Answering questions from Johnathan regarding the angel of the Lord.

En Hakkore

Well-known member
Sure the meteor variation is speculative. There are other theories especially including volcanic and seismological events contextual to the description of the area as containing tar pits Gen 14:10, and widespread evidence of the event being associated with intense heat. These are addressed by David Rohl in Lost Testament &etc, and by many others.

The point of quoting the article was to show that many scientists accept large scale desctruction and transformation as occuring over a wide area in the vicinity of the Dead Sea circa the period of Abraham, and not to identify any one theory as supervening any other.
The problem with this approach is that the more cataclysmic events that are proposed as the alleged cause of destruction of some cities named in the biblical text, the less likely it is any one of them will satisfactorily explain all or even most of the evidence... indeed, avoiding specifics and citing Rohl's Lost Testament (like Collins' monograph I referred to in my last post, this book is not peer-reviewed and aimed at a lay audience eager to have their ears tickled) among "many others" leaves your position sounding impressive, yet it is anything but --- if the evidence in the ground is really so wide open to interpretation to allow for both an airburst and a seismic event, this is hardly a firm foundation for declaring that the historicity of Genesis 19 has been established. I've already dismantled the theory previously linked to in terms of its failure to harmonize with the biblical text and I could easily do so with any others you might specify... retreating behind vague claims may insulate you from further point-by-point refutation, but it is hardly a better position to be defending.

I don't accept that the biblical Sodom was located north of the Dead Sea.
We at least agree on that.

However the events associated with the middle part of the Dead sea may have had ramifications at the northern end also, but to a lesser extent, such that the remains of the buildings survived. However Sodom etc would have been turned into ash. This is reflected in the large quantities of ash and sulphur that permeate the western Dead sea region.
You seem to be implying Sodom and the cities associated with it were situated somewhere along the western shore of the Dead Sea. Would you care to clarify and, if that is the case, provide specific evidence supporting this location?

As I said above, I wasn't intending to espouse this theory I was already aware of, i.e. of Sodom being located north of the Dead sea. I was just pointing to scientists accepting that cataclysmic events must have occured in that general region, which opposes your theory of biblical events being invented wholesale and for effect. In fact the cataclysm was likely between the mid point and the north of the Dead sea, and so didn't reach Zoar, but conceivably did reach the northern parts of the Dead sea and Jordan valley.
Please see my criticism above about the problems associated with appealing to varied but vague cataclysmic events... they may collectively "oppose" the conclusion of critical biblical scholars on the etiological function of a text such as Gen 19:26, but they appear on the fringes of scholarship and individually pose no serious opposition since they each, like the airburst theory you previously linked to, will crumble under critical scrutiny. Your claim here that a cataclysm, whatever you think that was, reduced Sodom to ashes but left the nearby city of Zoar unscathed continues to traffic in the absurdity I pointed out in my refutation of the airburst theory. The text refers to a targeted aerial assault attributed to angels acting under the authority of the Israelite deity and the escape of one city among all others of the plain is incompatible with an indiscriminant natural disaster.

_____________________
The ELBA tablets
"In 1964, Dr. Paolo Matthiae, professor of Near East archaeology at the University of Rome began to excavate Tell Mardikh in north-western Syria. It soon became clear that they were excavating the ruins of the ancient city of Ebla. In 1975, as the dig progressed down to Early Bronze Age levels, a remarkable find was made in the form of nearly 20,000 clay tablets which constituted the royal archives of the city. These tablets date back to the middle of the 3rd millenium BC, almost 4,500 years ago. They are written in Sumerian wedge-shaped cuneiform script which is the world’s oldest known written language. Deciphering these tablets, Professor Pettinato, also of the University of Rome, found the language used to be what he called Old Canaanite’ even though the script was cuneiform Sumerian. This very ancient language is closer in vocabulary and grammar to biblical Hebrew than any other Canaanite dialect’, including Ugaritic; this therefore gives evidence as to the age of the Hebrew language.

This mass of information from Ebla will take years to digest but already it is very exciting. The city was a large one of 260,000 inhabitants; it traded widely over the known world at that time. A flourishing civilisation existed with many skilled craftsmen in metals, textiles, ceramics, and woodwork. It existed 1,000 years before David and Solomon and was destroyed by the Akkadians in around 1600 BC.

To date, only about one third of the Ebla tablets have been translated. Already, however, Eber has been named as one of its kings. Eber was the great-great-great-great-grandfather of Abraham (Genesis 10:21). Could this Eber, King of Ebla, be the same Eber of the Bible? Other names found, later to be used by biblical men, include Abraham, Esau, Saul, Michael, David, Israel and Ishmael. The supreme god of Ebla was called Yah’, a shortened version of Yahweh’; so, some residual knowledge of the one true God was left at this time before Abraham. Another god was called El’, short for Elohim’, used later by the Hebrews as the generic name for God.

Tablet 1860 names the five cities of Genesis 14:2 in the same order, i.e. Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar. Up until the discovery of the Ebla tablets, the existence of these biblical cities was questioned; yet, here they are mentioned as trade partners of Ebla. This record predates the great catastrophy involving Lot when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

Also included in the archive are very early Canaanite creation and flood stories which very closely resemble that of the Bible. This is not surprising as these people would have descended from the generation after the flood and so would have had a common history of these events!

These tablets provide much evidence of early life in Syro-Palestine and give a rich background to the lives of Abraham and the Patriarchs. It will be truly amazing once the excavations are completed and the tablets fully deciphered."
There is too much in this cut and paste to respond to point-by-point so I will focus on the portion that you bolded, which is pertinent to discussion on the historicity (or not) of the cities of the plain and their destruction. First a brief general comment... the individual who made these claims (Giovanni Pettinato) resigned from the enormous publication and translation project after disagreements with the lead archaeologist (Paolo Matthiae), who discovered the tablets and characterized his colleague's claims as "silly and unscientific". Indeed, as Alan Millard, professor emeritus at the University of Liverpool in Hebrew and Ancient Semitic Languages (and thus an authority on the content of the Elba tablets written in a strange synthesis of North-West and East Semitic elements), also writes: "[o]ne by one the sensational claims have been retracted or refuted." Here are his comments specific to the claims concerning Sodom and Gomorrah:

The name si-da-muKI was identified as Sodom, and é-ma-raKI as Gomorrah. These identifications too have now evaporated.

