“I’m The One That You Want”

The *previous posting* spoke of the arrangement agreed upon between Jacob and his Uncle Laban, whereby Jacob would work in his uncle’s fields for seven years in exchange for Jacob’s taking to wife at the end of this period, Laban’s beautiful younger daughter, Rachel.

At the end of the last day of this seven years, Jacob – lean, bronzed, and otherwise in fine shape after his seven years toil under the relentlessly clear  skies and burning sun of Mesopotamia – went to his Uncle Laban and said, “OK Uncle, now that I’m finished my part of our bargain I want Rachel now. I can’t wait to sleep with her. Where is she?”

“Not so fast, old chap” said Laban, “First we must have a feast to celebrate your taking Rachel to wife.”

“How long will this take?”

“Well, feasts being feasts, it could last well into the night, you know how these things go. You can wait a just bit longer can’t you?”

“I suppose so, but it will be difficult.”

Laban gathered together all the men in the area and they had a huge and boisterous feast at which Jacob was the guest of honour. So much was eaten and drunk that it was late into the night when the first guests began to leave. Laban said to Jacob, “Go now to your tent. In a little while I’ll send Rachel in to you.”

Jacob staggered (for he’d drunk much) into the desert night under its canopy of twinkling stars. He managed to find his tent, where he disrobed and lay down in the dark to wait for Rachel. After what seemed an eternity Jacob heard footsteps and rustling at his tent’s opening.

“Yoo hoo, Jacob, are you there?” came a young female voice.

“Yes dearest, I’m here” said Jacob, “please do come in and lie beside me so that I may put my loving arms around you”.

Jacob’s pent-up passion for Rachel was such that it overcame any negative effects of all the drink. The lovemaking went on nearly to dawn when the two lovers fell to sleep exhausted.

When Jacob awoke it was late morning. He looked over at the sleeping form next to him and saw………not Rachel, but her elder sister Leah.

“What are you doing here?” said Jacob, “where’s Rachel?”

“Oh darling Jacob” said Leah, “forget about Rachel. It was me who you made all that beautiful love to. Oh God, I was in heaven. I hope you were too, my darling. You sounded like you were.”

“Yes, I was in heaven” said Jacob, “but it was Rachel I thought I was in heaven with, not you.”

“Make love to me again, right now dearest” said Leah, “I’ll make you forget all about Rachel.”

Leah began kissing Jacob with such ardour that he couldn’t help but reciprocate. A second round of lovemaking ensued. This time, though, when he had slaked his passion, Jacob somehow found the internal fortitude to tell Leah to leave his tent and to not come back.

“Dearest Jacob” said Leah as she was leaving, “I’ll be here for you when you return to your senses. You know deep down that I’m the one that you want, not Rachel.”

Source: Genesis 29, 21-25

This entry was posted in Jacob, Laban, Leah, Rachel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to “I’m The One That You Want”

  1. Richard says:

    I’ve noticed how seriously you take your categories. and how comprehensive the tags are. This is obviously an important work of reference in the making as well as a faithful translation.

    Be ready for violent opposition from zealots, Philippe. Think of Tyndale.

    There again, come to think of it, he was only strangled and burnt at the stake.

  2. Philippe says:

    An an Englishman you’ll be comforted to know that it wasn’t Englishmen who strangled and burned William Tyndale, but Belgians (Flemings?)

    The Wiki entry on Tyndale says that he coined the following phrases:

    lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil

    knock and it shall be opened unto you

    twinkling of an eye

    a moment in time

    fashion not yourselves to the world

    seek and you shall find

    ask and it shall be given you

    judge not that you not be judged

    the word of God which liveth and lasteth forever

    let there be light

    the powers that be

    my brother’s keeper

    the salt of the earth

    a law unto themselves

    filthy lucre

    it came to pass

    gave up the ghost

    the signs of the times

    the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak

    live and move and have our being

    fight the good fight

    William Tyndale obviously had naturally a good turn of phrase.

