Tag Archives: Genesis

DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SUICIDE)

The Bible records several instances of suicide (Abimelech-Judg 9:54; Samson-Judg 16:29-30; Saul-1 Sam 31:4; Saul’s armor beaer-1 Sam 31:5 Ahithophel-2 Sam 17:23; Zimri-1 Kings 16:18; and Judas-Matt 27:5; cp. Acts 16:27). Of these, the deaths of Abimelech and Saul could be called “assisted” suicide. With the possible exception of Samson (whose death may be better termed “martyrdom”), the Bible presents each person who committed suicide as an individual whose behavior is clearly not to be emulated.

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BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (NO BLACK MAGIC)

The term divination, as used in this passage, refers to attempts to control evil spirits, to penetrate the mysteries of the universe, or to foretell the future by using magical acts, pronouncing superstitious incantations, or interpreting natural signs. Today we refer to such practices as “the occult.” “Black magic” was a prominent feature of pagan religious systems in Bible times. But God prohibited the Israelites from participating in these practices. Seven different types of divination are mentioned in this passage.

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BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (PAUL THE TENTMAKER)

Paul spent eighteen months in the city of Corinth (Acts 18:11), working with Priscilla and Aquila at their mutual trade of tentmaker to support himself. During this time they established a church in this thriving, paganistic city.

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BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (WORSHIP OF THE SUN, MOON, AND STARS)

Worship of the sun and other heavenly bodies was common among the pagan nations of the ancient world. For example, the city of Ur in Mesopotamia from which Abraham migrated was a center of moon worship. The Egyptians worshiped the sun god known as Ra (Gen 12:15). The Lord, speaking through Moses, specifically prohibited this form of idolatry.

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BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (SALT OF THE EARTH)

Salt added flavor to food, and it was also used to preserve meat in a society in which refrigeration and cold storage did not exist.

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DEFINITION OF THE DAY (KNOWLEDGE)

The truth or facts of life that a person acquires either through experience or thought. The greatest truth that a person can possess with the mind or learn through experience is truth about God (Psa 46:10; John 8:31-32). This cannot be gained by unaided human reason (Job 11:7; Rom 11:33). It is acquired only as God shows Himself to people-in nature and conscience (Psa 19; Rom 1:19-20); in history or providence (Deut 6:20-25; Dan 2:21); and especially in the Bible (Psa 119; Rev 1:1-3). Mental knowledge by itself, as good as it may be, is inadequate; it is capable only of producing pride (1 Cor 8:1; 13:2). Moral knowledge affects a person’s will (Prov 1:7; Phil 3:11-12; 1 John 4:6). It is knowledge of the heart, not the mind alone.

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DEFINITON OF THE DAY (PAGAN TEMPLES)

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 represented

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DEFINITION OF THE DAY (MARRIAGE “COMPANIONSHIP”)

COMPANIONSHIP – Whereas the creation of male and female mankind was “very good” (Gen 1:31), the creation of the male alone had not yet fulfilled God’s purpose for man as the image of God (Gen 2:18). This expresses no failure on God’s part; instead, it instructs us that a male creature alone is not the perfect creation that God had in mind. Adam needed a wife to be all that God intended him to be, as is normally the case with all men unless God grants otherwise (Matt 19:10-12; 1 Cor 7:6-7). The same, of course, would be true of the woman whom God made for the man (1 Cor 11:9).

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STOLEN HOUSEHOLD IDOLS

These “images” that Rachel had stolen from her father were household idols known as teraphim. Small statuettes in human form, they may have represented deceased ancestors of the family. They were consulted in a superstitious way for guidance and direction in everyday life.

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SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (ALTAR)

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In the Old Testament, the object erected time and time again to communicate the presence and power of God was an altar. The altar could be a single rock or a loosely organized arrangement of large stones, so people were never far from an altar or could build one in a few moments. Nothing was more prominent as a biblical image for worship and allegiance to God than the altar. It is no exaggeration to say that the most visible sign of one’s devotion to the true God in the worship of the old covenant was the building of altars or traveling to them for acts of sacrifice or offering. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (ALTAR)