Tag Archives: elisha

Asaph the Psalmist, and His Son Joseph


The_Beatles_and_Lill-Babs_1963How difficult is it to live in the shadow of a famous parent? How do you make your mark as an individual when your father or mother is a famous musician, artist, or actor? And worse, if you go into the same field as them– can you ever really escape the comparison? Could you ever live up to that? I am not sure I could. But that was the story for the first Joseph in this series, the son of Asaph: a musician and prophet of God, overshadowed by his much more famous father.

But who was Asaph? He was a Levite, a priest of David during the period before the First Temple, when the Tabernacle still sat on the Temple Mount. But he was not just any priest, he was the John Lennon of the priests. He was the very first musician-priest to say a blessing over the Tabernacle in Jerusalem, not to mention the writer of twelve of our psalms in the Book of Psalms– second only to King David in authorship. I am sure that almost no one has heard of him today, but in biblical terms is was a Big Deal.

Asaph the Psalmist and his son, the first among the musician-prophets of Jerusalem. Read on for more.

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Snow in the Bible – Part One – Leprosy and Purity

snow-in-jerusalemI made one huge mistake in my last trip to Jerusalem, in January: I didn’t bring a heavy enough coat. As an American, I tend to think of Israel as a hot place– and indeed it is much of the time.  Tel Aviv rarely gets below freezing and even in the winter the overnight lows tend to be in the forties. Jerusalem is in the mountains and tends to be a bit colder than Tel Aviv– as I found out– and it snows there with accumulations every few years. This January, Jerusalem was blanketed by nearly eight inches of powder! In the far north of Israel, on Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, it even snows enough for a ski resort.

With my eyes opened to snow in the land of Israel, my second though turned to snow in the bible. I couldn’t remember even a single bible story that involved snow. Seeing this as a challenge, I set about to research everywhere that snow appears in the bible. And it does appear: twenty-seven times in the Hebrew Bible– most often in the Book of Job– and three more in the New Testament. While it factors directly in only one bible side-story, the way that it is used as an image or metaphor in different parts of the bible display a beautiful complexity.

This first part covers the very first mentions of snow in the Torah and how the metaphor of snow started as one of impurity ultimately transitioned to one of purity. Additional posts will follow. It’s exciting! Read on for more.

Continue reading Snow in the Bible – Part One – Leprosy and Purity