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 »

Bridal Camp

Deuteronomy 23:14 warns the Israelite army to maintain a sanitation system in the war camp so that Yahweh, who walks in the midst of the camp, will not find any “thing of nakedness.” The very same phrase appears in Deuteronomy 24:1, but there is describes a “thing of . . . . Continue Reading »

Body, Beast, Ground

If Israel is faithful, Yahweh promises to make her triply fruitful.  Deuteronomy 28:11 uses the word “fruit” three times (bizarrely translated in different ways by the NASB): fruit of the womb, fruit of the beast, fruit of the ground.  Children, animals, plants will all . . . . Continue Reading »

Hear, give ear

Isaiah opens his prophecy with a call to heaven and earth to bear witness as Yahweh presents His case against Israel (1:2).  Heaven is called to “hear” and earth to “give ear,” a testimony of two witnesses. The same words in different combinations are found at the . . . . Continue Reading »

Length and Breadth

The Bible typically provides measures of “length and breadth” when it is talking about holy places and cosmic models.    The ark’s “length and breadth” are recorded (Genesis 6:15), and so is that of the land (Genesis 13:17).  Frequently, this combination . . . . Continue Reading »

Seven nations, seven fruits

Israel enters a land of Canaanites, seven nations of them, stronger than Israel (Deuteronomy 7:1; Acts 13:19).  Taking down seven nations is a sevenfold decreation. But the land also contains seven fruits - wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, honey (Deuteronomy 8:8) - so a new . . . . Continue Reading »

Forged in the furnace

Deuteronomy 4:20 uses an arresting image to describe the exodus: “Yahweh has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession.” The context is crucial.  Yahweh is warning about making graven images (vv. 16-18, 23) and about . . . . Continue Reading »

Post-Colonial Bible

An SBL paper attempts to apply post-colonial theory to the “Deuteronomistic” view of women as de-humanized sexualized temptresses. He of course places Deuteronomistic history late, and thus itself “post-colonial,” and he conveniently claims that any contrary evidence in . . . . Continue Reading »

Cursed joylessness

Yahweh curses Israel for breaking covenant. More specifically, Israel will become a sign and wonder to the nations “because you did not serve Yahweh your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things” (Deuteronomy 28:47). What satisfies God is not just obedience, but . . . . Continue Reading »