Neither the ark of the covenant nor the temple of Solomon housed God in a literal, confining sense. God is both infinite and omnipresent. As the martyr Stephen declared. “The Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands” (Acts 7:48. Acts 17:24).Continue reading HOW DID GOD “DWELL” IN THE ARK AND IN THE TEMPLE?
The Jewish people believed that contact with a grave caused a person to become unclean (Numbers 19:16), so tombs were coated with a white lime solution to make them stand out to keep people from touching them accidently.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (CORRUT ON THE INSIDE)
The woman guilty of sexual misconduct was to lose her capacity for childbearing. This was a fearsome penalty indeed, for women in the ancient Near East established their sense of personal value and esteem on one activity only-bearing and raising children. Education, business, military status, community leadership-none of these were open to women; motherhood was everything.Continue reading WHAT IS THE SICKNESS THAT PUNISHES ADULTEROUS WOMEN?
When warfare took place it was normally at a time when food was available to live off the land and when weather conditions made war feasible (2 Samuel 11:1). So far as the Jewish army was concerned, the central “administration” unit (Numbers 2:17) was surrounded by four divisions (Numbers 2) and was preceded by an advance guard.Continue reading MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE BIBLE (CAMPAIGING)
Physical or material image or form representing a reality or being considered divine and thus an object of worship. In the Bible various terms are used to refer to idols or idolatry: “image,” either graven (carved) or cast, “statue,” “abomination.” Both Testaments condemn idols, but with idols the OT expresses more concern than the NT, probably reflecting the fact that the threat of idolatry was more pronounced for the people of the OT.Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (IDOL)
From an early age we are taught to respect the belongings of others even if our size and strength make it possible to take them by force. In order to understand the actions of the people of the ancient Near East, we need to make a major adjustment in this thinking. Within the cultural construct of this world, the expectation was that those who were victorious in battle had the right to seize the personal property of those defeated and even enslave the owners of that property. This practice of plundering is mentioned repeatedly in the literature of the ancient world peatedly in the literature of the ancient world and illustrated in the art of the empires that rose to power during the Old Testament era.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PLUNDER)
The vine was of great importance in the religion of Israel. It was used as a symbol of the religious life of Israel itself, and a carving of a bunch of grapes often adorned the front exterior of the synagogue. The symbolism was based upon passages such as Psalm 80 and Isaiah 5:1-5 where Israel is God’s vine. The importance of the vine is why the Pharisees took the point so angrily when Jesus told the story of the wicked tenants in the vineyard (Matthew 21:33-41, 45-46). As the fulfilment of all that Israel should be to God, Jesus was the true vine (John 15:5-7).Continue reading MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE BIBLE (VINE SYMBOLISM)
The Day of Atonement was an animal ceremony in which sacrifices were offered to atone for the sins of Israel. Marked by humiliation and fasting, it recognized the people’s inability to make atonement for their sins. This required God’s intervention and that of His representative-the high priest of the nation.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (THE DAY OF ATONEMENT)
The Jewish people who returned to their homeland after their period of exile in Babylonia and Persia restored their worship rituals. These included the celebration of each new moon, which marked the beginning of a new month in their calendar. Offerings and sacrifices were made to atone for their sins committed during the previous month. The new moon celebration is also referred to in Numbers 10:10Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (NEW MOON SACRIFICES)
The Bible records several instances of suicide (Abimelech-Judg 9:54; Samson-Judg 16:29-30; Saul-1 Sam 31:4; Saul’s armor beaer-1 Sam 31:5 Ahithophel-2 Sam 17:23; Zimri-1 Kings 16:18; and Judas-Matt 27:5; cp. Acts 16:27). Of these, the deaths of Abimelech and Saul could be called “assisted” suicide. With the possible exception of Samson (whose death may be better termed “martyrdom”), the Bible presents each person who committed suicide as an individual whose behavior is clearly not to be emulated.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SUICIDE)