Tuesday, 1 November 2016
We the People: Israel and the Catholicity of Jesus,
Tommy Givens, Fortress, 2014, page 279-280
So why, apart from the obvious answer that G-d specifed exile as a result of covenant forsaking, exile? Givens explains:
Exile left Israel with a story that warns subsequent generations against certain ways of living: idolatrous, faithless and violent ways that lead to terrible suffering for the people.
Yes, yes. Deterrent effect and all that. But surely there is more? Givens goes on.
Exile also left Israel with nithing of itself on which to predicate its life, confront its enemies, discipline its membership, or otherwise attempt to ensure its future. The existence of the people, and therefore its identity, cannot be a matter for its own decision or agency. No faithfulness of its own, no ideas of its own, no perceived virtue of its own, can function truthfully as the basis for deciding who is in and who is out, for regulating its life, or for engaging threats to its existence.
Ouch. Nothing at all and no way to get there (or anywhere else) from here.