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)
THE OLD TESTAMENT PRESPECTIVE ON SIN: The OT has a rich vocabulary for sin. Some fifty terms provide the nuances of sin through the OT. Chata‘ means “to miss the mark,” as does the Greek hamartia. The word could be used to describe a person shooting a bow and arrow andContinue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SIN PT2)
The discipline of meditation involves first having God’s Word, then reading it, studying it, memorizing it, considering its meaning for you, and acting on it. Here Joshua focuses on the final steps of this sequence.Continue reading WHAT IS MEDITATING ON GOD’S WORD?
- The excitement over a family event, whether a wedding or reunion, caused people to run for various reasons. Weddings were always an exciting time for families, and when a wedding was in the making, that excitement could manifest itself with an increase in people running (Gen 24:17, 20, 28, 29, 29:12-13). The excitement that surrounded a family reunion could also cause people to leave behind their normal gait and break into a full-fledged run (Gen 33:4; Luke 15:20).
The formal mention of prostitutes in the Bible is often used to shape our impression of people with whom they were associated. Because the law of God was clear on this matter, the linking of a man with a prostitute, whether sexually or by birth, cast a dark cloud over his character. This included notables like Judah, Jephthah, and Samson (Gen 38:15; Judg 11:1; 16:1). When Joshua sent spies to Jericho, the population was so immoral that the one person of redeeming value found in the city was a prostitute (Josh 2:1). And the image of Ahab was clearly tarnished by the fact that his bloody chariot was washed out at the place where the prostitutes bathed (1 Kings 22:38). By contrast, Israel’s leaders who aggressively expelled shrine prostitutesContinue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PROSTITUTE P2)
Within the larger ancient Near Eastern world, prostitution was legal and generally accepted by members of society, and there is evidence that some prostitutes in Mesopotamia gathered into professional associations linked to the goddess Ishtar. The Hebrew of the Old Testament uses two different words when referring to those who functioned as prostitutes (zona, translated “prostitute” in Gen 38:15; and qedesa, translated “shrine prostitute” in Gen 38:21-22), which suggests that the prostitutes in Canaan were of two types: secular sex workers and prostitutes linked to pagan worship. Nevertheless, given the extent of the evidence we possess from the ancient world, we need to use caution in identifying the latter too closely with pagan worship rites that sought to increase the fertility of flocks, herds, and fields.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PROSTITUTE P1)
Physical or material image or form representing a reality or being considered divine and thus an object of worship. In the Bible various terms are used to refer to idols or idolatry: “image,” either graven (carved) or cast, “statue,” “abomination.” Both Testaments condemn idols, but with idols the OT expresses more concern than the NT, probably reflecting the fact that the threat of idolatry was more pronounced for the people of the OT.Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (IDOL)
Hushai was a friend and supporter of King David. During Absalom’s rebellion (2 Sam 15:30). Hushai expressed his sorrow over David’s exile by tearing his clothes (Gen 37:34) and throwing dust on his head.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (DUST ON THE HEAD)
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)
Deuteronomy shares many affinities with literature from the ancient Near East. The most evident is tis relationship to the various collections of legal sayings that have been recovered. These collections have come from as early as 2000 BC and before – eg., Sumerian Laws of Ur-Nammu (2064-2046 BC), the Laws Eshnunna (c 1850 BC), and the Code of Hammurapi king of Babylon (1792-1750 BC). The OT contains both similarities with and difference from these collections in subcategories of types of laws, such as case law, apodictic law, laws, involving curses, motive clauses, etc.Continue reading DECREES AND LAWS