More on Matthew
Basic principles that pertain to inscribed narratives need to be remembered: if the author of a narrative does careful work, the author will revisit a passage many times to get the wording correct, selecting this word as opposed to that word so that the passage does the work that the author intends for the passage to do—and authors intend for their words to do work for them. So authorial intent is always present in a passage, and in a text. The author writes with a purpose in mind. The question is, can that purpose or those purposes be ascertained? Deconstruction of texts is about ascertaining the values and purposes of authors; about revealing imbedded coding of which the author might not have been aware.
How the preceding works can be seen in Mark’s Gospel, the physical portion of the squared narrative couplet of which Matthew’s Gospel is the spiritual portion—if the purposes of John Mark were the same as the purposes of the author of Matthew’s Gospel, Mark’s Gospel would include a genealogy of Christ Jesus at its beginning and would include the glorified Jesus meeting with His disciples at its conclusion. As Mark’s Gospel was originally circulated, the Gospel concluded with verse 8 of chapter 16; with the women telling no one that Jesus had been raised from death. So with no genealogy and no meeting of the glorified Jesus with His disciples, it is safe to say that John Mark’s reasons for writing his gospel were different from the reasons why the author of Matthew’s Gospel wrote his Gospel.
Bishop Papias sheds a little light on why John Mark wrote as he did: John Mark as the recorder of Peter was careful not to add anything-to, nor falsify anything of what Peter taught using cheias, with Peter not placing these cheias in chronological order. So John Mark’s apparent purpose was to compose an orderly timeline for what Jesus did, taking care not to leave anything out that he remembered hearing Peter say, nor to falsely represent anything Peter said.
But Papias’ only requoted comment about Matthew’s Gospel addressed the style of its composition, not how nor why. For that, Matthew’s Gospel, itself, is an endtime disciple’s only source of information.
Therefore, an appropriate question to ask of a text—to ask of Matthew’s Gospel—is why would its author include a genealogy of Jesus when that author says at the end of the genealogy, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the holy spirit” (Matt 1:18). Why give a genealogy of Joseph when Joseph is not a parent of Jesus as revealed to Joseph by an angel in a dream (vv. 20–21)?
Careful authors “teach” readers how to read their work at the beginning of the text—and this has been consciously true for centuries, unconsciously true for far longer.
Remember the preceding! Authors teach readers how to read their texts, either through consciously giving clues to their meanings, intents, and purposes, or unconsciously giving away intents and purposes. If, now, you as a biblical student jump around in a text, reading a little here and a little there, you will miss being “trained” by the author of the text on how you should read his [in the case of Scripture] text. Therefore, you can study your Bible for fifty years and still know nothing, the evidence of which is regularly seen; for you won’t have the knowledge you need to open up an otherwise closed text, knowledge available to those who carefully read texts from their beginnings to their conclusions.
As a writer, an author, I know that some readers tend to quickly read what I write, priding themselves on their ability to speed read. For these readers, I, as a neo-Romantic, lay false trails, false leads, and write convoluted sentences intended to slow the speed reader down, thereby requiring the reader to take in information at the pace I want to give it out. It’s my work. I want a say in how quickly it is read, or even if it is read.
Matthew’s Gospel is the work of its author, who apparently intended for his genealogy of Jesus to do work apart from conveying a biological lineage for Joseph, the legal father of Jesus; for this author has the birth of Jesus fulfilling words of Isaiah (cf. Isa 7:14; Matt 1:23). So in a close reading of the opening of Matthew’s Gospel, a disciple finds a humanly fatherless child being descended from King David through King Solomon—yes, this is what the author of Matthew asks his readers to believe.
Do you believe that a humanly fatherless child is the direct patrilineal descendant of King David?
