Category Archives: Biblical Theology

Artemis of Ephesus

In the July/August 2016 edition of The Biblical Archaeology Review there is a survey article entitled “Archaeology Gives New Reality to Paul’s Ephesus Riot” by James R. Edwards.  The article deals with the riot that is described in Acts 19:23–41.

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The BAR article is very informative, but it is to be noted that the recent book by Gary Hoag Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy: Fresh Insights from Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus is not mentioned.  Hoag’s book is considered as a “game changer” that goes into the details of how Artemis was worshiped at Ephesus AND it deals with some very problematic passages in 1 Timothy (2::9–15; 3:1–3; 6:1–2a; 6:2b–10; 6:17–19)!

The book is expensive and will be of interest to scholars—but it is also accessible to an informed layperson.  For a great overview of the content of the book and some of its conclusions see the review by Lucy Peppiatt that was posted by Scot McKnight.

I was particularly interested in how actual data related to the site of Ephesus helps in interpreting the following:

1Tim. 2:9     I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes,  10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

1Tim. 2:11     A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.  12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.  13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.  15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. (NIV)

I totally agree that the book is a “game changer” and for starters, commend Peppiatt’s review as a starting place.

Artemis of Ephesus

In the July/August 2016 edition of The Biblical Archaeology Review there is a survey article entitled “Archaeology Gives New Reality to Paul’s Ephesus Riot” by James R. Edwards.  The article deals with the riot that is described in Acts 19:23–41.

TWCSEA01

The BAR article is very informative, but it is to be noted that the recent book by Gary Hoag Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy: Fresh Insights from Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus is not mentioned.  Hoag’s book is considered as a “game changer” that goes into the details of how Artemis was worshiped at Ephesus AND it deals with some very problematic passages in 1 Timothy (2::9–15; 3:1–3; 6:1–2a; 6:2b–10; 6:17–19)!

The book is expensive and will be of interest to scholars—but it is also accessible to an informed layperson.  For a great overview of the content of the book and some of its conclusions see the review by Lucy Peppiatt that was posted by Scot McKnight.

I was particularly interested in how actual data related to the site of Ephesus helps in interpreting the following:

1Tim. 2:9     I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes,  10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

1Tim. 2:11     A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.  12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.  13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.  15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. (NIV)

I totally agree that the book is a “game changer” and for starters, commend Peppiatt’s review as a starting place.

Why is the Hen Gathering Her Chicks? (Matt 23:37; Luke 13:34)

As Jesus leaves the Temple area in Jerusalem he is quoted as having said:

Matt. 23:37  ¶  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.  (NIV)

This saying is also found in Luke 13:34 as Jesus is progressing towards Jerusalem.  This idea of protection and tender concern is also found in passages such as Psalms 17:8, 36:7, and 91:4.

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A modern mosaic of a mother hen protecting her chicks—on the altar of Dominus Flevit Church on the Mount of Olives (Matt 23:37; Luke 13:34) — Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download

 

In glancing at a number of commentaries on the Matthew 23 and Luke 13 passages, all I found were general statements about “protection” and “tenderness.”  However, I once heard a lecture by N. T. Wright where he seemed to suggest that what was involved here was a “barn yard fire,” where the mother hen gathered her chicks under her wings.  After the fire swept though the barn yard the mother hen had been incinerated, but the chicks under her wings were still alive—the hen sacrificing her life for her chicks.

This interpretation never struck me as too plausible and after lecturing to an adult group one of the participants came up to me and described a much more plausible explanation:

He said that he had grown up on a farm and that a hen has a variety of informative “clucks.”  For example a certain clucking sound would call her chicks to eat.  He also said that as a prank, he would cut out a cardboard eagle or hawk, affix it to a long stick, and would then maneuver it so that the shadow of the bird of prey would fall within the vision of the hen.  Upon seeing [the shadow of the fake] bird of prey she would utter a special clucking sound that called her chicks to gather under her wings for protection from the danger!  This of course is what she would do when a real bird of prey was threatening her or her chicks.  (my paraphrase)

Again, the hen sacrificing her life for her chicks.  I had not heard such an informative comment on this passage before—but then I am not a farmer, nor the son of a farmer!

The altar on which the above mosaic is found is located in the Roman Catholic Church Dominus Flevit that commemorates Jesus weeping over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41) as he entered the city from the east.

