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volgadon

The Heavenly Coronation of King David

35 posts in this topic

I'm about to post an account of the heavenly coronation of King David. Fairly impressive evidence that monotheism is a misused word in studies of Judaism as late as the Byzantine era, if I do say so myself. Comments, suggestions and criticisms are all welcome. It is a long post, so I apologise in advance.

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One of the songs I learned as a child was this one,

,

though the melody we sang it to is more like this

.

The words are David melech Israel khai ve-kayyam (David, king of Israel, is alive and well). They are taken from an incident related in the Babylonian Talmud (t. Rosh ha-Shanah 25a) regarding the blessing of the new moon. Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi sends R. Hiyya to bless the new moon and report back if all goes well by sending a signal containing the phrase "David, king of Israel, is alive and well."

The link between King David and the moon did not originate with R. Judah. It is found in Ps. 89:37-38. "His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before Me. It shall be established for ever as the moon; and be steadfast as the witness in sky."

In early Judaism David was considered by many to still be alive, and that he would be the messiah. Others considered him more than a messiah, but a divine figure, if not a secondary god.

"One passage says: His throne was fiery flames (Dan. 7:9) and another passage says: Until thrones were placed; and One that was ancient of days did sit - there is no contradiction; One (throne) for Him, and one for David: this is the view of R. Akiba.

Said R. Jose the Galilean to him: 'Akiba, how long will you profane the Divine Presence [shekhinah]!

Say rather, one for justice and one for mercy.'

Did he accept this from him, or did he not accept it? - come and hear: 'One for justice and one for mercy'; this is the view of R. Akiba."

-Babylonian Talmud, t. Hagigah 14a.

More on this controversy can be found in pg. 47-48 of Alan Segal's "Two Powers in Heaven" and in Daniel Boyarin's "Border Lines" pg. 140-145.

The following source should illustrate my point on David's role as a divine co-ruler with God.

Eleh Ezkerah, or the Midrash on the Ten Martyrs, was one of the most popular and influential texts in Judaism. it was composed in Geonic times, but based on several earlier traditions. The "Ten Martyrs" relates how the Roman emperor decreed that ten leading Jewish sages were to be seized and put to death. They were to be punished vicariously for the sin of their ten ancestors. They sold their brother Joseph into slavery, an act which Torah states is punishable by death.

Rabbi Nehunia ha-Qanah sends his disciple R. Ishmael on a heavenly ascent to

discover if the decree was decreed in heaven as well. If it were an earthly decree, then they could overturn it by their piety and mystical powers.

R. Ishmael discovers that God has allowed the decree to stand in order to fulfil the demands of justice, and in return for the deaths of the ten sages, Rome will be obliterated.

When R. Ishmael returns, the ten sages submit to the yoke of heaven and are cruelly executed by Rome.

Eleh Ezkerah is, historically-speaking, a jumbled mess. The ten martyrs did not all live and die at the same time, and the political and religious reality of life under the Byzantine Empire rubs shoulders with those of the Bar-Kochba Revolt and the Hadrianic persecutions.

What follows is part of the earlier Eleh Ezkerah material included in the mystical text Heichalot Rabbati.

Heichalot Rabbati, Apocalypse One, translated by Morton Smith. I ammended the translation slightly to better fit the biblical references in the original.

[segansegael, the Prince of the Presence, said to R. Ishmael]

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This is awesome. We have all kinds of divine mediators and second gods: Yahoel, Melchizedek, Metatron, Logos, Wisdom, Jacob, and now David.

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So is he king of the Telestial Kingdom? According to LDS Theology that is all David can hope for.

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So is he king of the Telestial Kingdom? According to LDS Theology that is all David can hope for.

It is according to radical fundamentalist RLDS ex-Mormon interpretations of LDS theology.

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It is according to radical fundamentalist RLDS ex-Mormon interpretations of LDS theology.

I am pretty radical. Thanks for recognizing that.

From the Bible Dictionary:

David is still unforgiven, but he received a promise that the Lord would not leave his soul in hell. He will be resurrected at the end of the Millennium. Because of his transgressions, he has fallen from his exaltation.

He is part of the last resurrection, according to the study helps found within the LDS scriptures. Who is resurrected in the last resurrection? Telestial level persons.

Next time show me why I am wrong instead of throwing around pointless insults.

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I am pretty radical. Thanks for recognizing that.

From the Bible Dictionary:

He is part of the last resurrection, according to the study helps found within the LDS scriptures. Who is resurrected in the last resurrection? Telestial level persons.

Next time show me why I am wrong instead of throwing around pointless insults.

I was looking for an official source, of which the Bible Dictionary is not nor ever has been.

But, you are a radical, fundamentalist ex-Mormon who has embraced a conservative branch of the Reorganization. That was not an insult. It was an observation. Your problem is that you find observations insulting, and for that I pity you. Rather than getting this thread shutdown (as you and LDSGuy1986 are notorious for), I suggest you actually engage what Volgadon has posted.

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I was looking for an official source, of which the Bible Dictionary is not nor ever has been.

