Some very good artists have something in common with some very talented hymnists and songwriters / singers—they were very poor Bible students and their art, while often being very good art (even some of the finest), is completely unbiblical and has crippled the minds of centuries of Christians. David and Isaac, likewise, have something in common due to artists with poor Bible knowledge who depicted them millennia after they lived.
David is often portrayed as a “boy” fighting Goliath. Although David was the youngest of Jesse’s sons (and Jesse was a very old man) David was by no means a boy. David kept his father’s sheep because someone needed to do so; not because he was a child who could do nothing else—furthermore, keeping the sheep was a man’s job; as Jacob showed us, the shepherd often had to camp out and sleep in the open with the flock, and be able to defend it against predators (or thieves); and a shepherd may have needed to be able to carry a sheep to safety, if it had fallen into a crevice or gotten itself into a precarious position, or injured itself. Female adult sheep may weigh on average 100 pounds (and up to 220 pounds, depending on breed). David probably enjoyed being a shepherd. David was a talented harpist and poet / songwriter, and where would one get the inspiration and have the time to be so skilled? David is even recorded, some time antecedent to the time that he was called to play before Saul, to have killed a bear and a lion who tried to steal one of his father’s sheep. Have you ever seen a boy do that? Scripture informs us that Saul gave his own sword and armor to David; and some artists depict David as a boy and depict the armor as being way too big for him. Scripture does not say that the armor was too big—though that was inferrable, since Saul stood head and shoulders above every other Israelite; and thus SAUL was the one who should have fought Goliath; but God was no longer with Saul.
Showing God’s Sovereignty and Determinism, Scripture tells us that God’s Spirit left Saul and filled David! Previously, Scripture tells us of Saul, when Saul was anointed king, “God gave him another heart.... and the Spirit of God came upon him” (I Samuel 10:9,10). Even further, after the Spirit of the Lord left Saul, an evil spirit from the Lord afflicted Saul; and the soothing music played by David (who was filled with God’s Spirit) assuaged Saul when he was troubled (by an evil spirit from the Lord)—which irony itself highlights God’s Sovereignty and Determinism, even as Scripture declares:
“The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.” (I Samuel 2:6)
“But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another.” (Psalm 75:7)
“The LORD lifteth up the meek: He casteth the wicked down to the ground.” (Psalm 147:6)
“And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it.” (Ezekiel 17:24)
“...for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (I Peter 5:5)
And forget not the glimpse into Divine Sovereignty and Determinism in the case of Pharaoh: Around a dozen times Scripture records that God Himself hardened Pharaoh’s heart—and then punished Pharaoh for having a hard heart. Other times Scripture says that God hardened the hearts of the kings of cursed nations, so that they would battle against God’s people and be destroyed!
“The king’s heart is in the Hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.” (Proverbs 21:1)
“It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His Good Pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
“And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His Will in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His Hand, or [authoritatively] say unto Him, ‘What doest thou?’” (Daniel 4:35)
However, there is more evidence in Scripture that David was not a boy. At the time that David began to play the harp for Saul, Scripture tells us that David at that time was already “a mighty valiant man, and a man of war” (I Samuel 16:18). According to the Law of God a male is considered a man and eligible for war at the age of 20. So at the time that David fought Goliath he was probably at least 21 years old. Also, Goliath was not a Philistine, he was a champion for the Philistines. Goliath was descended from the giant blood of the Amorite-Canaanites who occupied the town before the Philistines conquered it. However, it needs to be remembered that the Israelites did not have weapons of war, the Philistines had deprived them of that, and deprived them of a smith, and the Israelites even had to go to the Philistines to have their tools sharpened. The Israelites, like the Scots, for the most part had farm tools as their weapons; so going against a giant with forged, professional weapons of war, having only a farm tool yourself, was indeed a fearful prospect. However, Saul and his son Jonathan each had a sword—even more shameful, therefore, was it that Saul himself did not take up the challenge. David put him and every other Israelite to shame.
