Most uses of the word oil in the Bible have ceremonial rather than food connections. Oils were harvested from animals fats, minerals, and vegetables. Oil also had medicinal purposes (Ps 23:5; Luke 10:34) and was used to fuel lamps Matt 25:1-13). In a bartering economy, oil was a commodity of value. In 2 Kings 4:1-7 Elijah helps a widow and her two sons by telling them to gather as many containers as possible and pour her meager supply of oil into the jars. The oil didn’t run out until every available jar had been filled. Elisha then told her to see the oil and live on the proceeds. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (OIL)
Working in clay is one of the ancient professions. Long before paper, damp clay served as a surface to receive the marks that represented early writing called cuneiform. And people discovered that baked clay contained water and could be used for cooking more efficiently than tightest woven baskets. When one of our brilliant ancestors discovered the potter’s wheel, the age of clay had arrived. Eventually, clay pots became widely used
Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE JAR/POTTERY/VESSEL/
Trumpets in Bible times were made of metal or bone and formed into an instrument at least two feet long. They had a high sound that could be regulated to some degree, but they were used more for signaling than for making music. Rams’ horns, also called shofar, were signaling instruments used to assemble the army (Judg 3:27; 1Sam 13:3) or sound an alarm (Job 39:24-25; Jer 6:1; Amos 3:6). They are the most commonly mentioned instrument in the Bible, with seventy-two references.
Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (TRUMPET/SHOFAR)
Do you know someone whose parents are getting divorced? Has a friend been in an accident? Has a relative ever been really sick? You want to help, but visiting a hospital or just being with the person can feel uncomfortable. What do we say? How can we show we care? Job had more things happen than most people could imagine. Within a sort Continue reading HOW TO COMFORT SOMEONE WHO IS HURTING.
Creation starts the Bible, in the book of Genesis
The end of the world finishes it, in Revelation. That could lead us to think the Bible is printed in chronological order. But it’s not. If it were, Job would likely come after Genesis. That’s because Job seems to have lived in about the time of Abraham, whose story appears in Genesis. Instead, Job’s story comes after Esther, though this Persian queen wasn’t born for at least 1,500 years after Abraham and Job. The Bible is a library of 66 books written in many genres and over a span of more than a thousand years. How
Continue reading BIBLE BOOKS OUT OF ORDER
Most people in Bible times go up early, before the sun was up, so that they could make the most of the hours of daylight and allows for the extreme heat at midday in the summer. Abraham got up early to obey God’s command to sacrifice (Genesis 22:3); Moses got up early in the morning to meet God on Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:4); Job offered worship early in the morning (Job 1:5); Jesus prayed before sunrise (Mark 1:35).
Continue reading MANNERS & CUSTOMS OF THE BIBLE (DOMESTIC ACTIVITIES)
The wilderness of the Near ease is a desolate, dry land consisting mostly of rock and sand, and is unfit for casual habitation. Life in the wilderness takes constant attention. Moses spent forty years in the wilderness, learning its ways. Into this setting God led the Israelites after rescuing them from Egypt. Living conditions were poor, and the Israelites faced serpents, scorpions, and drought (Deu 8:15). The land became an object lesson in
Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (WILDERNESS)
Donkeys were a familiar sight in Bible times. In Old Testament times, before horses became used more regularly, riding a donkey or mule was a common form of transportation, even for royalty (2 Sam 13:29; 1 Kings 1:38). When laws were spelled out by God concerning the treatment of animals, donkeys were specifically mentioned in those instructions. Donkeys are included in the last of the Ten Commandments among the examples of a neighbor’s property that should not be coveted: “Never desire to take
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Moving to a new town–or even just to the other side of the same town–can be scary. Will you make new friends quickly? What is the school like? How will you fit in? Is it possible not to feel overwhelmed by changes? Ezra was a priest and a teacher of God’s Law. The Temple at Jerusalem had just been rebuilt, but the wall of the city was still in
Continue reading HOW TO GET OFF TO A GOOD START
9. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
10. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (JAMES 5:9-12) PATIENCE