Neer the twain shall meet meaning in bible

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neer the twain shall meet meaning in bible

OH, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet, When two strong men stand face to face, tho' they come from the ends of the earth!. New Living Translation I will I will meet you there, and from above the lid between the two winged creatures I will give you all my laws for the people of Israel. never the twain shall meet definition: said when two things or people are completely different, unsuitable for each other, or are unable to agree. Learn more.

Upon this, "He who at the beginning made them male and female "pronounced the Divine marriage law that man and wife are one flesh. Pulpit Commentary Verse There is nothing in the use of such terms as father and mother, or in the fact that the sentiment is prophetic, to prevent the words from being regarded as a continuation of Adam's speech, although, on the other hand, the statement of Christ Matthew Its basis fundamental reason and predisposing cause they affirm to be 1 the original relationship of man and woman, on the platform of creation; and 2 the marriage union effected between the first pair.

Its nature they explain to be 1 a forsaking on the part of the woman as well as the man of father and mother - not filially, in respect of duty, but locally, in respect of habitation, and comparatively, in respect of affection; and 2 a cleaving unto his wife, in a conjugium corporis atque animce. Its result is stated in the words which follow: The language points to a unity of persons, and not simply to a conjunction of bodies, or a community of interests, or even a reciprocity of affections. Matthew Henry Commentary 2: It also shows his insight into the works of God.

But though he was lord of the creatures, yet nothing in this world was a help meet for man. From God are all our helpers. If we rest in God, he will work all for good.

God caused deep sleep to fall on Adam; while he knows no sin, God will take care that he shall feel no pain. God, as her Father, brought the woman to the man, as his second self, and a help meet for him.

Thus, although Alter in his works both on general literature and on Biblical literature explicitly ac knowledges the importance of the historical contexts of literary works, he usually does not apply this principle in his detailed analysis of Biblical units.

Furthermore, Alter's suggestion that there is little evidence that Bib lical authors were bound to earlier traditions p. This is certainly not the case with Chronicles, which should have found a place in a book whose title suggests that it covers the range of Biblical material.

Simon and Shuster, Much of the non-synoptic material in Chronicles shows little of the artistic merit which Alter has discovered elsewhere in the Bible; perhaps this explains the omission.

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However, see now Rodney K. Duke, The Persuasive Appeal of the Chronicler: Almond,which advocates that Chronicles is of literary merit.

The meaning and origin of the expression: Never the twain shall meet

This raises the pos sibility that the sources of the Deuteronomistic History, which are not available to us, might be related to Dtr in the same way that Dtr is related to Chronicles. If this is the case, then the Biblical historiographical texts are much more bound to traditions than Alter claims. I am not asserting that this indeed is the case, merely that the dependence on tradition cannot be quickly discounted by emphasizing the original, creative as pect of the Israelite historiographers.

Alter's interpretation of the Ehud pericope presents certain prob lems. He has outlined the literary devices that he, as a twentieth-century literary critic, has seen, but has not shown the plausibility that an ancient Israelite might have understood the text's literary underpinnings in a similar way.

Alter has only briefly dealt with this issue e. Finally, to the extent that Alter's observations satire be corrob concerning may orated, he has not paid sufficient attention to the social setting of the genre. His interpretation remains literary-aesthetic, and although in his books he says that the literary-aesthetic goals often function in tandem with social, political or theological goals, he does not attempt to show in this particular instance in detail what these have been.

This might omission is especially glaring because social setting is especially impor tant for understanding the "satire," in contrast to other genre genres such as "fairy tale. His definition of history is based on intentionality; in Halpern's own words: As readers, we iden tify what is historiography and what is not based on our perception of the author's relationship to the evidence" p.

True history is typified by its "antiquarian interest" passimand should be contrasted with ro mance, which contains elaborations "unnecessary to the presentation of a reconstruction from the evidence" p. Phrased differently, the central issue is, "did the narrator have reason to believe what he or she wrote Method in Biblical Study Philadelphia: Westminster,esp.

