At the annual celebration of the Passover in Jerusalem (see note on Matthew 26:19), the Roman governor released on Jewish prisoner who was selected by the people. This was a gesture of goodwill to the Jews, who resented the Roman occupation of their country.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (BARABBAS, NOT JESUS)
Jerusalem was not Israel’s first capital. Shiloh was-for at least a century.
A high plains village nearly half a mile above sea level and thirty miles north of Jerusalem, in Israel’s hill country, Shiloh was where Joshua and the Israelites pitched the tent of God, or the worship center called the tabernacle. This is where the Israelites came to offer sacrifices to God and to celebrate religious holidays.Continue reading A LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT (SHILOH)
King Ahab of Israel had won a previous battle against the Syrians (1 Kings 20:21), apparently among the hills and mountains of Israel. The victory gave rise to the Syrian claim that the God of Israel was a god of the high country, not of the level plains. The Syrians reflected the typical pagan belief that different nations and different parts of the earth had their own regional gods.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (GOD OF THE HILLS AND VALLEYS)
In the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel, we meet a woman named Hannah. She was married in a man named Elkanah, of the tribe of Ephraim. They lived in the hill country, in a little town with a big name-Ramathaim-zophim.Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (HANNAH “THE MOM WHO LET GO”)
That’s a great question! One that many Christians haven’t much thought about! In fact, the vast majority of Christians have never even considered it, let alone done it.
That’s about to change for many of them!
The reason is because of a new reading program called “Through the Bible . . . as It Happened!” It re-arranges the Bible material into a chronological format. That means the events are re-arranged so the reader reads them in the order they occurred – much like a novel. The normal way the Bible is arranged is “themed.” That means the material is all put together according to subject, not according the when it happened.
Matthew, author of the Gospel of Matthew, was a jewish citizen who collected taxes from his countrymen for the Roman government. After Jesus called Matthew to become one of His disciples, Matthew invited some of his tax collector friends to his home for a meal with Jesus and His other disciples.
The Pharisees criticized Jesus for associating with tax collectors and other whom they considered outcasts and sinners. Tax collectors were hated by the Jewish people because they considered them traitors who cooperated with the Romans to drain their country of its resources (read Luke 5:27).
But Jesus replied that His mission was to seek and to save people like Matthew and his friends. “They that be whole need not a physician,” He said, “but they that are sick” (Matthew 9:12).
MATTHEW 9:10- As Jesus sat at meat in the house [Matthew’s house,] behold, many publicans [tax collectors] and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
MATTHEW 9:12- But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
LUKE 5:27- And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of customs: and he said unto him Follow me.
Ancient Israelites attached a severe social stigma to rape. A young woman victim was “ruined”-she became an outcast with no means of financial support and no prospects for a family of her own. So the law imposed on the perpetrator the responsibility of care for the victim-providing her a home and family-at considerable cost to him. Such an arrangement also reduced the need of the victim’s family to seek forcible revenge, thus sparing the culture much violence. Continue reading OLD TESTAMENT LAW REQUITES A MAN WHO RAPES A VIRGIN TO MARRY HER. WHY FORCE THE VICTIM OF SUCH A TERRIBLE CRIME MARRY THE PERPETRATOR?
The first chapter of Exodus gives only a few facts about the years the Israelites spent in Egypt. If was clear from what God revealed to Abraham that they were destined to live in this country for several centuries. “Know certainly,” the Lord told Abraham, “that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years” (Genesis 15:13 NKJV). Continue reading YEARS IN EGYPT (EXODUS 1)