Depending on how the original words are translated, Jesus received visitors who could be referred to as wise men, magi, or astrologers. We don’t know names, how far they traveled, or how many arrived. We usually think there were three of them because they brought three gifts, but there could have been more. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE “THE WISE MEN” HONORING THE KING
In a few places in the Bibles, the term beast is used in its modern descriptive sense of la menacing or mindless animal whose behavior is somewhat unpredictable. Jacob compared his son Issachar to a donkey or beast of burden (Gen 49:14), creating a picture of capacity and stubbornness as strong traits in his ninth born. Many biblical monsters seem to be mythical, or at least are symbolic of threats of God’s order and authority in the world. But unlike the monstrous beasts of surrounding cultures and religions, God retains power over all the beasts and chaos in the world, and will ultimately defeat them. Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (BEAST)
Beyond their obvious use in holding objects, hands have long had two other significant roles for people: we count on our fingers, and we measure with the length or breadth of our hands. Finger width and palm width were standard units of measure in Bible times. In passage like Exodus 25:25 and 37:12, 1 King 7:26, and Ezekiel 40:43 the span is transplanted “three inches,” but the original says “handbreadth” Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (HAND)
Doors allow access to or prevent us from entering a room or home. Gates are usually more imposing and important. They guard the access to large spaces: cities, estates, and the way to eternal life. In Bible times, most cities of any size were surrounded by walls, so gates were a constant feature in people’s’ lives. No wonder, then, that the role of gates became symbolic of other values and ideas. Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (GATE)
Most uses of the word oil in the Bible have ceremonial rather than food connections. Oils were harvested from animals fats, minerals, and vegetables. Oil also had medicinal purposes (Ps 23:5; Luke 10:34) and was used to fuel lamps Matt 25:1-13). In a bartering economy, oil was a commodity of value. In 2 Kings 4:1-7 Elijah helps a widow and her two sons by telling them to gather as many containers as possible and pour her meager supply of oil into the jars. The oil didn’t run out until every available jar had been filled. Elisha then told her to see the oil and live on the proceeds. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (OIL)
The number thousand (or thousands) in the Bible is sometimes a literal number, but in many cases it is used to create a large round number. Hebrew and the other Semitic languages used approximations to express large numbers because they were rarely needed for small populations and tiny kingdom. Examples of this can be found in Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10 and 7:9; 1 Samuel 18:7; and Psalms 50:10, 90:4 and 105:8. Ten
Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (THOUSAND)
Flocks of goats were part of everyday life throughout Bible times. Hardier than sheep, goats provided milk, cheese, water skins, meat, and hair from which rough fabric was made for tents and other durable items. When God gave Moses the detailed instructions for creating the tabernacle that would be God’s tent in the wilderness, he specified an outer layer of goat hair that protected the fine linen covering the inner space called the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence would be evident (Exod 2:6). The goat was
Continue reading SINGS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (GOAT)
WHO ARE THE TWELVE DISCIPLES?
- They were twelve Jewish men whom Jesus called to follow him during his three-year ministry on earth.
- The twelve disciples were from the Galilee region in the north except for Judas Iscariot, who was from Judea in the south.
- Their occupations ranged from fisherman to tax collectors and revolutionaries.
- Some were married (Mark 1:29-31; 1 Cor 9:3-6).
- Some were well-versed in Scripture (John 1:46).
Continue reading THE TWELVE DISCIPLES
Gift, Giving- The act of bestowing a favor or an item on another person without expecting anything in return. The purpose of a gift may be to honor (2 Sam 8:2; Dan 2:48), celebrate (Rev 11:10), or simply to bestow favor or help (Esth 9:22). God is the giver of every good and perfect gift (Matt 7:11; James 1:5, 17), including eternal life (Rom 6:23), salvation (Eph 2:8), the necessities of life (Matt 6:11), ability to work (Ecc 3:13; 5:19; Deut 8:18), the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 5:32), spiritual abilities (1 Cor 12:4), and above all His indescribable gift (2 Cor 9:15), His Son (John 3:16). Continue reading DEFINITIONS OF (GIFT, GIVING, HOMOSEXUALITY, KISH)
Building is both an effort and a result. If we build well, the product will be a structure we call a building. The Bible is full of people building altars, cities, houses, roads, towers, walls, and more. Quite a few significant buildings are mentioned: the Tower of Babel, the walled city of Jerusalem, the temple of Solomon. We read of cities being built and destroyed. The greatest builder of all time is God, the builder of creation from the Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (BUILDING)