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Old 02-23-2009, 09:23 AM   #1
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NLOTH Biblical References:

For anyone interested, here is an initial list of some overt biblical references contained within the lyrics on NLOTH. Almost any of the songs can be understood to contain spiritual concepts or messages, but these are the ones that jump out at me as coming directly from scripture. Please add any that I might have missed.
NLOTH - ????
Magnificent
- "joyful noise" phrase used throughout Psalms; "justified" Acts 13:39, and throughout Romans (i.e., Rom 3:24) and other letters by Paul
MOS - ???
UC
- "3:33" evidently another tip of U2's hat to Jeremiah 33:3, which says, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."
- (not biblical, but) around the 4:30 mark of the song the horns and later Edge's guitar are belting the notes from the chorus of the hymn "My Savior's Love", which goes "Oh how marvelous, oh how wonderful, and my song shall ever be: oh how marvelous, oh how wonderful, is my Savior's love for me!"
Crazy - ???
GOYB - ???
SUC - ???
Fez/BB - ???
WAS
- of course, "White as Snow" is a phrase used throughout the bible (i.e., Isaiah 1:18; Daniel 7:9)
- "The road refuses strangers, the land, the seeds we sow" - parable of the farmer's seeds (Matthew 13:4,19; also in Mark, Luke)
- "Where might we find the lamb as white as snow?" - Jesus, throughout New Testament (i.e.,1 Peter 1:19, multiple times in Revelations like 7:14)
- (abstract) It has been reported that this song is written from the perspective of a soldier dying in Afghanistan. I think "the water it was icy, as it washed over me" ties the feeling of oncoming death to the experience of baptism; which in itself is an allegory of death, burial, and resurrection.
Breathe
- "reborn" - John 3:3 "born again"
COL
"Cedars of Lebanon" are used literally and figuratively throughout the Old Testament. (1 Kings 5:6; Psalm 104:16)
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:25 AM   #2
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Isn't there more in Breathe?
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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"Sexy Boots" in GOYB is a very clear reference to the book of Exodus.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
Isn't there more in Breathe?

"found grace" and "wear them like a crown"??
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UAME View Post
For anyone interested, here is an initial list of some overt biblical references contained within the lyrics on NLOTH. Almost any of the songs can be understood to contain spiritual concepts or messages, but these are the ones that jump out at me as coming directly from scripture. Please add any that I might have missed.
NLOTH - ????
Magnificent
- "joyful noise" phrase used throughout Psalms; "justified" Acts 13:39, and throughout Romans (i.e., Rom 3:24) and other letters by Paul
MOS - ???
UC
- "3:33" evidently another tip of U2's hat to Jeremiah 33:3, which says, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."
- (not biblical, but) around the 4:30 mark of the song the horns and later Edge's guitar are belting the notes from the chorus of the hymn "My Savior's Love", which goes "Oh how marvelous, oh how wonderful, and my song shall ever be: oh how marvelous, oh how wonderful, is my Savior's love for me!"
Crazy - ???
GOYB - ???
SUC - ???
Fez/BB - ???
WAS
- of course, "White as Snow" is a phrase used throughout the bible (i.e., Isaiah 1:18; Daniel 7:9)
- "The road refuses strangers, the land, the seeds we sow" - parable of the farmer's seeds (Matthew 13:4,19; also in Mark, Luke)
- "Where might we find the lamb as white as snow?" - Jesus, throughout New Testament (i.e.,1 Peter 1:19, multiple times in Revelations like 7:14)
- (abstract) It has been reported that this song is written from the perspective of a soldier dying in Afghanistan. I think "the water it was icy, as it washed over me" ties the feeling of oncoming death to the experience of baptism; which in itself is an allegory of death, burial, and resurrection.
Breathe
- "reborn" - John 3:3 "born again"
COL
"Cedars of Lebanon" are used literally and figuratively throughout the Old Testament. (1 Kings 5:6; Psalm 104:16)

Thanks for this.

I've been wondering about some of these references.

Its now becoming pretty darn obvious that Unknown Caller is a song about revelation. I'm liking it more and more now that I'm understanding the lyrics/story.

I also think there is more within Breathe. There is reference of "Nine o' nine, St. John Divine" and a couple of other ones too.

I think once we start getting more info regrading the meanings behind the songs the album will really start to unveil itself.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:34 AM   #6
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BREATHE Appreciation - Discuss
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:54 AM   #7
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Magnificent - the whole song is very spiritual.

I was born to be with you - reference that we are all born to be with Christ.
This foolishness can leave a heart black and blue - foolishness is a reference to sin which makes the soul black and blue instead of leaving it white as show
Only love, only love can leave such a mark - Love of God will mark the soul of a believer
But only love, only love can heal such a scar Gods Love will heal all spiritual wounds that we inflict on ourselves by sinning
I was born to sing for you
I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice
From the womb my first cry, it was a joyful noise…

This is directly from the Psalms wheter we like it or not it is our duty to sing priases to God.
Justified till we die, you and I will magnify The Magnificent Via Song I will magnify the Lord and be justified in HIs Sight , The Magnificent refers to The Lord


