Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Wisdom and Jesus at Christmas

OLD TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH: Christmas lightning (Brad Roth, The Doxology Project Blog).
The Wisdom of Solomon, an ancient scripture now found in the Protestant Apocrypha, is sometimes read on Christmas Eve. It goes like this:
For while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone, your all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne, into the midst of the land that was doomed, a stern warrior (Wisdom 18:14)
The passage was originally intended as a poetic description of the coming of the angel of death to take the Egyptian firstborn, but it gets retrofitted in Christian tradition to describe the coming of Christ on Christmas. Talk about reinterpretation. I love the action and intensity of the text. The night’s “swift course was now half gone.” The word “leaped from heaven.” The word landed in a doomed land as “a stern warrior.” It gives Christmas Eve a bit of an edge.
I didn't know that, although now that I look at the passage I suppose that it hardly could have been otherwise. By the way, the full references is Wisdom 18:14-15.