As a physical feature, darkness is nothing in and of itself. Darkness is instead defined as the absence of light. Synonymous with emptiness, darkness is used to describe the earth at the very beginning of creation when “darkness covered the deep water” (Gen 1:2). Out of this absence, the first thing God created was light. In the beginning, Scripture pictures light and darkness as balanced parts of a single day and night: “So God separated the light from the darkness. God named the light day, and the darkness he named night” Gen 1:4-5). Continue reading SIGNGS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (DARKNESS)
The people of Bible times sang while working in the fields to escape from the monotony of farm work. Isaiah declared that the singing and gladness of the Moabites would be taken away when God judged them for their idolatry and disobedience. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (NO SINGING AT WORK)
Elijah never died. Celestial chariots of fire and a whirlwind carried him away.
Since his body wasn’t destroyed, some Jews consider it reasonable that he can return. Malachi’s promise leads many Jews to believe that Elijah will become the advance man for the Messiah-or as Isaiah put it, “the voice of someone shouting, ‘Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD!. . . Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together’ ” (Isaiah 40:3,5). Continue reading SECOND COMING OF ELIJAH
The beauty of flowers and the way they bloom and flourish makes them a good image for many spiritual themes, including love, transience, and the glory of God. Two Hebrew words are translated as “flower:” perach means to break forth, bud, sprout, or burst; tsuwts evokes images of shining, sparkling, or gleaming. The first connotes spontaneous growth, while the second focuses on beauty. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (FLOWERS)
PHARAOH- Title for the ancient kings of Egypt meaning “great house.” Every ancient pharaoh had five “great names,” which he assumed on the day of his accession. Since it was not deemed proper to use such powerful names in direct fashion, a polite circumlocution developed; he came to be called Pharaoh. Continue reading DEFINITION OF PHARAOH.
Before they are symbols for us, trees are examples to us. The psalm writers looked at trees and recognized that their pattern of growth and life was an expression of praise to their Creator. Psalm 96:12 declares, “Let the field and everything in them rejoice. Then all the trees in the forest will sing joyfully.” And Isaiah 55:12 says, “All the trees will clap their hands.” Trees reach upward. Even when planted crooked or sideways, a tree will bend its trunk to vertical-an amazing picture of their purpose to remind us of our own purpose to praise God always. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (TREE)
Some Christian join skeptics on this point. They doubt Matthew’s claim about Mary: “While she was sill a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18). Continue reading A PREGNANT VIRGIN?
Gazing into someone’s eyes can make us feel as though we are seeing into the person’s soul. In the Bible, as in life, we find many types of eyes, including, beautiful eyes (Gen 29:17; Song of Sol 1:15; 4:1); prideful, arrogant eyes (Pro 6:17); lustful eyes (2 Pet 2:14); sad eyes (Ps 6:6); and desiring eyes (Zech 2:8). People who are seeking revenge take “an eye for an eye” (Exod 21:23-25; Lev 24:20; Deut 19:21). How a person judges morality is described as “doing right in [one’s] own eyes” (Judg 17:6; 21:25; 2 Kings 10:5, all ESV). This contrast with doing “what was right in the eyes of the LORD” (1 Kings 15:5, 11; 2 Kings 14:3, all ESV). The use of eyesight as an image is varied and far-reaching, but two main uses emerge in Scripture. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (EYE)
This verse continues Isaiah’s condemnation of the people of Judah, whom he compared to dancing girls (see note on Isaiah 3:16). He declared that God would take away all evidence of Judah’s pride, symbolized by the fine clothes and jewelry worn by these dancing girls. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (PAGAN JEWELRY)
Isaiah 6 records the prophet’s vision of God, “I saw the Lord.” Yet Exodus 33:20; John 1:18; and 1 John 4:12 state that no one has ever seen God. Continue reading HOW CAN ISAIAH SAY HE SAW THE LORD, WHEN MANY SCRIPTURES DECLARE THAT NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN GOD?