CONGREGATION- Assembled people of God. “Congregation” translates the Hebrew words ‘edah and qahal primarily. These terms may apply to any individual or class collectively such as “the wicked” or “or hypocrites.” While ‘edah is once used to refer to a herd of bulls (Ps 68:30) and once to a swarm of bees (Judg 14:8), both words primarily describe the Israelite people as a holy people bound together by religious devotion to Yahweh rather than by political bonds. There is no apparent distinction in meaning between the two. Every circumcised Israelite was a member for the congregation, as were the women, though the congregation is offten called “the sons of Israel” (Exod 16:1-9 NASB). The congregation was subdivided into the tribe and then the most basic unit, the family. The congregation of Israel functioned in military, legal, and punishment matters.
Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (CONGREGATION)
The horns of certain animals appear frequently in Scriptures as symbols. These are often used in prophetic visions to represent the power of individuals or kingdoms (1 Kings 22:11). While horns were also fashioned into musical instruments (see TRUMPET/SHOFAR), their symbolic use is usually indicated when they are mentioned. Hornlike projections were included at the four corners of the altar of incense in the original tabernacle and in the Jerusalem temple. These horns were carved from wood Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (HORN)
It’s hard find nice things to say about the woman whose name has become synonymous for being shameless, brazen, and morally bankrupt.
Jezebel came from royalty-her father was Ethbaal, a Phoenician king. She also married into royalty-her husband, Ahab, was the king of the ten tribes that made up the northern kingdom of Israel (see 1 Kings 16:29-33).
Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (JEZEBEL: HOW NOT TO LIVE YOUR LIFE)
For all we know, Thomas may have been the boldest of Jesus 12 disciples-a paragon of courageous service and unshakable loyalty. The New Testament offers evidence to support the notion. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, some of the disciples were reluctant to return to Judea, where an attempt had been made of Jesus life. Thomas was the one who finally said, “Let’s go so that we may die with Him” (John 11:16) Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE “THOMAS: BELIEF INTERRUPTED”
Sex is such a strong instinct that it affects every other motivation and loyalty. Biologists are just now discovering how the sex drive governs social organization in animal species from monkeys to dolphins. All animals live in hierarchies, and those hierarchies govern who mate with whom. Sex affects everything. Continue reading WHY IS SEXUAL PURITY SO IMPORTANT “1 THESSALONIANS 4:3-8”
Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, traveled from his home area to bring his daughter Zipporah and her two sons back to Moses. After a joyful meeting, Moses told Jethro all that God had done to Egypt’s pharaoh and for Israel. Jethro praised God and recognized that He was above all other gods. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE “JETHRO: WISE FATHER-IN-LAW”
It was customary among the Romans to scourge or flog a condemned criminal before he was executed. A scourage was a whip with sharp pieces of metal or bone imbedded in the leather. The back and chest of the criminal were struck repeatedly with this whip until the flesh was severely lacerated, sometimes all the way down to the bone. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES “PUNISHMENT BY SCOURGING”
Israel’s greatest problem throughout its history was syncrestism-the mixing of pagan religion with worship of the true God. God judged Israel severely for failing to keep worship clean and pure. And one of the easiest inroads to Israel’s heart was through intermarriage with pagan peoples. Ezra knew this well, thus his vehement and emotional opposition to takign foreign spuses. Continue reading WHY WAS EZRA SO UPSET ABOUT MIXED MARRIAGE? EZRA 9
Job is a rich header-at least until a string of disaters take about every thing important to him.
In a single day, raiders and a freak firestorm take all of his llivestock-11,000 animals and kill his shepards. Worse, a windstorm destorys the house where Job’s 10 chirldren are eating together, killing every one of them. Later, sores erupt all over Job’s body. Continue reading WHY GOD LETS BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE.
SORROW- Emotional, mental, or physical pain or stress. Hebrew does not have a general word for sorrow. Rather it uses about 15 different words to express the different dimensions of sorrow. Some speak to emotional pain (Ps 13:2). Trouble and sorrow were not meant to be part of the human experience. Humanity’s sin brought sorrow to them (Gen 3:16-19). Sometimes God was seen as chastising His people for their sin (Amos 4:6-12). To remove sorrow, the prophets urged repentance that led to obedience (Joel 2:12-13; Hos 6:6). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SORROW)