    Wiki says of Tyndale’s family: “……the Tyndales were ……known……as Hychyns (Hitchins), and it was as William Hychyns that Tyndale was educated at Magdalen College School, Oxford……”

    I find this of interest, since it is a present-day Hitchens (Christopher) who is one of the best known atheists, and inveighs against religion using phrases as elegant as the ones which the earlier Hychyns (Hitchins) had coined.

    Could Christopher Hitchens be a descendant of William Tyndale (Hychyns)? If so, and if there is something to Epigenetics, Christopher Hitchens may have got both his talent for words, and his obsession with religion, from William Tyndale (Hychyns).

  3. Richard says:

    Are these phrases all New Testament, Philippe? It would be good to know how free the translation was. The Authorised Version owes much to Tyndale, it seems.

    You, like Tyndale, grip the story or the message first and fashion the words that convey them. You do so with consummate skill, Epigenetics or not.

    Incidentally, Epigenetics, at root, presents a perplexing quandary or paradox, doesn’t it. Where exactly do you draw the line between hereditary natural selection and a non-hereditary modification of an individual by the environment when you do not know fully the mechanics of heredity? Both are random changes accepted or not by the environment.

    No doubt Richard Dawkins would provide his answer to that and tear me to shreds in the process, with no right of reply. It’s not that one opposes him necessarily, it’s just that he is so sure of himself he is not open to charitable discussion. A sign of insecurity, maybe. He seems to have abandoned reason and closed his mind in his fight with the creationists.

    Anyway, I look forward to your next episode.

  4. jenny says:

    This is a bit of goofiness that we meet in literature all the time: Ooops! I thought I was sleeping with someone else entirely!

    I feel like such an idiot when that happens.

  5. jenny says:

    “My brother’s keeper” is clearly from the Jewish bible.

    As is “Let there be light” — and this is the also the solution for all those people who accidently slept with the wrong person.

  6. Richard says:

    …. I feel such an idiot when that happens….

    Which one of us does jenny refer to, Philippe?

    Mind you, since Laban is both uncle and brother to Jacob, anything is possible.

  7. Philippe says:

    @Richard – “…….Are these phrases all New Testament…..?”

    I don’t know. Wiki says that Tyndale’s words account for “…..84% of the New Testament and for 75.8% of the Old Testament books that he translated…….”

    A Joan Bridgeman said, “….Although the Authorised King James Version is ostensibly the production of a learned committee of churchmen, it is mostly cribbed from Tyndale with some reworking of his translation…….”

    So there we are.

    You said of Richard Dawkins, ……”he is so sure of himself he is not open to charitable discussion. A sign of insecurity, maybe. He seems to have abandoned reason and closed his mind in his fight with the creationists…….

    Bertrand Russell said, “……“The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holder’s lack of rational conviction……”

    Dawkins has found religion, the religion of Atheism. He deals with the problem of his own unacknowledged religionism by waging war on overt religionists – a graphic example of projection.

    @Jenny – “…..’Let there be light’…..is the…..the solution for all those people who accidentally slept with the wrong person……..”

    While letting there be light is good for not misidentifying who one is sleeping with, isn’t letting there be dark, so that one can easily misidentify who one is sleeping with, much more exciting?

  8. jenny says:

    OK, Philippe, you can be the one who writes provocative comments for a while. 🙂

  9. dafna says:

    ah, great minds and all that…

    Richard’s remark about Dawkins was what i was going to comment about, but philippe, you addressed it so well already with bretrand russell’s quote. such a sad character trait of dawkins.

    this inability to have charitable discourse in general, seems to be a symptom of our ill society.

  10. Philippe says:

    “….this inability to have charitable discourse in general, seems to be a symptom of our ill society……..”

    Internet discussions on provocative topics, by all too often degenerating into vituperation and insults, enlighten us more about the discussers than about the topics discussed.

