Tag Archives: pagan

HOW DID THE SPIRIT OF GOD “COME UPON” ANCIENT LEADERS?

The mechanics are unclear, as always, but the result was a special sense of divine help and presence that enabled the leader to do God’s will. In very few places in the Bible is the coming of the Holy Spirit described in any detail (Acts 2), but the spirit descends, fills, and empowers according to God’s will and purpose.

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BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (HAIRLESS MOABITES)

Chapter 15 and 16 of Isaiah contain the prophet’s declaration of God’s judgment against the Moabites, enemies of the Israelites. The Lord would humiliate these people. Isaiah declared, by making them bald and cutting off their beards.

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BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (MOCKERY AND RIDICULE)

The prophet Zephaniah declared that God would eventually punish the Assyrians for their cruelty and pagan worship (Judges 1:6 and Nahum 2:3). Their capital city, Nineveh, would become a laughingstock among the nations.

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BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (IDOLS IN THE TEMPLS)

In a vision the prophet Ezekiel saw the temple of the Jewish people in Jerusalem. He was shocked to see on its walls paintings or sculptures of unclean animals that God’s people were not supposed to eat (Leviticus 11:1-19).

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BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (NO BLACK MAGIC)

The term divination, as used in this passage, refers to attempts to control evil spirits, to penetrate the mysteries of the universe, or to foretell the future by using magical acts, pronouncing superstitious incantations, or interpreting natural signs. Today we refer to such practices as “the occult.” “Black magic” was a prominent feature of pagan religious systems in Bible times. But God prohibited the Israelites from participating in these practices. Seven different types of divination are mentioned in this passage.

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BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (WORSHIP OF THE SUN, MOON, AND STARS)

Worship of the sun and other heavenly bodies was common among the pagan nations of the ancient world. For example, the city of Ur in Mesopotamia from which Abraham migrated was a center of moon worship. The Egyptians worshiped the sun god known as Ra (Gen 12:15). The Lord, speaking through Moses, specifically prohibited this form of idolatry.

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DEFINITON OF THE DAY (PAGAN TEMPLES)

Temples built for polytheistic worship; many pagan temples predated Solomon’s temple and some had similar designs. The earliest excavated temples from the Chalcolithic Period (4600-3300 B.C.), such as those uncovered at Eln Gedi in 1961 and Eshtaol in 2013, illustrate the ubiquitous nature of pagan worship in Canaan prior to the arrival of Abram (Gen 12:5). The culticsite at Eshtaol contained a standing stone, 1.3 meters in height, smoothed on all sides and erected facing east. The standing stone could be used as a monument but often represented

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DEFINITON OF THE DAY (HIGH PLACE)

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Elevate site, usually found on the top of a mountain or hill; most high places were Canaanite places of pagan worship.

HEATHEN WORSHIP AT THE HIGH PLACE: The average high place would have an altar (2 Kings 21:3; 2 Chron 14:3), a carved wooden pole that depicted the female goddess of fertility (Asherah), a stone pillar symbolizing the male deity (2 Kings 3:2), other idols (2 Kings 12:31; 13:32; 16:32-33). At these places of worship the people sacrificed animals (at some high places children were sacrificed according to Jer 7:31), burned incense to their gods, prayed, ate sacrificial meals, and were involved with male or female cultic Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (HIGH PLACE)

BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (WORSHIP OF WEAPONS)

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This verse apparently refers to the practice among the pagan Babylonians of worshiping and offering sacrifices to their weapons of war. The Babylonians were on a mission of world conquest in Habakkuk’s time. Bowing down to these weapons was the Babylonians’ way of strengthening and dedicating themselves for this purpose. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (WORSHIP OF WEAPONS)

WHY THE FREQUENT REFERENCES TO PROSTITUTES AND PROSTITUTION IN THE BOOK OF HOSEA?

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Israel was guilty of participating in various pagan worship practices. This included actual, physical prostitution at many Canaanite shrines left standing after the conquest of Canaan. The idea behind these degrading sexual rites was that the Canaanites fertility gods Baal and Asherah would favor the participants with healthy babies and crops. Continue reading WHY THE FREQUENT REFERENCES TO PROSTITUTES AND PROSTITUTION IN THE BOOK OF HOSEA?