Posts tagged ‘rain’

Prophets are people who have a special ability for listening to and speaking for God. The prophet Isaiah, who lived around the eighth century B.C.E., was an adviser to the king of Judah. At that time, the kingdom was under attack from Assyria, Isaiah told the king that god would protect the people if they had faith, but if they rejected god, they would be destroyed.

My friend had a vineyard on a fertile hillside; he spaded it, cleared it of stones, and planted the choicest vines; . . . Then he looked for the crop of grapes, but what it yielded was wild grapes . . . Now, I will let you know what I mean to do to my vineyard: Take away its hedge, give it to grazing, break through its wall, let it be trampled! Yes, I will make it a ruin: it shall not be pruned or hoed, but overgrown with thorns and briers; I will command the clouds not to send rain upon it. The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his cherished plant. (Isaiah 5: 1-7))

In your own words, explain what Isaiah was saying here.

The Taoist thinker Chuang Tzu lived about 2,500 years ago, at a time when people knew very little about the world around them. Still he tried to understand the phenomena of nature. He wrote:

Do the heavens revolve? Does the earth stand still? Do the sun and the moon contend for their positions? Who has the time to keep them all moving? Is there some mechanical device that keeps them going automatically? Or do they merely continue to revolve, inevitably, of their own inertia?

Do the clouds make rain? Or is it the rain that makes the clouds? What makes it descend so copiously? Who is it that has the leisure to devote himself, with such abandoned glee, to making these things happen?


Given what you know about Taoism, why do you think Chuang Tzu might have been interested in the workings of nature?

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