  11. Dafna Ronen says:

    thank you philippe,

    your sentiment echos something that recently happened to me on a blog. it made me sad that my “charitable discourse” was misunderstood, but in the end i decided the reaction said more about the blogger than it did about me.

    perhaps these type of reactions as Richard says, “are a sign of insecurity” either about a conviction or with self-esteem.

  12. Philippe says:

    @Dafna – “……your sentiment echos something that recently happened to me on a blog. it made me sad that my ‘charitable discourse’ was misunderstood, but in the end i decided the reaction said more about the blogger than it did about me…….”

    I came across what I surmise was the “charitable discourse” you allude to. The blog in question is one that I visit occasionally and used regularly to leave comments on until one of them disappeared. I assumed the blogger didn’t like something I said.

    So it looks as if you, too, have been “sent to Coventry” by this blogger, as I was. Wee’ll…..it takes all sorts, don’t it?!!

  13. dafna says:

    yes, i’ve agreed to the request and unsubscribed. left a message that i would return by invitation only. the topic that got me uninvited was the nature of “charitable discourse” itself!

    but i can’t imagine anyone telling someone “don’t read my blog”. perhaps i can imagine being warned that the comments will be monitored, but we can’t control what people read, that’s just silly.

    i have a subscription to your posts now, i had you book marked – but you’re easier to locate by subscription. (you are not a booby prize… you just move around so much, or so it seems) i used to track you down by clicking on you when you left comments elsewhere.

  14. dafna says:

    please don’t delete this blog when your finished. it’s worthy of saving.

    with your blessing… i’d like to save a copy of these posts for myself 🙂

  15. dafna says:

    p.s. good detective work. the blog in question is not on anyone blog roll.
    i was one of a handful of people reading it.

  16. Philippe says:

    I definitely won’t delete this blog. At the rate I’m going I’ll never finish it. I’ll be dead long before.

  17. Cheri says:

    I believe you might be referring to Andreas Kluth’s post about matter and mind.
    As Richard said on his blog, that post–intriguing as its premise is–is a chicken and egg fling, one designed to hamstring the commenter.

    In my view, Andreas likes his premise after studying the brain for a year because, by his own admission, he is an atheist. The notion that any belief must come from matter cannot be argued.

    Thoreau and Emerson be damned!

    Atheists do not like it when they are challenged, just like the other end of the spectrum: the orthodoxy.

  18. Richard says:

    If you’re talking about the blog dafna’s been banned from, I ignore protocol and quote from Limerick Corner:

    A high-carat maid called …
    Liked to study in Aix-la-Chapelle
    So if you will hearken
    She was at it Aachen
    (And Interlaken as well).

    I’m not sure how the last line translates to American.

  19. Richard says:

    So Andreas is an atheist, Cheri. Not that it matters, but it does explain why discussion seems to close early: he gets impatient at my inability to understand. I can’t help being old and senile.

  20. Philippe says:

    All our self-evident truths are a function of Belief

    We are, all of us, Believers. So that if you are an atheist, or have no doubts that Socrates existed, you are just another Believer.

    Groups formed around any secular belief or philosophy, inevitably assume all the characteristics of a church.

    He who says otherwise, is a fool.

  21. Richard says:

    I agree, Philippe. It is as self-evident as anything ever was.

  22. dafna says:

    @ Cheri,

    hint – rhymes with “Chapelle”. i’m ‘A’ #1 o.k. @ the hannibal blog.

    @ Richard, ‘A’ is the only blogger i can’t get a “read-on”, but I don’t think it’s impatience. he always registers in the mid-range of emotions. if i were to guess, you are as much a mystery to him as greek mythology is to you.

    BTW – he knows about being called ‘A’ 😉

    Richard, do you remember when we first met online? he, he, he – you couldn’t make heads or tails of a word i was posting!!

  23. dafna says:

    good lord richard!

    what are you doing up so early?

  24. Philippe says:

    @Dafna – Richard may be having a very late night, rather than a very early morning.

