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).Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (WEAVE PT3)
Egyptian royal name meaning “Thoth the moon god is born.” Four pharaohs of the Egyptian 18th Dynasty (ca, 1550-1310 B.C.). Their combined efforts, especially those of Thutmose I and III, did much to expand Egyptian wealth and influence.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (THUTMOSE)
Moses learned an important lesson about violence and anger here. In the first case, he observed violence against a fellow Israelite and responded by killing the perpetrator. Clearly, other options were open to him: reporting the misdeed, using his position to bring the power of the state to bear against the perpetrator, advocating a change in state labor laws. In the second case, he intervened when some annoying shepherds pestered a group of young women, This time he did not kill but drove off the nuisances.Continue reading IS VIOLENCE OKAY WHEN FIGHTING VIOLENCE?
The idea that one Israelite could permanently own another was completely ruled out; and though debt slavery was permitted, it was limited in duration to six years (Exod 21:1-4; Lev 25:39-55). What is more, each slave was invited to participate in the religious life of God’s people, including Passover and the Sabbath day of rest (Exod 12:43-44; 23:12). This took on an even more mature tone when Paul taught that slavery was not a barrier to becoming aContinue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN THE BIBLE TIMES (SALVE, “TO BECOME OR TO BE FREED”)
Yet another reason for seeking a concubine was to demonstrate control over the assets and legacy of a father or king. Reuben attempted to force the hand of Jacob into declaring him the primary heir of the family by sleeping with his father’s concubine (Gen 35:22). The same happened in royal circles. Abner, Absalom, and Adonijah all either slept with a king’s concubine or attempted to do so in order to advance their legitimacy as a royal figure (2 Sam 3:7; 16:21-22; 1 Kings 2:17, 21-25).Continue reading EVERDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (CONCUBINE PT2)
In an age without television or other leisure-time pursuits, the people of Bible times often used riddles as a form of entertainment. Like Samson, they would pose a puzzling or mystifying question or problem and see who could figure it out.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (SAMSON’S RIDDLE)
Place name meaning “swelling,” “fat,” “bulge,” or “mound,” It became the proper name of a portion of the hill on which the city of David was built (2 Chron 27:3). The Ophel was just south of Mount Moriah, on which the temple was constructed, joining the old city with the area of Solomon’s palace and temple. The hill has been inhabited since pre-Israelite times by peoples such as the Jebusites from whom David took the site.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (OPHEL)
There are a number of cautionary tales in the Bible, but few are as seamy and sad as this one.
Looking down on the city of Jerusalem form the atop his royal palace one fine spring evening, Israel’s King David spotted a fine young woman. She wasn’t merely attractive; she was “very beautiful.” And, of all the things she might have been doing, she was bathing. Continue reading WOMAN OF THE DAY (BATHSHEBA: THE VERY BEAUTIFUL WOMAN WITH THE VERY TRAGIC LIFE)
We all have someone in our lives with whom a close relationship seems impossible. Maybe it’s a sibling, a parent, a child, or even a spouse. For whatever reasons, we just can’t seem to get along. Outside of our families, most of us have other difficult relationships-with bosses, neighbors, business associates, coworkers, clients. Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (RUTH: THE DREAM DAUGHTER-IN-LAW)
To be superior to “all the gods of Egypt” was quite a claim, since the Egyptians are known to have worshiped more than thirty pagan deities. These included the bull god Apis, who ensured fertility; Hathor, the goddess of love; and Thoth, the god of wisdom and books. Continue reading ALL THE GODS OF EGYPT