IN the ancient world, ensuring family line was absolutely necessary for security and survival. What else could a person leave behind? Books and writings? Probably not. Money? Yes, the family property might insure prosperity for a generation or two. Sons and daughters? Definitely. Without heirs, why accumulate an estate?Continue reading WHY WAS CHILDBEARING AND FATEHRING SO IMPORANT IN OLD TESTAMENT DAYS?
God’s concern for the poor is also demonstrated in this law (see notes on Deuteronomy 24:10-11 and Deuteronomy 24:12-13).Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (OLIVES FOR THE POOR)
There are many things we may want in life but only two things we really need to sustain life: food and water. A famine takes both away. The famines mentioned in the Bible were typically initiated by a change in climate or a declaration of war. The food and water resources of the Promised Land were based on predictable climatic patterns that brought rain and dew into the region during expected season (Deut 11:10-15). This moisture recharged the springs and wells,Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FAMINE PT1)
In the ancient world, ensuring a family line was absolutely necessary for security and survival. What else could a person leave behind? Books and writings? Probably not. Money? Yes, the family property might insure prosperity for a generation or two. Sons and daughters? Definitely. Without heirs, why accumulate an estate?Continue reading WHY WAS CHILDBEARING AND FATHERING SO IMPORANT IN OLD TESTAMENT DAYS?
We all have someone in our lives with whom a close relationship seems impossible. Maybe it’s a sibling, a parent, a child, or even a spouse. For whatever reasons, we just can’t seem to get along. Outside of our families, most of us have other difficult relationships-with bosses, neighbors, business associates, coworkers, clients. Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (RUTH: THE DREAM DAUGHTER-IN-LAW)
The “vinegar” that Boaz offered Ruth was probably a drink similar to wine that had been fermented longer than usual until it developed a sour taste. This is the same type of drink that was offered to Jesus on the cross (Matthew 27:34, 48). Continue reading SOUR WINE AND ROASTED GRAIN
There were several different ways of bowing in Bible times. These ranged from lowing the head to bending the knees to kneeling down before another person. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES “TOTAL BODY BOWING”
Before grain was ground into flour, it was sifted in a sieve to remove any dirt or sand that had become mixed in with the grain during the harvesting process (see note on Ruth 3:2). The larger gain would remain in the sieve while the smaller dirt particles would fall through the sieve to the ground. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A SIFTING GOD)
The very name Bethlehem immediately awakens thoughts of carol lyrics and the story of Christmas. Yet the tale of that little town reaches far back into history, when the Promised Land was just a promise. The village is first mentioned, almost as a sad footnote, in the itinerary of Jacob’s trip back from Haran with his growing family, only to have his beloved Rachel go into labor just outside Ephrath (Gen 35:16) and die while giving birth to the youngest of the patriarch’s sons, Benjamin. Her burial place is identified as Bethlehem (Gen 35:19). Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (BETHLEHEM)
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)