RELG 203 The Bible and Western Culture
0106 First Class
Psalm 109:8 Let his days be few; and let another take his office
Used during theAmerican presidency elections by conservatives to Obama
But in context (Psalm 109:8-10), it is a prayer to lose his office by dying.
What is the “Bible”??
Book of Jewish scripture + Christian scripture
Different religious groups and religions have different views on what will be included in
the Bible. There is no shared idea of what the Bible is.
Canon and Translation
Authoritative list of books that comprise the Bible. Comes from Greek –a measuring
stick, a ruler, etc.
There are two different canons. Jewish, Christian (has the new testament),
1) Christian version has more books than the Jewish/Hebrew one.
2) Their books are in different order.
Why? -> jewish and Christianity has different views on Jesus.
Old Testament: BC / New Testament:AD
Jewish < Protestant < Catholic
Process of Canonization: Rough Outline
BCE: Books that will form the Old testament are written and edited (not part of any
official canon, but by 1 century CE regarded as sacred by jews and Christians) nd th
2 – 5 cent. CE: Rabbis develop Jewish canon of Hebrew Bible (takes several
centuries to “stick”)
late 2 cent. CE: concept of “New Testament” arises; debate over what books belong
4 – 5 cent. CE: Church councils discuss and fix the New Testament canon
16 cent. CE: Protestant churches debate and fix canons; Catholics officially fix canon
(Council of Trent, 1546)
The Bible came into three languages: Hebrew,Aramic, and Greek. Not many people
read the Bible in those languages.
Translation includes interpretation.
3 Century BCE: Jewish scribes begin translating Hebrew Bible into Greek –the
Septuagint (aka the 70)
-> Hellenistic ruler of Egypt at the time invited Jews into Greek. There were 70 people,
and all translations were equal.
Late 4 Cent. CE: Jerome translates Bible into Latin; this forms basis for the Vulgate
(Official Roman Catholic Latin Version)
-> Latin was the common tongue at the time, hence the Latin Bible was called, Vulgate
(comes from Vulgar)
1604 CE: King James commissions English translation of the Bible (Renaissance)
1662 CE: This English version is officially recognized as the Authorized Text (aka The
King James Bible)
Gender neutral language 1) Luke 17:3 / NIV 1984 vs NIV 2011
So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.”
Luke 17:3, NIV 1984
So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if
they repent, forgive them.” Luke 17:3, NIV 2011
2) Isaiah 7:14 / NIV vs NRSV
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will
give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel --Isaiah 7:14 NIV
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child
and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel --Isaiah 7:14 NRSV
January 8 Genesis 1:1-2:4
Torah – the most important part of the bible considered by Jewish groups. It is about
law and instruction. It has five books (called the five books of Moses), namely Genesis,
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
Nevi’im –Hebrew term of prophets. Divided into two parts, the former prophets (with
first four books) and the latter prophets.
The former prophets have Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and King. Christians do it
The latter have Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Scroll of the 12. The first three books are
called major and the 12 are called minor because of its difference in length. They are in
poems, and largely consist of oracles concerning the fate of Israel and neighbors. The
latter and the former are related
Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel,
and Ezra-Nehemiah H
Christians have divided the Old Testament into four parts. Pentateuch (same as Torah in
order and content), History, Wisdom, and Prophets.
No single book in the Bible has a single authorship. Books of the bible are compiled
from different sources
First quarter talks about birth of human beings and civilization. Immediately after, they
focus on Patriarchs, a single group of people who are known to be the ancestors of
Israel. They are then exiled from Egypt and wander for a while. They eventually settle
but splits into 2 kingdoms. Israel and Judah. They angered God and Israel got destroyed
byAssyria, Judah was conquered by Babylon. Persia then conquers Babylon. Then
Judah returns from exile.
Genesis has two parts
1. Primeval History: Genesis 1-11 (about the world)
2. Patriarchal History: Genesis 12-50 (about certain people.Abraham, Israel,
Jacob, and their sons)
Day1-4,2-5,3-6 is patterned (see slides)
Cheese cake dome slide -> this is what ancient Israelis thought what the
universe looked like
Picture of the god making Earth
Why does the god like Jesus, when Jesus appears a lot later??
