Garments are used as biblical symbols in almost as many ways as there are styles of clothing. Clothes are used as expression of socioeconomics status, spiritual well-being, and emotional state. They can protect, conceal, or display an inner reality of the wearer. They can last for a long time or wear out quickly (Neh 9:21; Matt 6:19). They can consist of leaves (Gen 3:7), animal skin (Gen 3:21; Matt 3:4), rags (Isa 64:6), pure white linen (Dan 7:9; Rev 19:14), or anything in between. They can be literal or figurative. Yet despite al this variety, the use of clothing as a symbol falls into a few set patterns that yield a wealth of insight. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CLOTHING)
There are a number of cautionary tales in the Bible, but few are as seamy and sad as this one.
Looking down on the city of Jerusalem form the atop his royal palace one fine spring evening, Israel’s King David spotted a fine young woman. She wasn’t merely attractive; she was “very beautiful.” And, of all the things she might have been doing, she was bathing. Continue reading WOMAN OF THE DAY (BATHSHEBA: THE VERY BEAUTIFUL WOMAN WITH THE VERY TRAGIC LIFE)
The book of is curious. It’s the only book in the Bible that never overtly mentions God. It contains no references to the Mosaic law or to sacrifices. You don’t see priests making offerings here, or saints singing psalms, or prophets pointing the people back to God’s promise. Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (ESTHER: THE QUEEN OF PERSIA)
While Ahasuerus was entertaining his royal officials (see notes on Esther 1:8), his queen, Vashti, was serving as hostess at a feast for the wives of these men, Separation of men and women at such royal events must have been the normal practice in the Persian court. Continue reading SEPARATION OF PERSIAN WOMEN
Doors allow access to or prevent us from entering a room or home. Gates are usually more imposing and important. They guard the access to large spaces: cities, estates, and the way to eternal life. In Bible times, most cities of any size were surrounded by walls, so gates were a constant feature in people’s’ lives. No wonder, then, that the role of gates became symbolic of other values and ideas. Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (GATE)