A Biblical Allusion: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is known as Walt Disney’s first animated princess. (1937) But, is there a deeper meaning behind it? (Warning Spoiler Alert)

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The story of Snow White is one that is very well known. Being one of the oldest Disney characters, she is a household name. But, just incase you are not familiar, here is a quick brief: Snow White is a fourteen year old girl who is basically orphaned. Her father remarried and then passed away. Snow White is stuck with her stepmother, who is evil and then she runs way, lives with seven men, gets tricked into eating an apple, dies, and is brought back to life by true loves kiss. Wow, crazy story, right? But, Disney and The Grimm Fairy tales are not solely responsible for this production. The Bible plays a huge role in the making of this film.

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How could the Bible possibly influence a Disney Master piece?

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:6

Snow White can be seen as Eve, the evil queen as Satan, the forbidden fruit as an apple, The Seven Dwarfs as angles and  Prince Charming as God.

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Snow White and Eve do share some common characteristics. Snow White is a young naive girl. Even though we are not sure of the exact age of Eve, we can see that she is also naive. They are both easily gullible. Eve knew better than to take the fruit from the serpent, but she did anyways. I guess that is what started the “no talking to strangers rule”. By taking the fruit, she changed the world she lived in as she knew it. Snow White on the other hand, does a act in the movie by Walt Disney. Snow White takes the cursed fruit from a very suspicious, and ugly, witch. Knowing it was against her better judgement, she bit into it and her world changed. They both let their carelessness get the best of them. The act that they did caused them their lives in one way or another.

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The evil queen, who does not have a name, can be seen as Satan/serpent. We know from reading Genesis that Satan is jealous and conniving. He will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants. Satan is the antagonist of all antagonists. If you see a villain, he will more than likely have a Satan quality. Well, Disney wanted to make sure that they put in as many hidden qualities as possible. The evil queen, who is also known as Snow White’s stepmother, carries many Satan like qualities. She is evil (obviously), vain, and persistent. The evil queen has a mirror that feeds her vanity. The Mirror tells her religiously that she is “the fairest of them all”. Until Snow White, that is. Satan is banished from Heaven for a few of the qualities the queen has. We know Satan sees himself as the mightiest of them all, but if he is so confident, then why did he feel so inferior? The same question can apply to the queen. They both present a naive girl a piece of fruit. Even though their overall motives may very, they still have some similar qualities.

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The symbol of the “forbidden fruit” has adapted the look of an apple, so it is no secret why Disney chose an apple to kill Snow White. The apple is symbolic in itself. It is almost engraved in our minds that Satan gave Eve an apple. Each piece of fruit caused a dramatic change. In the Garden of Eden, it brought sin to man. In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it brought death. They both bring a form of evil that can only be saved by a higher power. The destruction that the fruit brings is unlike any other. How can something so small bring such destruction? Eve and Snow White do not help the female race out in trying to defend ourselves. If anything, they make us look dumb. But, that is alright, we get great morals out of the stories, right?…..

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The Seven Dwarfs, Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey can be seen as Snow Whites guardian angles. Even though this is not a direct reference to Genesis like the other comparisons, it is still feasible. Also, I do not think it is a coincidence that  there are seven of them. The number seven is all throughout the bible. The dwarfs help Snow White in any way that they can. They save her and try to keep her as safe as possible. They play the role of what Christians believe their “guardian angles” play.

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Last, but not least, Snow White’s Prince Charming can be seen as God. Charming is her overall savior from the wickedness of the queen. God is the overall savior of Eve, even though she disobeyed him. Charming brings Snow White back to life by a kiss and God brings Eve “back to life” (by that I mean, giving her another chance when he should have killed her) by forgiveness (with some consequences involved). They are both protagonists and are considered saviors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lWiUajy-xo

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There are many references to Genesis in today’s society. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a very close recreation of the oldest story of all time. Even though they do not follow along the same plot, you see a lot of similar characteristics present in both. They have a great moral meaning behind them for any religion or race. The allusion Walt Disney gives to the Bible in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is excellent and presented to the audience very well, as a modern day eve, without the snake.

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Job 28: Can you mine wisdom?

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It is fairly easy to see that Job 28 is talking about wisdom, but what exactly does it mean? Is there a point to this ode from Job? Or is it just for lyrical pleasure to the readers?

Well, like everything else that is in the Old Testament, the writers are wanting future Hebrews to know how to live, what to avoid, and how to find peace.  This is a very lyrical poem, or ode, that not only delivers the meaning the writer wants to make known, but also carries many elements of symbolism. Job 28 has 28 verses within it. I am going to break them up into segments so all the elements within the poem is touched, along with it’s significant meaning/s.

“Surely there is a mine for silver,
    and a place for gold that they refine.
Iron is taken out of the earth,
    and copper is smelted from the ore.
Man puts an end to darkness
    and searches out to the farthest limit
    the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
He opens shafts in a valley away from where anyone lives;
    they are forgotten by travelers;
    they hang in the air, far away from mankind; they swing to and fro.
As for the earth, out of it comes bread,
    but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
Its stones are the place of sapphires,
    and it has dust of gold.

An article by Adam Clarke, http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/cmt/clarke/job028.htm , states that:

This chapter is the oldest and finest piece of natural history in the world, and gives us very important information on several curious subjects; and could we ascertain the precise meaning of all the original words, we might, most probably, find out allusions to several useful arts which we are apt to think are of modern, or comparatively modern, invention. The word מוצא motsa, which we here translate vein, signifies literally, a going out; i.e., a mine, or place dug in the earth, whence the silver ore is extracted. And this ore lies generally in veins or loads, running in certain directions.”

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So, this poem is can be archaeologically used as well as being used for “good” morals. By good morals, I mean the way the Hebrew people saw fit to live. At the time this was written, I am sure they did not think of how the descriptiveness of the beginning of this chapter could be used thousands of years in the future to better understand their life style, the natural elements that were present, and the means they went to to distribute it.

