God’s Weaker Vessel, the Woman with Tender Eyes

One of the delights of the Bible is the abundance of its irony. I’ve talked about this before, when considering the principle of proportion, where God positions various contrasting elements within the redemptive story next to one another, highlighting His own attributes and through them, the subversive power of the Gospel. And among the Bible’sContinue reading “God’s Weaker Vessel, the Woman with Tender Eyes”

The Daughters of Job: An Inheritance Among Our Brothers

This morning, I finished reading the book of Job. I had already planned to begin rereading it from tomorrow as the richness of this book’s symbolic use of the natural world is utterly breathtaking. I don’t feel ready to leave it yet! But it is instead the book’s end – Job’s daughters specifically – whichContinue reading “The Daughters of Job: An Inheritance Among Our Brothers”

So Esther arose, and stood before the king.

With Haman’s plot against the Jews looming, Esther put on her royal robes at the command of Mordecai and stood in the inner court of King Ahasuerus’s palace in front of the king’s rooms. And the king was sitting on his royal throne. Esther’s entrance was a seriously huge deal, since she had not beenContinue reading “So Esther arose, and stood before the king.”

Esther’s Banquet

I am so hostile to this book [2 Maccabees] and Esther that I could wish that they did not exist at all, for they judaize too greatly and have much pagan impropriety. Martin Luther Poor Luther. The book of Esther is indeed peculiar and perplexing, particularly to us Gentiles. But part of the genius ofContinue reading “Esther’s Banquet”

Esther found favour

When we meet Esther, who comes to mind but Rachel, mother of Israel, likewise “beautiful of form and face” (Gen. 29:17)! This is no mere coincidence, not just a common manner of talking at that time. Through Rachel and Esther, the Divine Author is pulling on the female narratival line that carries us from theContinue reading “Esther found favour”

Ruth and Esther

Ruth and Esther are the only two Biblical books bearing the names of women. This alone draws our eye to them, asks us to consider them together. By the time we get to Ruth, God has already primed us many times over to watch closely for women, to trace their place in the Bible’s storyContinue reading “Ruth and Esther”

Vashti and Esther: His banner over me is love

On the face of it, the book of Esther is about a pagan king who trafficks young women, a plucky queen who refuses to come when called, and a humble girl of unknown birth who, together with her uncle, braves her way into the king’s harem and saves her people. I used to read theContinue reading “Vashti and Esther: His banner over me is love”

Even the women and children rejoiced

In Ezekiel 8, the Spirit lifts Ezekiel up between earth and heaven and brings him in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the idol of jealousy is located. There, Ezekiel witnesses women sitting and weeping for Tammuz, an ancient Mesopotamian god believed to beContinue reading “Even the women and children rejoiced”

The Gentle Heart of Christ

In Matthew 11:29, we find the heart of Jesus Christ. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. The word translated here as “gentle” is πραΰς, whose four uses in the New Testament convey a concentration of brilliant and heavenlyContinue reading “The Gentle Heart of Christ”