The events that occurred at the Water Gate in Nehemiah’s time can be described as a spiritual revival. The people knew that God had made it possible for them to rebuild the city. Now they were ready to hear what else God would say to them. They listened intently. When Ezra opened the scroll of God’s law, they stood out of respect and anticipation over what they were about to hear.Continue reading WHY WAS EZRA’S READING OF GOD’S LAW SO POWERFUL?
We may expect that the idea of one person owning another would be strongly censured in the Bible. What we find instead is a general acknowledgment of the existence of slavery, the use of slavery as a metaphor, and a theological trajectory that moved society in the direction of abolition without formally demanding it.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (SLAVE “TO BECOME OR TO BE FREED” PT 1 OF 2)
Supplying wood for priests to use in offering burnt sacrifices on the altar was a task assigned to the Nethinims, or temple servants (Ezra 2:43). But not enough of these servants returned from the exile in Babylonia and Persia to handle this task.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (WOOD FOR THE ALTAR)
People also fasted in advance of special experiences or in connection with prayerful inquiry. Moses fasted prior to receiving the tablets of stone containing the Ten Commandments on the two separate occasions they were given (Exod 34:28; Deut 9:9). Immediately after his baptism, Jesus retreated into the wilderness where he too fasted as he initiated his public ministry (Matt 4:1-2). Fasting also accompanied special inquiry of the Lord, whether interceding on behalf of aContinue reading EVERDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FAST 2 OF 3)
Because there were always some who suffered more quickly and more deeply from the onset of famine, it also tested the willingness of God’s people to show charity to those who were less fortunate. Believers living at the time of both Nehemiah and Paul respondedContinue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN THE BIBLE TIMES (FAMINE PT3)
Hushai was a friend and supporter of King David. During Absalom’s rebellion (2 Sam 15:30). Hushai expressed his sorrow over David’s exile by tearing his clothes (Gen 37:34) and throwing dust on his head.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (DUST ON THE HEAD)
Nehemiah is an example of a person who lived by prayer. He responded to difficulty with prayer. He planned in prayer. He prayed before he spoke. When he evaluated his work, he did so in prayer. When others attacked, mocked, or threatened him. Nehemiah prayed.Continue reading HOW DID NEHEMIAH PRACTICE PRAYER?
Place name meaning “swelling,” “fat,” “bulge,” or “mound,” It became the proper name of a portion of the hill on which the city of David was built (2 Chron 27:3). The Ophel was just south of Mount Moriah, on which the temple was constructed, joining the old city with the area of Solomon’s palace and temple. The hill has been inhabited since pre-Israelite times by peoples such as the Jebusites from whom David took the site.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (OPHEL)
In addition to rebuilding Jerusalem in a physical sense, Nehemiah was also concerned for the spiritual rebuilding of his people. He was so angry toward the Jewish men who had married pagan woman-a-flagrant disobedience of God’s command (Joshua 23:12-13)-that he beat some of them and pulled out their hair. This violent and serious punishment showed the severity of their sin. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A SEVERE PUNISHMENT)
GENESIS 11:31 NIV- Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out form Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (TERAH: TOWARD THE LAND OF PROMISE)