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The beginning of the verses talk about natural elements that every man uses and finds useful. Then, verse 3 depicts a state of darkness. This can be translated in many ways, but the outside looking in on the poem is talking about a miner and all the traveling he has to do in darkness searching for the light he desires. However, it could also depict sin in mans life. The only way to get fully out of the darkness that is sin, is too find the wisdom through God to know the bad in the world.  These verses carry a lot of imagery. The imagery given to us in verse 5 talks about the molding of fire. Bread cannot be made without fire to heat it and make it rise. The fire from God makes a person rise, according to the writer. According to  http://biblehub.com/job/28-6.htm ,

“6. Sapphires are found in alluvial soil near rocks and embedded in gneiss. The ancients distinguished two kinds: 1. The real, of transparent blue: 2. That improperly so called, opaque, with gold spots; that is, lapis lazuli. To the latter, looking like gold dust, Umbreit refers “dust of gold.” English Version better, “The stones of the earth are, &c., and the clods of it (Vulgate) are gold”; the parallel clauses are thus neater.”

This passage is using a metaphor, but also giving us a incite to how much they actually knew about science and the earth’s makeup. These verses are also insinuating that a miner is man, and the jewels he seek is wisdom.

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“That path no bird of prey knows,
    and the falcon’s eye has not seen it.
The proud beasts have not trodden it;
    the lion has not passed over it.

“Man puts his hand to the flinty rock
    and overturns mountains by the roots.
10 He cuts out channels in the rocks,
    and his eye sees every precious thing.
11 He dams up the streams so that they do not trickle,
    and the thing that is hidden he brings out to light.

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Verses 7-11 begin to depict the power that they see within God. It is still referring to the miner’s as men. The path it is talking about in verses 7-8 are talking about the paths in a mine tunnel. According to an article by Albert Barnes, http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/cmt/barnes/job028.htm :

“The object of Job is to show the wisdom and the intrepidity of man in penetrating these dark regions in searching for sapphires and gold. The most far-sighted birds could not find their way to them. The most intrepid and fearless beasts of prey dared not adventure to those dangerous regions.”

The most feared warriors and kings could not harm someone on the path to God’s wisdom. They are hidden from all evil if they follow him. That is the metaphor that they are trying to make present within these verses. Verse 9 talks about cutting through flint. Flint is a very hard object to cut through, but he did it. It did not stand in his way because he had the wisdom of God.

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Verse 11 is talking about how sometimes rivers in mines will break through when a person is mining, according to Albert Barnes, http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/cmt/barnes/job028.htm as well. The minor also uncovers the most beautiful jewels that are underneath the earth and brings them into the light. This could swap up our metaphor to show that God is the miner and men are the jewels and only through God can a man be brought to light, only through His wisdom.

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“But where shall wisdom be found?
    And where is the place of understanding?
13 Man does not know its worth,
    and it is not found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
    and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
15 It cannot be bought for gold,
    and silver cannot be weighed as its price.
16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
    in precious onyx or sapphire.
17 Gold and glass cannot equal it,
    nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal;
    the price of wisdom is above pearls.
19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
    nor can it be valued in pure gold.

Verses 12-19 start to decipher where wisdom can be found. According to Jim Perdue, http://www.christianindex.org/1755.article , verse 12 is saying wisdom cannot be bought nor found. Now all of the mining references are starting to fit in. Wisdom is not easily attainable like jewels, gold, or metals. Wisdom is a gift that can only come from God. So, I wonder how dumb the Hebrews see the Egyptians for example?

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13-19 talk about how hard it is to obtain wisdom. No price can be put on wisdom. It has no worth. 14 is foreshadowing 18 when it is talking about pearls. You cannot find it in a natural resource, because it is a supernatural gift. It is not to be taken form the living, nor is it to be taken from the land. A man cannot buy wisdom with all the gold or jewels in the world. The rarest and hardest to mine jewels and gold cannot come close to the value of having wisdom.

“From where, then, does wisdom come?
    And where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living
    and concealed from the birds of the air.
22 Abaddon and Death say,
    ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’

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Verses 20-22 ask the questions we have been waiting on. Where does it come from? If you cannot see it in the depths of a cave, where all the beautiful things of the world are hidden, or in the sky with a birds eye view, where is it? According to Matthew Henry, http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=18&c=28 :

“There is a two-fold wisdom; one hid in God, which is secret, and belongs not to us; the other made known by him, and revealed to man. One day’s events, and one man’s affairs, have such reference to, and so hang one upon another, that He only, to whom all is open, and who sees the whole at one view, can rightly judge of every part. But the knowledge of God’s revealed will is within our reach, and will do us good. Let man look upon this as his wisdom, To fear the Lord, and to depart from evil.”

Even though this is from a Christianity perspective, he makes a great point to what exactly the writer is wanting to get across. In verse 22, the term “Abaddon” in Hebrew means destruction, place of destruction, or the depths of hell. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Abaddon . Verse 22 can be quite confusing. According to the Pulpit commentary from http://biblehub.com/job/28-22.htm :

Verse 22.Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears. “Death and destruction” seem to represent the inhabitants of Sheol – the world of the departed. Job personifies them, and represents them as saying, that in their gloomy and remote abode (Job 10:21, 22) they have heard some dim rumour, some vague report, of the “place” of wisdom and understanding, the nature of which, however, they do not communicate to him. His idea seems to be that their knowledge on the subject does not much transcend the knowledge of living men, whom he regards as profoundly ignorant with respect to it.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p8BCsrrpVE

So, death and Abaddon personify a person, or Satan. They are showing human like characteristics of hearing and somewhat speaking through the poem.

“God understands the way to it,
    and he knows its place.
24 For he looks to the ends of the earth
    and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he gave to the wind its weight
    and apportioned the waters by measure,
26 when he made a decree for the rain
    and a way for the lightning of the thunder,
27 then he saw it and declared it;
    he established it, and searched it out.
28 And he said to man,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
    and to turn away from evil is understanding.”

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The ending verses of chapter 28:23-28 sum up the question of wisdom. 23-24 shows us that God sees and hears everything according to the author. Since he sees everything, he knows where wisdom is at. Verses 25-27 show how God made even the most difficult things have meaning and purpose. The imagery of actually giving weight to something as light as the wind is only something the Hebrew God could preform. He can do and give the impossible, according to the writer. He can give man an impossible thing like wisdom, just as he did the weight to wind, but they have to seek him for it. According to Albert Barnes, http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/cmt/barnes/job028.htm :

“The meaning here is, that real wisdom is connected with a proper veneration for God, and with submission to him. We cannot understand his ways. Science cannot conduct us up to a full explanation of his government, nor can the most profound investigations disclose all that we would wish to know about God. In these circumstances, true wisdom is found in humble piety; in reverence for the name and perfections of God; in that veneration which leads us to adore him, and to believe that he is right, though clouds and darkness are round about him. To this conclusion Job, in all his perplexities, comes, and here his mind finds rest.”

