The Israelites found themselves in the midst of a Canaanite culture that was awash in pagan immorality. These heathen nations had merged spirituality with sensuality to create a very alluring and very dangerous combination. To keep His people from joining this around-the-clock celebration of perversion, God decreed severe punishment for those guilty of sexual sin. Continue reading WHY WERE PENALTIES FOR SEXUAL SIN SO SEVERE?
A shepherd from Midian and his brother stood before Pharaoh and demanded the release of the Hebrew slaves. Pharaoh was the strongman leader of the strongest country in the world. He ignored God’s command to release 600,000 male slaves and their women and children. Despite the demonstration of God’s power-the Nile turned to blood-Pharaoh returned to his palace and put “the whole thing out of his mind” (Exodus 7:23 NLT). Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (PHARAOH: A HEART IN DENIAL)
Laban was the brother of Jacob’s mother, Rebekah (Genesis 29:10). This relationship would have made Laban’s daughter Rachel-the woman whom Jacob wanted to marry-Jacob’s first cousin. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (MARRIAGE AMONG RELATIVES)
When Jacob’s sons learn that their sister, Dinah, had been raped by Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite, and that Hamor had approached their father to ask for Dinah’s hand in marriage for the offender, they stepped in and gave Shechem a condition-every male must be circumcised so the Shechemites would be like them. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (LEVI: FROM VIOLENCE TO PRIESTHOOD)
While Ahasuerus was entertaining his royal officials (see notes on Esther 1:8), his queen, Vashti, was serving as hostess at a feast for the wives of these men, Separation of men and women at such royal events must have been the normal practice in the Persian court. Continue reading SEPARATION OF PERSIAN WOMEN