The grape juice was allowed to stand and ferment in the collecting vessels for about six weeks. A sludge known as lees formed at the bottom of the vessels. The wine was then tipped up gently into jars without disturbing the sediment (Jer 48:11). The jars were sealed with clay, but there was a small hole by the handle that allowed the gases released during the remaining fermentation to escape. When the process was complete, the hole was sealed with a blob of wet clay and the owner’s name or seal was put on the clay. It was possible to put the wine in wineskins (goatskin bottles), but if the gases, then it would burst and the wine would be lost. This is the point of Jesus’ illustration in Matthew 9:17.Continue reading MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE BIBLE (WINE-MAKING)
During the Roman era, tax collectors and the manner in which taxes were collected evolved and varied from one region to the next. Here we offer a general picture of the process that will allow us to appreciate the role tax collectors played in the Gospels. Taxes were paid to both the temple and the state, each of which established its own tax code without consideration of the other. First-century Jews paid a religious tithe of their produce, herd, and flock (Lev 27:30-32); they were also required to pay the half-shekel or two-drachma tax for sanctuary upkeep (Exod 30:13; Matt 17:24). The state demanded taxes that included a poll tax levied on males fourteen to sixty-five years of age and females twelve to sixty-five, real estate tax, customs tax collected at road and harbor stations, a tax on produce that amounted to 10 percent on grain and 20 percent on wine, fruit, and oil, a 1 percent income tax, and sales and inheritance taxes.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (TAX COLLECTOR PT1)
Joseph had an extraordinary ability to shine in the darkest of places, to thrive under circumstances that could have crushed his spirit. He demonstrated this ability early.
Joseph’s 10 older brothers hated him because their father, Jacob, loved him-much more than he loved the rest of his children. He lavished attention and gifts on Joseph while the rest of his sons burned with envy.Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (JOSEPH “BLOOM WHERE YOU’RE PLANTED”)
General term for the edible seed of cultivated grasses. Common grains in the biblical world included wheat (Gen 30:14), spelt or emmer (REB vetches) (Exod 9:32), barley (Exod 9:31), and millet (Ezek 4:9). The KJV normally renders grain as corn, which does not mean “maize” (as in American usage), but any grain.
Joseph’s problems likely started the day he was born.Continue reading A LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT JOSEPH
There are many things we may want in life but only two things we really need to sustain life: food and water. A famine takes both away. The famines mentioned in the Bible were typically initiated by a change in climate or a declaration of war. The food and water resources of the Promised Land were based on predictable climatic patterns that brought rain and dew into the region during expected season (Deut 11:10-15). This moisture recharged the springs and wells,Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FAMINE PT1)
Token or sign. While the word “symbol” does not appear in the Bible, both the OT and NT are rich in symbolism and symbolic language.
Symbols, whether objects, gestures, or rituals, covey meaning to the rational, emotional, and intuitive dimensions of human beings. The universal and supreme symbol of Christian faith is the cross, an instrument of execution. For Christians this hideous object comes to be a sign of God’s love human beings,.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SYMBOL)
The “vinegar” that Boaz offered Ruth was probably a drink similar to wine that had been fermented longer than usual until it developed a sour taste. This is the same type of drink that was offered to Jesus on the cross (Matthew 27:34, 48). Continue reading SOUR WINE AND ROASTED GRAIN
There were several different ways of bowing in Bible times. These ranged from lowing the head to bending the knees to kneeling down before another person. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES “TOTAL BODY BOWING”
Before grain was ground into flour, it was sifted in a sieve to remove any dirt or sand that had become mixed in with the grain during the harvesting process (see note on Ruth 3:2). The larger gain would remain in the sieve while the smaller dirt particles would fall through the sieve to the ground. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A SIFTING GOD)