Let’s look at Gomorrah first. The initial sign é could correctly reflect the initial ‘ayin with which Gomorrah begins in Hebrew. But the name is almost certainly not Gomorrah; much more probably it is a major town on the Euphrates River, ancient Emar, where a French team has found an archive of cuneiform tablets from the Late Bronze Age (13th century B.C.). Emar is mentioned many times in the Ebla tablets, as would be expected, for it lies at the point where travelers from Babylonia would leave the Euphrates’ route to move westward to Ebla and the Mediterranean coast.

Sidamu has not yet been located, but nothing favors a location near the Dead Sea (where Sodom lay), Indeed, a site in northwest Syria is indicated by the names associated with it. The only link with the biblical name is the resemblance in the sound. Similar arguments have disposed of the identification of virtually all the biblical cities supposedly mentioned in the Ebla tablets.


The above is taken from Millard's article "Elba and the Bible: What’s left (if anything)?" Bible Review 8.2 (1992) and note that "KI" is a non-phonetic symbol indicating the word is a city. Again, I can only reiterate what I conveyed in my last post about broadening your research skills to more reputable and peer-reviewed sources...

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
Could you try something for me? Set aside any notion of fulfillment in the first century CE and read the text as someone in the 5th century BCE, the scroll still fresh with ink from the author's hand. What "covenant" would you think he's talking about in 3:1 after reading through chapter 2 and its numerous references to a covenant connected to Levi? Also, would you not assume the two references to a messenger in 3:1 are referring to the same individual and the one introduced in the previous chapter?
Here are the questions I'm responding to:

1,What is the covenant in 3:1? Is it the same covenant spoken of in chapter 2?

2. Who are the two references to a messenger in 3:1 referring to? the same one who is also introduced in the previous chapter or someone else?

In chapter 2, the Lord through Malachi mentions 2 covenants and 1 messenger:
1. The covenant with Levi- the priest was the messenger to the people to instruct them in the ways of the Lord but they became corrupt. Mal 2:3-9
This covenant with Levi has to do with the responsibility of the priesthood and service of the tabernacle and eventually the temple.
Ex 40:15, Num 2:5-12; 18:19, Deut 10:8
2. The covenant of our ancestors- the nation Judah - the men of the second temple period profaned the covenant of their ancestors by divorcing their first wives to go after foreign women who worship other gods. Mal 2:10-17
The covenant of our ancestors has to do with the covenant God made with the nation of Israel- (the law of Moses) Ex 24:7-8

1. The messenger of the Lord of hosts- For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. Mal 2:7

2. Then there is the obvious messenger of the Lord- Malachi, the prophet, who pronounces the Lord's messages 21 times in the book of Malachi with "the Lord of hosts says".

The Lord has cursed the priests for their lack of reverence to the Lord in types of sacrifices they offer and for profaning his covenant with them. Mal 2:1-3

In chapter 3:1

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple.

We both understand this messenger to be John the Baptist who is preparing the way of the Lord.
The first person” I” and “me” reference the Lord of Hosts. Either God is speaking through Malachi and switched from speaking in the first person to the second person OR Malachi has stopped speaking in the first person for God and went to speaking in the second person on behalf of God.

The messenger of the covenant in whom you delightindeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. NRSVUE

The Lord, whom the people of Israel seek, is the one who is coming to his temple.

The messenger of the covenant, in whom the people of Israel delight, is coming.

You interpret this as the Lord is coming to his temple and also the messenger of the covenant is coming before the Lord.

Whereas, I think the Lord whom the Israelites seek is the same one they delight in and the references to “coming” are to the same person who is the Lord and the messenger of the covenant.
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
part 2 (I lost this part and rewrote it quickly)

I reread your post #105 to me and I was considering conceding to your interpretation of who the messenger of the covenant was but I have some questions. Would you explain to me "The full stop in the NRSV is an attempt to convey in English the force of the disjunctive vav in Hebrew prefixed to the word for "messenger" (ומלאך), which reinforces the interpretation I offered that distinguishes this messenger from the Lord just mentioned" as to how the disjunctive vav prefixed to the word for messenger distinguishes this messenger from the Lord?

Why do the people delight in the messenger of the covenant? Are these people that delight in this messenger contemporary to Malachi or a future people?

I think verse 2-4 and 7 are pertinent to who the messenger of the covenant is. Both John and Jesus preached repentance (a turning or return to the Lord). Both are messengers of the Lord (only Jesus is the Lord.) But the one who is coming is like a fire. John does not speak of his purpose as a fire but he came to baptize unto repentance, turning the people back to God.

2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like washers’ soap; 3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord, as in the days of old and as in former years.
... 7 Ever since the days of your ancestors you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.

Luke 3: 15 As the people were filled with expectation and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water, but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

John refers to Jesus as the one who baptizes with fire --a type of refining? The Messiah is the one who the people were expecting to come and all their desire was toward him. That would be Jesus not John.

Chapter 4-

vs 1-3 speak to the time of Jesus' second coming, imo.
vs 4-6 speak to John the Baptist as a type of Elijah and once again to Jesus' second coming
Mt 11:13-14, 17:10-12, Luke 1:13-17; 69-78

I failed your assignment. I could not apply Malachi's prophecies ONLY to the current situation of the Israelites. I was unable to resist the prophetic nature of Malachi in regard to John the Baptist and Jesus. In Malachi's time I think the people, knowing that Malachi was a prophet, would take the instruction given for the priests and the people to repent of their wicked deeds but I also think they would wonder when the messenger (would it even be Elijah?) who would pave the way of the Lord would come so that they then could look in anticipation of the coming of the Lord to his temple to fulfill the prophecy to Abraham.
 
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Dizerner

Well-known member
Yep.

