1 Joshua the son of Nun secretly sent two men out of Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, including Jericho.” They went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab, and slept there.
2 The king of Jericho was told, “Behold,* men of the children of Israel came in here tonight to spy out the land.”
3 Jericho’s king sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered into your house; for they have come to spy out all the land.”
4 The woman took the two men and hid them. Then she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I didn’t know where they came from. 5 About the time of the shutting of the gate, when it was dark, the men went out. Where the men went, I don’t know. Pursue them quickly. You may catch up with them.” 6 But she had brought them up to the roof, and hidden them under the stalks of flax which she had laid in order on the roof. 7 The men pursued them along the way to the fords of the Jordan River. As soon as Continue reading →
Who Was the Teacher of Righteousness in the Dead Sea Scrolls?
By Kerry A. Shirts, 1992 [Excerpted]
The Dead Sea Scrolls are documents (thousands of fragments) found in caves in the deserts of Palestine around Jerusalem, during the 1940’s-50’s, written by Jewish sectaries who fled to the wilderness in opposition to the prevailing powers at Jerusalem, and specifically the Temple, approximately 200 B.C. Samuel Sandmal, notes that it is clear the community of Qumran arose because of the dissatisfaction of how the priests were running the Temple. It had divine sanction, they did not.1
The scrolls contain instructions on how to live in order to be the receivers of a new covenant the sect felt was coming. In other words the documents seem to have an apocalyptic orientation. Every book of the Bible is represented except the Book of Esther, as well as many apocryphal books, commentaries on these books with their particular application to the sect (arguably the Essenes), sectarian materials on how to join the sect, etc. Continue reading →
The Teacher of Righteousness in the Qumran Texts
By F. F. BRUCE, 1957
I. THE TEACHER AND THE TEXTS
‘The Teacher of Righteousness’ is the name given in a number of the lately discovered Qumran documents to a man who was held in high veneration by the religious community on whose beliefs and practices these documents have thrown so much light. If he was not actually the founder of the community, it was certainly he who impressed upon it those features which distinguished it from other pious groups which flourished among the Jews during the last two or three centuries of the Second Commonwealth. So far as we can gather from our present sources of information, he is never referred to by his personal name in the Qumran texts.1
The title bestowed on him by his followers, ‘The Teacher of Righteousness’ (Heb. moreh sedeq or moreh hassedeq), may echo Hosea x. 12, where the prophet calls to his people: ‘break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness (Heb. yoreh sedeq) upon you.’ The RV margin gives ‘teach you righteousness’ as an alternative translation to ‘rain righteousness Continue reading →
1 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. 2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! 3 Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. 4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
The Lord’s Answer
5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. 6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs. 7 They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. 8 Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat. 9 They shall come all for violence: Continue reading →
JONAH AND THE “GOURD” AT NINEVEH: CONSEQUENCES OF A CLASSIC MISTRANSLATION
By Jules Janick and Harry S. Paris, CUCURBITACEAE, 2006, pp. 349-357.
ABSTRACT. The fast-growing plant referred to in the biblical Book of Jonah is most often translated into English as “gourd.” However, this is a mistranslation that dates to the appended Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, in which the Hebrew word qiqayon (castor, Ricinus communis, Euphorbiaceae) was transformed into the somewhat similar-sounding Greek word kolokynthi (colocynth, Citrullus colocynthis). In translation of the Greek into Latin, kolokynthi became the similar-sounding cucurbita (gourd). This is reflected in early iconography, the plant most often depicted being a long-fruited Lagenaria siceraria (bottle or calabash gourd), a fast-growing climber.
Cucurbits are frequent subjects of art, literature, and myth. Since ancient times, people the world over have been fascinated by the fast growth of cucurbits, from seed to a rampant vine bearing prominent, attractive fruits within two or three months. Metaphorically, the cucurbits are associated with warmth, Continue reading →
1:1 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. 4 But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. 6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. 7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. 8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what Continue reading →
There’s No Melancholy in Melencolia – One Secret of Greatest Art Fraud in Art History By Elizabeth Garner, 2013
This engraving is [Albrecht] Dürer’s greatest masterpiece. It is the most debated image in the history of art, and tens of thousands of scholarly articles have been written about its supposed meaning, none of which are correct to date. Continue reading →
Transcript of a Talk on Aboriginal Spirituality, to the Swedenberg church group in Ainslie, Canberra, 2004
By Steven Guth
One of the things about Aborigines – that people don’t seem to realize – is that there were lots of languages, quite different languages around Australia. This was because each language reflected the energy, the music, the wind, the sound and the feeling of the place where people lived.
I know a little German, so I’ll say, “Guten Morgen” and Katherine here, can say “……..” in Chinese. Now you can hear there is a very different tonal quality in that … the Guten Morgen is heavily onto the earth, Continue reading →
At the outset, it’s important to realize that Jung conceived of the archetypes as autonomous structures within the collective unconscious. They were pre-existent, self-generating “forces of nature,” as he sometimes called them, rather than (as many mistakenly believe) artifacts of cultural experience. For example, he writes:
“The archetype is . . . an irrepresentable, unconscious, pre-existent form that seems to be part of the inherited structure of the psyche and can therefore manifest itself spontaneously anywhere, at any time . . .Again and again I encounter the mistaken notion that an archetype is determined [by cultural influences] in regard to its content . . . It is necessary to point out once more that archetypes are not determined [by cultural experience] as regards their content, but only as regards their form and then only to a very limited degree.” (Memories, Dreams, Reflections, pages 392-393)
Dream Techniques in Jewish Mysticism
From Jewish Mystical Realms
In many cultures, dreams have been conceived of as channels of communication with other, spiritual realms, and this is the case also of Jewish mysticism. On the one hand, divine emissaries were described as invading the human consciousness during dreams in order to announce important messages; on the other, someone could induce dreams by resorting to a variety of oneirogenic* techniques. We will bring here several examples of such techniques, out of an enormous body of literature, which demonstrate that Kabbalists were involved in various nocturnal forms of experiences, an aspect of Kabbalah which still awaits analysis by scholars.
One particularly neglected realm in the study of Kabbalah is a literary genre dealing with dream-recipes: the so-called she’elot halom, i.e. questions formulated before someone went to sleep, questions whose answers were expected to arrive in dreams. In many cases, these answers took the form of a biblical Continue reading →