So, according to Job and the writer of this, wisdom can only be obtained through the Hebrew God. They want their people to keep from making past mistakes. If they all seek wisdom from the same source, they will all be less likely to have to face the wrath of Yahweh.

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1 Kings 21: What is the price of greed?

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In 1 Kings 21, we see how deceiving some Bible characters can actually be. Jezebel, the feme fatal of the Bible, shows how manipulative she can be. However, this story started out quite innocent. Ahab wanted to purchase a vineyard, that was beside the palace, from Naboth. Naboth refused to sell it because it was his birthright. Ahab cried like a baby and Jezebel had Naboth killed and Ahab takes over the vineyard. All for a vegetable garden…….

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So, what is the significance of this story? Lets start at the beginning. According to http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/1121.htm , the ancient Israelites cherished their land.

“They believed that the land was an inheritance from God, parceled out to individual tribes and families according to His will. Therefore land was never really sold, only leased – and that only under the most dire circumstances. Real Estate offices in ancient Israel didn’t do very good business.”

So, this makes sense why Naboth would not sell his land. Ahab probably just wanted it for his convenience, I mean, it was right beside him. However, this does not explain the temper tantrum he pitched. He was even refusing food. What kind of grown man refuses food? He was the king of Samaria, he could have had anything to eat he wanted.

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Jezebel sees how her manly husband is reacting, so she decides to fix it. According to http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/view.cgi?book=1ki&chapter=021 , Jezebel shows a side of evil no man really shows in the Bible. Perhaps, the writer shows her portraying this form of sin to give women readers a model not to go by. Looking back to the earlier chapters of the Old Testament, we see heroic women characters. However, Jezebel gives a different side to the woman figure.  Not only is she deceitful, but she is smart as well, but not smart enough to think the vengeful God of the Old Testament will let her get away with her actions.

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She steals the kings seal to write a letter basically  saying Naboth should be killed and uses Ahab’s seal.1-kings-graphic

Also, according to http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/view.cgi?book=1ki&chapter=021 she uses Ahab’s name as if he is writing it himself. It states that she does this knowing it could back fire, but pleasing him is worth it in the end. According to https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=607 ,“The story of Naboth’s vineyard, recorded in 1 Kings 21, can perhaps be read and interpreted as the ultimate trespass by Ahab against God’s admonition to (and the Deuteronomistic Historian’s judgment of) the kings of ancient Israel to be fully faithful to Yahweh alone. Before the “Naboth incident,” Ahab’s acts of faithlessness involved other gods and the prophet whom Yahweh sent to keep Ahab in line.” 

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Jezebel needed an out. According to http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/1121.htm , “The idea was that some evil or calamity came upon Israel, and a scapegoat had to be found for the evil. Jezebel intended that Naboth be revealed as the scapegoat.” She found a way to get rid of him and she did. Since Jezebel made false accusations against Naboth, it caused him his life. Her evil is shown all throughout Kings, and it is a “miracle” God let her live as long as he did. The writers are wanting the grace that God has to be shown to the readers. No matter how evil you are, there is always some form of redemption God can give. However, he can easily take it away, which has been shown all throughout the Old Testament.

Also, something very interesting is the foreshadowing in this chapter. According to http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/1121.htm , “Naboth has blasphemed God and the king! Jesus was charged with similar crimes, accused of offending both God and Caesar. Naboth, just like Jesus, was completely innocent of such accusations and was murdered without cause. The stoning of Naboth over a piece of land for a vegetable garden shows the brutal and amoral character of Jezebel and Ahab.” This shows just how in aligned the Bible is. The writers had no clue about Jesus and yet, there are examples of foreshadowing all throughout the Old Testament.

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When Elijah comes it all changes. By now, we know that Elijah and Ahab are enemies.

Ahab said to Elijah, “Have yo found me, O my enemy?” He answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in sight of the Lord” 1 Kings 21:20

This absolutely terrifies Ahab, because Elijah tells him how it is going to be. he threatens that his lineage will be completely cut off.( We know how important that is in ancient times.) When he talks about dogs licking up his blood just like they did Naboth and they will also eat Jezebel, he completely surrenders to God. In chapter 21, God allows Ahab and Jezebel to live, because of the redemption Ahab showed, but God’s kindness towards them is not permanent. The prophecy of their death is not fully fulfilled like he says it is going to be, but not fully unfulfilled either. They do both eventually die, and Canis lupus familiaris’  do lick up Ahab’s blood, but it is in a different town. How pleasant.

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One of the big questions about this chapter is why does this all occur? Is it building up to their deaths? Or is it a lesson in disguise? I think, like all things in the Bible, it is a lesson for the future readers. Maybe it is a lesson for men how to act and how not to act. Jezebel kind of portrays Satan in her deceptiveness. She slides in like he does in the Garden of Eden.jezebel-1

The story could also show who to trust and who not to trust. Selfeshness does not get a person far, and I think that is one of the main points the writer is trying to make. Ahab had everything at the tip of his fingers, except respect. If he would of respected God’s wishes for Naboth’s land, their might have been a different outcome. Moral of the chapter, respect God’s wishes, so dogs will not lick up your blood.

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So many lessons could be pulled from 1 Kings 21, but the main one is probably: If you do not get your way, don’t go jump on your bed, pitch a fit, and refuse food. That is just not healthy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNbspRcPSgs

Psalm 40: A Psalm of David

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I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
    out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
    making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
    and put their trust in the Lord.

Blessed is the man who makes
    the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
    to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
    your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
    none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
    yet they are more than can be told.

In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
    but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
    you have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
    in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
I delight to do your will, O my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

I have told the glad news of deliverance
    in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
    as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
    I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
    from the great congregation.

11 As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain
    your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and your faithfulness will
    ever preserve me!
12 For evils have encompassed me
    beyond number;
my iniquities have overtaken me,
    and I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head;
    my heart fails me.

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me!
    O Lord, make haste to help me!
14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether
    who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
    who delight in my hurt!
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame
    who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”

16 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
    say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
17 As for me, I am poor and needy,
    but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    do not delay, O my God!

PSALM 40 BROKEN DOWN

Psalm is one of the most referred to books in the Bible. However, people usually take parts of verses without seeing the big picture. This is a break down of Psalm 40, on of the most quoted chapters in Psalm, to see what is actually being talked about and what message the writer is actually trying to get across.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
    out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
    making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
    and put their trust in the Lord.

