Aug 7 2013

The Field of Blood

Covenant Structure in Zechariah 11

“The meek will eventually inherit the earth but the wicked will always have to buy it.”

Reading the book of Zechariah, like most Bible prophecies, is like tuning in to Season 3 of any good TV series without watching Seasons 1 and 2. Our problem today is not that we haven’t actually read the books of Moses (well, I hope we have) but that we haven’t been taught to read them into the prophets and the New Testament. We treat them like we’ve now switched channels, or shows, and the authors are starting with a blank canvas! However, the canvas isn’t blank. The prophets were God’s repo men, and their messages were all framed in the context of the Covenant contract. What amazes me is how inventive the prophets are (or the Spirit is) in coming up with something new and surprising using the patterns laid down in Moses.

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Sep 5 2011

A Stormy Brew


Joel 2: 1-11

Into Joel again, and he knows nothing of our chapter divisions. At least the chapter break occurs at the end of an obvious stanza. We are still within Ethics 3, so this is the Trumpets stanza of a Trumpets cycle (aren’t fractals fantastic?) It’s a bit like that movie Inception — as the prophecy moves forward, each step is expanded to further level of structure, a dream within a dream. In this case, it is a multi-level nightmare, a brewing, billowing thundercloud. [1]

Jerusalem had become a new Babel, so God raised up a real Babel in order to overrun the Land and swallow her up. Joel uses the Creation, Dominion and Feasts structures but applies them to the invading Babylonians in ironies that would go over our head — if we weren’t familiar with these literary devices!

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Aug 23 2011

Repo Men

or Feasts in Joel 1


The prophets were God’s “Covenant sheriffs,” hammering on the door with the broken contract like repo men from hell. They don’t want your car. They want your blood.

It should not surprise us when their words follow the Covenant structure. The first chapter of Joel is, once you know what you are looking at, a beauty and a terror. The prophet uses the Annual Feasts as a theme. It turns out that the Lord’s rebellious people will be the meat on the table.

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Apr 20 2009

The Book

“Then God turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the Prophets: ‘Did you offer Me slaughtered animals and sacrifices during forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?”  Acts 7:42 [NKJV]

James Jordan observes that in using the phrase “The Book of the Prophets”, Stephen refers to what we call the minor prophets, considered as one book in the Hebrew canon. The main themes in this Book were the jealousy of the Lord and the day of the Lord. Another judgment, death and resurrection of Israel was on the horizon.

The Book of the Twelve, Lecture 1, available from

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