[Showing his shame, Saul issued a senseless edict during one battle, that no soldier was to eat under pain of execution, until the battle was won; and then when it was learned that someone had eaten, in his conceited arrogance he declared that whoever it was would be put to death—even were it his own son Jonathan (who at this time had risen in prominence in the eyes of the people for his bravery and skill in battle; and it was Jonathan whose heroic act had turned the tide of the battle). However, this is a passage that has been overlooked for far-too long and it is of monumental importance. Saul, when it was revealed that his son Jonathan, indeed, was the guilty party, declared that Jonathan was to be put to death. However—
“And the people said unto Saul, ‘Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day.’ So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not.” (I Samuel 14:45)
WOULD TO GOD that our people did so on a regular basis. Had we done so far-fewer wars, injustice, and corruption would have taken place over the past 4,000 years...! The Divine Right of Kings indeed is true—because God sets up and knocks down—but it is NOT an “absolute” right or power. Thomas Jefferson declared, “What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance?” This resistance is NOT to “authority” (for the true people are the true Government)—it is resistance to their unauthorized abuse of power.
In the U.S., the true people are the “government”; and government officials are our servants. When Scripture says, “obey them that have the rule over you”—in the U.S. this is referring to politicians being dutibound to obey the true people who presumably elected them (presumably, if the election is fair and valid—and most today are not and have not been for 75 to 150 years). However, not even kings, according to the Word of God, are authorities unto themselves. In reality a king and his people enjoy a special and specific relationship: The people will obey the king—as long as the king rules righteously, according to the Law, and as long as the king himself obeys God. It is a contract. That’s what Magna Charta was: a contract. When politicians violate their campaign promises and violate the Constitution they commit treason and “unelect” themselves and are no longer valid authority—nothing founded upon fraud is valid.
I Samuel 11:15 informs us,
“And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal...”
Tell me, if the people had within themselves the authority (so invested by God) to MAKE Saul king, how then did Saul have absolute authority over the people? He did not—and neither do “rulers” (or more properly, representatives) today. People forget this and forge in their minds imaginary shackles and prison bars that hold them impotently in self-captivity.
Also, God caused Israel and Judah to be conquered and deported because of the sins of their wicked kings, respectively, Jeroboam I. (I Kings 14:16) and Manasseh (during his early evil days; though he himself repented in early captivity and God had him restored; II Kings 21:11-16; 24:3). Clearly if God punished His people for the wickedness of their kings, then God holds the people responsible for their kings; and if God holds the people responsible for the actions of their kings it is not only the right of the people, their authority—but their duty to demand that their king obey God, the Law of the Land, or be cast down and sentenced as God’s Word demands.
Our very first Supreme Court Chief Justice (do you think that maybe HE knew better what was “Constitutional” than subversive, immoral, alien antichrists today do...?) John Jay declared,
“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for our rulers.” [Emphasis mine.]
English poet, intellectual, and civil servant John Milton (1608-1674) expressed:
“It being very certain that the doctrine of the gospel is neither contrary to reason nor the law of nations, that man is truly subject to the higher powers who obey the laws and the magistrates so far as they govern according to law. So that St. Paul does not only command the people, but princes themselves, to be in subjection; who are not above the laws, but bound by them... but whatever power enables a man, or whatsoever magistrate takes upon him[self], to act contrary to what St. Paul makes the duty of those that are in authority, neither is that power nor that magistrate ordained of God. And consequently to such a magistrate no subjection is commanded, nor is any due, nor are the people forbidden to resist such authority; for in so doing they do not resist the power nor the magistracy, as they are here [in Romans 13] excellently well described, but they resist a robber, a tyrant, an enemy.” [Brackets mine.]
Thomas Jefferson also penned,
“The constitutions of most of our states assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and their duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property and freedom of the press.”
and most-famous of all:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government layings its foundations on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall most likely effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light or transient causes, and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.... And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” —The Declaration of Independence [Emphasis mine.]
It needs to be realized—whether Truth / God haters like it or not—the U.S. Constitution, as the Bible itself, is to be interpreted according to what the words meant in the minds of the author at the time written, not according to corrupt modern notions. Reality does not change because the majority don’t like it.
[For a far-greater, detailed discussion of this topic of obedience and authority and Romans 13, see, The War Between the Children of Light and the Powers of Darkness, 502pp., pb., 20.00 + P&H; Hb., 30.00 + P&H and for greater information on the Constitution and the Common Law, see The Liberty Document, 330pp., 20.00 + P&H and America, Christianity, Liberty & Truth, Volume 4, 405pp., pb., 20.00 + P&H.
P&H = 10% (5.00 minimum) within the U.S.]
In my Commentary on James 2* (which touches on many different Scriptures that spin off from that chapter), I wrote:
[* 522pp., pb., 25.00 + P&H.]
