Tag Archives: Genesis

DEFINITION OF THE DAY (RAVEN)

The raven, conspicuous because of its black color (Son 5:11), is a member of the crow family The raven acts as a scavenger and is listed among the unclean birds (Lev 11:15; Deut 14:14). Biblical writers cite the raven as an example of God’s care for His creation (Job 38:41; Psa 147:9; Luk 12:24).

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DEFINITION OF THE DAY (DREAMS PT2)

WHAT DREAMS WERE INTERPRETED? Not every dream was thought to be from God. Not every dream was significant. Some could be wishful thinking (Psa 126:1; Isa 29:7-8). In times of need and especially when a person sought a word from God, dreams could be significant.

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MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE BIBLE (VINE SYMBOLISM)

The vine was of great importance in the religion of Israel. It was used as a symbol of the religious life of Israel itself, and a carving of a bunch of grapes often adorned the front exterior of the synagogue. The symbolism was based upon passages such as Psalm 80 and Isaiah 5:1-5 where Israel is God’s vine. The importance of the vine is why the Pharisees took the point so angrily when Jesus told the story of the wicked tenants in the vineyard (Matthew 21:33-41, 45-46). As the fulfilment of all that Israel should be to God, Jesus was the true vine (John 15:5-7).

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WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (LEAH: THE UNLOVED SISTER)

Leah’s father, Laban, was a piece of work. It wasn’t being his oldest daughter. Her greater burden, however, was being the older sister of Rachel.

Everybody noticed Rachel. And why not? the Bible bluntly says she “was shapely and beautiful” (Gen 29:17); we can be sure family members, neighbors, and adolescent men raved nonstop about her. Meanwhile, poor Leah is described only as having “ordinary eyes.” The idea is that next to her head-turning sister, Leah was all but invisible.

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BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (ZERUBBABEL AS A SIGNET RING)

In ancient times a signet ring functioned much like a personal signature does today. A king or other high official would stamp an official document with the symbol on his ring to establish its legality and show that it was issued under his authority.

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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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