And lot of prophetic material, for those who hold it inspired, had two or even more layers of application and meaning, one for the now, one for the later.
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
In chapter 2, the Lord through Malachi mentions 2 covenants and 1 messenger:
1. The covenant with Levi- the priest was the messenger to the people to instruct them in the ways of the Lord but they became corrupt. Mal 2:3-9
This covenant with Levi has to do with the responsibility of the priesthood and service of the tabernacle and eventually the temple.
Ex 40:15, Num 2:5-12; 18:19, Deut 10:8
2. The covenant of our ancestors- the nation Judah - the men of the second temple period profaned the covenant of their ancestors by divorcing their first wives to go after foreign women who worship other gods. Mal 2:10-17
The covenant of our ancestors has to do with the covenant God made with the nation of Israel- (the law of Moses) Ex 24:7-8
If I might gently challenge your proposal of two different covenants, beginning with the general remark that covenants can be multi-dimensional and address different parties in diverse way. Your citation from Deuteronomy is an important one:

At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to him, and to bless in his name, to this day. (Deut 10:8)

This is found within a digression (10:6-9) that awkwardly interrupts Moses' speech (thus the NRSV places the section in parentheses)... its primary intent is to identify the Levite tribe as the one set apart to minister before the deity (ie. act as priests) and carry the ark that Moses fashioned (10:3), into which he has placed two stone tablets written on by the deity with the same words that were on the previous tablets (10:4-5), words spoken out of the fire and with which the deity made a covenant with Israel (4:12-13; 5:3-4, 22; 9:9-10). We explored at some length this past spring how the Deuteronomists knew and, at times, revised traditions in Exodus in accordance with their particular theology... the same is true of traditions in Numbers. The aforementioned digression not only establishes the Levites as priests and bearers of the covenantal ark but anchors this at a specific point in time that contradicts the chronology in Numbers. Here is the Deuteronomy passage again with additional context and a different emphasis:

The Israelites journeyed from Beeroth-bene-jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died, and there he was buried; his son Eleazar succeeded him as priest. From there they journeyed to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land with flowing streams. At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to him, and to bless in his name, to this day. (Deut 10:6-8)

The Deuteronomists pinpoint this assignment of the Levites to carry the ark during the post-Horeb wilderness wanderings and specifically after the death of Aaron and the succession of Eleazar as priest. Your first citation from Numbers (which I believe should read 3:5-12) prescribes that the Levites are to be presented to Aaron as his assistants, one of their charges involving the furniture of the tent of meeting, which would include the ark. The following chapter elaborates on this process:

When the camp is to set out, Aaron and his sons shall go in and take down the screening curtain, and cover the ark of the testimony with it; then they shall put on it a covering of fine leather, and spread over that a cloth of blue, and shall put its poles in place... When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, as the camp sets out, after that the Kohathites shall come to carry these, but they must not touch the holy things, or they will die. These are the things of the tent of meeting that the Kohathites are to carry. (Num 4:5-6, 15)

The Kohathites are enlisted by Moses, Aaron and the leaders of the congregation (4:34) while the Israelites are still camped at Sinai and are mentioned as those who carry the holy things when they depart (10:21). The itinerary fragment in Deut 10:6-7 has been revised from Num 33:31-33 and the stops along the journey precede Aaron's death at Mount Hor (33:38-38-39). Here there is no mention of Eleazar's succession since both he and Ithamar were earlier said to have served as priests during Aaron's lifetime (3:4). One final point, contained within your own citation, is that anyone besides a descendant of Aaron who attends to the priesthood is to be executed (3:10). This is important because while all descendants of Aaron are Levites, not all Levites are descendants of Aaron. The Deuteronomists reject the appropriation of priestly duties by only Aaron and his descendants as it is articulated in Numbers (and in the Exod 40:15 citation), by extending such rights to all Levites --- the book repeatedly equates Levites and priests without any other qualifications regarding lineage:

you shall immediately go up to the place where the LORD your God will chose, where you shall consult with the levitical priests and the judge who is in office in those days; they shall announce to you the decision in this case. (Deut 17:8b-9)

The levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, shall have no allotment or inheritance within Israel. (Deut 18:1a)

If a Levite leaves any of your towns, from wherever he has been residing in Israel, and comes to the place that the LORD will choose (and he may come whenever he wishes), then he may minister in the name of the LORD his God, like all his fellow-Levites who stand to minister there before the LORD. (Deut 18:6-7)

Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister to him and to pronounce blessings in the name of the LORD, and by their decision all cases of dispute and assault shall be settled. (Deut 21:5)

Guard against an outbreak of a leprous skin disease by being very careful; you shall carefully observe whatever the levitical priests instruct you, just as I have commanded them. (Deut 24:8)

Then Moses and the levitical priests spoke to all Israel, saying: Keep silence and hear, O Israel! This very day you have become the people of the LORD your God. (Deut 27:9)

The Moses wrote down this law, and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel. (Deut 31:9)

(to be continued due to character limit per post)
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
To briefly address your second citation and the enigmatic "covenant of salt" (Num 18:19), this is contextually addressed to Aaron and his descendants (18:8), which is consistent with the tradition elsewhere in the book (as well as in Exodus and in Leviticus where in 2:13 there is reference to "the salt of the covenant with your God") where only descendants of Aaron have priestly prerogatives. We thus have two competing traditions about priesthood in ancient Israel: (1) that of the dominant voice in Exodus through Numbers where Levites are not priests but assistants to the priests who are culled exclusively from among Aaron's descendants and who seem to understand their special status in terms of a covenant and (2) that of Deuteronomy where Levites are the priests and any among them may officiate at the central shrine where the ark of the covenant and book of the law entrusted to the them will be kept.

Turning to Malachi. I'll begin with how the covenant of Levi is therein defined:

Know, then, that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may hold, says the LORD of Hosts. My covenant with him was a covenant of life and well-being, which I gave him; this called for reverence, and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. (Mal 2:4-5)

The ideas of "life and well-being" blend elements from Deuteronomy and Numbers, in that order and implicitly foreground the former... indeed, Malachi is Deuteronomistic in its outlook about priests (more on that below). In Deut 29:1 there is reference to the words of the covenant just conveyed in the land of Moab (with all its additions noted above in chs 17-24 about the calling of the Levites, which took place while on the journey there according to the digression in ch 10) being added to the Horeb covenant, thereafter collapsing into a single covenant that is made between the deity, all the people and their future generations (29:12-15). Shortly thereafter Moses puts before them all a choice of life and prosperity or death and adversity, framed particularly in terms of being led astray into the worship of other gods (30:15-20).

