12 Now these are the kings of the land, which the children of Israel smote, and possessed their land on the other side Jordan toward the rising of the sun, from the river Arnon unto mount Hermon, and all the plain on the east:
2 Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, and ruled from Aroer, which is upon the bank of the river Arnon, and from the middle of the river, and from half Gilead, even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon;
Terms noticeably used in tandem in the NT to contrast diametrically opposed lifestyle. The term “flesh” is often ascribed the connotation of an ungodly lifestyle of selfishness and sensual self-gratification. The term “spirit” signifies the opposite characteristics. One who walks by the Spirit lives with a conspicuous God consciousness that directs his or her dispositions, attitudes, and actions.
The fundamental truth about government in the Bible’s worldview and metanarrative is that the one triune God revealed in the Scriptures of the OT and NT is the sovereign ruler from which all authority flows. Whatever man and human governments are, they are not to be confused with god(s)-though some may make claims to that effect. On the other hand, they are not mere usurpers upon the creation. Man is the pinnacle of God’s creation. The psalmist, echoed by the writer of Hebrews in the NT, marveled poetically that God was “mindful” of man at all (Ps 8:4-6 NIV; Heb 2:6-8 KJV); but Scripture affirms human dominion over the earth (Gen 1:28-30; Psa 8:6-8; 115:16).
Herod Agrippa II was only seventeen when his father, King Herod Agrippa I died, Emperor Claudius, a close friend of Herod’s father, wanted this young man educated in Rome to assume his father’s throne. But advisers convinced Claudius that the boy was too young. Six years later, in AD 50, Claudius give Herod some territory to rule in what is now Lebanon. Herod later traded that for regions in northern Israel and Syria.
The Bible also contains examples of flogging that are figurative or symbolic. In several places in Proverbs we read of a spirit that has been flogged (NIV “crushed”) Heartache can be unbearable; it can beat down one’s spirit like a whip on the bare back, robbing us of joy and leaving up physically exhausted (Prov 15:13; 17:22; 18:14). Sometimes that heartache is caused by those who speak maliciously about us. That is why the tongue itself is likened to the whip that delivers a flogging (Job 5:21).
The Bible is a historical book as well as a spiritual one. As such, it contains many important historical leaders and describes their impact on the nation of Israel. These people are not often used as symbols in the Bibles, but their influence on the history of God’s people carries symbolic importance because of the particular interactions they had. The Jews look back on these leaders as people who operated under the sovereign will of God either to help them as an instrument of mercy or to test and punish them as an executor of his just wrath.
Ishmael was a Jewish zealot who rebelled against the rule of Babylonia in the chaotic period after Judah fell to the Babylonian army. These ten men agreed to give Ishmael some food supplies that they had hidden in their fields if he would spare their lives. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (BURIED FOOD)→
Old Testament rules of holiness had a vital either/or quality about them, unlike more tolerant religious rules of the present day. These older rules paint a portrait of a holy and just God, one whose will cannot be dismissed and whose word cannot be ignored. On one occasion that illustrates the stringency of these rules, a bystander tried to save the ark of the covenant from a fall, but in so doing violated the rule of holiness and lost his life (2 Samuel 6:6-7). Continue reading WHY WOULD PEOPLE DIE IF THEY GOT TOO CLOSE TO GOD?→
The Sabbath was once-weekly rest from normal business to worship and honor God. Those who sought to gain commercial advantage during this respite were not only upsetting the community’s economy, they were also offending God. Everyone knew the Sabbath requirements, so no one in the nation could plead ignorance of this all important rule. Continue reading WHY WAS GATHERING WOOD ON THE SABBATH A CAPITAL CRIME?→