Come and See: David and the Psalms - Joseph Ponessa, Laurie Watson Manhardt - Google книги
He's asking, "Where are you in terms of your covenant standing before me. Where are you? Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the fruit that I told you not to eat? He immediately starts passing the buck. Verse 12, "The man said, 'The woman.
by Laurie Manhardt Father Joseph Ponessa
He's not just faulting her. Who's he really faulting? Some help, some assistant you gave me! He's not just blaming her. He's implicitly blaming God. And the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this that you've done?
Reading Scripture from the heart of the Church
He will crush your head and you will strike his heel. That's an interesting but kind of tangential issue for us right now. At any rate, we see here the woman. The serpent's seed, okay. But her seed? The Greek Old Testament translates this spermatos, that's the term for seed. Now so far, so good, but wait a second. What is it doing in connection with the woman? The woman's seed? Nowhere else in the Old Testament do you ever come across an expression like that.
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It's always the man's seed, the husband's seed, the father's seed. This is weird. Yeah, God's going to elevate that woman and give to her in some unique sense perhaps a seed through which the serpent's head will be crushed. Keep that in the back of your mind because that is going to be crucial.
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We're going to move on now to, of course, what is probably the second most famous Old Testament passage for understanding our Lady, Isaiah 7, verse Isaiah 7, verse here we have an interesting episode between Isaiah and King Ahas who is king of Judah, and he's worrying about the national stability of his people in his country of Judah, his kingdom, because he is surrounded by stronger neighbors and so he's toying with the idea of entering into all kinds of wrong- headed alliances. So, through Isaiah the Lord says to King Ahas who's always beginning to kind of stumble with doubts, he's beginning to wonder with fear who he should rely upon, Verse 3, "Then the Lord said to Isaiah, 'go out'" and it goes on in verses 3 through 10, where the Lord speaks to Ahas through Isaiah and says, "Ask of me and I will give you a sign.
Your faith is weak.
You need to have it shored up and strengthened. That's what signs are for. Go ahead and ask me for a sign. Verse 12, with false modesty Ahas says, "Oh, I won't ask. I will not put the Lord to the test. Isaiah said, "Hear now, you House of David, is it not enough to try the patience of men. Will you try the patience of my God also? He's got the gift that you need. Now don't play strong. You're weak, admit it and receive the gift that he's got in this sign.
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Emmanuel. Is it young woman or is it virgin? You could stack up scholars who advocate either position, but I am persuaded, not only by the targums, that is the ancient Jewish interpretation of this was decidedly in favor of "virgin.
Now there are a lot of scholars who debate, "Well, are the targums before Christ or after Christ or whatever? A recent scholar whose article I just read by the name of Professor Wyatt argues that the Alexandrian Jews who rendered almah by parthenos were being entirely faithful to the Herogamic tradition. He goes on to talk about how Isaiah borrows all his pagan mythical imagery, only then historicizes it with reference to the coming Messiah, as the ritual technical term for an embodiment of a divine mother, who is both a fecund mother, a fruitful mother, as well as a perpetual virgin.
In other words, Isaiah in using this language is tapping into a well-known ancient outlook on what humanity needs for deliverance, that is, God is going to have to send an incredible figure, the likes of which humans have never seen, a creature, a human but in a sense possessed by God in an absolutely unique way.
And this, by the way, is not unique to the Hebrew tradition. It's shared throughout. Now maybe it's because Genesis was channeled out throughout the world as the human race spread, whatever you want to believe. There are other ways to explain it, but the fact remains that this translation, this rendering of almah as virgin is strong and sure and is very reliable. At any rate, we know one thing for sure, the New Testament applies it to Mary and the virginal birth of Jesus. So in terms of the inspired narrative, what do we have?
In Matthew, we have in a sense, the answer in the back of the book really, or at least we can treat it that way for this morning's time together. What is going on here? The Davidic line is almost at an end and the only way out for King Ahas in his own mind is to begin to move away from Yahweh and to begin to trust in all of these pagan neighbors who want to form alliances with him.
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Only, in order to form those alliances he's going to have to submit as a kind of vassal. So Isaiah says, "Don't do it. If you are weakening in your faith, ask him for a sign.
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He has one ready. Well, the faithful were saying, "But God has sworn an oath: there will always be an heir on the Davidic throne. Well, God will take a virgin and produce a son of David. In other words, we're not dependent exclusively upon human resources, political power, economic wealth and all of the rest. So Isaiah stands in line with Genesis as in a sense the second key text with regards to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Now I might add that later on today at in this talk on "Mary, Ark of the Covenant," we're going to be focusing upon another set of Old Testament passages related to the Ark of the Covenant, which was, in a sense, the most sacred object in all of ancient Israel on the one hand.
It's what made the temple holy, it's what made the Holy of Holies the holiest thing around for that's what the Ark was, but it also, in a sense, was the most strategically powerful weapon that Israel possessed because whenever they went into battle, they had the Ark lead the way. When they encircled Jericho for six days and on the seventh day they blew this trumpet seven times, it was the Ark of the Covenant that led the priests and the soldiers.
So the Ark of the Covenant is very significant and most scholars say that what it is, is a kind of throne because many other cultures had temples with arks. The only thing weird about Israel's Ark is that it was empty. It was a throne with two cherubim over the top, but nobody sat on it.
In fact, you can actually discover, and I'm going to unpack this a little bit more later on, that in the Ancient world, it was usually the throne for the Queen Mother. For instance, one of the greatest German scholars in his book, Symbolism in the Biblical World, speaks about the great popularity of cherubim thrones, box thrones with cherubim angels over top.
It goes on, in Canaan and in Phoenicia during the late Bronze and early Iron Ages, excavators describe it "as a female figure sitting in a square armchair. Why would these ancient cultures have an ark on which sat this female figure on kind of a throne posture? And why did they also just like Israel often lead that ark out into battle ahead of the troops?