ABSALOM, MY SON

While it often seems to us that David’s son Absalom plays a minor role in scripture, it turns out that his history occupies quite a section of scripture.  I thought it interesting to consider what lessons we might learn from the young man.  After all, his place in scripture was important enough that much of it was preserved for us.  While his birth is recorded in 2 Samuel 3:3, his actual activities are the primary subject of 2 Samuel 13 through 18 (six chapters), while David continued to mourn him in chapter 19.


WHO IS YAHWEH?

 

This is the third in a series of messages.  The reader will benefit from reading the previous two first.  Darkness and Chaos and Such and Pseudo-Persons and Deities are their names.

Exodus 5:2  “But Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and besides, I will not let Israel go.’” (NASB).

In this verse, the Hebrew word transliterated as Yahweh or Yahovah is translated as “the LORD” in most English translations.  It is believed that Yahweh, however it is pronounced, is the “given” name of God, and not a title.  Both in Jewish and in Christian practice, folks mostly don’t try very hard to figure out how to actually pronounce that name – sometimes as a matter of piety and sometimes due to its foreign sound. 

It is not likely true that Pharaoh was reluctant to speak the name of the LORDRather, he probably said that name in the passage quoted.  That might be considered to be equivalent to his naming any other god.  He might have said, for example, “who is Zeus that I should obey”?  The point is that Pharaoh knew gods by their names, at least many of them.  He would know the names of Isis and Osiris, of Horus and Anubis, for example, because the names of these Egyptian gods were in common use.


PSEUDO-PERSONS AND DEITIES

This short treatise is intended to follow the blog “Darkness and Chaos and Such”.  In that blog, I examined the tendency of humans to attach personality and motivation to things that are not even things.  For example, darkness is not so much a thing as it is the absence of a thing.  These “things that are not things” (let’s call them pseudo-entities) are often quite mysterious to us, and, so, we come to think of them as things to be dealt with at the level of propitiation or negotiation.

In the current paper, let’s examine how we might even go about making such things into supernatural beings, or gods – from pseudo-entity to god.  I do not propose that the discussion to follow is any particular set of events.  Rather, it is an attempt to examine the underlying phenomena.  By the way, pseudo basically means false.


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