In a Land from which Cainites were being dispossessed, Israel herself would not only judge between the manslayer and the avenger of blood, but provide cities of refuge to the “firstborn” Levites as a gift.
The Avenger of Blood
Like Adam, Cain would not “bear” his sin. But unlike Adam, Cain was rejecting the covering of animal substitutes. As the “offspring” of the serpent (kinghood without priesthood), he only understood law as tyranny. There was no place for mercy (Atonement) because mercy required Covenant confession.
Jesus’ reference to Daniel 7 in Matthew 26:64 (and Mark 14:62) is a source of some confusion. To figure out what is actually going on in Daniel’s vision, we have to go back to Leviticus 16. James Jordan writes:
…when Jesus calls Himself “the Son of Man,” He is referring to Ezekiel, not to Daniel 7 (except perhaps indirectly). Jesus is the Greater Ezekiel. Christians are those who are “like the Son of Man,” like Jesus.
God loves His architecture. The first chapter of the Bible is architecture. The books of Moses and the book of Revelation are filled with architecture, and the same floorplan underlies every book in between. Most Christians don’t understand the Bible’s architecture and modern Christians not only do not understand it, they do not care for it. But God loves His architecture. To love the Bible one must love its architecture. To understand the Bible, one must let the architecture inform one’s understanding.
“Sanctions corresponds to the Day of Atonement. One goat goes to heaven (as fragrant smoke) and the other goes to hell, carrying the sins of the people into the wilderness, to be eaten by the birds and beasts. The difference here is that we have not two goats, but two High Priests…”
Matthew 26-27: SANCTIONS
The fourth major cycle moves us from the Covenant Ethics to the Covenant Sanctions. This concerns the pouring out of blessings and curses for obedience or disobedience to the Covenant, and the cleansing of the Land from the guilt of sin and the ensuing barrenness.
Aligning this pattern with its corrupted prototype in Eden, the “war of words” between Adam (Jesus) and the serpent (the Jewish rulers) is over, and it is time for some face to face combat, and a reckoning.
“And as he prayed, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his clothing was white and glistening.” (Luke 9:29, King James 2000 Bible)
The Tabernacle was covered in three layers: linen, red-dyed ramskin, and a third layer of tachash. What’s tachash? The word is a mystery, and there have been many suggestions concerning its meaning, from unicorn to dolphin. But perhaps that mystery has now been solved. And the glistening solution is nothing like you’d imagine in a million years.
This post has been slain and resurrected for inclusion in my 2015 book of essays, Inquietude.
Priests and Levites of All Nations
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6
In this final post on the structure of Ephesians, we will cover stage 6 (Conquest/Atonement) and stage 7 (Glorification/Booths). (Unfortunately, I can’t refer to them as cycles because there are 8 cycles, as previously discussed.)
A common interpretation of the “armor of God” relies on the assumption that Paul is using the kit of a Roman soldier as a metaphor. This shows how fragmented is our understanding of the Bible, an organic text which is not fragmented at all, and not reliant upon the various contemporary cultures anywhere near as much as we assume. The armor in Ephesians 6 is that of a priest, a priest with a sword, fulfilling his guard duty at the gate of God.
or Why Ministers Must Be Men
My people—infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them.
O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.
Doug Wilson has a great little book with the title, Why Ministers Must Be Men. He demonstrates from Scripture that ministers must be not only male but manly, that is, courageous and self-sacrificial, ruling out both misogyny and machismo in the process. I believe we can also find evidence for his case in the very structure of the Bible. The proof boils down to the question, “What is a man in the created order?” That is, what is a man physically, and what is he to be in the very process of things?
“Let the children
…..come to me,
……….and do not hinder them,
…..for to such belongs
the kingdom of God.”
Jesus is often pictured with a child or children. His love for children is used as evidence for infant baptism. After all, aren’t we bringing our infants to Jesus in paedobaptism and paedocommunion?
“…and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity. But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand.” (Exodus 24:10-11)
Well, I’ve been blustering on about art and “intuition” in generalities for about a week now. Fluffy generalities are exactly the kind of thing that annoys me about many Biblical scholars, and I reckon it annoys God, too. They never seem to get down to specifics, and He is very specific. This shows in His architecture, and also in His literary architecture. So, here, in a section of Matthew 14, is a chance for me to get specific and show you what is possible with this “killer hermeneutic.” 
After a brief look at the structure of this passage the other day, I thought I’d spend some more time on it. A closer analysis has revealed an even greater beauty than I expected. (I have briefly referenced the order of words in the Greek to avoid any great missteps, so it may not be perfect, but it’s close.) Much learning hath indeed made me mad but I hope you’ll take a few minutes to see this passage through my eyes.
Bow ties are cool. Fezzes are cool. But systematic typology is very cool. Try this on…