Saturday, June 2, 2018

Adult Sabbath School: Romantic Relationships in the Bible.

                                   
2 Samuel 12: 
1 "And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. 2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: 3 But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. 4 And there came a traveler unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him."
Great story here! Enough to make any caring man angry which is exactly what it was intended to do. It is a story about having "one little ewe lamb," even though she was evidently one "ewe la la" type ewe! But it was his. She belonged to him and was his prize possession. Middle Eastern men possessed their women like farmers possessed cows and sheep, oxen and asses. Not committing adultery in the Ten Commandments was a function of it being wrong to take a man's property. Coveting was a function of taking a man's property, animals and oh yes, wife. If he trashed her, you could take her.

A married woman was property and all laws punishing her unfaithfulness were designed to prevent not knowing who the father of her children were and associated inheritance rights of those children. Before DNA testing, there was the fear of stoning to keep a woman having only the children of the one man. It insured a positive DNA test! The one man, however, could enjoy as many wives as he could afford. Stoning kept women honest about whose child that was. 
5 "And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: 6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. 7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man."
! David fell right into that trap. He became  compassionate toward the little lamb, angry at the man and pronounced judgement on him...actually on himself, for having taking Bathsheba from Uriah and gotten Uriah killed in the process. But now it get's interesting.

"Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8 And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon."
Notice what the issue here is. David killed Uriah and took his wife Bathsheba. This is bad stuff to be sure. But it is not an issue of the rightness or wrongness of having multiple wives. David already had that and evidently, if he needed more houses, power and wives, God would have been more than happy to do that. Just don't kill a man and take his! The issue seems more one of killing off a great soldier than taking his wife in the process. But no matter. God is saying that if David needed more wives, more women, more variety, all he had to do was ask and "I would have given thee such and such things." Such and such is almost code for "the women" Guy to guy stuff more than God to guy stuff!
10 "Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. 11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. 13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die."
Well David now has to be punished. So he gets "the sword not departing from his house." Never mind that the sword was a part of every kings house and war has raged between them all since there were kings. This is really nothing new. It's not like there was great peace in the land and now it would get nasty.
Notice also that God was going to take David's wives. David had wives a plenty. He could afford them. No one minded and it was rather expected and God never brought it up until he took one from a favorite soldier and got him killed doing it. So God says that his wives would be raped that very day in front of David. No evidence this ever happened, but notice, the poor women pay for David's "sin" not David. Would have been more real if God said, "now David, today YOU will be raped in front of your people." But that's not how it works. The women always pay and get to be the rapee to punish the guy. Notice that David quickly says, "I'm sorry." and just as quickly, Nathan says, "No problem, we forgive you, we had to say this, you'll be fine." See how easy it is for guys? Meanwhile, the ladies are out in the yard getting raped by who knows who and how. I hope this did not really happen.
Continuing...
14 "Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. 15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. 16 David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. 17 And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. 18 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died...... 24 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him."

Well, once again, it's not David that gets punished, but an innocent baby that never gets to survive David and Bathsheba's relationship. Maybe it was a girl anyway so easier to let go of. I suppose they were sad, but they graciously accept it, get back to worship and have another cute little boy who goes on to be Solomon, the wisest guy on the planet so they say along with being the most wealthy who has 500 wives and 700 Concubines in his own stable in due time.
(I often wondered, as do many, just where was the man "caught in the very act" with the woman taken in adultery in John 8?   The man is never the issue in the Bible.
Maybe a deformed or handicapped child would have taught David and Bathsheba a  better lesson, as that was also the ignorant belief of the day, but not so this time. (The Presbyterian Minister told my parents that they must have done something wrong because of the birth of my brother who ended up blind, deaf and unable to speak.)The Lord ends up loving them all and David gets to be "a man after God's own heart." So see it all works out!
It is common to say that they did have these multiple relationships but that it was only allowed because of the hardness of their hearts. Well, who's in charge here!? God seems to give up rather easily when humans won't go with the program. "Ok, since you don't want to do it, go ahead. But I don't like it." Divorce also was only permitted because the men did it anyway but "from the beginning it was not so." But actually from the beginning it has always been so.
Marriage in the Old Testament was not the romantic one on one affair that is required to be in our time. In our day, the Church demands that a young couple promise upon pain of eternal judgement and death that they will never change, ever. Then the Church conveniently forgets to mention that from the moment they make their vows, everything else in the universe will begin to change. A little unrealistic.

