Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Two "Uh, Duh" Items

They're "uh, duh" not as a reflection on the points, but as a reflection on my not seeing them before now.

First, Jesus' crown of thorns (Mt 27.29): This almost certainly provides a bookend-echo to the curse in Gn 3.18, "Both thorns and thistles [the ground] shall grow for you."

Jesus is here "crowned" with the curse. Not only is it a sign that he carries the curse (Gal 3.13), but also that this is his glory (1 Co 1.18, 23-24, 2.7-8).

The second "uh, duh" moment comes from CPA. The story of Solomon's wisdom and the dispute between the harlots over who is the infant's true mother (1 Kngs 3.16-28).

CPA observes that the behavior of the true mother is her willingness to give up her child rather than have him split it two (and so killed) sets up a implicit contrast with the actions of King Rehoboam, who preferred to split the kingdom in half rather than to give up his prerogatives (1 Kng 12.1-24).

This is an irony in the extreme. The lowest-status person in Israel acts more regally than the king, whose vocation it is to serve all rather than himself. The harlot loves her son more than her prerogatives, and so sacrifices her prerogative to her love. King Rehoboam loves his prerogatives more than he loves his son -- the nation Israel -- and so sacrifices the nation to his prerogatives.

And irony upon irony: Through her sacrifice, the harlot keeps her baby. In making his sacifice, King Rehoboam loses the vast bulk of his dominion.


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