A "covenant of peace" is specifically extended to Eleazar's son Phinehas and his descendants in Num 25:10-13, which is clarified to be "a covenant of perpetual priesthood" thereby narrowing priestly prerogative to this particular branch of the Aaronid line --- the author of Malachi, following the program of Deuteronomy, appropriates this covenant on behalf of the entire Levite line and conflates it with that book's singular covenant made on the plains of Moab. Indeed, Moses' final blessing for Levi extols the entire tribe's role as priests:

And of Levi he said: Give {to Levi} your Thummim, and your Urim to your loyal one,
whom you tested at Massah, with whom you contended at the waters of Meribah;
who said of his father and mother, "I regard them not";
he ignored his kin, and did not acknowledge his children.
For they observed your word, and kept your covenant.
They teach Jacob your ordinances, and Israel your law;

they place incense before you and whole burnt offerings on your altar. (Deut 33:8-10)

In addition to sacrificial duties, the Levites are presented as teaching Jacob/Israel the deity's law, which is central to Malachi's understanding of the ideal priest/messenger associated with the Levite covenant:

True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in integrity and uprightness, and he turned away from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of Hosts. (Mal 2:6-7)

Understanding the book's perspective as rooted in Deuteronomy with its singular multi-dimensional (Horeb >> Moab) covenant, entrusted to the Levites who teach its precepts to all Israel, the "covenant of the ancestors" in Mal 2:10 to which Judah has been faithless may be seen as another reference to this same agreement.

Kind regards,
Jonathan

PS - I'm thinking perhaps we should exhaust discussion of this first part of your post and my response to it before we proceed to the next section concerning the messenger and covenant of Mal 3:1.
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
If I might gently challenge your proposal of two different covenants, beginning with the general remark that covenants can be multi-dimensional and address different parties in diverse way. Your citation from Deuteronomy is an important one:

At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to him, and to bless in his name, to this day. (Deut 10:8)

This is found within a digression (10:6-9) that awkwardly interrupts Moses' speech (thus the NRSV places the section in parentheses)... its primary intent is to identify the Levite tribe as the one set apart to minister before the deity (ie. act as priests) and carry the ark that Moses fashioned (10:3), into which he has placed two stone tablets written on by the deity with the same words that were on the previous tablets (10:4-5), words spoken out of the fire and with which the deity made a covenant with Israel (4:12-13; 5:3-4, 22; 9:9-10). We explored at some length this past spring how the Deuteronomists knew and, at times, revised traditions in Exodus in accordance with their particular theology... the same is true of traditions in Numbers. The aforementioned digression not only establishes the Levites as priests and bearers of the covenantal ark but anchors this at a specific point in time that contradicts the chronology in Numbers. Here is the Deuteronomy passage again with additional context and a different emphasis:

The Israelites journeyed from Beeroth-bene-jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died, and there he was buried; his son Eleazar succeeded him as priest. From there they journeyed to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land with flowing streams. At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to him, and to bless in his name, to this day. (Deut 10:6-8)
Yes, the timing is definitely different. Numbers 10 describes the congregation's departure from Sinai. Aaron was alive and the Lord had finished instructing Moses on the tasks of the priests and the tasks of the Levites by their families.
The sons of Aaron the priest were tasked with blessing the people not the Levites in general. Numbers 6:22-27
What's up with those who inserted Deut 10:6-9?
The Deuteronomists pinpoint this assignment of the Levites to carry the ark during the post-Horeb wilderness wanderings and specifically after the death of Aaron and the succession of Eleazar as priest. Your first citation from Numbers (which I believe should read 3:5-12) prescribes that the Levites are to be presented to Aaron as his assistants, one of their charges involving the furniture of the tent of meeting, which would include the ark. The following chapter elaborates on this process:

When the camp is to set out, Aaron and his sons shall go in and take down the screening curtain, and cover the ark of the testimony with it; then they shall put on it a covering of fine leather, and spread over that a cloth of blue, and shall put its poles in place... When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, as the camp sets out, after that the Kohathites shall come to carry these, but they must not touch the holy things, or they will die. These are the things of the tent of meeting that the Kohathites are to carry. (Num 4:5-6, 15)

The Kohathites are enlisted by Moses, Aaron and the leaders of the congregation (4:34) while the Israelites are still camped at Sinai and are mentioned as those who carry the holy things when they depart (10:21). The itinerary fragment in Deut 10:6-7 has been revised from Num 33:31-33 and the stops along the journey precede Aaron's death at Mount Hor (33:38-38-39). Here there is no mention of Eleazar's succession since both he and Ithamar were earlier said to have served as priests during Aaron's lifetime (3:4).
Aaron and his sons and the rest of the Levites took care of the tabernacle and ministered according to their task which they were assigned from the time they left Sinai and throughout all of their journey to the promised land. They did this for many years. Why would someone edit the script to include things that are contrary to what has been written prior?
One final point, contained within your own citation, is that anyone besides a descendant of Aaron who attends to the priesthood is to be executed (3:10). This is important because while all descendants of Aaron are Levites, not all Levites are descendants of Aaron. The Deuteronomists reject the appropriation of priestly duties by only Aaron and his descendants as it is articulated in Numbers (and in the Exod 40:15 citation), by extending such rights to all Levites --- the book repeatedly equates Levites and priests without any other qualifications regarding lineage:
I didn't realize that Deuteronomy equated Levites and priests. I have always understood that the priesthood belonged to Aaron and his lineage. The rest of the Levites (not of the lineage of Aaron) were helpers of the priests. King David arranged them a little differently in anticipation of the building of a temple in Jerusalem. I'll have to read the OT more closely.

As for your remark that "covenants can be multi-dimensional and address different parties in diverse way". I agree with that. I understand that the directions given for the priesthood and the setup of the ministries of the Levites were given under the law of Moses but the book of the covenant that was sprinkled with blood was for all of the people. The ordinances of the priests and specifics on the sacrifices were not included in the book of the covenant in Ex 24.
you shall immediately go up to the place where the LORD your God will chose, where you shall consult with the levitical priests and the judge who is in office in those days; they shall announce to you the decision in this case. (Deut 17:8b-9)
I would have understood this citation's use of "levitical priests" to mean the sons of Aaron. It may be somewhat redundant to say that the priests are the sons of Aaron from the tribe of Levi which is how I understand "levitical priests", at least in this citation.