Idea of God as a helper. The Helper is the personification of wisdom
God is using the compass as well
Implication of God brought balance and order (with a compass) into the
world of nothingness Slide of Enuma Elish
Marduk and his fight against sea monster.And he used the monster’s corpse to
create the universe
Application of allegory
What is it? -> Saying one thing to mean another
Reading a text so that what is openly discussed is understood to represent
something else of deeper meaning
Spiritual reading is much more important than scientific/literal reading in
The world becomes the person in Genesis (Orgien)
Obeying God is a way to gain property.
January 13 Genesis 2-3
Asecond Creation Account: Genesis 2:4-3:24
1. First account is anthromorphic, but in the second one he acts like a human.
(ア) Lucas Cranach the Elder, Paradise, 1530 depicts the god as a human being
prosecutingAdam and Eve for eating the forbidden fruit
2. Place where human beings are concered
(ア) Anthropocentric –humans are at the center at the first one
(ア) In the second one,Adam is created first, and focuses on what they do
3. How Gender is related
(ア) 1 creation: human beings (Male and Female) =makes atoms, and gender is
(ア) 2 creation account:Adam is made first, then Eve is made later. Implies the
secondary status/position of woman
<2 CreationAccount and Gender>
Laid out the basis of the ideals of men and woman.
Adam is the prototypical human being, thus used to formulate ideas of why human
beings are the way they are. Adam is the father of all humanity, and at the same time treated as the father of death. He lives to be 930 years old.Although he lived long, but
his disobedience to god made his death inevitable. Furthermore, he is treated as the
father of death, since he introduced death to humanity.
He also introduced death and its cause (disobey=>guilt)
Adam as the father of humanity and death => predominant interpretation ofAdam
Adam introduced death, Christ introduced life.
Adam is sort of a mirror image of Christ. He prefigures Christ.
Juxtaposition of the Christ.Adam and Eve eating the fruit + death of Christ
-Giovanni da Modena, Mystery of the Fall
-Tree of Life and Death
What is the responsibility of Eve?
1 Timothy 2:12-15 Shows how man and woman should behave, laying its claim on the
story ofAdam and Eve.
Pandora and Eve is depicted as figures that cannot resist temptations and that led
humanity to have all sufferings and damage.
Men can’t resist women. Women can’t resist the devil.
Art depicts Adam being passive and silent. But Eve is making out with the snake or
actively engaging in eating the fruit. (The bible never depicts the fruit as an apple)
There’s an image that woman tempts the men.
Adam&Eve is now a metaphor that represents sexuality. (Sex-shop)
Sex was not originally about desires and lust. It later tied in with desire and lust. Adam and Eve are related to everything that’s vice.
January 15 th
The Primeval History
Birth of Cain (the first human being to be born like a human)
He also murdered his brother
Why does God not like Cain’s sacrifice? God rejects Cain because he is evil from birth.
Cain is depicted as the child of the serpent who tricked Eve. Genesis suggests that Cain
is son ofAdam, but early readers interpret him as the son of the devil.
Cain becomes the new source of evil for humanity. Cain surpassesAdam as even more
Beowulf depicts Cain as father of all monsters.
Cain invented the city, and the father of civilization in Genesis, but in Beowulf, he is the
father of all evils. In Beowulf, Cain does not find city and civilization, but he goes to
the waste land.
In Byron’s poem Cain, Cain is depicted as an anti-hero.And Lucifer claims that
humanity is nothing as well
Gen 5:21-24 When Enoch … years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more.
It did not say he died, like everyone else.
How does these children’s books deal with death and destruction?
Noah curses his grand son through Canan
Noah curses Cannan, but not the Cush, the blackAfricans.
But in the 18 century, we start to see proponents of slavery.
So people intentionally misread the Bible to support their case for slavery.
