May 4, 2005

Augustus’s Census

Category: Bible - NT - Luke :: Permalink

Well, this should have been obvious to me, but I’ve never noticed it before.

In the latest Biblical Horizons (No. 176), Jim Jordan points out that when David numbered the people God’s judgment fell upon Israel. So when Luke tells us that Caesar, who was the God-appointed ruler of the empire, called for a census, something similar is happening. Luke

is letting us know that the time of judgment has arrived. Caesar is now trying to take over God’s world. As a result, God sends His angel to begin the judgment.

The judgment on David resulted in the selection of the site for the new Temple:

Man had usurpsed God’s rule, God’s world, and that world was judged; but out of this judgment came a new world. The Temple and its courtyard was a symbol of heaven and earth. It was also the place where heaven and earth met, and thus the place of worship. The judgment on David’s sin led to a new world and to a new worship.

And so it was with Augustus’s census:

When devout Jews heard that Caesar, the anointed and God-positioned ruler of the Oikumene, had called for a census of the entire realm, they could begin to look up. With their knowledge of history, they would realize that the time was drawing near, and that the new world was shortly to come.

Posted by John Barach @ 3:23 pm | Discuss (0)

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