In this verse, Amos charged the wealthy class of the nation of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) with oppression the poor and worshiping pagan gods.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (OPPRESSION OF THE POOR)
As students , we learned to raise our hand in the classroom to gain recognition to speak. The en masse raising of hands at a sporting event signals celebration. Neither of these forms of hand raising are apparent in the art and literature of the ancient Near East, but we do find both morals and gods depicted with uplifted hands in a variety of scenarios.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (HANDS “TO RAISE OR STRETCH OUT” PT 1 OF 3)
Most Christians approach this topic from one of three viewpoints. One group sees all the gifts mentioned in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4 as still operative today. Another group says that the more spectacular, so-called “sign” gifts (prophecy, tongues, healing) were given only for the beginning era of the church (people who hold this position are called “cessationists”). Still others teach that all the gifts were temporary in nature.Continue reading WHAT SHOULD WE BELIEVE ABOUT SPIRITUAL GIFTS?
Sailors of ancient times tended to be very superstitious because of their constant exposure to the dangers of the sea. When a storm struck the ship in which Jonah was escaping from the call of the Lord, they assumed the pagan gods were punishing them because of their displeasure with one person on board.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (SUPERSTITIOUS SAILORS)
The motif of the torn garment is linked to political changes in Israel as well. When Saul was rejected as king, he tore the hem of Samuel’s garment just before hearing “the LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors” (1 Sam 15:27-28; also read 28:17). Later when David’s son Solomon harbored sins that were not appropriateContinue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (TEAR A GARMENT PT 2 OF 2)
Work done for other people or for God and the worship of God. Jacob worked for Laban seven years for each of his wives (Gen 29:15-30). Service could be slave labor (Exod 5:11; Lev 25:39; 1 Kings 12:4; Isa 14:3 cp Lam 1:3), farm work (1 Chron 27:26), or daily labor on the job (Psa 104:23). It could be service of earthly kingdoms (2 Chron 12:8; cp 1 Chron 26:30), of God’s place of worship (Exod 20:16; cp Num 4:47; 1 Chron 23:24), of God’s ministers (Ezra 8:20), and of God (Josh 22:27). Not only people do service; God also done service (Isa 28:21). Even righteousness has a service (Isa 32:17).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SERVICE)
King’s were, anointed by having olive oil poured on their heads (2 Kings 11:12). This was also an act of courtesy and hospitality performed by hosts for their guests.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (GOD’S ABUNDANT BLESSING)
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-23)
Public drama was apparently unknown in OT Israel except for possible worship activities and only arrived with the Greeks after 400 B.C. As a symbol of Greco-Roman culture, the presence of theaters in Palestine was a constant reminder of Greek and Roman control of the Jewish state.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (THEATER)
The Jewish people believed that contact with a grave caused a person to become unclean (Numbers 19:16), so tombs were coated with a white lime solution to make them stand out to keep people from touching them accidently.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (CORRUPTION THE INSIDE)