The episode of Noah’s drunkenness in Genesis 9 has long befuddled interpreters. One of Noah’s sons, Ham, commits some heinous crime against his father. Oddly, though, Ham is not the one cursed by his father. Instead, Ham’s son Canaan bears the wrath of Noah. This episode explores the traditional solutions to the interpretive confusion and offers an alternative based on recent research in the Hebrew text.

Sources:

John Sietze Bergsma and Scott Walker Hahn, “Noah’s Nakedness and the Curse on Canaan,” Journal of Biblical Literature 124:1 (2005): 25-40

NB 159 Transcript

The Ark of the Covenant is well-known because of the popular Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark. That pop culture film offers just one of over a dozen theories on what happened to the Ark of the Covenant. The question arises because the ark is not one of the artifacts taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in the biblical account of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple in 586 BC, nor is it listed among the temple treasures returned to Israel in Ezra 1, the account of the release of the captive Judeans. This episode surveys the more interesting and important theories as to the fate of the ark.

Sources:

John Day, “Whatever Happened to the Ark of the Covenant?” Temple and Worship in Biblical Israel (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 422; Bloomsbury T&T Clark; Rev. Ed edition, 2007), 250-270

John Bimson, “Shoshenk and Shishak: A Case of Mistaken Identity?” Journal of the Ancient Chronology Forum 6 (1992/93): 19-32

Michael S. Heiser, “Moses as High Priest and Sorcerer? A Response to Graham Hancock’s

Egyptian Explanation for the Ark of the Covenant” Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin 39-40 (1995) 48-65

link referenced:
https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/85762/enigmatic-dead-sea-copper-scroll-reveals-true-locations-lost-temple-treasures/#7h3EPE5c8FKGOWQZ.97

NB 158 Transcript

This episode continues our discussion of Ezekiel’s temple vision. Whereas Part 1 noted the problems a literalistic approach produces for both coherent interpretation and consistency in biblical theology, this episode looks at positive indications in the text that compel us to read the temple vision in a way that transcends literalism. Doing so observes the way Ezekiel re-purposes cosmic mountain imagery and Leviticus 25 in these chapters and produces fascinating conceptual and theological connections between the temple vision and Jesus, his atonement, and believers as members of his body.

Sources

Jon D. Levenson, “The Temple and the World,” The Journal of Religion 64, no. 3 (Jul., 1984): 275-298 (esp. pp. 283-289)

John S. Bergsma, “Restored Temple as ‘Built Jubilee’ in Ezek 40-48,” Proceedings of the Eastern Great Lakes and Midwest Biblical Societies 24 (2004): 75-85

NB 157 Transcript

These final chapters of Ezekiel are known for the prophet’s vision of a new temple. However, scattered within that vision is an enigmatic figure referred to as the “prince” (Hebrew: nasiʾ). In this episode we discuss whether or not Ezekiel’s temple vision should be understood as a functioning building used after the return of the messiah, and how such a literal expectation aligns (or not) with the notion that the “prince” is a Davidic messianic figure. There are serious textual and theological problems for rigid literalism in both respects.

Resources:

Drawings of Ezekiel’s Temple

NB 156 Transcript

This episode features a conversation with David Limbaugh, author of The True Jesus: Uncovering the Divinity of Christ in the Gospels. While the conversation naturally focuses on David’s most recent book, we also get to know him, his spiritual journey, and his thoughts about academic biblical study and its place in the Church at large.

 

NB 155 Transcript

This follow-up to Part 1 on these popular and controversial chapters focuses on the interpretation of the Gog-Magog invasion as a whole. Special attention is paid to how Rev 20:7-10 re-purposes Ezekiel 38-39 and how that re-purposing is consistent with a sound interpretation of those two chapters in their own context. They key to this consistency is recognizing the cosmic-supernatural outlook of elements in Ezekiel 38-39, particularly the description of participants and the burial of Gog and his hordes in the “Valley of the Travelers (Hebrew: ‘oberim)” in Ezek 39:11.

Resources:

Day of the Lord” (Anchor Bible Dictionary)

Meredith Kline, “Har Magedon: The End of the Millennium,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 39:2 (June 1996): 207-222

NB 153 Transcript

Ezekiel 38-39, Part 1: Who or What is Gog?

As was the case with Ezekiel 37, these chapters are among the most familiar in the entire book of Ezekiel. This first of two episodes on these chapters focuses on the terminology: Gog, Magog, Meshech, Tubal, and Togarmah. It also addresses the fallacies of translating Hebrew nesiʾ roʾsh as “prince of Rosh” and interpreting the phrase as modern-day Russia, and the difficulties ancient translators had with the term. An alternative understanding of Gog is offered, one that is consistent with the supernaturalistic worldview of the “foe from the north” motif in Old Testament thought.

Resources

Greece Anatolia Russia Map

Paul Tanner, “Daniel’s ‘King of the North’: Do We Owe Russia an Apology?” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 35:3 [Sept 1992]: 315-328 (see esp. 322-326 for the evangelical dispensational predilection for an identification with Russia). Tanner’s article will also be some useful backgrounding for Part 2 of Ezekiel 38-39.

NB 152 Transcript

Ezekiel 37 is one of the most familiar in the entire book, but that familiarity really extends only to the first fourteen verses. The chapter actually contains two oracles which telegraph the same ideas and work in tandem. This episode discusses the vision of the dry bones, particularly the debate over whether it provides information on a theology of individual bodily resurrection, and the prophecy of the two sticks representing the rejoining of the two halves of Israel. Both parts of the chapter relate to the restoration of the entire nation and return to the land. The question of fulfillment for these prophecies is also taken up in this episode.

NB 151 Transcript

These two chapters seems intrusive. The oracles against the nations ended in Ezekiel 32, followed by the announcement of Jerusalem’s fall (ch. 33) and a transition to the future hope of Israel (ch. 34). Chapters 35-36 are an oracle against Edom (“Mount Seir”) followed by more restorative language in Chapter 36. This episode of the podcast explains why Ezekiel 35 isn’t interruptive because, for the Israelite and OT theology, the judgment of Edom was part of Israel’s restoration to her former glory. Chapter 36, more obviously about the future hope of Israel, raises important questions about eschatology. Specifically, many Bible students assume the chapter’s comments about the coming of the Spirit and restoration of God’s people to the land pertain to a future millennial kingdom. However, the NT quotes the chapter several times, at least two of which have fulfillment in the first century or the OT period itself. Ezekiel 36 therefore raises the issue of whether any element of Ezekiel 36 awaits fulfillment in the distant future—a question that is appropriate the rest of the way (Ezekiel 37-48).

NB 150 Transcript