  25. Cheri says:

    Remember, we all met at the Hannibal Blog, did we not?
    I remember in November of 2008, the only ones commenting on that blog were Mr. Crotchety, Christopher, and Cheri.

    Those were very fun times.

  26. Richard says:

    dafna and Philippe: I never sleep. I fight of roaming carnivores and predatory males.

    dafna: your words were multitudinously scratched in all directions; but placed now against a lighted candle … and lo! the scratches will seem to arrange themselves in a fine series of concentric circles round that little sun.

  27. Philippe says:

    @Cheri – “….Those were very fun times…..”

    Aren’t the times now still very fun?

    If not, what happened?!!!

  28. jenny says:

    Dear Cheri and Phillipe and Richard and Dafna: I’m walking streets with my daughter that I walked when I was her age. It’s made me a little weepy.

    Tonight is the retirement concert of one of my college mentors. Adds to the weepiness.

    It’s raining. And I, lush that I am, have had a mid-afternoon margarita. Tears, as my daughter says (as a tribute to Seinfeld), accompanied by mucus.

    Anyway, just wanted to say, as we enter the Jewish New Year, that you have all added joy to my past year or so, even if the fun sometimes wanes.

    Cheers to all of you, as well as apologies for my excessive high spirits, at times. Be well.


  29. Richard says:

    You have added immeasurable joy, jenny. It is in comments like this that you reveal the sensitivity and integrity of your person. The depth of your knowledge and devotion to the poetic, as Andreas acknowledges, must enhance the lives of us all.

    No wonder you get a little weepy from time to time! At least you are free of the weight of embarrassing moments – unlike me, especially when I pitch above my class. Can you hear the wheeze?

    This is good cue to thank you and the others here for all the patience, kindness and tolerance towards me.

    A Happy New Year to you and to all who celebrate this time.

  30. jenny says:

    Richard: Thanks.

    Keep pitching. 🙂

  31. Philippe says:

    Seeing that everyone is, for a fleeting moment, removing their carapaces to show they have beating hearts within, and so are human and vulnerable, and that it’s OK sometimes to, like, emote and be uncool, I will, too, remove my own carapace and will emote and be uncool for a fleeting moment, in order to say that I cherish your online friendships and our conversations that are little points of light which make the darkness that I stumble about in a little less dark, and that I hope your visits and our conversations will go on, and that I wish all of you who celebrate a New Year at this time, a very Happy New Year.

    Now, where did I put my carapace? Back now to being cool……..

  32. jenny says:

    Some people know how to emote in a very cool way, Philippe! 🙂

  33. Cheri says:

    Let me clarify what I mean by “emote” when I used that verb in my recent post.
    I have observed that the generation of “kids” in their twenties, still feel it necessary to let their families/friends know what they are feeling at all times.
    Even when a 50-something tries to get away for the weekend, the kids text or call to emote about their relationship breakup or their angst in not finishing a college essay.
    I suppose that our generation has fostered this need to stay tethered to their parents.
    Hard to imagine the same behavior going on during WWI and II.

    OK, now that I have cleared that up, let me say Happy New Year (and atoning) to all who celebrate at this season.
    And Philippe, your comment touched me.
    I believe we are part of that original three mentioned above.
    And am I having as much fun?
    Not sure. I find that natural exuberance that results in “fun” more hampered these days. The seriousness of life with its great losses and disappointments challenges me more. Perhaps I need more Folic Acid.

  34. Philippe says:

    @Cheri – “…….I believe we are part of that original three mentioned above…….Mr. Crotchety, Christopher, and Cheri……”

    This is the moment to reveal that I’m the “Christopher” in this threesome. It was the name I was given when born, and the name under which I made my first brave steps into the world of blogdom.

    Later, I decided to write under the nom de plume of “Philippe”. It seemed a good idea at the time. That’s all.

    For anyone interested, my first blog is *here*. The posts I list there, under “Favourite Posts”, are the ones I think the most readable, although it isn’t saying much.

