The Hebrew word for “war” occurs more than 300 times in the OT. The strategic position of Palestine between Mesopotamia and Egypt made war a harsh reality for most of its inhabitants during biblical times. Israel gained a foothold in this land by means of a war of conquest, and thereafter, by frequently defensive actions against intruders and invaders. Unfortunately, the history of war in Israel also included several civil conflicts.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (HOLY WAR PT1)
Meaning “to feel passion with someone” or “to enter sympathetically into one’s sorrow and pain.” In various translations of the Bible, this English word is used to translate at least five Hebrew words in the OT and eight Greek words in the NT. The subtle variations in the original terms are emphasized below, with the inevitable overlapping of meaning being apparent.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (COMPASSION)
Absence of lights is used in both physical and figurative senses in both the OT and NT. The darkness that covered the deep before God’s creation of light symbolizes chaos in opposition to God’s orderly creations (Gen 1:2-3). Elsewhere darkness, as well as light, is recognized as the creation of God (Isa 45:7). Darkness is a place where “workers of iniquity may hide” (Job 34:22 NASB); however, darkness does not hide one from God (Psa 139:11-12; Dan 2:22).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (DARKNESS)
In Israel’s early history, God’s relationship with the nation was compared to a father relating to his son (Exodus 4:22-23). God gently led His “children” out of Egyptian bondage, down to Sinai, and eventually into the promised Land.Continue reading MATTHEW QUOTES A VERSE FROM HOSEA 11:1, WHAT IS THE CONNECTION?
Different kinds of shelters or dwellings. In the OT the Hebrew word translated “inn” or “lodging place” might refer to a camping place for an individual (Jer 9:2), a family on a journey (Exod 4:24), an entire caravan (Gen 42:27; 43:21), or an army (Josh 4:3,8). In these passages (with the possible exception of the reference in Jeremiah) the presence of a building is not implied. Often the reference is only to a convenient piece of ground near a spring. It is doubtful that inns in the sense of public inns with a building existed in OT times.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (INN)
In the beginning God created an ordered, harmonious universe. It was a creation where everything had its place and function. It was a beautiful, good, and blessed creation. God also made special creatures: humans. Humans represented God in his creation. In addition, God created humans as relational beings. Humans were meant to relate to God (he walked alongside them,) to creation (they were the caretakers of the garden), and to each other (God instituted marriage and family life).Continue reading GOD LIVING WITH HIS PEOPLE
Magic is typically forbidden to Israel for a number of reasons: (1) Magic is human encroachment into the divine realm. (2) Magic is used to manipulate deity. (3) Magic involves relying on a power other than Yahweh. If that is the reason, a sanctioned prophet would be able to bypass all three; his office already enters the divine realm, and the power comes from Yahweh, even though the prophet appears to have some autonomy in using it. The prophets are called to wield divine authority at some level.Continue reading PRACTICE OF MAGIC
In the Bible, light indicates what is good, pure, and holy. Darkness is synonymous with sin and evil. To say that God is light is to assert that God is perfectly pure and holy. Only God is without sin. He is the standard of perfection and truth by which everything is measured.Continue reading WHY IS GOD SAID TO BE “LIGHT”?
Enigmatic or puzzling statement, often based on the clever use of the ambiguities of language. The classic biblical example of a riddle is that posed by Samson to the Philistines. This riddle is in poetic form (judg 14:12-12), and the question, “What is it?” is implied. The Philistines’ reply is in the form of another riddle (v 18a) whose original answer was probably “love.” Samson’s retort may reflect yet another commonly known, and rather risque’ riddle (v 18b).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (RIDDLE)
Little is known about the Israelite view of malevolent spirits, popularly called “demons” in contemporary usage. In contemporary usage. In addition to the Hebrew word shed, translate “false gods” in Ps 106:37, the OT has a Hebrew word sair, translated in the NIV as “goat idols” (Lev 17:7: 2 Chron 11:15: see the NIV text note on Lev 17:7). Some suggest that the use of sair also refers to demons in Isa 13:21; 34:14 (NIV “wild goats). This Hebrew word refers to an actual goat in Gen 37:31 and frequently in texts prescribing a goat for sacrifice (e.g., Lev 4:23; Nu 7:16).Continue reading DEMONS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT