Category Archives: curiosities

DECREES AND LAWS

Deuteronomy shares many affinities with literature from the ancient Near East. The most evident is tis relationship to the various collections of legal sayings that have been recovered. These collections have come from as early as 2000 BC and before – eg., Sumerian Laws of Ur-Nammu (2064-2046 BC), the Laws Eshnunna (c 1850 BC), and the Code of Hammurapi king of Babylon (1792-1750 BC). The OT contains both similarities with and difference from these collections in subcategories of types of laws, such as case law, apodictic law, laws, involving curses, motive clauses, etc.

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DEFINITION OF THE DAY (DREAMS PT2)

WHAT DREAMS WERE INTERPRETED? Not every dream was thought to be from God. Not every dream was significant. Some could be wishful thinking (Psa 126:1; Isa 29:7-8). In times of need and especially when a person sought a word from God, dreams could be significant.

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MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE BIBLE (VINE SYMBOLISM)

The vine was of great importance in the religion of Israel. It was used as a symbol of the religious life of Israel itself, and a carving of a bunch of grapes often adorned the front exterior of the synagogue. The symbolism was based upon passages such as Psalm 80 and Isaiah 5:1-5 where Israel is God’s vine. The importance of the vine is why the Pharisees took the point so angrily when Jesus told the story of the wicked tenants in the vineyard (Matthew 21:33-41, 45-46). As the fulfilment of all that Israel should be to God, Jesus was the true vine (John 15:5-7).

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SOLOMON AT HIS WISESET

Two prostitute roommates had babies within three days of each other. While sleeping one night, one prostitute rolled over on her son and accidentally suffocated him. She quietly swapped sons with the other woman, and insisted it was her baby. The other woman knew better.

Two women and a baby showed up in Solomon’s court.

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WHAT IS CITIZENSHIP?

It is official membership community. When the world divided into nations, citizenship became the certified recognition of privilege and accountability to the laws and leaders of the nation granting it. Paul invites Christians to think of membership in God’s kingdom in the same way-a relationship of privilege and responsibility. This latter citizenship supersedes and qualifies all other memberships so that the Christian, while loyal to the state (Rom 13:1), is not unconditionally so.

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DEFINITION OF THE DAY (DREAMS)

In the ancient Near East dreams were one of several ways people sought to see the future and to make decisions that would be beneficial to them. In some societies, people went to temples or holy places to sleep in order to have a dream that would show them the best decision to make.

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MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF THE BIBLE (LIGHTING)

Lighting for houses was provided by the oil lamp. Originally this consisted of an open earthenware saucer containing olive oil. Part of the saucer was “pinched” in manufacture, so as to provide a place for a flaxen wick. Such lamps obviously had problems arising from spillage, and closed containers were therefore developed with two holes-one for wick and one to put oil in.

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SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (PROVERBS 15:1-10)

 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.

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BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (RAISED THE THRID DAY)

Jesus was in the tomb only about thirty-six hours (from late Friday afternoon until early Sunday morning)-not three full days as some people might conclude from Paul’s statement that He was raised on the third day.

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DEFINITION OF THE DAY (ONLY BEGOTTEN)

KJV alternate rendering of the Greek adjective monogenes (John 1:14,18; 3:16,18; Heb 11:17; 1 John 4:9). Elsewhere the KJV rendered the term “only [child]” (a son in Luke 7:12; 9:38; a daughter in 8:42). KJV, NKJV, NASB render monogenes as “only begotten [son]” when refering to Jesus (cp. NASB margin, “unique, only one of His kind”), but most modern translations (ESV,NAB,NJB,NLT,NRSV,REB,TEV) render the term consistently as “only.” NIV, HCSB render the term “One and Only [Son].”

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