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View looking west over the Old City of Jerusalem from within Dominus Flevit. The “golden” Dome of the Rock is visible beyond the cross, and to the right of the Dome the grey Domes of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher are visible. Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download

You can view/download 10 images of Dominus Flevit  Here.

 

An Interesting New Testament Exegetical Blog

Recently I have stumbled upon the blog of Philip J. Long Reading Acts.  I thought it would be the book of Acts 24/7, but right now he seems to be progressing through the gospels.  It looks like he has written A LOT over the past five or so years (sorry I missed it!#@!) beginning in Acts but has moved through the whole New Testament.  (I still to do a lot of keyword searching to find out all the goodies that are hidden in his site)

I have found his posts scholarly and accessible and it has been “fun” to think about the interesting exegetical and critical topics that he brings up!  He has 2, 281 followers—I’m impressed, given the topics that he discusses.

You may be interested in checking out his blog—he may stimulate your thinking (or as my Professor/Colleague Anson Rainey used to say: “let me enrich you with some new uncertainties”).

David and Jerusalem

After being crowned King of Judah and then eventually of Israel (the northern tribes) in Hebron, David moved to conquer Jerusalem.  Evidently it was his “general” Joab who with his men who surprised the Jebusites inside of the city by gaining access via the sinnor—usually translated “water system” (2 Samuel 5:1-12 and 1 Chronicles 11:4–9).  Previously I described this system and included pictures of the recently (ca. January of 2014) opened to the public system that dated back to the 18th century B.C.

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The “step–stone structure” is located on the eastern slope of the City of David. It evidently dates back to ca. 1100 B.C. and many believe on top of it was a Jebusite fort and/or palace. It is about 80ft. high! — Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download.

 

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Hebron is the “natural” capital of the south (Judah) while “Shechem” is the “natural” capital of the northern tribes. Note the “neutral” position of Jerusalem.

By moving his capital from Hebron (in Judah) to Jerusalem David accomplished a number of things.

  1. Because he captured it, Jerusalem became his personal possession (not that of any particular tribe).
  2. Because Jerusalem was located between the northern and southern tribes it was in a sense a “neutral” city.  If the capital had remained in Hebron the northern tribes might of accused him of favoring the Judeans (his own tribe) and if he moved the capital to Shechem his own tribe of Judah would have been offended.
  3. By capturing Jebus, a pagan city and population that was located in the heartland of Israel was eliminated.
  4. By bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6, 1 Chronicles 13) he began the process that led to its becoming the religious capital of Israel.
  5. And finally, its position in the Hill Country, not on the Coastal Plain to the west, meant that his capital was not on the normal military route through the Land of Canaan.

The topography of the “Old Ancient Core” of Jerusalem (ca. 15 acres in size) is that of a “bump in the bottom of a bowl.”

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The “City of David” a.k.a. “the Old Ancient Core” is in the center/bottom of the photo. The Kidron Valley is on the right (east) of it. Note how the Mount of Olives is higher to the east, how Mount Scopus is higher behind it (to the north), and how the western hill rises to the left. This picture was taken from a higher hill to the south.

In light of the above, note:

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.”
Psalm 125:2 (NIV)

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? [not the princes of Judah or Israel]  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1–2 (NIV)

See also Psalms 2, 46, 48,  87, 122, 132 among many others!

Next Monday—Solomon builds the Temple.

Monday on the Mount — Entering and Settling the Land of Canaan

DLRLTB10_400The books of Joshua and Judges describe Israel’s entrance into and settlement in the Land of Canaan.  As Israel, led by priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant, crossed into the Land of Canaan, they were entering the Land promised to their ancestors and to which the Lord was guiding them:

13 “In your unfailing love you [the Lord] will lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
to your holy dwelling . . .
17  You will bring them in and plant them
on the mountain of your inheritance
the place, O LORD, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, your hands established.  18  The LORD will reign for ever and ever.”

This movement was more than a group of people merely moving into a land and conquering it, as often happened in the ancient world.  These were God’s people moving into The Land the He had promised them.  I previously wrote that part of the “Patriarchal Promise” was

that the descendants of Abraham would occupy the Land of Canaan.  See Genesis 12:7; 13:15–17; 15:18; 17:8—about 12 times in Genesis and especially Numbers 34.  From a earlier post.

