Manasseh, king of Judah (697 – 642 BC), built altars in Jerusalem for all the “host of heaven” (2 Kings 21:5). He attempted to merge the worship of other gods with the worship of Yahweh. Manasseh’s efforts were reversed when Josiah came to the throne (2 Kings 23:7).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (HOST OF HEAVEN PT 2 OF 2)
The metalsmith has a very old pedigree. Cain was a smith, and it was one of his descendants, Tubal-Cain, who was described as “the forger of instruments of bronze and iron” (Genesis 4:17,22). Cain was the father of the Midianite tribe of Kenites who seem to have been involved in many aspects of Israel’s history (see, for example Genesis 15:19; 1 Samuel 15:6). They appear to have exploited the copper of the Sinai with the Egyptians. Artifacts of Kenite metalworking have yielded much of the archaeological information we know concerning ancient metal-working.Continue reading MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE BIBLE (WORKERS WITH METAL)
Exodus 19 describes Israel arriving at Sinai. This chapter is important for understanding the events at Sinai, where Israel spent over two years (Numbers 10:11). God addressed the people as “the house of Jacob. . . the people of Israel . . .” (Exodus 19:3) as a way to remind them that they were the people of the covenant, the descendants of Abraham. What was about to happen at Sinai was not a new covenant with the people but an extension of the covenant God made with Abraham.Continue reading ISRAEL AT SINAI
GREAT HIGH PRIEST
When Christ is called our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14) it is because he and he alone was chosen by God to make the perfect sacrifice and intercession for us before God’s merciful throne-and not before an earthly throne, but before the very throne of God’s presence!Continue reading THE HIGH PRIEST
From the moment the Israelites left Egypt, danger followed them all the way. Between the Egyptian army pursuing them and the dangers in the wilderness, the Israelites were a crowd of scared, tired people. They had seen God’s power in Egypt, but they were walking into the unknown. Seeing the cloud during the day and the column of fire during the night was probably a great comfort. The pillar of cloud and fire functioned as a reminder of God’s guiding and protective care, shown in Exodus 14:19, the pillar interposed between Israel and the pursuing Egyptian army, striking fear into the camp of Egypt and encouraging the Israelites.Continue reading JESUS AND THE PLLLAR
The evaluation at times took a decidedly negative tone. Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, was the first to have his reign characterized in a more negative way due to the first that Judah “step up for themselves high places, sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree” (1 Kings 14:23). This was clearly a case of hyperbole; nevertheless a land that appeared full of what God had forbidden characterized Rehoboam’s rule as less than it needed to be.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (SACRED STONES PT4)
Enigmatic or puzzling statement, often based on the clever use of the ambiguities of language. The classic biblical example of a riddle is that posed by Samson to the Philistines. This riddle is in poetic form (judg 14:12-12), and the question, “What is it?” is implied. The Philistines’ reply is in the form of another riddle (v 18a) whose original answer was probably “love.” Samson’s retort may reflect yet another commonly known, and rather risque’ riddle (v 18b).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (RIDDLE)
Little is known about the Israelite view of malevolent spirits, popularly called “demons” in contemporary usage. In contemporary usage. In addition to the Hebrew word shed, translate “false gods” in Ps 106:37, the OT has a Hebrew word sair, translated in the NIV as “goat idols” (Lev 17:7: 2 Chron 11:15: see the NIV text note on Lev 17:7). Some suggest that the use of sair also refers to demons in Isa 13:21; 34:14 (NIV “wild goats). This Hebrew word refers to an actual goat in Gen 37:31 and frequently in texts prescribing a goat for sacrifice (e.g., Lev 4:23; Nu 7:16).Continue reading DEMONS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
“The pit” is called “Sheol” in some translations, and this psalm presupposes that actual places exist in the realm of the spirit. Not quite.Continue reading WHERE IS “THE PIT”?
One theme rings throughout this unique Bible book: Falling head over heels in love is fantastic! The pleasure of sexual intercourse is celebrated here in language that leaves no doubt. This book has been interpreted by some as an allegory, devaluing the erotic element in favor of a more vertical meaning (God’s love of Israel, for example). But the plan language of the book is devoted powerfully to celebrating God’s gift of love to a man and woman. So, let’s face it-if you’re going to meet and fall in love, do it this way.Continue reading IS EROTIC LOVE OKAY?