To make Comments write directly to Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org
News reports have called it “a plague of biblical proportions.” But they’re not talking about the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bible actually has very little to say about pandemics. About death from starvation or drought, yes. About death in war, oh my goodness yes. But very little about mass deaths from diseases – if I exclude the book of Revelation, which smacks its lips at the prospect of wiping out one-third of the world’s population in a single trumpet blast.
Rather, the “biblical plague” refers to locusts. Billions upon billions of flying grasshoppers that descend from the sky in clouds and eat the leaves off everything.
Rght now great plagues of locusts are demolishing agricultural crops across east Africa, Somalia, Yemen, parts of Iran, Pakistan, and India.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: Moses, Locusts, plagues
With humour in relatively short supply these days, my own mental energy even shorter, and April Fool’s Day just over, I thought some biblical exegesis might be in order. So here is a reading from Exodus, chapter 16, (Disclosure: adapted from a version published in 2014).
The entire assembly complained about the leadership of Moses and his brother Aaron. They said, “Why did you lead us out of Egypt where McDonald’s was open 24/7, to bring us out to this wilderness where we will surely die of fast food deprivation?”
“Give us this day our daily burgers,” they chanted.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: Moses, manna, Exodus, satire
It rained on our drive home from Vancouver. Although “rained” doesn’t adequately describe the downpour. Genesis says that at creation, God “divided the waters above from the waters below.” On that drive home, the waters above and below re-united.
There was so much rain on the road that our car used four extra litres of fuel going home than going out, on exactly the same road, just squishing water out of the way of the tires.
I would have looked for an Ark, if I could have seen it through a windshield streaming with water.
Oddly, my rearview mirrors were still clear. Because the rain wasn’t hitting them at all. I could see clearly, back down the highway.
It reminded me of one of Marshall McLuhan’s aphorisms: "We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror."
It’s a metaphoric way of saying that we can’t see into the future.
Tags: Moses, McLuhan, future, past, rearview mirror, rain