“Jesse was alive when David was anointed by Samuel, when David was 22 years old. Scripture does not speak more of Jesse except shortly thereafter when Saul sent messengers to Jesse asking that his son David come to play the harp to calm Saul’s disposition. At that time, Scripture recorded: “...Jesse... went among men for an old man in the days of Saul” (I Samuel 17:12). We also know from Scripture that the High Priest Eli was born in 2790 A.A.; and lived to be 98 years old (I Samuel 4:15), so he died in 2888 A.A. This was 35 years before the birth of David, so this is a good base-range for determining how long men lived in the time of David’s father Jesse. Jesse was considered an old man, so let us conjecture that Jesse also lived to be 98; thus, David was born possibly when Jesse was 76.”
[A.A. = Anno Adami, from the time of Adam’s formation; my own dating method and of Bible chronology.]
Likewise, Isaac is often portrayed as a boy when Abraham offered him up. Abraham indeed offered up Isaac to God, though the angel of the Lord prevented him before he actually killed Isaac; but God knows the heart and thoughts and intents and knew that Abraham would have carried it out. Scripture records the “Angel of the Lord” (Christ Himself),
“And He said, ‘Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from Me’.”
[If Abraham had not withheld Isaac, indeed he offered him.]
“17By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the Promises offered up his only begotten son, 18Of whom it was said, ‘That in Isaac shall thy seed be called’: 19Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure [parable].” (Hebrews 11)
[Concerning the meaning of “received him [Isaac] in a parable”—most commentators, not seeing the forest for the trees, completely miss the simple meaning. Abraham received from God the Promise of Isaac and a multitudinous seed in a parable—and clearly God could not keep His Promise / Covenant if Isaac was dead, having not himself sired a son:
“4And, behold, the Word of the LORD came unto him, saying, ‘This [Eliezer of Damascus, thy chief servant] shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels* shall be thine heir.’ 5And He brought [led] him forth abroad, and said, ‘Look now toward heaven, and tell [count] the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be’. 6And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness.” (Genesis15)
* Bowels was the wrong word to use. The word bowels, or more properly, “the bowel”, refers to the large intestine, the colon. The word bowels comes to us from Latin botellus [a diminutive of botulus] through Old French bouel. Botellus means, “small sausage”. This is not the meaning of the Hebrew #4578 mey-aw, “to be soft”. In a woman it can by extension refer to the womb. Although “the bowels of a ship” do not refer to the sewage line, but to the deep internal cavity, this is not the intention either. The intention of the Hebrew word used in reference to being the inner viscera that is specifically responsible for reproduction; which is not the bowels! In Hebrew, the specific meaning of a general word is quite often tailor-suited by context.
Similarly, God declared to Jacob, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins” (Genesis 35:11). The Hebrew word here rendered loins is #2504 khaw-lawts and means, presumably “seat of vigor, center of strength”, though often translated loins or reigns, this too is improper. The word loin comes from Old French loigne referring to the hip, haunch, and / or muscle surrounding the lumbar, from Vulgar Latin lumbea, from Latin lumbus. This, of course, is not what the Hebrew word refers to. Oddly, the Hebrew root #2502 khaw-lahts, means, “to pull off, strip”, presumably, an act that one performs on another, and thus, #2504 khaw-lawts refers by extension to “strength”. The loins refer to the area / muscle between the ribs and the pelvis. This is considered an area of strength, because it joins the upper torso to the hip. This is the area on an animal (like a horse, dog, or cat) that requires a short, strong muscle to carry power from the legs forward in a sprint. Scripture says, “Gird up thy loins”. This may be considered like someone who is about to lift a heavy weight (whether in contruction, moving, or weight-lifting competition) strapping on tightly a “kidney belt” or weight lifting belt to give added support to the lower back so a muscle is not pulled and to prevent a disc from slipping. Understand, therefore, that the intention is not literally the loin muscle, but a figurative comparison. Even as the loin muscle is the center of strength (joining the torso and the hip / legs), so also this figurative loins refers to the seat of procreation in comparable visual aid. The intention being, “as the loins are to the integrity and centering joining of the strength of the body, so are the chromosomes of a man in his perpetuating that body”.
The word translated “navel” is so used in Scripture: “It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” (Proverbs 3:8) However, I do not believe that this word means navel, but “DNA”. The Hebrew word #8270 shor (long o sound) means, “a string (as twisted)”. Understand, this word would not refer to the navel, but it would refer to the ubilical cord—which people no longer have; the navel is merely the scar from where the umbilical cord was shortly after birth, which cord provided all the nutrients for the fetus before being born. Health to ones belly button would be meaningless. Health to ones DNA, what makes a person who he is genetically, indeed, would confer great meaning.]