Part 2 to follow due to too many words (I'm trying to be precise but I want to include what I'm responding to.)
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
The levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, shall have no allotment or inheritance within Israel. (Deut 18:1a)
The NIV translates it this way: The Levitical priests—indeed, the whole tribe of Levi—are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offerings presented to the Lord, for that is their inheritance.
I would understand this as meaning, the priests (who are the sons of Aaron from the tribe of Levi) and even the whole tribe of Levi (which includes the sons of Gershon, Kohath and Merari along with the sons of Aaron who were the priests) Ex 6:16

The NET translation has this note for Deut 18: 1a-The MT places the terms “priests” and “Levites” in apposition, thus creating an epexegetically construction in which the second term qualifies the first, i.e., “Levitical priests.” This is a way of asserting their legitimacy as true priests. The Syriac renders “to the priest and to the Levite,” making a distinction between the two, but one that is out of place here.

But the NRSV comes across differently. How do you explain these differences? Is my understanding incorrect?
If a Levite leaves any of your towns, from wherever he has been residing in Israel, and comes to the place that the LORD will choose (and he may come whenever he wishes), then he may minister in the name of the LORD his God, like all his fellow-Levites who stand to minister there before the LORD. (Deut 18:6-7)
Even in this citation, I would not have thought the that "Levite" was speaking of all the Levites as equivalent to priests. Each Levite has his own job when it came to ministering before the Lord which was not the same as the duty of the priests. So when the Levite came to the place that the Lord had chosen, he would minister according to his specific lineage whether from the lineage of Aaron, Gershon, Kohath or Merari. My presupposition was how the duties or ministries of the Levites and priests were first assigned in the book of Numbers 3:1-38
Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister to him and to pronounce blessings in the name of the LORD, and by their decision all cases of dispute and assault shall be settled. (Deut 21:5)
I can see how someone might take what is bolded in red as "the priests who include ALL of the sons of Levi", but I've never understood it as a possible way of interpreting that until now.
Guard against an outbreak of a leprous skin disease by being very careful; you shall carefully observe whatever the levitical priests instruct you, just as I have commanded them. (Deut 24:8)

Then Moses and the levitical priests spoke to all Israel, saying: Keep silence and hear, O Israel! This very day you have become the people of the LORD your God. (Deut 27:9)

The Moses wrote down this law, and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel. (Deut 31:9)
These citations are more of the same.

Why would things change from the sons of Aaron of the tribe of Levi who were specifically chosen alone from the entire tribe of Levi to be priests to be tasked with the ministry to the Lord of the offerings and the care of the inner sanctuary to the entire tribe of Levi performing those duties?
There was even a rebellion of Levites and other Israelites in Numbers 16 against Moses and the sons of Aaron the priest and God chose had the earth swallow up the rebels.
8 Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you Levites! 9 Is it too little for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel to allow you to approach him in order to perform the duties of the Lord’s tabernacle and to stand before the congregation and serve them? 10 He has allowed you to approach him, and all your brother Levites with you, yet you seek the priesthood as well! 11 Therefore you and all your congregation have gathered together against the Lord. What is Aaron that you rail against him?” Num 16:8-11
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
To briefly address your second citation and the enigmatic "covenant of salt" (Num 18:19), this is contextually addressed to Aaron and his descendants (18:8), which is consistent with the tradition elsewhere in the book (as well as in Exodus and in Leviticus where in 2:13 there is reference to "the salt of the covenant with your God") where only descendants of Aaron have priestly prerogatives. We thus have two competing traditions about priesthood in ancient Israel: (1) that of the dominant voice in Exodus through Numbers where Levites are not priests but assistants to the priests who are culled exclusively from among Aaron's descendants and who seem to understand their special status in terms of a covenant and (2) that of Deuteronomy where Levites are the priests and any among them may officiate at the central shrine where the ark of the covenant and book of the law entrusted to the them will be kept.
I'm still not entirely sold on this idea of the Levites in general as priests (2). What does "to this day" mean in Deut 10:8?
Solomon's temple had a set ministry for the priests and the Levites. 1 Chron 23-26 and 28: 11-13, 19
Nehemiah seems to have also set up the ministry of the second temple similar to that of Numbers and 1 Chronicles. Neh 7:73, 12:44, 13: 29-30 (the priests and the Levites). Wouldn't Malachi know this?
Where do we find Levites who are doing the service of a priest in the tabernacle or in the temple?
Turning to Malachi. I'll begin with how the covenant of Levi is therein defined:

Know, then, that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may hold, says the LORD of Hosts. My covenant with him was a covenant of life and well-being, which I gave him; this called for reverence, and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. (Mal 2:4-5)

The ideas of "life and well-being" blend elements from Deuteronomy and Numbers, in that order and implicitly foreground the former... indeed, Malachi is Deuteronomistic in its outlook about priests (more on that below). In Deut 29:1 there is reference to the words of the covenant just conveyed in the land of Moab (with all its additions noted above in chs 17-24 about the calling of the Levites, which took place while on the journey there according to the digression in ch 10) being added to the Horeb covenant, thereafter collapsing into a single covenant that is made between the deity, all the people and their future generations (29:12-15). Shortly thereafter Moses puts before them all a choice of life and prosperity or death and adversity, framed particularly in terms of being led astray into the worship of other gods (30:15-20).
By "Horeb covenant" do you mean the covenant agreed upon and established in Ex 24? Or something broader in scope?

I skimmed through Deuteronomy 17-24, 29 and searched in BibleGateway for Levites, Levitical priests and Covenant of Levi and didn't find anything about who does what in the tabernacle or who carries what when they journey. There were no repeat of the laws on sacrifices in the renewal of the covenant. No mention of the covenant with Levi. There was a portion in Deut 18 about them not having an inheritance like the rest of the tribes of Israel. Their portion comes from a portion of the entire harvest of the nation and from the things that are offered in sacrifice to the Lord. The new covenant sworn by an oath without blood this time is called the Covenant of the Lord. Numbers 18 spells it out more fully.

When the Horeb covenant and the Moab covenant were collapsed into a single covenant, the covenant of the Lord, doesn't that mean the two were made one? So that whatever was part of the Horeb covenant included all the laws in the book of the covenant (Ex 24), as well as the laws and ordinances found in the later chapters of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers and then whatever was added at Moab found in Deuteronomy made up the new covenant that was confirmed by an oath?

