This is some overflow material I couldn’t fit into my last podcast but too good to leave off.
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I’m around a bunch of twenty-something guys who love their high-octane, testosterone-soaked, full-bore, action-packed movies. I get it. I like ’em too, though explosions, car chases and violence are losing their appeal on me the older I get.
Guys love movies where the odds are stacked against the hero. Dude walks into an alley of toughs and goes all Jet Li on them and the only one left standing is the hero. Die Hard is the quintessential film in this genre and absolutely required viewing for every young man. Yippy-ki-yay! (and I’ll stop right there)
That’s why ‘300‘ gets high marks. Yeah, the gallons of blood splashed at the camera lens, the severed limbs and morbid creatures; the 12-pack abs and handsome warriors with Scottish accents…sure. But the real heart-pumping appeal is the heroism of ‘300’ – the finest of Sparta – who face-off with Xerxes’ vast armies (200,000) at Thermopylae – and give them a jolly good row and a good run for their money. Spoiler alert: Before being slaughtered, that is.
The opening book of the canon – Genesis, to the uninitiated – has its own ‘300′ story…Long about chapter 14 – only two chapters in from first meeting our hero – we find several kings from Mesopotamia amassing their armies against the cosmopolitan city of Sodom. Sodom’s King Bera (‘son of evil’) conscripts the aid of four buddy-kings along with their armies and a magnificent battle ensues.
The casualties of war include Lot, the surly nephew of Abram, which, it turneth out, was a no-no. Seems one of the POW’s escapes and finds Abram sitting by the Oaks of Mamre and proceeds to breathlessly give the old guy the blow-by-blow and tattle on Chedorlaomer et al.
Abram springs to action. Being a rich landowner by now with a generous supply of servants, he militarizes his staff and servants, arms them, then they – 318 strong – ride like a holy hellfire posse for 120 miles to meet and engage the opposing army.
I’m fairly certain they were more clothed than the dudes from Sparta, but their mission was no less heroic. Abram and his retinue may not hae faced a quarter of a million but they most certainly put a whooping on thousands.
Rest of the story: the team from Mamre recovered Lot, all the spoils taken and the rest of the prisoners of war and returned them safely to King Bera. Cool.
All this got me thinking about that number.
As I’ve come to believe nothing is arbitrary my interest in that exact number was piqued to say the least. I discovered (as I thought I might) something beautifully redemptive in those precise digits.
Heres what I found: and I’ll take great care to avoid being so technical as to foment narcolepsy:
The ancient theologians – a number of the church fathers – also saw something of the Old Testament τύπος in the number, and this is how they broke it down:
300 = the numeric value ascribed to the letter ‘Tau’ in the Greek alphabet (400 in Hebrew alphabet); it is signed as a capital ‘T’ and representative of the Cross.
10 and 8 correlate with 1st two letters of Ιησους (Jesus), Iota and Eta respectively, in Jesus’ Greek name – which are the shortened version of
Thus, broken down – or Gospeled-up – that seemingly incidental number we find in Genesis 14:14 shows us the BIGGER PICTURE of
Jesus Christ rescuing captured humanity on the cross!!!
Your mind adequately blown?
Yeah, mine too.
Now, about those 153 fish Jesus cooked for breakfast…