Monday, March 16, 2009

20 ’Adhar 5769: National Artichoke Hearts Day/Lips Appreciation Day


Worthy cause of the day: “Protect Our Last Wild Forests”.

Relevant to Divine Misconceptions:
  1. As I have mentioned before, this year I am going through the Septuagint on the Torah. Yesterday, I discovered that the material in the last few chapters of the Septuagint version of Exodus are out of order. Naturally, the chapter and verse numbering there is also botched. I am not clear how this happened; with 70 or 72 translators, one would think that someone would have noticed.
  2. Last night I saw the first episode of NBC’s retelling of the story of King Dawidh (David) from Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, Kings. If you want to see a highly accurate portrayal of the Biblical text, this is not it. This version takes place in a world resembling the 21th century United States in technology and culture. As a result, the writers have played fast and loose with the original text to make the story workable. Many of the original characters are there in some recognizable form: Sha’ul (Saul) as King Silas Benjamin, Dawidh as David Shepherd, Mikhal (Michal) as Michelle Benjamin, Yonathan (Jonathan) as Jack Benjamin, and Shemu’el (Samuel) as Reverend Ephram Samuels. Golyath (Goliath) has become a tank somehow. The fact that Sha’ul/Silas is a king and not a president is an exceptional trumping of modern sensibilities by the Biblical text; his concubine has been transformed into a mistress, thus transforming a licit relationship into an illicit one. Even in the first episode Dawidh/David and Mikhal/Michelle are informally courting; in the Biblical text, the concept of dating does not exist at all. Yonathan/Jack takes a severe beating, being made to look resentful and with Sha’ul/Silas accusing him of a behavior which can only be read into the Biblical text with a sledgehammer. In the Biblical text, Sha’ul being chosen by YHWH to be king is communicated by Shemu’el alone; in Kings, this has been fractured, with the choice being communicated by Shemu’el/Revered Samuels and by a miracle involving butterflies. The removal of Divine favor in Kings is also likewise split. There is also a major character without any Biblical precedent, William Cross, who financially backs Sha’ul/Silas and uses the power of money to manipulate him. Previews suggest that at least certain aspects of the story of Dawidh, such as his marrying Mikhal and Sha’ul trying to kill him, will remain intact. Intuition suggests, however, that the story will increasingly diverge from the Biblical original as time goes on, but we will see. If you missed it last night, you can watch episode 1 of Kings on-line.
  3. Is anyone going to vote in the poll?
Today’s news and commentary:
Today’s weird thing is “Flying and Crashing Servers”. Enjoy and share the weirdness.

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