“I Put on You and You Put on Me…”

Continuing the “covenant marriage” theme, Wisdom cites Malachi 2:14 – the only Scripture in the Bible where you actually find the word “covenant” used in direct relationship to marriage – and Proverbs 2:16-17. Glenn then launches into a discussion of marriage illustrated by the “covenant between Jonathan and David” (I Sam. 18:1-4).

Of the several historic covenants that appear in Scripture (see footnotes in prior post), not a single one is mentioned in Wisdom as background or an essential model. Instead, Glenn selects an illustration of her “covenant marriage” theme from a peculiar source: Jonathan and David. Dale Fincher weighs in on this later.

On p. 110 Glenn observes:

“There are usually seven steps in beginning a covenant. Jonathan and David’s covenant utilized most of them. All seven are not used in each covenant recorded in the Bible, but these are seven compiled steps.” (p. 110).

A curious attempt to illustrate a theme that’s not illustrating a theme?

Glenn continues, noting the “exchange of robes” between Jonathan and David “symbolized putting on the identity of the covenant partner: ‘I put on you and you put on me.’ (p. 110) The putting on of a robe as a symbol of identification is found throughout the Bible.”

For support, Glenn cites Genesis 37:3, II Samuel 13:18, I Kings 22:10, Esther 5:1 and Luke 15:22. Without reviewing each reference in detail, suffice it to say that Glenn’s hermeneutic is questionable. Just one example: In Genesis 37:3 Jacob gives a robe to Joseph. The robe in this passage is a mark of Jacob’s favoritism, which isn’t quite “putting on the identity of the covenant partner.” (If Glenn’s logic is valid, what “covenant” did Jacob and his son enter into in this passage?)

Glenn’s view is that “Each of these people wore special robes signifying a special role. The robe denoted their identity and in some cases, their authority” (p. 110). However, jumping from that statement to the very next sentence requires a logical contortion worthy of an Olga Korbut routine: “In marriage, we put on our partner’s identity.”

Dale Fincher of Soulation analyzes this statement later. Stay tuned.

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