Most often, however, it appears that a masseba was set up as a sacred stone. In this case, the unnaturally placed stone or series of stones provided worshipers with a physical location at which to meet their deity. To this day, surviving sacred stones break the natural contours of the landscape, inviting us to come in for a closer look.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (SACRED STONE “TO SET UP OR TO DESTROY” PT2)
The prophet Ezekiel is addressed as “son of man,” a title used for him over ninety times throughout the book of Ezekiel. The title shows the contrast between Ezekiel, a man, and the almighty Lord. This name would portray Ezekiel’s human limits and weaknesses in contrast to the glory and greatness of God.Continue reading WHAT DOES “SON OF MAN” MEAN?
Term used to express the deity of Jesus of Nazareth as the one, unique Son of God. In the OT certain men and angels (Gen 6:1-4; Psa 29:1; 82:6; 89:6) are called “sons of God” (note text notes in modern translations). The people of Israel were corporately considered the son of God (Exod 4:22; Jer 31:20; Hos 11:1). The concept also is employed in the OT with reference to the king as God’s son (Psa 2:7). The promises found in the David covenant (2 Sam 7:14) are the source for this special filial relationship. The title can be found occasionally in intertestamental literature (Ezra 7:28-29; 13:32,37,52; 14:9).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SON OF GOD)
Many, but not all, of the deities worshiped in the mysteries were originally associated with fertility. As such, their associated myths often referred to the natural cycle as it waxes and wanes (for instance, Demeter) or to the dying and rising of a god (Attis, Adonis, Osirs). Some scholars thing that the mysteries used this feature of the myth to give symbolic expression of rising to immorality with the deity. However, not all scholars agree; some deities venerated in mystery religions did not die or rise; moreover, the exact use of the myth in the mysteries is often unclear, though some concept of immorality seems to be implied.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (MYSTERY RELEIGIONS PT 2 OF 2)
General term for religions marked by rites that reenact a myth accounting for the orderly change of the seasons and the earth’s fruitfulness. Such myths often involve a great mother-goddess as a symbol of fertility and a male deity, usually her consort but sometimes a son, who like vegetation dies and returns to life again. In Mesopotamia the divine couple was Ishtar and Tammuz (who is mourned in Ezek 8:14); in Egypt, Isis and her sons Osiris: in Asia Minor, Cybele and Attis. In Syria the Ugaritic myths of the second millennium B.C. pictured Baal-Hadad, the storm god, as the dying and rising god. (A local manifestation of this god is mourned in ZechContinue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FERTILITY CULT PT1)
Temples built for polytheistic worship; many pagan temples predated Solomon’s temple and some had similar designs. The earliest excavated temples from the Chalcolithic Period (4600-3300 B.C.), such as those uncovered at Eln Gedi in 1961 and Eshtaol in 2013, illustrate the ubiquitous nature of pagan worship in Canaan prior to the arrival of Abram (Gen 12:5). The culticsite at Eshtaol contained a standing stone, 1.3 meters in height, smoothed on all sides and erected facing east. The standing stone could be used as a monument but often representedContinue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (PAGAN TEMPLES)
Elevate site, usually found on the top of a mountain or hill; most high places were Canaanite places of pagan worship.
HEATHEN WORSHIP AT THE HIGH PLACE: The average high place would have an altar (2 Kings 21:3; 2 Chron 14:3), a carved wooden pole that depicted the female goddess of fertility (Asherah), a stone pillar symbolizing the male deity (2 Kings 3:2), other idols (2 Kings 12:31; 13:32; 16:32-33). At these places of worship the people sacrificed animals (at some high places children were sacrificed according to Jer 7:31), burned incense to their gods, prayed, ate sacrificial meals, and were involved with male or female cultic Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (HIGH PLACE)