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 Re:

Tozer writes....

"" for the scribe tells us what he has read, and the prophet tells what he has seen. The distinction is not an imaginary one. Between the scribe who has read and the prophet who has seen there is a difference as wide as the sea. We are overrun today with orthodox scribes, but the prophets, where are they? The hard voice of the scribe sounds over evangelicalism, but the church waits for the tender voice of the saint who has penetrated the veil and has gazed with inward eye upon the wonder that is God. And yet, thus to penetrate, to push in sensitive living experience into the holy Presence, is a privilege open to every child of God." - (The Pursuit Of God by A.W.Tozer page 40.)

What do we hear today? The weary voice of the evangelical scribe? The scribe indeed will tell you what he has read and what he thinks about what he has read and some of it will be fine, much will be an expression of his ego. Scribes cannot lead the church. We live in the age of the scribe. Tozer is correct, this penetration behind the veil is open to every child of God and from those who do, they will speak the word of His grace and they will speak with "Katanusso," power. There is such a hunger and thirst for the presence of God. The scribe could speak and the one who moves in this power can speak the exact same words. One will penetrate the hearts of men, will agitate, will pierce, the other ?....brother Frank

 2009/1/3 21:40
philologos
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 Re:

Quote:
So when God is made the basis on which authority is established the whole dynamic changes.


Robert and Daryl are making similar points. Robert introduces a word here that I had meant to move onto... dynamics. What we are witnessing in the record of the scripture is the way God works within 'group dynamics'.

Egypt did have a social structure; it was a nation. The group dymanic of a nation is quite different to the group dynamic of a 'family'. I would not use the label 'pater familias'; that is an expression of Roman family dynamic and law and very different to what we find in the Old Testament. (the pater familias 'owned' the whole family and had the power of life and death over each member. It is the underlying dynamic of the Roman Catholic church and the Mafia.)

We actually see Egyptian elders functioning in the last chapter of Genesis. There are two groups identified; the elders of Pharaoh's own household and ALL the elders of the land of Egypt. Their function here is instructive and we will return to it later; they are functioning as 'official representatives'. They are the official representatives at Jacob's funeral. Gen 50:7. So yes, there was a group dynamic and a social structure already operating in the larger 'group' of a nation or a royal household. There was no need for representatives from the Hebrews, everyone attended the funeral with the exception of the very young. Gen 50:8

So if the Hebrews did not have 'elders' at this time what did they have? They had heads of 'houses'; twelve of them and originally Jacob/Israel as the patriarch; father-ruler. In other words they were functioning as an extended family.

When the Hebrews moved to Egypt they moved 'with their households' in line with Pharaoh's original invitation. Gen 45:18. It is important to remember that all who went down to Egypt were not blood descendants of Jacob/Israel. When the book of Exodus opens it explains that each son of Jacob went 'with his household'. These households would have comprised family and servants; we are not told the total number of souls who comprised these 'households'. However in the next verses we are told that the 'blood descendants' of Jacob who finally settled in Egypt numbered 70. Ex 1:1-5.

Abraham's household was able to supply 318 fighting men when the need arose. These 'households' are likely to have been quite large although probably not as large as Abraham's. Any estimate would be sheer guesswork but we are almost certainly talking about 'hundreds' rather than 'tens'! The Exodus takes up the story with Jacob/Israel gone and the 'group dynamic' is shifting.

In the story of the Exodus (including Lev - Deut) we find different labels used and the problems is really trying to see how these labels relate to each other; we have references (even before Aaron) to priests, to elders, to officials, in Numbers to 'princes' of the different clans. How are we to understand these roles?


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/4 3:54Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
(the pater familias 'owned' the whole family and had the power of life and death over each member. It is the underlying dynamic of the Roman Catholic [u]church and the Mafia[/u].)



Now this helps me understand the work God did in my heart in the UK. I no longer have a fearful sense that the family of God is like the Mafia in which God is ready to bludgeon a family member that gets out of line, but a loving family in which God comes alongside and brings change by grace.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/4 5:53Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
In the story of the Exodus (including Lev - Deut) we find different labels used and the problems is really trying to see how these labels relate to each other; we have references (even before Aaron) to priests, to elders, to officials, in Numbers to 'princes' of the different clans. How are we to understand these roles?