Before you answer, remember the author of Matthew’s Gospel has done careful work and is teaching you how to read the remainder of his Gospel …
If what this author writes is true, then the holy spirit is part of the genealogy of not only Christ, but also of David and of Abraham: Matthew’s Gospel begins, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” And this author has consciously left out a lot of Joseph’s forefathers that he will mention in the following listing. But again, Joseph isn’t the father of Jesus. And what is it that this author has written, the book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, the son of Abraham. So if Joseph isn’t the father of Jesus, but David is a forefather, and if David’s forefather is Abraham, the father of the faithful, then is David of the faithful—and he as a man after the Lord’s own heart is—and is Jesus then of David through being of the faithful, beginning with Abraham?
Do we know the genealogy of Abraham? Or David? Of Jesus? We think we do, but do we really know what we think we know?
The author of Matthew’s Gospel begins his biography of Jesus—and that is what the Gospels are, biographies—by claiming that this book, his book, discloses the genealogy of these three men. So let us begin by looking at David’s genealogy, but not where a Christian would expect to look:
When the sticks on which you write are in your hand before their eyes, then say to them, Thus says the Lord YHWH: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I am YHWH who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore. (Ezek 37:20–28 emphasis added)
If David shall be king over Israel in the future; if David shall be Israel’s prince forever, then David will have indwelling heavenly life, something he did not have when he ruled over first the house of Judah for seven years, then over both the house of Israel and the house of Judah for thirty-three years. He shall rule over Israel when there are not two nations of Israel, but only one … where in David’s physical genealogy; where in the genealogy of Jesse, Obed, Boaz is there a deity that can give David indwelling heavenly life. None is there. So for David to be resurrected in the future and rule Israel as the nation’s king forever, David will have to be conceived by the holy spirit after he has been dead and buried for millennia; for close to three millennia.
The author of Matthew’s Gospel tells readers that Jesus was conceived by the holy spirit—and if David is also conceived by the holy spirit, then it would seem reasonable to believe that Matthew’s Gospel (the reason for Matthew’s genealogies) is to disclose the lineage of those persons conceived by the holy spirit … hold this thought, this possibility.
Abraham is easier to understand:
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. … These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city. (Heb 11:8–10, 13–16 emphasis added)
If God has prepared for Abraham a city whose designer and builder is God, then Abraham has the promise of indwelling eternal or heavenly life, this promise coming when aspiration, the <ah> radical, was added to his and Sarah’s names.
When Abraham was promised the indwelling of the holy spirit (again, represented by the aspiration or breath of God), he could not then receive this promise for, as discussed previously in this manuscript, there was not yet a vessel or crucible capable of holding the bright fire of God—the glory of God—inside a fleshly body. That would come with the Word of God [ó Logos pros ton Theon] entering His creation as His unique Son. So as Abraham didn’t receive his inheritance while he lived physically, he didn’t receive the holy spirit either. But he knew this in advance, for the Lord told him,
Then the Lord said to Abram, "Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for yourself, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." … On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites." (Gen 15:13–16, 18–21)
The promise of indwelling eternal life resided with both Abraham and David. Likewise, the promise resided with Jesus the Nazarene even though He was conceived by holy spirit, but conceived by the spirit of the Logos who was God and who was of or with the God (John 1:1). He was not conceived by the spirit of the Father [pneuma Theou] until this latter holy spirit descended in the bodily form of a dove and entered into Him (Mark 1:10). Jesus, like David and Abraham, was not humanly born with indwelling eternal life. But in the case of all three—Abraham, David, and Jesus—each had the promise of receiving eternal life although the first two died physically before they could receive the promise.
So in the opening line of Matthew’s Gospel, the author of this Gospel reveals important knowledge needed to understand the text: the genealogies of Abraham, David, and Jesus contain the promise of receiving eternal life. But how are these promises fulfilled? In the case of Jesus we know because of Mark’s Gospel: the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] descended upon Jesus and entered into Him. But how about for Abraham and David, how and when will they receive the promise of being born of spirit as sons of God?