Verses one through three depicts the personal struggles that David had to endure, but God always saw him through it. This could be referring to the book of 2 Samuel when he strayed from his morals and self control. According to http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=19&c=40 it is the redemption of God. The Hebrews were wanting to share David’s redemption, so the future readers will know God helps them through anything.

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David wants his people to know that their God not only hears prayers, but answers them as well. The pit of destruction, verse two, could be looked at how he was self destruction his self and only God could bring him out, no earthly comforts. According too https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mhc/Psa/Psa_040.cfm , we see a form of  “religious melancholy” in this part of Psalm.

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He silenced his fears, and stilled the tumult of his spirits, and gave him a settled peace of conscience (v. 2): “He brought me up out of that horrible pit of despondency and despair, scattered the clouds, and shone brightly upon my soul, with the assurances of his favour; and not only so, but set my feet upon a rock and established my goings.’ Those that have been under the prevalency of a religious melancholy, and by the grace of God have been relieved, may apply this very feelingly to themselves; they are brought up out of a horrible pit. “

Blessed is the man who makes
    the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
    to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
    your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
    none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
    yet they are more than can be told.

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Verses four through five talk about how God is generous towards his followers, even if they are unworthy. It also is talking about how God is always looking out for his people. David knows that God is hears him and wants the future followers to know that as well. David is praising God because, he receives more than what was promised. He will tell his people of all the wonderful things that God has bestowed upon him, but God has done numerous things. So, there is no way David can tell all the blessings he has received, except through this poem. Also, the ending of verse four can be referring to Biblical false gods.

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In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
    but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
    you have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
    in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
I delight to do your will, O my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

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Verses six through eight I found a little bit more interesting.  Verse six could be a form of foreshadowing for Jesus. This could be after Jesus died how the people no longer had to give sacrifices. According to, http://www.spurgeon.org/treasury/ps040.htm , David sees it a great honor to have his name written and mentioned in “the great book of life.” Verse eight is talking about how pleasing God is rewarding within itself.

I have told the glad news of deliverance
    in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
    as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
    I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
    from the great congregation.

11 As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain
    your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and your faithfulness will
    ever preserve me!
12 For evils have encompassed me
    beyond number;
my iniquities have overtaken me,
    and I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head;
    my heart fails me.

Verses nine through twelve depict several different elements. In verse nine, David is over joyed with the news he spreaded for the God. The bottom part of this verse, “behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.”, is talking  about how nothing could keep him from spreading God’s messages, promises, and laws.

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In verse ten, we how David did not keep God to himself in a selfish way. David told all he could what God put hon his heart, he did not let greed overcome him. In verses eleven through twelve, we see some artistic patterns. This poem has not had a rhyme scheme in the English translation, but it more than likely did in its original Hebrew from. However, with the multiple use of “me” at the ends of these verses, it is easy to assume that the Hebrew translation did have a rhyme in its original state.

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Verse eleven is talking about how God never let him down and his unfailing love will always be with him and he knows that Heaven awaits him. Verse twelve talks about sin. The “evils”, sin, have hit him in numerous ways They have taken him over. He has sinned more times than there is hair on his head, and doing wrong has caused him to have a heavy heart. David is wanting the future readers to know, assuming this was actually written by David, that sin can and will drag you down, but with God, you can make it through hard times.

 13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me!
    O Lord, make haste to help me!
14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether
    who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
    who delight in my hurt!
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame
    who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”

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Verses thirteen through fifteen talk about redemption from sin. In verse thirteen, we see David crying out to God for redemption for his sins. He can not bare a heavy heart any longer, so he wants God to hurry. Verse fourteen, according to http://www.spurgeon.org/treasury/ps040.htm , can be read as a “prophecy or a prayer”. The point is, whoever goes against David and God’s chosen people will be prosecuted. Verse fifteen shows how words can be harmful. “Aha, Aha” is like a mockery and if you say that to David, it is like you are saying it to God since David does the work of God.

16 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
    say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
17 As for me, I am poor and needy,
    but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    do not delay, O my God!

Verses sixteen and seventeen conclude chapter forty. Verse sixteen can be seen has a prayer by David for the readers of this text. David wants people to know how great God is and all who see his power will rejoice by saying his name. In verse seventeen, David want people to see the state he was and is in and to know that God never gave up on him. Since David was a powerful leader, seeing him say he is poor and needy is talking talking about wealth, but his spiritual nature. He can not get enough of God.

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Psalm 40 was an enjoyable read. David wants the Hebrews to know that, the less they think of themselves, the more that they will trust God and the more he can do for them.

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1 Samuel 25: Why Abigail?

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There are many things that are within 1 Samuel. The information is confined and in an order that is understandable. However, why was chapter 25 included by the author? Does it have a significant meaning other than David falling in love? Could it apply to us in today’s society as well? What does it mean that Nabal’s “heart heart dies within him, and he became as stone”? I plan to clarify  these questions in this blog.

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This chapter starts out as very clear. We find out really quickly that Nabal is more than likely bipolar. We also find out that Abigail is “discerning and beautiful.” The Bible, according to, http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/0925.htm, only calls two other women, Rachel and Ester, wise and beautiful. Being considered a wise woman in the Old Testament is defiantly something to be proud of.

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According to http://www.sheknows.com/baby-names/name/abigail , the name Abigail in Hebrew means “The name Abigail is a Biblical baby name. In Biblical the meaning of the name Abigail is:The father’s joy.” Since this chapter in 1 Samuel shows us she is aware of God’s presence with David, “Father’s Joy” could be referring to the Hebrew’s father, God.

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Now, back to the “harsh and badly behaved” man we know as, Nabal. According to, http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/nabal/ , Nabal means “foolish” in Hebrew. Chapter 25 shows us how foolish he can be. The ancient Hebrew’s often reffered to how a person acts by certain names. So, if you are ever called a “Nabal”, I would take some sort of offense to it. http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/0925.htm . According to, http://www.behindthename.com/name/david , the Hebrew meaning of David is, “beloved”.

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So, why is chapter 25 necessary? Well, I am sure there is a plethora of reasons why this chapter is included. However, knowing some of the ancient Hebrew background, one can determine it is to see how NOT to act. According to an article by Matthew Henry, http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?b=9&c=25&com=mhc :

“We should not have heard of Nabal, if nothing had passed between him and David. Observe his name, Nabal, “A fool;” so it signifies. Riches make men look great in the eye of the world; but to one that takes right views, Nabal looked very mean. He had no honour or honesty; he was churlish, cross, and ill-humoured; evil in his doings, hard and oppressive; a man that cared not what fraud and violence he used in getting and saving. What little reason have we to value the wealth of this world, when so great a churl as Nabal abounds, and so good a man as David suffers want!”

