Term used by the KJV to translate two closely related Hebrew words (tannim and tannin). At times the terms appear to be interchangeable. Context indicates that the first term refers to a mammal inhabiting the desert (Isa 13:22; 35:7; 43:20; Lam 4:3). Most modern speech translation equate the animal with the jackal, though perhaps the wolf (REB) is intended. The second term has four possible uses: (1) “great sea monster” (KJV, “great whales”) in the sense of a large sea
One of Isaiah’s favorite themes was that the pagan gods of his time were powerless, while Yahweh, the supreme God of the Israelites, was all-powerful. Here the prophet portrayed two gods of the Assyrians and Babylonians as so weak and helpless that they had to be carried around by oxen and horses.
The words astrologers, stargazers, and monthly prognosticators refers to people who studied the stars and the movement of the moon in order to foretell the future. This practice was especially popular among the ancient Babylonians.
The Bible is a historical book as well as a spiritual one. As such, it contains many important historical leaders and describes their impact on the nation of Israel. These people are not often used as symbols in the Bibles, but their influence on the history of God’s people carries symbolic importance because of the particular interactions they had. The Jews look back on these leaders as people who operated under the sovereign will of God either to help them as an instrument of mercy or to test and punish them as an executor of his just wrath.
The Old Testament story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego runs parallel to that Daniel. Like the prophet of lions’ den fame, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were Jewish captives living in Babylon. Like Daniel, they earned positions as wise and trustworthy advisers of the king of Babylon. And like him, they inspired envy and enmity among their Babylonian counterparts in the king’s government. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (SHADRACH, MESHACH, AND ABEDNEGO: INTO THE FIRE)→
In a few places in the Bibles, the term beast is used in its modern descriptive sense of la menacing or mindless animal whose behavior is somewhat unpredictable. Jacob compared his son Issachar to a donkey or beast of burden (Gen 49:14), creating a picture of capacity and stubbornness as strong traits in his ninth born. Many biblical monsters seem to be mythical, or at least are symbolic of threats of God’s order and authority in the world. But unlike the monstrous beasts of surrounding cultures and religions, God retains power over all the beasts and chaos in the world, and will ultimately defeat them. Continue reading SIGNS SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (BEAST)→
Learning new things can be hard work. Are you reading a hard book? Are you prepared for the challenge as well as the fun of learning? Do you attack your work in the same way a top athlete trains and practices? Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (also called Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) were in an interesting “school.” They had been taken from their homes in Jerusalem to be trained to serve in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court. They were to be educated for three years and served the royal food. But the four young Israelites refused the rich food and wine, choosing Continue reading HOW TO TACKLE A TOUGH ASSIGNMENT→