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)
Elizabeth, mentioned only in Luke’s Gospel, was married to a priest named Zechariah. “Both were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord” (Luke 1:6).
Yet in a culture where children were viewed as a primary evidence of God’s blessing, they were also childless. Elizabeth was unable to conceive. This barrenness was a source of deep disgrace to her (Luke 1:25). Only those who’ve suffered through fertility issues can fully appreciate the sting of all those unanswered prayers, the piercing pain of an empty nursery. Since Elizabeth and Zechariah “were well along in year” (Luke 1:7), it’s not unreasonable to assume that they had given up the hope of ever becoming parents. Continue reading WOMAN OF THE DAY (ELIXABETH: THE MOTHER OF JOHN THE BAPTIST)
Some Christians join skeptics on this point. They doubt Matthew’s claim about Mary: “While she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18), Continue reading A PREGNANT VIRGIN?
- Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
- (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
- Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
JOHN 11:3 NIV- Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. . . So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
As you lie on your sickbed, hoping Jesus shows up in times to heal you, your sisters, Mary and Martha, are doing everything they know to do help you-including sending word to Jesus about your condition. But He doesn’t show up in time and you fade away and die. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (LAZARUS: BACK FROM THE GRAVE)
PHARAOH- Title for the ancient kings of Egypt meaning “great house.” Every ancient pharaoh had five “great names,” which he assumed on the day of his accession. Since it was not deemed proper to use such powerful names in direct fashion, a polite circumlocution developed; he came to be called Pharaoh. Continue reading DEFINITION OF PHARAOH.
Since Jesus is the Son of God who has existed before time began, some people assume He has no family history. But this assumption is wrong. Two Gospel of the New Testament-Matthew and Luke-contain family histories of Jesus. And these genealogies give us valuable information about Him and His revolutionary ministry that changed the world. Continue reading THE FAMILY HISTORY OF JESUS
The Bible most often portrays the land of Egypt as the crucible in which the nation of Israel was forged. But Egypt played an important role earlier, in the lives of Abraham as well as his great-grandson Joseph. Abraham found shelter there during a famine but left in disgrace after lying to the Pharaoh about Sarai (Gen 12:10-20). Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt and became not only a great blessing to the nation, but also the means by which the rest of his family was kept safe during another devastating famine (Gen 37-46). Eventually Egypt enslaved the young nation and treated them mercilessly for four hundred years. Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (EGYPT)
The disciple “James the less” is mentioned only eight times in the New Testament. Four of those times his name is in a list of the twelve apostles of Jesus. Another four times, he’s mentioned in connection with his family. Continue reading JAMES, SON OF ALPHAEUS: LESS SAID THE BETTER?
The very name Bethlehem immediately awakens thoughts of carol lyrics and the story of Christmas. Yet the tale of that little town reaches far back into history, when the Promised Land was just a promise. The village is first mentioned, almost as a sad footnote, in the itinerary of Jacob’s trip back from Haran with his growing family, only to have his beloved Rachel go into labor just outside Ephrath (Gen 35:16) and die while giving birth to the youngest of the patriarch’s sons, Benjamin. Her burial place is identified as Bethlehem (Gen 35:19). Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (BETHLEHEM)