Theopolis Podcast: Seeking the Beloved (Song of Songs 5-6)

In this episode of the Theopolis Podcast, Peter Leithart and I continue our discussion of the Song of Songs, discussing chapters five and six of the book.

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Why Doesn’t Eleazar Die in the Wilderness?

What does the entrance of Aaron’s son Eleazar into the promised land say about the curse upon the generation which rebelled at the edge of the promised land? We see him in Numbers 3, Numbers 4 (apparently as an adult), Numbers 16, in Numbers 19, and we see him taking over Aaron’s office in Numbers 20. Unless another Eleazar is meant, he doesn’t die until Joshua chapter 24. Based on the curse in Numbers 14 “your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward” are we to conclude that Numbers had described Eleazar as assisting with priestly service at some age younger than twenty, or is this an indication that the curse isn’t to be taken literally, and that some men from that generation other than Joshua and Caleb survived?

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Transcriptions

One of my longer term goals is to provide well-edited transcriptions for every podcast or video that I produce (I’ve listed all my videos/podcasts and which have been transcribed here). Transcription takes a great deal of time—far more time than I have to spare—but it can save a lot of time for the many people for whom watching through an entire video is very inconvenient, but who would like to read my thoughts on a particular question.

A few of my listeners and supporters have volunteered to transcribe videos for me, which has been a real blessing and help. Recently, a professional transcriber contacted me and offered her services on a trial basis. I have been very impressed with the quality and consistency of her work and would like to be able to pay her appropriately in the future.

If you are at all interested in making this possible, please consider supporting or donating using my Patreon or PayPal accounts. New sponsorship and donations are being earmarked for this specific purpose.

New and existing Patreon supporters also get to suggest which videos they would most like to see transcribed, which will be prioritized accordingly.

Transcript for the Ninth Day of Christmas: Foreigners in Search of Wisdom

One of my supporters has very kindly transcribed this video, the ninth of my series for the twelve days of Christmas. I don’t have time to transcribe my videos myself, so anyone willing to volunteer to transcribe one video every week or fortnight would be greatly appreciated! The transcript is very lightly edited at a few points for the purpose of comprehension.

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Levirate Marriage

What were the purposes of levirate marriage? I can see that it would help to provide for widows, but its described purposes appear to go beyond that. In our culture, if a brother dies, he and his brother already share a name and his nieces and nephews by a brother will carry on the family name. My understanding is that the Israelites did not have family names in the same manner as modern English-speaking cultures. What was different about Israelite culture that causes the first child born of a levirate marriage being described in Deuteronomy 25 as assuming the name of the dead brother (and what does such a taking of the brother’s name mean, in cultural context)? Also, does levirate marriage imply polygamy because of how, with regard to the levirate marriage, it apparently contains an increased risk that the surviving brother will not have a child from that marriage to succeed him (if, for instance, he only has one son by that wife)?

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The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Image of God

In your video “Created in the Image of the Angels” you say that humans were supposed to grow into the Image of God, but don’t discuss how this relates to the verse you referenced in passing earlier in the video: “Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—” Can you expand on the meaning of this verse in the context of the passage (did the serpent speak part of the truth earlier in the passage, or is this just a verbal play on what the serpent had said?) and in the context of what you believe the Bible teaches about redeemed humanity and the image of God. (I realize I could have asked via a comment to the video, but this is an issue a wide range of Bible readers, with different levels of familiarity with the scriptures, find perplexing, and a video might be helpful.)

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