IHOL, International House of the Lord (Ezra 4-6)

The house of the Lord seems to be the focal point in much of the Bible. How many times can it be rebuilt? And – to get philosophical – is it still the same temple if it’s been so frequently reconstructed that none of its orginal material is present? Is the house of the Lord Neurath’s ship? If you’re unfamiliar, Neurath’s ship is a metaphor that asks that if a mariner has to rebuilt his ship, plank by plank, while at sea, will he still be aboard the same vessel once the last of the original planks is gone. Many modern-day epistemologists say yes. Of course, the metaphor is used in reference to what we know, which is without foundation (original planks) because it’s historically conditioned (new planks). They’re not talking about actual, physical things like temples, ships, wigs, flower arragements or decks of card.

Yes. I’m aware of the fact that it’s Friday night and I’m reading the Bible and talking epistemology. Drag.

Anyways, the Jews want to rebuild the house of the Lord (again) and various kings of Persia thwart them for whatever reason (or no reason at all; I can’t really tell). When Darius ascends to Persia’s throne he gives them the thumbs-up. As a matter of fact, once construction is underway, things get serious. For example, a decree is enacted that states that if anyone interferes with this house of the Lord business then “a beam shall be pulled out of his house, and he shall be pulled out of his house, and he shall be impaled upon it, and his house shall be made a dunghill” (Ezr 6:11). Harsh. I’m no Antoni Gaudi but in my experience, beams from houses are pretty thick, making impalement one hell of a way to die.

Keep 'em coming.

Published in: on October 29, 2011 at 1:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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