Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Two Passovers

Alice C. Linsley

There are two "passovers" in the Old Testament. Death passed over those in the houses with the lamb's blood on the door posts. Likewise, when death came to Jericho, the scarlet cord hanging from the window of Rahab's house preserved her household. The horizontal blood streak on the door lintel and the scarlet cord hanging vertically from the window form a + cross. When considered together the narratives point us to Jesus Christ whose blood brings deliverance.

The paradox there is that blood was perceived both to purify and to pollute. As St. Paul says, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18)

Reality in the Bible is told from the perspective of both the male and the female and the added dimension of the male-female couplet. Consider prophets and trees as a male-female couplet. Deborah judged Israel from her tamar tree between Bethel and Ramah (north-south axis). The tamar is a date nut palm associated with the female. Many biblical women were named Tamar. Likewise, the prophet or "moreh" consulted by Abraham sat under an oak. This tree was associated with the male. The trees represent another male-female couplet. There is no murky middle ground on gender in teh Bible. No androgynous authority figure sitting under some fanciful tree.

There are two "passovers" in the Old Testament. The passover associated with Moses involving the lamb's blood streaked on the lintel and door posts. Because of this blood, death passed over these houses. Likewise the scarlet cord hanging from the window of Rahab's house preserved those within the house when death came to Jericho. There is no denying the blood symbolism and no imaginary substitute for it.

Rahab and the Horite Hebrew

Rahab of Jericho was the wife of Salmon/Salma, the son of Hur (HR - a Horite Hebrew name). Salma is designated the "father of Bethlehem" in 1 Chronicles 2:51-54. Rahab was the grandmother of Boaz, a ruler of Bethlehem Ephratah, a Horite Hebrew settlement according to 1 Chronicles 4:4 - "These are the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah, the father of Bethlehem." ! Chronicles 4:5 identifies the marriage pattern of the Horite Hebrew chiefs. "Ashhur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah."

1 Chronicles 2:50 tells us that Caleb’s firstborn son was Hur (HR). Hur’s firstborn son was Shobal, the founder of Kiriath-jearim where the Ark resided until it was moved to Jerusalem.

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