What Jesus Keeps in His Tent

In Luke 11, Jesus has an encounter with some who were saying that He had cast out a devil through Beelzebub, the chief of the devils. Throughout the exchange that follows there are clear echos of the Goliath story. Those saying this about Jesus thought, in effect, that the slaying of Goliath must have been a Philistine trick, orchestrated by the Trilateral Commission. Without developing all these themes in detail, let’s just note them.

Saul, the ruler of Israel, was afflicted by an evil spirit (1 Sam. 16:14). The rulers of Israel in Jesus’ day were afflicted by evil spirits (Matt. 12:45; 1 Cor. 2:8). David was envied by Saul (1 Sam. 18:9). Jesus was envied by the Pharisees, as Pilate saw (Mark 15:10). Goliath was fought by a son of the kingdom, not by the king (1 Sam. 18:21). Demons were cast out by the sons of the rulers, not by the rulers (Luke 11:19). Goliath was slain because the Spirit of God was upon David (1 Sam. 17:37). Jesus cast out demons by the “finger of God” (Luke 11:20) which in another gospel is equated with the Spirit of God (Matt. 12:28). The Spirit of God upon David meant that the kingdom was his, that the kingdom of God had come upon them (1 Sam. 16:13). The Spirit of God with Jesus meant the kingdom of God had come upon them (Luke 11:20). David fought the strong man (1 Sam. 17:49). Jesus fought the strong man (Luke 11:22). David took Goliath’s armor, and put it in his tent (1 Sam. 17:54). Jesus took the devil’s armor or panoply (Luke 11:22). The demon-afflicted state of Saul got progressively worse (1 Sam. 19:10-11). The state of Israel after Jesus cleansed it of demons was seven-times worse (Luke 11:26).

And so of course, Jesus actually defeated Beelzebub (Luke 11:20). The Israelites pursued the Philistines as far as Ekron (1 Sam. 17:52), the god of which . . . was Baalzebub (2 Kings 1:2).

So if you ever want to go see the devil’s armor, Jesus is keeping it in His tent.

Theology That Bites Back



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