Over half of this is comprised of an exposition of the realia be hind the text, including several pages on the significance of Ehud's left handedness Judg 3: Halpern's remaining substantial argu ment concerns that he calls "The Genre of the Story" pp. Here, Halpern notes the story's p. His central contention here is that the story as we have it is from an "oral recension" p. In the hands of a professional storyteller, however, Ehud's exploits would have spilled over the present fifteen verses of prose, and furnished the stuff of an evening's entertainment, a drama.

neer the twain shall meet meaning in bible

This is the source on which the author in Judges 3: What we have in Judges 3 is a boiled-down version of a long-transmitted escapade. He argues for his case by analogy with the stories of David as an outlaw, claiming that the story in Judges is similar to 2 Sam He concludes his discussion of the similarities by noting p. The oral version of the Ehud episode, then, has its home probably in the premonarchic or early monarchic era of Israel's history. Like the notes about David's heroes, the version is the fossil of literary a literary tradition.

The history eschatology, mystery of the is to communicate the reconstruction of events. His definition focuses on elaborations that are "unnecessary". How may we now determine which these are?

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In addition,how can we possibly know whether the author was working from sources or thought what he or she was writing was true? The case of the Chronicler is instructive here; there are still many places where it is seriously debated whether or not he is basing his narrative on sourc es and believed that what he wrote actually happened.

It is unfortunate that Halpern nowhere extensively discusses Chronicles, even though it might have provided instructive models for exploring Dtr. Moreover, an author need not have a single attitude toward all of his or her sources, so one may not generalize from a small number of Dtr texts to the corpus as a whole, as Halpern has done.

Finally, in his revised statement concerning the "intentional fallacy," W. Wimsatt claims, "The design or the intention of the author is neither available nor desirable as a standard forjudging either the meaning or the value of a work of literary art. Halpern is clearly aware of some of these problems, and suggests that p. Much of Halpern's explication of the Ehud story involved recon structing the realia behind the text.

But what does this reconstruction of the realia prove? One could imagine such arguments being used in an earlier era, when scholars such as W.

Albright based the historical reliability of a passage to some extent on its plausibility or reasonable ness,23 but this seems not to be Halpern's purpose. Halpern himself states pp. A Fallacy Revisited," p. Edinburgh University Press, University of Kentucky Press,3— The entire volume edited by Newton-de Molina contains useful perspectives on the problems of literary intentionality. Greenwood Press, For the use of the term "history" within Biblical see scholarship, Geller, op.

But accurately Harry Lime is not a historical figure; he is at best a pastiche of other figures. Ehud's name, all scholars concur, was received with the tradition and 1 Chron. Judges 3 derives from sources.

Throughout, it presents only data that the oral story and his general knowledge licensed the historian to reconstruct. However, the "argument and evidence" adduced have no bearing on the issue at hand — how does the palace construction or the likelihood that Benjaminites formed a class of left-handed warriors suggest that the author actually believed what he wrote?

The value of the evidence of 1 Chronicles 7: Certainly this, and the other fact to which Halpern alludes, that the name Ehud is only used in this context and is possibly of uncertain etymology,25 do not bear on the issue of whether the author believed he was writing history or romance. The hero's name, his depiction as a left-handed warrior, and the palace structure do not aid in determining the genre of the story. Halpern's contentions concerning the genre of this story are also section 2 Sam problematic.

First, it is difficult to compare the four-verse to the Ehud a cursory of the two shows Second, Halpern's reconstruction assumes certain points which we know little or nothing about. How did the Israelite storytellers tell their stories? Were they pro lix or brief?

Was there only one style of storytelling? What are the hall marks of Israelite oral versus written traditions? Given the paucity of Saul Lieberman, Volume,Volume, ed.

Jewish Theological Seminary, A Comparative 25 Jeananne D. Sheffield Academic Press, Halpern's specific arguments flounder, and to the extent that they supported his conclu sion that "The point of the story is to communicate the reconstruction of events," this too is in doubt. The evidence available cannot support the contention that Judg 3: How many we anchor specific literary readings within an ancient Israelite context?

