As the final act of battle, Israel was sometimes required to dedicate everything in a “ban” (herem), which meant that the people and possessions of an entire city would be set apart for God and destroyed (Deut 7:2; 20:17; Josh 8:2; 1 Sam 15:3). Only the metal objects were saved (Josh 6:18-24). Those who transgressed the ban faced dire consequences (Josh 7).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (HOLY WAR PT2)
On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus comes to the oasis town of Jericho, a thriving city known for its year-round fruits and vegetables. He has about another 20 miles to go, a full day’s walk. Zacchaeus lives in this crossroads town near what is now Israel’s eastern border, a few miles from the Jordan River. He’s in charge of collecting taxes throughout the region, including trolls for produce and other goods shuttled in or out of the city.Continue reading THE TAX MAN UP A TREE
We also find Jesus using the perceptions linked with tax collectors to jolt the Jewish leaders from their complacency. While he was teaching in the temple courts during the final week of his life on earth, Jesus frequently clashed with the Jewish leaders, who questioned his authority and resisted his invitations to know him as their Savior from sin.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (TAX COLLECTOR PT2)
The Jews from Matthew’s day would have disagreed. Tradition-minded Jews kept a record of their ancestors partly because certain rights and responsibilities were inherited. Priests descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses. Kings-and the coming Messiah-would descend from David, Israel’s most revered king.Continue reading SHAKING JESUS’ FAMILY TREE
The Jordan may be a “mighty river” in the desert Middle East, but It’s a disappointment to tourists. At roughly thirty yards across and only two to ten feet deep, it seems barely fit for a canoe.Continue reading A LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT THE JORDAN RIVER
None that makes much military sense, if using traditional tactics is the key to victory. The genius of God’s ways is that they are not our ways. Tactics that should fail do in fact succeed as God’s way of showing His power in our weakness. At Jericho, the victory was preceded by priests blowing horns and circling the city seven times. Against the Philistines, David’s single slingshot led to an amazing victory.Continue reading WHAT SORT OF BATTLE PLAN HAS A CHOIR LEADING AN ARMY?
Elisha was a yond man plowing his father’s fields when he first encountered the prophet Elijah. Elisha immediately dropped everything to follow him. For years, he served as an apprentice while Elijah performed his duties as a prophet-often under and lows, to his courageous obedience and crippling doubts. He observed the way Elijah interacted with kings and commoners. He studied the prophet’s personal relationship with God.Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (ELISHA “FOLLOWING A TOUGH ACT”)
The formal mention of prostitutes in the Bible is often used to shape our impression of people with whom they were associated. Because the law of God was clear on this matter, the linking of a man with a prostitute, whether sexually or by birth, cast a dark cloud over his character. This included notables like Judah, Jephthah, and Samson (Gen 38:15; Judg 11:1; 16:1). When Joshua sent spies to Jericho, the population was so immoral that the one person of redeeming value found in the city was a prostitute (Josh 2:1). And the image of Ahab was clearly tarnished by the fact that his bloody chariot was washed out at the place where the prostitutes bathed (1 Kings 22:38). By contrast, Israel’s leaders who aggressively expelled shrine prostitutesContinue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PROSTITUTE P2)
Within the larger ancient Near Eastern world, prostitution was legal and generally accepted by members of society, and there is evidence that some prostitutes in Mesopotamia gathered into professional associations linked to the goddess Ishtar. The Hebrew of the Old Testament uses two different words when referring to those who functioned as prostitutes (zona, translated “prostitute” in Gen 38:15; and qedesa, translated “shrine prostitute” in Gen 38:21-22), which suggests that the prostitutes in Canaan were of two types: secular sex workers and prostitutes linked to pagan worship. Nevertheless, given the extent of the evidence we possess from the ancient world, we need to use caution in identifying the latter too closely with pagan worship rites that sought to increase the fertility of flocks, herds, and fields.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PROSTITUTE P1)
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)