Tower of Babel th
Identification and essays.
Know these: plot, main characters and supporting characters.
Take brief notes.
Abraham and Patriarchial history
Abraham, the first father of Israel, and his descendants get the focus of the storyline.
God promisesAbraham for a great nation and great famous.
The text never says why the God choses Abraham. There was a calling that promised
land and descendants.
Abraham is thus subsequently represent innate faith and devotion to god.
The text does not explain why it isAbraham. He just is.
Abraham represents throughAbrahamic religious systems, a sort of inborn motivation
to seek out and follow god. He is the ideal representation of why he has faith in god.
Abraham is regarded as the god of monotheism. In the Jewish tradition,Abraham is the
father of monotheism.
Midrash: exploring, searching interpreting the Hebrew Bible. Expanding upon biblical
passages in order to uncover a spiritual or moral lesson, or to explain Jewish law. It is
the way of taking the Bible and retelling it so that people could gain new meaning to it.
It is a way to make sure that Bible is kept up to date.
Aggadot: illustrate and explain biblical narrative by using story telling.
In the Midrash, Abraham is depicted as a child fighting against idol worship. In CE, Philo ofAlexandira, a Greek philosopher and Jewish author was an important
figure of Christianity. He was the practitioner of Platonism. He read the bible through
the Greek philosophical lens. And much like the Midrash, Philo understood the
Abraham as that he understood monotheism through natural reason and logic. Thus,
Philo interpretedAbraham as the first philosopher.After couple of centuries, Mishna, an
important jewish text on Biblical matters was published.
Crucial element aboutAbraham is the covenant. It is the treaty between god and
The first covenant is about land and offspring. (Gen. 15:18-21)
In the second covenant (Gen. 17:3-8) is not that much different from the first one. But
the second one requires the male offspring to circumcise. It becomes the major mark
that represent Jewish. It happened in Israel, Egypt, not in Babylon,
Paul is a Jew who believes Jesus, and his movement to believe Jesus was origin in Jews,
but non-Jews started to join as well. For him, circumcision was a barrier. He thought
that people did not need to circumcise to become part of the new Israel.
Theodicy: The justification of God.Attempts to explain how God can be understood to
be good in the face of all of the evil and suffering experienced in the world. (in short
terms, why is God good even though there’s so much bad in the world?)
Sodomy is still banned in some states. This derived from Genesis, which does not talk
about sexuality. It was rather about pride, which was the real crime. The sin of Sodom is
to welcome people. (Ezekiel 16:49-50)
Peter Damien understood Sodom and Gomorrah in a different way. Sodomy is a sin that
wipes out personality. He is very extreme in understanding how sodomy is worse than
all other sins like Blasphemy. He thought sodomy destroys the soul. nd
Abraham has so much innate faith, that he believes that he can kill his son and God will
return Isaac in this life or life afterwards.
Isaac is treated as a foreshadow of Christ –he carried wood to the mountain, he was
(sort of) resurrected.
Isaac rejoices for unknown reasons. Isaac is spared but the lamb was sacrificed. -> lamb
is referred to as the Christ
In Fear and Trembling, Kierkegaard calls Abraham as the paragon of faith, and he
compares negatively to people who just believes.
He presentsAbraham as the model of faith. Idea that he will do anything God does is
very dangerous. People have to master the ethical position before one goes to the pure
The Book of Jubilees is the retelling of the Book of Genesis. It is not completely equal.
Jubilee explores why God commands Abraham to kill his son Isaac.
4 maccabees 16:18-15
mother urges her children to die, so that they will be blessed by God and have a new
life. It was better to die than giving up Jewish beliefs.
Isaac is submissive to the ritual slaughter. He asks his father to tie himself up. Genesis
Things different from Genesis and RabbiAkiba
1. Isaac says things in Jewish interpretation (RabbiAkiba)
ア Shows willingness to ritual slaughter
2. It was believed that Isaac was dead (the last line of Genesis 22?)
The dew of life Amidah: God is merciful and it can restore life.
