Saturday, January 7, 2012

Middle Eastern Irony

It took me a little while to appreciate the irony of this letter that came in the mail from Bethlehem Bible College late last year:

The stamp looks innocuous enough, displaying a typical Israeli dish of St. Peter's Fish:

But I'm guessing that no one from the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank would have selected this stamp if they read the Hebrew:

שנהיה לראש ולא לזנב
"...that we will be the head and not the tail"

. . .  and recognized the allusion to Deuteronomy 28:13:

 וּנְתָנְךָ יהוה לְרֹאשׁ וְלֹא לְזָנָב
"The LORD will make you the head and not the tail"

The emblem of Bethlehem Bible College in the middle of the envelope points to a double irony. (Was it intentional?):

 For Christians who affirm that the star which rose in the east pointed to the Star "that rises from Jacob" (Num 24:17), the "lion of the tribe of Judah," Deuteronomy 28:13 will find its ultimate fulfilment in Bethlehem Bible College's Messiah.

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