Ancient Israelites attached a severe social stigma to rape. A young woman victim was “ruined”-she became an outcast with no means of financial support and no prospects for a family of her own. So the law imposed on the perpetrator the responsibility of care for the victim-providing her a home and family-at considerable cost to him. Such an arrangement also reduced the need of the victim’s family to seek forcible revenge, thus sparing the culture much violence. Continue reading OLD TESTAMENT LAW REQUITES A MAN WHO RAPES A VIRGIN TO MARRY HER. WHY FORCE THE VICTIM OF SUCH A TERRIBLE CRIME MARRY THE PERPETRATOR?
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)
Sheep appear more often than any other animal in the pages of the Bible, mentioned over seven hundred times. They often represent people, and in a special case, one particular person (discussed below). Sheep are gentle and social creatures that function best in a flock, but their individual tendencies lead them to wander. That combination requires an attentive shepherd to guide and tend a large flock. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (LAMB/SHEEP)
Marriage and the related symbols of bride and bridegroom play as large a role in Scripture as they did in real life in the ancient world. whether we consider the Old Testament picture of Israel as the bride and God as her bridegroom (Isa 62:4-5; Jer 2:2) or the New Testament picture of the church as the bride and Jesus as the bridegroom (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:21-32; Rev 21:2, 9), the message points to a special relationship God longs to have with his people. (See also BRIDE, BRIDEGROOM.) Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (MARRIAGE)
The number three and groups of three occur frequently in Scripture. As the second prime number, three maintains the indivisibility of the number one and introduces a concept of a more-than-one number that is not easily divisible. In the area of relationships, three expands the possibilities greatly. Between A and B is one relationship. Between A, B, and C there are at least seven relationships (AB, AC,BC; A-BC,B-AC,C-AB,ABC).
Continue reading THE TRINITY (THREE)
Sex was part of God’s good perfect creation. It was his stamp of approval on the intimate relationship between Adam and Eve before their sin (Gn 2:24-25). But just as sin has blemished the rest of creation, so sin and evil blemished the rest of this gift from God (3:7).
Continue reading HUMAN SEXUALITY