Saturday, September 11, 2010

Another Explanation

This time, of a question I never asked.

God appears to Moses in a burning bush: a bush that is on fire, but is not consumed. God could have appeared to him in any way, shape or form (just look at Ezekiel). So why the bush? And why was it on fire? And why was it not being consumed?

Well, let's look at typology. Trees (and bushes?) are righteous men or nations: if you doubt me, just read the Bible looking for references to trees, and attempt to do so in an intelligent manner, not in a wooden and literal fashion as if you had no brain. No, not every tree in the Bible is a person; Jonah isn't sitting under a guy with some type of fatal parasite; Absalom doesn't get nabbed by some remnant of the nephilim; but when the Bible presents a tree, it is often referring to a righteous person or nation (a basic rule would be that if the typological reading does no violence to the text, but opens it up in a manner that is consistent with the rest of Scripture, then go for it. If your typological reading leads you to the conclusion that locusts are obviously helicopters, or that you should drink the cool-aid, then maybe not so much.). The fact that this particular specimen is on fire but not consumed, along with the context of the story, makes it quite possible that it is a representation of the nation of Israel. It is on fire; they are persecuted; it is not consumed; God will save them. Just another thought from Sumpter. Or Leithart. Or someone else; I don't know, nor do I particularly care, as it's four in the morning and I have fifteen minutes of break left before I go back to work.

Also interesting is what He tells Moses to do: "Take your shoes from off your feet..." Men wear shoes to protect their feet, yes, but symbolically (or typologically) the shoes represent the separation of men from the cursed ground (see the list of clean animals: those separated from the ground, those fish with scales to separate them from the water, and those birds that don't step on dead animals--though, yes, there is more to it. See Jordan's Through New Eyes for a fuller treatment). Yet where God is, the ground is holy (tangentially, this bears enormous weight with Leviticus 5--the dust from the floor of the tabernacle is holy--and Jesus' treatment of the woman caught in the act of adultery all by her lonesome), so Moses must take off his shoes.

I am sure there is also something more to the disciples being commanded to shake the dust from their feet when leaving towns that did not receive them, but my break is almost over. I'll explore later. Or I'll just ask Leithart. Or Sumpter. Or someone else.


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