Martyrdom and continuation of
Some of them questions the justice of
Sometimes Sheep is used as a sacrifice instead.
Jacob and Esau.
Destruction of Jews has been seen as the descendants of Esau, or Edemites.
Jacob vs Esau (Jacob always got the better part of the stick)
Associated Jews with Esau.
Irenaeus, Against the Heresies
He argues that Esau was the first born, thus he should have had the rights. From
Christian vantage point, Jews did not understand the importance of Christ. Jews lost out
on what they deserved, but Christians, who came later got all what they want.
Analogy of Jews as Esau and Jacob as Christians. Since Jacob was persecuted by Esau,
this became an analogy that Christians were harassed by Jews.
Moses –central figure of the Hebrew bible.Anti-semitic caricature of Jews. Shylock
idolizes Jacob and he refers to Jacob for his own money lending practices.
Exile and return is an important theme that is seen in Jacob’s story. Marc Chagall, Jacob’s Ladder
Top of the ladder says the God’s Name in Hebrew. So who is the man upside down? Not
There’s crucifix on a butterfly looking angel.
Jacob’s ladder becomes the same thing that’s used in disposition.
Climb up the ladder up to heaven => Cross represents a spiritual ladder
Masturbation is seen as a moral and physical crime in its own end for Christians.
January 29 Exodus
In Exodus, Jacob’s descendants experience slavery.
In the four books after Exodus, Jacob’s families take a journey to their land back to
Cannan, the land of Abraham. In these books, many laws are laid out.
Exodus (Greek word that means “going out”)
- The escape from bondage in Egypt
- The reception of the law from God at Sinai
Two things that happens in Exodus
- Liberation of Hebrews and Moses the prophet
- New system of laws
ANew Covenant: Exodus 19:3-6
First Covenant was with Noah, two covenants were made withAbraham, so this is the
fourth one. God makes a covenant with Moses this time, and people of Israel should be
entitled to happiness and prosperity. Quick Summary of Other Four Books
- Instructions concerning ritual sacrifice, purity/impurity, and holiness code.
- This book diverges from the basic storyline, but it deals with rules and laws
- The Journey that started from Exodus continues, from Sinai to Canaan.
- The main theme is rebellion –external as well as internal. In the latter, people
grumble against Moses and his legitimacy. Ultimately, Isrealites almost reach the
end, but god became angry and gives another 40 years of wandering.
- It’s not like the other books of the Torah. The frame of the book is about Isrealites
going into canaan. Deuteronomy is mostly dedicated to Moses giving a speech to his
fellow men. It is sort of a review of the four books, since Moses explain the history
of their tribe.After the speech, Moses dies.
When faced with scientific facts that diverge from the biblical interpretations, certain
religious groups tries to rebuke them by offering pseudo-scientific evidences.
God is making Pharaoh resistant. Pharaoh’s objection against Moses’call for freedom is
god’s will. So it is questioned –where is the justice?
Ten Commandments or Ten-ish Commandments
- Exouds 20:2-17
- Exodus 34:11-26
- Deuteronomy 5:6-21
What are them?
But in Exodus 34:11-26 has a new set of ten commandments
And even in Deuteronomy 5:6-21
and interpretations of the 10 Commandments differ from the interpretor, or between Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic.
Even if we get all the rules set, how does one know how to obey the rules?
10 Commandments were thought by some as a backbone of Western morality, law, etc.
10 Commandments are now central to the “culture war”, which represents there’s some
kind of a struggle over morality.
Oklahoma lawmakers: No Satanist (or other religious groups) b/c Oklahoma is a “faith-
Supreme Court has statues of Confucius, Moses, and Solon. The tablet Moses holds are
blank, but it is obviously 10 commandments.
In a case like this, the punishment is this.
Eye for an eye, tooth for tooth. Whatever you do has to be recipriocated equally.
Moderating force in effect.