Even the New Testament says that the Elder must be the husband of one wife, as if other members did have more than one but could not be an elder unless they pared it back to one. But the New Testament, unlike the Old where men have multiple female relationships, is a book where the leading men have little  or no real relationships, romantic or otherwise. Twelve men, with no female relationships, save maybe Peter, following  the no relationships Jesus around and then celibate (who knows)  men telling everyone else how to be married, raise kids and enjoy a relationship "God's way". 


After the restoration of Da Vinci's "Lord's Supper" it became obvious the artist believed Mary Magdalene had a personal relationship with Jesus . She is seated on his right hand.
Makes no sense. There are no male/female relationships in the New Testament of any worth. It's the unspoken taboo.  The Gospel of Philip indeed describes Mary M. as the "one who was called his companion", i.e. the companion or wife of Jesus. Jesus "loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on the mouth....The rest of the disciples offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said to him, 'Why do you love her more than all of us?'..." Jesus is said to have replied, "why does she love me more than you?" You can see why this book did not make the cut! 
Catholic priests, in time past, were married and even had multiple relationships but that was ended in the Middle Ages by the Church so that any properties amassed by the clergy in their lifetimes would go to the church and not the wife. In time, celibacy was required across the board for Priests, but that was a value added law by the Church and not Biblical in any way. An unmarried Rabbi in Judaism had little credibility and it didn't happen from what I understand. Makes one wonder what was left out when Jesus was called "Rabbi". 
Men got off rather easily with many perks, while women paid and paid and paid for the sins of the men by having to be raped, thrown out and sent into the desert to teach the man a lesson. Women were basically worthless possessions in scripture.

Only in the Song of Solomon do we see any one on one emotional and dedicated love expressed. Of course if any Solomon really wrote this, and some historians see no place for a real Solomon in history,  I imagine he heard "I bet you tell that to all the girls" quite often. So much so that many churches see the Song of Solomon , out of embarrassment , as an analogy of Christ's love for the church.   Go figure. Taliban Christianity is not much different today.
The Bible is not  a primer on loving and caring relationships.  The New Testament picks of the male/female themes of the Old Testament with regards to the "role" of women in the church. because "the woman sinned and not the man", (I Timothy 2:14) but that's another Adult Sabbath School lesson.



38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another long article ?!?! I would be more than happy to read your articles but you should post cliff note versions for us younger viewers of this website.

DennisCDiehl said...

925 said:
Anonymous said...
Another long article ?!?! I would be more than happy to read your articles but you should post cliff note versions for us younger viewers of this website.

That's why I include the pictures for you. Perhaps the younger viewers should get off their asses and cell phones and invest some time in more in depth thinking and study?!?! I did say it was "Adult Sabbath School" after all. :)

Byker Bob said...

The story is what it is, and is “in the book” so to speak, warts and all, and subject to discussion, analysis, and many opinions. We should always remember that the first four letters of the word analysis spell “anal”, a small caution that many things become over-analyzed, especially over long time frames.

This is an interesting post, somewhat along the same lines as “Fennimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses” by Mark Twain. As in the case of all great art, people will experience mostly personalized reactions, lessons, and opinions from the story of David and Bathsheba. How we react becomes part of our own self-portrait.

BB

DennisCDiehl said...

One of the biggest shortcomings of COG theology and ministerial training, so called, is that the church is educated in booklet mode only. The leaders write the booklets and that's it. There is no academic freedom within the ministry and certainly not within the laity. The Plain Truth about this or that is written at a 9th grade level and that's it. Critical thinking skills are not taught nor tolerated. Differences of opinion on the guru's take on things never to be questioned even if they make a fool out of themselves like Dave Pack does consistently.

The scriptures themselves discourage critical thinking with...

"There is a way that seemeth right to a man but the ways thereof end in death" Pro 14:12

"I Cor 3: 18Let no one deceive himself. If any of you thinks he is wise in this age, he should become a fool, so that he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness.” 20And again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”…

1 Corinthians 1:20
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

While I know many cling to these verses as some kind of back handed compliment for being in the church as opposed to being in the world it makes "prove all things and hold fast to that which is good" a challenge. First you have to become a fool and then you can proceed evidently but only if you reach the same conclusions as the Booklet Writers desire of you.