But, you are a radical, fundamentalist ex-Mormon who has embraced a conservative branch of the Reorganization. That was not an insult. It was an observation. Your problem is that you find observations insulting, and for that I pity you. Rather than getting this thread shutdown (as you and LDSGuy1986 are notorious for), I suggest you actually engage what Volgadon has posted.

I am... the question being, "How does the text jive with LDS theology concerning the fall of David?"

YOU have derailed the thread by making posts speaking of me personally, not dealing with anything I have said.

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It has much more to do with symbolic representations relative to the temple endowment than whether the figure represented will or will not be exalted.

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So is he king of the Telestial Kingdom? According to LDS Theology that is all David can hope for.

LDS theology regarding David isn't really the point. The point is monotheism and its misuse in Jewish studies. The fact that David was considered deified in Jewish circles demonstrates that not only could there be more than one divine being, but humans could attain this divine status.

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LDS theology regarding David isn't really the point. The point is monotheism and its misuse in Jewish studies. The fact that David was considered deified in Jewish circles demonstrates that not only could there be more than one divine being, but humans could attain this divine status.

Just because the idea was had is Jewish circles doesn't make it true, either...

Jacob 4:14

But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble.

Seems ancient Jewish esoteric teachings should be the one of the last places we look to determine truth.

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Just because the idea was had is Jewish circles doesn't make it true, either...

Just because people have said they've seen God, angels, or whatever else doesn't make it true either. The point is the modern understanding of monotheism is not historically universal in Jewish (or Christian, for that matter) sects.

If you have nothing to add, I suggest not participating in this thread.

Seems ancient Jewish esoteric teachings should be the one of the last places we look to determine truth.

But they sure help us understand the 1st century Christian movement. For example, see

James F. McGrath, The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in its Jewish Context (University of Illinois Press, 2009).

Larry W. Hurtado, One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism, 2nd ed. (Continuum, 1998).

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For those interested, this page has a number of excellent sources on Jewish monotheism.

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Kopli, David being in the Telestial (or at least, having lost his exaltation, meaning terrestrial or lower) is talked about in D&C 132.

But in terms of divinity, it is possible to lose it, and so that is perhaps why there seems to be a contradiction. He obtained exaltation - only to lose it. You can obtain exaltation in this life, that is, but you only live in it after judgment.

Or at least those are my thoughts behind it. But I could be wrong =).

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I was looking for an official source, of which the Bible Dictionary is not nor ever has been.

True enough according to it's own introduction. But besides D&C 132, there is also Acts 2:34 showing that David has fallen from his exaltation because he missed the first resurrection which began at Matthew 27:52-53.

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I am... the question being, "How does the text jive with LDS theology concerning the fall of David?"

Easy enough. It doesn't.

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So is he king of the Telestial Kingdom? According to LDS Theology that is all David can hope for.

I'm not dealing with LDS theology relating to David. I posted an essay on David's role and status in early Judaism. It challenges traditional views of ancient monotheism. It also outlines what a Davidic messiah would be. Do you want to engage those topics or are strawmen funner?

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Just because the idea was had is Jewish circles doesn't make it true, either...

Never claimed it was. For the record, I don't believe that David is a deutero-theos. I subscribe to the prevalent LDS view that David is in the Tellestial kingdom. This, however, is neither here nor there in my thread.

What is true is that this is a Jewish text dating to the early to mid-Byzantine era, and that wide circles in monotheistic Judaism were fine with moratls occupying a place as co-rulers with God.

Are you going to deal with my post at all?

Seems ancient Jewish esoteric teachings should be the one of the last places we look to determine truth.

Yet the fact that they inhabit a world close to that of our scriptures should have us studying them.

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But they sure help us understand the 1st century Christian movement. For example, see

James F. McGrath, The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in its Jewish Context (University of Illinois Press, 2009).

Larry W. Hurtado, One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism, 2nd ed. (Continuum, 1998).

Absolutely. How is it that people confessing a one and only God could venerate a second one, a man to boot? Traditions like the one I've posted help explain that.

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Thanks! I've just got one thing to say to this:

I've Got Hurt Feelings!

You could also say

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It has much more to do with symbolic representations relative to the temple endowment than whether the figure represented will or will not be exalted.

Good point. It also shows one view on the ritual aspect of salvation and exaltation.

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LDS theology regarding David isn't really the point. The point is monotheism and its misuse in Jewish studies. The fact that David was considered deified in Jewish circles demonstrates that not only could there be more than one divine being, but humans could attain this divine status.

I love the tying of David's own fate to that of Israel, both temporally and escatologically. Sin --> Suffering --> Redemption --> Exaltation. "Thou shalt not leave my soul in Sheol!" is David's cry, just as it is the cry of every suffering Child of Israel, natural born or adopted. That is the cry of faith, and as David's soul is not only lifted out of Hell but is ennobled, glorified, deified and placed on a throne in the presence of G-d, to rule with Him forever, so it is the fate of suffering Israel to be lifted and crowned with glory.

Absolutely beautiful stuff, volga. My eyes are still misty.

USU "And the bit about the Angel of the Presence weeping for man's sad fate was especially good" 78

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