Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Is not this the son of David? (2Sam 7)

Chapter 7 is extremely significant, and the reason it is significant is also the reason that the SAB is wrong about failed prophecy in this particular case.

David comes to be speaking to the prophet Nathan one day, and he says that he feels bad that the ark is kept in a tent while he lives in a palace, hinting that he would like to build a temple. Nathan thinks this is a great idea, and encourages David. It's worth noting that Nathan says "for the LORD is with thee", because later, God seems to speak to him in a dream and correct him; since the idea sounded good, Nathan assumed that God would agree. Although the SAB did not mark it as such, some might be tempted to think of this as failed prophecy, but it's rather a failed prophet.

God gives a message to David that he is not to build a temple, but that a descendant of David's would instead build a temple, and God would establish the kingdom of that descendant for ever. The SAB says of this passage, "God says that Solomon's kingdom will last forever. It didn't of course. It was entirely destroyed about 400 years after Solomon's death, never to be rebuilt." This is only half right.

Yes, Solomon's kingdom only lasted about 400 years after Solomon, but that's not the point. The prophecy concerns a descendant of David, but it doesn't say which descendant. The assumption that it's talking about Solomon may seem reasonable, since he inherited the throne of David, but there is something deeper here, and while you may have already guessed where I'm going with this as a Christian, I do think that even Jews accept this interpretation with the exception of the specific fact that I claim here: this prophecy is concerning Jesus of Nazareth.

Matthew 1:32-33 says of Jesus, "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Acts 2:30 says of David, "Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne" Sound familiar? This prophecy is not of Solomon, but of the eternal kingdom of the Messiah that is to come some day, Christians of course believing that person to be Christ Jesus.

The SAB asks, "Does God lie?" Well, the issue is not so pressing in this case, as David is not necessarily making a blanket theological statement so much as affirming that he believes in this prophecy. I'll leave the larger issue of God's willingness/ability to lie for a another time.


stuart said...

I am writing this post to all atheists who have a vested interest in debunking the myth of Jesus Christ. I am sorry if it bothers anyone that I am not continue the discussions that are going on your blog. Please contact me at the email address below and I promise I will never post on your blog again.

Here's what's up. A number of fundamentalist Christian blogs have come out swinging against a new book by Stephan Huller called the Real Messiah. The most recent being:


But there are many others. The only allies he seems to have on the web are a bunch of Jewish bloggers who like him because his mother was a Frankist (see wikipedia for more about this sect).

In any event Huller's book presents evidence that a two thousand year old throne in Venice proves that Jesus was not and never claimed to be the messiah.

Huller is going to appear on CNN in two weeks as part of his promotion of the book. As a big fan of his work I wanted to alert my fellow bloggers about this interview and have as many of us who have read the book to direct questions which challenge the existence of God and the whole Christian-fascist paradigm.

If you are interested in getting more information about his appearance please contact me at mastersonstuart@yahoo.com. If you haven't read the book here is a blog posting to familiarize yourself with his basic points when you do the phone in show:


Thanks again


Brucker said...

No problem, Stuart. It's a free Internet.

grishnak said...

From your commentary:
God gives a message to David that he is not to build a temple, but that a descendant of David's would instead build a temple, and God would establish the kingdom of that descendant for ever.

This appears to be your paraphrase of 7:12-13 which reads:
7:12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
7:13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

You correctly point out that this passage could refer to Jesus rather than Solomon.

You do not, however, address at all 7:16 which is also labeled by the SAB collectively with 7:13 to be the source of the contradiction.

7:16 : And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

Here god, through Nathan, is speaking to David and is no longer talking about David's seed but uses the word "thy" and "thine" not "he" and "his" as in 7:13.
David's Kingdom, contrary to what God, through Nathan, states.

Also, in order for 7:13 to refer to Jesus rather than Solomon Jesus would have to be "...thy seed..." of David "...,which shall proceed out of thy bowels,...". This is not consistent with the concept of the "Immaculate Conception" where it is the holy spirit that enters Mary not any man's seed that gives rise to Jesus. I am willing to concede that 7:13 could refer to Jesus but not without giving up the immaculate conception.

In your attempt to provide an explanation for one apparent contradiction you have exposed another.

Steve Wells said...