And we have arrived at three sets of fourteen generations when there are more generations named in Chronicles, not a lot more but enough more that what the author of Matthew’s Gospel writes is factually false … but not necessarily false if what is under discussion is a genealogy based upon being born of spirit; for the author of Matthew’s Gospel cannot speak authoritatively about whether King Solomon will be resurrected to glory or to the lake of fire, nor can I. More is known about Solomon that is known about Nathan, the son of David through whom Luke’s Gospel traces Jesus’ descent (Luke 3:31). And if disciples are to be kings and priests (Rev 1:6), a royal priesthood (1 Pet 2:9), then every person conceived of spirit will be royalty; hence they will become to a second nation of Israel as David’s descendants through Solomon were to the house of Judah and Jerusalem. So the three sets of fourteen generation has one set occurring before David is king, one set between David and the Deportation, when a royal line from David reigned physically, and one set when there were no more kings. But, and an important caveat, Israel was not a unified nation after Solomon. So spiritual Israel—Israel in the Millennium—will only last through the reign of Solomon. So David being the prince of Israel forever will require David being the prince of Israel after the end of the Millennium; will require David being the prince of Israel in heaven, in New Jerusalem. And this will mean that Christ Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords will reign over the glorified David, suggesting that the glorified Abraham in waiting for and receiving residence in New Jerusalem will not necessarily have a royal or ruling position, but will occupy another office in the hierarchy of Christ Jesus, analogous to the set of fourteen generations that precede David’s elevation to royalty.
Permit me to back up and beat again on the same drum: because King David died three millennia ago, King David must live again if he is to be king over Israel. That mythical Key of David is represented in living once physically (i.e., living as a human person descended from the first Adam through Eve), then living a second time spiritually, doing this second time somewhat the same things as the person did when physically alive but doing these things as a son of God.
This mythical Key of David undergirds Hebraic poetry composed in thought-couplets that have the first presentation of an idea pertaining to things physical and the second presentation of the same idea pertaining to things spiritual. The Apostle Paul expressed this concept when he wrote that the invisible things of God are clearly perceived in the visible things that have been made (Rom 1:20) and that which is physical precedes what is spiritual (1 Cor 15:46); thus, what is visible precedes and reveals what is invisible. David’s humble beginnings as a shepherd then his rise to fame through his mighty deeds and finally his kingship over first Judah then all of Israel are the visible physical things that reveal the invisible spiritual things that will come to the glorified David when he is resurrected from death—his physical life will be represented by those things he did before being anointed by Samuel; his glorified spiritual life will begin with him being King over a second nation of Israel in the Millennium, with the Millennium being analogous to the seven years he ruled over only the house of Judah. His rule as prince of Israel forever; his rule from heaven will be analogous to the thirty-three years he ruled over both Judah and Israel. And this (the preceding) Hebraic thought-couplet structure represents the true Key of David that undergirds all of Scripture.
The glorified Christ Jesus expressed this concept when He declared that He was the Α (alpha) and the Ω (omega), the beginning and the end; for in Himself, the glorified Jesus represents the creation of all things physical, including the first Adam, and represents the means through which the Father will create spiritual sons of God, with David being numbered among those human persons who will be glorified when Christ Jesus returns as the Messiah, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Backing up to one of Christendom’s most often cited prophecies, one that the author of Matthew’s Gospel used, Isaiah 7:14, let us took at this prophecy in its context:
Again YHWH spoke to Ahaz, "Ask a sign of YHWH your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven." But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, and I will not put [Adonai] to the test." And He said, "Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God [Elohim] also? Therefore [Adonai] Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted. The Lord will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father's house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria." In that day YHWH will whistle for the fly that is at the end of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures. In that day [Adonai] will shave with a razor that is hired beyond the River—with the king of Assyria—the head and the hair of the feet, and it will sweep away the beard also. In that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep, and because of the abundance of milk that they give, he will eat curds, for everyone who is left in the land will eat curds and honey. In that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand shekels of silver, will become briers and thorns. With bow and arrows a man will come there, for all the land will be briers and thorns. And as for all the hills that used to be hoed with a hoe, you will not come there for fear of briers and thorns, but they will become a place where cattle are let loose and where sheep tread. (Isa 7:10–25 emphasis added)
In other writings I have addressed the issue of Imperial Hebrew scribes, after the long lost Book of the Covenant was found in the dilapidated temple during the reign of King Josiah (2 Kings chaps 22–23), redacting the writings of Moses and of the earlier scribes, thereby transforming the linguistic determinative YHWH into a singular naming noun. I have mentioned the few places these scribes missed in their redaction—and this passage is one the scribes missed, but not usually one I mention. Consider who is speaking the line, “And He said, "Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God [Elohim] also? Therefore [Adonai] Himself will give you a sign” (Ish 7:13–14). The referent for <he> is <YHWH your Elohim> (from v. 11). So how is it that YHWH can say, “you weary my Elohim also”? Who is the God or gods of YHWH? And is not Adonai the Lord who gives to Ahaz the sign of Immanuel?
