The Bible is a historical book as well as a spiritual one. As such, it contains many important historical leaders and describes their impact on the nation of Israel. These people are not often used as symbols in the Bibles, but their influence on the history of God’s people carries symbolic importance because of the particular interactions they had. The Jews look back on these leaders as people who operated under the sovereign will of God either to help them as an instrument of mercy or to test and punish them as an executor of his just wrath.
During Bible times, the Holy Land was still occupied by lions. These majestic animals, then as now, do not typically prey on humans, though older or disabled lions sometimes see people as easy food to capture. Observable lion behavior lies behind the comparisons that we find in the Scriptures. Their roaring tends to provoke fear (Amos 3:8), so Peter can write, “Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling
Ancient city at the modern site of Izmir, Turkey. Smyrna surrounded a well-protected harbor on the Aegean Coast at the outlet of the Hermus River. The city lay at the foot of Mount Pagus and is located about 35 miles north of Ephesus. Extensive trade to and from Asia passed through the city. During the first century A.D. Smyrna reigned as one of the grandest cities of all Asia. Strabo (64 B.C- A.D. 20s), the Greek geographer, called Smyrna “the most beautiful city of all” cities along this coast. A large temple there, dedicated to Emperor Tiberius, boasted Smyrna’s close alliance with the Empire. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY “SMYRNA”→
Ezekiel is writing from a bad situation to more than 10,000 fellow Jews in the same situation. They’re all exiled a thousand-mile walk from home and living in the heart of the Babylonian Empire, in what is now Iraq. Continue reading MISERY IS GOING TO GET COMAPANY→
In the book of Daniel, written years before Rome burst on the world scene, a Jewish exile in Persia interpreted a dream for King Nebuchadnezzar. The dream featured a huge statue made of different layers of material: gold, silver, bronze, iron, and iron mixed with clay. Daniel’s interpretation revealed that each layer of the towering image represented a kingdom that would rise, with that golden section representing Babylon, the reigning superpower of that day. Comparing this sequence to history, we discover Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (ROME)→
The Roman Empire was a second period of great importance to the people of Bible lands. The birth of Jesus is clearly set in Roman times: “in those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)” (Luke 2:1-2). Rome had only Continue reading MANNERS AND CUSTOMS “THE ROMAN EMPIRE”→