Monthly Archives: November 2013

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The word behemoth means any creature or thing of monstrous size or power.  In Job 40:15-24, a mysterious creature is described. It is called a Behemoth. It is described to eat grass like an ox (v. 15), makes its tail move like cedar (v. 17), and its bones are like iron (v. 18). The rest of the chapter goes on to describe the creature’s personality.

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Some strict creationists believe that the description of this creature best fits a sauropod–one of the long-necked, four-legged dinosaurs informally known as “brontosaurs.  The strict creationists believe it was a dinosaur because they interpret the tail in verse 17 to be the size of a cedar.

 

Most scholars believe the creature may be an elephant or hippopotamus. Both of these animals fit the description and live in the region where it is believed Job was living. Again, verse 17 causes problems with this theory as well. Scholars note that the Hebrew term usually translated “tail” here can, and sometimes did, refer euphemistically to the genitalia of a male elephant or hippo; each have a penis that when erect, extends several feet in length. Those favoring this view note that the term for “move” can also mean “extend,” that the preceding verse describes strength being in the loins, and the verse that follows describes “stones wrapped in sinew,” which arguably refers to the animal’s testicles.

 As we have established in class, the Bible is full of figurative language. A Behemoth may not have been a real creature but a figure of the writer’s imagination.  

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Allusion #2

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“Hallelujah”

by Jeff Buckley

I first heard this song my senior year of high school when a girl in my show choir wanted me to help her with it.  This song quickly became one of my all-time favorite songs. I have 4 different versions of this song on my iTunes. Many artists have covered this song, including Jeff Buckley.  Some of these lines linger with you long after the song is finished playing. This song is considered to be alternative folk (whatever that means). There are many references to the Bible.

In this song, Buckley uses the biblical references to show lustful love and love lost. He switches between biblical references often. Some of these images are concrete; others are more in-depth interpretations.

 

Well I heard there was a secret chord

That David played and it pleased the Lord

But you don’t really care for music, do you?

Well it goes like this:

The fourth, the fifth,

The minor fall and the major lift

The baffled king composed it Hallelujah. 

 

In the first verse, David is mentioned. David was a harp player; so, he obviously knew how to play chords and music.  He is also credited with many of the psalms that were “pleasing to the Lord.”   David was “baffled” when Nathan came to him telling him he had sinned. David then composes “Hallelujah” or a psalm expressing his guilt and giving glory to Yahweh.

Side note, if you know anything about music, most hymns are composed using the fourth and fifth chords. Also, the chords in the song actually line up with the words.

Your faith was strong but you needed proof

You saw her bathing on the roof

Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you

She tied you to her kitchen chair

She broke your throne and she cut your hair

and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah  

The first three lines refer to David seeing Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11.  In this story, David first sees Bathsheba bathing. She was already married. David was king at this time. Bathsheba’s husband was in his army. At first, David tries to get her husband to sleep with her. Her husband refuses to leave David. David then sends him to the front line where he is killed.

The next three lines are referring to Samson and Delilah in Judges 16. Samson’s power was in his hair.  He told Delilah his secret because he thought she loved him. Delilah deceives Samson. She has men cut Samson’s hair. This causes a truly tragic ending for Samson.

There was a time when you let me know

What’s really going on below

But now you never show that to me, do you?

But remember when I moved in you

And the holy dove was moving too

And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

 

In the first three lines, I think it is could refer to the lack of prophecies between the Old and New Testaments. The holy dove is a direct reference to the dove that came down to Jesus at his baptism.

Without the knowledge of these stories, the listener would have no clue what any of these references ment. Since there are so many references to the Bible, some claim that this song is “religious.” They  have reason to believe this, but the artists who have recorded this song have said it is explicitly about sexual encounters.