This was the land where God would place His Name (= His Presence; Deuteronomy 12), the land where they would gather around His sanctuary, and potentially where they could live their lives in “worshipful obedience” in His Presence.  In a very real way, this could potentially be considered a movement back to Edenic conditions where humanity had been purposefully placed (by God)  in the Garden of Eden to live their lives in His Presence in “worshipful obedience”  (Genesis 3:15).

540_ShilohAs part of Israel’s movement into, and settlement in, the Land of Canaan Jerusalem was conquered (Joshua 12:10; Judges 1:7-8, 21; 19:10), but not settled by them—that would not happen until the days of David.  Instead, the Tabernacle was set up at Shiloh, 20 mi. to the north of Jerusalem, on the way to Shechem, and it was to there that the tribes went up to worship—remember Eli the priest, Elkanah the father of Samuel the prophet (1 Samuel 1:3), etc

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View looking north from the summit of Shiloh down on to a rectangular open area (about the size of the courtyard of the Tabernacle) where many believe the Tabernacle was actually set up (under excavation at the time the photo was taken — Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download

Next Monday — David Conquers Jerusalem.

Monday on the Mount — Exodus 15 and Deuteronomy 12

Although Jerusalem is not actually mentioned in the first five books of the Bible, there are certainly strong hints of “things to come.”  For example, after crossing the Reed Sea, Moses and all Israel celebrated the Lord’s work by singing a song that included the following:

Exodus 15:11  “Who among the gods is like you, O LORD?
Who is like you—majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory, working wonders?  . . .
13 “In your unfailing love you will lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
to your holy dwelling . . .
17  You will bring them in and plant them
on the mountain of your inheritance
the place, O LORD, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, your hands established.  18  The LORD will reign
for ever and ever.”

From this passage it is clear that the Lord is leading His people to the Land of Canaan, to the mountain of His inheritance, His dwelling, His sanctuary!  Ultimately this will be the Temple on Mount Zion, in Jerusalem—but some 400 years later!  Note that the destination is the “Land of Canaan”—that had been promised to the descendants of the Patriarchs.

After 40 years in the wilderness, just before entering the Land of Canaan, in/near the Plains of Moab, Moses preached his last sermons.  This seems to be in anticipation of crossing the Jordan River into Canaan, the occupation of Jerusalem, and the building of the Temple in Jerusalem.  In conjunction with describing that the Israelites should not worship at just “any” sanctuary but only the place where the Lord chooses to place His Name, the instructions include:

Deuteronomy 12:2 Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains and on the hills and under every spreading tree where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods.  . . .   5 But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go;  6 there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices . . .  7 There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you.
. . .   9 since you have not yet reached the resting place and the inheritance the LORD your God is giving you.  10 But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, and he will give you rest from all your enemies around you so that you will live in safety.  11 Then to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name—there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the LORD.  12 And there rejoice before the LORD your God . . .  13 Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please.  14 Offer them only at the place the LORD will choose in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you. . .
17 You must not eat in your own towns the tithe of your grain and new wine and oil, or the firstborn of your herds and flocks, or whatever you have vowed to give, or your freewill offerings or special gifts.
18 Instead, you are to eat them [offerings] in the presence of the LORD your God at the place the LORD your God will choose . . . and you are to rejoice before the LORD your God in everything you put your hand to.  19 Be careful not to neglect the Levites as long as you live in your land.
20  When the LORD your God has enlarged your territory as he promised you . . .  21 If the place where the LORD your God chooses to put his Name is too far away from you, you may slaughter animals from the herds and flocks the LORD has given you, as I have commanded you, and in your own towns you may eat as much of them as you want.

Next Monday: Crossing the Jordan, entering Canaan, settling in the land.


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An example of a Canaanite Worship Center found by Yadin at Hazor — Note the basalt standing stones, the seated man, the crouched lion, and the slab to receive offerings — Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download

Monday on the Mount of Olives — What is the Point of the Book of Exodus?

What is the point of the Book of Exodus?  What is the most important event contained in the book?

Early in the book, when Moses complained to God that He was not acting on behalf of Israel, God graciously responded:

Ex. 6:1    Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them  [the Israelites]  go . . . .

Ex. 6:2     God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD.  3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.  4 I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens . . . and I have remembered my covenant.

Ex. 6:6     “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out . . . I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God . . .  8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.’”

