My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Jeremiah 16

The continually restored nation

God told me not to marry Israelites, because they were all going to die. Don't mourn with them, because God has no pity any more. Don't feast, because joy is ending. If they ask why, then tell them it's because of their sin.

But! In the future people won't see Israel as the people brought out of Egypt by God, but the people brought out of the North by God! They will be restored once again. But for now they suffer.

The nations will come to God, knowing that their fathers made false gods. God will teach them his power.

Key verse:
21. Therefore I will teach them—
this time I will teach them
my power and might.
Then they will know
that my name is the Lord.

My thoughts:
Yay for God teaching the nations!

There is little in this theology (the deuteronomistic theology) for Satan. God is the cause of all things good and bad, and bad things come from God's anger at sin and other things. In many ways this seems a lot fairer, and completely squashes any idea of dualism, but it does downplay the unending love and mercy of God. Though, his mercy is not absent, as seen in this chapter.

Compare 2 Samuel 24 with 1 Chronicles 21 for a difference between the deuteronomistic theology and the Chroniclist's theology.


Anonymous Deane said...

Recently I was reading through the Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (as you do), and read something interesting in the entry under "Angel". Not only is Satan absent in the Deuteronomist, but divine intermediaries and angels are completely absent from the Deuteronomist and Priestly writings in the Pentateuch. To quote, "In the D and P sections of the Pentateuch they are never mentioned, nor do they appear in most of the pre-exilic prophetic literature where prophets receive their messages directly from God."

This all is thoroughly monotheistic, and, as you say, doesn't leave any room for dualism. However, it does require people to believe that all evil is only brought about in response to humans doing something wrong. And that strains credibility to an extreme degree. I guess that's why cosmic (not metaphysical) dualism never went away in the Jewish writings - and in fact dominates the New Testament. The opposite tendencies of theodicy and monotheism, pulling in different directions, seem to be driving the differences in worldview throughout the scriptures and other writings.

9:17 am

Blogger Pete W said...

Hmm yea... very interesting.

I know you're not that into discussing personal views on spiritual realities, but I still kinda feel that God ultimately is responsible for everything, good and bad. But it's kinda a dual responsibility.

Like a boss, and his employee did something bad. The boss is responsible, but the employee is guilty.


I am logically uncomfortable with a cosmology which involves something God doesn't have control over.

But yes, interesting observations about those passages referred to as D and P.

6:04 pm


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