I never really gave it much serious concentrated thought but what I see here is a complete structure with in a community. Here is how I see it at work. Level one is family i.e.>>>elders
This was a direct means to the individual tribes of Israel, each eldeer would have spoken the language of thier specific tribe and I'm sure there were stories past down about each of thier "heads" as it were as well as the over all heritage past down about the patriachs Abraham, Issiac, and Jacob. Which would help each group keep thier individual distinctive while at the same time hold them together as a nation.


While in the NT the priest is to be the head of the household, much like we see in Jobs witness, as it relates to church structure and the working of the priesthood. This would serve as a constant reminder to bring a nations attention always back the the One God hwo had brought them forth by election/redemption as a chosen people. That would give them purpose. But I'm not really sure how this system would transpose into todays "christian church" on a local setting.

Princes would almost have functioned as heads of state on a national setting and in the USA most local neighborhoods have counsilmen and women who represent the concerns to each neighborhood. I see princes as thoughs who represent. The trouble here is that when I hear the word prince I think in terms of authority which is often oppressive. So it's not elected authority but almost like birthed into authority,the silver spoon so to speak. I have NO Idea how this would play into the local church setting, not even a clue


:-o

blessings, bro. daryjl


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D.Miller

 2009/1/4 8:03Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
dohzman on 2009/1/4 10:03:05
Here is how I see it at work. Level one is family i.e.>>>elders
This was a direct means to the individual tribes of Israel, each eldeer would have spoken the language of thier specific tribe and I'm sure there were stories past down about each of thier "heads"


I am having a little difficulty following your line here. It was at least four generations before we read of elders in the Hebrew community in Egypt. Now that brings in another concept 'community'. I won't try to define the idea but lets try to hold the general idea of 'commune' hence common. These groups are larger than family but they have a sense of belonging; they have things 'in common'. (Not in the Acts sense) These communities have a level of 'leadership' which is wider than the patriarch; I don't read or get the sense that a particular tribe had its own particular elders. The elders had a wider area of responsibility.

The 'princes' do seem to have had tribal or clan connections as each tribe has its own 'prince'. It is not helped by the fact that the KJV uses the word 'prince' to translate several different Hebrew words and it is really quite a task to separate them out. I think the words tend to have a military feel and this is certainly the case in Num 1 where the 'marshalls' of Israel were one from each tribe/clan.

But that is running ahead of our story. The families had 'family type' leadership, the 'fathers' and this kind of structure could be called 'patriarchal'. It is when the whole nation is in view that we seem to get the use of the word 'elder'. One NT verse which this brings to mind is [color=0033FF]Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God* which He purchased with His own blood. Acts 20:28[/color]

...which specifically refers to the responsibility of the Ephesian elders for 'the whole flock'. These elders do not represent groups within the church but are to 'shepherd' the whole flock.

I think we need to take our time in defining these terms. The danger is that because 'elders' are not the way we do our society we will try to interpret the role in language that is familiar to us. For example, we must not think of 'elders' as some kind of board of directors, or a committee or any of the patterns with which we are familiar. We have to find out by usage just how these roles functioned. The Latin for elders, for example, is senator but you folks over there are going to have to clear the word out of your minds before you begin to understand its use in the classical world.

We do have the use of similar words in many languages, senator, elders, aldermen, presbyters, but the word use will have changed over the centuries and we cannot use our modern conceptions of these words. This is why you should never use a modern dictionary to try to understand biblical words.



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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/4 12:25Profile
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 Re: Ron

Quote:
It was at least four generations before we read of elders in the Hebrew community in Egypt

We may not read of the family distinctives but surely they exsisted long before we read of them, I mean Moses didn't just show up and tell themm "hey guys, you dudes over there, you're now Levites, and you guys over there are from the tribe of Judah or Gad etc... When you read of the account in Numbers you can see a very well maintained family structure. This sure didn't happen at the point in which we read of it here, This was generations of accounting. I see the elder for each tribe as possibly the oldest living son to the original head of the tribe, Like the tribe of Judah had an elder who was as close as possible a direct desendant of the man Judah and so forth.

