Tag Archives: bible times

EVERYDAYL LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FAST)

Giving the powerful role that fasting might play in developing this perspective, the biblical authors are roundly critical of those who abuse it. Typically, the presentation of fasting is surrounded by positive connotations, as when Luke mentions the widow Anna, who spent her days at the temple praying and fasting (Luke 2:36-37). But those who presumed that the mere act of fasting was sufficient in and of itself as leverage with which to force the Almighty into

Continue reading EVERYDAYL LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FAST)

EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FAST PT 1 OF 3)

Today intentional abstention from food and drink for a given period of time is more likely associated with preparation for a medical test or in conjunction with a weight-loss plan than with spiritual development. But in the Bible, the physical act of fasting was employed in order to enrich an awareness of mortal vulnerability and to sharpen awareness of the Lord’s ability to provide.

Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FAST PT 1 OF 3)

EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FAMINE PT2)

Whether in connection with climate or siege, famine was clearly one of the worst experiences in the ancient world (1 Kings 8:37). The purchase of food would first consume all a person’s precious metal, then livestock, and finally even the land they relied on the produce food, putting its former owners into virtual servitude (Gen 47:13-22). Jeremiah vividly describes the circumstances in which hunger pangs could no longer be endured in silence but were given

Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FAMINE PT2)

BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (WATER INTO WINE)

This is the only place where the word firkin appears in the Bible. It was the main liquid measure of the Roman would in New Testament times. A firkin was equal to about nine gallons.

Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (WATER INTO WINE)

BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A TAX FOR THE TEMPLE)

An annual tax, required of every Jewish male, was designated for maintenance and support of the temple in Jerusalem. Perhaps the temple officials who collected this tax approached Peter about paying it because Jesus and His disciples were hard to pin down. Their teaching and healing ministry kept them moving from place to place.

Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A TAX FOR THE TEMPLE)

EVERYDAY LIFE IN THE BIBLE TIMES (RUN PT1)

Walking was the most common way for people living in Bible times to get from one place to another on a daily basis. Given the fatigue that discourages sustained running, those who ran were either special people with unique vocations or ordinary people who were responding to unique situations. Those expected to run included athletes, couriers, and royal guards. The Greeks introduced the world to athletic contests that were the precursor to our Olympic games. The ancient games included running events of various distances in which athletes could

Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN THE BIBLE TIMES (RUN PT1)

EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PROSTITUTE P2)

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 prostitutes

Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PROSTITUTE P2)

EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PLUNDER)

From an early age we are taught to respect the belongings of others even if our size and strength make it possible to take them by force. In order to understand the actions of the people of the ancient Near East, we need to make a major adjustment in this thinking. Within the cultural construct of this world, the expectation was that those who were victorious in battle had the right to seize the personal property of those defeated and even enslave the owners of that property. This practice of plundering is mentioned repeatedly in the literature of the ancient world peatedly in the literature of the ancient world and illustrated in the art of the empires that rose to power during the Old Testament era.

Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PLUNDER)

BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (NO BLACK MAGIC)

The term divination, as used in this passage, refers to attempts to control evil spirits, to penetrate the mysteries of the universe, or to foretell the future by using magical acts, pronouncing superstitious incantations, or interpreting natural signs. Today we refer to such practices as “the occult.” “Black magic” was a prominent feature of pagan religious systems in Bible times. But God prohibited the Israelites from participating in these practices. Seven different types of divination are mentioned in this passage.

Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (NO BLACK MAGIC)

BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (BURIED FOOD)

insider-beach1-blog480

Ishmael was a Jewish zealot who rebelled against the rule of Babylonia in the chaotic period after Judah fell to the Babylonian army. These ten men agreed to give Ishmael some food supplies that they had hidden in their fields if he would spare their lives. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (BURIED FOOD)