In their redaction, the Imperial Hebrew scribes were either tired or careless as they copied over Isaiah’s prophecy. Either way, the prophecy and the sign given Ahaz had a physical application in that both “Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah the king of Israel” (Isa 7:1) met their demise before a child born to a maid was old enough to know good from evil. The prophecy was physically fulfilled.
However, outside of what Adonai told King Ahaz, Isaiah continued the prophecy, and just the time setting for the prophecy from a year or two in the future to “In that day,” a euphemism for the end of the age. And because of the style in which the author of Matthew’s Gospel crafted his biography of Jesus, this author could pluck from Isaiah a physically fulfilled prophecy about a maid or young woman conceiving a child that would be named, God is with us, and by modifying the uninscribed vowels change a <maid> to a <virgin> to produce the second witness he needed for Jesus being conceived by the holy spirit in Mary’s womb.
The preceding is not to say that Jesus had any father other than Yah, the deity that interacted with Abraham and with David, before the spirit of God in the bodily form of a dove descended upon and entered into Him, thereby causing Him to be again born [ánagennesas — from 1 Pet 1:3]. But what I have written is to show why critics of Jesus’ miraculous birth have a basis for their objections—they are not necessarily doubters without cause.
In Matthew’s three sets of fourteen generations are all of the kinsmen-redeemers we find in Scripture. For in an unintentional way, Judah served as the kinsman redeemer for his son Er, fathering in Tamar twins, with Perez being in the line bringing forth David. And in this same set of fourteen generation is Boaz, perhaps the best known of all kinsman redeemers, bringing forth a son Obed to keep alive the name of Elimelech in Israel (but it is Boaz, not Elimelech that is remembered).
During the fourteen generations of the kings of Israel, the kings kept harems and there seemed to be no need for kinsman-redeemers. More sons were born to the kings than were needed, and the problem became what to do with surplus sons—the life expectancy of surplus sons wasn’t long.
But once Nebuchadnezzar took Judah and Jerusalem captive, another set of fourteen generations began with Shealtiel and Zerubbabel (Matt 1:12), but Shealtiel would have been castrated by Nebuchadnezzar and therefore unable to father children; so a kinsman redeemer for Shealtiel raised up Zerubbabel for him and remains nameless, almost:
The sons of Jeconiah, the captive: Shealtiel his son, Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama and Nedabiah; and the sons of Pedaiah: Zerubbabel and Shimei; and the sons of Zerubbabel: Meshullam and Hananiah, and Shelomith was their sister (1 Ch 3:17–19 emphasis added)
Shealtiel’s much younger brother Pedaiah raised up for him Zerubbabel, thereby being Shealtiel’s kinsman redeemer.
In this last set of fourteen generations, the most famous of all kinsman redeemers is Christ Jesus.
