History Them There Feet
posted by February 28 at 15:50 PMon
When Naomi learned that the wife of her dead son, Ruth, might have the eye of a man with some standing in Bethleham, Boaz, she made this strong and clear recommendation:
Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking. And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.
The seduction worked. But that is not the point of this brief note/post. What is interesting here, and is related to James Cameron’s recent claim that he not only found the tomb of Jesus but has proof that his wife was Mary Magdalene and they had a son named Judah, is the “uncovering his feet.”
Now with biblical scholarship, the close examination of archaeological sites is often not as rewarding as the close examination of existing texts. For example, in the Old Testament, washing a man’s feet is a symbol for sex—“uncover his feet, and lay thee down.” Now let’s go to the New Testament, to John 12:
Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Well, if this feet washing happened outside of the context/co-text of the Old Testament, the modern Christian could pretend with some peace that it is nothing more than an act of spiritual love, but that peace is not possible, Matthew’s enthusiam made it impossible to imagine the Old and New as separate. What the business of washing feet meant to Ruth is what it must mean to Mary. No need to dig up old tombs to see what’s really going on.