While object representing deities were common in the ancient world, only statues created under carefully prescribed conditions and with proper rituals were regarded as real images that the deity inhabited. Some images were made of stone, cast of solid metal or molded from clay; however, the primary statues of deities that dominated the temples were usually carved of wood and covered with a thin layer of gold or silver and adorned with precious stones and elegant clothing. The Assyrian king Esarhaddon commissioned a major restoration of temples and images.Continue reading MAKING AN IDOL
The practice of using clothing to make a statement regarding one’s status or position in society was just as prevalent in the biblical world as it is today. However, clothing styles did not change as rapidly in antiquity and so the effort to remain stylish was less hectic.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FASTING)
From an early age we are taught to respect the belongings of others even if our size and strength make it possible to take them by force. In order to understand the actions of the people of the ancient Near East, we need to make a major adjustment in this thinking. Within the cultural construct of this world, the expectation was that those who were victorious in battle had the right to seize the personal property of those defeated and even enslave the owners of that property. This practice of plundering is mentioned repeatedly in the literature of the ancient world peatedly in the literature of the ancient world and illustrated in the art of the empires that rose to power during the Old Testament era.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PLUNDER)
Because of Rebekah’s kindness to him, Abraham’s servant presented her with gifts of jewelry. The “earring” was actually a nose ring. The servant said later that he had put this piece of jewelry “upon her face” (Genesis 24:47). Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (JEWELRY FOR THE NOSE AND ARM)
This verse continues Isaiah’s condemnation of the people of Judah, whom he compared to dancing girls (see note on Isaiah 3:16). He declared that God would take away all evidence of Judah’s pride, symbolized by the fine clothes and jewelry worn by these dancing girls. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (PAGAN JEWELRY)
While we almost always think first of marriage when the subject of rings comes up, the Bible records no instances where a ring is used as a symbol of marriage or wedding vows. But surprisingly, the first time a ring is mentioned in Scripture involves an interesting account of surrogate courtship. When Abraham’s servant Eliezer arrive in Haran on a mission to find a wife for young Isaac, he met a young woman at the city well whose name was Rebekah (Gen. 24:1-67). Discovering that Rebekah’s parents were relations of
Because of Rebekah’s kindness to him, Abraham’s servants presented her with gifts of jewelry. The “earring” was actually a nose ring. The servant said later that he had put this piece of jewelry “upon her face” (Gen 24:47).