As I have said before, if you're Christian you'll have to forgive me, those who notice Jesus has not returned and ask about "Just what did you mean soon?" are called scoffers in Peter. Not noticers....scoffers. Typical response from those who have been badly mistaken and do not have the capacity to say "I'm sorry, I was mistaken."

From "YOU PEOPLE, did not understand me" to "God is giving us more time" it is anything but "I was wrong."

Knowledge takes research and hard work. Lifetimes for many depending on the discipline. They didn't get to where they are by reading Cliff Notes. They did the hard work in the field and in academia.

The main reason not many wise, not many mighty and not many noble are called is because they can see right through the shallow and uncritical thinking being passed off as the deep things of God. Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry, Gerald Weston, James Malm , Bob Thiel and all COG professed leader types have virtually no real theological training and as I have often said qualify as most do as mere Bible readers giving it whatever spin they need and desire. Making the Bible mean what it never meant is a sure fire way to end up with a booklet based mentality that must be broken down into Cliff Notes to be understood because I don't have time to critically think it through myself.

Gerald Bronkar said...

Hey Den, another great Bible story! Is the lesson that "you can still be a man after God's own heart" even if you steal another man's wife and have him killed in battle? How touching, and what an understanding God (as long as you are King of Israel). What lesson does this really teach? A very mixed message.

Lots of interesting stories in the "Word", but very difficult to accept that the book was inspired by a wise and loving Supreme Being.

Once I saw the Bible for what it is, I became a free man...free from the tiny box created by those who claim the Bible is divinely inspired. How is it not obvious? Admittedly, it took me a long time.

Anonymous said...

TL;DR

DennisCDiehl said...

My apologies for the "cliff notes" screed. When I went to AC, knowing NOTHING about the church or the Armstrongs much less the administration, I assumed, at 18 it was another seminary like Roberts Wesleyan College I had also been accepted to for theological training and ministry I supposed. The Ambassador College catalogue was well done and seemed legit. It was not. In my perfect hindsight the courses were shallow and the teaching only bolstered the church teachings and that of the Armstrongs. I am eternally embarrassed at what I was not taught and not a bit angry at myself, again in hindsight, for not knowing better.

I occasionally went to the Fuller Theological Library as an AC student and more than once thought maybe I should transfer over to there as they seemed more intent on theological teaching and had a much better library etc. But, it wasn't "the truth" so I did not of course.

"Embarrassing College" and "Ministurd" are two terms that just cut me to the bone. Not because I disagree, but because I do and it hurts to realize I missed my own mark and ended up in the wrong place and the wrong profession. It was the 60's after all. I did mean well and if nothing else, saw what I saw and experienced the Armstrongs thinking that when HWA was gone it would get better and I was the next generation of those who would make it so. Har har.... Oh, I was incredibly naïve as well.

I know what it would have taken to become a paleontologist or a geologist. But when you love and agree with something like that as I do, it doesn't seem like work. Pastoring in WCG was always so difficult, emotionally and psychologically because of all the scandals, drama and bullshit that came to the fore exactly when I went into the ministry in '72. I never saw it coming and it was one damn thing after the next. I love what I do now and that I can keep doing it until I drop. Working for me is the best employer I ever had.

Anonymous said...

thinking that when HWA was gone it would get better and I was the next generation of those who would make it so

Dennis, you probably have a very good understanding of what many in LCG are now feeling. They imagined a healthier LCG after Rod Meredith's demise... but different imaginers had different definitions of health, and only a relative few are pleased by the reality of life under Gerald Weston. If LCG were not first and foremost a social club, larger numbers would have left by now. As it stands, however, many feel that they have nowhere else to go, as leaving would mean losing most of their current friends and establishing a whole new network of superficial ACOG friendships.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first comment, there far too many points in this post. Touching on two points, the lamb analogy strongly implies that David was driven by envy rather than sex. He felt that others should have nothing or less than he did. Being a soldier and having killed so many, would have changed David for the worse. It would have made him a kill joy among other things.

My second point is that David having multiple wives did not have Gods approval and is a violation of His law. This legal adultery morally weakened David, contributing to his murder of Uriah. This family sin of adultery was passed on to Solomon whom it completely destroyed.

Anonymous said...

In the Bible, a rapist was allowed to marry the rapee. Also if a woman was raped and was not heard to cry out, she could be killed.

