The themes of God’s kingship and the eastern kingdom run throughout Scripture. God’s kingdom is a favorite motif of the psalmists and prophets, and was an especially comforting symbol to the Israelites who struggle under unjust and oppressive kings throughout history. In a general sense God is King over all creation because he made all things: “LORD of Armies, God of Israel, you are enthroned the angels. You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the world. You made heaven and earth” (2 Kings 19:15). Elsewhere we read, “Greatness power, splendor, glory, and majesty are yours, LORD, because Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (KINGDOM)
The Jordan River played an important role in a number of memorable events from both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is known for being a fertile valley and an important landmark. The first mention of the Jordan occurs in the story of Abram and Lot, where Lot chose for himself “all the plan of Jordan” (Gen 13:11 KJV). The next time we come upon it, Jacob is wrestling with his adversary at the ford of the Jabbok, one of the major tributaries of the Jordan. Elsewhere the Jordan is crossed and is used as a place of baptism and provision. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (JORDAN RIVER)
Jeremiah compared the wailing of the people of Judah over God’s punishment to laments at a funeral. The Jewish people were known for the loud and bitter mourning over the death of loved one (read 2 Sam 19:4). Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (MOURNING FOR PAY)
Hairy, demonic figure with the appearance of a goat, translating a Hebrew term otherwise translated “hairy” or “male goat.” Bible students differ in interpreting passages as to whether a demonic figure or a normal animals is meant. Israelites apparently sacrificed to such desert-dwelling demons, since they had to have a law forbidding such sacrifice (Lev 17:7). Some have even interpreted the scapegoat rites (Lev 16:20-22) as sending Israel’s sin back to their author, a desert demon with a different name from that Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SADITE)
Garments are used as biblical symbols in almost as many ways as there are styles of clothing. Clothes are used as expression of socioeconomics status, spiritual well-being, and emotional state. They can protect, conceal, or display an inner reality of the wearer. They can last for a long time or wear out quickly (Neh 9:21; Matt 6:19). They can consist of leaves (Gen 3:7), animal skin (Gen 3:21; Matt 3:4), rags (Isa 64:6), pure white linen (Dan 7:9; Rev 19:14), or anything in between. They can be literal or figurative. Yet despite al this variety, the use of clothing as a symbol falls into a few set patterns that yield a wealth of insight. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CLOTHING)
Objects of unknown shape and material used to determine the divine will. Often in the ancient Near East people, especially priests, made difficult and significant decisions by casting lots on the ground or drawing them from a receptacle. Several times Scripture mentions the practice. We do not know exactly what the lots look like. Nor do we know how they were interpreted. We do know that people of the OT and NT believe God (or gods in the case of non-Israelites or non-Christians) influenced the fall or outcome of the lots (Prov 16:33). Thus, casting lots was a way of determining God’s will. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (LOTS)
Surely this was one of the most brutal massacres of the Bible, if not in raw numbers, in terms of its victims. Only the most corrupted form of evil could lead a state to summarily execute innocent children. Why did the people not resist? Continue reading WHY DID THE PEOPLE OF BETHLEHEM NOT PROTECT THEIR BOYS FROM HEROD’S SOILDERS?
Change of mind; also can refer to regret or remorse accompanying a realization that wrong has been done or to any shift or reversal of thought. In its biblical sense repentance refers to a deeply seated and through turning from self to God. It occurs when a radical turning to God takes place, an experience in which God is recognized as the most important fact of one’s existence. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (REPENTANCE)
Absence of sound. The Bible uses silence in several ways: as reverence to God (Hab 2:20), as a symbol of death (Ps 94:17), as a symbol of Sheol (Ps 115:17), and as an expression of despair (Lam 2:10). It is a way to shut up the opposition (Matt 22:34). It is also used as a dramatic pause following the opening of the seventh seal in Rev 8:1. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SILENCE)
Refraining from eating food. The Bible describes three main forms of fasting. The normal fast involves the total abstinence of foods. Luke 4:2 reveals that Jesus “ate nothing”; afterward “He was hungry.” Jesus abstained from food but not from water.
In Acts 9:9 we read of an absolute fast where for three days Paul “did not eat or drink” (HCSB). The abstinence form both food and water seems to have lasted no more than three days (Ezra 10:6; Esther 4:16). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FASTING)