I can see how you would relate the ideas of "life and well-being" in Malachi 2 to those sections in Deuteronomy with the blessings and the curses. But I see that as a covenant with the nation of Israel and not only to one tribe, Levi, or even to the priests from the tribe of Levi.

A "covenant of peace" is specifically extended to Eleazar's son Phinehas and his descendants in Num 25:10-13, which is clarified to be "a covenant of perpetual priesthood" thereby narrowing priestly prerogative to this particular branch of the Aaronid line --- the author of Malachi, following the program of Deuteronomy, appropriates this covenant on behalf of the entire Levite line and conflates it with that book's singular covenant made on the plains of Moab.
That makes no sense. I can see bringing everything into one covenant, the covenant of the Lord. I don't understand appropriating it on behalf of the entire Levite line unless it supports some weird, particular pet doctrine. Moses was likely rolling over in his grave!
Do you think it is possible that using "Levi" or the "Levitical priests" is some type of literary thing that maybe shouldn't be taken literally? Like a synecdoche?
Why do you think Malachi would follow the program of Deuteronomy?
Indeed, Moses' final blessing for Levi extols the entire tribe's role as priests:

And of Levi he said: Give {to Levi} your Thummim, and your Urim to your loyal one,
whom you tested at Massah, with whom you contended at the waters of Meribah;
who said of his father and mother, "I regard them not";
he ignored his kin, and did not acknowledge his children.
For they observed your word, and kept your covenant.
They teach Jacob your ordinances, and Israel your law;

they place incense before you and whole burnt offerings on your altar. (Deut 33:8-10)
Frankly this blessing is baffling to me.
Thummim and Urim have to do with the priest's clothing of which only priests of Aaron's Levitical lineage were given and nobody else.
The entire tribe of Levi wasn't contended with, only Moses and Aaron took complaints from the Israelites about the lack of water although their complaints were actually against God at Massah and Meribah.
Only Moses and the line of priests from Aaron were commanded of God to teach in Lev 10:8-11
Only the priests from the line of Aaron could offer incense and even then, they had to offer according to the instructions given by the Lord. Lev 10:1-3.
This is why I think the entire tribe of Levi can't be in view though all the Levites are included in the ministering to the Lord in his sanctuary.

I had to split this into 2 posts as well...sorry!
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
In addition to sacrificial duties, the Levites are presented as teaching Jacob/Israel the deity's law,
Where are the Levites in general given sacrificial duties in the book of Deuteronomy?

I did a search for "teach" from the book of Exodus up until the book of Malachi. (I probably didn't capture everything with just the word, "teach"):

Leviticus 10:8-11 And the Lord spoke to Aaron, 9 “Drink no wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons, when you enter the tent of meeting, that you may not die; it is a statute forever throughout your generations. 10 You are to distinguish between the holy and the common and between the unclean and the clean, 11 and you are to teach the Israelites all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them through Moses.”
Deut 4:1, 5-8 Moses teaches
Deut 5: 31 Moses teaches
Deut 33:10 In the blessing...Levi teaches
2Kings 17:27-28 the priest teaches
2 Chron 15:3 the priest teaches
2 Chron 17:7-9 officials, Levites and priests go out to teach
Ezra 7: 10, 25-Ezra is a priest (lineage of Aaron) who teaches sent from Babylon to Jerusalem
Nehemiah 12: 1 makes a list of the priests and Levites who came with him to Jerusalem from Babylon (he differentiates the priest from the Levite). in verse 25 the Levites are assigned according to king David's categories as singers, gatekeepers, etc.

Malachi is a contemporary of Ezra and Nehemiah. Shouldn't they be on the same page coming from the same time frame?

Who are these Deuteronomists? When did they write the book of Deuteronomy or did they just add snippets here and there like the digression in chapter 10? I wasn't in complete agreement with your assessment of the authors of Deuteronomy in the Exodus thread. (I can't remember off-hand their exact doctrine you presented, maybe something about transcendence, but I was surprised to see no mention of angels in Deuteronomy.)
which is central to Malachi's understanding of the ideal priest/messenger associated with the Levite covenant: True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in integrity and uprightness, and he turned away from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of Hosts. (Mal 2:6-7)

Understanding the book's perspective as rooted in Deuteronomy with its singular multi-dimensional (Horeb >> Moab) covenant, entrusted to the Levites who teach its precepts to all Israel, the "covenant of the ancestors" in Mal 2:10 to which Judah has been faithless may be seen as another reference to this same agreement.
It may be the same Covenant of the Lord but the Covenant of Levi would have to at least be a subset because it is only aimed at one tribe.
In that the entire tribe of Levi was set apart as ministers to the Lord- I think that is where the covenant with Levi lies and not with the particular ministry each is given

I apologize in advance for typos. I didn't proofread these responses.
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
@Jewjitzu Would you please come and offer your perspective on the Covenant of the Lord, the covenant of Levi, the priesthood, the Levitical priesthood, the difference between Numbers and Deuteronomy in regards to the priesthood, and the book of Malachi for us?

The first post in this discussion between En Hakkore and myself starts with post #71 with other conversations intermingled.
 
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Caroljeen

Well-known member
@Jewjitzu Would you please come and offer your perspective on the Covenant of the Lord, the covenant of Levi, the priesthood, the Levitical priesthood, the difference between Numbers and Deuteronomy in regards to the priesthood, and the book of Malachi for us?
By priesthood, I meant the Aaronic priesthood vs the levitical priesthood...what's the difference?
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
What's up with those who inserted Deut 10:6-9?
That these verses were a later insertion is possible, but since it is consistent with the broader outlook of Deuteronomy concerning Levities, I opt to call it a digression, which is compatible with either your proposition or that it was from the same authorial hand as the surrounding text. In any case, its presence reflects a difference of opinion from the majority position of Exodus through Numbers concerning who may exercise priestly prerogative in ancient Israel.

Why would someone edit the script to include things that are contrary to what has been written prior?
Because they don't agree with that earlier version of events.

I didn't realize that Deuteronomy equated Levites and priests. I have always understood that the priesthood belonged to Aaron and his lineage. The rest of the Levites (not of the lineage of Aaron) were helpers of the priests.
When there are competing traditions, such as in this case concerning priestly lineage, one will inevitably dominate and influence how the other tradition is understood, in this case drowning it out so that the equation I noted is something you've never heard of or seen before even though it has always been there.

