Monday, December 13, 2021

Advent readings 2021 : Day 16


In which the exiles are equipped for their heroic task


Genesis 6:4

The Nephilim were then on the earth, and afterward as well, the sons of God having come to bed with the daughters of man who bore them children: they are the heroes of yore, the men of renown.


Psalms 2:6-8

“And I—I appointed My king on Zion, My holy mountain.” Let me tell as is due to the LORD. He said to me: “You are My son. I Myself today did beget you. Ask of me, and I shall give nations as your estate, and your holdings, the ends of the earth.


The story of consolation—of Noah—does not begin with Noah but with the Nephilim. The Nephilim were demi-gods, whose fathers were fallen angels and mothers, human, heroes known by various name across classical antiquity. Yet in this context, the Nephilim represent king Solomon, forbidden son of David, the son of God in Jerusalem, and Bathsheba (wife of David’s own ‘mighty man’ Uriah the Hittite) whom he took to his bed. Solomon the Wise, who built the first Temple in Jerusalem. For the exiles, called to step up to rebuild the Temple, as Noah built the ark, this introduction is fire to their bones.

Comparison can, on occasion, be the thief of courage; but it can also inspire us, to be faithful in our day, standing on the shoulders of saints and giants. What is it that God is calling you to rebuild, that has fallen into ruin? Are there particular saints whose lives inspire you?


Biblical texts: Robert Alter, The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary


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