It was Solomon who built up a professional army, for through taxation and trading he was able to accumulate sufficient wealth to pay for it (1 Kings 10:25-27). In times of national emergency the regular army was supplemented by conscripts. Recruiting officers went through the tribes on such occasions and were still in use at a much later date (2 Kings 25:18; 2 Chronicles 11:1).Continue reading MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE BIBLE (SOLOMON’S ARMY)
For good reasons, some of which are associated with the universal male tendency toward sexual conquest. In general, the heart of a man will roam, while the heart of a woman seeks a home. Male sexual energy persists past female menopause, causing men to seek younger partners-or at least to be vulnerable to the temptation of doing so. The male by nature has no long-term investment in pregnancy; he may inseminate regularly with no time lost for childbirth. How are these biological appetites to be curbed, directed, focused?Continue reading WHY ARE HUSBANDS SINGLED OUT AS THE PARTY RESPONSIBLE FOR KEEPING A MARRIAGE STRONG?
Cloth covering. 1. Women’s veils Rebekah veiled herself before meeting Isaac (Gen 24:65). Her veil was perhaps the sign that she was a marriageable maiden. Tamar used her veil to conceal her identity from Judah (Gen 38:14,19). Another Hebrew term renders “veil” at Isa 3:23. Here veils are but one of the items of finery the elite women of Jerusalem would lose in the coming siege. The same Hebrew term in rendered “shawl” (NASB), “cloak” (HCSB, NIV, REB), and “mantle” (KJV, NRSV) at Song 5:7. There, removal of the shawl was part of aContinue reading DEFINITION OF DAY (VEIL)
Mentioned in numerous Old Testament passages, the concubine was not a prostitute but an auxiliary marriage partner who was both similar to and different from the wife. She was similar in that the Bible describes her marriage partner as her “husband” and includes her along with sons, daughters, and wives as a member of the ancient household (Judg 20:4-6; 2 Sam 19:5).Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (CONCUBINE PT1)
Sexual intercourse between persons too closely related for normal marriage. The twofold theological rationale for the prohibition of incestuous unions is the divine claim “I am the Lord your God” (Lev 18:2,4,6) and the note that such behavior characterized the Egyptians andContinue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (INCEST)
OLD TESTAMENT – Slavery laws appear in Exod 21:1-11; Lev 25:39-55; and Deut 15:12-18. Most of these concern humane treatment and manumission. A Hebrew sold to another Hebrew or a resident alien because of insolvency was to be released after six years of service and given provisions to start over. If he had come with a wife, she and any children were also released. If the master had given him a wife, she and the children were to remain. If, however, the slave wanted to stay with his wife and children rather than be free, he could enroll himself as a slave for life. A Hebrew who sold himself to another Hebrew or resident alien was to be released during the Jubilee Year. A slave could be redeemed at any time by a relative. A Hebrew girl sold by her father to another Hebrew to become his wife was to be released if that man or his son did not marry her.Continue reading DEFINITON OF SLAVE/SERVANT (PART 2)
In Bible times, a marriage was arranged through a legal agreement between the parents of the groom and the bride (Gen 24:4). The groom’s parents selected a woman for their son to marry, then paid the bride’s parents a dowry, or bride-price, to compensate them for the loss of her services as a daughter.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (JOSEPH & MARY’S BETROTHAL)
Engaging in sexual intercourse prior to marriage. The Song of Songs is an extended poem extolling the virtue of sexual fidelity between a king and his chosen bride. Sexual desire runs strong throughout the song as the king and his beloved anticipate their union together. At intervals the poet repeats a refrain counseling sexual restraint: “Young women of Jerusalem, I charge you, by the gazelles and the wild does of the field; do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time” (Song 2:7 HCSB; 3:5; 8:4). To the church in Corinth, a city well-known forContinue reading BIBLE DEFINITION OF THE DAY (PREMARITAL SEX)
COMPANIONSHIP – Whereas the creation of male and female mankind was “very good” (Gen 1:31), the creation of the male alone had not yet fulfilled God’s purpose for man as the image of God (Gen 2:18). This expresses no failure on God’s part; instead, it instructs us that a male creature alone is not the perfect creation that God had in mind. Adam needed a wife to be all that God intended him to be, as is normally the case with all men unless God grants otherwise (Matt 19:10-12; 1 Cor 7:6-7). The same, of course, would be true of the woman whom God made for the man (1 Cor 11:9).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (MARRIAGE “COMPANIONSHIP”)
Israel’s greatest problem throughout its history was syncretism-the mixing of pagan religion with worship of the true God. God judged Israel severely for failing to keep worship clean and pure. And one of the easiest inroads to Israel’s heart was through intermarriage with pagan people’s Ezra knew this well, thus his vehement and emotional opposition to taking foreign spouses. Continue reading WHY WAS EZRA SO UPSET ABOUT MIXED MARRIAGES?