We may expect that the idea of one person owning another would be strongly censured in the Bible. What we find instead is a general acknowledgment of the existence of slavery, the use of slavery as a metaphor, and a theological trajectory that moved society in the direction of abolition without formally demanding it.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (SLAVE “TO BECOME OR TO BE FREED” PT 1 OF 2)
The Romans appear to have at least two types of whips for flogging. The more serious of the two, the flagellum, consisted of a handle with leather straps attached to it. Knots were tied into the straps with bone or sharp metal bits tied onto them. This was the device used prior to crucifixion to brutalize those condemned so severely that they would be incapable of effective resistance. There was no limit to the number of blows that could be struck, and the beating often continued until the flesh hung down in bloody strips.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FLOG,WHIP,SCOURAGE PT2)
Daniel realized that the law against prayer was really against him. Babylon had captured his homeland but not his soul. To compromise by yielding to a statute forbidding prayer would be to deny the very basis of his life, to deny God’s mercy and care for him.Continue reading WHY DID DANIEL IGNORE THE LAW CRIMINALIZING PRAYER?
Flogging was a form of punishment that employed a variety of devices to lash the exposed flesh of the victim. The biblical authors describe this grisly business with a variety of Greek and Hebrew terms, each of which has been translated in our English versions in more than one way. That makes this phenomenon a bit more difficult to trace through the pages of our Bible. But we will get the basics by tracing the terms flogging, whipping, and scourging.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FLOG,WHIP,SCOURAGE)
This verse is part of Jesus’ prayer of agony in the Garden of Gethsemane before His arrest and crucifixion. This “cup” to which He referred was the suffering He would endure on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for sin.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (JESUS’ CUP OF SUFFERING)
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?
The prophet Habakkuk was assured by the Lord that He would deal with the Babylonians after He had used them as an agent of punishment against His own people. He would make His bow “naked,” or take it out of its protective case, in order to use it against the Babylonians.
Baring the bow was a symbol of getting ready for war, just like uncovering the shield (read Isa 22:6)
HABAKKUK 3:9 – Thy [God’s] bow was made quite naked.
5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.
6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (2 CORINTHIANS 2:5-11: “FORGIVENESS FOR THE SINNER”)
Jeremiah compared the wailing of the people of Judah over God’s punishment to laments at a funeral. The Jewish people were known for the loud and bitter mourning over the death of loved one (read 2 Sam 19:4). Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (MOURNING FOR PAY)
In addition to rebuilding Jerusalem in a physical sense, Nehemiah was also concerned for the spiritual rebuilding of his people. He was so angry toward the Jewish men who had married pagan woman-a-flagrant disobedience of God’s command (Joshua 23:12-13)-that he beat some of them and pulled out their hair. This violent and serious punishment showed the severity of their sin. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A SEVERE PUNISHMENT)