Are you done with the Annotated SAB, Brucker?

Brucker said...

It's on indefinite hiatus. Extended unemployment has been a great stressor for me.

As you might have gathered from e-mails I've sent you, I have from time to time been working my way through the SAB in the book of John, but I'd like to get back and finish 2Samuel and 1&2Kings before I jump anywhere else.

Brucker said...

I didn't realize I never replied to Grishnak, and I assure you it was not due to racism against the Orcish people.

I'm not sure I understand exactly what he's saying, but let me take a stab at what I perceive his points to be. David's kingdom came to an end, but the idea is that Jesus will, in time, establish the kingdom eternally. Jesus was not "immaculately conceived" (check out the proper definition of this term), but I get your point, which is still a misunderstanding. Jesus had no earthly father (genetically) but his mother was still descended from David, and so was his adopted father, Joseph.

I hope that addresses it, sorry I'm over a month late replying.

Anonymous said...

Hi, it's me (again!), True Blue Jack.

I used the "anonymous" option because I do't have any of the accounts below or an URL.

It wasn't accepting my e-mail address, either.

You may have my e-maqil if you want it, though.

Anonymous said...

Hi, it's me, True Blue Jack.

Sorry about your unemployment stress. It will be great to see you back to countering the silliness of annotating the Bible with -- of all things -- skepticism (!) instead of unlimited praise, as HE intended.

I'm glad that you are quite able to see that there is a ... shall we say ... *divergence* between how grishnak used the term "Immaculate Conception" and its actual meaning, (since he apparently confused it with virginal conception in the Incarnation). That means that you have not yet crossed over into the inability of seeing flat contradictions altogether. I sincerely hope you never will cross that line, although I'm tempted to say that it would be quite amusing to watch you lose your mind altogether.


Perhaps someday the other shoe will finally drop, and you will be struck with the profound absurdity of defending GOD's HOLY WORD (?!) against any possibility of serious contradiction.

Did you ever come across the story of the college student and the professor who handed the paper back with a note?

The student used a variety of lawyer tricks to "eliminate" any and all gospel contradictions. His greatest challenge was with certain passages in Mark, but of course he even managed that. (I'm beginning to wonder if he was a close relative of yours.)

The professor gave him high marks for his knowledge, but added a cryptic remark at the top of the front page. He said:

"Did it ever occur to you that mark was simply wrong?"

Silly skeptics.

- - -

Keep plugging.

After all, we can't allow the WORD OF GOD to be shot down on the basis of silly so-called "contradictions" -- It's far too valuable to civilization.

Let every man be false and let the Holy Quran be true---


... I mean the Holy Bible! Gee, I got my Sacred Texts mixed up! Good thing there's no such thing as a contradiction, or I'd look pretty silly right about now!


[It looks like I only previwed the original comment before, rather than posting it. Good thing there's no such thing as a mistake! - TBJ]

Brucker said...

TBJ? My memory is a bit dusty, but...from Delphi, right?

Anyway, such as it does amuse you, I will admit that there are places where people in the Bible are simply saying the wrong thing. One of the ones that comes up a lot is the speech in Acts 7 by Stephen before he dies. He gets a fair number of facts wrong, although we can chalk it up to a combo of working from memory and telescoping info. Unlike many other fundies, I don't expect letter perfection, although I certainly seek it wherever it can be found.

MARIOLANDblog said...

"Jesus had no earthly father (genetically) but his mother was still descended from David"

Where does it say that?!

Brucker said...

Honestly, I'm not sure if I can recall it saying so anywhere explicitly off the top of my head, but it's understood by most that there are two genealogies in the Gospels for Jesus because one is for Joseph and one is for Mary. Both trace through David.

MARIOLANDblog said...

it´s "understood". What is that supposed to mean? I don't understadn it. Maybe you can help me:

This is Luke:
"23And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

24Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph, " goesonandonandon

This is Matthew:

" 13And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;

14And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;

15And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;

16And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. "

So, which one of the "Josephs" is "understood" to mean Mary?

Brucker said...

I don't know which one; I've heard cases for either. For instance, the second one mentions Mary, suggesting to some that Jacob was Joseph's father-in-law.

MARIOLANDblog said...

If you say so...
Sounds to me like wishful thinking
It is clearly not what the texts says!