Tag Archives: Promised land

EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (TRAP/SNARE PT 3 OF 3)

Times of misfortune are also likened to the unexpected and inescapable nature of a trap: “Makeover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them” (Eccles 9:12). These harsh times could be the product of their own making, as in the case of the exile of God’s people from the Promised Land that entrapped them (Isa 42:22; Lam 4:20; Ezek 19:8).

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EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (TEAR A GARMENT PT 2 OF 2)

The motif of the torn garment is linked to political changes in Israel as well. When Saul was rejected as king, he tore the hem of Samuel’s garment just before hearing “the LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors” (1 Sam 15:27-28; also read 28:17). Later when David’s son Solomon harbored sins that were not appropriate

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EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FAMINE PT2)

Whether in connection with climate or siege, famine was clearly one of the worst experiences in the ancient world (1 Kings 8:37). The purchase of food would first consume all a person’s precious metal, then livestock, and finally even the land they relied on the produce food, putting its former owners into virtual servitude (Gen 47:13-22). Jeremiah vividly describes the circumstances in which hunger pangs could no longer be endured in silence but were given

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EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PROSTITUTE P2)

The formal mention of prostitutes in the Bible is often used to shape our impression of people with whom they were associated. Because the law of God was clear on this matter, the linking of a man with a prostitute, whether sexually or by birth, cast a dark cloud over his character. This included notables like Judah, Jephthah, and Samson (Gen 38:15; Judg 11:1; 16:1). When Joshua sent spies to Jericho, the population was so immoral that the one person of redeeming value found in the city was a prostitute (Josh 2:1). And the image of Ahab was clearly tarnished by the fact that his bloody chariot was washed out at the place where the prostitutes bathed (1 Kings 22:38). By contrast, Israel’s leaders who aggressively expelled shrine prostitutes

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EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PROSTITUTE P1)

Within the larger ancient Near Eastern world, prostitution was legal and generally accepted by members of society, and there is evidence that some prostitutes in Mesopotamia gathered into professional associations linked to the goddess Ishtar. The Hebrew of the Old Testament uses two different words when referring to those who functioned as prostitutes (zona, translated “prostitute” in Gen 38:15; and qedesa, translated “shrine prostitute” in Gen 38:21-22), which suggests that the prostitutes in Canaan were of two types: secular sex workers and prostitutes linked to pagan worship. Nevertheless, given the extent of the evidence we possess from the ancient world, we need to use caution in identifying the latter too closely with pagan worship rites that sought to increase the fertility of flocks, herds, and fields.

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SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (ALTAR)

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In the Old Testament, the object erected time and time again to communicate the presence and power of God was an altar. The altar could be a single rock or a loosely organized arrangement of large stones, so people were never far from an altar or could build one in a few moments. Nothing was more prominent as a biblical image for worship and allegiance to God than the altar. It is no exaggeration to say that the most visible sign of one’s devotion to the true God in the worship of the old covenant was the building of altars or traveling to them for acts of sacrifice or offering. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (ALTAR)

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (JORDAN RIVER)

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The Jordan River played an important role in a number of memorable events from both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is known for being a fertile valley and an important landmark. The first mention of the Jordan occurs in the story of Abram and Lot, where Lot chose for himself “all the plan of Jordan” (Gen 13:11 KJV). The next time we come upon it, Jacob is wrestling with his adversary at the ford of the Jabbok, one of the major tributaries of the Jordan. Elsewhere the Jordan is crossed and is used as a place of baptism and provision. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (JORDAN RIVER)

WHY IS ISRAEL CALLED THE “PROMISED LAND”?

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Because of God’s great promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). God challenged Abraham to leave his homeland and extended family and to follow divine guidance. God promised to bring Abraham to a new land and to make his offspring a great nation. Continue reading WHY IS ISRAEL CALLED THE “PROMISED LAND”?

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (UNLEAVENED BREAD/YEAST)

matzoh - jewish passover bread

      In scientific terms, yeast is a fungus that ferments carbohydrates and makes dough rise. It is a key ingredient in the making of bread,  beer, wine, and spirits. Leavened bread is present in most cultures from prehistoric times onward, including that of the Israelites. That is why Moses’ instruction to leave yeast out of their bread in preparation for the exodus seemed notable and became part of the remembrance celebration of the Passover. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (UNLEAVENED BREAD/YEAST)