    I want to tie this in with what you said, when you said “……am I having as much fun? Not sure. I find that natural exuberance that results in ‘fun’ more hampered these days…….”

    When I entered the world of blogdom I was having more fun than I’m having now because I was happier then than now. I had just retired, and, as the old world of work was closing (well, for me it was) a brave new world of blogdom was opening. This made me enthusiastic, and my writings on this first blog, however amateurish, showed it.

    Now, seven years on, I, like you, find “…that natural exuberance that results in ‘fun’ more hampered these days…….”. While my personal circumstances are fortunate, I’m more aware than ever that, but for lucky rolls of the dice when I was younger, my life would have been ruined. What separates me from those who are ruined is simply the roll of that dice. There but for the grace of God go I.

    My contemplating all this, as I do more and more, doesn’t do anything for my happiness. The world seems an ever darker, bleaker, more awful place, largely made so by stupidity.

    I think Woody Allen had it largely right when he said of life’s choices, “…….One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction…….”.

    Or how about this from “The Great Gatsby”, “…..“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past…….”

    All this said, I’m managing to extract some fun from writing this “Since Time Began” blog. And, while immersing myself in the writing I can block out the awfulness of the world. All I want now is to tell stories………

  35. Cheri says:

    We’ve had some delightful moments over the last four years, haven’t we?
    You wished me a Happy New Year one January when I was making a chocolate cake. You inquired and were sincerely concerned about my mother. You once asked me if was “an invisible woman”. (at the time, I was.)

    This comment takes the cake. Thank you for your openness and that Gatsby quotation.

    About that quotation: Gatsby was an idealist. He actually believed Daisy would leave Tom and go with him. That green light at the end of Daisy’s dock really meant “go” to him. I love the image of humanity (those who are thinking and caring and agonizing, as you) as boats, braving the current.

    It’s all a big mystery, isn’t it? We are all really alone in this experience, even those of us who are married and who surround ourselves with yellow Labrador Retrievers.

    I’ll stay with the mystery, the beauty of Nature, the squirrels, the clouds and bloggers whom we will never meet in our lifetimes but who, surely, made a difference in our lives.

  36. Richard says:

    Thank you for the link to your first blog, Philippe, where I read your masterpiece on Harold Macmillan.

    It is a demonstration of your command of the language. Your penetrating insights, there and elsewhere, never superficial or laboured, never slaves to excess, always honest, always new, provide me with much instruction and pleasure.

    Then there are your words of measured encouragement and your musical titbits, often carefully chosen, with quiet kindness, to meet the tastes of your guests. You and I disagree on many issues, but I would not swap your personal integrity and humanity for all the compromise in the world, for then I would cease to learn.

    I am only sad that it all comes at great cost to yourself. You are a man of courage.

    Please continue to provide these refuges and places of comfort for many years to come. You are as not alone as you may sometimes imagine.

  37. Philippe says:

    @Richard, Cheri – Thank you both for your kind words.

    Cheri – Each time I read the The Great Gatsby I’m beautifully transported to the Jazz Age. Is it any wonder that I loved Midnight in Paris so much? Which reminds me that the time for me to re-read The Great Gatsby for the seventh or eighth time is long overdue. I believe there’s a film remake of The Great Gatsby in the works.

    Richard – Regarding Harold Macmillan, here’s a longish piece about him in a recent edition of the *London Review of Books* that I think you might enjoy.

  38. Richard says:

    Thank you for the link, Philippe. Macmillan was an enigmatic and charismatic figure. A man of courage, severely wounded in WW1, and whose political vision was ambiguous, to say the least.

    When I was a law student in around 1963, I suddenly came face to face with him alone, in his top hat, as I ran through the labyrinthine forecourt of Charing Cross Station. He was visibly taken aback and I saw real fear in his eyes. There was nothing like the constant security surrounding the Prime Minister that we have nowadays.

