Monday, August 30, 2010

Acts 12 -- peeking over the edges

Acts 12 is jammed full of action, and colorful personalities. It begins and ends with an angel -- the first visitation liberates Peter, who is in jail awaiting execution. The second time an angel shows up, it is to put an end to Herod, the enemy of Peter and the church, who seeks to curry favor with the quisling ruling class of Israel by acting against the church.

And, in the middle of the chapter, a church that could not believe God had just answered their prayers, and a scatterbrained maid. You have to read the whole chapter for yourself to savor the richly detailed narrative. It sounds so much like reportage of first-person narratives, that the inquiring mind wonders where the information came from.

Well, since you asked, we'll look at the last part of chapter 11, and the first part of chapter 13!
Act 11:28 Bunlardan Hagavos adlı biri ortaya çıkıp bütün dünyada şiddetli bir kıtlık olacağını Ruh aracılığıyla bildirdi. Bu kıtlık, Klavdius'un imparatorluğu sırasında oldu.
Act 11:29 Öğrenciler, her biri kendi gücü oranında, Yahudiye'de yaşayan kardeşlere gönderilmek üzere yardım toplamayı kararlaştırdılar.
Act 11:30 Bu kararı yerine getirip bağışlarını Barnaba ve Saul'un eliyle kilisenin ihtiyarlarına gönderdiler.
Jesus had warned that the last days of Israel would experience wide-spread shortages. That world was running out of gas, running down. The root word here is kıt, which means "insufficient. inadequate. exiguous. penurious. poor. scant. scanty. scarce. spare. sparse. stingy. in short supply."[1] Add the -lık suffix, and you have a condition of all of the above -- a famine.

More germane to this post, however, is the last verse. This gift was taken to Jerusalem by Barnabas and Saul, who apparently were eye-witnesses to the events surrounding Peter's deliverance, and heard the story from his lips.

The chapter ends with Herod's spectacular demise, while in the course of giving a presumptuous oration. OK, so we want to know, who had first-hand knowledge of the doings inside this opulent royal court? Turn the page to Acts 13, and we have a hint:
Act 13:1 Antakya'daki kilisede peygamberler ve öğretmenler vardı: Barnaba, Niger denilen Şimon, Kireneli Lukius, bölge kralı Hirodes'le birlikte büyümüş olan Menahem ve Saul.
Ah. I think we've spotted our source! A guy names Menahem. More specifically,
bölge kralı Hirodes'le birlikte büyümüş olan Menahem. Let's look at a few of those words!
  • bölge -- area. zone. region. district. division. section. belt. circumscription. climate. corner. department. latitude. phase. precinct. quarter. sector. sky. territory. tract. ward. parts.
  • kralı -- king
  • Hirodes'le -- with Herod
  • birlikte -- at one with, together with
  • büyümüş -- he grew up / he got bigger
  • olan -- he was
  • Menahem -- Menahem
Talk about a fascinating leadership team! Saul and Barnabas are there. A black guy names Simon. And a dude who had been raised in the royal court of Herod. And who may very well have been standing there when Herod bit the dust.


[1] Do not confuse this word with kit, which means such things as:
  • a kitten
  • a small violin
  • a large bottle
  • A wooden tub or pail, smaller at the top than at the bottom; as, a kit of butter, or of mackerel.
  • A straw or rush basket for fish; also, any kind of basket.
  • Anything implied by the English word kit
A dot makes a big difference! When you immerse yourself in Turkish for a bit, you'll find yourself wondering whether or not to dot the iii when writing English!

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