Persons whose profession was to sell or exchange Roman or other moneys for Jewish money acceptable in the temple worship. In NT times regions and cities issued their own money. This caused Jews of the Dispersion, those who lived outside of Judea, to bring many kinds of money to Jerusalem. To help visitors change money into that acceptable in Jerusalem, money changers set up tables in the temple court of the Gentiles. Syrian silver coins were the money of Jerusalem then, and worshipers used them to pay their temple tax of a half shekel and to buy sacrifices for the altar.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (MONEY CHANGERS)
These verses occur in the context of presenting a sacrificial animal as an offering to the Lord. The Israelites believed the blood of such an animal was sacred, since it carried the very essence of life itself. In a sense, the blood was the ransom price that atoned for their sins. It was to be drained from the animal and poured on the ground at the base of the altar.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (EATING BLOOD FORBIDDEN)
Supplying wood for priests to use in offering burnt sacrifices on the altar was a task assigned to the Nethinims, or temple servants (Ezra 2:43). But not enough of these servants returned from the exile in Babylonia and Persia to handle this task.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (WOOD FOR THE ALTAR)
These commercial activities that upset Jesus were being conducted in an outer court of the Jewish, temple during the observance of the Passover in Jerusalem.
All male Jews were expected to attend this festival, even if they lived a long distance from Jerusalem (Exod 23:17). The money changers were probably exchanging foreign coins of these pilgrims for the appropriate coins with which to pay the temple tax (Matt 17:24).Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (COMMERCIALISM IN THE TEMPLE)
In the Old Testament, the object erected time and time again to communicate the presence and power of God was an altar. The altar could be a single rock or a loosely organized arrangement of large stones, so people were never far from an altar or could build one in a few moments. Nothing was more prominent as a biblical image for worship and allegiance to God than the altar. It is no exaggeration to say that the most visible sign of one’s devotion to the true God in the worship of the old covenant was the building of altars or traveling to them for acts of sacrifice or offering. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (ALTAR)
Elevate site, usually found on the top of a mountain or hill; most high places were Canaanite places of pagan worship.
HEATHEN WORSHIP AT THE HIGH PLACE: The average high place would have an altar (2 Kings 21:3; 2 Chron 14:3), a carved wooden pole that depicted the female goddess of fertility (Asherah), a stone pillar symbolizing the male deity (2 Kings 3:2), other idols (2 Kings 12:31; 13:32; 16:32-33). At these places of worship the people sacrificed animals (at some high places children were sacrificed according to Jer 7:31), burned incense to their gods, prayed, ate sacrificial meals, and were involved with male or female cultic Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (HIGH PLACE)
Cattle were primarily a measure or symbol of wealth in biblical times. They were both familiar and significant, good characteristics for symbolic use. Among his livestock, the wealthy Job had a thousand oxen (Job 1:3). Cattle not only provided meat, milk, leather, and other by-products, they were the main animal workforce in ancient agricultural societies. Oxen (castrated bulls) pulled plows as well as wagons. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (BULL/CALF)
THE BRONZE ALTAR
God wanted to dwell among his people. How does a holy God dwell among sinful people? First God required the people to sacrifice a perfect animal for their sins (Lev 17:11). The blood of the animal was important to justify the people before God. Only the finest animal-a perfect one-was good enough. Sacrifices needed to be offered on a regular basis (Heb 9:25). The person bringing the offering would put his hand on the head of the lamb