Contra Autonomy; Northern Prophetic Writer; Bad Farm Subsidies!

1.  In my reading today of In the Beginning, Henri Blocher says that Adam and Eve were ashamed of their nakedness and covered themselves with leaves after their sin because their sexual organs reminded them of their insufficiency by themselves—that they needed other people.  They wanted to be autonomous, but their sexual organs reminded them that this was not possible.

How so?  Because men and women need each other to reproduce?  Or because the sex drive is a powerful thing and keeps drawing us to another person?

Blocher also talks a little about how he believes sex was corrupted after the Fall.  Women’s desire became for their husbands, and men ruled over them.  What was sex like before the Fall?  More equal?

So we’re selfish and want to be autonomous, and our relationships are corrupted.  Sounds true of myself!  But “corrupt” doesn’t mean “all bad”.

2.  In my reading today of The Surprising Election and Confirmation of King David, Randall Short takes on P. Kyle McCarter’s claim that there was a northern prophetic writer who criticizes hereditary succession of the monarchy in I Samuel 16-II Samuel 5.  McCarter dates this writer “shortly after the collapse of the northern kingdom, thus near the end of the eighth century B.C.”  McCarter attributes the story of Samuel anointing David to this writer, who “was committed to an ideal of prophetically-mediated divine selection of leaders”.

But Randall disagrees with McCarter on this.  By the eighth century, the Davidic monarchy has existed for two centuries.  It’s a dynasty by that point.  Why would a prophetic writer question the Davidic dynasty’s legitimacy as a dynasty after it had endured for so long, even as he supports David?  That’s my impression of what Randall is arguing on page 34.  Randall’s opinion (if I’m understanding it correctly) is that the story of David’s anointing is part of the History of David’s Rise, not an addition by an eighth century prophetic writer from the north.

I believe that I’ve encountered this prophetic writer before.  Back when I was writing my paper on the Deuteronomistic contribution to II Samuel 7 and I Kings 8:1-30 (see Dtr/II Samuel 7/I Kings 8), I read McCarter say that part of II Samuel 7 was from the hand of a prophetic writer who was critical of the monarchy.  It’s his contribution that says that God never wanted to live in a house, but was content to move about in a tent!

I don’t have a great problem with the existence of an eighth century prophetic writer from the north.  According to Moshe Weinfeld, the Deuteronomistic School came from the north, bringing (or reinforcing) the concept that God’s covenants were conditional on obedience.  I can see a prophetic writer—having just seen the collapse of his own monarchy in the north due to what he believed was sin—coming south and telling Judah that the same thing can happen to her, that the monarchy exists at the pleasure of God, that there is a danger in big institutions.  His message may have been that David was good, but Davidids shouldn’t get too cocky!  They still needed prophets of the LORD to keep them in line!

3.  In Economics in One Lesson, I read Henry Hazlitt’s critique of price parity, which occurs when the government tries to keep up the price of crops—by decree, or by paying farmers to hold off their crops from the market, etc.  Hazlitt refers to the view that a lack of price parity brought on the Great Depression.  Basically, the price of crops fell, so farmers couldn’t make enough to buy the machines that could assist them in their farming.  The result was economic collapse.

I didn’t see Hazlitt really address this concern, but I could have missed something.  But he did bring up his favorite supply-side (or whatever label fits) argument, only he applied it to crops: if the price of crops is high, then people buying those crops have less money to spend on other things, and that causes the economy to suffer.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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