Problems and Hope Before the Exile; Water

1.  In my reading today of Randall Heskett’s Messianism Within the Scriptural Scrolls of Isaiah, the following passage on page 47 stood out to me:

[Jacques] Vermeylen suggests that Isaiah 11:1-5, which depends upon the preceding oracles, comes from the second half of the seventh century and gives them a new interpretation…Isaiah 11:2-5 offers an antithetical response to the abuses imposed by the leaders of Judah (5:19-23) and Assyria (10:5, 13).  The new king who receives his wisdom from God is contrasted with the Assyrian’s false claim of wisdom (10:13).  The Assyrian oversteps his role as the rod of the Lord (10:5) but the figure in 11:1-5 will “strike the earth with the rod of his mouth: (10:4).

Could some form of Messianism have existed in Israel’s pre-exilic period?  Randall’s conception of Messianism answers in the negative, for he believes (if I’m understanding him correctly) that Messianism would speak to Israel when she lacked a Davidic monarchy, for Jewish Messianism was largely about the reconstitution of that very monarchy.

Fair enough.  But Israel had problems even before her exile.  Judah had bad Davidic kings, oppressive rulers, and threatening foreign powers.  In the midst of this, could she have hoped for a Davidic king who would be righteous, who would uphold the rights of the poor rather than oppress them, and who would preside over an era of international peace?

2.  In Judaism: The Evidence of the Mishnah, Jacob Neusner states (on page 106) that, according to rabbinic exegetes of Leviticus 11:34, 37-38, dry food “is not susceptible to uncleanness.”  It must be wet to be susceptible to uncleanness. 

I learned that a while back in my weekly quiet time on Leviticus, but it’s good to be reminded.  But I’m not sure why water is an impurity carrier. 

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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