Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Parables in the Old Testament

The evidence from the Old Testament indicates that parables are reserved for times of judgement. The singer of Psalm 78 says that he will speak a parable or dark saying (Psalm 78:2) and then he goes on to speak of Israel's sins and judgements that fell on her because of them. Nathan tells David a parable because of David's sin and God's looming judgement on him (2 Samuel 12:1). Gideon's son Jotham told a parable to the men of Shechem because they had chosen the mass-murderer Ambimelech to be their King, and he was prophesying that they would come under judgement for killing all of his brothers (Judges 9:1-21). Ezekiel tells the parables of judgment against Israel (Ezekiel 17, 24). Corresponding to this, Jesus tells his disciples that he is speaking in parables because Israel is again in a time of judgment. He appeals to the prophecy of Isaiah and the impending judgment in his time to explain the situation (Isaiah 6:9-12) (p87-88 The Victory According to Mark)

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