It is true that American english is often times a a hinderence to understanding some of the words found in the bible, BUT, that's why God placed gifts in the church to help us understand so of these words :-)

Question: wasn't the word shepard used more in the sense of government leader in the OT?


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D.Miller

 2009/1/5 6:49Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
dohzman on 2009/1/5 8:49:37
I see the elder for each tribe as possibly the oldest living son to the original head of the tribe, Like the tribe of Judah had an elder who was as close as possible a direct desendant of the man Judah and so forth.


I may be mistaken but I don't think we have any record of 'the elder of Judah'. This is the point I am making. Elders seem to have a wider brief than that of the clan 'princes'. When I say 'wider' I don't mean 'greater' or more important. It's just that 'elders' don't seem to to be 'locally positioned' in the way that the 'princes' are.

and yes, the word shepherd does relate to rulers in the OT but then we have to work out which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

Rulers are called 'shepherds' because that is their responsibility and God hold's them accountable to what he has entrusted to them. However, we need to be careful that we don't run that equation backwards. ie 'shepherds' are not automatically 'rulers', although there is clearly a 'ruling' role that operates.

The book of the Revelation tells us that...

[color=0033FF]Rev 2:27 And [b]he shall rule[/b] them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.[/color]
...the word translated here as 'rule' is the verb [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4165&t=KJV]to shepherd[/url]. It is a word with a wide application as these verses will show.

There is an article on the word by Trench which is a bit technical but which might give some insights. Trench was a brilliant linguist and his work is always informative. You will find it [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/trench/section.cfm?sectionID=25&lexicon=true&strongs=G4165]here.[/url]

edit
It has occurred to me that there is a another little piece of evidence which shows that elders were not tribe-related,

[color=0033FF]Exd 24:1 And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.[/color]

That expression 'of the elders' means that this was a selection of 70 out of number that was larger than 70. Again there is no link to specific tribes here. Nor again at

[color=0033FF]Num 11:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.[/color]

I think these 'elders' are 'senior' (another word meaning older!) people in the community. They represent the whole community and not specific tribes. When they wanted people to represent tribes, as in the 'spies' they chose individuals quite specifically who WERE tribe-related. What do you think?


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/5 10:52Profile
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 Re:

When I traced back the OT word for Elder I came to Genesis 1

[color=000066] God made the two [u]great[/u] lights, the [u]greater[/u] light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; (Gen. 1:16 NASB)[/color]

It seems that this should be relevant because great and greater is also translated as [i]Elder[/i]. And if this is the first use of the term, what can we learn about what it means to be an 'elder' based on this passage? It looks to me like the governing was a natural consequence of being a great light.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/5 11:47Profile
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 Re: Ron/Robert

I can see that about the seventy elders now, how would that relate to what robert posted from gen1:16 and how does that work out in the flesh so to speak? You know when the apostles in the book of Acts told the early church to search out for them seven men full of the Holy Ghost and faith to take care of the widows. They gave qualifications but it seems that there was a lot of room for mistakes because it doesn't seem as if the Holy Spirit picked these men out in the same way He set apart Paul and Barnabus for His specific work. So on a local level how are elders picked? Age? or am I looking at 2 different things?


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D.Miller

 2009/1/5 12:12Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
RobertW on 2009/1/5 13:47:00
When I traced back the OT word for Elder I came to Genesis 1

God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; (Gen. 1:16 NASB)

It seems that this should be relevant because great and greater is also translated as Elder. And if this is the first use of the term, what can we learn about what it means to be an 'elder' based on this passage? It looks to me like the governing was a natural consequence of being a great light.



I think we may have got our wires crossed. The Hebrew word for elder in the references we have been discussing is [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H2205&t=KJV]Strong's H2205 - zaqen[/url].

The word for 'great' in Gen 1:16 is [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1419&t=KJV]Strong's H1419 - gadowl[/url]. It is translated as 'elder' on a few occasions but it really means 'the great' or 'greater'.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/5 14:14Profile





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