Jerusalem was not Israel’s first capital. Shiloh was-for at least a century.
A high plains village nearly half a mile above sea level and thirty miles north of Jerusalem, in Israel’s hill country, Shiloh was where Joshua and the Israelites pitched the tent of God, or the worship center called the tabernacle. This is where the Israelites came to offer sacrifices to God and to celebrate religious holidays.
One of the things I have been blessed with (or coursed with, depending on your viewpoint) is good memory. Many times a week my wife will call on me to recall some name, some location or some date that has escaped her. That is a good thing, most of the time. Other times it is annoying, as I can recall mundane unimportant facts from decades ago that have absolutely no value today. A good memory is a powerful tool, when it is used right.
These verses occur in the context of presenting a sacrificial animal as an offering to the Lord. The Israelites believed the blood of such an animal was sacred, since it carried the very essence of life itself. In a sense, the blood was the ransom price that atoned for their sins. It was to be drained from the animal and poured on the ground at the base of the altar.
People also fasted in advance of special experiences or in connection with prayerful inquiry. Moses fasted prior to receiving the tablets of stone containing the Ten Commandments on the two separate occasions they were given (Exod 34:28; Deut 9:9). Immediately after his baptism, Jesus retreated into the wilderness where he too fasted as he initiated his public ministry (Matt 4:1-2). Fasting also accompanied special inquiry of the Lord, whether interceding on behalf of a
Chapter 15 and 16 of Isaiah contain the prophet’s declaration of God’s judgment against the Moabites, enemies of the Israelites. The Lord would humiliate these people. Isaiah declared, by making them bald and cutting off their beards.
You know you should pray for your church. But where to begin? The building needs a new roof. Vacation Bible School could use more teachers. People get sick and ask for our prayers. What does God want you to pray for?
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).
Mentioned in numerous Old Testament passages, the concubine was not a prostitute but an auxiliary marriage partner who was both similar to and different from the wife. She was similar in that the Bible describes her marriage partner as her “husband” and includes her along with sons, daughters, and wives as a member of the ancient household (Judg 20:4-6; 2 Sam 19:5).