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We can see here that, yes, Nabal would have been just another person living in ancient times, if David did not cross paths with him. But, this does not answer the question. Why was this chapter included? We know David falls in love, but that is not a good enough reason to devote a whole chapter to a dysfunctional previous marriage. The Hebrew’s were wanting the people reading this not to make the mistake that David almost did.  Matthew Henry, http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?b=9&c=25&com=mhc , brings up great points further into his article. “Why was David so determined to destroy Nabal?” We see that God comes through for David and he is awarded, not only Abigail as a wife, but two others as well. The lesson here that the ancient writers are wanting the people to never forget is, God will take care of you and matters should never be taken into your own hands.

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What is the significant meaning of:

And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until the morning light.  In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. And about ten days later the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.”— 1 Samuel 25: 36-38

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According to an article by Doug Ward, http://www.godward.org/archives/Special%20Articles/bf%20nabal—the%20ultimate%20fool2.htm , that the actual meaning of his death is nothing but a mere heart attack that later killed him. “God” striking Nabal could be how the Hebrew’s see natural freak accidents. We learn that he drank often and ate a lot due to his wealth. His lifestyles could have finally caught up with him.

Or, also according to Doug Ward, http://www.godward.org/archives/Special%20Articles/bf%20nabal—the%20ultimate%20fool2.htm , he brings up the Pharaoh of Exodus and how anyone who goes against the servant of God end up with harden hearts and then die. It is a form of their “harden spiritual conditions”. Regardless of his cause of death, the Hebrew’s wanted it to be known, that if you go against God, you will not survive.

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Now, to my final point; why Abigail?

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Abigail also shows the trait of bravery. According to an article online, http://newlife.id.au/christian-living/abigail-1-samuel-25/ , Abigail shows us many forms of her bravery. Not only does she secretly deliver food for David and his men, but she knows that she might have to face certain punishments for not submitting to her husband. It is very possible Abigail could have been a victim of abuse. Also according to this artcile, the writer states: “God used Abigail to help David and encourage him with her prophetic words.”

Trying to decide why chapter 25 was added to the book of 1 Samuel can be tricky, but by breaking down the names and actions, the significance is very clear. Abigail was a remarkable woman, who did a remarkable task. Even though is is not a war heroine like some of the women in the previous chapters of the Bible, she is a heroine for the Hebrew people in keeping peace and showing bravery.

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Samson V. Hercules: A Biblical Allusion Through a Disney Classic and Greek Mythology

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Most people have heard of the epic story of Samson, and his love Delilah. They are two of the many great Biblical figures. Another thing most people have some form of knowledge of, is Hercules. In 1997, Walt Disney Productions released their animated classic, “Hercules”. While I was reading Judges, a particular passage stood out to me:

Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.  The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels[a] of silver.”–Judges 16:4-5

The first thing that I thought of was Hercules. The traditional mythology story of Hercules is very similar to that of Samson’s. The stories resemble in the manner of the protagonist, for example: women, self indulging, ect. However, the story shows more similarity to me with Disney’s version of Hercules than the mythological story line. However, they both show signs of Biblical influence.

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Disney gives us an array of characters, two of them being Hercules and Megara. Megara is actually part of Greek mythology, but the Megara from Greek Mythology is a lot different than the Disney version. Disney’s version of Megara is clearly based more on the Biblical Delilah. In Disney’s story, Hercules is tricked by this beautiful woman to fall in love with her. Hades sends her to fall in love with Hercules and find out his weakness.  They quickly find out, she is his weakness. As we see in Judges, Delilah is sent to trick Samson to gain the knowledge of his strength.

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So, Hades represents the rulers of the Philistines. This would make sense on Disney trying to use as many Greek mythological characters as possible however, it also shows why Disney is following the Bible route in making their film. Since the Philistines can be seen as a deadly horrifying group of people in the Bible, there is no wonder why Disney chose the evil ruler of the Underworld to portray them. Greek mythology is made up of many characters and it would be difficult to incorporate all of their traits correctly into a movie for a child. Even though Disney adds a special twist to their version of the Greek myth, the similarities that it shows to the Bible is very noticeable.

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Now, another reference I found within in the story of Samson, is the Philistines. One of the main characters in Disney’s version of Hercules is named Phil. However, this character could have also came from the Greek mythological character, Philoctetes.

It is very possible that the Greeks and Romans heard the story of Samson and retold it to fit their beliefs. So, the story of Samson could have a double impact on the Disney classic.

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Now, it is time for the obvious character representation, Samson and Hercules. The Greek Hercules is actually more similar than the Disney Hercules. As I mentioned prior, they held a lot of the same characteristics and wants. Since they both were obvious womanizers, it is very simple for the antagonist to send a decoy woman to find out their secrets.

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Both strong and courageous, it is very clear why the “said” villain/s would want them out of the way. Also, in the Disney version of Hercules and the mythological version, we see a set of three characters presented, the Fate sisters. They basically control everyone’s “fate”. This is nothing special, but how they control it is. They use string or thread, depending on the version you are looking at. This is very similar to how Samson was telling Delilah to tie his hair into threads.

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So, this shows us that both stories are somewhat related to the Samson of Judges. Disney adaptation of the epic is more similar because they altered their characters and by doing that, they made it resemble the Old Testament more than Greek Mythology. Samson and Hercules are one in the same and both are considered heroes. Luckily for Disney’s Hercules, he ends up with the girl.

Here are some links to the Greek mythology stories that I mentioned above, if anyone is interested in reading them.

http://www.greekmythology.com/Olympians/Hades/hades.html

http://www.greekmythology.com/Other_Gods/The_Fates/the_fates.html

http://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Heroes/Heracles/heracles.html

http://www.mythindex.com/greek-mythology/P/Philoctetes.html

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Is there a deeper meaning to some of the Curses in Deuteronomy 28?

 

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This chapter can closely resemble a horror story. Why would God punish His chosen people so harshly? The curses that are depicted in Deuteronomy, give great detail to all the nightmares the ancient people feared. I am going to analyze each curse and see if there is a more literal meaning behind them.