So backing off and looking at the three sets of fourteen generations (and these sets are short multiple generations), what is seen is that during the royal period, there were no kinsman-redeemers. There were before, and there were after, but not during the royal period—and how to “translate” the lack of redeemers will be addressed later. For now it is sufficient to say that no additional redeemers for the Elect are needed. Christ Jesus has raised up firstborn sons for the Father via the chosen ones.
The author of Matthew’s Gospel only indirectly tells readers why he writes an outwardly appearing biography of Jesus—and his why is in his pre-baptism (of Jesus) motifs; i.e., chapters one and two, the chapters that early conservative Christians, those that Dr. Bart D. Ehrman of University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, identifies as Ebionites, 2nd-Century Adoptionists, did not recognize as Scripture.
Ebionites were 2nd and 3rd Century Christian literalists, the most likely successors of the Circumcision Faction with whom Paul had a ministry long dispute; for what Paul understood—the revelation given him—was that with the giving of the spirit of God, the surface of things no longer had importance, and this revelation was not easy to grasp in the 1st-Century, nor easy to grasp in the 16th-Century or even in the 21st-Century. The seeming solidity of the surface of things may well come from the so-called Higgs boson, but this solidity isn’t the essence of the thing that consists of points of energy and space between these points.
When matter—whatever has mass—is really nothing but energy bound together by a particle that temporarily exists, then matter itself is temporary, the theology that undergirds all of Christendom, and the theology that separates Christianity from Judaism and Islam. For if matter only temporarily exists, then it is certainly possible that there will be a day when the creation rolls itself up as a scroll and is no more forever.
When iniquity was found in an anointed guardian cherub, this iniquity or unbelief of God would have produced gridlock that brought all activity in heaven to a standstill. This guardian cherub and his cohorts had to go, and a rent (for want of a better word) was torn in heaven itself: this rent in the fabric of heaven permitted the Abyss to come into existence, for this rent was as the wound in the side of the crucified Jesus, with the creation formed in this Abyss. And the implication of what I just wrote is that heaven functions-as and possibly appears as a human body appears. Therefore, as a human body heals itself if wounds are not too grievous, heaven will heal itself, repairing the rent through which the Adversary and his angels were flushed. And the author of Matthew’s Gospel apparently uses the man Jesus as the personification of heaven itself.
However, as seems the case when John’s vision (the Book of Revelation) is added to the mix, the damage done to heaven by the Adversary in his rebellion was great enough that construction of a new heaven is required, a subject to be addressed.
Now, a few words about Dr. Ehrman, the person the media often places before the public as an expert on Christianity, on the Bible, and on the early Christian Church: Dr. Ehrman was reared to be a Believer, a typical born-again Christian, but through his studies he now identifies himself as an agnostic, not because of textual difficulties in both the New and Old Testaments, but because of the presence of evil in this world. How, he wonders, could a loving God permit Hitler to come to power? Or on a lesser scale, how could a loving God permit someone or ones to detonate bombs intend to inflict harm near the finish line of the Boston Marathon? Surely if an all powerful God existed, He would intervene in the affairs of humanity to protect the lives of innocents. But what Professor Ehrman fails to understand is what the Radical Reformers of the 16th-Century understood: God is not today trying to save the world; is not today trying to protect the innocent. God is trying to kill an idea, one-of if not the toughest task that can be undertaken. And to permanently end the rebellion of the Adversary, God has to permit the Adversary to demonstrate that his ideas, his briefs will not work. So at the present time, the Adversary remains the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air—and the Adversary will remain the prince of this world through the first half (1260 days) of the seven endtime years of tribulation. The Millennium is then the counterpoint to the Adversary’s demonstration, the “proof” that there is a better way, that God’s way will work best and is the only way by which life can be lived perpetually.