Anonymous said...

dd is typical of they what over analyze things, as indicated in his virtual white paper, as well as the oft resorted to cliche mocking points used against they what dare point out the tedious, long drawn out explanations the scholarly types are so fond of (or perhaps such things are more indicative of their inability to explain things in laymans terms)...

i myself subscribe to as simple an explanation as possible cuz i understand the importance of actually making a point, rather than, in doing so, making a show of knowledge...

having said that: John 8 was alluded to, and as usual, the truth of the matter can be found proceeding from the mouth of the One...

in one verse, from the One Authority, God made known His feelings on the matter, the cultural biases of the male authors of the rest of the bible not withstanding...

c f ben yochanan

What About The Truth said...

This article reminds me of what I use to joke with some of the women in the church about. I would ask them with all the stories of the bible and record of events from the WCG and now splinter organizations, you can only conclude that the male gender has been a utter failure. So I would ask them why are you still here?

I look a little differently to your surmising of "The Bible is not a primer on loving and caring relationships". There is a dominate theme of a God choosing a people to have for himself a relationship - a marriage - a wife. The frustration of God when his people chose other gods and chose to live apart from his ways was His proclamation of "I shall not always strive with flesh". The resulting folly of mankind has incurred floods, fire from heaven, destruction, captivity and death.

You are right, not a good track record for a relationship where God said "I have chosen you, you have not chosen me". But the New Testament offers a change in now God would dwell in the one he would call, and now that person would have the capacity to love God with their whole heart soul and mind and love their neighbor as themselves. At this time there is more of an acceptance of the female gender as Prophetesses' and Deaconess' are mentioned and the teaching of honoring ones wife as the weaker vessel and the event of the anointing of Christ by Mary - an event that is to be mentioned and proclaimed along side the true gospel for all time (Even though no one does).


In the end, there is a restoration of a people that God says I have not forgotten you and a finality of dwelling forever with each other in a new habitation.

Maybe not the most romantic of a relationship through time, but a loving relationship nonetheless and a true picture of what happens when a lot of human nature is involved.

Anonymous said...

2.36 PM
Laymans terms? Let the hillbilly rednecks educate themselves rather than expect others to constantly lower themselves to accommodate them. Specialty fields should not have to hamper their self expression so that Jed Clampetts of the world are not left behind. The rednecks can go eat cake.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:19 PM, I hope no men raped other men back in bible times....

Claire Voighent said...

What is interesting to point out is that God seems not to condemn pedophilia anywhere in his Word. But I suppose if anyone is willing to correct me on that I would be willing to apologize for my past comments in which I did say hurtful things about Christians.

Hoss said...

...the woman taken in adultery in John 8

This story was a late insertion in John, and according to Bart Ehrman, a very late insertion. I think the story was traced back to the late first or early second century.
Regardless, as the story says, it was a setup to trap Jesus; this seems to be ignored and changed to a story of compassion and mercy. By Torah law, when no legitimate witnesses came forward, and the water of bitterness adultery test hadn't been done, there was no case.
In the same way, David wasn't caught with Bathsheba, and the way David arranged the death of Uriah, there was, again, no legal case against him. The legal requirement in each case was at least two eyewitnesses who are in agreement.

Anonymous said...

...Before DNA testing, there was the fear of stoning to keep a woman having only the children of the one man. It insured a positive DNA test! The one man, however, could enjoy as many wives as he could afford. Stoning kept women honest about whose child that was.


https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=f41_1462529834

https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=598_1457227209

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:30 I do not believe that having multiple wives is anywhere condemned in the Bible. The NT only says that if one wants to be a bishop, then he needs to have only one wife, implying that polygamy was still common at that time. It may have been frowned upon but I don't think forbidden.

Anonymous said...

The Orthodox church teaches from its inception that being the husband of one wife means you cannot be divorced and on your 2nd or etc wife. That is the meaning of the Greek in that verse.

Anonymous said...

7.09 PM
The laws of physics and chemistry are set, as are the moral laws. The ten commandments given through Moses forbids adultery, which implicitly means one mate. Social acceptance or the lack there of does not change the fact that a law of nature has been broken, with it's corresponding negative consequences.

