Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Water Treated as Blood: Bible Comment on I Chronicles 11 with poem by Bernard of Cluny, Jerusalem, the Golden

Daily Readings
Psalm 107:1-32, II Samuel 1, I Chronicles 11, Galatians 4

Daily Text: I Chronicles 11

Water Treated as Blood
David had been ruling Judah from Hebron for seven years according to I Samuel, and it is to be assumed that it is the Northern tribes that came to him at this time In I Chronicles 11 requesting that he be king. Note that in I Chronicles 11:3 that an appeal is made to the word of the LORD by Samuel to authenticate David’s kingship. Post-exilic pressures evidently drove the need for clear title for David’s line as the ideal of the Israel being built.

It is David that conquered Jerusalem and displaced its inhabitants; it is David that named it the city of Peace. It is David that fulfilled the promises of YHWH to Moses and Joshua that they would inherit the land. It is David who made this city his capital for a united Israel. This continued to be very important in the post-exilic years.

In I Chronicles 8 there is this story of the ‘three’ warriors who acting literally on David’s wish for a drink from the well of Bethlehem, go draw it at the risk of their lives. When they bring the water back to him, David appropriately realizes that the water, drawn at such risk, literally is worthy of the lives of the three men, lives it might have cost them. And he treats the water as if it were their blood and offers it to the LORD. In this way he honors them. But note that it was not the actual water that David wanted or that the Chronicler was suggesting, but David wanted Bethlehem, a part of the land promised by his God. His vision for uniting the kingdom and the land was wide-ranging, far-reaching [516:24].

Jerusalem, The Golden
Bernard of Clunyc.1145
tr. by John M. Neale

Jerusalem the Golden,
With milk and honey blest,
Beneath thy contemplation,
Sink heart and voice opprest;
I know not, O I know not,
What joys await us there,
What radiancy of glory,
What bliss beyond compare.

They stand, those walls of Zion,
All jubilant with song,
And bright with many an angel,
And all the martyr throng:
The Prince is ever in them
The daylight is serene;
The pastures of the blessed
Are decked in glorious sheen.

There is the throne of David;
And there, from care released,
The shout of them that triumph,
The song of them that feast;
And they, who with their Leader
Have conquered in the fight,
Forever and forever
Are clad in robes of white.

O sweet and blessed country,
The home of God’s elect!
O sweet and blessed country
That eager hearts expect!
Jesus, in mercy bring us
To that dear land of rest;
Who art, with God the Father,
And Spirit, ever blest.

Collect for the Day
Almighty God, fountain of all goodness, bless our Sovereign…,
…, and all who are in authority under her (him);
that they may order all things in wisdom and equity,
righteousness and peace, to the honour of your name, and the
good of your Church and people; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

[476:677:8 modified]


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