The psalmist has an extremely high view of God’s ability to respond mightily to the believer’s plea for help. He uses poetic language to describe the indescribable-God’s almighty power. God sounds frightening because He is. When God acts to help someone prevail over injustice, the energy God expends will be much more frightening than the victim’s adversary.
The Jewish religious leaders wanted arrest Jesus and have Him tried for blasphemy and treason. But they needed to take him into custody in a secluded place because of his popularity with the common people. They paid Judas to let them know when He could be arrested discreetly and under the cover of darkness.
Within the larger ancient Near Eastern world, prostitution was legal and generally accepted by members of society, and there is evidence that some prostitutes in Mesopotamia gathered into professional associations linked to the goddess Ishtar. The Hebrew of the Old Testament uses two different words when referring to those who functioned as prostitutes (zona, translated “prostitute” in Gen 38:15; and qedesa, translated “shrine prostitute” in Gen 38:21-22), which suggests that the prostitutes in Canaan were of two types: secular sex workers and prostitutes linked to pagan worship. Nevertheless, given the extent of the evidence we possess from the ancient world, we need to use caution in identifying the latter too closely with pagan worship rites that sought to increase the fertility of flocks, herds, and fields.
Lighting for houses was provided by the oil lamp. Originally this consisted of an open earthenware saucer containing olive oil. Part of the saucer was “pinched” in manufacture, so as to provide a place for a flaxen wick. Such lamps obviously had problems arising from spillage, and closed containers were therefore developed with two holes-one for wick and one to put oil in.
As a physical feature, darkness is nothing in and of itself. Darkness is instead defined as the absence of light. Synonymous with emptiness, darkness is used to describe the earth at the very beginning of creation when “darkness covered the deep water” (Gen 1:2). Out of this absence, the first thing God created was light. In the beginning, Scripture pictures light and darkness as balanced parts of a single day and night: “So God separated the light from the darkness. God named the light day, and the darkness he named night” Gen 1:4-5). Continue reading SIGNGS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (DARKNESS)→
This plague consisted of a thick, heavy darkness that fell across the land of Egypt for three days (Exodus 10:22). This must have been an eerie blackness with no sliver of light, similar to the total darkness a person experiences deep within a cave when all of the lights are turned out. It was so frightening that the Egyptians did not venture outside their houses (Exodus 10:23). Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (DEEP DARKNESS)→