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
This veil, or curtain, separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place in the Jewish temple at Jerusalem. Only the high priest was allowed behind this curtain, and he could go into the Most Holy Place only once a year-on the Day of Atonement-to offer sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people (Lev 16:34).Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (EQUAL ACCESS TO GOD)
The priests and Levites were about their work in New Testament times. They are familiar in the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:31).Continue reading MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE BIBLE (PRIESTS AND LEVITES)
It was customary among the Romans to post a sign as the execution site, declaring the crime for which a criminal was being put to death. This sent a message to the people that the same thing would happen to them if they dared to disobey the law.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A FALSE CHARGE)
It was not possible to separate warfare from religion. The connection of the two was evident in many aspects of military practice. To the Jews, God was the Lord of Hosts who went before them into battle (Exo 15:3; Judg 4:14; 1 Sam 17:45; Isaiah 42:13). There was a sacred “Book of the Wars of the Lord” (Num 21:14). Before going to war, the men had to keep themselves ritually clean, not even engaging in sexual relationships (2 Sam 11:11). Health laws were involved in the commandments concerning ceremonial uncleanliness, but there were other laws in operation as well as those (Deut 13:13-14).Continue reading MANNERS AND CUSTOMS IN THE BIBLE (WAR AND RELIGION)
This was Haman’s response to the king when he asked how to honor one of his subjects. Haman outlined the highest royal recognition possible because he thought the king intended to honor him.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURISITIES (THE ULTIMATE HONOR)
11 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.Continue reading SCRIPTURES OF THE DAY (JOHN 11:1-27)
The Jews believed that God sometimes sent angels in disguise to test whether people were obeying the law of hospitality. They knew that this had happened to Abraham (Genesis 18:2-13) and to Gideon (Judges 6:17-22), and they believed therefore that the same thing might happen to them (Hebrews 13:2). This style of thinking gave rise to problems as well as opened the way for revelation. Many Jews thought that if they were in the house of God then they would be under God’s protection, and as a result tended to be careless in their daily living (Jeremiah 7:14). They did not realize that the glory of God had departed from the Temple and that it was no longer, therefore, the house of God (Ezekiel 11:23).Continue reading MANNERS AND CUSTOMS IN THE BIBLE (ANGELS UNAWEAR)
King Daivd’s great-grandmother got her husband by sneaking into his bed with him after he fell asleep.Continue reading WHO’S WHO AND WHERE’S WHERE IN THE BIBLE (RUTH)
Paul wrote this letter to his missionary helper Titus, whom he had placed in charge of the church on the island of Crete.
One purpose of this letter was to instruct Titus in how to deal with the false teachers who had infiltrated the church.Continue reading MANNERS AND CUSTOMS IN THE BIBLE (FAITH, NOT FABLES)