Tag Archives: bible signs and symbols

SIGNS &SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CANAAN)

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The land of Canaan is the original name for what became the Promise Land of Israel in the Old Testament. It was named after Noah’s grandson Canaan, who was the ancestor of various groups living in that region (Gen 10:15-19). In general, the term Canaanite was applied to any all peoples who lived along the eastern end of the Mediterranean and west of the Dead Sea. Continue reading SIGNS &SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CANAAN)

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SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (EGYPT)

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The Bible most often portrays the land of Egypt as the crucible in which the nation of Israel was forged. But Egypt played an important role earlier, in the lives of Abraham as well as his great-grandson Joseph. Abraham found shelter there during a famine but left in disgrace after lying to the Pharaoh about Sarai (Gen 12:10-20). Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt and became not only a great blessing to the nation, but also the means by which the rest of his family was kept safe during another devastating famine (Gen 37-46). Eventually Egypt enslaved the young nation and treated them mercilessly for four hundred years. Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (EGYPT)

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (UNLEAVENED BREAD/YEAST)

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      In scientific terms, yeast is a fungus that ferments carbohydrates and makes dough rise. It is a key ingredient in the making of bread,  beer, wine, and spirits. Leavened bread is present in most cultures from prehistoric times onward, including that of the Israelites. That is why Moses’ instruction to leave yeast out of their bread in preparation for the exodus seemed notable and became part of the remembrance celebration of the Passover. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (UNLEAVENED BREAD/YEAST)

SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (WIND)

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From the delicate breeze to the terrifying hurricane, wind is a force of nature. We can’t see the wind, but we know it is there. Throughout time, humans have learned to harness the wind to fill sails and run wind turbines. We also struggle to limit the destruction caused by wind as the major cause of erosion on earth. Due to its unpredictability and raw power, wind holds both positive and negative connotations throughout the Bible. Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (WIND)

BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (BETHLEHEM)

View of Har Homa (Hebrew illegal settlement) from Bethlehem 2010

The very name Bethlehem immediately awakens thoughts of carol lyrics and the story of Christmas. Yet the tale of that little town reaches far back into history, when the Promised Land was just a promise. The village is first mentioned, almost as a sad footnote, in the itinerary of Jacob’s trip back from Haran with his growing family, only to have his beloved Rachel go into labor just outside Ephrath (Gen 35:16) and die while giving birth to the youngest of the patriarch’s sons, Benjamin. Her burial place is identified as Bethlehem (Gen 35:19). Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (BETHLEHEM)

BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (FIRE)

920x920 Both mesmerizing and mysterious, fire represents combustion, a chemical reaction that releases both heat and light. Today, fire seems to be at our fingertips-we just need to turn on the stove or light a match. Because we no longer have to work to get it, most of us take fire for granted. Yet we rely on fire for light, warmth, cooking, manufacturing, and refining. Fire figures into the Bible in numerous ways-in daily life, religious ceremony, Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (FIRE)

SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (BEAST)

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In a few places in the Bibles, the term beast is used in its modern descriptive sense of la menacing or mindless animal whose behavior is somewhat unpredictable. Jacob compared his son Issachar to a donkey or beast of burden (Gen 49:14), creating a picture of capacity and stubbornness as strong traits in his ninth born. Many biblical monsters seem to be mythical, or at least are symbolic of threats of God’s order and authority in the world. But unlike the monstrous beasts of surrounding cultures and religions, God retains power over all the beasts and chaos in the world, and will ultimately defeat them. Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (BEAST)

SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (HAND)

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Beyond their obvious use in holding objects, hands have long had two other significant roles for people: we count on our fingers, and we measure with the length or breadth of our hands. Finger width and palm width were standard units of measure in Bible times. In passage like Exodus 25:25 and 37:12, 1 King 7:26, and Ezekiel 40:43 the span is transplanted “three inches,” but the original says “handbreadth” Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (HAND)

BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (GATE)

1411.m00.i101.n014.s.c12.212932381-vector-iron-gate-f      Doors allow access to or prevent us from entering a room or home. Gates are usually more imposing and important. They guard the access to large spaces: cities, estates, and the way to eternal life. In Bible times, most cities of any size were surrounded by walls, so gates were a constant feature in people’s’ lives. No wonder, then, that the role of gates became symbolic of other values and ideas. Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (GATE)

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE “BRIDEGROOM”

 

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Weddings are joy-filled and expectant events. We look forward to the couple’s new life and the starting of a new family. In biblical times, the bridegroom was ending his adolescence and taking on the responsibility of starting a family line. Continuing the family name was of utmost importance. Because of this, the bridegroom  portrayed as a victor (Ps 19:5). He had won the bride through the payment of a bride-price and had earned a position of importance in the community. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE “BRIDEGROOM”