I find this entire song very Thomistic (St Thomas Aquinas)
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UAME View Post
For anyone interested, here is an initial list of some overt biblical references contained within the lyrics on NLOTH. Almost any of the songs can be understood to contain spiritual concepts or messages, but these are the ones that jump out at me as coming directly from scripture. Please add any that I might have missed.
NLOTH - ????
Magnificent
- "joyful noise" phrase used throughout Psalms; "justified" Acts 13:39, and throughout Romans (i.e., Rom 3:24) and other letters by Paul
MOS - ???
UC
- "3:33" evidently another tip of U2's hat to Jeremiah 33:3, which says, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."
- (not biblical, but) around the 4:30 mark of the song the horns and later Edge's guitar are belting the notes from the chorus of the hymn "My Savior's Love", which goes "Oh how marvelous, oh how wonderful, and my song shall ever be: oh how marvelous, oh how wonderful, is my Savior's love for me!"
Crazy - ???
GOYB - ???
SUC - ???
Fez/BB - ???
WAS
- of course, "White as Snow" is a phrase used throughout the bible (i.e., Isaiah 1:18; Daniel 7:9)
- "The road refuses strangers, the land, the seeds we sow" - parable of the farmer's seeds (Matthew 13:4,19; also in Mark, Luke)
- "Where might we find the lamb as white as snow?" - Jesus, throughout New Testament (i.e.,1 Peter 1:19, multiple times in Revelations like 7:14)
- (abstract) It has been reported that this song is written from the perspective of a soldier dying in Afghanistan. I think "the water it was icy, as it washed over me" ties the feeling of oncoming death to the experience of baptism; which in itself is an allegory of death, burial, and resurrection.
Breathe
- "reborn" - John 3:3 "born again"
COL
"Cedars of Lebanon" are used literally and figuratively throughout the Old Testament. (1 Kings 5:6; Psalm 104:16)

Thanks! I just posted my analysis on Unknown Caller, but it would have helped my understanding more had I read your explanation on the "My Savior's Love" tidbit. Do you discover that yourself, or did you read the explanation somewhere?
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ltcf View Post
Thanks! I just posted my analysis on Unknown Caller, but it would have helped my understanding more had I read your explanation on the "My Savior's Love" tidbit. Do you discover that yourself, or did you read the explanation somewhere?

As far as the "My Savior's Love", I heard that on my own - as I posted on the UC appreciation thread, it jumped out at me on my very first time hearing the song. I have no way of knowing if I'm correct, but at this point my mind has made the connection, so I would have to hear otherwise directly from the band to be convinced that's not what they're playing.
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by UAME View Post
As far as the "My Savior's Love", I heard that on my own - as I posted on the UC appreciation thread, it jumped out at me on my very first time hearing the song. I have no way of knowing if I'm correct, but at this point my mind has made the connection, so I would have to hear otherwise directly from the band to be convinced that's not what they're playing.
I wasn't familiar with that hymn, but I just listened to it online, and it's very obvious they're using the chorus part. Very subtle and very beautiful.
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:44 PM   #11
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Cool about the hymn! I knew a song was playing there, but didnt know what it was.
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:58 PM   #12
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For what it's worth, it's interesting to do some Biblical sleuthing using the numerical references found in several songs. I like this kind of detective work.

Here's one that may relate to the "9 0 9" reference in "Breathe":

Isiah 9:9
"Bricks have fallen, but we will build with cut stone; Sycamores are felled, but we will replace them with cedars."

Another is Psalm 90:9
"Our life ebbs away under your wrath; our years end like a sigh."
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:24 AM   #13
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A few thoughts about, what seems to be, the most throwaway pop song on the album.
I may reading into this too much, but the song seems to be about the idea of sanctification. The line "It’s not a hill, it’s a mountain As you start out the climb Do you believe me or are you doubting" that coupled with the line "a change of heart comes slow" seems to suggest that to me.


"I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight"

She’s a rainbow and she loves the peaceful life
Knows I’ll go crazy if I don’t go crazy tonight
There’s a part of me in the chaos that’s quiet
And there’s a part of you that wants me to riot

Everybody needs to cry or needs to spit
Every sweet tooth needs just a little hit
Every beauty needs to go out with an idiot
How can you stand next to the truth and not see it *1
Oh, a change of heart comes slow *2

It’s not a hill, it’s a mountain
As you start out the climb
Do you believe me or are you doubting *3
We’re gonna make it all the way to the light *4
But I know I’ll go crazy if I don’t go crazy tonight

Every generation gets a chance to change the world
Pity the nation that won’t listen to your boys and girls
‘Cos the sweetest melody is the one we haven’t heard
Is it true that perfect love drives out all fear *5
The right to appear ridiculous is something I hold dear
Oh, but a change of heart comes slow*2

It’s not a hill, it’s a mountain
As you start out the climb
Listen for me, I’ll be shouting
We’re gonna make it all the way to the light
But you now I’ll go crazy if I don’t go crazy tonight

Baby, baby, baby
I know I’m not alone
Baby, baby, baby
I know I’m not alone

Oh oh oh

It’s not a hill, it’s a mountain
As we start out the climb
Listen for me, I’ll be shouting
Shouting to the darkness
Squeeze out sparks of light

You know we’re gonna go crazy
You know we’ll go crazy
You know we’ll go crazy if we don’t go crazy tonight

Oh, slowly now
Oh, be slow

*1
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
*2
II Cor 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
*3
Matt 17:20He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you."
*4
1 Tim 6:15-16 which he will display at the proper time--he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
*5
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:26 PM   #14
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^^ jphelmet, I think you are absolutely correct about the references in Crazy, but, I think like so many other U2 songs the main point is the struggle with sanctification. The flesh is battling the spirit, saying, "I'm gonna go crazy if I can't have my way!"
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:59 AM   #15
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Standing Next To The Truth

There's just so much good stuff on this album. My favorite song, both lyrically and musically is Breathe.

One additional consideration on I'll Go Crazy...
"How can you stand next to the truth and not see it?
Oh, a change of heart comes slow"
... is the story of Jesus on the road to Emmaus (BibleGateway.com - Passage�Lookup: Luke 24:13-35). These guys were hiking with Jesus all day, and had no clue who he was.

Jesus response: "'How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself."

Let me in the sound, indeed.
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