Anonymous said...

i look at how the space program has failed to achieve what science fiction writers had once predicted it would and i immediately think of the arrogance your kind has contributed to this failure...

you have no concept of the importance of inspiring the common man, from which, btw, comes innovation, and at the very least, donations...

your kind is so smart and educated, yet ignorant to the importance of teaching and inducing inspiration through common, practical language...then you whine about the government of the people being unwilling to invest in science?

maybe if you were capable of explaining in laymans terms (which you are not) why they should spend taxpayer money on ur endeavors you wouldnt always be subject to the whims of those what you naturally have contempt for, lol!

the point is: the ability to explain in laymans terms is key if you want to influence the masses, which is why the science types are generally never able to succeed in taking over the world...#pinkyandthebrain

c f ben yochanan

Anonymous said...

if u had not included the example of dawveeds adultery it would have been harder to refute your point...

go back and read the account of david again and you will find that he was cursed for the rest of his life subsequent to his adultery and his commission of murder...

c f ben yochanan

Anonymous said...

9.01 PM
Yes David was punished for killing a man and stealing his wife. So what's your point? We can't mind read, you know.

Anonymous said...

Claire
If you are not sure whether the bible condemns pedophilia, why are you on this blog?

Anonymous said...

God seems to have no problem with a man having more then one wife!

Anonymous said...

Hoss, June 2, 2018 at 5:51 PM, said...In the same way, David wasn't caught with Bathsheba, and the way David arranged the death of Uriah, there was, again, no legal case against him. The legal requirement in each case was at least two eyewitnesses who are in agreement."

Interesting thoughts there. I Kings has the following "bottom line" for David:

I Kings 15:4 Nevertheless for David’s sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem:
5 Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

FWIIW, the mention of the matter of Uriah was one example where David was not always "a man after God's own heart!"

John

Anonymous said...

P.S.

Why did God hold the matter of Uriah against David?

In the Old Testament there were sacrifices/offerings that could be done for virtually everything, even ignorance, but there was no sacrifice/offering for murder.

John

RSK said...

And handmaidens on the side, right?

Byker Bob said...

Rabbinical tradition is that the sacrifices of Torah were never intended to cover willful sin. Murder is by definition premeditated. What David did was certainly premeditated. Where there is no sacrifice, there is punishment in one’s life. David’s punishment appears to be similar to that of Cain.

BB

Anonymous said...

1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6...

oh, and did i mention John 4:18?

c f ben yochanan

Anonymous said...

astute, indeed...

c f ben yochanan

Anonymous said...

was merely responding to hoss's contention that "there was no case"...we seem to forget that God, indeed, The Word, is the Ultimate Judge, regardless of the derelict tendency of mankind...

God Judges Righteous Judgement even as mankind is biased...but Samuel did at least relay The Lords displeasure with king david, though...

c f ben yochanan

Dennis Diehl said...

"Sacrificing" animals for human stuff or because gods demands it is another human delusional behavior

Dumbhead said...

As far as having multiple wives... Common street sense tells us that a man can't have multiple wives and not have problems. What woman really doesn't mind sharing her husband with another woman? Would any woman or man on this forum be willing to have their mate sleep with someone else?

nck said...

"Sacrificing" animals for human stuff or because gods demands it is another human delusional behavior

Re: Dennis. ALL things humans do are personal illusions. ONLY when we agree on something or definitions, we call it "reality."



Re: Dumbhead
Would any woman or man on this forum be willing to have their mate sleep with someone else?

I have not seen evidence that mates enjoy the though of it.


Having said that:

Studying Royalty I have gathered that most of the time "Loyalty" was regarded a higher quality than "fidelity."

Studying interviews with mormon women it seems "the act" is not something freely discussed with outsiders. However they seem to be satisfied in some ways in the trade with "sisterhood" or a communal life.

Other peoples trade fidelity with safety regarding the circumstances.

I have seen african tribal women react furiously when their "old husband" traded his wealth "goats' for yet another younger woman. It is difficult to see if that stems from a fear of being left sexually dissatisfied or that the dissipation of wealth means a lower standard of living.

Throughout history we see a clash between the women in the raising of their children to become the next king or leader of the tribe. A lot of poison involved. Luckily Abraham respnded quickly by sending Hagar away in time.

nck




Byker Bob said...

It’d be nice to know more about Moses and Zipporah.

Dennis Diehl said...

Yes NCK, I saw that Tedx talk too☺

nck said...

Yes Dennis its wierd. The moment people start posting on 1968 feasts of tabernacles, zuckerberg starts offering articles from the economist regarding race relations in the usa. Lately I get a lot of reports from Portland too on my timeline about food and floodings. A good thing to know there is an allknowing being who knows about my thoughts before I know them.

Let me know if strange articles start haunting you. Thats me through Ai


Nck