Great connections, Julian.
No name is given for the prophet you refer to in I Kings 13--just "There
came a man of God out of Iudah by the commandement of the Lord." The king
he goes to is Jereboam. The man who fed him is labeled as a "prophet" in
the story, too, and gives his epitaph: "It is the man of God, who hathe
bene disobedient vnto the commandement of the Lord: therefore the Lord
hathe deliuered him vnto the lyon." Kirkrapine?
Maybe there's another example, this time a successful one, in Matt.
4:8-10: "Againe the deuil toke him [Jesus] vp vnto an exceading hie
mountaine, and shewed him all the kingdomes of the worlde, and the glorie
of them, And said to him, All these wil I giue thee, if thou wilt fall
downe, and worship me. Then said Iesus vnto him, Auoide Satan: for it is
written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him onely shalt thou
serue." The Geneva 1560's note on "shewed him" says "In a vision," but one
possible reading could be that Jesus does not believe what is presented to
him through his senses. Never seen this reading in a contemporary sermon
or commentary, though.
The author of Isaiah 51seems to expect his audience to exercise Jim's kind
of faith in the face of the memory of the sack of Jerusalem and the
continuing fact of the Babylonian exile. He quotes God as saying, "I, euen
I, am he, that comfort you. Who art thou, that thou shuldest feare a
mortal man, and the sonne of man, which shalbe made as grasse? And
forgetest the Lord thy maker . . . ? and hast feared continually all the
day, because of the rage of the oppressour, which is ready to
destroye? Where is now the rage of the oppressour?" [Uh, last I checked,
my city was in ruins and I and my family are still enslaved--minus the baby
we cannibalized.] But this isn't an example of asking someone to literally
disbelieve their senses--the author seems to be asking them to see the
larger picture, rather than to regard their experience as an illusion
produced by black magic.
Another thought about Hebrews 11: maybe the author is exercising the kind
of faith Jim is interested in. Unlike the other scriptural recapitulations
of Israel's history (as in Deuteronomy, the Psalms, the Prophets, or
Stephen's sermon in Acts 7, this passage's point is how faithful the
ancestors were. (Usually reciting Israel's history is an act of repentance
for unfaithfulness, or has the goal of shaming the hearers into
repentance.) In Hebrews 11, Moses and Isaac come off much better than they
do in the Hebrew Bible.
Moses: "By faith he forsoke Egypt, and feared not the fiercenes of the
King" as opposed to Exodus 2: "Then Moses feared . . . therefore Moses fled
from Pharaoh." Isaac: "By faith Isaac blessed Iacob and Esau, concerning
things to come" vs. Genesis: "Thy brother came with subtiltie, and hathe
taken away thy blessing."
The writer believes something different about Moses's and Isaac's
motivation from what is given in the Hebrew Bible. He refuses to believe
what is presented (not exactly to his senses, but scripture is supposed to
trump one's senses, and now his faith is trumping revelation).
At 02:41 AM 8/11/2005, you wrote:
>What about Eve and the Serpent? Hearing of course. Then Moses' delay on Mt
>Sinai (hence the golden calf -- if he hasn't come down by now he's
>probably not going to), Pharaoh (same cycle) hardening his heart after
>repeated evidences of a very dramatic nature; Elijah ("What doest thou
>here Elijah?"). There is also a story (I can't recall it accurately
>enought to locate) of a prophet commanded not to eat and then one claiming
>to be a prophet says that God has countermanded the order; the true
>prophet eats something and later gets eaten by a lion for disobeying the
>original command. A cruel story; but a very good parallel to RC and his
>dreams and visions I should have thought, despite not really being about
>the senses (although it is as much about the senses as Una and RC's
>encounter with Archimago etc etc the parallels flesh out) -- can any one
>recal the name of the prophet to help with locating the story?
>Any of the scoffers in the OT would do in a general way. Had Elisha given
>any sense-evidence of his calling before the boys taunted him (and got
>eaten by bears for their pains?) Looking at longer rhythms, after how long
>in the wilderness did the children of Israel complain to moses that they
>had been led to canaan (of high walls, giants, milk and honey) only to be
>destroyed there -- and after how much sense-evidence of God's leading
>them. ("God" in all these cases is variously Yahweh, Elohim and so on.) I
>mean to moan that God is now not goig to continue to fulfil his promises
>after the plagues, the red sea, the pillar of cloud and fire, the manna,
>quail (?), earth swallowing and the Sinia business (twice) and all that
>sounds a bit like one sense-impression confuting the other for lack of
>If none of all these from the riches of the list is what you are looking
>for then that is probably the most interesting thing about the whole
>business. I haven't read Jim's posting yet (the one with a health
>warning), but is all this sense business a later onset?
>J.B. Lethbridge, PhD
>University of Tuebingen
Margaret R. Christian, Ph.D. [log in to unmask]
Associate Professor of English Office: (610) 285-5106
Penn State Lehigh Valley Home: (610) 562-0163
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