King Ahab of Israel had won a previous battle against the Syrians (1 Kings 20:21), apparently among the hills and mountains of Israel. The victory gave rise to the Syrian claim that the God of Israel was a god of the high country, not of the level plains. The Syrians reflected the typical pagan belief that different nations and different parts of the earth had their own regional gods.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (GOD OF THE HILLS AND VALLEYS)
Both men and women of the Bible times wore outer robes or cloaks that extended almost to the feet (read Gen 37:3; Deut 22:5 and 1 Sam 19:24). These loose-fitting gowns were held tight against the body by a belt or sash (generally referred to as a “girdle” by the King James Version) around the person’s waist.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTMOS AND CURIOSITIES (TUCKING IN THE CLOAK)
This taunt by King Ben-hadad of Syria (1 Kings 20:10) and the reply of his enemy-King Ahab of Israel (1 King 20:11)-are good examples of ancient psychological warfare. Opposing armies often used such tactics. They attempted to gain the upper hand even before they drew their swords by intimidating the other side with taunts and threats.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (PSYCHOLOGICAL WAREFARE)
Elijah’s position in this verse was a stance for deep meditation. He was probably thinking about the victory of the Lord over the priests of the pagan god Baal (1 Kings 18:27) and praising Him for His awesome power.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (FACE BETWEEN THE KNEES)
The formal mention of prostitutes in the Bible is often used to shape our impression of people with whom they were associated. Because the law of God was clear on this matter, the linking of a man with a prostitute, whether sexually or by birth, cast a dark cloud over his character. This included notables like Judah, Jephthah, and Samson (Gen 38:15; Judg 11:1; 16:1). When Joshua sent spies to Jericho, the population was so immoral that the one person of redeeming value found in the city was a prostitute (Josh 2:1). And the image of Ahab was clearly tarnished by the fact that his bloody chariot was washed out at the place where the prostitutes bathed (1 Kings 22:38). By contrast, Israel’s leaders who aggressively expelled shrine prostitutesContinue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PROSTITUTE P2)
Within the larger ancient Near Eastern world, prostitution was legal and generally accepted by members of society, and there is evidence that some prostitutes in Mesopotamia gathered into professional associations linked to the goddess Ishtar. The Hebrew of the Old Testament uses two different words when referring to those who functioned as prostitutes (zona, translated “prostitute” in Gen 38:15; and qedesa, translated “shrine prostitute” in Gen 38:21-22), which suggests that the prostitutes in Canaan were of two types: secular sex workers and prostitutes linked to pagan worship. Nevertheless, given the extent of the evidence we possess from the ancient world, we need to use caution in identifying the latter too closely with pagan worship rites that sought to increase the fertility of flocks, herds, and fields.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PROSTITUTE P1)
John assassinated King Ahab and assumed the kingship of Israel. Then he had all of Ahab’s sons killed to eliminate all claimants to the throne. These sons were beheaded, and their heads were piled in a heap outside the entrance to the city of Jezreel. King Ahab’s palace was located at Jezreel. This was probably Jehu’s way of sending a message that anyone who remained loyal to Ahab and opposed Jehu’s accession to the throne would suffer the same fate. Continue reading EXECUTION BY DECAPITATION
Everywhere the portrait of God’s character in the Bible is that of integrity, trustworthiness, and honesty, God hates lying (Proverbs 12:22). Lying is a human trait, not a divine one (Romans 3:4). Liars deserve condemnation (Revelation 21:8). God is totally opposed to lying and stands completely against it as a means of achieving His will. How then does God approve of lying in this instance? Continue reading DOES GOD ENDORSE DECEPTION?
It’s hard find nice things to say about the woman whose name has become synonymous for being shameless, brazen, and morally bankrupt.
Jezebel came from royalty-her father was Ethbaal, a Phoenician king. She also married into royalty-her husband, Ahab, was the king of the ten tribes that made up the northern kingdom of Israel (see 1 Kings 16:29-33).
Sometimes good motives moves us to do bad things.
Jehoshaphat was a good king of Judah who strengthened his cities and his army to the point that the surrounding kings feared to attack. He then sent his officers throughout the country with Levites and priests to teach his people the law of the Lord. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (JEHOSHAPHAT: BAD COMPANY)