Wednesday, January 31, 2024

They shall be burnt with fire (various, burning)

So, because Steve Wells was not quite satisfied with my last post because he felt I didn't fully address the issue of What the Bible says about burning people to death (and I didn't, because I felt the burning in Isaiah chapter 33 was figurative language), I'm going to take a sidebar here and talk about that subject. I have already talked about capital punishment in Exodus and the nature of Hell in John, but I'm sure I'll need to revisit those topics.

Let's start with Genesis 38, and Judah's intent to burn his daughter-in-law to death. This is indeed cruel, and it is in fact unwarranted; this is not God's will, but Judah reacting in anger to a situation that he came to realize he was implicated in the matter. In Joshua 7, where we read about the killing of Achan, yes, he and his family were burned up, but note they were stoned to death first; this is not burning someone to death. 2Samuel 23 is David talking about certain "sons of belial" who are not explicitly identified; it seems reasonable that David is simply saying that evil people will see judgment, perhaps he's even talking about the fires of Hell, although the idea seems iffy.

With all that aside, the two verses from Leviticus are definitely capital offenses that are to be dealt with by burning the offenders. I don't think there's any getting around it, but it's possibly worth noting that both of these offenses are easy to avoid (and a woman who is a prostitute who isn't the daughter of a priest has committed adultery, and would also be put to death, I assume). For some reason, these particular acts--both of a sexual nature--are considered serious enough by God to warrant this punishment, and I don't know why. So what can be said about it? Well, some commentaries point out that the passage in Joshua about Achan suggests that these offenses are trated by first killing the offenders (probably by stoning) and then burning the bodies afterwards. Of course being stoned to death isn't painless either, but it's likely much less painful than being burned.

Okay, so God burned some people to death himself? Let's see those verses. In Leviticus 10, while it says God sent fire to burn Nadab and Abihu to death, if you look at the immediate context, their bodies had to be carried away afterwards, showing that there bodies were not consumed by the fire. This very likely was some sort of supernatural fire, and tradition has it that their bodies were actually unharmed; their death may have not been painful. While I of course can't say that with complete certainty, it is a possibility, and so it may also be the case in these other verses. (Remember Moses and the burning bush that wasn't consumed? It seems there is something that is a manifestation of God that looks like fire, but technically isn't fire.) The Numbers 16 and 1Kings 1 passages do say the men were consumed, so perhaps that's definitely real fire. The Deuteronomy 32 passage definitely sounds like figurative language, especially since it says "burned with hunger". Psalm 21, like much of the Psalms, is being poetic, not necessarily prophetic. Isaiah chapters 24, 33, and 47 are likely symbolic of destruction rather than literal fire, and also the Ezekiel 15 and Jeremiah 49 passages.

Now as I said above, I already addressed the subject of hell, and in that post, I believe I did find that Hell is a place full of fire. However, I also discussed two possibilities with respect to Hell: (1) it is possible that Jesus's death on the cross meant that Hell is no longer a place where people go, because Jesus paid the price for the sin of the world; and (2) it is possible that the burning in Hell is only temporary, and souls are consumed by the fires of Hell. However, I don't think it can be denied that there is an experience of burning on the part of (at least some of) the souls that are in Hell.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

He gave also their increase unto the caterpiller (Isaiah 33)

Isaiah chapter 33, like the last chapter, doesn't really specify a time frame, but seems to be end times prophecy, chiefly because verse 21 talks about Zion being "a place of broad rivers and streams" which it certainly isn't today, or ever has been in the past. This suggests a miraculous change in geography, which is end times stuff. The SAB has very few notes, but there were a few things that I found interesting in my reading. Verse four's "And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpiller" intrigued me, and I looked into it. The Hebrew word here for "caterpiller" appears six times, and the KJV always translates it the same, but looking at other translations, it seems it's not 100% clear what this word means. The thing that is clear is that it always refers to an insect that is very destructive, and many versions of the Bible often translate it "young locust". Whatever is going on here is either similar to or literally a plague of locusts.

