Monthly Archives: March 2017

Cloud that can shine and cast a shadow.

The interactions between the gospel of today and the traditions of the Exodus afford us to find suggestions in order to get the key about some enigmatic metaphors. For exemple, in verse Mt 17:5 a bright cloud overshadowed them … What kind of brightness can cast a shadow? The key is perhaps in Sinai. There too were strange “clouds”.

So, in Ex 19:16 the translations usually swallow an interesting description that is still kept by the masoretic text:  ענן כבד. I do really think that a rather poor translation is to say  just “thick cloud”, specially knowing about the emotions related to כבד, KaBoD, that theologically almost”technical” term which is related to the perceptible dimensions of the inmanent power of God. Remember Isaiah 6:3, please. Very few would have translated:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;

the whole earth is full of his weight (or fat).”

The metaphorical connection between “glory of God” (kabod) and “cloud” is still clearer at the end of Exodus, in verse 4o:34.

Consequently in Mt 17 (Transfiguration text),the cloud of light is also “weighty”, it is to say, this cloud is the Kabod! …Or a symbol of it. So this cloud is able of everything, even of turning the light into shadow, building a protective umbrella over Jesus… later, taking him out of the “house of death” (the tomb).

As a matter of fact, reading the Syriac version of Mt 17:4, Peter wants to build three “roofs”, ܡܛܠܝܢ, word derived from the semantic root  ܛܠ (shadow). But at the end of the day, without human hands, it is the “cloud” that ܐܛܠܬ  (verbal form derived also from ܛܠ), expression that could be translated like “cast a shadow”… Possibly more effectively than Peter!

Combat of biblical experts.

In the gospel of this 1st Sunday in Lent could we look at a sort of combat between two biblical experts? Jesus mentions 3 texts (from Torah)-his challenger 1 (from psalm 91). And this only point is not clear because the suggested exegese is null.

And, however, the psalm 91 is nice indeed:

The one who lives in Elyon’s refuge, takes advantage of Shaddai’s shadow.

The masoretic Hebrew text keeps with love these two alternative names of YHWH, corresponding to respective traditions that outcrop here and there all along the Scripture. Beautiful words are those ones of the Bible but that some ones manipulate to persuade us in order to become members of sects. They ask for strange behaviours: “Throw yourself down”.

Watch out! The Bible in hands of self designated close students of the Word, supposed “experts”, may harm.