When Bush thanked the American people for granting him patience in “good measure,” he was echoing Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure. . . .”
When Bush talked of the “ideals of justice and conduct that are the same yesterday, today, and forever,” he was echoing Hebrews 13:8, which says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
When Bush talked about the “untamed fire of freedom” in a passage that included the phrase “hope kindles hope,” he was echoing passages from eremiah. For instance, Jeremiah 17:27 says: “I will kindle an unquenchable fire in the gates of Jerusalem.” And Jeremiah 50:32 says: “I will kindle a fire in her towns that will consume all who are around her.”
There are many other passages in the Bible that have a raging fire in them. For instance, Isaiah 33:14: “The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: ‘Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with
everlasting burning?’ ”
When Bush talked about the day when “the captives are set free,” he was echoing Ephesians 4:7-9, which says: “He led the captives free.”
When Bush talked about the day “the unjust encounter justice,” he was echoing Job 27, which states, “May my enemies be like the wicked, my adversaries like the unjust.” (This section of Job says that the unjust and the wicked and the ruthless will meet a grisly fate: “However many his children, their fate is the sword; his offspring will never have enough to eat.”)
When Bush talked about the need to “surround the lost with love,” he was echoing the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15.
When Bush said, “History also has a visible direction, set by liberty and the Author of Liberty,” he was being none too subtle. But he was also alluding to Acts 3:15 (“You killed the author of life”) and Hebrews 12:2 (“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith”).
Toward the end, when Bush said, “Freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul,” he was echoing Psalm 107: “For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Such as sit in darkness. . . .”
Monday, January 24, 2005
The Bible Code
Matthew Rothschild has done us an enormous service with his latest article in the Progressive. He has listed the biblical allusions embedded within the inauguration address that may well be lost on anyone but evangelicals and fundamentalists. It's clear that Bush was sending the message to his base that he's with them and one of them.