Certainly the above passage clearly links the events of the Exodus with the Promise that God had made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

But quick, what is the most important event found in the book of Exodus?  The Burning Bush incident?  The 10 Plagues?  The first Passover?  The Crossing of the Reed Sea?  The giving of the Law at Mount Sinai?  I believe that the answer is found after you plow through 13 (boring?) chapters describing the details of how the Tabernacle was supposed to be constructed.

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A modern reconstruction of the Tabernacle, Courtyard, and Sacrificial Altar — This life-size replica was built under the supervision of Dr. Randall Smith — Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download

I believe, in spite of all the highlights, that the book of Exodus climaxes with the construction of the Tabernacle (chapter 40) and God coming to reside with His people.

Ex. 40:34     . . . the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory (כָּבוֹד kâvôd)of the LORD filled the tabernacle.  35 Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory (כָּבוֹד kâvôd) of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

What in fact is the glory (כָּבוֹד kâvôd) of the LORD”?  The basic meaning of the Hebrew word for glory has to do with “heaviness, and weight“—not luminosity as many think (see C.S. Lewis below).  In other words, the heavy, weighty, all encompassing, presence of the True and Living God came to “dwell” in the Tabernacle!  God was now dwelling with His people!

And what do we find in Leviticus?  We find specific instructions as to where the priests, the Levites, and all the Israelites were to camp around the Tabernacle (Leviticus 2–3).  Putting this together, God was now dwelling with His people who were arranged around His “Tabernacle/Dwelling” to live their lives in His Presence!  Now what were they supposed to do?  They were to live their lives in the Presence (kâvôd) of God, worshiping and obeying Him.  This is exactly what God had intended for humanity in Eden!!  All the potential for returning to God’s original “Edenic” intention is here!

Take Away:  God’s Presence is enthroned above the ark of the covenant in the Tabernacle.  God’s People are gathered around it.  God is Providing for his people (think manna and water).  God is Protecting His people (think Reed Sea and going before them in the cloud and pillar of fire).  God is Ruling His people (think commandments).  And God has provide a way for Restoration/Atonement when His people sin (think altar for sacrifices).  Question: In what way are these items related to Jerusalem during the days of the First Temple (Solomon’s Temple)?

Next Monday — more from the Pentateuch/Torah as we consider the biblical theology of Jerusalem.


As an aside, please note that God did NOT “liberate” random slaves to merely become “liberated”!  The Israelites were not liberated to become capitalists.  Not liberated to become socialists.  Not liberated to become Marxists.  But “liberated” to become the People of the True and Living God, people who worship only Him (Deut 6:4) and who live their lives in His Presence in worshipful obedience!

C. S. Lewis‘ 1942 sermon “The Weight of Glory” is correctly titled but in the sermon he says/writes “Either glory means to me fame, or it means luminosity.”  See conveniently his book The Weight of Glory.  BUT “Means to me” is not a criterion to seek the meaning of a word—Hebrew lexical studies (in context) win out!  Although not the exclusive meaning of kâvôd, you will be pleasantly surprised when you substitute “the heavy, weighty Presence of God” for kâvôd “glory” in many places.

For the pivotal importance of Exodus 5:22–6:8 see Martens, Elmer A. God’s Design — a Focus on Old Testament Theology. Baker: Grand Rapids, 1981.

MoM — Genesis 12–50 — The Promise to the Patriarchs

Although I do not have time to cover the “Patriarchal Promise” during my 20 minute session on the Mount of Olives I spend time on it when teaching my class “Jerusalem: Earthly City Heavenly Symbol.”  This in spite of the fact that the promise does not specifically mention Jerusalem it although it does mention plethora of topics related to Jerusalem:  God’s People; the Land of Canaan; God Being with Abraham’s Descendants; Kings;  Divine Blessing for Gentiles; and Eternality.

I was first introduced to the God’s Promise–Plan through the teaching of Water Kaiser Jr. during my seminary days.  He believes that the Promise–Plan is the overarching theme of scripture—and many of us agree with him.  In what follows I will outline my understanding of the elements of the promise that was repeatedly made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—along with the relevant scriptural references.  Major “Promise–Plan” passages include: Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-16; 15:4–21; 17:4-17; 22:15-18.  The basic promise was initiated in the following passage:

Genesis 12:1       The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
2        “I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing. [CR: better—’be a blessing’]
3        I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
4        So Abram left, . . . and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
6        Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.  7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

From this, and other passages, it appears to me that the Promise–Plan, as initiated, contains the following elements.

