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
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.Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (XERXES THE GREAT “and Other Significant Rulers”)
Israel’s greatest problem throughout its history was syncretism-the mixing of pagan religion with worship of the true God. God judged Israel severely for failing to keep worship clean and pure. And one of the easiest inroads to Israel’s heart was through intermarriage with pagan people’s Ezra knew this well, thus his vehement and emotional opposition to taking foreign spouses. Continue reading WHY WAS EZRA SO UPSET ABOUT MIXED MARRIAGES?
In addition to rebuilding Jerusalem in a physical sense, Nehemiah was also concerned for the spiritual rebuilding of his people. He was so angry toward the Jewish men who had married pagan woman-a-flagrant disobedience of God’s command (Joshua 23:12-13)-that he beat some of them and pulled out their hair. This violent and serious punishment showed the severity of their sin. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A SEVERE PUNISHMENT)
Refraining from eating food. The Bible describes three main forms of fasting. The normal fast involves the total abstinence of foods. Luke 4:2 reveals that Jesus “ate nothing”; afterward “He was hungry.” Jesus abstained from food but not from water.
In Acts 9:9 we read of an absolute fast where for three days Paul “did not eat or drink” (HCSB). The abstinence form both food and water seems to have lasted no more than three days (Ezra 10:6; Esther 4:16). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FASTING)
Breaking of the marriage covenant. An action contrary to the pattern of “one man, one woman, one lifetime” revealed by God in Gen. 1:27; 2:21-25. The root idea implied a cutting of the marriage bond. While ancient cultures different in details, most had a concept of marriage and a corresponding concept of divorce. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY “DIVORCE”
Israel’s greatest problem throughout its history was syncrestism-the mixing of pagan religion with worship of the true God. God judged Israel severely for failing to keep worship clean and pure. And one of the easiest inroads to Israel’s heart was through intermarriage with pagan peoples. Ezra knew this well, thus his vehement and emotional opposition to takign foreign spuses. Continue reading WHY WAS EZRA SO UPSET ABOUT MIXED MARRIAGE? EZRA 9
Moving to a new town–or even just to the other side of the same town–can be scary. Will you make new friends quickly? What is the school like? How will you fit in? Is it possible not to feel overwhelmed by changes? Ezra was a priest and a teacher of God’s Law. The Temple at Jerusalem had just been rebuilt, but the wall of the city was still in
Manger – A feedingtrough, crib, or open box in a stable designed to hold fodder for livestock. In Bible times, mangers were made of clay mixed with straw or from stones cemented with mud. In structures built by King Ahab at Megiddo, a manger cut from a limestone block was discovered. Mangers were also carved in natural outcroppings of rock,