Bible Works in the Church Revisited
We had a guest speaker in church, who spoke about Jonah; and I was reminded of a previous discussion, in which Adelfos raised the valid question: "If the Hebrew Bible is inerrant - as you maintain - why is the verb "waited on" missing in Psalms 130:6: "My soul (waited on) the Lord, more so than watchmen (wait) for morning, watching for morning". I explained that 130:6 isn't defective but rather is an interpolation - a sort of stepping stone - that leads to another "verse" of the same sort - Jonah 2:9: "Those guarding meaningless gibberish forsake their mercy". This verse is a nonsequitur in Jonah's prayer from the belly of the fish between "When I was at a loss, my prayer came to You, to the temple of Your holiness" (verse 8) and "And I in a voice of gratitude I will sacrifice to You whatever I vowed and will repay salvation to the Lord" (verse 10), ending the prayer. Two things unite the Psalms passage with the Jonah passage: 1) The Hebrew משמרים appears only twice in Scripture - at Psalms 130:6 and Jonah 2:9; and 2) Psalm 130:7: "Israel trusts in the Lord, because with the Lord is mercy" is the opposite of Jonah 2:9: "They abandon their mercy". Just as Jonah 2:9 is despensable, so is Psalms 130:6, leaving: "I waited on the Lord - my soul waited - and for his word I waited.... Let Israel wait on the Lord, because mercy is the Lord's". I then showed how Jonah's sojourn in the belly of the fish, which forms an eleven-verse pericope (Jonah 2:1-11) parallels the sojourn of our Lord in an equally inappropriate environment - a drunken wedding party -, which also forms an eleven-verse pericope at John 2:1-11. And what do we find at the problematic ninth spot in John? A verse implying that our Lord turned water to wine to replenish the empty glasses of revellers on the verge of drunken stupor. It reads: "When the bartender tasted the water turned wine, unaware of its source (although his henchmen who poured the 'water' knew) he called the groom". Without this verse we read: "Jesus said to them: 'Fill the pots with water!' And they filled them to the top. And He said to them: 'Pour it out and take it to the bartender!' They took it.... And he said to Him, 'Most people serve the good wine first and save the dregs for the drunken. You've saved the good wine until now." The miracle isn't the conversion of water to wine but rather of drunken revellers to sober water-drinkers. John 2:10: "dregs" (lit. ελασσω "lesser") becomes the third משמרים, which - pointed differently than at Psalms 130:6 and Jonah 2:9 - means "dregs". "Purified dregs" - precursor of the product of our Lord's miracle - appear at Isaiah 25:6, which means roughly: "The Lord of Hosts did for all the peoples in this mountain a beer-party, a party of dregs enriched (?), refined dregs." These dregs aren't a sort of liquor with high alcohol content, but rather the life-giving water that our Lord promised to the Samaritan woman at the well. when He became - in a sense - her "groom" and thus the contrahent at John 2:10. Jonah's 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the fish (in Sheol, Jonah 2:3) parallel our Lord's 3 days in Kana of Galilee (see John 2:1), which in turn parallel the 3 days in the tomb before the resurrection.