The Brit-Am Rose
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Contents in Alphabetical Order
#The Norsemen believed that ravens
sat on the god Odin's shoulders and saw and heard all, and a Raven banner
standard was carried by such Viking figures as the Norse Jarls of Orkney,
the Great of England, Norway and Denmark, and
#In the British Isles, ravens also were symbolic to the Celts. In Irish mythology, the goddess Morr n alighted on the hero C Chulainn's shoulder in the form of a raven after his death.
#In Welsh mythology they were associated with the Welsh god Bran the Blessed, whose name translates to "raven." According to the Mabinogion, Bran's head was buried in the White Hill of London as a talisman against invasion.
#A legend developed that England would not fall to a foreign invader so long as there were ravens at the Tower of London; although this is often thought to be an ancient belief, the official Tower of London historian, Geoff Parnell, believes that this is actually a romantic Victorian invention. In fact, the Tower has lacked ravens for long periods in the past; they were last reintroduced after World War II. The government now maintains several birds on the grounds of the Tower. These birds have the primary feathers of one wing clipped periodically to ensure that they cannot leave, though they are free to roam the tower grounds. (Compare the legend of the king in the mountain.)
Modern scholars have made the claim that since the Hebrew letters for Raven (Orev ARB) are the same as the letters used for ARAB (ARB) that the original intention was the local Arabs brought Elijah food and that it was only later that popular imagination turned ARAV (in Hebrew the word for Arab) into "OREV" the word for Raven.
We disagree completely.
Nevertheless it is worth pointing out that the very way we pronounce the Hebrew letters and form words out of them is based on tradition passed down from generation to generation. If this tradition is discarded then our whole understanding of the Bible collapses.
The Karaites were a sect who claimed that they wished to discard tradition and re-interpret the Bible according to its simple meaning. In effect few of them agreed with each other and now only a mostly non-observant few of their descendants remain. Certain Christian enthusiasts and a Jewish eccentric are now attempting to revive the Karaite movement. The Karaites in some ways are successors to a sect of the 2nd Temple period known as "Tsadokim" (Sadducees) and Beothians, a related group who also claimed that they wanted to interpret Scripture only according to its simple meaning.
Maimonides (Rambam) was himself a most rational original innovative thinker. He pointed out that despite the rational the Sadducess and Beothians claimed for their position their real intentions were atheistic. This is correct, in effect they were assimilationists to the prevailing Hellenistic-Roman pagan philosophic world view.
Similarly we have Reform Jews who are now often openly agnostic, and over duly liberal. In the beginning the Reform Jews claimed to be merely adopting more lenient interpretations in the spirit of the Bible and Rabbinical Tradition.
5 SO HE WENT AND DID ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF THE LORD, FOR HE WENT AND STAYED BY THE BROOK CHERITH, WHICH FLOWS INTO THE JORDAN. 6 THE RAVENS BROUGHT HIM BREAD AND MEAT IN THE MORNING, AND BREAD AND MEAT IN THE EVENING; AND HE DRANK FROM THE BROOK.
The Sages said that the bread and meat were taken from the table of Ahab and brought by them to Elijah. Ahab himself was quite a complex individual, as we shall see, and in some way he may have wanted that such be the case.
7 AND IT HAPPENED AFTER A WHILE THAT THE BROOK DRIED UP, BECAUSE THERE HAD BEEN NO RAIN IN THE LAND.
Elijah and the Widow
8 THEN THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME TO HIM, SAYING,
9 "ARISE, GO TO ZAREPHATH, WHICH BELONGS TO SIDON, AND DWELL THERE. SEE, I HAVE COMMANDED A WIDOW THERE TO PROVIDE FOR YOU."
Zarephath and Sidon were in the territory of the Israelite Tribe of Asher (Joshua 19:28). At first Israel had been unable to conquer these regions but we find Israelites settled there in the time of King David (2-Samuel 24:6-7, Daat Mikra).
The name ZAREPHATH was later to be applied to France or Northern France and is referred to in the Book of Obadiah.
SIDON was the major and senior city of the Phoenicians though the city of Tyre at times was more important.
There is a difference of opinion amongst the Commentators as to whether the widow Elijah dwelt with was of Israelite or of non-Israelite stock.
10 SO HE AROSE AND WENT TO ZAREPHATH. AND WHEN HE CAME TO THE GATE OF THE CITY, INDEED A WIDOW WAS THERE GATHERING STICKS. AND HE CALLED TO HER AND SAID, "PLEASE BRING ME A LITTLE WATER IN A CUP, THAT I MAY DRINK."
