A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible

A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible
Hunc tu caveto.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eli falls off his chair.  Image from Souljourner Blog.

Hebrews Suffer an Odd Defeat (1 Samuel Chapter 4) - In Chapter 4, the Israelites (or Hebrews) are at odds with the dreaded Philistines.  The Philistines were about to attack when they heard an immense shout come from the Israelite camp.  I guess the Ark of the Covenant had just come into the camp.

At first, the Philistines were intimidated by this sound that "shook the earth," but after some encouragement were persuaded into attacking the camp.  They succeeded in killing Eli's two sons.  Eli was the current judge who had been holding that position for 40 years.  The Philistines also took the Ark of the Covenant.

Later, when Eli was informed about the loss to the Philistines, and about the death of his sons, he was saddened.  But when he heard that the Ark of the Covenant had been taken too, he fell back in his chair (pictured) and broke his neck.

In memorial of these events, a woman who gave birth to a son shortly afterward named her son Ichabod, because the glory of Israel had been taken.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Samuel sleeping, just before he is "called".  Photo by Amanda Truss

Samuel receives his calling (1 Samuel, Chapter 3) - How awesome would it be to actually know beforehand your calling in life?  Well, in this chapter the young child Samuel receives his calling, and it is fairly amusing story.

Late at night, the child Samuel is awakened by a voice calling him.  He goes to his dad (Eli) and asks what he wants.  Eli says he didn't call him and to go lie back down.  This happens two more times.

The second time it happens, Eli figures that Yahweh (Israelite god) has been calling Samuel, and so Eli tells Samuel to lay down and the next time he hears the voice to say, "Speak, for your servant hears you."

So, on the third time that Samuel is called, he responds, "Speak, for your servant hears you."

Yahweh explains that He's going to do something that will "tickle the ears" of all Israel, and what He's going to do is this: punish the House of Eli!  Because of the horrible things that Eli's sons have done, the House of Eli will be punished.  This brings up a good moral question:  Should the sins of one group of people be brought to bear upon their descendents?

So, the next morning Eli is interested in hearing what Yahweh had told young Samuel.  And Samuel tells him everything.  Eli is content with it, and basically says, "Let Yahweh do whatever He thinks is good."

And that brings up ANOTHER moral dilemma - is what God says always good?

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The wrath of God?  Photo by ReubenInStt

Instilling the fear of Yahweh (1 Samuel, Chapter 2) - This chapter is all about instilling a sense of awe and fear toward Yahweh, and in a way it mirrors similar chapters in other books I've already went through.

First, the general impression is this - be faithful and you will get great rewards in life: wealth, family, success, etc.

But if for you don't believe in Yahweh, watch out!  He'll send thunderstorms to break your body, make you poor, make you hungry.  Basically, he's going to make your life suck, if He doesn't kill you outright.

That's basically the idea behind it.  There's also a little ditty that reveals the level of astronomical knowledge of these Bronze Age tribesmen.  At 1 Samuel 2:8, the author writes "for the pillars of the Earth is the Lord's; and He hath set the world upon them."

In other words, these people believed that the world is held up by pillars, and God put the world up on these pillars.

Finally, there is another where Yahweh, much like his contemporary Zeus, visits Hannah (see previous entry) and she conceives a son.

Yahweh is such a sly dog - I mean god.  Ain't He?