To what extent are modern genre labels appropriate to and helpful for the explication of Biblical texts? Is there any way that the historical and literary approaches to a Biblical text may be combined?

neer the twain shall meet meaning in bible

Alter concludes his book p. The rest of this paper will attempt to address these issues. Many of Alter's insights concerning the literary underpinnings of the story can probably be substantiated, especially by adducing stylistic cri teria which he has chosen not to address.

Alter's claim concerning the sacrificial undertones in Eglon's name can be substantiated from elsewhere in the story. Brill, Fur thermore, in v. Furthermore, the 'formulaic' ending in v. Anderson, Sacrifices and Offerings in Ancient Israel: Studies in Their Social and Political Importance. Scholars Press, Society of Biblical Literature, Exum, Amit, however, is more in the religious interested rather than the specifically sacrificial undertones. Kohlhammer, University of Wisconsin Press, McGraw Hill,— BDB 4g and 34 Contrast, e.

On the phallic use of T, cf. BDBT This content downloaded from It is quite possible that the choice to break with the typical pattern and to insert T was informed by an awareness that at one level the chapter is depicting the sexual subju gation of the Moabites to the Israelites.

All of these suggestions, which extend and defend Alter's observations, are based on stylistic factors, which Alter had not outlined. It is full of scatological and sexual refer ences at the enemy's expense.

But what is the purpose of these devices? It is only possible to investigate this issue after examining the historical relationship between Moab and Israel. The story itself contains no hint of its time of composition. Most schol ars would agree, however, that the Book of Judges was redacted at the latest in the early exilic period, though some of its traditions are earlier. The vast majority of evidence suggests a hostile relationship between the neighbors.

This is reflected in many of stories.

'Never the twain shall meet' - the meaning and origin of this phrase

For types example, the story of Moab's birth Gen According to "historical texts," the Moabites were vassals already at the time of David 2 Sam 8: Brill, le.

This may be part of a general tendency to depict the geographically contiguous Moabites as different, as an outgroup. It is reminiscent of the phenomenon noted by an of considering thropologiststhropologists your neighbor to be cannibalistic. Beyerlin, "Gattung und Herkunft des Rahmens in Retterbuch," pp. Barlett, "The Moabites and Edomites," pp. Oxford University Press, Antipathy is also reflect ed in Psalms It is difficult to date these texts, but they likely point to the existence of poor relationships between Moab and Judah and Israel for much of the pre-exilic period.

Positive relations the two might be suggestd by Deut 2: Given the extensive and varied evidence for a hostile relationship between the two neighbors as outlined above, it is unlikely that these two texts reflect a very long period of friendship. The evidence from the Book of Ruth is difficult to evaluate.

The dat ing of the book is debated. Now that the historical dimension of the Israelite-Moabite conflict has been examined and the likelihood that ancient Israelites actually per ceived the devices noted by Alter has been defended, it is possible to examine and extend Alter's observation that this story should be read as a humorous political satire mocking the Moabites. I will initially de fend the general proposition that the story is humorous, and will then narrow down the of this humorous tale to a work of political sat genre ire.

The simple contention that the story is humorous is actually quite difficult to prove. Although scholars have claimed, "the holy book we call the Bible revels in profound laughter,"42 it is difficult to determine Note the comment of P. JSOT Press, g Cheryl Exum and J.

On the function of humor within This content downloaded from The definition [of humor] which would appear to be the most plausible one because of its general applicability connects humor with the relief felt at the momentary lifting of one of the many restrictions which the physical and social environment imposes upon man The humor in puns Any deviation from those channels is keenly felt as a release from conventional restrictions and, therefore, is humorous.

A great variety of dealings among human beings is immediately classified as humor if there is any suggestion of a deviation from ordinary reality and the conven tions of human society. Using this criterion, it is quite clear that the Ehud story is humorous. Thus, there is good reason to be lieve that this story is humorous, particularly since the story can be seen as poking fun at Eglon and the Moabites in general, in which case it may be seen as typical humor that disparages an outgroup.

This type of humor typically functions, " 1 To increase the morale and solidify religion, see Mahadev L.