Reflections on loving God, being Catholic, being a woman, being ill, loving life and anything else that comes to mind.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A New Experiment: Ez 13 - Will you hunt down souls?

In the past, I devoured the Bible & missed a great deal. I've been re-re-re...reading it for about a year or more now & am only at Ezekiel 13. Verses 17 - 23 really stood out:

"And you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own minds; prophesy against them and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls! Will you hunt down souls belonging to my people, and keep other souls alive for your profit? You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, putting to death persons who should not die and keeping alive persons who should not live, by your lies to my people, who listen to lies. "Wherefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against your magic bands with which you hunt the souls, and I will tear them from your arms; and I will let the souls that you hunt go free like birds. Your veils also I will tear off, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand as prey; and you shall know that I am the LORD. Because you have disheartened the righteous falsely, although I have not disheartened him, and you have encouraged the wicked, that he should not turn from his wicked way to save his life; therefore you shall no more see delusive visions nor practice divination; I will deliver my people out of your hand. Then you will know that I am the LORD."

Curious about the women who hunted the souls of men, I Googled the citation and found the following:

Satan’s Basket of Beans – “Rowland Hill began his sermon one morning by saying, ‘My friends, the other day I was going down by the street, and I saw a drove of pigs following a man. This excited my curiosity so much that I determined to follow. I did so; and, to my great surprise, I saw them follow him to the slaughter-house. I was anxious to know how this was brought about; and I said to the man, “My friend, how did you manage to induce these pigs to follow you here?” “Oh! Did you not see?” said the man. “I had a basket of beans under my arm; and I dropped a few as I came along, and so they followed me.” ‘Yes,’ said the preacher; ‘and I thought, so it is the devil has his basket of beans under his arm; and he drops them as he goes along: and what multitudes he induces to follow him to an everlasting slaughter-house! Yes, friends; and all your broad and crowded thoroughfares are strewn with the beans of the devil.’ ” –from New Encyclopedia of Prose Illustrations (page 21).

I'm still a bit curious about the practice of hunting the souls of men & the use of magic bands & veils but Rowland Hill's sermon causes me to think that whatever the anthropology of the practice, this is what Satan is doing. He wants us to be pigs following a trail of beans to a slaughter-house - scary & what we are so ready to do.


Anonymous said...

The reference to 'pillows' in arm holes bears close similairity to North American Native religion who sewed 'pouches' or sometimes had these 'pillows' or pouches hung around their neck containing 'Indian Medicines' or enchantments for various purposes, such as favor, love, protection etc. It is amazing how Isrealite early religious beliefs closely mirror Native American traditional practices in many ways too many to mention here in entirety.

heirsinhope said...

I don't see a reference to "pillows" in arm holes but rather arm bands or wrist bands which false prophetesses/witches used for divination. But your comment brings up the point that the desire to know the future is a human experience & the methods we have used throughout history are similar because they are human methods. We share so many practices it is amazing.

Recently I was discussing "the noble savage" with a friend. I told her that at one time I believed there must be people who lived simply & more humanely than civilized people do. But then one day, I found myself researching the sexual abuse of children & discovered that the "practice" of sexually abusing children, and particularly boys, exists in many African tribes & "simple" Asian societies. In fact, I could not find any society which did not sexually abuse children & I realized that I can only find my "simpler" place in a monastery. We're human. We're fallen. We all have much in common. This is what it means to be created in the image of God & to rebel against Him: we use magic wrist bands or pouches to attempt to see the future.