Anyway, this chapter largely about God ruling on Mount Zion while his enemies are destroyed and his followers are exalted. Verses 12 and 14 in particular talk about God's enemies being burned up, and the SAB marks them for cruelty; this is a punishment for wrongdoing, however, and since the sin is not specified, it's hard for anyone to say if the punishment fits the crime or not. Verses 21 and 23 talk about how even though there will be "broad rivers and streams", no ships of war will approach Zion, and anyone who tries to attack in that manner will fail and be spoiled.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

The liberal soul shall be made fat (Isaiah 32)

Isaiah chapter 32 sounds almost like, rather than a prophecy about the future, an observation about what things are like in good times in Israel, although there is some lamenting in there, too. It opens talking about a righteous king, and people listening to good teaching, and "the vile person shall no more be called liberal." (The word "liberal" is used several times in this chapter, and it's used to mean something like "generous".) The SAB seems to mostly see good in this chapter, and it's definitely there to be found, but it's not all sunshine.

Starting in verse nine, Isaiah seems to be talking about a coming famine, and for some reason he particularly addresses this warning to the women. Perhaps this is because women are more likely to survive a famine, generally having more body fat? I don't know if the women in particular have sinned, although Isaiah calls them "careless" in verse 10 and "at ease" in verses nine and eleven, perhaps suggesting laziness. Verses eleven and twelve are talking about mourning, and perhaps repentance, as when one is doing these things, one puts on sackcloth and beats one's chest (the meaning of the first clause of verse twelve, and not harsh language). This time of famine and mourning will eventually end, however, and when righteousness returns, so will a bountiful harvest.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Behold, this evil is of the LORD (Isaiah 31)

Isaiah chapter 31 seems like it's really part of the prophecy in chapter 30, because we're still talking about it being a bad thing to go to Egypt for help. Also, the SAB doesn't have much to say about this chapter, with one real important exception.

What the Bible says about evil is actually, I'm sure, far from an exhaustive lost of verses of the Bible that deal with evil; it's really a rather large collection of verses that say evil comes from God. Now, I could make an argument here about how the word translated "evil" in verse two has nuance (most other translations seem to render it "disaster"), because there's definitely something to be said there, but really, I'm sure there are many Hebrew words translated "evil" by the KJV, and it would take days to unpack them all, and I have little desire to go down that road. I think it suffices to say that according to the plain English of the KJV, God is definitely a source of evil. Does that present a theological problem? Certainly for most people. Really, there's the classic theological "Problem of Evil", which I think I have discussed in my other blog, that struggles with the question of "How can there be evil if God is good?" but what if God is the source of some of the evil in the world? That's a tough one! Furthermore, while it is tempting to say that whatever "evil" God inflicts is only upon evil people to correct them towards greater good, even the Bible itself once again shows us that sometimes God inflicts "evil" on good people, notably in the book of Job. While you can say technically it was Satan who attacked Job, he did so with God's seal of approval. So yeah, if you take the KJV at face value in this matter, it's something deep to grapple with. It's deeper than I want to go in a blog post here, but perhaps I'll explore it more in the comments or in my other blog?

Monday, January 22, 2024

Bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt (Isaiah 30)

So we come to Isaiah chapter 30, which compared to many of the recent chapters is rather long and has a lot going on. It's not real clear who this prophecy is about, but I'm guessing Judah, and whoever it is, they're going to get into trouble for forming an alliance with Egypt. Isaiah declares that bad things are coming because the people won't rely on God, but on someone not godly, who I'm guessing is the person or persons who suggest the alliance with Egypt. Isaiah says that "the strength of Pharaoh be your shame", which possibly implies a lot of things, but probably the most important thing is later in the chapter way down in verse 22 we see that for a time they turn to idols.

Now let's talk about the "fiery flying serpent," shall we? Once again, the Hebrew word for "fiery serpent" is "seraph" and this time we get the adjective "uph" which generally is translated "flying" but does have other shades of meaning, but none that make any more sense when applied to serpents. In fact, even though the concept of flying serpents is rather preposterous, pretty much every translation I looked at uses the same exact phrase as the KJV except for the NIV, which gives us "darting snakes" which sounds more reasonable, and may be correct; while there are no known snakes that fly, I do believe there exist ones that launch themselves into the air when striking. One commentary I looked at suggested there is a species of snake that launches itself from a tree when striking; I don't know about what sort of snakes live in the Middle East. However, taking the plain words of the KJV, we'll have to chalk this one up to yet another mythological creature in Isaiah.

