Judith: Israel’s Great Heroine

Judith is the great apocryphal heroine of ancient Israel. Like an ancient Joan of Arc, she rises up during her nation's time of need. She employs her guile, like Odysseus, adorning a misleading costume and she dramatically slays Holofernes, the fearsome general of Assyria, before his army destroys the town of Bethulia near Jerusalem. "Judith … Continue reading Judith: Israel’s Great Heroine

Thoughts on the Prayer of Manasseh

The Prayer of Manasseh is a fascinating little prayer. Today, it is included among the biblical apocrypha -and sometimes it is included among the Psalms or at the end of Second Chronicles. It is an imagined prayer of Manasseh, successor king to Hezekiah of ancient Judah, as he makes an apologia in penitence for his sins -praising of other gods. The prayer is divided into fifteen verses, … Continue reading Thoughts on the Prayer of Manasseh

Haggai: A Plea To Rebuild the Temple

There are four prophecies contained within the two chapters of the book of Haggai (whose named means something akin to "my holiday" though the root word in Hebrew means something like "to make a pilgrimage"). The text is believed to have been written after the Babylonian exile, during the reign of Darius, the Persian emperor, as … Continue reading Haggai: A Plea To Rebuild the Temple

The Just Shall Live By His Faith: Habakkuk Considered

The book of Habakkuk is told in three short chapters. Habbakuk's vision is described as a "burden" (per the King James translation) as Habakkuk is a troubled prophet of Israel. All around him he sees destruction and decay. His name likely comes from an early Hebrew word meaning "embrace."  Unlike other prophets, Habakkuk has the gaul … Continue reading The Just Shall Live By His Faith: Habakkuk Considered