Sunday, December 27, 2009

Biblical Treasure Hunt

So apparently "Sun" is NOT a typo.  I have spent a better part of this morning (I'm almost embarrassed to admit just how much time I spent on this) trying to figure it all out.  

My college academic advisor told me to look at Malachi 4:2.  I looked it up and saw that, indeed, the prophet said, "But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.  You shall go out leaping like calves from stall." (1)

Reading on, the notes in my Harper Collins say, "Sun of righteousness.  See Ps 84.11.  One of the most familiar symbols of deity in Egyptian and Mesopotamian religions is the winged solar disk.  Although God is not directly described here as a winged disk, the implication is that God will rise on the 'day of the LORD' to effect healing for the righteousness (see also Job 38:12-15; Ps 46:5)" (2)

Since it told me to refer to Psalm 84:11, I flipped back and saw that it says, "For the LORD God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor.  No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly." (3)

If I understand this all correctly, the "Sun of Righteousness" is not talking about the Son of God at all - rather, it is referring back to this symbol of the deity.  It is not about the "baby Jesus" at all - it is about the fact that the Word will be made flesh and that God is coming.  

I still do not completely understand why the "S" is capitalized in "Sun" - maybe because it is a symbol so it is being treated like proper noun? Does anybody have any thoughts on that?

There you have it - you (well at least I) learn something new every day.

(1) NRSV
(2) The Harper Collins Study Bible, pg. 1288
(3) NRSV


  1. Hmmm...interesting. May do a little checking out on this and the capital S....

  2. Very thorough.

    My guess is that it's capitalized because it's designed to operate dually as Son/sun. The lyrics do mean both terms.

    More to the point, maybe, it's being appropriated as a Christological title, and so would quite possibly be capped for that.


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