11 AND AS SHE WAS GOING TO GET IT, HE CALLED TO HER AND SAID, "PLEASE BRING ME A MORSEL OF BREAD IN YOUR HAND."
12 SO SHE SAID, "AS THE LORD YOUR GOD LIVES, I DO NOT HAVE BREAD, ONLY A HANDFUL OF FLOUR IN A BIN, AND A LITTLE OIL IN A JAR; AND SEE, I AM GATHERING A COUPLE OF STICKS THAT I MAY GO IN AND PREPARE IT FOR MYSELF AND MY SON, THAT WE MAY EAT IT, AND DIE."
13 AND ELIJAH SAID TO HER, "DO NOT FEAR; GO AND DO AS YOU HAVE SAID, BUT MAKE ME A SMALL CAKE FROM IT FIRST, AND BRING IT TO ME; AND AFTERWARD MAKE SOME FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR SON.
This was the last of the food the woman had for herself and her son. She had intended to prepare and partake of it with her child and prepare for death. Elijah was requesting that they have faith and give this sustenance unto him.
14 FOR THUS SAYS THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL: "THE BIN OF FLOUR SHALL NOT BE USED UP, NOR SHALL THE JAR OF OIL RUN DRY, UNTIL THE DAY THE LORD SENDS RAIN ON THE EARTH."
15 SO SHE WENT AWAY AND DID ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF ELIJAH; AND SHE AND HE AND HER HOUSEHOLD ATE FOR MANY DAYS.
16 THE BIN OF FLOUR WAS NOT USED UP, NOR DID THE JAR OF OIL RUN
DRY, ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF THE LORD WHICH HE SPOKE BY ELIJAH.
ELIJAH REVIVES THE WIDOW'S SON
17 NOW IT HAPPENED AFTER THESE THINGS THAT THE SON OF THE WOMAN WHO OWNED THE HOUSE BECAME SICK. AND HIS SICKNESS WAS SO SERIOUS THAT THERE WAS NO BREATH LEFT IN HIM.
18 SO SHE SAID TO ELIJAH, "WHAT HAVE I TO DO WITH YOU, O MAN OF GOD? HAVE YOU COME TO ME TO BRING MY SIN TO REMEMBRANCE, AND TO KILL MY SON."
19 AND HE SAID TO HER, "GIVE ME YOUR SON." SO HE TOOK HIM OUT OF HER ARMS AND CARRIED HIM TO THE UPPER ROOM WHERE HE WAS STAYING, AND LAID HIM ON HIS OWN BED.
20 THEN HE CRIED OUT TO THE LORD AND SAID, "O LORD MY GOD, HAVE YOU ALSO BROUGHT TRAGEDY ON THE WIDOW WITH WHOM I LODGE, BY KILLING HER SON."
21 AND HE STRETCHED HIMSELF OUT ON THE CHILD THREE TIMES, AND CRIED OUT TO THE LORD AND SAID, "O LORD MY GOD, I PRAY, LET THIS CHILD'S SOUL COME BACK TO HIM."
Elisha the disciple of Elijah was to encounter a similar situation and there scripture describes the application of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (2-Kings 4:34).
Radak comments on this:
# He did this to revive his breathing process and to revive him with the natural body heat emanating from his mouth and body. In most cases miracles take place when some degree of natural agency has also been applied. #
This is it. Miracles happen. If we reach a minimum level we may sometimes almost be able to rely upon miracles. Nevertheless all available natural means of salvation must also be utilized. This is how the Almighty has designed HIS creation.
22 THEN THE LORD HEARD THE VOICE OF ELIJAH; AND THE SOUL OF THE CHILD CAME BACK TO HIM, AND HE REVIVED.
The miracle happened. God heard the prayer of Elijah. It was a miracle even though natural agencies were also involved.
23 AND ELIJAH TOOK THE CHILD AND BROUGHT HIM DOWN FROM THE UPPER ROOM INTO THE HOUSE, AND GAVE HIM TO HIS MOTHER. AND ELIJAH SAID, "SEE, YOUR SON LIVES!"
24 THEN THE WOMAN SAID TO ELIJAH, "NOW BY THIS I KNOW THAT YOU ARE A MAN OF GOD, AND THAT THE WORD OF THE LORD IN YOUR MOUTH IS THE TRUTH."
|After the Death of Solomon:|
The Divided Kingdom
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