  1. That Abraham will have numerous descendants—variously called “nation, offspring, seed . . . .”  See Genesis 12:2; 15:4-5; 17:2-4—actually about 30 times in Genesis.
  2. That the descendants of Abraham would occupy the Land of Canaan.  See Genesis 12:7; 13:15–17; 15:18; 17:8—about 12 times in Genesis.
  3. That there would be Divine Blessing(s) for the descendants of Abraham and also for the Gentiles.  See Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 22:17–18; 26:3–4; 28:13–14.
  4. That God would be the God of Abraham’s descendants and that they would be His people—”I will be with you.:  See Genesis 17:7-8; 26:3; 31:3; 48:21.
  5. That kings would descend from Abraham.  Genesis 17:6, 16; 35:11.
  6. That the Promise is eternal.  Genesis 13:15; 17:7, 8, 13, 19; 48:4.

Take Away — In previous posts we noted how humans were placed in the presence of God to live their lives in worshipful obedience (Gen 2:15).  How this relationship was broken and how God promised to rectify it by “dwelling in the tents of Shem” (Gen 9:27).  Well, Abram/Abraham was a distant descendant of Shem via Terah who was the father of Abram (Abraham; Genesis 11:10–27).  In this regard please note #4 in the list above!  Among many other things, God was promising ‘to dwell in the tents of Shem’—i.e., to be with the descendants of Abraham.  This evidently would take place in the Land of Canaan where the descendants of Abraham would dwell.


It seems to me that three elements in Genesis 12:2–3 focus primarily on Abraham—namely:

  1. There would be blessing for Abraham (12:2)
  2. That Abraham’s name would be great (12:2)
  3. That God would bless/disfavor those who blessed/disfavored Abraham (12:3)

It does seem that Abram actually “visited” Salem/Jerusalem during his life time for Salem is identified with Zion/Jerusalem in Psalm 76:

Genesis 14:18        Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,

Psalm 76:2     His tent is in Salem,
his dwelling place in Zion.


For the promise doctrine see Kaiser, Walter C., Jr. Toward an Old Testament Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978 or more recently The Promise–Plan of God: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New TestamentsGrand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008.

MoM — Genesis 9:27 — God Promises to “dwell” in the Tents Shem

Because of their sin, humans were expelled from the Garden of Eden and would no longer be able to live their lives in the Presence of God—worshiping and obeying Him.

Because of extreme sinfulness humanity was punished by God with the flood.  Noah, his sons (Shem, Ham, and Japheth), and their spouses survived.  Afterward God graciously promises a number of things but the part that I like to emphasize on the Mount of Olives is found in Genesis 9:25–27:

Gen. 9:25 So he said,
“Cursed be Canaan;
A servant of servants
He shall be to his brothers.”
Gen. 9:26 He also said,
“Blessed be the LORD,
The God of Shem;
And let Canaan be his servant.
Gen. 9:27     “May God enlarge Japheth,
And let him dwell in the tents of Shem;
And let Canaan be his servant.” (NASB)

The question that I am interested in is, in v. 27, to whom does “him” refer?  It should be noted that the Hebrew text really has “him” at this point—NOT Japheth.  The NIV and some other translations insert an interpretative “Japheth” but Japheth is not actually in the original Hebrew text!   In fact, it is difficult to have the “him” refer back to Japheth in the previous line, for there Japheth is the object of the verb and this grammatical construction would be rare.

It is much more natural to have “him” refer back to the previous subject, namely God! And thus the verse should be read:

Gen. 9:27     “God will enlarge Japheth,
But He [= God] will dwell in the tents of Shem;
Let Canaan be a slave to him.” (Kaiser, p. 82)

If this interpretation is correct, then God is promising that He intends to reverse the “unnatural” situation that the humans find themselves in because of their sin—living their lives apart from Him.  It is God’s intention to again reside with humanity—so that they can live their lives in His presence in worshipful obedience.

It is of course noteworthy that a distant descendent of Shem is Terah, and that Terah is the father of Abram (Abraham), who is the father of . . .!  (Genesis 11:10–27)

More next Monday on God dwelling in the tents of Shem via Abraham and his descendants.  [BTW — future posts will not have as much Hebrew grammar as these first posts have had!]


Walter Kaiser first drew my attention this interpretation of Genesis 9:27.

Kaiser, Walter C., Jr. Toward an Old Testament Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978, p. 82.