Mountains are fitting, places to worship God, but as metaphors they become particularly effective theology instructors when moved or disturbed at God’s direction. As the Lord’s unlimited presence took up residence on Mount Sinai, the mountain trembled, smoked, and blazed as a way of showing how unique and powerful God’s presence was (Exod 19:16-19). This event was recalled centuries later when the poet spoke of the Lord as the one “who touches the mountains, and they smoke” (Psa 104:32; 144:5). The mountains of the Promised Land are
Characteristic and action that comes from the very nature of God. On the human level it is best described as one’s consideration of the condition and needs of his fellowman. It is an essential disposition of a covenant people, especially Israel and the church. In the OT God’s
In Paul’s time, slaves were branded with distinctive marks to show that they belonged to their masters, much as cattle are branded in modern times (Psa 40:6). Paul declared that his body bore marks from the persecution he had endured in Christ’s service. These showed the he belonged to the Lord Jesus.
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.
The raven, conspicuous because of its black color (Son 5:11), is a member of the crow family The raven acts as a scavenger and is listed among the unclean birds (Lev 11:15; Deut 14:14). Biblical writers cite the raven as an example of God’s care for His creation (Job 38:41; Psa 147:9; Luk 12:24).
WHAT DREAMS WERE INTERPRETED? Not every dream was thought to be from God. Not every dream was significant. Some could be wishful thinking (Psa 126:1; Isa 29:7-8). In times of need and especially when a person sought a word from God, dreams could be significant.
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).
Lighting for houses was provided by the oil lamp. Originally this consisted of an open earthenware saucer containing olive oil. Part of the saucer was “pinched” in manufacture, so as to provide a place for a flaxen wick. Such lamps obviously had problems arising from spillage, and closed containers were therefore developed with two holes-one for wick and one to put oil in.
KJV alternate rendering of the Greek adjective monogenes (John 1:14,18; 3:16,18; Heb 11:17; 1 John 4:9). Elsewhere the KJV rendered the term “only [child]” (a son in Luke 7:12; 9:38; a daughter in 8:42). KJV, NKJV, NASB render monogenes as “only begotten [son]” when refering to Jesus (cp. NASB margin, “unique, only one of His kind”), but most modern translations (ESV,NAB,NJB,NLT,NRSV,REB,TEV) render the term consistently as “only.” NIV, HCSB render the term “One and Only [Son].”
Most of these religions were polytheistic, which means that they acknowledged many gods and demons. Once admitted to the pantheon (a culture’s collection of deities), a god could not be eliminated from it.