Nathan was sent to David (the bear). There were two men in one city; the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, save one ewe lamb, which grew up with him and his children. This ewe did eat his own meat, drank from his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.
And there came a traveller unto the rich man … but spared his … and took the poor man’s lamb and dressed it for the man that was come to him. And David fumed saying that the traveller shall surely die and wanted a fourfold restoration.
But Nathan said to David – “Thou art that man”. David had been given thy master’s house and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given thee such and such things.
Nathan lambasted David – “thou hath despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight … killed Uriah with the sword, and taken his wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon”.
Nathan gave the final verdict – “the sword shall never depart from thine house … thou hath despised me … Behold I will raise up evil against thee our of thine own house”. Thou did it secretly (the ordinary church established worldwide dogma stealthfully). Thy child (representing the tradition of rich man) “shall surely die”.
Antitype – Midrash
It is impossible to understand the NT metaphors standing alone. A good example is the camel through the eye of the needle. Matt. 19.24 reads, “… I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” This ditty was a replication of Nathan’s reprimand to David.
We all want to condemn the rich man outright and be supportive of the camel. Starting at Rom. 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” The camel had more spirit than the rich man. Also John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” The church is not the remnant having promulgated darkness for over two thousand years.
The following texts are also appropriate. “And behold, one came and said unto him (Jesus) Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” – Matt. 19:16. “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give it to the poor … and come and follow me” – Matt. 19:21. That was Nathan’s call in vain to David.
But why a camel?
Let’s think. The rich man has possessions (e.g. David the supreme type). And the camel has no possessions. For one it is all “my” and “mine” having everything (many examples today). For the camel can just give a ride. The camel has nothing to give but trudge, perhaps milk. So the camel is a giver?
There are other quotes that may give an insight to what this is about. “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation,” or paratereis = ocular evidence, not with outward denominational prudence, ritual ceremony, piety, tenets, creed and defined doctrine, “The kingdom of God is within you” – Luke 1:20, 21. And we are told clearly “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” – 1 Cor. 15:50. So what does enter the kingdom if it is not “flesh and blood”?
In the metaphor “eye”, Greek trilemma, means an aperture, opening, hole – an opportunity to go through texts or a lifetime. It is a slot, a needle we have to go through. Maybe it midrash, the inkhorn? We are not considering the pathway of a thread. An aperture, opening or hole gives one a clue as to why a camel may have no trouble of entry. We are being told to enter. It must be the Testaments, the accumulated story within. We have been told one can and the other person can’t. So what maybe the source of this oblique hieroglyph?
Ezekiel writes, “… the hand of the Lord God fell there upon me (“there” refers to Ezekiel’s vision of Jerusalem while in Babylonian captivity – almah (a virgin – set apart – without), and the spirit lifted me up … and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem … He said, Son of man seest thou what they do? Even the great abomination that the house of Israel commiteth here, that I should go from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations. And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall” – Eze. 8. This “hole in the wall” is the forerunner of the “eye” of the needle.
This word “hole” from Hebrew is chor or chur means a cavity, a hole, hollowed out place. The Ancient scribes made the hole. It is equivalent to the Greek word trupema. Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now (investigate) in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door (Rev. – open the book, please open the door). And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here (typified by the backslidden churches of Asia-Minor but then worldwide). See Ezek. 8:1-18 for all the details. We each have a chance to open the door to revelation.
The rich man in Jesus’ day could look through this hole in the wall of Jerusalem, that became a door, and seeing such abominations, he would never enter. He was seeking the kingdom of heaven by outward possession, control of governance and spiritual detention. He could not interpret the text nor understand the text’s intention, much like our priestly and ministerial elites who regurgitate. So, no, he could not go through the door. He would not want to tarnish himself. He was carnally of flesh and blood, justified by wealth and power, but was dead for all purposes. “The carnal mind is enmity against God”. They believe they are in heaven but never sacrifice to find heaven’s open door. David had nothing to give but only took. His persona was one of righteousness, highest ethics and highest morality. His riches gave proof, his justification, his steadfastness. Having eyes to see Nathan said he had no perception. He keeps the revelation of “Jesus Christ” a mystery. The front door of his church remains bolted.
The poor camel, unbound by precepts and statutes is willing go through the “eye” without compunction, is non-judgmental. He or she enters Jerusalem, “The Written Word” of the fabulous Ancient scribes, and finds the “holy” set apart – “bethulah” – within. The rich man reads the surface but never uncovers, never lifts the veil of the Ancient codes.
You cannot have the second testament without the first. You are best working from the original metaphor of Nathan. “You can’t have one without the other.” Are you prepared to enter Jerusalem? Can you enter?
The open book of Revelation of Jesus Christ – the testimony of the scribes saying “Come”.