Jerusalem was not Israel’s first capital. Shiloh was-for at least a century.
A high plains village nearly half a mile above sea level and thirty miles north of Jerusalem, in Israel’s hill country, Shiloh was where Joshua and the Israelites pitched the tent of God, or the worship center called the tabernacle. This is where the Israelites came to offer sacrifices to God and to celebrate religious holidays.
One of the things I have been blessed with (or coursed with, depending on your viewpoint) is good memory. Many times a week my wife will call on me to recall some name, some location or some date that has escaped her. That is a good thing, most of the time. Other times it is annoying, as I can recall mundane unimportant facts from decades ago that have absolutely no value today. A good memory is a powerful tool, when it is used right.
Imposters claiming to be the Messiah (Christ in Greek). Jesus associated the appearance of messianic pretenders with the fall of Jerusalem (Matt 24:23-26; Mark 13:21-22). Jesus warned His followers to be skeptical of those who point to signs and omens to authenticate their false messianic claims. Jesus also urged disbelief of those claiming the Messiah was waiting in the wilderness or was in “the inner rooms” (perhaps a reference to the inner chambers of the
The events that occurred at the Water Gate in Nehemiah’s time can be described as a spiritual revival. The people knew that God had made it possible for them to rebuild the city. Now they were ready to hear what else God would say to them. They listened intently. When Ezra opened the scroll of God’s law, they stood out of respect and anticipation over what they were about to hear.
The Old Testament concept of being clean can be difficult to grasp. The basic idea sounds foreign to modern ears, and the legislation that describes how that state is achieved and maintained can overwhelm us, making books like Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy much more difficult to understand. But when we acquire a clearer understanding of the notion, we find that the image of being clean is a helpful one that spreads its influence from Genesis through Revelation.
Male circumcision requires the amputation of the foreskin in order to expose the glans of the penis. The Bible mentions that this procedure was common not only among the Israelites but also in Egypt, Edom, Ammon, Moab, and among “all who live in the wilderness” (Jer 9:25-26); conspicuous by its absence is any mention within Mesopotamian cultures. Consequently, when the Lord spoke with Abraham about circumcision (Gen 17:1-14), any familiarity he had with the procedure probably was gleaned during his Egyptian stay rather than from his experience in his former homeland.
All these trapping mechanisms are mentioned by the biblical authors in figures of speech. Because these devices are often referenced with the same Hebrew or Greek term, we look to the larger context, which may be helpful in determining exactly which type of trapping device is
Work done for other people or for God and the worship of God. Jacob worked for Laban seven years for each of his wives (Gen 29:15-30). Service could be slave labor (Exod 5:11; Lev 25:39; 1 Kings 12:4; Isa 14:3 cp Lam 1:3), farm work (1 Chron 27:26), or daily labor on the job (Psa 104:23). It could be service of earthly kingdoms (2 Chron 12:8; cp 1 Chron 26:30), of God’s place of worship (Exod 20:16; cp Num 4:47; 1 Chron 23:24), of God’s ministers (Ezra 8:20), and of God (Josh 22:27). Not only people do service; God also done service (Isa 28:21). Even righteousness has a service (Isa 32:17).
If we tear our clothing, it is generally by accident unless we are tearing up an old garment for rags. This was not true in the culture of Bible times where the tearing of one’s garment was an external sign of one’s internal pain. The average person of the era did not have multiple changes of clothing like we do in our closets and dressers; consequently, they took great care to prevent accident tearing of their clothing (Exod 28:32; Matt 9:16; Mark 2:21). But there was “a time to tear and a time to mend” (Eccles 3:7); the time to intentionally tear was a time of intense grief that might have included repentance.