February 3 rd
Moses in the Imagination
1) Theme of liberation in Exodus
(ア) Israelites escape from Egypt has been interpreted as freedom
2) Negative connotations of interpreting Moses
3) The representation of the Bible in Hollywood
Exodus has been represented as a quest for freedom.
Three basic groups
1) Colonists (US and other parts of NorthAmerica)
(ア) Their descendants and effort of them Puritans: religious separatists who left England. They opposed against Church of
England and tried to gain their own religious autonomy.
New England was equated with Canaan, or the promised land.
Whatever group that oppresses, is equated with the bad guy, or the Pharaoh.
Whatever land that oppressed finds, is equated with Canaan
The oppressed are Israelites.
The leader of the oppressed is equated with Moses.
In the case ofAmerican Colonists, it was John Winthrop.
Winthrop says that as long as they keep true to the covenant, there will not be a problem
- Political revolution leaders have portrayed themselves as Israelites, and the other side
(England, or the George III -king at the time-) as Pharaoh.
The seal “rebellion to tyrants is obedience to GOD” represents the Red Sea falling over
Postal stamp of the Liberty Bell is a story directly taken from Israelites. This is an
example of a parallel of using the Bible.
How important to read the Bible that matches the current condition.
Latin thinker Jose Croatto says that “Exodus is not yet finished. It is not a tale of
something that happened long ago, but it is a story that belongs to people who still
search for freedom still”
Exodus story is the most important Biblical text.
US leaders ofAmerican Revolution were portrayed as Israelites, but they were Pharaohs for slaves. The same story was used in opposite ways for them.As god worked for
slaves in the Bible, slaves in America hoped that God would work for them.
The use of same text by different parties bring on a different meaning to every one.
If you are an oppressor, you should be afraid of being taken down by God in the same
Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses. –Moses dominates the first
five books, he is a hero for Israelites, etc.
Although like Jacob, there is a shadow interpretation of Moses as well.
Michelangelo’s sculpture of Moses has a horn. That’s what Jerome said as well
What does a horn mean though?
- it was first a translation problem.And it didn’t mean anything bad at the time. It
represented military strength, power, etc.
- Since Moses is so shiny, he has to cover his face with a veil. But then the veil is no
longer a representation of greatness, but it becomes a symbol of Jewish ignorance.
John Singer Sargent reintroduced woman synagogue image.
Moses is a great hero, but he can still be portrayed as the bad guy.
Bible movies, like art and poetry, are way to interpretations of Bible.
When watching movies, focus on what is added, taken away, changes from the original
Cecil B DeMille says that the theme of his picture is the battle between USSR and US 0205
Narration is more involved in the outcome.
Later an interpretation stories are created that explains sacrifice is not carried out.
Hamlet and Polonius. Polonius sells his daughter to Hamlet to spy on him. Hamlet
knows this, and depicts Polonius as parallel to Jephthah. Like Jepehthah, he sacrificed
his own daughter for his own ends. Ophilia mourns the fact that she loses her virginity,
not going to get married, nor going to have children.
The best known figures of Bible. He is the best known judge and at the same time
Before birth, Samson is set apart from a holy role. He is described as a nasarite, or
person that takes a religious bow not to cut his hair. -> as long as he has his hair, he is
He is depicted in the text as either having sex or killing people. Judges are supposed to
be leaders of Israelites, but he never leads the Israelites. He just goes on killing on his
own. He fights as the philistines, the main enemy of Israelites. Samson is known for
great strength, but he has a trickster aspect to him.
Samson and the Lion -> he is much like Hercules, since he killed the lion with a club.
Samson is exposed and becomes vulnerable.
She (delilah) is represented as a temptress who uses sexual wiles to trap men and bring
Samson is supposed to represent male intellect that overcame feminine temptations.
Delilah is full of temptations. Samson is like a hero. Delilah is demonized. Many comparisons are in the Bible.
February 10 th
The former prophets
Increasing stability and the emergence of monarchy.
2 Kings: Saul and David
From the 2 half, David’s emergence and rise of power is focused.
Israel did not have any kings before.