Deuteronomy 28:15-19  is reversing the blessings that will be given to the Hebrew people in the beginning of the chapter.

“However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:

You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.

Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.

The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.” —Deuteronomy 28:15-19

 

We have already seen in the earlier chapters that God is not very merciful, yet. So, why is he so quick to anger? According to David Guzik, http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/0528.htm, he says this is just an introduction to the curses. He then states:

“If you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God: The covenant’s aspect of the choice was a sword with two edges. Obedience would carry great blessing, but disobedience would carry terrible curses.

 All these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Like the blessings for an obedient Israel, the curses for a disobedient Israel would be inevitable.”

 

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It shows that there is no way to avoid God’s curses, so the Hebrew people should know better by now. According to Merdith G Kline,http://www.meredithkline.com/klines-works/articles-and-essays/deuteronomy-wycliffe-bible-commentary/ ,

“Verse 15 corresponds to verses 1,2, and 16-19 are the counterpart to 3-6. The vengeance of the covenant (cf. Lev 26:25) would overtake the oath-violating people even within the asylum of their inherited paradise land. Without holiness no man can abide where God reveals his glorious presence, and there is no respect of persons with him.”

This explains why it was so important to obey God’s laws to the Hebrew people. They assumed that God brought them this far, and if they did not obey his laws and regulations horrible tribulations would fall upon them. Since these verses were an introductory, that is why the line up with the promises of the beginning of chapter 28.

 

However, 20-68 is a whole different type of threat. This is where the horror story mold derives from. The worse fears of the Hebrew’s are brought to life. Since there are so many curses that would happen to the Hebrew people if they disobeyed, I am only going to cover the ones that are the most intense and the most unusual.

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 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated by your enemies. You will attack your enemies from one direction, but you will scatter from them in seven! You will be an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. Your corpses will be food for all the scavenging birds and wild animals, and no one will be there to chase them away.”– Deuteronomy 28:25-26

According to http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/view.cgi?bk=4&ch=28&vs=15-68 , they state that:

“First series of judgments. The curse of God should rest on all they did, and should issue in manifold forms of disease, in famine, and in defeat in war.”

These are all things that God has protected them from, so why would he allow these things to happen, even if they disobeyed? If the Hebrew people thought God wanted them to succeed and live happily, why would he let the unclean birds scavenge their bodies and watch as their name is violated? It could be that God is tired of the disrespect, or it could be that it is a writing tactic. Perhaps the writer of this book wanted to make the curses very detailed and painful to get the point of obedience across. According to an article by a man named Phil, http://philleng.blogspot.com/2010/03/curses-for-disobedience.html ,

“But actions have consequences. Obedience has consequences. Disobedience has consequences. It does not matter if we believe it or not. Actions still have consequences… “

This could back up my point on how the writer wanted the readers to realize that everything had a consequence, even if it is flesh eating birds.

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“The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, and with tumors and scabs and itch, of which you cannot be healed.  The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of mind,  and you shall grope at noonday, as the blind grope in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall be only oppressed and robbed continually, and there shall be no one to help you.— Deutoronomy 28 27-29

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At this point, God is getting comfortable in his threats. The ending of this passages almost lines up with the ending of the previous passage. God is wanting his people to rely on him and to know that if he is not there to help them, no one else will be. According to http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/view.cgi?bk=4&ch=28&vs=15-68:

“Second series of judgments on the body, mind, and outward circumstances of the sinners.”

Perhaps there is another creative writing strategy hidden in this passage as well. “And you shall be oppressed and robbed continually,” this could actually mean robbed of life. If you disobey, all the curses will be upon you, but you will also be robbed and oppressed of all the great joys and pleasures in life. Also, according to http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/view.cgi?bk=4&ch=28&vs=15-68 , the blindness that is stated, is more than likely a mental blindness. So is it possible that these things would not actually happen, but they are just threats to what would happen to them in their religion? The sicknesses of Egypt, could also be a metaphor for the weight of how the Egyptian’s had to live and endure to survive, not a literal sickness.

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Verses 30-34 seem to be threats to make sure the Hebrews obey. Even in today’s society, no man, or woman, wants to see someone else enjoying their things they worked hard for and loved.

“You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and rape her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them. 32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. 33 A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. 34 The sights you see will drive you mad. ” —Deuteronomy 28: 30-34

According to https://bible.org/seriespage/analysis-and-synthesis-book-deuteronomy :

“The renewed terms of the covenant include the promise of great blessings in return for obedience to Yahweh’s commandments, and sanctions involving cruel curses, the ultimate of which is destruction of the nation and exile from the Land, in response to defiant disobedience.”

The verses listed above is probably the most cruel verses. To some people, having just one of the things in 30-34 taken away would be torturous, but having them all taking away, they would probably enjoy the flesh eating birds; they would have nothing else to live for.

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58-63, God is bestowing the worse plague he has very made happen; the death of the first born. It is slightly possible, since the Hebrews lived through that time in Egypt, their culture is still scared of that happening to them.

So, these are just a few of the curses at a glance. These seemed to be the biggest and most detrimental ones to me. This could have been God’s way to see who was worthy to live in the Promise land, or a creative writing tactic to scare the people in obeying the laws of the ancient times. Regardless of the reasoning, with laws like that, only an Egyptian would disobey Yahweh.

 

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Why are women considered unclean after childbirth in Leviticus?

As I was reading Leviticus, the uncleanness of women was something that particularly stood out to me. From a literary point of view, I wondered why they thought a woman had to go to such great measures to be considered “clean” and why giving birth to a baby made them unclean to begin with? Why was the cleanliness period longer for baby girls than baby boys?

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The Lord spoke to Moses, saying,  “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If a woman conceives and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days. As at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean.  And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. Then she shall continue for thirty-three days in the blood of her purifying. She shall not touch anything holy, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying are completed.  But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation. And she shall continue in the blood of her purifying for sixty-six days. “And when the days of her purifying are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering, and a pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering,  and he shall offer it before the Lord and make atonement for her. Then she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, either male or female. And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.” Leviticus 12:1-8, ESV Literary Study Bible 

 

There are many reasons someone could think up to why a woman has to endure this in the Old Testament. One site I found, by Ed Hensly, stated

“There is no logic or reason behind either of these laws.”  http://rarebible.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/women-defiled-by-childbirth-baby-girls-twice-as-dirty-as-baby-boys/

I disagree, I think there is a reason the author of Leviticus mentions this and also goes into great detail about this subject. At the time, the people were very unsure why things happened. This could simply be the author giving the ancient Hebrews a reason for a woman’s menstruation cycle, a reason to make sense of it. Because even after the period of uncleanness was over, the woman who gave birth had to sacrifice a lamb that was a year old.