As for your remark that "covenants can be multi-dimensional and address different parties in diverse way". I agree with that.
OK, glad we are in agreement on that.

I would have understood this citation's use of "levitical priests" to mean the sons of Aaron. It may be somewhat redundant to say that the priests are the sons of Aaron from the tribe of Levi which is how I understand "levitical priests", at least in this citation.
It would be cumbersome, for sure, but the point is that Deuteronomy nowhere makes the equation between priests and the sons of Aaron to the exclusion of any other descendants of Levi... the understanding you refer to is an assumption drawn from pertinent texts in Exodus through Numbers --- if Deuteronomy is read on its own, its authors have a more inclusive understanding of priesthood, an office open to Levites generally.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
The NIV translates it this way: The Levitical priests—indeed, the whole tribe of Levi—are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offerings presented to the Lord, for that is their inheritance.
I would understand this as meaning, the priests (who are the sons of Aaron from the tribe of Levi) and even the whole tribe of Levi (which includes the sons of Gershon, Kohath and Merari along with the sons of Aaron who were the priests) Ex 6:16
The NIV is notorious for (mis)translations that safeguard the translators' commitment to inerrancy... it is best avoided.

The NET translation has this note for Deut 18: 1a-The MT places the terms “priests” and “Levites” in apposition, thus creating an epexegetically construction in which the second term qualifies the first, i.e., “Levitical priests.”
This analysis of the Hebrew syntax of לכהנים הלוים is correct, however, it fails to take things one step further to point out that this clause stands in apposition to the following clause כל־שבט לוי, thus "Levitical priests" is qualified as being "the entire tribe of Levi" rather than being presented as related but distinct entities as conveyed by the NET (and NIV).

The Syriac renders “to the priest and to the Levite,” making a distinction between the two, but one that is out of place here.
Yes, this variant is present in the Syriac... it is an example of a harmonizing translation that seeks to bring this text into conformity with the differentiation between priests and Levites that is found in Exodus through Numbers --- the note correctly identifies such a claim in the context of Deuteronomy as being "out of place".

But the NRSV comes across differently. How do you explain these differences? Is my understanding incorrect?
The NRSV correctly renders the apposition of clauses without a misleading word such as "indeed" inserted along with hyphens to bracket off the second clause... hopefully my comments above demonstrate why the NIV and NET read differently from the NRSV and why those first two translations are subtle harmonizations to the priestly program of Exodus through Numbers that renders the ideological conflict invisible to unsuspecting readers.

My presupposition was how the duties or ministries of the Levites and priests were first assigned in the book of Numbers 3:1-38
The presupposition is unwarranted... while I can appreciate that such is endemic to a canonical reading of the biblical text, it prevents one from reading what the Deuteronomists themselves are attempting to convey, which is opposition to the priestly hierarchy (Aaronid priests and Levite helpers) expressed in that and other earlier texts.

I can see how someone might take what is bolded in red as "the priests who include ALL of the sons of Levi", but I've never understood it as a possible way of interpreting that until now.
This is another case of apposition... "the priests" (הכהנים) is qualified as being "the sons of Levi" (בני לוי) --- if a restriction to "the sons of Aaron" was the idea being conveyed, the writer would have placed that rather than "the sons of Levi" in apposition to and therefore as a qualifier for "the priests".

Why would things change from the sons of Aaron of the tribe of Levi who were specifically chosen alone from the entire tribe of Levi to be priests to be tasked with the ministry to the Lord of the offerings and the care of the inner sanctuary to the entire tribe of Levi performing those duties?
What is reflected here is not so much a change as it is a battle between priestly factions in ancient Israel... those responsible for the primary voice in Exodus through Numbers held that only descendants of Aaron could be priests and one writer further qualified this as only the descendants of his grandson Phinehas. Those responsible for Deuteronomy, however, rejected this exclusionary practice, articulating that any member of the Levite tribe could be a priest.

There was even a rebellion of Levites and other Israelites in Numbers 16 against Moses and the sons of Aaron the priest and God chose had the earth swallow up the rebels.
The part of this story about Korah's challenge to restrictions on the priesthood is certainly anathema to the Deuteronomists... indeed, note how they revise it when referring back to the tradition:

and what {the LORD} did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab son of Reuben, how in the midst of all Israel the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, along with their households, their tents, and every living being in their company... (Deut 11:6)

Back in Numbers, the earth swallowed up not only Dathan and Abiram --- the "other Israelites" I bolded in your comments above --- but Korah, too (see Num 16:23-33), yet this third individual, the ostensible ringleader and the Levite who has aspirations to the priesthood (see Num 16:8-11), disappears entirely from the summary in Deuteronomy. Why? Because the inclusion of the Levite Korah is at odds with the program of the Deuteronomists that any Levite can serve as a priest, thus this contradictory element is eliminated from their version of the story.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
Because they don't agree with that earlier version of events.
If there were only 40 or so years between the writings on Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy then I find it difficult to agree with this reason. But I know you date the writings to have happened later in Israel's history. That is why I asked what was meant by "to this day" in Deut 10:8
That is also why I was exploring how the priesthood was determined at the time of the first and second temple periods...to see which "tradition" King David and Nehemiah/Ezra chose to implement. I came across David and his sons acting as priest and gave up that inquiry for the moment.
When there are competing traditions, such as in this case concerning priestly lineage, one will inevitably dominate and influence how the other tradition is understood, in this case drowning it out so that the equation I noted is something you've never heard of or seen before even though it has always been there.
I don't believe I was drowning it out since it wasn't deliberate or intentional. It was more of a case of believing the Ex/Nu tradition and subconsciously understanding everything thereafter to agree with it. Which in my mind looked like: the priests were the sons of Aaron and Levi=Levitical priests. I never had anyone challenge that understanding before through any medium, even teaching and preaching.
... the point is that Deuteronomy nowhere makes the equation between priests and the sons of Aaron to the exclusion of any other descendants of Levi... the understanding you refer to is an assumption drawn from pertinent texts in Exodus through Numbers --- if Deuteronomy is read on its own, its authors have a more inclusive understanding of priesthood, an office open to Levites generally.
Ok, let's move on. I don't want to get bogged down here. This topic is more involved than I thought.