In verse eight, Isaiah is instructed to write this prophecy on a board or something, apparently to post it publicly in addition to writing it on a scroll, but as usual, most people will ignore it. Isaiah says that they ask prophets to not prophesy the truth, but rather pleasant things, and tell God "to cease from before us." God says that just being patient and waiting on him was the right solution to their problems, but instead they ran away. Starting in verse 18, the prophecy talks about how eventually people will start to turn back to God and be restored to sound teaching, and in verse 22, they throw away their idols, "as a menstruous cloth" which the SAB notes as both an issue of language and women. Now certainly it's pretty strong language, but I doubt even women are keen on holding on to used menstrual products, so it's subjective at least.

Now the SAB takes issue with verse 26 for scientific reasons, as it reads, "the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold;" the charge is, as usual, that the moon doesn't give off its own light (which as usual, I'm going to point out that that is not what is claimed here anyway), and the sun couldn't possibly be seven times as bright as it is. I think this is clearly end times prophecy, and there's something supernatural going on here; I'm sure astrophysics tells us that the sun couldn't--under normal circumstances--shine seven times as bright (unless it went supernova, in which case it would be temporary and the earth would be destroyed), but this almost certainly isn't normal circumstances. Also, if the sun happened to be seven times as bright, then it follows that moonlight, being reflected light from the sun, would also be brighter. The prophecy doesn't say how this brightness is accomplished, and as it may have been a vision, Isaiah may be only estimating the brightness as he saw it. (I expect a seven times brighter sun would be blinding!)

The rest of the prophecy talks in a lot of symbolic language about what God is like--which the SAB marks as absurd--talking about God's "lips...full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire: And his breath, as an overflowing stream..." Of course God, being a spirit, doesn't have lips, tongue, or even breath or an arm (as mentioned in verse 30), so this is all symbolic of something else, apparently according to verse 27, God's anger against evil. There is also symbolic language talking about "a bridle in the jaws of the people" which causes them to make bad decisions; it's unfortunately not very clear what people we're talking about, what the real nature of this metaphorical bridle is, nor what or who caused it, although with the SAB marking it unjust, there must be an assumption there that it's God's bridle, although I don't know if it's a warranted assumption. In the midst of all this talk of God's anger, verse 29 is oddly pleasant, with people happily following a flutist playing a song up to Mount Zion. And in verse 31, it talks about the Assyrians being defeated, which perhaps was the reason for the alliance with Egypt.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Seal up the vision and prophecy (Isaiah 29)

Isaiah chapter 29 is a prophecy about Jerusalem, which for unknown reasons, Isaiah calls "Ariel" in this chapter. (Ariel means "lion of God" in Hebrew.) Isaiah says that Jerusalem will be besieged, and eventually destroyed, but also that those who destroy it will soon pass away.

There's talk in verses 11 and 12 of a mysterious book (probably a scroll, actually) that is sealed and has a vision written within it. The true nature of this book is not clear, but the SAB says that Joseph Smith used this prophecy as a proof text for the book of Mormon. It does sound a bit like Smith's story about the book of Mormon, which to my understanding is that he was given gold plates etched with Egyptian writing by the angel Moroni who also gave him the supernatural ability to translate them, despite not knowing Egyptian. Actually, although I haven't heard of such a thing, it wouldn't surprise me if some Muslims use this prophecy as a proof text for the Qur'an, as supposedly the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) wrote the Qur'an with the help of an angel despite being completely illiterate! It's also likely that some Christians use this as proof text for the New Testament. Anyway, whatever book this prophesies, I believe it's the basis for what is talked about in verse 14, which the SAB calls absurd. It's not about destroying wisdom and understanding per se, but I think is really of the same nature as when a major scientific breakthrough happens, and large portions of scientific understanding have to be revised. Whatever is in this sealed vision is going to turn religious understanding upside down! All of the candidates for fulfillment of this prophecy that I mentioned above certainly did for a portion of the population. I think this is taken further in verse 16, where Isaiah is asking whether created beings have a right to question the creator. (Although of course, we should question, because the New Testament, the Qur'an, and the book of Mormon can't all be true; and I didn't even mention the writings of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh!) The rest of the chapter talks about how this book will bring sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, as well as blessings to the meek and the poor, while bringing down evil people.

Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently (Isaiah 28)

Isaiah chapter 28 is a prophecy about Ephraim (a.k.a. Israel, the northern kingdom) that seems chiefly concerned with drunkenness. I discussed whether it's okay to drink alcohol in John chapter two, where I said it's okay in moderation; here in Isaiah, people are getting so drunk, they're apparently vomiting on everything (v. 8)! Also, priests and prophets are making poor decisions, which is very bad.

Anyway, after talking about all these drunks, Isaiah talks about how God is going to teach his law, mainly to children (v. 9). Much of this chapter talks about how important the law is, and there's a lot of repetition. The SAB notes that verse 16 is quoted in Romans 9:33, but incorrectly. A lot of the time when this sort of thing happens, it has to do with a variation in the Septuagint, which is the Bible New Testament authors would be quoting from, but looking at the Septuagint, I don't see where Paul got his quote. None of the commentaries I can access online has a full explanation for this, although some note that this is a quote of both Isaiah 28:16 and 8:14; this doesn't explain where "ashamed" comes from, however.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? (Isaiah 27)

Isaiah chapter 27 seems to be more end times prophecy, and may be a continuation of the last chapter. It opens with mention of Leviathan and "the dragon that is in the sea" (probably the same) just to make sure we've mentioned all mythological beasts in this one book, I guess. I don't think that anyone really knows what "Leviathan" refers to, whether it's a mythological creature or a forgotten word for a sea creature that we do know today by a different name. (Actually, studying the Hebrew, I just found something interesting; while my study guide says that the KJV always translates לִוְיָתָן as simply "Leviathan" it turns out that's not accurate, as the Hebrew word appears a seventh time in Job 3:8, where it's translated "their mourning"! Go figure. I can't find another translation that does this.) Anyway, the SAB marks this verse with absurdity and science, I suppose because Leviathan and dragons are not known to exist, but despite the description in Job 41 that includes fire breathing, it's entirely possible that Leviathan is simply something like a whale that the author of Job got hyperbolic about. Also, the Hebrew word translated "dragon" in the KJV is generally translated "monster" in modern translations, because once again, it's not really clear what it means, other than it's some kind of scary animal.

Does God ever get furious? This is an easy one; the answer is yes. I think the SAB is reading too much into verse four here; although God says, "Fury is not in me," that's him speaking "In that day" (v. 2) i.e. in the time that this prophecy is fulfilled, God will not be furious, but before that day, sure.

Verse eleven is a bit of a strange one in the midst of all the general talk of peace here. It's not real clear who is being talked about here, nor what form the lack of mercy and favor are supposed to take. The SAB paraphrases this verse as, "God created people who don't understand. Therefore he won't have mercy on them or show them favor." which is not wrong, but it makes it sound like God caused their lack of understanding, when it may be that they were intentionally ignorant (at least, that sounds likely to me). It was probably a lack of understanding of God and/or morality, I would assume. Anyway, in the end, the Jews of the world will be gathered to Jerusalem.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake (Isaiah 26)

Isaiah chapter 26 gives us what appears to be end times prophecy, but it's mostly in the form of praise. There's not a lot of notes here, but the few there are are worth discussing. I answered whether there was ever a just person in Matthew chapter 13, where I said the answer is yes, and Solomon is essentially being hyperbolic in Ecclesiastes.

Will everyone see the majesty of God? As usual, I will point out a couple things that often come up in supposed contradictions. If this is a contradiction, it's Isaiah contradicting himself, which seems unlikely. Also I note that the verse in Isaiah chapter 40 doesn't actually say "majesty", but rather "glory"; whole these concepts are similar, I don't think they are the same. I believe there is a sense in the term "majesty" of lordship (kings and queens are referred to as "your majesty"), and while everyone will eventually see the glory of God, only some people will witness him reign over the earth in the end times.

