I contain multitudes, parts 7 and 8

by Larry Fyffe

Part 5

According to prophet Isaiah if proper love is not shown to God, He’s going to make the wayward Hebrews suffer for their ungratefulness.

They’ll be overtaken by their enemies; many will flee elsewhere, or be exiled:

And many among them shall stumble
And fall and be broken
And be snared and be taken
(Isaiah 8:15)

Time and space collapse in the song “Changing Of The Guards” by musician Bob Dylan.

Therein, he becomes the new Isaiah (and just as confusing as the old) in the new Babylon of  America.

It’s back to the Bible ~

Before the coming of the Romans, Greeks under Alexander the Great establish a Hellenistic Empire; taken over is Judea; the Persian Empire defeated.

Greek mythology with statues of gods like Zeus(Jupiter) and Apollo idolize the ideal beauty of the naked ‘human’ body.

Under Judaism, the image of the one Hebrew G-d is not permitted; Adam and Eve clothe themselves.

In Hellenistic Judea, deadly battles break out over the covenant-symbolism of circumcision; some Jews get the procedure reversed; traditionalists enforce it on those who don’t want it (in order to make Christianity distinct, apostle Paul insists instead on baptism by water).

History, according to Bobisaiah, repeats itself.

Though the Devil’s in the details.

Allegorical chaos reigns in America; it’s mixed-up confusion, everything is broken.

Could be entertained that in a “flash forward” episode of the song below, the narrator therein chooses to take the middle path between no-idol-worshipping  Judiac “spiritualism”, and the marble-headed addiction to Hellenistic “materialism”.

There’s really nothing to turn off:

I stumbled to my feet
I rode past destruction in the ditches
With the stitches still mending
'Neath a heart-shaped tattoo
Renegade priests, and treacherous young witches
Were handing out the flowers that I'd given to you
 (Bob Dylan: Changing Of The Guards)

Nothing is revealed, except perhaps that the history of black slavery haunts America; “Captain” John Brown’s dead, a-moulding in his grave:

Bearer of a flaming torch on a tower, the mask of the white-faced Statue Of Liberty is lifted; the “other America” with an ebony face revealed:

A messenger arrived with a black nightingale
I seen her on the stairs, I couldn't help but follow
Follow her down past the fountain where they lifted her veil
(Bob Dylan: Changing Of The Guards)

Or so the ambiguous wording of the song above can be decoded to mean.

But certainly the song is not senseless and meaningless ~ as the Sound School of Dylanology would likely declare it to be.

Part 6

According to the Old Testament, prophet Daniel, captive in Babylon, has a dream that involves four animals – a lion, an eagle, a bear, and a leopard:

And four great beasts came up from the sea
Diverse  from one another
(Daniel 7:3)

Referred to in the following song lyrics:

Beat a retreat up them spiral staircases
Past the tree of smoke, past the angels with four faces
Begging God for mercy in unholy places
(Bob Dylan: Angelina)

Taken by some biblical interpreters at the time to mean the Assyrian; the Babylonian; the Persian; and the Grecian empires; by later interpreters to mean Britain; United States; Russia; and Germany.

A blast to the past:

Judas Maccabeus, a Jewish traditionalist priest, considers that not only the statues of Greek gods in Judea have to be destroyed, but also the repressive leopard that erected them.

Judas is sure that he has Yahweh on his side.

The armed revolt eventually leads to a semi-independent Jewish state that lasts up to the time when Herold becomes King of Judea, backed by Roman Empire.

Maccabeus, the Jewish ‘Robin Hood’, is inspired by the brave words and deeds of biblical heroes like Joshua and David:

Now therefore fear the Lord
And serve Him in sincerity, and in truth
And put away gods your fathers served ...
And serve ye the Lord
(Joshua 24: 14)

Below, a verse of similar sentiment written and sung by the new Judas Maccabeus from the  New Babylon:

You're gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody
(Bob Dylan: Gotta Serve Somebody)

Isaiah’s “Immanuel” has cometh:

The neighbourhood bully just lives to survive
He's criticized and condemned for being alive
He's not supposed to fight back, he supposed to have thick skin
He's supposed to lay down when his door is kicked in
(Bob Dylan: Neighbourhood Bully)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *