The Day of Atonement was an animal ceremony in which sacrifices were offered to atone for the sins of Israel. Marked by humiliation and fasting, it recognized the people’s inability to make atonement for their sins. This required God’s intervention and that of His representative-the high priest of the nation.
Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (THE DAY OF ATONEMENT)
The Jewish people who returned to their homeland after their period of exile in Babylonia and Persia restored their worship rituals. These included the celebration of each new moon, which marked the beginning of a new month in their calendar. Offerings and sacrifices were made to atone for their sins committed during the previous month. The new moon celebration is also referred to in Numbers 10:10
Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (NEW MOON SACRIFICES)
This verse is also part of Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. He contrasted the self-righteous attitude of a proud Pharisee with the humble and penitent attitude of a tax collector.
Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (GRIEF OVER SIN)
This plague against Egypt-the turning of water into blood-covered all of the water sources of the land. Included were the Nile River, other flowing streams, irrigation canals, and ponds that held water for the watering of animals and for irrigation purposes.
Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (ALL THE POOLS OF EGYPT)
This verse is part of Isaiah’s prophecy of doom against Egypt. God’s punishment would be so devastating that it would spoil the Egyptian fishing industry. Fish taken from the Nile River and it’s tributaries were a staple of this ancient nation’s diet. Continue reading FISHING, EGYPTIAN STYLE
To the Jews of New Testament times, sundown marked the end of an old day and the beginning of a new day. The twenty-four-hour period between each sundown was divided into twelve hours of night–beginning about 6:00 p.m.-and twelve hours of daylight-beginning with dawn at about 6:00 a.m. Continue reading THE JEWISH CLOCK
David may have been referring in this psalm to an ancient custom observed by mourners at funerals. They would collect the tears they shed for departed loved ones in small flasks and place them in their tombs as memorials of their love. The New International Version renders this phrase as “list my tears on your scroll.” But in a marginal note, it cites “put my tears in you wineskin” as a possible reading. Continue reading GOD KNOWS OUR TEARS
To be superior to “all the gods of Egypt” was quite a claim, since the Egyptians are known to have worshiped more than thirty pagan deities. These included the bull god Apis, who ensured fertility; Hathor, the goddess of love; and Thoth, the god of wisdom and books. Continue reading ALL THE GODS OF EGYPT