I discussed the question of whether death is final in Joshua chapter 23, but worth noting here that if there's a contradiction here, it's not just Isaiah contradicting himself, but doing so within a few short verses. Note that in verse 19, Isaiah says, "Thy dead men," indicating that he's referring to a specific group of dead people who belong to God, while it's likely that the dead in verse 14 are "the wicked" from verse 10. While I believe the Bible teaches an afterlife for all people, it also teaches that the nature of the afterlife varies from person to person.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city (Isaiah 25)

In Isaiah chapter 25, the prophet gives praise to God, although the nature of the praise seems off to the SAB. First of all, Isaiah praises God for destroying a city. This can seem cruel, but I think from the context of the next verse, we're talking about destroying a powerful city in an evil nation (no specific nation is named, this may not be about any specific city). Isaiah talks about God helping the poor and the needy after that, which is a bit more relatable. In verse six, Isaiah talks about God making a feast on a mountain; I assume this is Mount Zion, and it may be an end times prophecy. Then God will destroy--not the mountain, as the SAB misreads--some sort of veil that is covering the nations of the world. This may be a reference to the veil in the Temple which hides the room where the ark is kept, and God sometimes presents himself to the high priest, the idea being that the separation between God and mankind will be removed (this definitely sounds like end times stuff). God will "swallow up death in victory", meaning that people won't die anymore. This mention of wiping away the tears of everyone is echoed twice in the book of Revelation (7:17 and 21:4) which is considered largely end times prophecy. I don't know why Moab is singled out in the middle of all of this, but apparently it gets pretty severely trashed, and the last three verses seem to bookend this prophecy with more destruction of evil cities.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse (Isaiah 24)

Isaiah chapter 24 is apparently a prophecy for the whole world, as no specific nation is named. The SAB comments on the first verse that, "The earth is like a flat plate. When God turns it over, the people fall off." Once again, I don't think you can say that this is what this verse means, and this phrase is metaphorical. Interestingly, the Hebrew word translated "upside down" in the KJV appears nearly two thousand times in the Bible and is translated into all sorts of different English words and phrases depending on context (most often "before" or "face"); apparently its meaning is quite nuanced. Actually, the word translated "turn" is also nuanced and translated into a variety of English words, but seems to particularly mean something like turning in a wrong way, as it's often related to sin. Anyway, I doubt even the KJV translators thought this verse was meant literally.

Will God curse the earth? I actually touched on this in Genesis chapter eight but I either missed the Isaiah verses or they have been added since I was there. Once again, I think there's a need to point out that in all three of these contexts, there are three different Hebrew words translated "curse", and so there is probably some nuanced meaning in the original language that the KJV translators didn't convey. I suppose however that taking the KJV on its face yields a contradiction here, although I should also point out that in this passage, it doesn't say God was responsible for the curse. It may be that the sinfulness of the people of the world caused them to be cursed of their own choices; the Bible teaches in various places that sin leads to death. Also, if you look closely at Malachi 4:6, God is saying that he's not going to curse the earth, as Elijah is going to make things right.

The next section of the prophecy talks a lot about there not being wine or "strong drink". The SAB asks if this is a prophecy about prohibition, which is a strange question, I think; I'm pretty sure it's just saying there won't be an abundance of grapes. I'm not sure what all the talk of the pit and the snare is about in the next section; I suppose it's possibly literal, but it doesn't say who is responsible for these problems. Anyway, there's a lot of fire and earthquakes, which sounds a lot like the present. The end of the prophecy talks about the Lord reigning on Mount Zion, which makes me think that all of this is an end times prophecy.

Sunday, January 07, 2024

Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon (Isaiah 23)

Isaiah chapter 23 is another prophecy, this one against Tyre and perhaps Sidon/Zidon (these two cities are about 20 miles from each other, and are often grouped together in the Bible), two ancient cities located in modern-day Lebanon. There were a lot of places named here, so I looked them up and Tarshish is probably in Spain, Chittim is Cyprus, Shihor/Sihor is a branch of the Nile River, and Chaldeans are people from lower Mesopotamia who were known for being astronomers/astrologers, so sometimes the name is used synonymously.