Pertaining to Malachi 2-3, you believe the Convenant of Levi is related to the Deuteronomy tradition. I'll concede this point.
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
The NIV is notorious for (mis)translations that safeguard the translators' commitment to inerrancy... it is best avoided.


This analysis of the Hebrew syntax of לכהנים הלוים is correct, however, it fails to take things one step further to point out that this clause stands in apposition to the following clause כל־שבט לוי, thus "Levitical priests" is qualified as being "the entire tribe of Levi" rather than being presented as related but distinct entities as conveyed by the NET (and NIV).


Yes, this variant is present in the Syriac... it is an example of a harmonizing translation that seeks to bring this text into conformity with the differentiation between priests and Levites that is found in Exodus through Numbers --- the note correctly identifies such a claim in the context of Deuteronomy as being "out of place".


The NRSV correctly renders the apposition of clauses without a misleading word such as "indeed" inserted along with hyphens to bracket off the second clause... hopefully my comments above demonstrate why the NIV and NET read differently from the NRSV and why those first two translations are subtle harmonizations to the priestly program of Exodus through Numbers that renders the ideological conflict invisible to unsuspecting readers.
Yes, we can move on.
The presupposition is unwarranted... while I can appreciate that such is endemic to a canonical reading of the biblical text, it prevents one from reading what the Deuteronomists themselves are attempting to convey, which is opposition to the priestly hierarchy (Aaronid priests and Levite helpers) expressed in that and other earlier texts.
Ok, I agree.
This is another case of apposition... "the priests" (הכהנים) is qualified as being "the sons of Levi" (בני לוי) --- if a restriction to "the sons of Aaron" was the idea being conveyed, the writer would have placed that rather than "the sons of Levi" in apposition to and therefore as a qualifier for "the priests".
I agree.
What is reflected here is not so much a change as it is a battle between priestly factions in ancient Israel... those responsible for the primary voice in Exodus through Numbers held that only descendants of Aaron could be priests and one writer further qualified this as only the descendants of his grandson Phinehas. Those responsible for Deuteronomy, however, rejected this exclusionary practice, articulating that any member of the Levite tribe could be a priest.


The part of this story about Korah's challenge to restrictions on the priesthood is certainly anathema to the Deuteronomists... indeed, note how they revise it when referring back to the tradition:

and what {the LORD} did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab son of Reuben, how in the midst of all Israel the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, along with their households, their tents, and every living being in their company... (Deut 11:6)

Back in Numbers, the earth swallowed up not only Dathan and Abiram --- the "other Israelites" I bolded in your comments above --- but Korah, too (see Num 16:23-33), yet this third individual, the ostensible ringleader and the Levite who has aspirations to the priesthood (see Num 16:8-11), disappears entirely from the summary in Deuteronomy. Why? Because the inclusion of the Levite Korah is at odds with the program of the Deuteronomists that any Levite can serve as a priest, thus this contradictory element is eliminated from their version of the story.
It seems the author/s of Deuteronomy pick and choose what they want to agree with from the Exodus and Numbers. What do you believe are the dates of the writing of Numbers and Deuteronomy? About the same time? One earlier than the other?
 

GeneZ

Well-known member
If there were only 40 or so years between the writings on Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy then I find it difficult to agree with this reason. But I know you date the writings to have happened later in Israel's history. That is why I asked what was meant by "to this day" in Deut 10:8
That is also why I was exploring how the priesthood was determined at the time of the first and second temple periods...to see which "tradition" King David and Nehemiah/Ezra chose to implement. I came across David and his sons acting as priest and gave up that inquiry for the moment.

I don't believe I was drowning it out since it wasn't deliberate or intentional. It was more of a case of believing the Ex/Nu tradition and subconsciously understanding everything thereafter to agree with it. Which in my mind looked like: the priests were the sons of Aaron and Levi=Levitical priests. I never had anyone challenge that understanding before through any medium, even teaching and preaching.

Ok, let's move on. I don't want to get bogged down here. This topic is more involved than I thought.


Pertaining to Malachi 2-3, you believe the Convenant of Levi is related to the Deuteronomy tradition. I'll concede this point.
Translation? "When I get done with you, you will not be able to know anything."

Interpretation? Where does that come from?
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
Translation? "When I get done with you, you will not be able to know anything."

Interpretation? Where does that come from?
I have to let some things settle in my mind so that I can think about it, pray about it and search it out.

I know what you are insinuating but I see what the language is saying (in apposition), En Hakkore's interpretation is certainly possible, and that David and his sons acted as priests are somethings I have to think about. The phrase "the priests and the levites" which denotes that the levites are not the priests is something else I have to investigate and I just don't have the time to do so at the present. It has to go on the shelf until I can explore it further.

I'd rather concede the point for now that what Malachi means by "the covenant of Levi" pertains to all of the Levites at the same time leaving open the possibility that I might change my mind after further consideration on the subject.
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
@GeneZ

I decided to comment directly on your last post. I know that God is not the author of confusion so therefore it would come from our enemy, Satan and those angels that rebelled with him.

Inerrancy of the Bible was for the autographs, the original writings, of the Bible. What we have now has been corrupted. There are contradictions in the text and what I've been discussing with En Hakkore about the priests is one who those contradictions. Just because they (contradictions) are there doesn't mean that I cannot trust the Bible, nor does it mean that it is not inspired, and especially not that Jesus and his gospel are not true. For me, right now, it means that I have to be more thoughtful when I read the texts and seek God for discernment.
 

GeneZ

Well-known member
I have to let some things settle in my mind so that I can think about it, pray about it and search it out.

I know what you are insinuating but I see what the language is saying (in apposition), En Hakkore's interpretation is certainly possible, and that David and his sons acted as priests are somethings I have to think about. The phrase "the priests and the levites" which denotes that the levites are not the priests is something else I have to investigate and I just don't have the time to do so at the present. It has to go on the shelf until I can explore it further.

I'd rather concede the point for now that what Malachi means by "the covenant of Levi" pertains to all of the Levites at the same time leaving open the possibility that I might change my mind after further consideration on the subject.
All priests were from the tribe of Levi = Levites.

But, not all Levites were priests.
 
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