[b-hebrew] PQD in English in 1 Sam 15

Bill Rea bsr15 at cantsl.it.canterbury.ac.nz
Wed May 4 19:46:33 EDT 2005

Ben wrote:-

>Thank you for the correction, Bill. I should have been more careful. In
>Joshua 7 Achan had ample opportunity to confess, but failed to do so
>until it was too late. Only after the elimination process had singled him
>out, did he admit to what he had done. By then God had already directed
>that the sinner should be burnt with fire (7:15). Achan's sin was
>private; but its effects were nationwide in the defeat at Ai. "The Ruin"
>Ha`aY was nearly Israel's ruin. Achan had taken of the XeReM (verse 11).
>The remedy for Israel was to sanctify themselves QaDDe$ ... HiT:QaDD:$uW
>(verse 13). If Achan had confessed then, and produced the contraband, God
>might have been merciful unto him; it was not to be.

Unfortunately you missed my point and I fear we're all just reiterating
entrenched positions. But to clarify. The text itself gives us zero
information on the role of Achan's family in this. Did they know and
approve of Achan's taking objects under the ban? We do not know either
way.  It further gives us zero information on how his family could have
avoided execution. What it does tell us is that Achan took the objects
under the ban and that he and his whole family were executed for this.

The original claim was that there are no instances anywhere in the
Bible where children or descendants are punished for the sins of
their father or ancestors. Several such instances have been advanced
including Achan and family. All of these have been ``explained away''
by various participants but in ways I find unconvincing.

To address your claim that Achan could have repented. I'll accept that
he could because the text clearly says he took the objects under the
ban. But my point was about Achan's family. I appears to me that to
claim they had a way of salvation open to them requires more knowledge
of what happened than the text cares to tell us. Don't blame me for that
omission, I didn't write the text :-)

Invoking Occam's razor (a hazardous act) the simplest explanation is
that Achan's family were executed because of their father's sin.

While we, as people who have grown up under a different legal system,
find this morally repugnant, it seems entirely consistent with
their world. I recall an early post on this subject by Jim West
where quoted from Ezekial 18 in which the practice of punishing
the children for the sins of the fathers is specifically revoked,
see v20. Below is Ez 18:2,3.

2."What do you mean by using this proverb concerning the land of
Israel, saying, `The fathers eat the sour grapes, But the children's teeth
are set on edge'?
3."As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "you are surely not going to
use this proverb in Israel anymore.

This is my final post on the subject.

Bill Rea, IT Services, University of Canterbury \_
E-Mail bill.rea at canterbury.ac.nz               </   New
Phone 64-3-364-2331, Fax  64-3-364-2332       /)  Zealand
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