Saul was a young man dutifully searching for his father’s stray donkeys. Samuel was the renowned prophet, priest, and judge of Israel reluctantly searching for his nation’s first king. When their paths crossed, the course of Israel’s history changed dramatically.
Samuel had served as the Lord’s representative leader of Israel for decades, but he was growing old. When his sons proved to be unfit to succeed him, the people of Israel demanded that a king be appointed to rule over them. They were envious of the monarchies common in surrounding nations.
Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (SAUL: WRESTILING WITH DEOMONS)
While the Hebrews of the Exodus were still camped in what is now Jordan, their leader, Joshua, sent two spies to scout the fortified border town of Jericho.
The spies went straight to the house of a prostitute, Rahab, And they spent the night.
Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (RAHAB)
Temples built for polytheistic worship; many pagan temples predated Solomon’s temple and some had similar designs. The earliest excavated temples from the Chalcolithic Period (4600-3300 B.C.), such as those uncovered at Eln Gedi in 1961 and Eshtaol in 2013, illustrate the ubiquitous nature of pagan worship in Canaan prior to the arrival of Abram (Gen 12:5). The culticsite at Eshtaol contained a standing stone, 1.3 meters in height, smoothed on all sides and erected facing east. The standing stone could be used as a monument but often represented
Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (PAGAN TEMPLES)
Hairy, demonic figure with the appearance of a goat, translating a Hebrew term otherwise translated “hairy” or “male goat.” Bible students differ in interpreting passages as to whether a demonic figure or a normal animals is meant. Israelites apparently sacrificed to such desert-dwelling demons, since they had to have a law forbidding such sacrifice (Lev 17:7). Some have even interpreted the scapegoat rites (Lev 16:20-22) as sending Israel’s sin back to their author, a desert demon with a different name from that Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SADITE)
Objects of unknown shape and material used to determine the divine will. Often in the ancient Near East people, especially priests, made difficult and significant decisions by casting lots on the ground or drawing them from a receptacle. Several times Scripture mentions the practice. We do not know exactly what the lots look like. Nor do we know how they were interpreted. We do know that people of the OT and NT believe God (or gods in the case of non-Israelites or non-Christians) influenced the fall or outcome of the lots (Prov 16:33). Thus, casting lots was a way of determining God’s will. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (LOTS)
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)
HEBREW – A descendant of Eber. It differentiates early Israelites from foreigners. After David founded the monarchy the term. “Hebrew” seems to disappear from the Hebrew language. The designation apparently begins with Abraham (Gen, 14:13), showing that he belonged to an ethnic group distinct from the Amorites. It distinguished Joseph from the Egyptians and slaves of other ethnic identity (Gen, 39:14,17; 41:12; 43:32). Abraham’s land had become the land of the Hebrews (Gen 40:15), and his God, the God of the Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (HEBREW)
Jael is the Bible character who sparks one-liners about “splitting headaches.” She’s the woman who jokesters like to refer to as “as expert at helping men ‘get things through their thick skulls!” But we are getting ahead of ourselves. A bit of context in needed.
Following the Israelites’ crossing of the Jordan River, Israel’s campaign to conquer and settle the promised land got off to a spectacular start. But over time, for multiple reasons, the effort sputtered and lost stem. Taking over a country is trying, not to mention tiring.
By Joshua’s final days, the people of God had pretty much given up attempting to squash the pockets of Canaanite resistance that were popping up left and right. After Joshua went to glory, the nation went off the rails. Continue reading WOMAN OF THBE BIBLE (JAEL:THE HOSTESS WITH THE HAMMER)
Shortly after Bathsheba’s son Solomon succeeded his father David, as king of Israel, God appeared to him in a dream. In it, thing Solomon requested-wealth, long life, revenge on his enemies-God would grant him.
And Solomon replied, “You have shown great and faithful love to Your servant, my father David, because he walked before You in faithfulness, righteousness, and integrity. You have continued this great and faithful love for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (SOLOMON: GET WISDOM)
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