    I simply raised my battered felt hat, as was the custom with senior politicians and judges, and said “Good Morning Sir!” He relaxed, paused, said “Good Morning” in reply and moved on.

    It is a measure of his presence that I have remembered and analysed this very minor incident in every detail over the years.

  39. Philippe says:

    Since Macmillan resigned as prime minister in late 1963, I assume he was still prime minister when you encountered him that day.

    Given that Macmillan had faced down Pickelhaube helmeted German soldiers in World War One, it’s interesting that his eyes showed fear when he saw you. But then, he might have thought you looked like Lord Boothby.

    Through contemporary eyes it’s remarkable that Macmillan wasn’t surrounded by shade-wearing, gun-toting toughs. But, that was then.

    The first line of the novel “The Go Between” says, “The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.” How true.

    I’m put in mind of the only time I came across a famous person just by chance. It was in 1967 when I was living in Toronto. I had, one evening after work, stopped in at a magazine shop on the main floor of one of Toronto’s big hotels to buy a Time magazine.

    Turning to leave the magazine rack with my Time magazine I took note of a man who had been standing next to me and riffling through the magazines on offer. He was……….Laurence Olivier, whose theatre company (The National Theatre?) was on tour in Toronto.

    I didn’t, as you might have, say to him, “Good evening your Lordship” or even “Hiya Larry”. I just walked away wordlessly.

    Had I been quicker on the uptake I might have gone into the “To be or not to be” soliloquy in the hope that Olivier would notice, and be impressed, and might recommend me for an acting career and give me an introduction to important people.

    That moment was one of my life’s forks on the road. I could have gone down the road to fame and fortune, instead of down the road to the amorphous anonymity that has been my lot.

  40. Richard says:

    As a matter of interest, and for no other particular reason, I have tried to compile the following sample sources for the above Tyndale quotes with the OT in bold:

    1 lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil Mt 6:13
    2 knock and it shall be opened unto you Mt 7:7
    3 twinkling of an eye 1 Cor 15:52
    4 a moment in time Lk 4:5
    5 fashion not yourselves to the world Rm 12:2
    6 seek and you shall find Mt 7:7
    7 ask and it shall be given you Mt 7:8
    8 judge not that you not be judged Mt 7:7
    9 the word of God which liveth and lasteth forever Is 40:8 1 Pt 1:25
    10 let there be light Gen 1 2 Cor 4:6
    11 the powers that be Rom 13:1
    12 my brother’s keeper Gen 4:9
    13 the salt of the earth Mt 5:13
    14 My brother’s keeper Rom 2:14
    15 filthy lucre 1 Tm 3:3
    16 it came to pass Ruth 1:1 Mt 7:8
    17 gave up the ghost Jb 3:11 Lk 23:46
    18 the signs of the times Mt 16:3
    19 the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak Mt 26.41
    20 live and move and have our being Acts 17:28
    21 fight the good fight 1 Tim 6:12

    Having regard to the huge debt that Christianity bears to Judaism – after all Jesus was deeply immersed in Hebrew culture and theology – it seems the article in Wikipedia may be somewhat selective.

    No 20, I think, represents the whole dilemma of self-reference in religion and the regressive drift to anthropomorphism.

    Still, I must not divert you from your important work. 🙂

  41. Philippe says:

    That nearly all the famous biblical phrases in the English-speaking culture are from the New Testament rather than the Old was inevitable, given that most native English-speakers are (or were) Christian.

    If most had been Jewish, most of the famous biblical phrases would likely be from the Old Testament.

  42. Richard says:

    A very large proportion of what many people believe to be Christianity is actually Judaism received vicariously through Christianity. That is apparent from the NT itself. Indeed many self-styled Christians in practice renounce the central Christian injunction to “Love your enemy” and would not “Turn the other cheek”. Moreover, their devotions are, in many cases, limited to the NT and they are simply unaware of the Judaic heritage. It would surprise them if they did discover it.

