From an early age we are taught to respect the belongings of others even if our size and strength make it possible to take them by force. In order to understand the actions of the people of the ancient Near East, we need to make a major adjustment in this thinking. Within the cultural construct of this world, the expectation was that those who were victorious in battle had the right to seize the personal property of those defeated and even enslave the owners of that property. This practice of plundering is mentioned repeatedly in the literature of the ancient world peatedly in the literature of the ancient world and illustrated in the art of the empires that rose to power during the Old Testament era.
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 Zech
Engaging in sexual intercourse prior to marriage. The Song of Songs is an extended poem extolling the virtue of sexual fidelity between a king and his chosen bride. Sexual desire runs strong throughout the song as the king and his beloved anticipate their union together. At intervals the poet repeats a refrain counseling sexual restraint: “Young women of Jerusalem, I charge you, by the gazelles and the wild does of the field; do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time” (Song 2:7 HCSB; 3:5; 8:4). To the church in Corinth, a city well-known for
During Bible times, the Holy Land was still occupied by lions. These majestic animals, then as now, do not typically prey on humans, though older or disabled lions sometimes see people as easy food to capture. Observable lion behavior lies behind the comparisons that we find in the Scriptures. Their roaring tends to provoke fear (Amos 3:8), so Peter can write, “Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling
Elevate site, usually found on the top of a mountain or hill; most high places were Canaanite places of pagan worship.
HEATHEN WORSHIP AT THE HIGH PLACE: The average high place would have an altar (2 Kings 21:3; 2 Chron 14:3), a carved wooden pole that depicted the female goddess of fertility (Asherah), a stone pillar symbolizing the male deity (2 Kings 3:2), other idols (2 Kings 12:31; 13:32; 16:32-33). At these places of worship the people sacrificed animals (at some high places children were sacrificed according to Jer 7:31), burned incense to their gods, prayed, ate sacrificial meals, and were involved with male or female cultic Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (HIGH PLACE)→
Change of mind; also can refer to regret or remorse accompanying a realization that wrong has been done or to any shift or reversal of thought. In its biblical sense repentance refers to a deeply seated and through turning from self to God. It occurs when a radical turning to God takes place, an experience in which God is recognized as the most important fact of one’s existence. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (REPENTANCE)→
Various acts of sexual immorality especially being a harlot or whore.
Old Testament – Normally women are the subject of the Hebrew verb zanah, but in Num 25:1 “people began to play a harlot” (NASB). The clearest example is that of Tamar sitting on the roadway to entice Judah (Gen 38:24; Lev 21:9; Deut 22:21). Fornication meant being unfaithful to a marriage commitment (Judg 19:2). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FORNICATION)→
Hosea 1:2-3 “When the LORD first spoke to Hosea, He said this to him: ‘Go and marry a promiscuous wife and have children of promiscuity, for the land is committing blatant acts of promiscuity by abandoning the LORD’S. ‘ So he went and married Gomer daughter of Diblaim.”Continue reading “WOMEN OF THE BIBLE” GOMER: THE UNFAITHFUL WIFE→
In order to understand the idea of sacrifices and offerings, we must go back to the very beginning of the Bible. By Genesis 4, the first sons, Cain and Abel, were practicing an early form of sacrifice: “Later Cain brought some crops from the land as an offering to the LORD. Abel also brought some choice parts of the firstborn animals from his flock. The LORD approved of Abel and his offering, but he didn’t approved of Cain and his offering. So Cain became very angry and was disappointed” (Gen 4:3-5). From the beginning, offerings and sacrifices generally expressed two attitudes: gratitude and repentance. In the case of Cain and Abel, later history of sacrifice might lead us to think that God’s rejection of Cain’s offering was because it wasn’t a blood sacrifice, but the text doesn’t indicate such a conclusion. Cain’s offering was casual and perhaps careless; Abel’s was costly. Cain brought “some crops”; Abel presented “some choice parts.” Cain’s response to God’s correction revealed his heart. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (SACRIFICE/OFFERING)→