Tag Archives: Isaiah

ISRAEL AT SINAI

Exodus 19 describes Israel arriving at Sinai. This chapter is important for understanding the events at Sinai, where Israel spent over two years (Numbers 10:11). God addressed the people as “the house of Jacob. . . the people of Israel . . .” (Exodus 19:3) as a way to remind them that they were the people of the covenant, the descendants of Abraham. What was about to happen at Sinai was not a new covenant with the people but an extension of the covenant God made with Abraham.

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SHEPHERD IMAGERY IN THE BIBLE

OLD TESTAMENT

  • God is the Shepherd (Gen 49:24; Ps 23; 80:1).
  • God’s appointed leaders are undershepherds (Ezek 34).
  • Many people in the Old Testament were shepherds by trade, like Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Rachel, Jacob, Moses, and David.
  • Foreign leaders were sometimes called shepherds when their leadership impacted God’s people (Isa 44:28).
  • The prophets depicted the distress of Israel without leadership or bad leader in terms of a flock without a shepherd (Ezek 34:1-10; Zech 10:2; 13:7).
  • The prophets used shepherds imagery to point to the Messiah to come (Ezek 34:22-24; 37:24; Isa 40:11; Zech 13:7; see also Matt 26:31; Mark 14:27).
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DEFINITION OF THE DAY (HUNT/HUNTER)

To pursue game for food or pleasure. Hunting was an important supplementary food source, especially in the seminomadic stage of civilization. Genesis mentions several hunters by name, none of whom are Israelite ancestors (Nimrod, 10:9; Ishmael 21:20; Esau, 25:27), perhaps suggesting that hunting was more characteristic of Israel’s neighbors than of Israel. Hunting was, however, regulated by Mosaic law. The blood of captured game was to be poured out on the ground (Lev 17:13). Deuteronomy 14:3-5 outlines what game was permitted as ritually clean food.

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EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (WEAVE PT3)

And worse yet, we hear of Israelite women who, prior to the reforms of Josiah, took it on themselves to weave in service to the pagan goddess Asherah (2 Kings 23:7).

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THE BEATITUDES

WHAT DO THE BEATITIUDDES MEAN?

Jesus surprised his disciples by telling them what kind of people would be blessed by God. His list of traits are called the Beatitudes, meaning “to bless” or “to make happy.”

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BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (SITTING IN DESPAIR)

Sitting on the ground symbolized sadness and distress. So this is another image from Isaiah that expresses the fate of the nation of Judah if she continued on her present course (read Isaiah 3:24).

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

The aspects of the fruit of the Spirit advocated by Paul in Galatians 5:22-23 occur not only here but also elsewhere in the Scriptures. Most of the attributes are those by which God himself lives.

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EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (ORPHAN “FARTHERLESS” PT3)

As the biblical authors address the ethics of political leaders and believers in general, they state that it is the treatment of the most disadvantaged members of society-the orphans-that is to distinguish them as God’s people. The Lord paved the way of this moral high road by identifying himself as the one who is the provider of food and clothing for the fatherless (Deut 10:18). He is the helper, defender, and father of the orphan (Psa 10:14, 18; 68:5; 146:9).

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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.

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EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBILE TIMES (ORPHAN “FATHERLESS” PT2)

Given that reality, the LORD addressed the plight of orphans in the laws given to the Israelites. God’s people were to set aside a tent of their field produce and animals born in their herds as a gift given at the sanctuary. Every third year, however, this tithe was to remain in storage at the local level so the disadvantaged of society, including orphans, would have access to it (Deut 14:22-29; 26:12-13). In addition, Israelites were to refrain from gathering a portion of their grain, olive, and grape harvest so that orphans and other disadvantaged people could gather food from land they did not own (Deut 24:19-21).

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