People of Israel ask Samuel for a King. They want to be like other Kings. When Samuel
asks the Lord, Lord allows this, but the Lord also talks that people have rejected from
the Lord as king over them. Thus the Lord and Samuel is displeased.
In Deuteronomy 17:14-20, laws for kings are depicted. Most of them deal with not
allowing King should exploit his subjects.
But, 1 Samuel 8:10-18, warns people of Israelites that a King will do whatever things
that Deuteronomy told not to.
Samuel allows his children to become judges, which defies from the regular version that
god appoints judges. New type of prophets play a very important role in the rest of the
Court Prophets advise and critique the King.
Samuel is the first type of the prophet.
There are three interpretations why Saul was anointed by Samuel. Saul is selected as King, and for a while he is successful.
Saul realizes that David is set to replace him, and Saul becomes increasingly violent and
troubling. Madness is his character.
There are multiple images of twisted, agonized Saul in western art. He is being calmed
down by David’s music. Saul is tortured, and in contrast, David is depicted as serene.
Necromance of indoor. Saul and collapse into evil was closely together.
Indoor was represented as a black magician in the arts.
Samuel’s robe getting torn by Saul represents the break of the covenant, and Samuel
forecasts that The Lord has torn the kingdom Israel from Saul. (1 Sam 15:26-28)
The Divine Right of Kings
The idea that monarchy is the ideal system of government. It claims that kings are in the
rulers because the god put them there. The king is god’s instrument and the Lord uses
Kings to rule the citizens.
“The throne of the King was an extension of the throne of the God” –Louis XIV
Monarchy in Israel becomes very deeply tied into dynasty. Judges cannot be passed
down by bloodline because it is different with monarchy. (Giddeah, one of the great
judges tried to pass down the role of the judge to his children, but was a disaster. So as
Resisting the king is not just political, but it became religious. Sacrilige –crime against
You cannot have the people remove the king and replace him. Clearly, this rhetoric is a
heavy tool to protect the king from future, potential protests.
John Milton was a critic against Divine Right of Kings.
In response to a defense of Charles 1 , 1651, Milton argues that “God dislikes
(kingship), discommends it, finds fault with it… He tells not the People what their kings ought to do, but what they would do” This is written in Samuel as well.
His story is going to play a critical role in Christian and Judaistic memory.
Michelangelo’s David is one of the most famous depictions of David. It was an
important civic symbol of Florentines and Medici .It was a political propaganda. It
depicts the idealized masculinized beauty.
In classical art statues, only one leg has the weight on.
The statue of David by Michelangelo is not circumcised.
Fall of Goliath presents the story in completely different way.
Philistines are used to describe humdrum ppl, slaves to routine, stupid, but very strong
by Matthew Arnold. Vladimir Nabokov uses to describe people more interested in
commercial endeavors rather than art.
Advice on midterms
1 part: ID terms -> explanation of key terms in few sentences
2 part: essay questions -> pursue some of the ideas will be discussed in readings/class.
You will encounter a painting, poem, a piece of Bible, and use how the Bible is used.
David spies Bathsheba and David lusts. David has sex, which is not the problem, but
Bathsheba becomes pregnant -> a big problem b/c Bathsheba has a husband. David
solves this problem by arranging to kill the rightful husband in the battle.
Bathsheba acknowledges the fact that she has no choice. Because David is the King.
Movie adds a degree of romance which is completely absent from the Bible.
Overarching theme shared by both movies is romance. The story is turned into a love
story. In the text, the feelings of Bathsheba is never revealed. How she deals with the
situation is never revealed as well. (It is common for Israelites at the time to sleep and take a bath on the roof: but the
movie implies otherwise, that Bathsheba was trying to be seen)
The story of Absalom: WhenAbsalom reveals his intent to overthrow David and
become King, he has sex with (Oooku?) which implies the role of women used as the
transformation of power.
How does Bathsheba represented in WesternArt?
1) Bathsheba at Her Bath, Rembrandt
When Bathsheba is represented in art, it is this picture’s scene that is represented most.
