It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

King recognizes power of God, a reflection on 3 Maccabees 7:1-16

King Phil blames some of his friends for the harsh treatment of Jews and credits God for shielding them. Based on the goodwill they have demonstrated for generations, he declares them innocent of every charge of whatever kind.

He orders them to return to their homes, adding that no one anywhere is to harm them or to blame them for the elephant debacle. "If anybody tries to harm these people, God will punish them."

When the Jews learned this, they didn't rush to depart immediately. Instead, they asked the king if they could first punish those Jews who had voluntarily turned away from God and God's law. They insisted that anyone who had feared the king's government more than God's commands couldn't be trusted to follow the king's law either. The king agreed with this assessment and let them destroy their apostates. After killing more than 300, they had a festival to celebrate then left the city singing hymns to God, the eternal savior of Israel.

Revenge or Rational caution?

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