Saturday, May 19, 2007

Jesus and the Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom (3.1.2. Restoring the Davidic Ideal: The Twelve)

We have already seen that Jesus’ election of the twelve symbolizes an eschatological pan-Israelite hope.[1] His ministry in Galilee (and, as we shall see later, Samaria) may be understood within the larger context of the restoration of the united kingdom of David and Solomon. As the son of David, Jesus’ is depicted as restoring the united kingdom of David and Solomon, which was originally composed of all Israel— the northern tribes and those in the southern kingdom of “Judah” (the “Jews”).[2] David Ravens writes, “This restoration did not just entail the Jews alone but something altogether grander: nothing less than a return to the unity that had once existed under David.”[3] Finally, though Jesus’ openness to Gentiles has also been understood within the overall motif of national restoration,[4] as we have seen, the Davidic kingdom’s glory days provide the precedent for this vision. Interestingly, Solomon also chose twelve officers (1 Kgs 4:7).
[1] Paula Fredricksen, Jesus of Nazareth: King of the Jews (New York: Vintage, 1999), 98: “… if Jesus indeed taught that ultimately these twelve would judge the twelve tribes, then he was thinking eschatologically. To assemble the twelve tribes… would take a miracle. But that, I think, is what Jesus was expecting.” See also Meier, A Marginal Jew, 3:148-154; Sanders, Jesus and Judaism, 98. The Apostles' role as "fishers of men" (Matt 4:19) may also be linked to restoration hopes (e.g., cf. Jer 16:14-15). For more on that see this post.
[2] Sean Freyne notes that the Galileans were Israelites of non-Jewish stock. See Sean Freyne, Galilee, Jesus and the Gospels: Literary Approaches and Historical Investigations (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988), 170-71. In addition, see pages 130-31.
[3] Ravens, Luke and the Restoration of Israel, 99.
[4] Sanders, Jesus and Judaism, 323.

Continue to the next post in this series...

Complete outline (with links) of first two parts of "Jesus and the Restoration of the Kingdom" series

1 comment:

UP said...

Hi, Michael. Long time, no see.