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But, why is a woman considered unclean? It could be not as serious as you think. I began to brainstorm all the “logical” reasons I could think of to what this verse was saying. I came up with the idea that it was merely like a pregnancy leave, in today’s terms. Perhaps a woman was considered unclean for seven days so she could rest. The amount of pain an un-sedated childbirth gave them was probably unbearable. Even the sanitary conditions they had to give birth in probably had the women and the child prone to infection.

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In the laws God gave the Hebrew people, each clan had their own job they had to for fill daily. If a woman just gave childbirth, she would need nonpunishable rest. So, it was kinda like she was receiving a seven day grace period. According to: http://www.evidenceunseen.com/bible-difficulties-2/ot-difficulties/genesis-deuteronomy/lev-121-8-why-was-a-mother-unclean-for-7-days-for-giving-birth-to-a-boy-but-she-was-unclean-for-14-days-for-giving-birth-to-a-girl/ , whose author is unknown, my theory is relevant.

“By being called unclean, this provided rest for the mother. If she was unclean, she would not be required to work around the home or travel to the sanctuary to make an offering. Travel would have been very strenuous for a young mother. Moreover, by being called unclean, this would prevent the spread of childbed fever, which took many lives back then.

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This proves my personal theory, but what about other theories? Could she be unclean because she had sex? I found the answer in an article by, Joe M. Sprinkle, http://www.kneillfoster.com/aar/2000/AAR2000-2Laws.php

“Designating sexual activity as “unclean” does not mean that sex is inherently evil.”

However, he did state that:

“Bodily discharge refers primarily to natural and unnatural genital flows, but not, for example, to open wounds from accidents.2 Childbirth, via its association with the discharge of the bloody placenta from the vagina, rendered a woman unclean for forty days for a male child and eighty days for a female child (Leviticus 12:1-8). Onset of menstruation rendered a woman unclean for seven days (15:19-24) and any unnatural genital flow of blood rendered her unclean until seven days after that flow of blood ceases (15:25-30). Ordinary marital intercourse rendered the couple unclean till evening (15:18; cf. the command for the Israelites not to go near a woman before meeting God at Sinai in Exodus 19:15), while inadvertent intercourse with a menstruating woman rendered the man unclean for seven days (Leviticus 15:24) and deliberate intercourse with such a woman made both subject to divine “cutting off” (Leviticus 20:18).”

So, this goes back to to bodily fluids and how they make a person unclean. After reading this article, it made sense why a man was forbidden to have intercourse with a woman during her ministration. If that was her “resting” time granted by God, the man defiled what God had given her. The author of Leviticus is not directly degrading women and neither is God, in today’s terms.

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The other big question is why different unclean time periods for males and females? Is there really a need for that big of a time difference?

“The Lord said to Moses,  “Say to the Israelites: ‘A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised.  Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over.  If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.” Leviticus 12:1-5, ESV Literary Study Bible

In the Hebrew culture, females were watched over and protected more than boys. According to, http://www.evidenceunseen.com/bible-difficulties-2/ot-difficulties/genesis-deuteronomy/lev-121-8-why-was-a-mother-unclean-for-7-days-for-giving-birth-to-a-boy-but-she-was-unclean-for-14-days-for-giving-birth-to-a-girl/ , again,

“The mother may have rested longer, because they protected girls more in their culture.”

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This could very well be the case. We see from reading Exodus and Leviticus that the Hebrew people are creatures of habit and tradition. According to Rick http://ac3.org/content/QandA_with_Rick/action/viewqna/qnadent/118 ,

“It`s a refection of Eve`s role in the fall. This view ties itself to 1 Tim 2:15-17 for support, but there`s no connection made to Eve in Leviticus at all. A similar view refers to apocryphal Jewish writings that had Adam entering in the Garden of Eden on week one and Eve after two weeks – and thus girls had to be quarantined longer… But both these views suffer from being too speculative and reading later material back into an older work… 

It`s a reflection of medical views current at the time… For example, it might have been assumed that the birth of a girl was commonly believed to be accompanied by more complications than a boy, and/or that the vaginal discharge was greater or lasted longer for girls than boys. That would fit with the fact that usually uncleanness is related to the touching of blood (Lev 15:25). It`s not birth that makes you unclean, after all, it`s the blood involved in the birthing process.”

This would make sense to why the Hebrew people thought this way. The story of the Garden Of Eden was one that has been passed down hundreds of years to them, so that theory adds up to why women and baby girls are also considered unclean longer. They have the “curse” of Eve upon them. However, the medical analysis makes more sense in today’s time. Since the females had more blood than the males and they were bloody longer, the double time of uncleanness for infant girls is scientifically accurate.

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According to an article by  Chana Weisberg, http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/510244/jewish/Ritual-purity-after-birth-of-males-and-females.htm ,

“Since the female child inherently carries a higher degree of holiness, due to her own biological, life creating capability, a greater void, or tumah, remains after her birth. Thus, the greater tumah after a baby girl’s birth reflects her greater capacity for holiness (due to her creative powers) and necessitates the longer wait to remove this ritual impurity.”

This also goes back to the beliefs and rituals of the Hebrew people. So it could be that women are not to blame for the Garden of Eden, but instead considered holy because they help deliver one of God’s commands. The command to multiply the earth.

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Referring to, http://www.evidenceunseen.com/bible-difficulties-2/ot-difficulties/genesis-deuteronomy/lev-121-8-why-was-a-mother-unclean-for-7-days-for-giving-birth-to-a-boy-but-she-was-unclean-for-14-days-for-giving-birth-to-a-girl/ , again, the author states that a boy’s time of un-purity is seven days because he gets circumcised of the eighth day.

So what it all boils down too is, the Hebrew people took all of these things as laws from God, but could they really have been doing it for health reasons? I think that they were. After looking into the science behind this, the Hebrew people were very advanced for their time.

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The Ice, Bugs, and Abyss of Exodus

One of the main stories in Exodus is about Moses rescuing the Hebrew’s from Egypt. The 10 plagues that Egypt faces are the most extreme things that the Egyptians have ever seen. There are many plagues to cover, but I am going to talk about hail, locusts, and darkness. How are they significant? What do they symbolize? Could the plagues of Egypt actually been an occurrence?

images (3) '... And looking at the extended forecast. We see the swarms of locusts moving out by the weekend just in time for another wave of burning hail.'

