The word most often translated eagle occurs in both the Old and New Testaments. And while it may not appeal to our more obvious notions of the regal appearance of eagles, the word used for these soaring, majestic creatures can also refer to vultures. In truth, particularly when observed from a distance, the flight patterns and other behaviors of eagles and vultures are fairly similar. The traits of these birds, which are used for symbolic purpose, have little to do with appearance. God certainly gave to both eagles and vultures certain abilities that provoke us to envy as we watch these feathered marvels sense the thermal lifts and ride the air currents- Continue reading BIBEL SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (EAGLE/VULTURE)
The beauty of flowers and the way they bloom and flourish makes them a good image for many spiritual themes, including love, transience, and the glory of God. Two Hebrew words are translated as “flower:” perach means to break forth, bud, sprout, or burst; tsuwts evokes images of shining, sparkling, or gleaming. The first connotes spontaneous growth, while the second focuses on beauty. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (FLOWERS)
Daniel’s survival was not the result of a force field set up by his strength of will or by compatriots feeding the lions just before he was locked among them. Daniel survived the lions because God protected him. Daniel’s friends survived the furnace because God protected them. In both cases, those threatened with death did not presume God’s intention to keep them alive; instead, they trusted in God’s deliverance, whatever the outcome. Daniel lived by God’s divine purpose-the only reason worth living. Continue reading HOW DID DANIEL SURVIVE THE LION’S DEN?
Trust in God is not a bargain we offer in exchange for freedom from pain, persecution, or threat of natural disaster. Trusting God means we don’t waver when things are not turning out the way we planned. Daniel’s friends told the king they Continue reading DOES TRUSTING GOD MEAN NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN TO US?
God addressed Ezekiel with an unusual title which will later become Jesus’ favorite way of referring to himself. The title is “son of man.” In the original Hebrew language, it’s literally ben Adam or “son of Adam” since Adam means “humans.” Continue reading WHY “SON OF MAN”?
Nothing humbles likes utter humiliation. Ever though Nebuchadnezzar was impressed with God’s power in the furnace incident, he did not come to terms with his own standing before God. His pride and position caused him to accept the worship of others as if he were a god. Continue reading WHY DID KING NEBUCHADNEZZAR LOSE HIS MENTAL HEALTH?
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)
Branches in the world of the Bible were either on trees or vines and were relatively rare given the arid climate, so the picture of a healthy and fruitful tree was a symbol of vigor and prosperity. “Branch” or “branches” could refer to families (Gen 49:22) or rulers (Ezek 31:3,6). Broken or unfruitful branches symbolized judgment or the downfall of a person or nation (Job 15:32; 18:16; Dan 4:14; Isa 9:14: 17:6; Jer 11:16). But God always gives the hope of restoration, and branches figure in the symbolism of redemption as well: “When that day comes, the branch of the LORD will be beautiful and wonderful. The fruit of the land will be the pride and joy of Israel’s survivors” (Isa 4:2). The image of judged or redeemed branches reaches its climax in the prophecies of the messianic Branch and the salvation he brings.
Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS & SYMBOLS (BRANCH)
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)