The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0093 Tuesday, 18 January 2005
From: John Reed <
Date: Monday, 17 Jan 2005 12:10:17 -0800
Subject: Re: Why is the Prince of Darkness a Gentleman?
In Matthew 4, it says, "Again, the devil taketh him [Jesus] up into an
exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world,
and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give
thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." Perhaps following up on
this idea, Paul, in II Corinthians, indirectly refers to Satan as Lord
of this World. Then the writer of Ephesians states, "Put on the whole
armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the
devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against power, against the rulers of the darkness of
this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
In I Corinthians 2 Paul writes, "Wisdom, now, we are speaking among
those perfected, yet not the wisdom of this world age, nor of the rulers
of this world age who are coming to nought, on the contrary we are
speaking of God's wisdom in mystery, the one that has been hidden, which
God did foreordain before the world ages unto our glory, which not one
of the rulers of this world age has known, for if they had known it they
would not have crucifed the Lord of glory."
Commenting on this passage, R.H. Lenski writes, "The crucifixion of
Christ is the final demonstration of the fact that the world's highest
representatives did not and do not know God's wisdom. The Jewish and
the Roman political leaders are here referred to, but in Christ's time
the former were also the ecclesiastical rulers. They even had the Old
Testament revelation to give them knowledge. Yet they did not know. All
their guilty and fatal ignorance comes to the surface in the crucifixion
of Christ, John 18:38; Luke 23:34, Acts 3:17, 13:17. The Jewish and the
Gentile authorities of Christ's day are typical in this respect. 'World
is world; wherever the world lets out its real self in its leaders,
there Christ is killed, in Jerusalem and in Rome, everywhere, always.'
Besser." An uncomfortable set of thoughts, I know.
The idea here would seem to be that the political rulers of the world
are more aligned with Satan than with God. Political rulers are
socially prominent. The word gentleman signifies someone who is
socially prominent. Satan, standing above both gentlemen and the very
political leaders, would possibly qualify as being included in the set
of gentlemen. It looks a little like an ironic understatement.
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