Rembrandt focuses on Bathsheba by using light. Her body is anatomically impossible.
This is not a mistake, but Rembrandt’s attempt to further focus on Bathsheba’s body.
She’s also holding a letter from David.
Hans Memling’s Bathsheba in Her Bath focuses on Bathsheba as well. She has a
rounded belly, which was attractive at this age. (maybe an implication of later
pregnancy) in the corner of this picture, we can observe David spying on Bathsheba.
Govert Flinck, Bathsheba with David’s Letter
Bathsheba thinking about the invitation by the letter. This is absent in the text, but the
painting focuses on her reaction to the invitation.Attention is actually focused to her,
and she is engaging in the story.
Jan Matsys, David and Bathsheba
David’s envoy is escorting Bathsheba to David.
Hans VanAachen, David and Bathsheba
The reflection of the mirror is the wrong way. What we see in paintings are mostly
Diego Velazquez, Toilette of Vevnus Another example of what we will not see in the pictures
The Hanging ofAbsalom
Absalom is one of David’s sons, he is beautiful and loved by the people. He seizes
power from his father and rises to the throne. David has to run away. He is known for
his beautiful hair. He is stuck in the tree, which makes it easier for enemies to kill.
2 Sam 7:16
David as a symbol of messionic promise.
This descendant of david and his return will be like a shepherd. David becomes a
symbol of peace and security in the face of danger.
In the New Testament, Jesus is also constantly represented in a way.
February 17 th
God gave Solomon very great wisdom … Solomon’s wisdom surpassed Egypt (1
Solomon has two kinds of knowledge. He has innate wisdom (4:32-34)
Biblical Texts attributed to Solomon
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, song of songs, wisdom of Solomon
Konrad Witz, King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, 1435
Solomon is affiliated with EastAfrica.
-Detail of Solomon & Sheba from Piero della Francesca’s Legends of the True Cross
True Cross: The cross of which jesus was crucified. These legends were accepted as the truth at the time.
Piero della Francesca, Death of Adam, 1466
The Queen of Sheba in Adoration of the Wood and the Meeting of Solomon and the
Queen of Sheba
- The wood of the bridge is an important tree byAdam.
Alchemical “Solomon’s Seal” woodcut
Solomon becomes the symbol of wisdom and extravagance
People are required to work for them
David killed to many people, and his hand is too stained in blood to build a house for
the God. There’s a very lengthy description of a temple that is the home of God. This
ambivalence of kinship
Critique worship in a temple.
The Tbernacle: idea is to relate worshipping of God with the city.
Jaobs? Really large scary monsters, not cute cuddly angels (Valentine’s)
Layout of the temple is not surprising.
The temple: god’s house
The palace: solomon’s house
Homes of the people
all other sanctuaries were illegitimate. Religious power was concentrated. The
destruction of temples by the Babylonian and following reconstruction by the Persians express the recurring theme of exodus and return.
Temple remains a potent symbol. It’s not just important as a political mechanism or
a daily ritual, it continues its importance as a symbol in the bible and our
“Old” ST. Paul’s Cathedral. Designed by Inigo Jones
two templates represent the basic approach of Hebrew Bibles in King
The so called Wisdom books have completely different perspectives, sometimes the
Proverbs are aphorisms. They teach some sort of moral or practical truth. Proverbs tend
to use imagery or metaphors to make their point. They address a variety of issues.
Prov 23:29-35 depicts a father giving advice to his son about not being drunk.
Prov 5:15-20 Fear of the foreign in the Proverbs (seen in the Former Prophets as well).
It also could be interpreted that it is dangerous to wander away from the tradition and
Wisdom is personified as a woman.
In wisdom 8:1-6, wisdom is tied with eroticism. The desire of wisdom is to be parallel
to the desire of a human flesh.
Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth: The Preacher)
Ecclesiastes literally means “theAssembler”. We encounter a wholly different approach
of justice than proverbs. For Ecclesiastes, it is much more difficult to accept god will
bless the house of good.