The events that occurred at the Water Gate in Nehemiah’s time can be described as a spiritual revival. The people knew that God had made it possible for them to rebuild the city. Now they were ready to hear what else God would say to them. They listened intently. When Ezra opened the scroll of God’s law, they stood out of respect and anticipation over what they were about to hear.Continue reading WHY WAS EZRA’S READING OF GOD’S LAW SO POWERFUL?
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)
Work done for other people or for God and the worship of God. Jacob worked for Laban seven years for each of his wives (Gen 29:15-30). Service could be slave labor (Exod 5:11; Lev 25:39; 1 Kings 12:4; Isa 14:3 cp Lam 1:3), farm work (1 Chron 27:26), or daily labor on the job (Psa 104:23). It could be service of earthly kingdoms (2 Chron 12:8; cp 1 Chron 26:30), of God’s place of worship (Exod 20:16; cp Num 4:47; 1 Chron 23:24), of God’s ministers (Ezra 8:20), and of God (Josh 22:27). Not only people do service; God also done service (Isa 28:21). Even righteousness has a service (Isa 32:17).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SERVICE)
If we tear our clothing, it is generally by accident unless we are tearing up an old garment for rags. This was not true in the culture of Bible times where the tearing of one’s garment was an external sign of one’s internal pain. The average person of the era did not have multiple changes of clothing like we do in our closets and dressers; consequently, they took great care to prevent accident tearing of their clothing (Exod 28:32; Matt 9:16; Mark 2:21). But there was “a time to tear and a time to mend” (Eccles 3:7); the time to intentionally tear was a time of intense grief that might have included repentance.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (TEAR A GARMENT PT 1 OF 2)
Supplying wood for priests to use in offering burnt sacrifices on the altar was a task assigned to the Nethinims, or temple servants (Ezra 2:43). But not enough of these servants returned from the exile in Babylonia and Persia to handle this task.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (WOOD FOR THE ALTAR)
People also fasted in advance of special experiences or in connection with prayerful inquiry. Moses fasted prior to receiving the tablets of stone containing the Ten Commandments on the two separate occasions they were given (Exod 34:28; Deut 9:9). Immediately after his baptism, Jesus retreated into the wilderness where he too fasted as he initiated his public ministry (Matt 4:1-2). Fasting also accompanied special inquiry of the Lord, whether interceding on behalf of aContinue reading EVERDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FAST 2 OF 3)
Chapter 15 and 16 of Isaiah contain the prophet’s declaration of God’s judgment against the Moabites, enemies of the Israelites. The Lord would humiliate these people. Isaiah declared, by making them bald and cutting off their beards.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (HAIRLESS MOABITES)
The books of Ezra and Nehemiah tell the story of how God’s people came home form Babylon. They had spent man years there because they had disobeyed God. Now that they were home, they wanted to let God know how bad they felt about making him unhappy.Continue reading DID YOU KNOW THAT SOME PEOPLE TORE THIER CLOTHING TO SHOW THAT THEY WERE SORRY FOR SIN?
The Jewish people who returned to their homeland after their period of exile in Babylonia and Persia restored their worship rituals. These included the celebration of each new moon, which marked the beginning of a new month in their calendar. Offerings and sacrifices were made to atone for their sins committed during the previous month. The new moon celebration is also referred to in Numbers 10:10Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (NEW MOON SACRIFICES)
Most of the writers of the NT grew up in the world of “second Temple Judaism,” the time between the temple’s reconstruction (516 B.C.) and its final destruction (A.D. 70). This period introduced changes into the political structure, culture, and religion of the OT world.Continue reading THE TIME BETWEEN THE TESTAMENTS