So, there's a lot of howling going on here, from "the ships of Tarshish" (probably just symbolic of western trading partners) and from "ye inhabitants of the isle" (part of the city Tyre was on a small island). I assume by howling, Isaiah means crying over Tyre's destruction, as that seems to be the topic of this prophecy, however, it's not clear why nor by what Tyre is destroyed. (It's possible that all the talk of "to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth" is implying that there's a serious sin of pride at work here, with "glory" and "honourable" being sarcasm?) Furthermore, the end of the prophecy seems like a bit of a mixed message, as there's restoration, but Tyre is referred to as a "harlot" who "shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world", but "her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the LORD." It's pretty strong language to talk about things supposedly being better after a comeback from 70 years of desolation, so I'm not sure what it all means. It does seem clear that "her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing" indicates that Tyre eventually becomes a blessing to that part of the world, but still it's a little hazy as to how it happens.

Friday, January 05, 2024

Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household (Isaiah 22)

Isaiah chapter 22 is a larger one, but it still doesn't have a lot of notes. I don't know where "the valley of vision" is, but it sounds like Isaiah is talking about Judah again. I'm not really clear on what's going on here, as a lot of it sounds like military conquest, but "thy slain men are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle" sounds like it isn't. Much of this sounds particularly like a siege against Jerusalem, so perhaps that's what happened without much killing in actual battle. Verse eleven sounds like someone in mortal danger who for a moment has peace, which would fit with a siege, I suppose. Definitely, in the end they go to exile, I assume to Babylon. I don't know who Eliakim is, but apparently after the siege (or whatever) he takes care of the people who remain. I answered whether it's okay to call someone "father" in Matthew 23, but I think this verse is inconsequential because it doesn't say Eliakim is actually called "father" by anyone. Verse 23 says, "I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place," which makes it sound like his leadership is secure, but then verse 25 says, "In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed," so who knows what it all means?

Thursday, January 04, 2024

I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation (Isaiah 21)

Isaiah chapter 21 is a medium-sized chapter that has few notes. The one note that it has other than "Boring" is a note that it's absurd that Isaiah is in pain; I'm not sure why this should be absurd whether it's actual physical pain or some metaphor of emotional anguish, either way, it happens. Anyway, the first part of the chapter is a prophecy about Babylon, and the second part is about Edom and Arabia. In both cases, the prophecy seems to be about coming military conquest, with no time frame for the former but a year for the latter.

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied (Isaiah 20)

It's time for Isaiah chapter 20 and the crazy antics of God's appointed prophets! This time, God has Isaiah walk around barefoot and naked for three years as a sign and a wonder (as in people "wonder" why he's naked, I assume?) to show how Assyria will lead away Egypt and Ethiopia (probably Cush) naked and barefoot in the future. The SAB marks most of this chapter with "Absurd" and "Sex" (mere nudity seems like a stretch to me, but I guess it's fair), which, yeah, it's pretty wacky, but I bet it delivers a message effectively.

What does the Bible say about nudism? There's actually a lot more nudity in the Bible than this, but I realized the title was "nudism", which implies being naked on purpose which I suppose all these examples are with the exception of Adam and Eve, although it feels like it belongs here because they're not getting dressed any time soon. I think it needs to be said that not necessarily all of these are talking about someone being completely naked; I think it's likely that Jonathan, David, "a certain young man" (probably John Mark), Jesus, and Peter, were probably in their underwear, and there's really nothing in Exodus 33:23 that suggests God is naked, if that's even meaningful for what's going on there. Adam and Eve really are a special case nonetheless, because the idea is that clothing doesn't even exist yet in Genesis chapter two, and they don't care because they don't know the difference. I have actually heard at least one sermon in which it was suggested that this is saying something about the intimacy of marriage, actually, which may be a stretch, but I know for myself when there's nobody around except my wife, I have no problem with nudity. I think Saul, although naked, was not voluntarily naked, but it's a strange passage indeed. Micah indeed talks about being naked, but I don't see anything in context that really explains why; verse 11 talks about "having thy shame naked" but what this phrase is supposed to mean is beyond me. So in the end, it's really just a couple of prophets that are practicing nudism, one (Isaiah) giving a reason why that's clear, and one (Micah) giving a more opaque explanation.