There are a number of cautionary tales in the Bible, but few are as seamy and sad as this one.
Looking down on the city of Jerusalem form the atop his royal palace one fine spring evening, Israel’s King David spotted a fine young woman. She wasn’t merely attractive; she was “very beautiful.” And, of all the things she might have been doing, she was bathing. Continue reading WOMAN OF THE DAY (BATHSHEBA: THE VERY BEAUTIFUL WOMAN WITH THE VERY TRAGIC LIFE)
1 SAMUEL, 25:3 – “Abigail . . . was intelligent and beautiful, but [her husband] was harsh and evil in his dealings.”
The story of Abigail is found primarily in 1 Samuel 25. We learn that she was “intelligent and beautiful” (vs3) and married to “a very rich man” (v2). They lived in Maon, and he commuted to work- he was in the sheep and goat business-in Carmel. If that’s all we knew, we’d conclude Abigail was beyond blessed. To be attractive and smart and well-to-do? Living in the suburbs? Who wouldn’t want all that? Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (ABIGAIL: MARRIED TO A FOOL)
Ancient city at the modern site of Izmir, Turkey. Smyrna surrounded a well-protected harbor on the Aegean Coast at the outlet of the Hermus River. The city lay at the foot of Mount Pagus and is located about 35 miles north of Ephesus. Extensive trade to and from Asia passed through the city. During the first century A.D. Smyrna reigned as one of the grandest cities of all Asia. Strabo (64 B.C- A.D. 20s), the Greek geographer, called Smyrna “the most beautiful city of all” cities along this coast. A large temple there, dedicated to Emperor Tiberius, boasted Smyrna’s close alliance with the Empire. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY “SMYRNA”
That’s a question that people of faith, Jews and Christians alike, have been asking for more than 2,000 years. Most believers in ancient times couldn’t handle what many scholars today insist is the truth about this book. And the truth is that it’s an erotic celebration of love between a man and a woman who graphically praise the physical features of each other and trade fantasies about making love. Though their words aren’t obscene, they are unapologetically sensual. Continue reading WHAT IS A SONG ABOUT SEX-WITH NO MENTION OF GOD-DOING IN THE BIBLE?
David was one of the greatest heroes of the Bible and a man after God’s heart. But, let’s face it, when he had a man killed so he could take his wife, he failed big time.
Uriah the Hittite was a good man and a loyal soldier. He didn’t deserve to die because another man couldn’t control his passions. Bathsheba didn’t deserve to be made a widow by her king. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (DAVID: AFTER GOD’S FORGIVING HERAT)
Even in Bible times deer were game animals, and they were permitted in the Israelite diet because they chew the cud and “divide the hoof.” They are admired for their agility and grace, even in difficult terrain, and when they sense danger they are able to run swiftly. As the sole caretakers for fawns, does are gentle. In an arid environment like that of Israel, deer would have had to travel long distances to find water. Beautiful, graceful, swift, and sure-footed, deer were often used by the writers of Scripture to portray personal and spiritual qualities.
Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (DEER)