Professor Ehrman’s unbelief is based in rational thought, but he doesn’t know his left hand from his right hand. He is as the people of Nineveh were, who upon hearing the preaching of Jonah, a man seemingly puked forth from the mouth of the Canaanite god Dagon whom they worshiped (among a host of other deities), repented of their evil deeds, and for more than a century lived as a moral people who were the enemies of Israel and Judah, one people divided into two nations, both of which lived in open rebellion against the God of Abraham. This is not to say that the people of Nineveh worshiped the God of Abraham—they did not—but is to say that the king’s decree that the men of Nineveh turn from their evil ways and the violence they were doing with their hands was obeyed.
Yet of the people of Nineveh, the Lord told Jonah that there were more than 120,000 that did not know their left hands from their right hands … the people of Nineveh had no basis for distinguishing the common from the sacred, the unclean from the clean, the physical from the spiritual. Nor did Professor Ehrman as a youthful born-again Evangelical Christian have a basis for distinguishing the unclean from the clean; for once the “Christian” throws out Moses, the New Testament doesn’t hang together. Only by realizing that those things Moses wrote forms the left hand chiral image of what the Jesus of the Gospels uttered during His earthly ministry can a Christian as an infant son of God hear the words of Jesus.
In her 1991 mystery Body of Evidence, Patricia D. Cornwell employed the chirality of Robitussin, a non-prescription cough medicine whose active ingredient is the drug dextromethorphan, as a clue to her victim’s death. The amount of Robitussin found in the autopsy of the victim was not enough to harm the woman; so a mystery was in the making, one solved by polarimetric analysis which revealed the presence of levomethorphan, a powerful narcotic and the enantiomer of dextromethorphan. Because the enantiomers cannot be distinguished by routine toxicological tests, the deliberate death of the victim also escaped notice, if not for a chief medical examiner who understood drug chirality.
In polarized light, the left hand or right hand structure of chemically identical compounds can be observed, with the left-hand enantiomer producing differing results in living organisms than the right-hand enantiomer … where structural chirality exists in drugs—racemic drugs—the two enantiomers [the left hand and the right hand structures] work like two different drugs. For example, in the 1980s, Perhexiline, used to treat abnormal heart rhythms and a racemate, killed people because one enantiomer was more slowly metabolized (had a much longer half-life) than the other enantiomer. Whereas the faster acting enantiomer could stabilize heart rhythms, the slower acting enantiomer could not.
Both Thalidomide and Ritalin are racemates.
The Bible can be likened to a racemate drug; the Bible employs literary chirality to simultaneously conceal and reveal what it means to possess spiritual life. The Bible hides from Christians not born of spirit what it reveals to the Elect. And part of what’s revealed is that “culture” is “law” for a society not under a formalized law code. Culture even was law for ancient Nineveh; so when the king of Nineveh said to fast (go without food and drink), the people fasted for the king’s word determined what the culture did.
Distinguishing a person’s left hand from the person’s right hand doesn’t, on its surface, seem significant. Of course the person’s left hand is on the person’s left side, but is this true when a person looks at him or herself in a mirror? In the reflection of a person, is not the person’s left hand on the mirror-image’s right side? So determining left from right depends on the frame of reference: if a person is seen from behind (as if looking forward from the stern of a vessel to its bow), the person’s left hand is on the person’s portside, but when facing a person, the person’s left hand is on the person’s right side.
A recent review of newly approved drugs reveals an increasing percentage of single-enantiomer compounds as opposed to recemates; for too many racemates cause problems not only because their structures produce differing pharmacokinetic effects. So as chirality has become understood, the importance of opposing enantiomers has caused each enantiomer to be perceived as a distinct compound even through the same elements in the same ratios compose each enantiomer.
A Sabbatarian Christian—a Christian who keeps the commandments, including all of the Sabbaths of God—consists of exactly the same molecules as another Sabbatarian Christian. Each looks like the other to the world, including to having character flaws. But in the polarized light that is God, the one Sabbatarian doesn’t look like the other; for one is not truly born of spirit, born of God as a son, whereas the other is. Only rarely can the difference between Sabbatarians truly be seen in this world. And here is where I will quit this chapter, only to resume in chapter five.
* * *
"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."