 

Scientist have found actual evidence that proves not only these three plagues have happened, but all of them. According to Xander Wolfe, http://www.theweeklyconstitutional.com/news/we-cant-explain-it/458-scientist-prove-the-ten-plagues-of-egypt-really-did-happen , “One of the biggest volcanic eruptions in human history occurred when Thera, a volcano that was part of the Mediterranean islands of Santorini, just north of Crete, exploded around 3,500 year ago, spewing billions of tons of volcanic ash into the atmosphere.  Nadine von Blohm, from the Institute for Atmospheric Physics in Germany, has been conducting experiments on how hailstorms form and believes that the volcanic ash could have clashed with thunderstorms above Egypt to produce dramatic hail storms. Dr Siro Trevisanato, a Canadian biologist who has written a book about the plagues, said the locusts could also be explained by the volcanic fallout from the ash.  He said “The ash fall out caused weather anomalies, which translates into higher precipitations, higher humidity. And that’s exactly what fosters the presence of the locusts.” The volcanic ash could also have blocked out the sunlight causing the stories of a plague of darkness.”

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Scientist have also discovered volcanic rock through out the region that the plagues where supposed to occur in. So is the reason hail, locusts, and darkness are listed together because they actually happened that way? Science says yes, but not for biblical reasoning. The documentation of the plagues were prestige for that time period.  An article by Richard Gray, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/7530678/Biblical-plagues-really-happened-say-scientists.html ,suggests the same things about the volcanic activity from Thera, but in his research he quoted Dr Siro Trevisanato saying “The ash fall out caused weather anomalies, which translates into higher precipitations, higher humidity. And that’s exactly what fosters the presence of the locusts.” Also in Richard’s research, he found out more about the volcanic rock. He talks about how there was no volcanic activity in Egypt and the rock had to come from Thera. So, science proves the realness and actuality of what the Egyptian people had to face.

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In other research, I found an article by Ziony Zevit, http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/exodus/exodus-in-the-bible-and-the-egyptian-plagues/, and it talks about many things in relation to the plagues. He states that hail, locusts, and darkness could represent gods:

“Hail (No. 7) and locusts (No. 8 ) were, according to this explanation, directed against Seth, who manifests himself in wind and storms; and/or against Isis, goddess of life, who grinds, spins flax and weaves cloth; or against Min, who was worshiped as a god of fertility and vegetation and as a protector of crops. Min is an especially likely candidate for these two plagues because the notations in Exodus 9:31 indicate that the first plague came as the flax and barley were about to be harvested, but before the wheat and spelt had matured. A widely celebrated “Coming out of Min” was celebrated in Egypt at the beginning of the harvest.10 These plagues, in effect, devastated Min’s coming-out party. Darkness (No. 9), pursuing this line of interpretation, could have been directed against various deities associated with the sun—Amon-Re, Aten, Atum or Horus.” This could be the Egyptian’s way of making sense of the natural phenomenons that were occurring at the time.

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The next question I would like to cover why hail? We know from reading our text that hail is to be the worst that is yet to come to the Egyptian people.

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“Behold, about this time tomorrow I will cause heavy hail to fall, such as never has been in Egypt from the day it was founded until now.” Exodus 9:18, The Literary Study Bible ESV

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However, it seems that by the way each plague is listed to have happened, the plagues get worse as they reach higher in order. In an article by Edna Miriam Lister, http://miriams-well.org/lectures/Plagues.html, she states:

Thunder, hail and fire represent crystallized imagination, emotions and thinking, in that order. Hail is frozen water and symbolizes emotion crystallized into prejudices and opinions that produce paralysis. Thinking is fire that burns and churns crystallized emotions. The low pole of crystallized imagination creates thundering, destructive pictures. Hail is under Sagittarius, the House of Ascension and Conquering to Ascend. Sagittarius is a fire sign. We must heat, melt and absorb all crystallization. For Egypt and Israel both, this represents the need to awaken Love and Compassion. The hail told Israel to dissolve its hatred of Egypt. No matter what sign we were born in, we conquer in Sagittarius.”

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I think this is an odd outlook on what hail represents, but I don not think it is necessarily wrong. It is a great symbolism of comparison to the verse. Through further reading, I found an article by an unknown author stating that “The plague of hail was the first plague, of the third group of plagues in Egypt. This third group included plagues taking effect in the heavens: hail, locusts (via the wind), and darkness. God wished to demonstrate His control in all areas of the universe.” http://www.mesora.org/Hail-Mann.htm

This is an obvious Christian view on the verse, but it also opens up to questions. Why was the third cycle of plagues all coming from what is presumed to be heaven? It could be for literary purposes to get the significance of how serious the Hebrew people wanted their situation to be seen.

Why locusts?

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“The locusts came up all over the land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt such a dense swarm of locusts as had never been before, nor ever will be again.” Exodus 10:14, The Literary Study Bible ESV

According to an article on,  http://www.mazornet.com/holidays/passover/plagues/locust.htm, “Additionally, we see a “Measure for Measure” – The Egyptians used Jews as slave labor in their fields to grow their crops, and stole from them when they did not have sufficient inventory of their own. God punishes them by having their crops totally consumed by the locust.”

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This could be the symbol that the Hebrew writers were trying to get across by using locusts. This is proof of the great representation of symbolism in the Bible. Another reason goes back to the god and goddesses I listed above.

 

Why darkness?

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“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, then there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.”” Exodus 10:21, The Literary Study Bible ESV

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A post by Parashat Bo, a Jewish student, http://www.biu.ac.il/JH/Parasha/eng/bo/gre.html, talks about how darkness represents the bondage that the Hebrew people had to live in. The passage about the darkness in Exodus talks about how the Hebrew people had light unlike the Egyptians. Perhaps, the literary symbolism of the darkness is for the readers of Exodus to see that the Hebrew people where granted light because that’s when they started to trust in God.

All three of these plagues could represent 100 different things, but each one holds its own meaning. With the proof of science that these events actually did happen, the stories from these happenings could have gotten altered before being written down. To the Egyptian people, the events could have occurred because they had displeased gods, and to the Hebrew people, the events could have occurred because of a displeased God, and to the readers today, the events could have occurred because of actual scientific evidence.

 

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