King Ahab of Israel had won a previous battle against the Syrians (1 Kings 20:21), apparently among the hills and mountains of Israel. The victory gave rise to the Syrian claim that the God of Israel was a god of the high country, not of the level plains. The Syrians reflected the typical pagan belief that different nations and different parts of the earth had their own regional gods.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (GOD OF THE HILLS AND VALLEYS)
This verse is a guideline, not a rule without exception. Peter and John paid no heed to governments edicts in Acts 4. The Old Testament’s preeminent statesman, Daniel, refused to comply with government strictures on prayer (Daniel 6). When civil law clearly contravenes divine command, biblical precedent calls for appropriate civil disobedience.Continue reading WHY SUBMIT TO GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY WHEN SO MUCH OF IT IS CORRUPT AND MORALLY WRONG?
In a vision the prophet Ezekiel saw the temple of the Jewish people in Jerusalem. He was shocked to see on its walls paintings or sculptures of unclean animals that God’s people were not supposed to eat (Leviticus 11:1-19).Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (IDOLS IN THE TEMPLS)
There’s a tie for first place.Continue reading SOLOMON AT HIS DUMBEST
General term for religions marked by rites that reenact a myth accounting for the orderly change of the seasons and the earth’s fruitfulness. Such myths often involve a great mother-goddess as a symbol of fertility and a male deity, usually her consort but sometimes a son, who like vegetation dies and returns to life again. In Mesopotamia the divine couple was Ishtar and Tammuz (who is mourned in Ezek 8:14); in Egypt, Isis and her sons Osiris: in Asia Minor, Cybele and Attis. In Syria the Ugaritic myths of the second millennium B.C. pictured Baal-Hadad, the storm god, as the dying and rising god. (A local manifestation of this god is mourned in ZechContinue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FERTILITY CULT PT1)
There’s a tie for first place.
- Marriage can be plenty stressful with just one partner: “He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines [secondary wives]” (1 Kings 11:3).
- In his old age Solomon worshiped idols.
Most of these religions were polytheistic, which means that they acknowledged many gods and demons. Once admitted to the pantheon (a culture’s collection of deities), a god could not be eliminated from it.
He or she had gained ‘ ‘ divine tenure.’ ‘Continue reading MANNERS AND CUSTOMS IN THE BIBLE (MANY GOD’S)
Cattle were primarily a measure or symbol of wealth in biblical times. They were both familiar and significant, good characteristics for symbolic use. Among his livestock, the wealthy Job had a thousand oxen (Job 1:3). Cattle not only provided meat, milk, leather, and other by-products, they were the main animal workforce in ancient agricultural societies. Oxen (castrated bulls) pulled plows as well as wagons. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (BULL/CALF)
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?
Jael is the Bible character who sparks one-liners about “splitting headaches.” She’s the woman who jokesters like to refer to as “as expert at helping men ‘get things through their thick skulls!” But we are getting ahead of ourselves. A bit of context in needed.
Following the Israelites’ crossing of the Jordan River, Israel’s campaign to conquer and settle the promised land got off to a spectacular start. But over time, for multiple reasons, the effort sputtered and lost stem. Taking over a country is trying, not to mention tiring.
By Joshua’s final days, the people of God had pretty much given up attempting to squash the pockets of Canaanite resistance that were popping up left and right. After Joshua went to glory, the nation went off the rails. Continue reading WOMAN OF THBE BIBLE (JAEL:THE HOSTESS WITH THE HAMMER)