    It’s worth looking at in some detail and I have no doubt that someone, somewhere has already done so.

    I do not, therefore, yet accept your explanation of the bias in Wikipedia, even on the basis of the precise wording alone.

  43. Philippe says:

    @Richard – “…..I do not……accept your explanation of the bias in Wikipedia, even on the basis of the precise wording alone……..”

    Be that as it may, but it seems that most of the famous passages from the Bible that have passed into our everyday discourse in the English language come from the New Testament, not the Old.

    Consider the following passages from the New Testament which we all sprinkle into our conversations, whether in the board-room or locker-room:

    If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
    St. Mark, 3. 25

    For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
    St. Mark, 8. 36

    This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
    St Matthew, 3. 17

    Man shall not live by bread alone.
    St Matthew, 4. 4

    Ye are the salt of the earth…..
    St Matthew, 5. 13

    Judge not, that ye be not judged.
    St Matthew, 7. 1

    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
    St Matthew, 7. 7

    Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing…….
    St Matthew, 7. 15

    Let the dead bury their dead.
    St Matthew, 8. 22

    Neither do men put new wine into old bottles.
    St Matthew, 9. 17

    He that is not with me is against me.
    St Matthew, 12. 30

    By their fruits ye shall know them.
    St Matthew, 7. 20

    What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
    St Matthew, 16. 26

    What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
    St Matthew 19. 6

    It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
    St Matthew, 19. 24

    But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
    St Matthew, 19. 30

    For many are called, but few are chosen.
    St Matthew, 22. 14

    Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
    St Matthew, 22. 21

    The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
    St Matthew, 26. 41

    He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
    St. Mark, 4. 9

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    St. John, 1. 1

    He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
    St. John, 8. 7

    The truth shall make you free.
    St. John, 8. 32

    In my Father’s house are many mansions…..
    St. John, 14. 2

    A law unto themselves.
    Romans, 2. 14

    Be ye all of one mind.
    1 Peter, 3. 8

    It is better to marry than to burn.
    1 Corinthians, 7. 9

    Now, consider these from the Old Testament:

    Be fruitful and multiply………
    Genesis, 1. 28

    Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
    Genesis, 3. 5

    Am I my brother’s keeper?
    Genesis, 4. 9

    My punishment is greater than I can bear.
    Genesis, 4. 13

    And the Lord set a mark upon Cain.
    Genesis, 4. 15

    And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
    Genesis, 7. 12

    Ye shall eat the fat of the land.
    Genesis, 45. 18

    There is no new thing under the sun.
    Ecclesiastes, 1. 9

    A living dog is better than a dead lion.
    Ecclesiastes, 9. 4

    The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.
    Ecclesiastes, 9. 11

    He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it.
    Ecclesiastes, 10. 8

    Wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.
    Ecclesiastes, 10. 19

    I have been a stranger in a strange land.
    Exodus, 2. 22

    A land flowing with milk and honey.
    Exodus, 3. 8

    Let my people go.
    Exodus, 7. 16

    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
    Exodus, 20. 3

    Honor thy father and thy mother.
    Exodus, 20. 12

    Love thy neighbor as thyself.
    Leviticus, 19. 18

    Be sure your sin will find you out.
    Numbers, 32. 23

    For the Lord thy God is a jealous God.
    Deuteronomy, 6. 15

    The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.
    Ezekiel, 18. 2

    Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting.
    Daniel, 5. 27

    I’m sure you’ll agree that the above passages from the Old Testament, apart from a couple, don’t come to our tongues when we’re in the board-room or locker-room, as readily as the passages from the New Testament.

    This isn’t to say that the language of the Old Testament isn’t any less beautiful or evocative than the language of the New Testament, or doesn’t contain any less wisdom. But it is to say that far more passages from the New Testament than from the Old have passed into our everyday discourse.

    I put it to you that my explanation for this (which was in my previous comment) is as plausible as any.

  44. Richard says:

    A great lesson, Philippe. Thank you.

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