Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pop Quiz

According to the Bible, which one is FALSE?
A. Before Saul fell out of favor with God, he was seen as honorable by his people for being "among the prophets".

B. David was a liar and a low-life who won his crown through ruthless warfare.

C. Amnon refusing to marry Tamar after raping her was more devastating than the rape itself.

D. Judith's lies, seduction, and murder of Holofernes were all honorable and to the glory of Israel.
Leave your answer in the comments.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trick question. All are true.

Blogger Loren Rosson III said...

Ah, then you were tricked indeed, for one is false.

Anonymous Heather said...

I'd have said C for sure until I read your review of that book.

I don't know David lying anywhere - so I think B.

Blogger Richard Fellows said...

Knowing little about the OT, but knowing you, the answer must be A. Is there are prize?

Blogger Loren Rosson III said...

Is there a prize?

Sure Richard. Assuming A is correct, if you can tell me why it is correct, I'll send you a free copy of Esler's book. How's that grab you?

Blogger Bradley C. said...

D is false. The story of Judith occurs in the apocrypha, not in the canonical bible. Do I win?

Blogger Loren Rosson III said...

Good point Bradley, I should have said "according to the Catholic Bible"!

Blogger Loren Rosson III said...

Anyway, folks...

Richard is right, the answer is A. Here's the solution.

A. FALSE. The questions posed by the locals of Saul's hometown of Gibeah -- "What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul among the prophets?" (I Sam 10:11) -- do not reflect amazement and wonder. They are insulting, also the third hostile question involving a lineage sneer (II Sam 10:12). Saul, though favored by God at this point, was seen as shameful by the Gibean locals, as prophets in their hometown usually are, especially those engaging in behavior like possession trances, exorcisms, etc. (Note that Samuel himself does not take part in possession trance and his authority probably served to keep these prophets in I Sam 10 and 19 under some kind of control.) In the same way, the gospel writers portrayed Jesus has God's anointed while admitting he had no honor in his hometown.

B. TRUE. David was a shepherd, a despised occupation in antiquity. Shepherds were known as roaming thieves, and dishonorable since they couldn't be at home to protect their wives. (Early rabbis were even aghast that God could be compared to a shepherd in Psalm 23.) David lied and deceived people in order to get what he needed, even to priests so as to obtain sacred food he had no right to (I Sam 21:1-6), and was of course ruthless in his bandit-warfare against Saul (I Sam 27:9).

C. TRUE. Tamar begged Amnon to marry her, stating plainly that for him to dismiss her would be worse than having raped her (II Sam 13:16).

D. TRUE. Judith told 13 blatant lies (Jud 10:12, 10:13, 11:7, 11:11, 11:12-15, 11:16, 11:17, 11:18, 11:19 (x3), 13:3) and 5 ambiguous half-truths (Jud 11:5, 11:6, 11:16, 12:4, 12:18) in order to get Holofernes in a compromising position and decapitate him with his own sword. Her behavior is commended and glorified.


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