Water Divination Around the Jordan: The Ford-Fight of Jacob and the Water-Test of Jesus
Chapter 7 will then move through the historical narrative of the Hebrew tradition, with Celtic herder conventions in mind, opening up perspective on nomad Jacob as Jabbok-hero-in the making, Joshua as Jordan-crosser marking angel-battle with stone witness, and Elijah as prophet-initiate, frequenting the East bank as Spirit-World-portal opening out into wilderness training and weather-weaponry in the struggle with the state. The second half of the chapter will bring the Baal/Yahweh Sea Conflict and Hebrew Ford-Crossing memories to bear on gospel traditions. In particular, we will explore Johannine hints, lifting up water as actor in making the messiah visible to the Baptizer—perhaps in a Baal-like “heaven-opening” rain-storm at the Jordan site—and exploring the power of the aviary migration route along the Jordan course in directing Jesus’ own initiatory “water ordeal” by way of a “Spirit-Incarnate” pigeon. Jesus’ subsequent “stone testing” in East bank wildlands recapitulates Israel’s formative Exodus wandering as nomad pastoralists following a Storm-Deity and the water-ford and water-well struggles anchored even earlier in ancestor Jacob’s border-wrestling with the numinous guards of crossing sites, galvanizing comprehension of the Bible in general as a “book of weather” and weather as primarily a matter of “water speak.”
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