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Old 7th March 2011, 20:27
newnature newnature is offline
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Post 2
Patriarchical Covenant

Yahweh learned immediately after creating this unique being, that he will exercise his free will against Yahweh. Yahweh saw that he had to limit the life span of humans, or risk creating an enemy that was nearly equal to him. So he casts the humans out of the garden of Eden, and blocks access to the tree of life. Yet, humans continue their violent and evil ways, and in desperation, Yahweh wipes them out and starts again. After the flood, humans prove to be not much better. They forget Yahweh, they turn to idolatry. Yet, the Noahide covenant, which is universal in scope, it encompasses all life on earth. It stresses the sanctity of life, and in this covenant, Yahweh has promised not to destroy all humankind again. So Yahweh experiments with a single individual of believing; Abraham’s believing withstands many a trial. Yahweh is the owner of the land, Abraham was called to. Yahweh is empowered to set conditions or residency requirements for those who would reside in it, like a landlord. Yahweh is seeking replacement tenants who are going to follow the moral rules of residence that Yahweh has established for his land. Yahweh’s promise to Abraham is formalized in a ritual ceremony called a suzerainty covenant. The patriarchical covenant, which is a covenant in which a superior party, a suzerain dictates the terms of a political treaty usually, and an inferior party obeys them. The arrangement primarily serves the interest of the suzerain, and not the vassal or the subject. So Yahweh is making a land grant to a favored subject, and there’s an ancient ritual that ratifies the oath. In this kind of covenant, the parties to the oath would pass between the split carcass of a sacrificial animal, as if to say, that they agree they will suffer the same fate as this animal, if they violate the covenant. Abraham cuts sacrificial animals in two, and Yahweh, but only Yahweh, passes between the two halves. Only Yahweh seems to be obligated by the covenant, obligated to fulfill the promise that he’s made. Abraham doesn’t appear to have any obligation in return. In this case, it is the subject, Abraham, and not the suzerain, Yahweh, who is benefited by this covenant, and that’s a complete reversal of this ritual ceremony. Their is a moral justification for the grant of land to Abraham, the current inhabitants of the land are polluting it, filling it with bloodshed and idolatry. And when the land becomes so polluted, completely polluted, it will spew out its inhabitants. That process, Yahweh says, isn't complete; so Abraham's offspring through Isaac, they are going to have to wait, the lease isn’t up yet.

Abraham is obedient to Yahweh in a way that no one has been up to this point, but ultimately, the model of blind obedience is rejected, too. When Abraham prepares to slaughter his own son, Yahweh sees that blind believing can be as destructive and evil as disobedience, so Yahweh relinquishes his demand for blind obedience. The only relationship that will work with humans is one in which there is a balance between unchecked independence and blind obedience, and Yahweh seems to finally have found the working relationship with humans that he has been seeking since their creation, with a man named Jacob. When Jacob undergoes a change in name, Israel, meaning one who wrestles, who struggles with Yahweh; Yahweh and humans lock in an eternal struggle, neither prevailing, yet both forever changed by their encounter with one another.
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