This phrase from the Song of Deborah (read Judges 5:10) pictures Sisera’s mother wondering why her son had not returned from a battle with the Israelites. But Sisera would not return; he had been killed by a woman named Jael, who drove a tent peg through his head while he was sleep (Judges 4:21).Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (A CRY FROM A WINDOW)
One of three major Jewish feasts, also derived from the Greek word meaning “fifty.” Pentecost occurs in the month of Sivan (May/June), 50 days after Passover, and celebrates the end of the grain harvest. The Pentecost that followed Jesus’ death and resurrection was the occasion on which the Holy Spirit was given to believers in Jerusalem.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (PENTECOST)
In ancient times a signet ring functioned much like a personal signature does today. A king or other high official would stamp an official document with the symbol on his ring to establish its legality and show that it was issued under his authority.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (ZERUBBABEL AS A SIGNET RING)
Heavenly record (Luke 10:20; Heb 12:23) written by God before the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8; 17:8) containing the names of those who are destined because of God’s grace and their faithfulness to participate in God’s heavenly kingdom. Those whose names are in the book have been born into God’s family through Jesus Christ (Heb 12:23; Rev 13:8), remain faithful in worship of God (Rev 13:8; 17:8), are untouched by the practice of abomination and falsehood (Rev 21:27), are faithful through tribulation (Rev 3:5), and are fellow workers in the work of Jesus Christ (Phil 4:3). The book of life will be used along with the books of judgment at the final judgment to separate the righteous and the wicked for their respective eternal destines (Rev 20:12, 15: 21:27).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (BOOK OF LIFE)
The Bible is a historical book as well as a spiritual one. As such, it contains many important historical leaders and describes their impact on the nation of Israel. These people are not often used as symbols in the Bibles, but their influence on the history of God’s people carries symbolic importance because of the particular interactions they had. The Jews look back on these leaders as people who operated under the sovereign will of God either to help them as an instrument of mercy or to test and punish them as an executor of his just wrath.Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (XERXES THE GREAT “and Other Significant Rulers”)
Jeremiah declared that God’s judgment would bring an end to the sounds of celebration throughout the nation of Judah. Even the songs of joy associated with weddings would be heard no more. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (WEDDING CELEBRATIONS)
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)
Elevate site, usually found on the top of a mountain or hill; most high places were Canaanite places of pagan worship.
HEATHEN WORSHIP AT THE HIGH PLACE: The average high place would have an altar (2 Kings 21:3; 2 Chron 14:3), a carved wooden pole that depicted the female goddess of fertility (Asherah), a stone pillar symbolizing the male deity (2 Kings 3:2), other idols (2 Kings 12:31; 13:32; 16:32-33). At these places of worship the people sacrificed animals (at some high places children were sacrificed according to Jer 7:31), burned incense to their gods, prayed, ate sacrificial meals, and were involved with male or female cultic Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (HIGH PLACE)
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)
Jesus was fully God when he came to earth. He was also fully human. He can empathize with our weaknesses and our limitations.
By the same token, he is also acutely aware of our potential as humans because he maximized his. He knows not just who we are and what we’re like but also what we can become. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (JESUS: THE PERFECT EXAMPLE)