I also explain in my Commentary on James 2,
“However, note 2 things: 1. Abraham tied Isaac up before he prepared to sacrifice him; and 2. Isaac was probably a minimum of 25 years old at the time. What did Abraham tell Isaac in advance...? What did they say to each other afterwards...? I cannot see Abraham (125 years old) overcoming Isaac by force or tricking Isaac; neither would Abraham “knock Isaac out” from behind. How could Isaac ever trust his father again if any of that had happened...? I believe Abraham explained it to Isaac and Isaac obeyed and allowed himself to be tied up. This is an astounding discovery, once one realizes that it has to be the only answer. Isaac laid his life down. Amazing! This is certainly a glaring omission for someone who likes closure...! Yet Scripture does not even give us a hint as to the conversation or if they ever shared this little tidbit of information with Sarah—or whether they agreed just to let it be ‘their little secret.’ Can you imagine Isaac nonchalantly telling his mother over dinner, ‘Oh, by the way, dad tried to kill me today, but God stopped him... How was your day...? Could you please pass the rutabagas...?’”
Clearly, Isaac was a type of Christ, and it would be only fitting for him, in obedience to and trust of the father, to lay his life down! While treachery indeed was used in the betrayal of Christ—Abraham does not typify Judas, but God the Father! “He that spared not His Own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
This problem of falsely imagining Isaac (or David) to be a boy is due to the misunderstanding of numerous Hebrew words that are used. In this case, the Hebrew word #5288 nah-ar, that is rendered “lad”. The word has a very broad meaning and can refer to the age of infancy to young adulthood. I imagine that the meaning is tailored according to usage. I imagine that it is one of comparison. Clearly, if Isaac was 25 and Abraham was 125, Isaac to Abraham was but a lad. It is similar in English to parents refering to their offspring as their “kids”, regardless of age. Though I am 59, I talk to individuals in their 70s or 80s who call me, “young man”. It can also be likened to local hillybillys who refer to those younger than them as “young’ins”—even if those young’ins are in their fifties. More important is the root of this Hebrew word, #5286 naw-ar, which is very descriptive and certainly does not refer to a newborn; it means, “(probably identical with #5286 [naw-ar*], through the idea of the rustling of mane, which usually accompanies the lion’s roar); to tumble about:—shake (off, out, self), overthrow, toss up and down”. Male lions start to develop their manes around the age of 2, which signals the onset of sexual maturity, which is not complete until the age of 4. A male lion that is 2 years old, is the equivalent of 15 years old in a human years, and a male lion that is 4 years old is the equivalent of 25 years in a human. However, the mane is not full, as the Hebrew word infers, in “rustling” until age 4, even as generally older teen boys develop soft, fine facial hair, but it does not turn into thick, coarse hair of a beard or mustache until about age 20.
[* Strong for some reason lists these two as distinct (different) Hebrew words, though they sound the same and are spelled the same. This, of course, would mean that they are the same.]
Herein we also see another false depiction by artists; whether their intentions were pure or not: Scripture does not say that the Angel of the Lord stayed Abraham’s hand, but that the Angel called to Abraham. Furthermore, the depiction of many skilled artists has Abraham with dagger raised above his head, about to plunge downward, and the angel grabbing the hand. However, while this makes for dramatic art, the intention of which is clear, it gives the wrong impression in the mind for all generations to come. God did not have His people sacrifice animals unto Him as the savages do, plunging a knife into the heart. The victim was tied to the altar to prevent it thrashing around after the main artery in the throat (not the entire throat) was cut, leaving the victim to bleed out—and the life is in the blood, so it was only proper for that substitute life to gush out and temporarily cover the sin of the offerant.
Artists also blatantly misrepresent Scripture when they portray angels, and even the Angel of the Lord, as women (or as fat little naked babies!). Whenever angels are mentioned in Scripture, adult males alone are described.
Here is good reason that sincere artists, hymnists, and songwriters should consult sound theologians before they endeavor to depict the Scriptures—for their false depiction (regardless of motive) is as serious as false doctrine in a sermon. False doctrine is a sin. Mistakes and accidents are also sin, though intention may enable the judgment to be lighter. Ignorant sin is sin nonetheless and has to be adjudicated, repented of, confessed, and covered. God declared a curse and judgment upon those false prophets who presumed to speak in His Name, and say, “Thus saith the Lord—” though the Lord had NOT spoken to them.