “Then the Lord your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the Lord will again rejoice over you for good, just as He . . . . Continue Reading »

New Jacob

Genesis ends with Jacob blessing his sons (Genesis 49). Deuteronomy ends with Moses blessing the tribes that have descended from Jaob’s sons (Deuteronomy 33). Moses is a new Jacob, the father of the tribes of Israel as Jacob was the father of the tribal ancestors. As the father of a new . . . . Continue Reading »